An Oasis of the Past : Neighborhood: The Uplifters Club built a Pacific Palisades getaway for its fun-loving, influential members. Even today, the band's whimsical legacy is felt at the ranch. - Los Angeles Times
“The cottages are a blend of the fanciful and the curious.
There is a fairy-tale bungalow built by early cinematographer Charles Rosher that has a room said to have been designed for his lover, actress Anna May Wong.
[Marco] Hellman, the banker, brought in three log cabins from the set of the 1923 film The Courtship of Miles Standish. One of them, at 38 Haldeman Road, was the summer retreat of Earl Warren, former governor and Supreme Court justice, during the late ’40s and early ’50s.
‘The cabins were brought in from Lake Arrowhead and reassembled using code numbers you can still see on some of the logs,’ says Dorothy Cheney, who has lived in one for 40 years…
Dr. Frank McCoy, a ’20s diet king whose nonalcoholic health regimen was popular with movie stars, built a hillside lodge at 35 Haldeman Road. It is unusual for its circular card room and the 128 steps that lead from the street to the front door.
“The bedroom of the McCoys’ (teen-age) daughter is said to have been furnished with Rudolph Valentino’s former bed,” says Francie Allen, who lives there with her husband. Allen, an animation artist, uses the room as a studio…”
Anna May Wong (centre) with a group of Chinese-American actresses in Drifting(1923), a Tod Browning picture about opium smuggling in China.
Scanned from the book Behind the Mask of Innocence by Kevin Brownlow.
Stills from Ewald Andre Dupont’s silent film Piccadilly (1929) which starred Anna May Wong as Shosho, Gilda Gray as Mabel Greenfield, Jameson Thomas as Valentine Wilmot, and King Ho-Chang as Jim, Shosho’s Chinese boyfriend.
In the first image, Shosho is having a late dinner with her Chinese boyfriend, Jim, at a chop and steak house. They are like any other couple in this working class establishment, Jim in a suit and newspaper boy cap and Shosho in a flapper dress and a beret, eating with knife and fork. King Ho-Chang was in real life, one of London’s most popular Chinese restaurant owners.
In the second still, Chinese men are gambling or eating solemnly out of bowls with chopsticks in silence in “The Chinese Restaurant” which is a stark contrast to Valentine Wilmot’s dazzling nightclub where the well-do-do sup and enjoy nightly entertainment of music and dance.
Silent star profiles.
Top left - bottom right: Carmel Myers, Alma Rubens, Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford, Constance Talmadge, Nita Naldi, Julanne Johnston, Anna May Wong.
Anna May Wong
Happy Birthday Anna May Wong (January 3, 1905 - February 2, 1961)
“The first time I saw Anna May on film, I was very moved to see her, a strong Asian woman, moving across an American movie screen. She was a true pioneer. The look in her eyes, her distinctive style, were all very inspiring to me. I loved the way she turned all the dragon-lady cliches on their heads. She was limited in her roles, but she transcended them. I like to think that all of us have a dragon lady inside us - she represents our power to be ourselves.”
~Vivienne Tam, China Chic
Anna May Wong smiling and looking beautiful beneath the Christmas tree
Anna May Wong
Anna May Wong
Anna May Wong, in toon, 1928
I’ve posted about Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words several times, but the deadline is fast approaching (4 days!) and this project is still $5,000 away from the goal. Even just a small donation can make a difference. paper-crane has put things much more eloquently than I can:
If I can be serious for a second…SIGNAL BOOST. Get ANNA MAY WONG on Public TV.
For very many reasons, I want this woman on my television.
My one-hour documentary, Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words, shows how Anna May Wong (1905-1961) became an artist, a world figure and an activist in spite of the prejudices of her time. Many older Asian Americans look down on Anna for playing stock Asian characters. But a younger generation sees her as a pioneering artist who beat the odds in a tough industry.
Right from the beginning I wanted this documentary to reach a wider audience, especially young Asian Americans and other minorities, to inspire them to have a dream and to follow it the way Anna did. One of the film’s funders, the Center for Asian American Media, will distribute it to public television stations. But first I have to buy the broadcast rights to footage I use from Anna May Wong’s films. Paying for rights, and for the insurance PBS requires, will cost me $20,000. If I can’t raise that money the film won’t reach a national audience.
I met Yunah Hong, the director of this documentary during my summer internship and she is the nicest woman ever and I really, really want her to reach her goal. Not to get all preachy, but I personally believe Anna May Wong’s struggle is not only historically important but still extremely relevant to the status of Hollywood’s “diversity” today. Even if you can’t donate, thank you for reading anyway! ❤