Simanaitis Says

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I’VE BEEN ENJOYING lots of Turner Classic Movies lately and have become something of a connoisseur of glamor, or as our Brit friends spell it glamour. It probably comes as no surprise that I have a book on the subject: Glamour—Film Fashion & Beauty. That the book was published in 1953 enhances its inspirational value, as these tidbits may suggest.

GlamourFilm Fashion & Beauty, edited by Peter Noble and Yvonne Saxon, foreward by Marilyn Monroe, Burke, 1953.

Peter Noble and Yvonne Saxon were evidently well connected journalists in the movie community. A pic shows them dining with the likes of Farley Granger, Shelley Winters, and Tab Hunter. Another has the pair at the Venice Film Festival.

This and the following images from Glamour.

Norma Jean—On Being Oneself. In the foreward to Glamour, Marilyn Monroe (or perhaps some 20th Century-Fox flack) recalled, “I was called ‘Norma Jean’ in those days… until I had quitted a war factory, where I worked from the age of fifteen, and started work as a photographer’s model.”

Marilyn Monroe, identified as the book’s “choice of Glamour Girl of the Year.”

SimanaitisSays readers may also recall “Norma Jean, As She Was Known.”

Norma Jean, as photographed by David Conover for Yank, the Army Weekly, late 1944.

Marilyn’s “main advice to all girls seeking glamour is very simple—be yourself! …. Before you can convince others that you’re attractive, you’ve got to believe it yourself. Enjoy the fact that you’re a woman, and men will enjoy it too.”

Stars Give Their Beauty Hints. “Discretion is the better part of make-up, as well as valour, where LESLIE CARON is concerned.”

“She uses only a faint touch of lip-stick, applied with the finger-tips, and a subtle application of mascara, shadow and eye-pencil, to accentuate the unusual shape of her eyes.”

I never had the pleasure of meeting Leslie, but I worked with her brother Aimery when we both taught at the College of the Virgin Islands.

“ ‘Be a milk drinker,’ says gorgeous ELIZABETH TAYLOR, who should know about how to be healthy and beautiful.”

“Milk is my recipe for a lovely skin, sparkling eyes and a well-rounded figure. Without any of these three attributes you cannot be called ‘attractive.’ ”

Well, yes, I’m sure.

Not Unrelated. “From South Wales, good-looking, rugged RICHARD BURTON has come to take top honours in theatreland and movieland…. Richard is undoubtedly Glamour’s STAR OF THE YEAR.”

Indeed, a decade later in 1963, Taylor and Burton co-starred in Cleopatra. About this 4 1/2-hour epic, SimanaitisSays observed, “Eventually, through much drama, she hooks up with Mark Antony, portrayed by Richard Burton, with whom Taylor had a tumultuous affair at the time in real life. gives details, including the Vatican City’s weekly newspaper denouncing their ‘erotic vagrancy.’ I wonder, did L’Osservatore Romano have paparazzi?”

Petula Clark. “ ‘Boys Do Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses,’ says PETULA CLARK. ‘I wear glasses almost everywhere, except when I’m acting on the set or taking a shower!’ ” 

“The portrait of Petula,” Glamour notes, “was taken on the set at Southall Studios, where she was playing a B.O.A.C. air hostess in the Conquest-Guest comedy thriller Scream in the Night.” 

“A girl can make them a very fetching part of her make-up,” Petula is quoted in Glamour. “Even if they make you look ‘the intellectual type’—is that bad? And remember this—when we want to ignore a man we take them off—and then we can’t see him!”

Petula sings her 1964 hit “Downtown.”

These days, Petula Sally Olwen Clark, CBE, is 89. Wikipedia observes, she has “one of the longest serving careers of a British singer, spanning more than seven decades.”

Bless her heart. She was 21 when she appeared in the book Glamour; her career began at age nine with an impromptu singing gig on BBC during the Blitz. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022 

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