Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Theda Bara, Silent Film's original Vamp, promotes Maybelline in 1915.

In honor of The Artist, winning the Oscar, for Best Picture, I'm dedicating this week to Silent Films and how they influenced  Maybelline's tremendous success.



Theda Bara was one of the most popular Stars, of her era, and one of cinema's earliest sex symbols.





The word “vamp,” originated from Theda’s nickname while filming a sultry vampire, in A Fool There Was.    




A 1915 silent film, inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “The Vampire." Theda's character simply known as “the Vampire."  was reduced to “vamp,” and the title stuck.




Theda Bara, the original Vampire. click here and on the video.




Just as Theda Bara, appeared as the Vamp, in
A Fool There Was in 1915 - Mabel Williams, inspired her brother, Tom Lyle Williams - to formulate an eye beautifying product, called Lash-Brow-Ine - that  became Maybelline, in 1916, and was named in her honor.


 
Lash-Brow-Ine and Maybelline, were the first eye beautifying products, in America, sold through mail order and eventually over the counter.  Silent Film Stars, like Theda Bara, made the public aware of the most forgotten feature on the face, "The Eyes."




Tom Lyle Williams, founder and owner of The Maybelline Company from 1915 - 1967.




Older brother Noel James Williams, also played a role in Maybelline's birth, when he loaned his brother Tom Lyle, $500. to launch Lash-Brow-Ine, in 1915.  He was Maybelline's Vice President from 1915 until his death in 1951.

Hollywood and Silent Films were a key ingredient in making Maybelline, the great company it became during the 20TH Century.  

Silent Film week, continues tomorrow.




This is a song by Leon Redbone, called Nobody's Sweetheart Now, written in 1924.  It's about becoming a vamp.  "You'd be out of place in your home town.  Walk down the avenue - they won't believe it's you.  Painted lips, painted eyes...all seems wrong somehow, cause you're nobodies sweetheart now."

Thank you to my cousin Linda Hughes, Mabel Williams granddaughter, for suggesting this song to me.  It says it all, about the era when, Maybelline and Silent Films, explooded onto the world stage.

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