“And we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten…there is a land of the living and a land of the dead.”
- writer Thornton Wilder ( 1897-1975)
Most of the luminaries honored in this second edition of “Forgotten Stars” are, coincidentally, actors who hail from the silent era. To all but the most well-informed Stargayzing cinephiles, this listicle should provide some new and, I hope, interesting information. As I walked Hollywood Boulevard and took photos of the stars, most unknown to me and some just known vaguely by name, I asked myself, “Why did these individuals merit this recognition?” I longed to know more and couldn’t wait to begin the research. I was given pause to realize that 80 years from now there is a very good possibility that, with a few exceptions, the public will not know who most of today’s stars are. For every cinema legend there are so many dozens whose once brilliant place in Hollywood’s fickle firmament has dulled or completely disappeared. Here are ten additional mostly forgotten luminaries who prove that movie stardom, even being a top star of their day, is not an insurance policy on immortality.
Jetta Goudal (1891-1985) was born Juliette Goudeket into an affluent Jewish family in Amsterdam. Her father was a diamond cutter. After WW1 she emigrated to New York where she began to pass herself off as Parisienne. She began on Broadway in 1921, before transitioning to films, first in New York and then, soon after, in Los Angeles. Her break came in 1923 in a film called The Bright Shawl. Ironically she received great recognition for playing a Jewish girl in New York’s lower east side in the 1925 film Salome of the Tenements. Apparently it was okay to play a Jewish girl as long as you weren’t actually Jewish. Miss Goudal peaked in the mid- to late-1920s, primarily via a series of successful Cecil B. DeMille films. She subsequently had a falling out with the powerful director who claimed she was so temperamental that he cancelled her contract. She sued and won, but it was a Pyrrhic victory, as the litigation made her less employable. She married art director Harold Grieve in 1930 and transitioned into a successful interior design business which they ran together. She died in 1985 at age 93, still married to Mr. Grieve. After the jump, nine more forgotten stars of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (more…)