Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Two Blonde Beauties

If I can do it for Lurene Tuttle, I have to do it for the late, great Joan Blondell -- so "Happy 100th Birthday, Beautiful!"

Appropriately, Ms. Blondell is seen here in her, er, birthday suit. The Wikipedia link I've provided above is worth clicking, if only for the opportunity of ogling an even prettier shot of the birthday girl in full color. Her contributions to the world of horror and fantasy include TOPPER RETURNS (1941), NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947), WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? (1957), Curtis Harrington's THE DEAD DON'T DIE (1975), and episodes of TALES OF TOMORROW, SUSPENSE, and THE TWILIGHT ZONE. She passed away of leukemia on Christmas Day, 1979.

As a Warner Bros. starlet since 1930, known for appearing in racy promotional photos such as the above, I also suspect that Joan Blondell might be the unidentified nude woman featured in this creepy publicity still for MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (1933), which we published 14 years ago as the inside front cover of VIDEO WATCHDOG #12:

Of all the unpleasant connotations in that photo, it's the way Lionel Atwill's finger is perched on the window frame that really creeps me out. Imagine if FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND had actually run this photo back in the day; a whole generation of Monster Kids might today be as fixated on MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM as some seasoned CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN readers are still twitterpated about THE BRIDES OF FU MANCHU!

And now I must apologize for all this salty talk because, on the other side of life's compass, I want to wish a very Happy 1st Birthday to Vayda Jane, the first-born of VIDEO WATCHDOG scribe Richard Harland Smith and his marathon-running bride, Barbara Fish. Vayda's been photographed more times in her first year than PEEPING TOM's Mark Lewis and the flashbulbs are expected to reach some kind of jubilant crescendo today. She's already been to Criswell's grave -- can your Year One top that?

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