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Painfully pretty, B&W silent film star from the 1920s, usually in a black dress, jet black hair cut in a bob, pale skin; one of the most photographed actresses of the era, she spawned generations of emulators (see extensive archive at http://silent-movies.com/Ladies/PBrooks.html).

Born November 14th in Cherryvale, Kansas in 1905. By 1920 her family moves to Wichita where she studies dance and the arts. In 1922, at 15, she heads to New York City and joins the Denishawn Dance Company, the leading modern dance troupe in America. Soon Books is touring the United States and Canada by train, as her troupe sets up nightly in a different town. In 1924, Brooks moves back to New York City and lives in the landmark Algonquin Hotel and becomes acquianted with composer, George Gershwin while working as a chorus girl. In summer of 1925 has affair with Charlie Chaplin, while also falling in with fellow Manhattanites like Anita Loos and Humphrey Bogart. Soon signs five year contract with Paramount. Then she is featured as a flapper in the Malcolm St. Clair-directed A Social Celebrity, which becomes a patent Roaring 20s look. In 1927, she moves to Hollywood and becomes friends with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Greta Garbo, Buster Keaton, and William Randolph Hearst. Brooks quits Paramount in 1928 after being denied a raise, instead skipping out on Hollywood all together and instead staring in the German film Pandora's Box, easily her finest work. From this point, for the next 50 years, Brooks did radio and bit parts, flitting back between the US and Europe. It was not until 1979 when Kenneth Tynan's "Louise Brooks: The Girl in the Black Helmet" appeared in the New Yorker that public interest stirred again. In 1980, Knopf published Brooks' Lulu in Hollywood, a book of critical and autobiographical essays. In 1985, Louise Brooks dies August 8th at age seventy-eight in Rochester, New York.

The Street of Forgotten Men (1925)
The American Venus (1926)
A Social Celebrity (1926)
It's the Old Army Game (1926)
The Show-Off (1926)
Just Another Blonde (1926)
Love 'Em and Leave 'Em (1927)
Evening Clothes (1927)
Rolled Stockings (1927)
Now We're in the Air (1927)
The City Gone Wild (1927)
A Girl in Every Port (1928)
Beggars of Life (1928)
The Canary Murder Case (1929)
Pandora's Box (1929)
Diary of a Lost Girl (1928)
Prix de Beaute (1930)
Windy Riley Goes Hollywood (1931)
It Pays to Advertise (1931)
God's Gift to Women (1931)
Empty Saddles (1936)
King of Gamblers (1937) scenes deleted
When You're in Love (1937)
Overland Stage Raiders (1938)

1. The Louise Brooks Society. http://www.pandorasbox.com. Accessed Aug.8/2000.
2. Lulu in Hollywood / by Louise Brooks (New York : Knopf, 1982)
3. Louise Brooks : portrait of an anti-star (New York, NY : New York Zoetrope, c1986)

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