20 March 2011

out of the past



this 1951 Life cover brings back some memories.

the photo was taken by legendary Alfred Eisenstaedt. when I was 13 the daughter of Oberlin College's president married the governor of New Jersey. the nuptials took place on the edge of campus. since the bride's cousin Adlai Stevenson was to attend I came to the wedding. afterward -- claiming to be a representative of my school paper (which I sort of was) -- I went to the church basement to photograph the couple & Stevenson. I don't know how short I was then but I vaguely recall jostling the pros for a position in the mob of photogs. at the time I didn't know that one of those cameramen was none other than Eisenstaedt.

the subject of the cover was Dagmar. a Broadway chorus girl   she became one of television's 1st big stars with a show calld "Broadway Open House." later she gave Liberace a big break when she hired him to accompany her. the only time I saw Dagmar was in a 1966 summer stock production of "The Women" featuring Gloria Swanson. I still recall her getting the evening's biggest laugh. she was in a hospital bed after giving birth. one of her friends lookd down at her newborn & askd if the child had a birthmark. Dagmar lookd down   blew at the child's face   & sd "no. it was just cigaret ash."

4 comments:

Stephen said...

Wonderful anticdote...

Ron said...

Dagmar is a name I have not thought about in 30 or 40 years. She was also a recurring character on some TV series in the 1950s that my grandmother liked, but the name escapes me. Rather like Uncle Tunoose on the Danny Thomas show, she would turn up in only 3 or 4 episodes per season.

Alex Gildzen said...

Ron -- I postd that link for Adlai but love that you remember Dagmar. her famous show was "Broadway Open House" but I don't remember her in a sitcom.

Alex Gildzen said...

& then there's this from her bio: The front bumpers on the early 1950s Cadillac were referred to as "Dagmars" by the hotrod crowd.