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Illusions of Glamour in Silent-Screen Hollywood

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A Hollywood makeup artist in the early days of movies tells readers that the beauty of the silent-screen stars is more appearance than reality.

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Silent-film actor Lillian Gish

100 years ago ribbonThe fellow who said beauty was only skin deep exaggerated; ask any cameraman and he’ll tell you screen beauty is very much thinner than that; it is quite superficial, in fact, having absolutely nothing to do with the lady’s soul, bearing only a slight relationship to her contours, and depending least of all upon her skin. True, the claimant must furnish some sort of a tree upon which to hang superlatives, but it is amazing how shy she may be on ordinary charms, and still get on the payroll.

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