Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

STARRLIGHT: Lilyan Tashman
by Steve Starr
2006-11-01

This article shared 2812 times since Wed Nov 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


The funeral became a frenzied circus of screaming fans destroying decorations and property as they pushed their way towards the casket of the Hollywood icon of fashion while horrifying the large assemblage of some of the most famous stars of the day.

The most stylish Lilyan Tashman was born Oct. 13, 1899, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the youngest of 10 children. Her father, Maurice, was a manufacturer of children's clothing. During high school, Tashman worked as a fashion model and posed for artists. After she postured for the famous painter Raphael Kirchner, he remarked that Tashman had 'the most beautiful legs in the world.'

Tashman decided she wanted a career on the stage and applied at every theatrical agency in New York. In 1914, the 15-year-old beauty wed vaudeville performer Al Lee, stage partner to future star Eddie Cantor. After appearing in various productions, the blonde, blue-eyed, five-foot-seven beauty quit high school when she won a role in the 1916 edition of the Ziegfeld Follies revue, and went on to appear in the 1917 and 1918 versions of the show. Later, Tashman won a role on Broadway in The Gold Diggers, which ran for two years. There, she was spotted by movie producers and in 1921 appeared as Pleasure in Experience, the first of her 66 films. That same year, she divorced Lee and continued to appear in Broadway shows and East Coast films.

Tashman soon met and fell in love with actor Edmund Lowe and followed him to Hollywood, where they married Sept. 1, 1925. There, her career flourished. They became an extremely popular and socially active couple who threw an endless parade of exciting, fun, and beautiful parties at Lilowe, their chic, red-and-white ultra-modern mansion in Beverly Hills, and also held lavish beach parties at their Malibu retreat. Tashman, already known on Broadway as a clotheshorse, ultimately became known around the world for her fashion sense, reaching millions of her fans through magazine stories and photo layouts. Tashman, however, stated that 'it's more boring for a woman to talk about clothes than a man to talk of his golf score.' Revered and feared columnist Hedda Hopper wrote, 'I think Lilyan Tashman is one of the most amusing people I know, but I believe she dresses in too flamboyant a manner. Where some women wear one or two diamond clasps, she wears four! Movie star Tashman retorted, 'If I happen to wear real diamonds instead of paste, who's to object?'

It was reported that Tashman's hobbies, other than shopping at the most fashionable Los Angeles stores, included painting and interior decorating. People from all over the world sent her miniature hands, many made of porcelain, to add to her personal collection. However, the classy Tashman was not below beating the hell out of actress June Marlowe when she caught her in her husband's dressing room in 1931, though assault charges were later dropped.

Unlike many silent film stars, stage-trained Tashman had no trouble when sound hit Hollywood. After acting in 21 silent films, she successfully appeared in some of the very first talking pictures. Tashman's films include Craig's Wife ( 1928 ) , Puttin' On The Ritz ( 1930 ) , Murder By The Clock ( 1931 ) , Those We Love ( 1932 ) and Riptide ( 1934 ) . Tashman was also known for her on-screen lascivity, and the new Hayes Motion Picture Production Code for Decency, though established in 1930, was gaining momentum. Her final film, Frankie and Johnny ( 1936 ) , wasn't released until almost two years after her death because of censorship problems with the script.

In 1932, Tashman fell ill with what later proved to be an abdominal tumor. Yet she continued to make films. The social arbiter known as the best-dressed woman in Hollywood died March 21, 1934. Many of the film kingdom's biggest stars attended her funeral at the Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, among them Sophie Tucker, Fanny Brice, Jack Benny and Mary Pickford. Also attending was an enormous crowd of 10,000 hysterical people, mostly women. Pushing past police guards in a rioting frenzy to view the casket, the turbulent mob destroyed wreaths and flowers as they attempted to steal them as souvenirs while knocking over gravestones in their way, including that of Tashman's sister, Annie. Several women almost fell into the open grave when they fought over a shower of yellow roses which had been lovingly tossed over Tashman's coffin. There were scores of injuries. Entertainment star Eddie Cantor, who gave the eulogy, was physically jarred by the women and later remarked that it was 'the most disgraceful thing I've ever seen.'

The very day of Tashman's funeral, her film Wine Women and Song opened on Broadway; the production co-starred her close friend Lew Cody. Two months later, Cody also died, and within a month their mutual good friend—beautiful rising star Dorothy Dell—was killed in a car crash.

Tashman was laid to rest in her favorite elegant blue evening gown and emerald brooch. She left no will, and her sisters Hattie and Jennie sued Edmund in a nasty battle for $31,000 in cash and $121,750 worth of Tashman's gorgeous furs and jewels in a legal squabble that lasted for years.

Sources: Stars of the Photoplay 1930, Lilyan Tashman Page Web site, They Had Faces Then by John Springer and Jack Hamilton

Steve Starr is the author of Picture Perfect-Deco Photo Frames 1926-1946, published by Rizzoli International Publications, 1991. A photographer, writer, artist and designer, he is the owner of Steve Starr Studios, specializing in original Art Deco photo frames and artifacts and celebrating its 39th anniversary in 2006.

Starr's column, STARRLIGHT, about movie stars of the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's, appears in various publications including Entertainment Magazine Online, the Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine, and the Windy City Times.

Visit www.SteveStarrStudios.com where you can enter The Starrlight Room and view a part of Starr's collection, read Starrlight Stories, and enjoy photographs, autographs and letters he has received from some of his favorite luminaries.

STARRGAZERS-Radiant Photography by Steve Starr is available privately for portraits and events. For further information phone 773-463-8017.

Photo of Steve Starr at the Whitehall Hotel, Chicago, Jan. 28, 2006, taken by NBC News Director Harold 'Sandy' Whiteley. Starrlight Editor-Maryellen Langhout


This article shared 2812 times since Wed Nov 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

MOVIES 'Bolshoi Ballet' series to start locally Nov. 7 2021-10-21
- The "2021-2022 Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema" series is set to begin Sunday, Nov. 7 with Bolshoi Ballet: Spartacus—LIVE. Spartacus is considered a ballet tour de force, set to Aram Khachaturian's score. Bolshoi Ballet: Spartacus—LIVE is set t ...


Gay News

Reeling: Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Fest names winners 2021-10-21
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — The 39th Reeling: Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival today announced the winning films from its 2021 program, which included 33 feature films and 54 short films curated in nine programs. This year's submissions ...


Gay News

'Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets' LGBTQ+ Representation in the Media' panel Nov. 4 2021-10-21
--From a press release - In recent years LGBTQ+ people have increasingly seen representations of themselves, celebrations of their lives and stories, and coverage of LGBTQ+ issues across media channels. This has led to a worldwide rise in understanding, cultural acceptance, ...


Gay News

Black Alphabet returns to host annual film festival in November 2021-10-20
By Cris Villalonga-Vivoni - The Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) is returning to Chicago after the pandemic forced the organization to cancel last year's event. On Nov. 5-7, BAFF will showcase 21 films and shorts about the Black queer experience ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Superman, TheWrap, Oscar Wilde, Billy Porter, Cher, 'Dragula' 2021-10-17
- The ongoing comic Superman: Son of Kal-El, by writer Tom Taylor and artist John Timms, launched in July and saw Jon Kent officially take up the mantle of the Man of Steel now that his father, ...


Gay News

Wizard World Comic Con returns to Chicago 2021-10-17
- After being canceled last year because of the COVID pandemic, Wizard World Comic Con Chicago returned to Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on Oct. 15-17—and thousands of people attended. People ranging from attendees to vendors ...


Gay News

Jury selection in Smollett trial starts Nov. 29 2021-10-15
- The Jussie Smollett saga continues. Almost three years since out actor Jussie Smollett (TV's Empire; the film Alien: Covenant) was allegedly attacked in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, Cook County Judge James ...


Gay News

CIFF, featuring LGBTQ+ films, running through Oct. 24 2021-10-15
- North America's longest-running competitive film festival, this year's event expands throughout Chicago with presentations at venues across the city, including at AMC River East 21; the Music Box Theatre; the Gene Siskel Film Center; special drive ...


Gay News

MOVIES Holiday comedy short centers on Muslim family and BIPOC queer relationship 2021-10-13
- The short film The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night follows Noor, a Muslim queer woman, and her experience with bringing her Puerto Rican partner home to meet her family for the first time. When Noor's ...


Gay News

THEATER 'A Rocky Horror Picture Party' at The Den on Oct. 30-31 2021-10-12
- Haven is presenting Science Fiction / Double Feature: A Rocky Horror Picture Party—an immersive Halloween experience that brings to life in vivid technicolor the world of the cult-classic film—directed by ...


Gay News

PBS to air queer documentary 'Things We Dare Not Do' Oct. 25 2021-10-12
- American Documentary | POV announced the national broadcast premiere of Things We Dare Not Do (Cosas que no hacemos), the second feature film from Mexican director and cinematographer Bruno Santamaría, as part of POV's 34th season. ...


Gay News

Madonna's latest concert film, Madame X, now out 2021-10-09
- The concept film to Madonna's acclaimed Madame X Tour has debuted in the United States Latin America, Australia, the Nordics and Canada exclusively on Paramount+, the streaming service from ViacomCBS. Fans outside these markets can watch ...


Gay News

MOVIES Colman Domingo to star in Bayard Rustin biopic 2021-10-09
- LGBTQ+ actor Colman Domingo—who has been in movies such as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Candyman, and TV shows ranging from Fear the Walking Dead to The Big Gay Sketch Show—has landed the lead role the ...


Gay News

Filmmakers Bennett Singer, Patrick Sammon talk new documentary Cured 2021-10-07
- Producer-directors Bennett Singer and Patrick Sammon have created a new LGBTQ documentary: Cured. The film tells the story of the LGBTQ activists, allies and events surrounding the American Psychiatric Association's ...


Gay News

Sisters in Cinema, DocuClub providing consulting opportunities to filmmakers 2021-10-07
- Sisters in Cinema—a Chicago-based 501(C)3 that aims to center and celebrate Black girls, women and gender non-conforming media makers—and DocuClub, a work-in-progress screening series, have entered into a strategic partnership ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.