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Cover Girl

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby Rita Hayworth » March 18th, 2011, 10:27 pm

Dear All,

I had a swell time with them, and they are in Hawaii - On the big Island - because their reunion bash is from Saturday to Saturday before returning home - a week from next Saturday. We talked from 9am to 3pm today (Friday) and they came in last night - so that they can spend some time with me.

We had lunch together and got all the scoop from the previous posts here - they even wrote out things for me to post here to make it easy to do. They brought along a flash drive so they can downloaded it on my PC so that they can make things easier for me to report back to you. I'm privileged to have these dear ladies as friends (all in their early 80's) with full of energy and vigor that I find them so much joy in my life and our love for Rita Hayworth. I knew them since mid-1980's and we always managed to make time for each other. I will be seeing them in mid-September to attend a party hosted by Gene Kelly's family for three days down in San Diego and they made all the arrangements to make my stay a pleasant one. I just can't wait to go.

These ladies are one of a kind - their memory of COVER GIRL is unbelievable - they showed me photos of the backstage of 40 plus hairdressers running around taking care of business and things that I haven't seen in my lifetime. I was in a treat for the ages and they taught me what was like back then.

I tried my best to keep it short and sweet in all these proceeding posts here - but this all they can remember back in 1944; they explained to me exactly went wrong and exactly went right on the set of COVER GIRL.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 19th, 2011, 3:40 pm

It makes me smile that they have a flash pen. My mother struggles with a mobile phone and won't use a bank card.

Do ask them their thoughts on Gene Kelly, Kingme, although he's a favorite of mine I won't mind if they think he was a great egotist, it will be just nice to hear from someone who has been lucky enough to work with some of the greats.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby Rita Hayworth » March 19th, 2011, 4:44 pm

charliechaplinfan wrote:
Do ask them their thoughts on Gene Kelly, Kingme, although he's a favorite of mine I won't mind if they think he was a great egotist, it will be just nice to hear from someone who has been lucky enough to work with some of the greats.


Thanks for jarring my memory; they brought their friend who was an assistant/aide for Gene Kelly - they don't think of him as a great egotist, but in Cover Girl - he became one because Harry Cohn literally made him that.

Gene Kelly is not really a great egotist - but in Cover Girl - Harry made him ONE big time. That's when he developed prima donna tendencies with a EGO of that time because he's became a 2nd Director of this movie. That's angered Charles Vidor big time. So, in short CCF - they all felt that Gene Kelly along with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and others are one of the crown jewels of male entertainers of their day. Gene is a humble man - once a man like Cohn gets a hold of him - he can be egoistical (because Cohn gave him complete creative control) in the hurry and often gets other actors and actresses on the set of Cover Girl with series of frustrations that is difficult to manage.

Like I say in my previous posts - you can put the blame on Harry Cohn to make life miserable for both Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly. Gene is very forgiving man, he has a heart of gold, and quite patience with friends, and he made peace with Rita later on at that party that I told you and all of you in SSO that he wanted to tell Rita that he was sorry making her life miserable on the set of Cover GIrl - because Cohn told him so. Cohn also told Gene Kelly that he will get top billing - but, he didn't - he gave it to Rita instead. This fueled his egoistical desires and became a prima donna on the set.

I will ask via e-mail - of what kind of character Gene was. For what I heard during our six plus hours together - Gene had great humility and ask for forgiveness for mistreating (because Cohn told him so) Rita and this angers him after he realized what he had done. Life in Hollywood can be brutal - even mega stars like Rita and Gene.

They all adore Gene Kelly and I will ask them again and post more information on this thread. The assistant/aide told me that Gene Kelly is one of the nicest man that I ever met. His smile warms her heart. Like I said in earlier in this post Gene has a heart of Gold. CCF - I had a swell time with them and I will be seeing them again in September for three days. They are warm, witty, and very charming ladies - they all look like in their early 60's - but in reality they are in their early 80's to mid 80's. We have been friends for almost 30 years and we stay in constant contact and I enjoy their company so much - they are my crown jewels as lady friends.

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PinkPeril
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby PinkPeril » September 14th, 2012, 12:00 pm

I love this movie, everyone in it looks fabulous. The music, the costumes, the colors, the make-up, and (for my money) the hair!

Which is why I am drawn to this thread.

kingme, when I saw that you personally know two hairdressers that worked at the studio, on this movie, I almost jumped for joy.

There are off hand remarks or little blurbs about how Hollywood made actors and actresses look so perfect for the big screen. And like this movie, small scenes on how they do it, even if that scene wasn't close to how it's really done.

You friends are among so many unsung workers that helped create the lasting image we have of that era of Hollywood. Glamour with a capital G.

So my question while my hands are cooperating, do they remember the more mundane or technical details of their work? What products they used, what kinds of rollers, pins, perms, dyes, cuts, well I have a million little things I'd like to know.

Books and fan magazines just don't have the information, I was hoping your friends might remember those kinds of things. Or if they had talked to you about it?

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby Rita Hayworth » September 14th, 2012, 1:19 pm

PinkPeril wrote:So my question while my hands are cooperating, do they remember the more mundane or technical details of their work? What products they used, what kinds of rollers, pins, perms, dyes, cuts, well I have a million little things I'd like to know.

Books and fan magazines just don't have the information, I was hoping your friends might remember those kinds of things. Or if they had talked to you about it?


Pink Peril,

Go back one previous page all your answers will be answered there.

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PinkPeril
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby PinkPeril » September 14th, 2012, 2:58 pm

kingme wrote: Go back one previous page all your answers will be answered there.


Thank you for the reply. I have read the previous posts, probably half a dozen times just to properly absorb the details. For me it brings up even more questions, about the little things.

Like what brands of shampoos did they use, was it a certain brand or something concocted at the studio? Were the rinses lemon or vinegar, or just plain water? What did they use for setting lotions? I know Rita's hair was colored either at Westmore's or Max Factor's salons. But what about stock players, where did those actresses get their hair colored? Did all the actresses have permanents, was it easier to curl if the hair was permed? Did they use extra hair pieces for fullness? What was the standard hair cut, middy or femme fatale, or whatever they called it? What kind of rollers, kidskin, plastic, sponge, metal, pins? What did they use to smooth the hair down and give it that shine?

Well I hope you see what I mean. I'm interested in the fountain of information only a studio hairdresser could answer. Heck just a hairdresser from that era, period. I covet Rita's hair. It's so perfect. I'm someone who grew up after the generation of "styled" hair. Simple wash and go, no styling. I have never seen a permanent wave machine in real life. I've never had my hair pin curled. All those kind of things were in the past and I've only discovered they existed at all through movies.

So I am very interested in learning EVERYTHING about how they did it.

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby Rita Hayworth » September 14th, 2012, 4:07 pm

PinkPeril wrote:Like what brands of shampoos did they use, was it a certain brand or something concocted at the studio? Were the rinses lemon or vinegar, or just plain water? What did they use for setting lotions? I know Rita's hair was colored either at Westmore's or Max Factor's salons. But what about stock players, where did those actresses get their hair colored? Did all the actresses have permanents, was it easier to curl if the hair was permed? Did they use extra hair pieces for fullness? What was the standard hair cut, middy or femme fatale, or whatever they called it? What kind of rollers, kidskin, plastic, sponge, metal, pins? What did they use to smooth the hair down and give it that shine?

Well I hope you see what I mean. I'm interested in the fountain of information only a studio hairdresser could answer. Heck just a hairdresser from that era, period. I covet Rita's hair. It's so perfect. I'm someone who grew up after the generation of "styled" hair. Simple wash and go, no styling. I have never seen a permanent wave machine in real life. I've never had my hair pin curled. All those kind of things were in the past and I've only discovered they existed at all through movies.

So I am very interested in learning EVERYTHING about how they did it.


Your questions in bold and my answers in plain text.

Like what brands of shampoos did they use, was it a certain brand or something concocted at the studio?
Rita's hairstylist Helen Hunt developed a shampoo that isn't harsh on Rita's hair during the production of Cover Girl that retains the full color of her red hair. As far the rest of the actresses ... Helen Hunt took care of that ... by asking each actresses like Jinx, Leslie, and Eve.

Were the rinses lemon or vinegar, or just plain water? What did they use for setting lotions?
I believe it was distilled water ... I will ask my friends about it (I just sent them an email about it) and regarding to setting lotions I believe Helen Hunt took care of that and I asked my friends about this and they can't remember anything about it when I talked to them last year. I will be seeing them in October for a day and perhaps they can remember ... they are still sharp as wits.

But what about stock players, where did those actresses get their hair colored?
I don't know anything about this.

Did all the actresses have permanents, was it easier to curl if the hair was permed?
Jinx Falkenburg, Leslie Brooks, and Eve Arden ... all had permanents so that it would be easier for Helen Hunt and her crew to get them prep up for certain numbers on the set of Cover Girl.

Did they use extra hair pieces for fullness?
I don't think so.

What was the standard hair cut, middy or femme fatale, or whatever they called it? What kind of rollers, kidskin, plastic, sponge, metal, pins? What did they use to smooth the hair down and give it that shine?
Columbia Pictures told all actresses to get a certain haircut before they started production work on Cover Girl based on the character they played. No names given. Rollers were combination of sponge, metal, plastic, and each of them color coded for a specific actresses for health reasons. Jinx Falkenburg has her own color, Leslie Brooks has her, and so did Eve. Rita's rollers were handled specifically by Helen Hunt alone. I can't answer the question regarding smooth the hair down to give that shine that you are talking about.

I had to do some serious thinking about this.

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PinkPeril
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby PinkPeril » September 15th, 2012, 12:27 pm

kingme wrote:I had to do some serious thinking about this.


Believe me I appreciate it!

I'm not surprised that Helen Hunt kept the trade secrets to herself or for her salon. If only she had written an instruction guide like many of the high profile makeup artists did. But then, they had products to sell to the masses. Not just for select clientele.

I also know that the products celebrities endorsed weren't necessarily the products they used.

Anyway I'm sorry the answers I seek are so academic in nature. Hairdressing is a lost art form, you only have to look at movies today to see it. I would have regretted it for ever if I haven't tried to find out how they did it.

And Cover Girl is a prime example of how it should be done.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby charliechaplinfan » September 15th, 2012, 1:19 pm

I've enjoyed reading your questions, thanks for asking your friends Kingme, welcome to the Oasis, Pinkperil, I think you'll enjoy it here :D
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby Rita Hayworth » September 15th, 2012, 2:16 pm

Happy to assist you Pink Peril ... and anytime you want to know more about Rita please let me know. :D

Thanks for the comment Allison. :D

Back on Sunday ... I will resume posting pictures on Sunday Night.

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PinkPeril
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby PinkPeril » September 17th, 2012, 11:31 am

kingme wrote:Happy to assist you Pink Peril ... and anytime you want to know more about Rita please let me know. :D

Thanks for the comment Allison. :D

Back on Sunday ... I will resume posting pictures on Sunday Night.


If your friends would be up to answering more questions, like how a modern girl can properly do her hair in 1940's fashion. Or opinions on various methods and products, just PM me. :D

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby Rita Hayworth » September 17th, 2012, 2:20 pm

Sure Pink Peril :)

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Moraldo Rubini
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Re: Cover Girl

Postby Moraldo Rubini » September 17th, 2012, 8:55 pm

PinkPeril wrote:If your friends would be up to answering more questions, like how a modern girl can properly do her hair in 1940's fashion...


There's a book out there... sometimes you can find it on EBay... it's from the 1940's and includes fully illustrated instructions on how to do the coiffures of that time. A friend of mine is a wigmaster at the Metropolitan Opera (and does some Broadway shows as a sideline), and he has the book. I believe he got it on EBay. He said it's very rare, and he had to pay a couple hundred for it. But if you're serious about it, they're out there; and it might be a nice quest for you.


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