Monday, October 23, 2017

Born Today in 1896: Hollywood Actress Lilyan Tashman

Lilyan Tashman was born today, October 23, in 1896. She was an vaudeville, Broadway, and film actress. Tashman was best known for her supporting roles as tongue-in-cheek villainesses and the vindictive "other woman." She made 66 films over the course of her Hollywood career and although never obtained superstar status, her cinematic performances are described as "sharp, clever and have aged little over the decades."

She died of cancer in New York City on March 21, 1934, at the age of 37.  

But... there is more to this story.

From the Shadows and Satin blog:

She had striking features, large, smoldering eyes, and brassy blond hair. An easy smile and expressive hands that frequently reached out to touch an arm or stroke a lapel. A sense of nonchalant sophistication and, when she wanted to reveal it, an unabashed sexiness. And, boy, did she know her way around a wisecrack. If you’ve never seen Lilyan Tashman in a film, you can see what I mean by checking her out in New York Nights (1929), Millie(1930), Girls About Town (1931), or Murder By the Clock (1931) – all four are available on YouTube, just waiting to be discovered.

Oh – did I mention that voice? Like honeyed bourbon. Straight.

I have to note here that most of today’s references proclaim with confidence that [her husband,] Edmund Lowe was gay and that Lilyan was a lesbian; many sources assert that her most famous lover was Greta Garbo, and one refers to Garbo’s biography by Barry Paris, in which Lina Basquette and Irene Mayer Selznick claim that Lilyan made passes at them. 

“Ed and I don’t fight over the little things,” she said. “It’s unnecessary. The cure for it is consideration of the other fellow. Of course, the only way a woman can hold any man is to be more interesting to him than any other woman can be. Where there is love, there is jealousy – to a degree. I have never had occasion, however, to be jealous of Eddie. I pride myself that I interest him more than any other woman.”

Read more here.

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