Posts Tagged ‘Mae West’

Brooklyn-born stars of Hollywood’s golden age

July 24, 2010

Forget the myth of the small-town girl being whisked off to Los Angeles to become a star. Many of Hollywood’s biggest leading ladies and sex symbols hail from big-city Brooklyn.

Barbara Stanwyck (left) was born Ruby Stevens in Flatbush in 1907. She had it rough: Her mother was killed when a stranger pushed her from a streetcar, and Barbara bounced around foster homes until getting a foothold as a Ziegfeld girl at 15.

Mae West, aka Mary Jane West (right), comes from Bushwick. Born in 1893, she got her start performing at the Royal Theater on Fulton Street.

I don’t know what neighborhood Clara Bow (left) grew up in, but reportedly her strong Brooklyn accent worked against her when she started acting in the teens.

Rita Hayworth, born Margarita Carmen Cansino (right), didn’t stay in Brooklyn long; her family moved to L.A. in the 1920s.