Read The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas by Laini Giles Online

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A presence lurks in New York City’s New Amsterdam Theatre when the lights go down and the audience goes home. They say she’s the ghost of Olive Thomas, one of the loveliest girls who ever lit up the Ziegfeld Follies and the silent screen. From her longtime home at the theater, Ollie’s ghost tells her story from her early life in Pittsburgh to her tragic death at twenty-fivA presence lurks in New York City’s New Amsterdam Theatre when the lights go down and the audience goes home. They say she’s the ghost of Olive Thomas, one of the loveliest girls who ever lit up the Ziegfeld Follies and the silent screen. From her longtime home at the theater, Ollie’s ghost tells her story from her early life in Pittsburgh to her tragic death at twenty-five.After winning a contest for “The Most Beautiful Girl in New York,” shopgirl Ollie modeled for the most famous artists in New York, and then went on to become the toast of Broadway. When Hollywood beckoned, Ollie signed first with Triangle Pictures, and then with Myron Selznick’s new production company, becoming most well known for her work as a “baby vamp,” the precursor to the flappers of the 1920s. After a stormy courtship, she married playboy Jack Pickford, Mary Pickford’s wastrel brother. Together they developed a reputation for drinking, club-going, wrecking cars, and fighting, along with giving each other expensive make-up gifts. Ollie's mysterious death in Paris’ Ritz Hotel in 1920 was one of Hollywood’s first scandals, ensuring that her legend lived on....

Title : The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780994734907
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 420 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas Reviews

  • Colleen
    2018-12-11 02:59

    Historical fiction I think is a tough to get right. There's got to be the hook to get the story going, especially in the case of first person narrators. You have to get the background details correct but not let that overwhelm the story or take an artificial main stage, which a lot fall prey to--and this book neatly avoids all of that. A perfect choice--Olive Thomas. Her eyes were even purple like Liz Taylor's.Her ghost still reputedly haunts New Amsterdam Theater where she was a Follies chorus girl, still in her famous green dress and headdress. There's almost something comforting that she's still around and the book is narrated by this ghost, sick of enduring countless Lion Kings and Mary Poppins, but given the choice of going on or hanging out for a bit by a form filling heavenly civil servant, she decides to hang around a bit and reminisce on her life. From a hardscrabble, Pennsylvania town, she dodges a dull early marriage, and runs to New York, where she wins "The Most Beautiful Girl in New York City" contest. From that she followed the familiar path of model, Follies girl, silent film actress, and tragic infamous death at 25. I'll have to check but she was the first to die, and I think the circumstances she died under was when the lights started to flicker on the party ending for everyone in her circles. Thomas died in 1920 from mistaking her husband, Jack Pickford, brother of The America's Sweetheart herself herself, syphilis medication for her sleeping draught (some disagree on the mistakenly part but I think totally spurious since she unfortunately lingered on long enough to tell what happened). The contributing factor if anything is the likelihood of her trying to come down from a night of cocaine, rat eating, and partying and wasn't paying attention. The Arbuckle framing was in 1921, the Desmond Taylor murder in '22; Wally Reid's death from morphine withdrawal in '22; a second major Mabel Normand scandal in '24; Barbara LaMarr's death from cocaine overdose in '26, etc. etc. So many of the silent film stars barely made it out of the decade, let alone making it in talkies. Mabel in '30; Alma Rubens in '31 (and she makes an appearance in this book); Jack Pickford in '33; John Gilbert '36; Lottie Pickford in '36--few seemed to make it out of the wreckage unscathed from that long brilliant party. And the author does know her stuff--I only saw one small error in the whole book--and she presents it in a way that's not dull, or maudlin, or overwrought. And I looked it up later: the pact the 6 Ziegfeld Follies girls made after getting scared by an elderly former chorine selling makeup to meet 20 years in the future to show how successful they continued to be, really did happen. https://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...For the reunion dinner, only one of the 6 was still alive. Olive Thomas, the one who suggested it in the first place, dead from chemical burns from her estranged soon to be ex-husband's syphilis mercury; Martha Mansfield, a horrible death burnt alive in her super flammable Civil War era dress on a studio set when someone carelessly flicked their cigarette butt at her; Fifi Alsop, once a millionaire, died homeless in her 30s, body unclaimed for days; Lilyan Tashman, who probably achieved the most success of all of them in the 30s, died from either abdominal cancer or anorexia; and Bessie Poole, reasons unclear--potentially a brawl--leaving only Kathryn Lambert, who had 5 places set out and toasted the fallen Follies. Not to say that this book is sad, Olive takes a very carefree attitude about it, while tearing a little for the close up. Ultimately she'd do it all over again. The only portrayal in this book I was not fond of was Mary Pickford, once again a gargoyle. I know it's popular to do, and accounts on her vary so widely and as a mega fan, I veer towards a little understanding for what she was trying to do, put up with, and just make it through her day. People forget that she was the only one who publically stood up for Mabel Normand and used her support to help a lot of people out. So many times in fiction she's cast as the shrew against Chaplin, with a lot of sexist overtones. That's not really the case in this book and I think it sets her as a foil, but I'd have liked it a bit less one sided--and Owen Moore was certainly no saint. But I think the author does a good job showing that Miss Thomas is not always the most reliable of narrators.

  • Anna (Curiosity comes before Kay)
    2018-12-08 00:18

    More like 3.5 stars. Now I feel the need to find a really well-written biography, and learn "the truth" (as much as it can be called that, secondhand and about a hundred years later give or take a few). First person narrative wasn't my favorite thing, but it was an interesting novel. Curious to see who else the author writes about in the future. Recommended if silent film entrances you like it does with me.

  • Susan Molloy
    2018-11-28 03:19

    This is a cleverly conceived novel about silent film actress and early flapper Olive Thomas. It’s told in the first person, which gives it a very cozy and one-on-one feeling with the reader.Though I only read a sample of this book, I placed it on my wish list so I can read the entire book later.

  • Martin Turnbull
    2018-12-05 23:58

    Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this novel for review purposes.As both a reader and writer of novels set in and around early and classic Hollywood, I'm always interested to see how someone handles that era. Olive Thomas was a well-known star of silent era Hollywood whose fame has (undeservedly) long faded from public memory. So when "The Forgotten Flapper" came along, I was keen to sink my teeth into it, and was glad to find that I really enjoyed it. I thought the author recreated the era really well - her research really shines through. Thomas led a crazy, chaotic life through a crazy, chaotic time, and Giles captures it all so well. There were tons of references to things like cars and fabrics and day to day things I found myself highlighting to look up later. She folded it all into the narrative seemlessly - and that ain't easy! In reality, I think Olive Thomas often acted irresponsibly recklessly, and I thought Giles also managed to portray Olive sympathetically. That’s quite a skill, too, and and I think Giles pulled it off so well that I'm looking forward to what she writes next.

  • Shawnna
    2018-12-09 22:08

    Olive couldn't get enough out of life. From rags to riches, she craved more, more, more. Something was still missing. She was a very likable lead. I enjoyed her relationships throughout. Her thirst for knowledge. Her cravings for love.The old-timey expressions cracked me up. "...round heels..." Everything was brilliantly descriptive. The colours vivid and smells sharp.I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. What an exciting life this young woman led.I shed a few tears and I giggled out loud. Laini Giles seems to effortlessly evoke the readers emotions. Good job. I want more.

  • Charlotte (abOOkishOwl)
    2018-11-17 01:10

    A great read. It felt like I was brought back in time when everything else happened. Because clearly this was a well-researched story. Full review to come.

  • Douglas Jones
    2018-11-13 04:16

    I love to read, hear and watch stories of old Hollywood! I do watch silent films sometimes too and I enjoy them. THE FORGOTTEN FLAPPER by Laihi Giles is based on the true story of silent film actress Olive Thomas. Not too many people remember her and if they do they know two things:1.) she was married to Jack Pickford (brother of Mary Pickford).And 2.) her mysterious death from ingesting mercury bichioride.If you know and a fan of Mary Pickford (America's sweetheart) be warned, she is not a nice person in this novel. Olive and Mary really didn't get along in real life and this novel is told from Olive's point of view.Also Olive's ghost is telling the story and if that sounds weird, it actually works. Olive is said to haunt the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City!One finally note. The author has done a really good job in recreating Old Hollywood and this novel is the first in the FORGOTTEN ACTRESS series! I can't wait for the next one, which is about Clara Bow!

  • Sheryl Kirby
    2018-12-08 03:18

    She's the gal whose name nobody remembers. Olive Thomas was set to be as famous as Mary Pickford. She was even married to Pickford's brother. But her accidental death in 1920 — by drinking a mercury solution left out by her husband to treat his syphilis — meant that she was forgotten while others of her era went on to huge fame and fortune. The Forgotten Flapper is the story of Olive's life as told by her ghost, which reportedly still roams the New Amsterdam theatre, where Thomas was a member of the Ziegfeld Follies. It's a funny and well-written fictional account based closely on actual events. Good foreshadowing about Thomas' poor life choices and where they'll lead her, and I thought Giles' really captured the banter and repartee of the era.

  • Deb Carlson
    2018-11-21 00:11

    Flowed very well. Exciting for me, I love historical novels.

  • C.P. Lesley
    2018-12-05 22:18

    A ghost haunts the New Amsterdam Theatre, near Times Square in New York. She wears a green outfit in flapper style, and she’s just a little annoyed to realize that no one is scared of her, even though she mostly rearranges the scenery rather than clanking chains or leaping out and scaring people. Her name is Olive Thomas, and she is one of the first silent movie stars, although her early death means that she is much less famous than her sister-in-law, Mary Pickford.Born near Pittsburgh, Olive moves to New York to escape a teen marriage and a life raised in poverty. After winning a contest as the Most Beautiful Girl in New York, she becomes an artist’s model before securing a position with Flo Ziegfeld, the mogul behind the Follies. Ziegfeld takes a shine to Olive, and soon she is not only dancing for him but has become a regular in the much racier Midnight Follies. Before long, she and Ziegfeld are involved in an affair, but when Ziegfeld goes back to his wife, Olive takes off for Hollywood. In Santa Monica, she runs into Jack Pickford, Mary’s younger brother, and discovers her kindred spirit. To the great distress of his family, the two of them drink and party their way around movie sets on both coasts. Over the course of four years, Olive makes twenty films, including The Flapper—the film that introduced that term into the national lingo. Then she and Jack decide to vacation in Paris …The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas (Sepia Stories, 2015) brings this forgotten actress back to life. Laini Giles vividly captures both the culture of those early days when films were still called “flickers” and Olive Thomas’s complex, charming, and compelling personality. The ostrich scene alone is—dare we say it?—unforgettable.Free podcast interview with Laini Giles at New Books in Historical Fiction.

  • Raven Haired Girl
    2018-11-24 22:53

    Admittedly I was drawn to this book for the era. Something about classic Hollywood fascinates me, undoubtedly a crazy time period always proving exciting. I was also interested in learning of Olive Thomas an accomplished silent film era actress, long forgotten. With a perfect storm I couldn't wait to see how Giles would work her craft, needless to say she created a fabulous story.The book's presentation cannot go unnoticed it resembles a silent movie including 'intermission' and 'reprises' extremely well done on Giles part, her attention to detail is noted and greatly appreciated.The setting is perfect. Giles referenced plenty absorbing the reader into the era, cars, clothes, places, people so much more. Giles' impeccable research is noticed, enhancing the reader experience completely.I found Olive fascinating, her choices leave you shaking your head, not always exercising better judgement yet you adore this creature as Giles delicately depicts Olive with a measure of well deserved compassion. Olive would be proud of Giles' version of her life shared with the audience.Giles, an authoress to keep on your radar, with her stellar writing, outstanding research not to mention an entertaining era and character, she delivers an amazing book. I can't wait to read more from this über talented authoress.Visit Raven Haired Girl for more reviews & giveaways

  • Michelle (Champ)
    2018-11-16 20:02

    Oh my word! I have waited forever to read a book on Olive Thomas. I have been intrigued by her since childhood. This was written as if Olive was telling us the story. Fiction that reads like nonfiction. Written in a style most celeb auto bios are written in...."I make good choices but those around me don't." It was a perfect way to tell a story about a big celebrity that no one now knows because she died in 1920. She was big Before talkies and married a Pickford. A Ziegfeld girl, the most beautifil woman....Olive had it all. She was royalty.

  • Sharon Bandhold
    2018-12-09 00:15

    It grabbed me & wouldn't let me go!I enjoyed Laini Giles' writing style tremendously! Extremely absorbing story. I couldn't (& didn't want to) pull myself away! Olive's "voice" made me feel like I was living her life. 2 things: the end of the Prologue makes it sound like the owner of the theatre would be telling the story, & the very end (the last paragraph) seemed too pat, OR (SPOILER ALERT), perhaps that was a foregone conclusion, since she died at 25. VERY highly recommended.

  • Johnny
    2018-11-27 22:56

    A pretty good book for a historical fiction novel. A fascinating look at the woman that became the fist baby vamp/flapper and her rise from the coal mines of Pennsylvania to marriage into first great acting families of the silver screen to her untimely accidental death. It reads like a who's who of the early 20th century stage and film. I found it just as interesting to use the Kindle version to highlight and look up on Wikipedia all the well known at the time stars Olive Thomas met in her young life

  • Jason
    2018-11-18 02:59

    A historical fiction novel that works on every level. It serves as a pseudo biography of Olive Thomas, the movie star who was active in silent films from 1916 to 1920 and died under mysterious circumstances in Paris in 1920. The story is narrated by Olive's ghost who is now haunting the New Amsterdam Theatre in NYC. Mary and Jack Pickford figure prominently in Olive's life, and the book does a great job of detailing the highs and lows she experienced in her short 25 years. Highly recommended.

  • Lauren
    2018-11-28 21:12

    I LOVED this book! Such a fun twist on a sad tragedy. I fell in love with Olive and I can't wait for more books from Laini. For my full review, check it out on booktube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUGrg...

  • David Champ
    2018-12-03 21:12

    I enjoyed this book very much. The research for the characters was very good and it gas made me want to look up some of Ollie's movies. Luckily there srr links at the end of the Kindle book that I plan on checking out. The writing was so well done it was a great read

  • Jane
    2018-12-01 22:02

    Really great read!The way the story of her life was presented drew me in and I could not put down this book. The life of Olive Thomas was so interesting and sad and this author had such a great way of telling her story.

  • Christy Skinner
    2018-12-10 03:53

    The author said she was inspired to write this book after reading Loving Frank. I actually liked this book better.

  • Holly Lutmer
    2018-11-17 04:18

    I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!!!!

  • Simon MacKintosh
    2018-11-16 20:02

    A historical novel should do more than just tell a story. It should use the story to inform about the age in which it is set, the people, the society, and the ideas. The Forgotten Flapper, the story of Olive Thomas, achieves this goal superbly. From the broad panorama of 1920’s America to small snippets such as the origin of the term ‘Flicks’, we learn about the times and particularly the show business of the times.That is not to say that the story of Olive’s life is neglected. It builds well, only slowing for a couple of chapters in the middle that describe a series of movies without really progressing the story. But then it picks up again and proceeds to its tragic ending.The characters are well drawn. Olive comes across as kind, ambitious, but not at the cost of her relationships with family and friends. Jack Pickford is wild, and something of a spoilt brat, perhaps a prototype for so many characters in showbiz since.Laini Giles’ achievement is to write a believable and poignant account of a life lived at a hectic pace in a time long gone. While the Forgotten Flapper is a must-read for those interested in the early days of Hollywood, it is an enjoyable and informative read for anyone. I look forward to the next book in here series.

  • Melinda
    2018-11-28 22:02

    The Forgotten Flapper follows little known actress Olive Thomas's journey from a poor Pennsylvania family, to the Ziegfield Follies, to silent film actress. She eventually became the original "Baby Vamp" and the sister-in-law of Mary Pickford. I liked: the story is told in first person narrative and the author does a good job transporting the reader to the first twenty years of the 20th century. It did pique my interest in the Follies! I did not like: the incessant name dropping got tedious as did the constant use of euphemisms. I suppose people swore back then as they do now but the F-bombs were a bit much. Olive wasn't a very likeable person and I wasn't able to muster much sympathy for her even with her tragic demise. The Forgotten Flapper was a decent read but I wouldn't recommend it.

  • Isaiah Reaves
    2018-12-13 01:12

    Broadway. The Ziegfeld Follies. The glitter and the glamour. An era long forgotten...until now, that is, as the talented Laini Giles has surprised us with "The Forgotten Flapper," a long-awaited contemporary homage to the glory days of young Broadway; when producers like the enigmatic Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. played the New York stage like a card game and pretty, young things like Olive Thomas literally became stars overnight. As a young person, I've always had a highly unusual interest in all that is vintage, especially where show business history is concerned. As a very young child, I developed an obsession with the legendary Judy Garland and devoted my life to collecting all of her films, including a little flicker called "Ziegfeld Girl." Needless to say, I was instantly enchanted. This was the very first time I'd ever heard of the Ziegfeld Follies; a larger-than-life musical-comedy revue that launched the careers of the likes of Fannie Brice, Bert Williams, Eddie Cantor, and others. Often imitated, but never duplicated, the Follies was truly a show like no other. Even though this was the birthplace of many stage and screen legends, the Ziegfeld Girls were arguably the biggest stars the show produced. These were VERY YOUNG girls with a dream who were taught to sing, dance, and look pretty. Olive was one of them and emerged as a phenomenon. Her rise was meteoric; in a matter of months, she became the talk of the town, and eventually, an early movie star. She was on a consistent climb to the top until her untimely and mysterious death. One thing I appreciated about the book was the way that the author vividly recreated the career of Olive Thomas with a sense of historical accuracy, while at the same time, weaving a story that flows well from page to page. I was instantly transported back to New York in the 1910's. Each description was vivid and the characters were honest. I think a fan of this era in Broadway history would be impressed. I, for one, certainly was. I must say, this book isn't for everyone. I can't see readers who aren't familiar with this topic enjoying it. That isn't to say that they wouldn't, but that's just my opinion. The only thing I didn't really understand was why the author chose to tell the story from the angle of the "Olive Thomas Ghost" perspective. Many Broadway buffs know that apparently, according to old urban legend, Olive's ghost haunts the New Amsterdam. This removed the book far from reality for me. That isn't inherently bad, just not my taste, being a realist. But again, I'm more than positive someone else would enjoy the supernatural aspect. Also, the way the incident that led to the death was described bothered me. I enjoyed the build, but I feel like this could have been enhanced with a more emotive approach. I also felt like the way the story closed was somewhat rushed. I didn't feel like there was anything at stake when Olive's death was described. In other words, it simply didn't satisfy my needs for the story. I've always looked at her death as a profound tragedy. The poignancy of that tragedy wasn't there. The supernatural element, and the fact that it was told from Olive's perspective, made it less of a tragedy, and again, that would work for some people, but I would have wanted to see something more along those lines. I'm one of those people that looks at the life of Olive Thomas as one of the great cautionary tales ever told. I also view the lives of Marilyn Monroe and Lady Day as some of the great cautionary tales ever told. Why? What do they have in common? A series of events and of bad decisions/circumstances that inevitably foreshadowed an early demise. Olive, having grown up in a gray and dull world, couldn't handle the colorful glitter of show business, and whether or not she died when she did, I think she would have died relatively soon of some other cause just because she played Russian Roulette with life. On the other hand, you can say that her life wasn't tragic because she lived the way she wanted to live. However, I maintain that her life was deeply tragic, in an almost beautiful way, and because that is my personal standpoint, that is why I was so hurt when I didn't feel anything over Olive's death through the way it was portrayed in the book. Again, someone else might. One thing I LOVE about this novel is the relationship between Jack and Olive. The author did a FANTASTIC job at making this feel fresh and immediate. We understood their love, but we also are able to clarify just how toxic their relationship may have been. Also, the portrayal of Ziegfeld, through the eyes of one of his many mistresses, was interesting. It's definitely a rare perspective. This book was more honest about Ziegfeld than most other treatments I've seen. He was more than just a showman this time around. All in all, I'd recommend this book to readers who are interested in learning about a little-known piece of stage/film history. There is a lot of truth to the book and it does a great job of honoring Olive's memory. Just because this isn't a cautionary tale about a little girl lost who wasn't prepared for stardom and became drunk on her own success doesn't mean it isn't a stirring read with LOTS and LOTS to offer. Please check this one out!

  • Glenna Morrison
    2018-12-07 01:11

    I thoroughly enjoy this book -- part history, part fiction and expertly woven into a highly readable tale. A detailed glimpse into the lives of early showgirls and their transition into silent screen stars. Now I want to read more about the Pickford family!

  • Jim Busse
    2018-11-21 01:15

    The dialogue is absolutely ingenious. Very engaging. Teachers will love for history, for English, for whatever. I highly recommend it.

  • Tammy Buchli
    2018-11-22 00:06

    I really enjoyed this novel about the silent movie actress, Olive Thomas. It was meticulously researched, with every fact checked and verified. I appreciate that in a historical or biographical novel. And it had a neat gimmick in that the action was narrated by Ollie's ghost who is still said to be hanging around the New Amsterdam Theater, where she first found fame as a Ziegfeld Girl. And I quickly grew fond of Ollie herself, as given voice by Giles. This was really a gem. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in Giles' Forgotten Actresses series.

  • Stacy
    2018-12-12 03:18

    Enjoyable book about a real Ziegfeld girl/silent film actress who met a tragic end. The basic facts and large strokes were all there--too bad the real Olive didn't keep a diary or correspondence to give us more depth. The author filled in the blanks with a lot of wild life, booze, sex and drugs. Poor Olive. Her husband was a real rotter.

  • Tara
    2018-11-23 22:02

    The Forgotten Flapper is an historical novel, based on the true story of one of Hollywood’s earliest stars, Olive Thomas. With only one full-length biography published to date, author Laini Giles conducted her own extensive research, and has retold Olive’s story in her own voice, bringing the ingénue with the mischievous grin vividly to life. Olive was a quick learner, impulsive and generous. On camera and on location, she was a risk-taker, one of the pioneering talents who made Hollywood the world’s film-making capital. Unfortunately, Olive’s ambitions were often derailed by her chaotic love life. In retrospect, her marriage to Jack Pickford was doomed from the start. While Jack may have been Hollywood’s original bad boy, and their marriage was marred by immaturity, the other men in Olive’s life were little better. But though her romances may have ended in tears, they were filled with passion and adventure.The Forgotten Flapper is a racy, action-packed read. It is beautifully designed, with each chapter beginning in a different setting, and sections divided into ‘intermissions’ and ‘reprises’, befitting a real-life silent movie. Reflecting the legend that Olive’s ghost haunts the New Amsterdam Theatre, the novel begins and ends with two amusing, and bittersweet chapters, as told from ‘beyond the grave’. The rest is effectively a fictional memoir, but I would have liked to hear more from the spectral Olive Thomas. The book also includes an extract from Laini Giles’ next project, The It Girl and Me, chronicling the rise and fall of Clara Bow from the perspective of Daisy DeVoe, the secretary who befriended and ultimately betrayed the star, in one of the last great scandals of early Hollywood.

  • Johann Laesecke
    2018-11-18 01:14

    Became interested in the early flickers when I began researching Louise Brooks. I came across this book and although Olive Thomas was a few years before Louise I bought and read it. The author gives us a very believable Ollie with all her good and not-so-good points. Starting out poor as a churchmouse she rises to become a Follies dancer, with a good reporting of what it was like to be a Follies girl and how Ollie's life becomes a roller coaster ride. When she is recruited to become an actress the highs get higher and the lows, lower. The ride slides completely out of control when bad boy Jack Pickford comes into her life. The reader hopes that Ollie can see what's coming, and maybe she does but cannot do anything about it as she hangs on, quite literally, for her life. The story is told in sharp vignettes, sad, exciting, funny, dangerous, thrilling - quite the kaleidoscope even considering the era. I had previously read the conventional media's wild-eyed reporting of what happened and also an apologists version of Jack and Ollie, saying that despite the evidence of their lifestyle, maybe it really wasn't like that. We will never know for sure but I think this book provides a very plausible filling in of the gaps between the known events. Giles treats Olive Thomas fairly and with compassion. Although it is ultimately a sad story - we know up front that it is going to end badly - this is an excellent book for those interested in a slice of life from the era, the Follies, the early flickers and some dish on the celebrities of the day.

  • PennsyLady (Bev)
    2018-12-13 20:52

    Forgotten FlappersOlive Thomas (October 20, 1894 – September 10, 1920)was a model, Ziegfeld girl and silent film star.Her story initially caught my interest because she was bornin Charleroi, Pennsylvania and subsequently lived in McKees Rocks.Thomas' first marriage was in 1911, at age 15 to Bernard Krug Thomas, a clerk at the Pressed Steel Car Company.They separated in 1913 and Olive moved to New York City to pursue a career as a model. She was granted a divorce on September 25, 1915.In 1914, Thomas entered and subsequently won "The Most Beautiful Girl in New York City" contest.Giles historical fiction shows time in The Follies and a more risqué Midnight Frolic show (after hours in the roof garden of the New Amsterdam Theatre.)Her affair with Florenz Ziegfeld Jr ended with his refusal to divorce Billie Burke.Olive's screen debut was in July 1916, with the International Film Company.A tumultuous on/off marriage with Jack Pickford ended with her death while on a reconcilatory? second honeymoon is Paris.Intoxicated and weary ,Olive accidentally ingested bi-chloride of mercury from a French-labeled bottle.Poisoned by her husband's topical syphilitic treatment, her deathwas ruled accidental.An autopsy and an American and French investigation made the final determination."Thomas' death was the first big celebrity scandal, and the first death of a star at the height of her fame and youth." (Hala Pickford)Quite informative, reading Giles' book will add many details to my sketch of this "baby vamp" and the intensity of those times.