Exotic Faces

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1.
Maria Montez
In a world weary of war and dispirited by the ravages of the Great Depression, Hollywood at the turn of the 1940's concocted a wildly popular, effective lot of escapist fare (though often cheaply made) to regale the sick at heart worldwide. Universal Pictures, more often than not, led in producing such films...
 
2.
Yvonne De Carlo
Actress, The Munsters
Yvonne De Carlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton on September 1, 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was three when her father abandoned the family. Her mother turned to waitressing in a restaurant to make ends meet--a rough beginning for an actress who would, one day, be one of Hollywood's elite...
 
3.
Dorothy Lamour
Actress, Road to Bali
Dorothy Lamour was born with the birth name of Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton on December 10, 1914, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was a beautiful child who turned heads as a teenager with her long dark hair. However, her dream was to become a professional singer not actress. After she won a beauty contest as Miss New Orleans in 1931...
 
4.
Debra Paget
Debra Paget was born Debralee Griffin on August 19, 1933 in Denver Colorado. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was a child. Debra's mother was a former actress who encouraged all her children to go into show business. At the age of fifteen Debra made her film debut in Cry Of The City. Her big break came when she was cast opposite James Stewart in the 1950 western Broken Arrow...
 
5.
Piper Laurie
Actress, Carrie
Piper Laurie was born Rosetta Jacobs in Detroit, Michigan, on January 22, 1932, to Charlotte Sadie (Alperin) and Alfred Jacobs, a furniture dealer. Her father was a Polish Jewish immigrant and her mother was of Russian Jewish descent. Her father moved the family to Los Angeles, California, when she was 6-years-old...
 
6.
Brenda Marshall
Actress, The Sea Hawk
Brenda wanted to be a film actress, all right; it's just that she didn't want to be Brenda Marshall. Throughout her years in Hollywood, she insisted that her friends and coworkers address her not by her studio-fabricated cognomen, but by her given name of Ardis Ankerson (with the addition of the surname of her first husband...
 
7.
June Duprez
Glamorous June Duprez was born in Teddington, England, during an air raid on May 14, 1918. Her father, Fred Duprez, was an American vaudevillian who found stage and film work in England. She herself picked up an interest in performing and eventually joined the Coventry Repertory Company to gather the necessary stage experience...
 
8.
Maureen O'Hara
In America, the early performing arts accomplishments of young Maureen FitzSimons (who we know as Maureen O'Hara) would definitely have put her in the child prodigy category. However, for a child of Irish heritage surrounded by gifted parents and family, these were very natural traits. Maureen made her entrance into this caring haven on August 17...
 
9.
Gene Tierney
Actress, Laura
With prominent cheekbones and the most appealing overbite of her day, her striking good looks helped propel her to stardom. Her best known role is the enigmatic murder victim in Laura. She was also Oscar-nominated for Leave Her to Heaven. Her acting performances were few in the 1950s as she battled a troubled emotional life that included hospitalization and shock treatment for depression.
 
10.
Vivien Leigh
Vivian Mary Hartley was born on November 5, 1913, in Darjeeling, India. She was to live in this beautiful country for the next six years. Her parents wanted to go home to England but because of World War I they opted to stay in India. At the end of the war the Hartleys headed back to their home country...
 
11.
Patricia Medina
Actress, Mr. Arkadin
Patricia Paz Maria Medina was born on July 19, 1919 in Liverpool, England to a Spanish father and an English mother. She began acting as a teenager in the late 1930s and worked her way up to leading roles in the mid-1940s, where she left for Hollywood. Medina teamed up with British actor Louis Hayward and they appeared together in Fortunes of Captain Blood...
 
12.
Arlene Dahl
Elegance and femininity are fitting descriptions for Arlene Dahl. She is considered to be one of the most beautiful actresses to have graced the screen during the postwar period. Audiences were captivated by her breathtaking beauty and the way she used to it to her advantage, progressing from claimer to character roles...
 
13.
Dolores del Rio
Dolores del Rio was the first Mexican movie star with international appeal and had a meteoric career in 1920s Hollywood (an extraordinary accomplishment for an Hispanic female on those years). She came from an aristocratic family in Durango. In the Mexican revolution of 1916, however, the family lost everything they had and emigrated to Mexico City...
 
14.
Lupe Velez
Together with Dolores del Rio, Ramon Novarro, Lupe Velez and José Mojica as among the few Mexican people who made history in the early years of Hollywood. Vélez career began in Mexico City, where she lived with her mother and sisters. In 1925, while working in a clothes store, Vélez caught the attention of three theatrical managers who were impressed by her beauty and grace...
 
15.
Signe Hasso
Actress, A Double Life
Signe Hasso was born Signe Larsson in Stockholm, Sweden, and lived with her mother, grandmother and two siblings in a one-room apartment; her father and grandfather had died when she was only four. Her mother, once an aspiring actress, cooked waffles to support the family. Ms. Hasso began working on stage at age 12 at the famed Royal Dramatic Theatre...