Recall Some of History's Most Accomplished Movie Stars on Mint Stamps
In 1995, Ghana commemorated 100 years of cinema with the issue of nine new stamp designs. Now you can own all of them on a mint souvenir sheet for just $9.95. The first stamp features a 1903 H. Ernmann camera, while the other eight feature stars Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, Will Rogers, Greta Garbo, Jackie Cooper, Bette Davis, John Barrymore, and Shirley Temple. Owning these stamps gives you a piece of film-making history. Add them to your collection today.
By the age of 10, Charlie Chaplin was performing on stage. He developed a vaudevill comedy routine and before long the young Englishman was touring the United States. In 1913, Chaplin tested his craft in the newly-established moving picture industry and was an overnight success.
During the silent film era, the mime antics of Chaplin's "Tramp" character spoke a universal language, making him a worldwide celebrity. When "talkies" (films with audio) took hold in the 1930s, he was already a well-known star and filmmaker. Though he still worked mainly in comedy, Chaplin took on a more political tone. Films like Modern Times, The Dictator, and A King in New York highlighted social and economic issues brought about by the Great Depression, the rise of Hitler, and the Cold War.
Over the course of his career, Charlie Chaplin made 82 films, most of them comedies, and most of which he directed.
Rudolph Valentino gained enormous fame for his passionate, romantic roles – he was idolized as the "Great Lover" of the 1920s. Following his lead, men learned to tango and tantalize women with smoldering stares.
Born in Italy in 1895, Rudolph Valentino immigrated to the U.S. then found his way to Hollywood. After taking small roles in films, he starred in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in 1921. His portrayl of Julio made him an instant celebrity, especially among women. Valentino went on to star in a number of silent films in the early 1920s. Though his career was short (he died at age 31), Valentino became a romantic legend and one of Hollywood's first heart throbs.
"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." That's just one of the many inspirational quotes by American cowboy and comedian, Will Rogers. William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers started out as a vaudeville performer and wound up one of the biggest stars of the 1920s and 30s.
An Oklahoma native, Rogers loved cowboys and horses. He performed tricks with a lariat (a rope tied into a lasso) in circuses in teh U.S. and Australia before taking his act to vaudeville in 1904. When he lassoed a runaway wild steer at an event in New York's Madison Square Gardens, his career took off. Soon as well know for his quick wit as for his lasso routine, Rogers landed a starring role with the popular Ziegfield Follies in 1916.
Rogers honed his satirical skills, routinely cracking up audiences with witty, "off-the-cuff" political commentary. He continued to entertain in movies, wrote a weekly newspaper humor column, performed on radio shows and lectured across the United States. He even ran for president in 1928. His only promise to the Americanpublic was that he'd resign if elected.
To many moviegoers, Theda Bara was known as "The Vamp." Fatally alluring with her death-white face, black hair, and heavy-lidded eyes, she seemed to trap unwary males and lure them to their destruction. Funnily enough, she had begun her acting career with the ambition to be a conventional romantic heroine.
Greta Garbo was born in Sweden and began her career as a model. The beautiful young actress met director Mauritz Stiller while she was studying at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. Stiller cast her in several major roles and, when given a contract by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, insisted that Garbo be given one also. Garbo's fame soon eclipsed Stiller's, fueled in part by her allurign "Sphinx" face and glamorous image. She successfully made the transition from silent films to "talkies" and was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards four times. Garbo became a naturalized American citizen in 1951 and entered a life of seclusion.
Bette Davis began her career as a dancer, but soon gave it up for acting because she enjoyed the challenge. Her Broadway debut took place in 1929 in The Bad Sister, then she began her film career the next year.
Davis signed a contract with Warner Brothers Pictures and became known for her ability to play complex roles. In 1935, she received an Academy Award for her role as Joyce Heath in Dangerous. The actress was awarded anotehr Oscar three years later.
Davis continued her work in film, but branched into television as well. In 1979, she was given a Best Actress Emmy. Davis continued to work into the 1980s and also wrote some autobiographies in her later life.
John Barrymore (and his siblings, Ethel and Lionel) came from a long line of actors and actresses. His father, Herbert Blythe, was an accomplished actor who took on the stage name Maurice Barrymore before marrying fellow actor Georgiana Drew. Miss Drew's parents ahd been popular comedic actors fo the early-to-mid-1800s. John, Ethel, and Lionel Barrymore spent much of their youth with their grandmother and were exposed to theater at an early age.
Before becoming actors, Lionel and John were both aspiring artists and Ethel dreamed of becoming a concert pianist. But theater was the family trade adn acting put food on the table. The young siblings became actors not because they wanted to, but becasue they needed to. And they each found succes as they participated in the 20th century shift from stage to screen. By some accounts, they were the most famous acting siblings of the 20th century. They were known as the "Royal Family" of the stage and often referred to as "Hollywood's First Family."
Of the siblings, John "Jack" Barrymore tried hardest to avoid the stage, working as an artist into his early adulthood. But the family business called and John embarked on an acting career in 1903. He performed on stage and in films to widespread acclaim. Though he never won any major awards, he ahs been called the "foremost English-speaking actor of his time."
Shirley Temple, born in 1928, was a seasoned actor by the time most children start school. She made her film debut when she was only three, playing in a series of short films with other children fromt eh dance school Temple attended. She signed with Fox Film Corporation in 1934 and her talent was recognized with her first film for this studio, Stand Up and Cheer! After that, the rising star began making $1,250 a week (about $50,000 in today's wages).
During the Great Depression, Temple's smile and optimism brought some sunshine to a weary nation. In 1935, she won the first Juvenile Oscar for her 1934 films. The same year, she pressed her hands and feet into cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.