"They were pioneers in the most glamorous business in the world, and you only know half of their story. Playbills To Photoplays reveals colorful episodes in the lives of the stars before they became stars. Everyone saw them, but few knew where they came from. This collection of essays follows some of the most famous names in show business from Vaudeville and Broadway to Hollywood, revealing a part of their lives that movie historians have neglected -- until now. I think this book is terrific. It's a must read for any fan of the silver screen, and the days when movie stars were real stars."
- Morgan Loew, great-grandson of Adolph Zukor, founder, Paramount Pictures,
and Marcus Loew, founder, Loews Theaters and MGM.
"Ms. Loew's choice of performers to write about is amazingly diverse and fascinating, from character actors like Conrad Veidt to major stars like Katharine Hepburn. She has written a most compelling book about their transitions from stage to film... many of the stories new to me. Wonderful!"
- Joan Benny, daughter of comedian, Jack Benny, one of America's greatest entertainment icons
of the 20th century, whose career included vaudeville, radio, movies and television.
"A nice compilation of essays on film stars who made the transition from the stage to early talkies with essays on Al Jolson, Mae West, Eddie Cantor, Harpo Marx, Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Charley Grapewin, Ed Wynn, and the Morgans (Frank and Ralph). Some essays were much better than others - I loved the one on the Morgans, Burns and Allen, Harpo Marx, and Katharine Hepburn... I would highly recommend the book as it gives you a good idea what vaudeville and the Broadway stage was like in the early 20's and what it was about these stars that allowed them to make the transition."
"....big stars as well as a raft of character actors, and decorated with dozens of striking photos...perceptive close-ups
that make for vibrant film criticism...engaging profiles of Old Hollywood icons..."
"Performers attempting to breakthrough will find this book inspirational!"
- An Aspiring Actor
Motion pictures with recorded sound --known as "talking pictures", or "talkies"--signaled the end of silent films and created some of the greatest entertainment icons of the twentieth century. Playbills To Photoplays: Stage Performers Who Pioneered the Talkies introduces a new generation to the real life struggles and careers of talented, hard working, early twentieth century vaudeville and stage entertainers who migrated to sound film. Twenty-eight essays and over one hundred photographs examine the actors before, during, and after the revolutionary new sound film technology catapulted many of them to superstardom during Hollywood's Golden Age. Playbills To Photoplays: Stage Performers Who Pioneered the Talkies explains the social, political, economic, historical, and cultural issues that shaped each performer's body of work, acting technique, persona, and public following over time.