The earliest producers of TV programming recognized that they had one advantage over movies and it was a slim one: convenience. Aside from that, there were multiple disadvantages that TV provided their quickly growing audience - the screens were small, the images were not in color and there weren't any big stars. To win over their audience they decided on a familiar lure that had withstood the test of time. When the big mucky-mucks in Hollywood saw that more and more people were failing to grab their coats and hats and head to the theaters, they responded in kind:
In 1947 French fashion designer Christian Dior disappointed a lot of men when he dropped the hemlines and made women's legs far less visible; seven years later his designs marginalized women's breast - and this Americans would not tolerate; read about it here...
More on this topic can be read here.
Click here to read about Marilyn Monroe and watch a terrific documentary about her life.
Here is a 1937 article that reminds us that there wasn't anything left to chance or improvisation under the old studio system:
"One of the oldest newspaper publicity devices is the 'leg display'. Resorted to chiefly by actresses whose press agents want them to break into print, it consists of nothing more than arriving in New York aboard an ocean liner and letting news photographers do the rest."
The adoration of the Feminine Leg began some twenty yeras earlier with the flappers; click here to read more on this topic...
In this early Sixties article, celebrity epistolarianne Cyndi Adams recalled her first two encounters with the man who would be "Felix Unger":
"'I am definitely neurotic and psychotic,' cheerily announced Tony Randall (1920 - 2004) the first time we met - 'he's an actor-comedian of remarkable skills...he unconsciously reflects, in the way he plays his rolls, so much of the neurotic age we live in...'".
The NEW YORK TIMES would pursue this point to a further degree in their 2004 obituary of the actor:
"That's the force Tony Randall embodied: he represented, in his neurotic grandeur, our national will to unhappiness. Or if not our will, at least our right, which in the 50's we were only beginning to realize we could exercise."
"There was a time, Humphrey Bogart maintains, when he saw all interviewers and tried to answer all questions put to him..."
"But I can't take it anymore, I've had to cut the fan magazines off my list entirely. Just the sheer smell of them drives me crazy. They smell of milk. The interviewers themselves treat you like a two-year-old child with their will-Debbie-marry-Eddie and can-Lance-Fuller-live-without-a-wife kind of idiocy. You know the whole sorry groove of the thing."
You can read about David Niven HERE
When this Hollywood profile first appeared on paper, actress Lana Turner (1921 – 1995) was all of twenty-nine years of age and about to begin working on A Life of Her Own,
it was her thirtieth movie; her last four films had nearly grossed a record-breaking $20 million, and her smiling mug was on each and every Hollywood fan magazine that could be found.
"Today, the sleek, gray-eyed Lana has shed the plumpness of two years ago, keeps her weight between to 118 and 127 lbs... Now Lana is as shapely as she was in those early days. She has the 'perfect' figure: 5 ft. 3 in., 34-in. bust, 24-in. waist, 34.5 in. hips."
The article is illustrated with photographs from eight of her pre-'49 movies and lists all the husbands that she'd collected up to that same period (she had acquired eight husbands before she was through).