Schwab's Pharmacy was like many other well-heeled American pharmacies of the Forties - it filled prescriptions, sold cigars, served three squares a day at their counter and cracked-wise with the clientele. What made it different was that many of the customers were among the most glam movie stars of the time. Located on Sunset Boulevard, west of Hollywood, in an area known as Sherman:
- from Amazon
"It's the one place in Hollywood where screen biggies like Robert Taylor, Gene Tierney and Marlene Dietrich drop in and out all day and make themselves at home."
Here is an article about one of the most innovative minds in the nascent world of Hollywood makeup design; it belonged to a fellow named Jack Dawn (1892 - 1961). Dawn was under contract at MGM for decades and worked on over two hundred films, his most being the film that is discussed herein: The Wizard of Oz (1939, MGM). The article briefly touches upon the "thin, rubbery" masks that he created after having made numerous in depth studies of human bone and muscle.
"Show me a good fellow backstage, and I'll show you a lousy actor onstage" famously stated W.C. Fields. The author, former Hollywood press agent David Hanna, proves the comedian's point with numerous anecdotes drawn from both Broadway and Hollywood.
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."