It’s common knowledge that stars sell. Look no further than the number of celebrity magazines available today. Some of the older stars, who made an impression on audiences with their talent and uncommon presence, are still very popular on Delcampe today. We would like to introduce you to six major stars who have been immortalised in photos. As you can well imagine, this article is far from exhaustive. I hope that it will make you a little nostalgic.

Edouard de Max

Edouard de Max was a Romanian-born French theatre actor. He began his acting career in 1889 in Paris. Two years later, he was chosen for the part of Nero in Britannicus. The role launched his career.

The actor was one of those people who are impossible to ignore. People either loved him or hated him! A friend of Sarah Bernhardt, he was known for his acting skills and his extravagant outfits. This friendship led him to work with her until 1911, despite the fact that their friendship was punctuated by disputes of varying lengths and, especially with great dramas, reflecting the personalities of the two players!

Edouard de Max joined the Comédie Française in 1915 and became its 355th member in 1918. The actor often took on roles written by young authors in whom he believed, to get them known.

He died on 28 October 1924 in Paris at the age of 55 from pulmonary congestion. He is buried in the Montparnasse Cemetery.

The actor is still very famous among collectors. He is, notably, one of the gay icons of the past. Delcampe features many photos of him at prices often in excess of €100.

Josephine Baker, an engaged artist

Josephine Baker was the first international black star. Her life could have been a novel. She left school at 13 to get married. She divorced and remarried with Willie Baker. She kept his name the following year but left him two years later because she wanted to be a star.

She went to New York, and after several refusals, obtained a part in a black musical comedy. She would owe her big break to Caroline Dudley Reagan who hired her to play in the “Revue Nègre” in Paris. It was with this group that she wore her famous costume with a banana belt!

She led shows at the Folies Bergères where she walked on stage with a cheetah. She started making films a few years later. She became a French national 1937 and joined the Resistance two years later. She lived in Morocco from 1941 to 1944 and gathered extensive information for the allies.

After the Liberation, she received the Resistance Medal and the Legion of Honour from Charles de Gaulle. After the war, Josephine Baker became involved in a number of causes that were very important to her. She lived at he Château de Milande, with 11 adopted children from different backgrounds which she called her “rainbow tribe”. She fought actively against racial segregation.

However, this life dedicated to good causes was very expensive and she became heavily indebted. In the end, she had to sell her château.

With the help of Brigitte Bardot, Jean-Claude Brialy and, especially, Grace of Monaco, she returned to the stage in Paris. She died in her beloved city on 12 April 1975.

She remains a star among collectors and is one of the most sought-after celebrities in photos and postcards on Delcampe!



Louise Brooks, the actress with the black helmet

Louise Brooks was born in Kansas in 1906. She began her career as a dancer. After working a time in Europe in shows for men, she joined the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway. She was discovered there by the producer Walter Wanger and began to play in light, silent comedies.

She quickly became successful. Her bob haircut became fashionable around the world. Louise tired of Hollywood and decided to pursue her career in Europe. She accepted the main role of LuLu, which made her into a sexy cinema icon.

She made a few more films in Europe before returning to the United States. However, the doors were now closed to her.

Louise was very strong-willed and had refused to record the voice-overs for her silent films. This had displeased Hollywood producers.

She was forced to accept minor, poorly paid roles. She was humiliated and decided to return to Kansas to start a dance school. She wasn’t welcome there either and left for New York where she worked in sales before becoming a call girl.

Her life wasn’t going well. Fortunately, her luck changed and she began a new career as a film critic. Her talent was finally recognised in the early 1950s thanks to the French journalist Henri Langlois who said “There is no Garbo! There is no Dietrich! There is only Louise Brooks!”

She began to write towards the end of her life. She died of a heart attack in 1985 but will always be a film and collector icon.

See photos of thousands of celebrities on Delcampe.

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Written by Héloïse

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