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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York • Page C5
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York • Page C5

Rochester, New York
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DEMOCRATANDCHRONICLE.COM SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2018 5C Arts Louise Brooks still has our attention, 80 years after her last and 33 years since her death in Rochester. The revival of interest in the late, great silent legend continues un- abated since it began in the late A new feature is expected this au- tumn, adapted from a popular novel, based on early incidents in life, long before her reclusive decades in Rochester. The Chaperone tells the story of the middle-aged woman who had the chal- lenge of escorting the wild and carefree teenage Brooks from Kansas to Manhat- tan, where she began her career as a professional dancer. The is the feature created by the Masterpiece Theatre folks responsi- ble for Downton Abbey, including writer Julian Fellowes, director Michael Engler and star Elizabeth McGovern (who will play the title character). Haley Lu Rich- ardson has the formidable task of por- traying the 15-year-old Brooks.

After a theatrical run, The Chaperone is expect- ed on PBS. Meanwhile, if there exists a No. 1 fan and a No. 1 chronicler of Brooks, Thomas Gladysz, the founder and long- time champion of the Louise Brooks So- ciety ( He has blogged and free-lanced articles and unearthed rare discoveries about the late star for many years, for several out- lets, and has now published two new books.

They are Now in the Air (a backgrounder on a restored Brooks and the more detailed Louise Brooks The Persistent Star. Brooks is the fabled star of Box, Beggars of Life and other silent classics, and spent the last third of her life in Rochester, where she died in 1985 at 78. Gladysz said his interest in Brooks was fueled by Barry excellent 1989 biography, Louise Brooks. The larger of his new books, The Per- sistent Star, is nearly 300 pages, re- printing the best of many Brooks Society blogs and articles, plus some of his freelance pieces. I particularly enjoyed things that were new to me, including a story about her pre-fame childhood and teenage dancing near her Kansas home, noting (with a photo) her appearance in a play, portraying the diminutive bride of Tom Thumb, at the Christian Church on Cherryville; a rare picture of her second husband, Chicago dancer Deering Da- vis, along with the story of their short- lived marriage; and even a four-panel comic strip from a 1925 New York news- paper, depicting (of all things) summerlong with Charlie Chaplin.

In another column, Gladysz writes about the admiration the famed food and travel star Anthony Bourdain had for Brooks. When asked several times who his ideal dinner companions would be (from among the living or the dead), his list sometimes changed, but one name remained persistent Louise Brooks. has a more beautiful, intelli- gent, quirky, sexy, uniquely command- ing character graced the Bour- dain said. As a great admirer of both ures, I was happy to read this. I only wish the Gladysz collection had an index, and I also would argue about the title.

My feeling was that Brooks was persistently trying to avoid stardom. She never crossed a bridge that she burn behind her. Perhaps Gladysz means that Brooks has persis- tently been in the spotlight, despite her every to subvert stardom. I was a friend of the charismatic and brilliant actress in her last years, when she lived in an apartment at 7 N. Good- man St.

too, wrote extensively about her for the Democrat and Chronicle, was Classic movie fans can soon binge on Louise on PBS See GARNER, Page 9C Louise Brooks HULTON ARCHIVE Movies and more Jack Garner Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

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