“Cry, laugh, but never whine!” – Dolores Costello
“My first year in pictures was probably different from that of any other girl, who has entered the movies. It was none the less wonderful for me. It was different, I think, because pictures weren’t all new to me. My father, Maurice Costello, was in the movies for many years, and so I saw much of the studios as a child. There was not a great deal of newness for me in the lights and the cameras and the makeup. But there was a tremendous thrill, because it was like a dream come true. Do you know the small boy, who, asked to define heaven said ‘It is just supposin’ turned into really truly.'” — Dolores Costello
“I was playing in a stage production – my first role – when James Montgomery Flagg saw me and asked me to pose for his illustrations of the movie-girl heroine of ‘The Skyrocket.’ That brought me a little fame. Then, a Warner Brothers scout saw my sister and me in ‘Scandals’ in Chicago, and we were suddenly drafted into pictures.” — Dolores Costello
With her sister Helene.
“I found myself playing opposite John Barrymore, in ‘The Sea Beast.’ I do not know what technique is. If I thought I had any, it would scare me. I am easily frightened. I was so nervous the week before I started in ‘The Sea Beast,’ and during the first week of my work, I just drank milk, that’s all. And now, being starred, I am more frightened than ever.” — Dolores Costello
Photo: The Sea Beast (1926). With Jack Wagner and John Barrymore.
“The Vitaphone has reached a stage of development which will call for a general weeding out process in the picture business. Those people who train their voices for the stage will remain on the screen. The others will find there is no place place for them in the ‘talkies.’ There will be no more phenomenal jumps from extra to star by mere chance or by winning a beauty contest. A star will be made only through intensive study and those who are not willing to devote their time to it will be compelled to drop out.” – Dolores Costello in 1928.
Her “quote” was ironic. In 1927, Motion Picture Magazine wrote “Doodness Dracious, Dolores!….Dolores Costello pursued by the villain about a table, lisping, ‘Merthy! Merthy! Perhapth you have a thister of your own.’ ” The same magazine later stated that she still struggled to overcome the new sound technology.
You see, Dolores had a speech impediment. Her granddaughter, Drew Barrymore, also has a lisp.
“If I had my way, I wouldn’t make the pictures I’m engaged upon now. I have to feel the roles I act, and sometimes, now, I am called upon to do such improbable things that I cannot feel them. I wonder if it was a mistake for me to star so soon?” — Dolores Costello
Source: Myrtle Gebhart (1928)
Photo: The Madonna of Avenue A (1929)
RAFT SAYS ‘NO’
Dolores Costello, on a set, was reading a Spanish newspaper. Its headlines proclaimed: Dolores Costello Amo El Romantissimo.
“Dolores Costello loves romances,” murmured George Raft, translating, then turned to mutter, “She’s as cold as a Siberian icicle.”
Source: McNaught Syndicate (1936)
Photo: Yours for the Asking (1936)
Photo: Yours for the Asking (1936). With George Raft.