John Wagstaff as Popeye

John Wagstaff – face contortionist

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John Wagstaff as Popeye in 1935.   From Life Magazine (Oct. 4, 1937) : Sirs: Enclosed find photos of a friend, Mr. John Wagstaff of this city, who has a face that he can readily screw into various positions and shapes. He does not use any artificial makeup or teeth removing. It’s just a natural […]

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Dick Walker Lion Tamer

Dick Walker – Jungleland Lion Tamer

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“They would murder me if they thought I was afraid of them. And I’ll tell you the truth – I am. Man, when I’m in there with those cats, I’m acting.” — Dick Walker, the resident lion tamer at Jungleland in Thousand Oaks. Here he is in 1960, preparing for an appearance at a fair […]

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Aimee Semple McPherson

Aimee Semple McPherson

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“It’s for your good! You have no business being sick – everyone of you should get well and get up and go to work, huh? Get up and go to work and earn some money and help send the gospel out! Amen!” — Sister Aimee Semple McPherson   AIMEE HORRIFIED BY PARIS NIGHT LIFE: CALLS […]

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May Betteridge – Los Angeles Pinup Model

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May Isabel Betteridge (1905-1984) was one of the most photographed models in Los Angeles from 1927-1935.  She later became an amateur archaeologist. She was born in Rhode Island in 1905. Her father, John Thomas Betteridge, came to the U.S. from Ireland and her mother, Mary, immigrated from Britain. The Betteridges married in Massachusetts and had […]

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Jim Tully

Jim Tully – Hollywood Hobo Writer

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“I have no whine at fate. I began with nothing and have ended with more money than is good for one. . . I write because I love to. . . I have perhaps less academic training than any man who has ever succeeded at writing in America. . . I will never be the […]

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Al D Blake

Al D. Blake – the silent film actor who became a spy

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Al D. Blake, posing with a female mannequin on Hollywood Boulevard in 1938.  Alva Davis Blake (aka Al D. Blake) is a man of mystery. He was born in Manitou, Colorado on March 31, 1887. His father ran restaurants and hotels while his mother took care of the house. Young Al had two older brothers. The […]

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Pearl Sindelar

Pearl Sindelar: the Silent Star Who Became a Cult Leader

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Bizarre Personalities, Silent Film Stars

“Why, the name ‘Sindelar’ is that of my husband….He’s a commercial artist and we have the nicest studio apartment; it’s on 42nd Street. And Charles does the loveliest work. “ — Pearl Sindelar Source: Mabel Condon (1913) “I’m striving to reach that ‘something else’ because I like the work so well. I’ve been with the […]

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Wanda Capek

Bizarre Tales: Wonder Woman Wanda Capek

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‘Wonder Woman’ Routs 2 Intruders’  by Mark Gerrard  LOS ANGELES TIMES June 3, 1981 — The two strange men looked plenty suspicious to Wanda Capek, 70-year-old teacher at a parochial school in Hollywood, when she returned home Tuesday and found them in her backyard. “There was a big guy carrying a big TV and a […]

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Gloria Goodwin

Gloria Goodwin: ‘Masher’ Smasher

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  How Gloria Goodwin busted male ‘vamps’ on the streets of Los Angeles in 1922. For this article, I merged excerpts from The Star Press (December 15, 1922) and The Morning Call (February 18, 1923) to make one article. I am not the author of the article, but I felt that it was important, from an […]

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Armless Aviatrix

Bizarre Tales: The Armless Aviatrix

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Bizarre Tales: The Armless Aviatrix DEATH VICTOR OVER AVIATRIX Girl Born Without Arms Loses Life in Plane Crash ABILENE, Tex., September 28, 1929 (UP) – Death wrote the last entry in the aerial log book of Miss Josephine Callaghan, who distinguished herself as an aviatrix despite the fact she was born with clumsy stumps instead […]

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