10 Things You Should Know About Janet Gaynor

Janet Gaynor‘s 112th birthday is timed perfectly, what with the third remake of the film for which she won an Oscar, A Star Is Born (1937), opening this weekend. Here are 10 things you should know about Gaynor, who was a huge star in the late 1920s and into the ’30s.

By the way, Gaynor’s A Star Is Born, in which she stars opposite Fredric March, is available via a number of streaming services: Amazon Prime, FilmStruck, Kanopy, Fandor and (with ads) Tubi TV. You could do much worse in priming yourself for the new remake than to watch the original on Gaynor’s birthday.

Jack Benny slept here

Though we’re committed New Yorkers, we woulnd’t mind a bit spending a few weeks — perhaps even a few months — a year in Los Angeles. We even find ourselves daydreaming about the City of Angels from time to time.

And yet, we came around slowly on L.A. Our first couple of visits were enjoyable enough, but we didn’t find the city particularly engaging. After three week-long sojourns there over the past six or seven years, though, we’ve been won over.

We view the city through a movie buff’s eye, primarily, and spend our time motoring about checking out movie stars’ homes, vintage movie palaces, and locations for favorite classic pictures (though we’re also happy just puttering through the various old neighborhoods south of the Hollywood hills — we love the residential architecture in old L.A.).

We didn’t snap the photos shared below; we bought them at a flea market some years back. They’re snapshots taken around Hollywood and its environs back in the day How old they are, exactly, we’re not sure — we’re inclined to think they’re from the late 1930s, but we’re open to guesses from you, gentle readers. (For larger views, just click the images.)


Fred Astaire’s home

Jack Benny’s home

Claudette Colbert’s home

Sam Goldwyn’s home

Norma Shearer’s home

Robert Taylor’s home

Mary Pickford and Douglas
Fairbanks’ Pickfair

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre