The winner by overwhelming margin was Hollywood gossip, courtesy of Masseuse to the Stars Madame Sylvia. I found this really cool book, Hollywood Undressed: Observations of Sylvia Ullback as noted by her Secretary in the library. Unfortunately when I looked into purchasing a copy for myself, the cheapest one I could find was over $400, so naturally I won't be buying it anytime soon.
Sylvia working her magic
We will hear more about Sylvia herself later, but I will start out with a few tidbits today. Please keep in mind that this book is from 1931, so the stars we will be hearing about were famous in the 1920s and 1930s.
What I found out to be most interesting when I tried to find out info about the book and Madame Sylvia was that even though she was quite a famous masseuse, virtually nothing is known about her life. Many things I have read seem to confuse Sylvia (the masseuse) and restaurant owner Sylvia Wu. They are very different, so I am not quite sure what information is true.
The Glamorous Madame Sylvia
Hollywood Undressed, is about the exploits of the stars, and Sylvia's interaction with them. Much of it interesting, frustrating, and some quite juicy. This book is written from the perspective of Sylvia's secretary, but from what I was able to find out - Sylvia penned it herself. This was designed, apparently, to protect Sylvia's relationship with her clients and from libel.
Some Sylvia tidbits for today:
Sylvia paddled Jean Harlow on the rear for being hefty
Sylvia swatted an unnamed talkie star for being fat and not fitting into her gowns. As Sylvia says "The fat comes out through the pores like mashed potato through a colander"
And what did Madame Sylvia charge for her "beatings"? A mere $15
Tomorrow we will hear all about Sylvia's relationship with Marie Dressler.
P.S. - Thanks for all the well wishes. It will take some time, but hubby and I are on the mend.