Just like to give everyone a quick reminder about my recent posts, since there seems to be some confusion. Per the vote, I'm doing a series of posts based on the observations of masseuse to the stars, Madame Sylvia, from her 1931 book Hollywood Undressed: Observations of Sylvia Ullback as noted by her Secretary. The stories involve her interactions with her famous clients and things she may have overheard and ventures she was a part of. Sorry if there is some confusion. Many of the aspects of the book can not be verified (except for things like who married whom), the majority is unverifiable because it is gossip and I haven't been able to get a hold of other sources to verify Sylvia's stories. Please keep that in mind when reading, but I am enjoying the gossip and learning about new people and I hope you all are too!
Hedda Hopper steered Norma Shearer to Sylvia. Norma was getting "stringy, muscular, and jumpy from playing a lot of tennis" (Hollywood Undressed, Page 117). Madame Sylvia's prescription was to give her a two hour massage.
Well, Norma and her hubby Irving Thalberg were upset because the day after the treatment from Madame Sylvia, Norma woke up with red ruffles all over her body, and they thought that Sylvia gave poor Norma paralysis!
Well, it turned out that Norma had slept on a towel and it got her skin all wrinkly. Even fabulous stars can make mistakes. Unfortunately, it took a while to convince Norma to let Sylvia treat her again.
Next up - Madame Sylvia's contract at Pathe Studios keeps her busy not only with stars, but executives too!