Louise Brooks — The stunning tastemaker of the ’20s & ’30s, who made women everywhere chop their hair, and created the bold and wildly popular “flapper girl” movement. Louise Brooks’ dark and exotic looks drew a throng of faithful followers that continues to this day. Early on her onscreen talent was often criticized for being somewhat lackluster– but all that changed with a trip to Berlin. Director G.W. Pabst cast her in two films– Pandora’s Box (1928), and Diary of a lost Girl (1929), that not only cast all doubts about her talent, it also rose her following to cult status.
Brooks, who was known to be strongly independent, and unliked by Hollywood’s elite for not always being the submissive woman expected of her, was beckoned back to Hollywood to record sound retakes for The Canary Murder Case (1929). She flatly refused. Many in Hollywood blacklisted her for her defiance– and in a final act of independence she decidedly ended her own acting career in 1938. She flirted with a comeback, but by 1946, she was a sales girl at Saks Fifth Avenue making $40-a-week. She went on to become an accomplished painter and writer– publishing several novels, including her own biography