Hollywood Undressed: Observations of Sylvia, as Noted by Her Secretary

By: Sylvia

Price: $60.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good


(no dust jacket) [spine moderately turned, fading/rubbing to spine (lettering almost unreadable), top front corner bumped, one-time owner's modest embossed library stamp on both endpapers, vintage bookseller's label (Satyr Book Shop, Hollywood) on rear pastedown]. A sort-of biography of "Madame Sylvia" (real name, Sylvia Ulback, nee Symnove Johanne Waaler), a Norwegian-born masseuse-cum-dietary/fitness guru to the stars, who during her years in Hollywood (1926-1931) seemingly laid hands on just about every female star of any standing (and a few males too), at least if this furiously name-dropping account is given full credence. Her client list at various times included Marie Dressler, Gloria Swanson, Norma Shearer, Ina Claire (whose husband, James Whitaker, purportedly ghost-wrote the tome, despite its claim to be narrated by her secretary), Norma Talmadge, Ramon Novarro, Ruth Chatterton, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Marion Davies, ZaSu Pitts and numerous others. Part One (about two-thirds of the book) essentially dishes dirt on many of her clients, to the extent that columnist Louella Parsons (who as far as we know was NOT a client) was moved to write that "perhaps no one has ever played Hollywood quite as mean a trick as the woman who came here and made her money taking care of the stars and then turned around and wrote the cruelest articles about them that have ever been written." The last one-third of the book turns to practical advice on diet and exercise, including a number of diets named after the stars for whom they were designe: the Gloria Swanson Diet, the Mae Murray Diet, the Constance Bennett Diet, etc. (One of the lesser stars who is cited as a Sylvia client was Carmelita Geraghty, notable in this instance because this particular copy of the book was once part of the library of her husband, writer Carey Wilson, identified as such by the embossed library stamp on both endpapers.)

Title: Hollywood Undressed: Observations of Sylvia, as Noted by Her Secretary

Author: Sylvia

Categories: *NEW ARRIVALS,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: New York, Brentano's: 1931

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Seller ID: 23878

Keywords: Movie Stars Actresses Biography Fitness Diet