Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Douglas Fairbanks, Sr is considered to be one of the earliest of the film greats and has on many occasions been referred to as The King of Hollywood. This was until Mr Gable came along to usurp his throne. He is remembered best for his swashbuckling roles in early silent films as well as being a prolific director and producer.

He will also be remembered for his role as founder of a major studio, United Artists as well as the Motion Picture Academy.

Married at one time to another Hollywood great, Mary Pickford, they lived together as Hollywood royalty in the famous estate known as "Pickfair". They married in 1920 and separated in 1933. They had a son that grew up to be another famous actor in his own right, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Douglas Fairbanks appeared in some very memorable films of the silent era including Robin Hood (1922), The Three Musketeers (1921), The Thief of Bagdad (1924), The Black Pirate (1926), and The Gaucho (1927). His stamina, strength and death defying stunts on screen established him as one of the great swashbucklers of the early screen.

This costume piece was worn by Fairbanks in the film “The Private Life of Don Juan” (1934). Produced by Alexander Korda, this was to be his final film appearance.

The costume consists of two pieces being a royal blue velvet jacket and pants. The jacket features wide satin lapels with intricate design including tassels and buttons, which can also be found on the trousers. Costumes were designed by Oliver Messel. Messel, a designer predominanty for the stage, is also rememeber for his designs in the MGM classic “Romeo and Juliet” with Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard.

The Private Life of Don Juan is a British comedy-drama film about the life of an aging Don Juan. The film also starred Merle Oberon.

At the age of 56 in 1939 Fairbanks suffered a heart attack in his sleep and died shortly thereafter.

1 comment:

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