Nowadays when vintage Hollywood is mentioned the names of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean and Elvis tend to be the only names bought up! But the stories and careers of the lesser known stars are often more interesting and exciting . Patchwork Peggy's is not just an online vintage store selling clothing, costume jewellery and 1950s accessories. We're also here to bring you lots of information and fun facts on the vintage Hollywood stars that inspired this online vintage and retro shop. Without them and the enjoyment they gave, Peggy's wouldn't have the care and passion for all things vintage
This page is dedicated to them.
Steve Reeves started off as a professional body builder after winning 'Mr. Pacific Coast' in 1946. He added further titles to his name and then ultimately 'Mr. Universe' in 1950. The Victor Mature part in Samson & Delilah was originally offered to Mr. Reeves who turned it down as he was told he had to lose some of his herculean bulk. After appearing in small parts such as one of the Olympic Team in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, he was noticed in the part of Jane Powell's boyfriend in 'Athena' (1954) and offered the part of Hercules or 'Le Fatiche di Ercole" in Italy. Although the film was shaky in parts with poor soundtrack by the standards of the big U.S. movie studios, Steve Reeves became an overnight success and there began a career in Europe in similar bare chested and sandal epics. With 20 films to his movie career, Steve Reeves retired in 1968 to his Californian ranch and continued to promote healthy body building techniques until his death in 2000.
Maria Montez was the movie studios answer to arabian exotic glamour and escapism for the weary public who had been through the Great Depression and were currently enduring wartime bleakness and struggle with the Second World War. Universal Pictures were the front runners in providing their movie goers with far flung tales of damsels in distress, caliphs, wicked sisters and deadly cobras. Maria Montez was born Maria de Santo Silus in the Domican Republic in 1912. She travelled extensively to establish a stage career and found herself in New York where she became a model. In 1941 Universal, after offering her bit parts, realised her individual appeal and tended to play her opposite other 'exotic' actors to make good use of her striking looks and foreign accent. She became very popular with the public who lapped up the dramatic storylines and no doubt the possible glimpse of exotic flesh in the scantily clad costumes. She was not the greatest actor, nor could she sing or dance and once the Depression was long gone and WWII had finished her films of innocent escapism had had their day. Her and her husband Jean Pierre Aumont left Hollywood for Europe where she continued to appear in French , Italian and German adventure films. At the very young age of 39 she died in her bath after a suspected heart attack.
Marie Windsor's first western was in 'The Fighting Kentuckian' with John Wayne & Oliver Hardy. She starred in 'b' movies during the 1940s and her best work was usually in the category of 'film noir' and included one of her personal favourites 'The Narrow Margin' (1952) and the manipulative, scheming wife in 'The Killing' (1956). The attractive 5'9" actress was a stand in for Bette Davis in her early years and spent 25 years as a director for the Screen Actors Guild. She generally played adulterous wives, gang leaders or sassy girlfriends. In the 1950s she focused on television and appeared in a variety of shows, moving through the 70's - 90s. However, she continued to make big screen westerns including 'The Good Guys and the Bad Guys' with Burt Lancaster & Robert Mitchum (1969) and 'Support your Local Gunfighter' with the gorgeous James Garner (1971). This versatile actress has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame and she sadly died in 2000.
Macdonald Carey was born in 1913 in Iowa, USA. A handsome actor who usually played in 'b' movies or 'second features' with a movie career spanning 20 years. The man with the nickname 'The King of the B's' also starred in supporting roles in big 'A' pictures which included his role as the detective helping Teresa Wright and her suspicions of Uncle Charlie played by Joseph Cotten in Hitchcock's 'Shadow of a Doubt' (1943). He also starred with beautiful Betty Grable in a charming little film called 'Meet Me After the Show' (1951). He had success on Broadway and radio and his career moved into television where he became the well-known character in Days of our Lives, Dr. Tom Horton from 1965 to 1994. His well-recognised voice over at the beginning of the programme continued to be used after his death.