Secrets From The Golden Age Of Hollywood

August 25, 2022

Ursula Andress' Bikini Scene Was Iconic, Though She Wore Even Less In The Novel

In colorized photos from Hollywood's Golden Age, we see the stars we know as we might have encountered them in in the flesh. History doesn't have to stay in black-and-white; thanks to modern technology we glimpse the vivid tones of silk, satin, and velvet; the ruby red lipstick and glint of blue eyes staring back at us. The medium of the day, whether photographs or celluloid, was limited to blacks, whites and greys, but the spirit of the age was one of vibrant color. Take a look at these eternal stars, and brush up on some facts you didn't know, while drinking in the luxury and fantasy of the bygone Golden Age of Hollywood. You might just learn something as you feast your eyes on sights seen anew.

For instance, you may have seen the famous picture of Sophia Loren giving Jayne Mansfield the side-eye -- the setting was a party thrown by Paramount Pictures in Beverly Hills in 1957. Mansfield is all but spilling out of her dress, and -- in the most famous picture from that moment -- Loren looks none too thrilled. Loren says she felt Mansfield was about to "explode" out of her clothes, and that, out of the many pictures snapped that evening, the famous "side-eye" photo is "the one that shows how it was."

Ursula Andress and Sean Connery. Source: Imgur

The first Bond Girl, Ursula Andress played Honey Rider in 1962's Dr. No, and set a high bar. The shot of her emerging from the water in her white bikini with a white British army belt remains the most iconic Bond-girl moment of all time, according to regular polls of viewers and critics. Andress designed the bikini herself, with Tessa Prendergast, the movie's costume director. 

She had little choice -- after arriving in Jamaica, she reportedly couldn't find anything in shops that fit her 5'6" 36-24-36 figure. Forgoing the bikini and just wearing the belt would have been more faithful to the source material; in Ian Fleming's novel, Honeychile Rider emerges from the surf wearing only the belt, and nothing else. It would have been a bit difficult to get a scene like that into a mainstream movie in 1962, though.

The Beautiful Joi Lansing Finally Found Love, With A Woman

Joi Lansing. Source: IMDB

On the set of Bigfoot (1970), a low-budget horror film that would turn out to be her last, she met a woman named Alexis Hunter. “Here I am in this monkey suit for such a low-budget stinker of a film," Hunter recalled. "They were gluing hair on my face, spray-painting me and applying these fake teeth. It was just awful. And in walks in this unbelievably beautiful human being." The pair quickly fell in love. But in the ‘60s, same-sex relationships were forbidden for celebrities, so the pair came up with a ruse, pretending that Hunter was Lansing’s “sister.” The couple enjoyed three years of blissful romance before Lansing’s tragic passing from breast cancer in 1972 at the young age of 44.