Rosie Dolly’s Divorce February 1931

Published February 11, 2013 by Gary Chapman

Rosie Dolly was at her villa at Saint-Jean on the exclusive Cap Ferrat, on the Rieviera, when her divorce from Mortimer Davis Junior became final in February 1931. A large settlement was made out of court, estimated at the original quoted sum of $2 million in lieu of alimony.

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The Dolly Sisters in New York, February 1922

Published February 8, 2013 by Gary Chapman

The Dolly Sisters arrived back in New York in early February 1922, following a two-year stay in Europe for a short vaudeville engagement.

They installed themselves in a magnificent duplex apartment at 33 West 67th Street that belonged to a film magnate of international popularity who had just departed on a European trip. They had brought a portable bar from London and, with no regard for prohibition, shook their cocktail shakers and offered their guests a range of delectable concoctions.

The Dollies had arrived, newly divorced, with forty-two dance numbers and forty-two changes of costume for their limited vaudeville engagement of five weeks at the Palace Theatre and two other Keith theatres each week. The productions were staged by Kuy Kendall, whom they had befriended when they appeared together at the Shuberts’ Midnight Revue in 1918.

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The Dolly Sisters last public performance together

Published February 8, 2013 by Gary Chapman

On 7 February 1928, the Dolly Sisters made their last public performance together and their only public appearance that year on the Riviera at the Ambassadeurs restaurant, part of the Casino in Cannes, in a charity gala in aid of local charities.

The excitement was such that one report announced ‘the event promises to be the biggest of the season’. Dressed by their old favourite, Patou, who was in the audience with Jacques Wittouck (one of Jenny’s suitors) and Mortimer Davis Junior (Rosie’s husband), the Dollies wore white diamante hooped dresses festooned with pink roses, head-dresses flaunting huge pink feathers and little black gloves.

Their entrance was greeted with keen applause, and after dancing they put up for auction a black and diamond vanity case, which was sold first for $2,000), then returned and sold again for $1,200. In total they raised $5,200, which was given to local charities.

Dollies in Cannes

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Jenny Dolly in Honeymoon Express, February 1913

Published February 6, 2013 by Gary Chapman

The Shubert show, The Honeymoon Express, was launched on 6 February 1913 at the Winter Garden Theatre, New York starring Gaby Deslys, Harry Pilcer, Al Jolson and also featured Jenny Dolly and Harry Fox (who she would later marry). It also had some catchy, bright music by Jean Schwartz, Rosie Dolly’s future husband.

According to Sime of Variety Jenny Dolly ‘looked really sweet’ in her two gowns designed by Melville Ellis ‘and showed up the overdressed Gaby, who came after.’

Finally, after a performance comprised entirely of the understudies, Sime decided that Jenny in Gaby’s role was better and observed slyly: ‘to state she was good would be putting it mildly . . . should Miss Deslys ever, through illness or other causes, miss a performance, there is a treat in store.’

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The Dolly Sisters: Icons of the Jazz Age out now in paperback and e-book versions
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The Dollies visit Cannes for the first time in February 1923

Published February 5, 2013 by Gary Chapman

In early February 1923, the Dolly Sisters, left Paris for their first excursion to the French Riviera. Eugene Cornuche, who ran the Deauville Casino, also owned the Cannes casino and had secured the Dollies for Cannes  after their success at the Deauville Casino the previous summer.

When the Dolly Sisters arrived, some thought that their ostentatious display of jewellery and their frivolous behaviour were vulgar and struck a rather discordant note. It was a commonly held view that many ex-actressess and dancers had often succeeded in overcoming their lack of breeding, but the Dolly Sisters were regarded as quite a different story. ‘They were brash in a new and disconcerting way – very modern and indiscreet and quite unbearably nouveau riche.’

The well-bred English visitors returning home began to wonder whether the Riviera was becoming overrun with undesirables. The Dollies were not, however, the only undesirables. They were part and parcel of a new type of visitor to the Riviera, one that the old guard clearly despised – Americans!

Dollies in Cannes

 

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Spring time on the Riviera

Published February 5, 2013 by Gary Chapman
In late January or early February the Dolly Sisters, like so many other migratory birds, flocked to the Riviera and Cannes in particular, where they settled down in the plush Carlton Hotel and the luxurious Casino containing the fashionable Ambassadeurs hotel.

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The Dolly Sisters: Icons of the Jazz Age out now in paperback and e-book versions
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Mr Selfridge moves house February 1921

Published February 5, 2013 by Gary Chapman

In February 1921 Selfridge moved from Portman Square to Lansdowne House on the south side of Berkeley Square, Mayfair (now the Lansdowne Club), paying a rent of $25,000 a year.

The Dolly Sisters: Icons of the Jazz Age out now in paperback and e-book versions
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