I stumbled across something fascinating that I had to share. A full digital copy of a 1924 magazine called Photoplay. You can download a PDF to read on your computer, or a Kindle edition or just read the whole thing online. Anyway, as I was browsing, I came across this headline of a story above. “Why I Have Never Married” – quite the attention grabber, right? So I read the woman’s account and found it quite interesting. (Click on the picture for an enlarged version, you may be able to read the entire article, though it’s small.)
Bebe Daniels was a famous actress of the day and a budding feminist – no, she didn’t march the picket lines for women’s rights, but she was outspoken about her desire to keep a career over getting a husband. She says, “I have contemplated marriage…but I would not give up my work for my marriage. It seems very difficult to reconcile a career and a husband. It’s so difficult for the man.” Bold statements for 1924 don’t you think? This got me thinking: how old was this poor old spinster when she wrote this? A quick Google search gave me my answer: she was (only!) 23 when she made these statements! How times have changed.
I did some more reading on Bebe Daniels and discovered she was a child actress, on stage at four years old and starring in her first movie by seven. She said, “Frankly, I would not give up my work for marriage. I have worked since I was seven years old. It is my life. I don’t see any fair reason why I should give it up.” Go girl! I’m sure she was quite the black sheep of her time, but I admire her drive and determination so much. I discovered that she did eventually marry, at the age of 29, and went on to have two children. Never say never :)
Oh also, I thought this little trivia fact was interesting: she had a lot of expensive jewelry stolen while visiting a hotel in Chicago once and one of her biggest fans, Al Capone, put word out on the street that whoever stole the jewelry had 24 hours to return it, “or else.” It was returned the next day. Ha! She had friends in low places too. What an interesting woman.