First Hollywood then Broadway

Here is an ad from the September 23 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

I find this ad fascinating because of the specificity of its claims:

  • Of the 521 important actresses in Hollywood, 511 use Lux.
  • 45 Hollywood directors think that the loveliest skin is important.
  • Lux is found in the dressing rooms of 71 of the 74 legitimate theaters in New York.

Which are the three rogue theaters? Who are the 10 nonconformist actresses? And how did they contact all 45 directors? More important than that: why did the copywriter choose those specific numbers?

Information on the three women who endorsed Lux in this ad (courtesy of Wikipedia, the go-to choice for the lazy researcher):

  • Constance Talmadge (1898-1973) was a silent film star, appearing in movies from 1914 to 1929. She and her two sisters, Natalie and Norma, mostly retired on the arrival of sound, and invested in real estate and business ventures. Sadly, all three sisters had problems with substance abuse and alcoholism later in life.
  • Dorothy Stone (1905-1974) grew up in a theatrical family: her father, Fred Stone, was in charge of a theatrical stock company. Her Broadway debut was with her father in Stepping Stones in 1923; she was apparently a big hit. She appeared on stage and in movies through the 1940s.
  • Isabel Jeans (1891-1985) was a British film and stage actress whose career on both sides of the Atlantic started in 1908 and lasted into the late 1960s.

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