All Dolled Up

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Forget about celebrity websites. Only paper likenesses would do back in the day.

Cary Grant was the height of movie-star elegance and sophistication, which makes this attempt to promote the actor and his films a bit comical.

Wish you had a scissors handy? Paper dolls of Cary Grant and other movie stars of the forties, first published by Screen Life magazine, now reside on campus. Courtesy of the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research.

Grant wasn’t the only Hollywood star to be immortalized in paper- doll form in Screen Life magazine during the forties; the “Star Dolls” series also featured Judy Garland and Ginger Rogers, among others. Grant’s paper likeness now makes its home within the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research’s vast collection, alongside fellow doll Bette Davis.

The doll, printed on thicker paper as an insert to the movie magazine, presents the star in his skivvies with a choice of costumes from some of his memorable screen roles. Grant’s sartorial options, shown here clockwise from top right, included outfits from the films Only Angels Have Wings, Penny Serenade, The Howards of Virginia, and The Philadelphia Story, released the year before the paper doll first appeared.

 

The dolls were the work of Jacques Kapralik, one of the best-known caricaturists in Hollywood in the forties and fifties, who started out with Paramount and 20th Century Fox before spending twenty years at MGM.

It’s hard to imagine Will Smith or Angelina Jolie in this format, but then again, they both have their own action figures.

Published in the Spring 2012 issue

Tags: Film

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