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Classic Female Halloween Pin-ups! Hollywood Style!

Updated on November 11, 2016
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A love of classic Hollywood and Halloween inspired this short visual listing of stars and starlets getting into the Halloween spirit.

Halloween and Hollywood: A Wonderful Combination!

Halloween and Hollywood make a lovely pair. In a world that loves to play make believe and dress-up, Halloween was (still is) the perfect excuse for lovely female celebrities to don season appropriate costumes and pose for pin-ups that were used for publicity shots and even promotional material for up their up coming movies.

Many of these poses were the traditional cheesecake variety, while others were just for the fun of it. Ava Gardner, Betty Grable, Janet Leigh are just a few of the lovely actresses who posed for these vintage poses.

Pier Angeli

  • Born in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy as Anna Maria Pierangeli she made her movie debut in 1950 in De Sica in Domani è troppo tardi.
  • Hollywood discovered her and MGM launched her career in 1951 starring her in the Fred Zinneman directed film, Teresa. She was under contract with MGM for most of the 1950s getting to work with many handsome Hollywood leading men like Stewart Granger, Kirk Douglas, Paul Newman.
  • When MGM signed Leslie Caron to their roster, Pier was loaned out to various studios like Columbia and Warner Brothers and Paramount. Her last film under her MGM contract was Merry Andrew starring Danny Kaye.
  • During the 60s and 70s, she lived and worked in Europe. She was cast in the film The Godfather, but passed away before filming began of an accidental barbiturate overdose. She was only 36 years old and was buried in France.
  • Was romantically involved with James Dean for a short period but broke of their relationship to marry Vic Damone. Their marriage lasted for four years and produced a son, Perry. During the divorce, the couple engaged in a very public child custody battle.
  • Her twin sister Marisa Pavan was also an actress.
  • Her sister Marisa won an Academy Award for her work in the film The Rose Tattoo , the role that Pier was to play but couldn't.

Nancy Carroll

  • Nancy Carroll, born Ann Veronica Lahiff in New York City, was an American actress who began her career on Broadway and eventually moved into the movie industry making her first film, Ladies Must Dress in 1927.
  • In 1928 she made a number of films, but one in particular, Easy Come, Easy Go made her into a star. She was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress in 1930.
  • While under contract with Paramount Pictures, she gained a bit of a reputation for being temperamental and difficult to deal with because she simply refused to take just any role offered to her. She was eventually released from her contract.
  • In 1938 she retired from the movie business and went back to the stage. In the 50s and 60s she did mostly television work.
  • Was one of 12 children.
  • Married writer F. Bolton Mallory on June 1, 1932 in Connecticut and filed for divorce, citing cruelty and non support, in September of 1935 stating that she had not heard or seen anything of Mallory since he left Hollywood in 1934. Mallory was said to be residing in Mexico at the time of Carroll's filing. (1)
  • She died at age 61 on August 6, 1965 from a aneurysm.


(1) "Divorce Suit Filed By Nancy Carroll." The Reading Eagle 5 Sept. 1935: 15. Print.

Cyd Charisse

  • Born Tula Ellice Finklea on March 8, 1922.
  • Suffered from polio at age six. Began to take dancing lessons in hopes of strengthening the muscles in her legs. It worked, by age 12 she was studying ballet.
  • In 1943 she had one of her first film roles in Something to Shout About, but her first speaking part came in the film The Harvey Girls in 1946, starring Judy Garland.
  • Perhaps she is best remembered as being dancing partner to both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. When the movie musical began to fade in popularity, she retired from dancing, but did continue to act in both film and television.
  • Charisse passed away at age 86 of a heart attack on June 17, 2008.

Etchika Choureau

  • Born as Jeannie Paulette Verret in Paris in 1929 (some sources list her birth year as 1923 or possibly 1933).
  • Married Max Choureau when she was 19 years old.
  • Enrolled in the Paris Conservatory of Arts and was discovered by actor Alain Cuny who talked her into accepting a role in the Italian film The Vanquished in 1953.
  • Divorced her husband in 1953, but kept his last name as her stage name.
  • She starred in two more film in 1953,The Other Side of Paradise and Children of Love. She would go on to make nine more films in Italy, Germany and France.
  • In 1957 she came to Hollywood and landed the lead in two war films at Warner Brothers; Darby's Rangers which co stared James Garner and Lafaytette Escadrille costarring Tab Hunter. Rumor had it that Hunter was deeply smitten with Etchika, but wasn't allowed by the studio to pursue the relationship.
  • She then engaged in a long time affair with Moulay Hassan II, the Crown Prince of Morocco and retired from the screen. Their affair ended when Hassan was named King of Morroco after His Majesty Mohammed V died.
  • Tried to make a come back in 1961, after being away from the screen for four years, but the magic just didn't seem to be there anymore and she retired permanently having appeared in only 17 films total.

Ava Gardner

  • Born Ava Lavinia Gardner on December 24, 1922.
  • Was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood and talented as well, winning an Oscar nomination for best actress in the film Mogambo (1953).
  • Married actor Mickey Rooney in 1942 when she was 19, the marriage lasted one year.
  • Married Artie Shaw in 1945 which as another short-lived marriage lasting one year.
  • Married a third and final time to Frank Sinatra from 1951-57.
  • Gardner died at age 67 of pneumonia on January 25, 1990 and is buried in Sunset Memorial Park, Smithfield, North Carolina.

Paulette Goddard

  • A child model, Broadway actress, a Ziegfeld Girl and Academy Award nominated actress of the 1940s.
  • Her career began as an uncredited actress in 1929 at the age of 19. She had minor roles in the Laurel and Hardy short, Berth Marks and in the drama The Locked Door. In 1932 she became a Goldwyn Girl ( a stock company of female dancers hired by Samuel Goldwyn) and worked in the film The Kid From Spain. She and Goldwyn didn't see eye to eye and she spent some time working for Hal Roach and starring in a variety of his films, many of which were uncredited appearances, over the next four years.
  • She married Charlie Chaplin in 1936 and starred in his hit movie Modern Times. The success of the film allowed her to sign with film producer David O. Selznick who put her in the film The Young and Heart and then loaned her out to MGM for two films; (1938) Dramatic School which failed at the box office and (1939) The Women which was a success.
  • She signed with Paramount and starred in the 1939 Bob Hope film The Cat and the Canary and in 1940, she starred with husband Chaplin in the film The Great Dictator. She and Chaplin split amicably and finally divorced in 1942.
  • In 1943 she received her only Oscar nomination (for Best Supporting Actress) for her role in So Proudly We Hail. She married actor Burgess Meredith in 1944 and worked with him in the 1946 film The Diary of a Chambermaid. The couple divorced in 1949.
  • She would work in a few more movies during the latter part of the 40's and did some work on television in the 50s.
  • She retired from acting in 1958 when she married her fourth and final husband Erich Maria Remarque who died in 1971.
  • Paulette died in Switzerland April 23, 1990 at age 79.

Betty Grable

  • Betty's career began in 1930 and she would have very small uncredited parts in several films, before getting a part in the 1932 film Probation, which was her first credited role.
  • She would spend the rest of the decade starring in a variety of small roles in many B films and finally in 1938, she got her first starring role in the film Campus Confessions.
  • Betty was married to Jackie Coogan from 1937 to 1939. Coogan would gain fame as Uncle Fester in the 60s sitcom The Addams Family.
  • By 1940, though, she had had enough of Hollywood and decided to retire, when a lucky break came her way that ended off getting her a contract with 20th Century Fox.
  • In 1940, she replaced ailing star Alice Faye in the film Down Argentina Way. The movie was a success and Betty was on her way to being a major star and the 1940s proved to be a successful decade for Betty in terms of films.
  • By the time the 50s began her career was starting to run out of steam and she would make just eight films, with the last being How to Be Very Very Popular in 1955. This film originally was meant to star Betty with Marilyn Monroe, whom she had worked with in How to Marry a Millionaire, but Monroe refused the part saying the script was of poor quality. Instead another up and coming blond sex symbol, Sheree North was her co-star. The film did moderately well at the box office and Betty was praised for her work, but Sheree didn't fare as well.
  • Her legs had been insured by her studio for 1 million dollars with Lloyds of London.
  • Her career began at age 12, when her mother, using false identification papers got her a job as a chorus girl.
  • Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, said Betty was his inspiration for creating the magazine.
  • Grable died of lung cancer at age 56 on July 2, 1973. She is buried at the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California

Joyce Holden

  • Born Jo Ann Heckert on September 1, 1930
  • While attending college she tried out for a part in The Ed Wynn Show and won a 13 week contract. This was her first break.
  • Steve Allen then gave her a small part in the film Down Memory Lane.
  • She studied singing, dancing and elocution.
  • Universal cast her in the Jimmy Durante film The Milkman, she was 20 years old.
  • Won several beauty contests including Miss Southern California and Miss Television.
  • Her agent claimed that she set a record for the number of kisses received in one day, a total of 602 as numerous actors auditioned with her in order to be cast in a Universal movie with her. Actor Dick Long won the audition. (Actress Piper Laurie dropped to second place with a total of 524 kisses in one day!)
  • Married song writer Arnold Stanford, 16 years her senior in June of 1951. The couple divorced in 1955.
  • Married David P. Mannhalter in 1958 and they are still married.

Janet Leigh

  • Her film debut was in the 1947 The Romance of Rosy Ridge and she would get top billing in the Lassie film Hills of Home in 1948.
  • Many quality roles followed: Little Women and Holiday Affair, both in 1949. Jet Pilot with John Wayne started filming in 1949 and finished in 1953. The film itself wasn't released until 1957, because Howard Hughes who produced it, kept it out of circulation as he edited it and re-edited it repeatedly, something that he, or at least rumor had it, did to many of the films he was involved with.
  • Throughout the 50s, Janet proved to be a very versatile actress, working in comedy, musicals, and westerns.
  • Her most famous role, came in 1960 when she portrayed the ill-fated Marion Crane in the Hitchcock thriller, Psycho. The role won her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
  • She would continue to make appearances in film and TV with her last movie appearance being in the 2005 Bad Girls from Valley High.
  • Janet died at age 77 on October 3, 2004.

Bessie Love

  • Juanita Horton who would become actress Bessie Love was born in Midland Texas on September 10, 1898. Her silent screen career began in 1915 when director D.W. Griffith (who was also responsible for giving her her screen name) cast her in a role in his classic film, Birth of a Nation. He would cast her again in his 1916 film, Intolerance.
  • She was one of the few silent screen actors to transaction smoothly into "talkies" and in 1929 she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in The Broadway Melody, but by 1932, her film career was in decline so she moved to England where she worked on films and stage, with an occasional role back in the US.
  • Bessie died in London of natural causes on April 26, 1986 at the age of 87.

Myrna Loy

  • Myrna's career began in the silent film era. She tested for the lead role in Cobra a film produced by Rudolph Valentino. She didn't get the part, but she did manage to find work as an extra in the 1925 film Pretty Ladies. In 1925 she had a small role in the film What Price Beauty. It remained unreleased for three years, but publicity photos of Myra in her film's costume appeared in fan magazines which caught the attention of folks at Warner Brothers who gave her a contract.
  • Her silent film roles were mostly that of a vamp or femme fatale. She also found herself typecast as characters who were Asian or Eurasian and this took years of hard work to break away from.
  • Her career took an upswing when she was cast as Nora Charles in the classic 1934 film The Thin Man with William Powell. She almost didn't get the part because the studio believed her to be a dramatic actress who wouldn't be able to do comedy. The film's producer W. S. Van Dyke kept insisting on her and the studio gave in. The Thin Man was a success and Myra and William would go on to star in 14 films together, making them one of Hollywood's most popular movie pairings.
  • When World War II broke out, she all but abandoned her career and started to work with the Red Cross. She helped to run the Naval Auxiliary Canteen.
  • She returned to her movie career in 1945 doing another Thin Man movie as well as starring in The Best Years of Our Lives in 1946, a movie role that she always considered her best work.
  • She acted sporadically in theater, film and television from the 50s to the 70's and her last role was a spot on the television series, Love, Sidney in 1982.
  • She died at age 88 in New York City on December 14, 1993.

Ann Miller

  • Ann got a contract at RKO when she was just 13 (having told them she was 18). She stayed with the studio till 1940.
  • In 1941 she signed with Columbia Studios and worked in 11 B grade movies between 1941-45.
  • In 1948, she gained famed working in the Easter Parade, a Fred Astaire musical. She also had success in the 1948 film On the Town and Kiss Me Kate in 1953.
  • Her movie career ended in 1956, but she kept busy in television and theater. In 1969 she appeared on Broadway in Mame and in 1979 in Sugar Babies.
  • Suffered from a case of rickets at age five. Her mother enrolled her in dance classes believing it would strengthen her legs.
  • Born Johnnie Lucille Collier. Her father wanted a son and insisted on the name Johnnie.
  • Her father, John Alfred Collier was an attorney who represented Machine Gun Kelly, Baby Face Nelson and other notable gangsters.
  • Was discovered by Lucille Ball and talent agent Benny Rubin while she worked as a dancer at the Black Cat Club in San Francisco.
  • Ann died on January 22, 2004 from lung cancer.

Ruth Roman

  • Ruth fell in love with acting at a very young age. In 1945, she headed to New York to get work on Broadway, when it didn't prove to be that easy, she found she had to take work as model and her image appeared on covers of detective magazines. She eventually found herself in California and managed to get a contract with Warner Brothers and worked in such films as Good Sam with Gary Cooper in 1948, Strangers on a Train in 1951, The Far Country in 1954.
  • The movie industry was in a bit of a panic during the early 50's with the advent of television. It was thought by studio heads that television was just a fad and would fade from view, but that didn't happen. But, Ruth did make her share of films but sadly, her career seemed to lose steam and she faded from view.
  • She made a big comeback of sorts when she was a passenger on the ill fated ship, the Andrea Doria in 1956. She managed to get her young son, Dickey, off the ship by putting him on a life boat. She told him that he was going on a picnic. Eventually, Ruth was able to get off the boat, too, being rescued by the SS Ile de France and ended up in New York where she was reunited with her son, who had been taken aboard the Stockholm.
  • Ruth passed away September 9, 1999 at age 76.


  • Born Maila Nurmi (rhymes with wormy) on December 11, 1922 in Finland.
  • In a 1954 interview she described herself as having been a "spook ever since she was born. I have always been odd, fanatic, and interested in the macabre."
  • She came to the US at a young age and worked at a variety of jobs including being an apprentice engraver, a hat check girl, and New York City's first female bell hop.
  • In 1949 she made her way to Hollywood and worked as a dancer, a pin-up model, a photographer's assistant.
  • She married Dean Riesner a successful writer in 1949. The couple eventually divorced and she would marry two more times.
  • On Broadway she worked in the Mike Todd show Spook Scandals, a musical. For publicity for the show, she wrapped herself in a lavender shroud and lay in a coffin in the lobby.
  • Reportedly had personal stationary that showed her resting on a coffin.
  • In 1953, the character of Morticia Addams, a Charles Addams creation is what inspired Maila to create her famous Vampira persona. Her husband, Dean Riesner came up with the name and she admitted that he was, at times, embarrassed by her act.
  • On May 1, 1954, The Vampira Show premiered on KABC-TV. It lasted until 1955, and she retained the rights to the character.
  • On January 10, 2008, passed away at age 85 of natural causes.

Martha Vickers

  • Discovered by David O. Selznick after seeing her photos in an article about photo lighting. He gave her a contract the "forgot" about her. She spent a year taking diction lessons and study how to "sit prettily".
  • She then tried for a contract at Universal where for six months she had a small role in Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman. Then tried for a contract at RKO.
  • Finally was contacted by Howard Hawks who was searching for an actress to play Lauren Bacall's little sister in the 1946 film The Big Sleep.
  • A 1947 newspaper article cited Vickers as preparing to give up acting in order to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer and editor. (1)
  • Married to Mickey Rooney from 1949 to 1951, the couple had one son.
  • Vickers married Manuel Rojas in 1954, the couple had two children. They divorced in 1965.
  • Vickers passed away at age 46 in 1971.


(1) Archerd, Armand. "Martha Vickers and Geo. Raft to Give Up Acting Careers." The Reading Eagle 14 Sept. 1947: 27. Print.

© 2014 Glory Miller


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