We have almost come full circle now, from the days of Olive Thomas. The contrast with today's celebrities starts with the idealization of Olive's sad, yet knowing, look, pale skin and thin lips. But more significantly, her life story stands in sharp contrast to current celebrities. Today, most stars make a spectacle, and indeed become stars, by degrading themselves. Olive, in the beginning of the 19th century fought poverty with her body. And we are talking poverty here, as in life or death. From child prostitute (or something like it) to model to Ziegfield girl, and finally, wife of one of the most famous actors of his time, Jack Pickford (brother of Mary). Olive's image was scrubbed clean and she became America's sweetheart, sweet and serious.
The wild couple took some time off from their hard living ways and went on a little tour to Europe (Paris and London). After a night on the town, Olive accidentally ingested her husband's syphilis medication (liquid mercury) and died a few days later. Shortly before her accident, she had a sitting with Vargas who later completed his work naming it "Remembering Olive".
flickr, tumblr, liebemarlene.blogspot.com