Photographs by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

As featured in Town & Country, November 1922.

These pictures appeared in black and white in Vogue, November 15, 1922, under the title "The Long and Short of the New Mode in Street and Evening Wraps is Here Expressed," pg 68 and 69.
All colorization of these and subsequent photos by Tony Grillo.





These pictures appeared in black and white in Theatre magazine, December, 1922, under the title "Fashion as Interpreted by the Actress," pg 399 and 401.
All colorization of subsequent photos by Tony Grillo.




miniature, perhaps 5 inches in diameter, oil on canvas, illegibly signed, "Ambrose McEvoy?"


Centerfold color sheet from The Illustrated London News from 1925.


"Tallulah is a wicked archangel with her flowing ash-blonde hair and carven features. Her profile is perfectly Grecian, flow of line from forehead to nose like the head on a medallion. ... Medusa, very exotic, with a glorious skull, high pumice-stone cheek bones, and a broad brow, and was equally interesting sculpturally when ... plump as she now is cadaverously thin. Her cheeks are huge acid-pink peonies. Her eyelashes are built out with hot liquid paint to look like burned matches, and her sullen, discontented, rosebud mouth is painted the brightest scarlet, and is as shiny as Tiptree's strawberry jam."


Her Carboard Lover

In 1923 Bankhead starred in the London production of The Dancers. ... remained in London for eight years, appearing in more than a dozen plays--including Michael Arlen's The Green Hat (1925), Sidney Howard's They Knew What They Wanted (1926), The Lady of the Camelias and Rachel Crother's Let Us Be Gay! (1930)--all the while becoming a celebrity's celebrity. All five feet three inches of her became, for eight teeming years....a West End cult!

But, let's not forget that Ms. B was also featured in a lot of clinkers. During her second production in London, a vehicle entitled Conchita, in which Tallulah played a sultry Cuban dancer, ... had to make her first entrance wearing a hideous black wig, with a live monkey on her shoulder. When the animal spied the audience, he went berserk, snatched off Tallulah's wig and waved it frantically to the audience. The actress was so amused ... started doing cartwheels. Many attributed this show-stopping moment to Tallulah's amazing athletic ability. The fact that she never wore underwear could have been a factor.




Cigarette card superimposed upon photograph of Tallulah as Camille

Photograph by MOFFAT


Original playbill [see above] for the 1925 production of Fallen Angels at the West End's Globe Theatre in London; a very young Ms. Bankhead was offered this play after losing the role of Sadie Thompson in Rain; Somerset Maugham (the author of Rain) had doubts regarding her acting abilities, which in turn prompted a half-hearted suicide attempt by Tallulah; ... swallowed a handful of aspirins before retiring to bed ..., leaving a note behind that read: "It ain't gonna rain, no more!!"

Bankhead later recounted "... had never felt better" the next morning upon awakening; ... took up the challenge offered her by Noel Coward of learning the leading role of his new play, WHICH WAS DUE TO OPEN IN FOUR DAYS; demanding a then astronomical fee, (as Tallulah would put it: ... "had wanted to play the role of Sadie Thompson; and, didn't give a SHIT about playing in Noel Coward's play!") ... practically overnight committed the dialogue to memory and went on to make a hit of his play.

Noel Coward later recalled: "She came flying into the theatre with a vitality a little short of fantastic. ... tore off her hat, flipped her furs into a corner and embarked on the first act. On the first night ... gave a brilliant and completely assured performance. It was a tour de force of vitality, magnetism and spontaneous combustion."





1925 Tallulah Bankhead and Edna Best are Fallen Angels at London's Globe Theatre. Noel Coward's comedy describes two wives who get drunk while trying to get even with their husbands for their indifference. Angels will fly for 158 performances.


Caption:The rise to fame of this well-known and charming young actress has been rapid. Miss Bankhead has appeared in many West End successes, including "The Gold Diggers," "Garden of Eden," etc., and was chosen to play the lead in the film version of "His House in Order," for which she received the highest salary yet paid to a British film star.


Dressed down to her knickers in final scene at the wedding altar, The Garden of Eden.

With regard to "His House in Order" - (Gaumont): Tallulah Bankhead had a difficult task to fulfil when she took on the leading character in "His House in Order," the adaptation of Sir Alfred Pinero's famous drama. A screen debut is always an important matter, and stage training does not prepare the actress for the different technique which is needed for the film. Also, she had poor material to work with; this subject is far less satisfactory for the screen than the stage. Tallulah is as good as might be expected; she is at least natural, in spite of the drawback of an atrocious make-up. This film is a step in the wrong direction, and brings to mind many of the poor British films of the past. All the characters, with the exception of Tallulah and Ian Hunter, move about with a gloomy and unnatural manner which renders the picture almost destitute of entertainment.

[Critical review appeared in Film Weekly, Issue No.17 - Monday, February 11, 1929; courtesy of Jeremy M., U.K.]



miniature, unsigned, perhaps oil on ivory and by AUGUSTUS JOHN.






Miss Tallulah Bankhead,in a One-act Sketch Entitled "The Snob" by Edwin Burke. From July 1934, This Revue Of, the Daniel Mayer Company, Toured Throughout the British Isles and Is Not Mentioned in Any of the Current Literature.

LONDON, June 23. - TALLULAH BANKHEAD, who is an especial favorite with London audiences, is playing a five-week vaude tour of the G.T.C. theaters with Edwin Burke's one-act playlet, The Snob. Bernard Nedell, American actor and long resident in England, supports, The playlet, which Miss Bankhead introduced to English audiences some four years ago, opened successfully at the Empire, Liverpool, this week.

The Billboard Magazine, July 7, 1934








September 1, 1931 cover of VOGUE magazine, by Benito;
inside photo of Tallulah, by Steichen.