Hollywood in the studio era has left us a few thousand bushels of images of its stars, both on and off the set. One of the most recurring images, which always amuses me, is of stars eating cake. Usually on set. Often on somebody's birthday. Above, Charles Boyer, Ann Blyth, and Jessica Tandy take a break from A Woman's Vengeance (1948 - discussed in this previous post) and in my book, Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. The occasion is Ann's nineteenth birthday.
Both Debbie Reynolds and Jane Powell shared an April 1st birthday. I wouldn't guess they always spent it together, but on this day it saved MGM from having to buy two cakes.
Clark Gable, Greer Garson, Joan Blondell, Lina Romay and director Victor Fleming on the set of Adventure (1946 -"Gable's Back and Garson's Got Him!" - you knew that was coming, didn't you?) It appears to be Joan's birthday on this one, and she's actually got two cakes there, unlike the unfortunate Debbie and Jane, who had to share one.
Joan Crawford wields a sense of humor and an ax on a cake wishing her luck on her latest film Strait-Jacket (1964). Back in the day, they had cake to celebrate the start of filming, the end of filming, and probably the middle of filming.
Katharine Hepburn, as skinny as she was, clearly made cake a staple of her diet. Here she is riveted on director Vincente Minnelli's birthday cake, wishing he would hurry up and cut it. Robert Taylor lines up for his piece. This is the set of Undercurrent (1946). Something about birthday cake sort of unravels the mystique of Film Noir, doesn't it?Myrna Loy with an enormous cake. Beats the heck out of me what the occasion was, but it's clear all these people ever did was eat cake. They did not work very much at all. They just showed up to the studio every day for cake.
"I'm ready for my close-up"? -- No-o-o. It was, "I want the piece with the flower on it."
Barbara Stanwyck, Eric Blore, Herbert Marshall, probably on the set of Breakfast for Two (1937). Another hard day at the salt mine. Pass the dessert plates.
"Quiet on the set!" they'd yell, "We're trying to eat our cake!"