Douglas Fairbanks and John Barrymore, date unkown, approx. 1933

Page 38 – Perhaps the Prince will rescue you

by Kelley Smoot Garrett
Hollywood, California

Again the Hollywood influences which surrounded Letitia begin to show through with her use of John Barrymore to depict the Lonely Princess’ wicked uncle, The King.

Center: The wicked King as drawn by Letitia Fairbanks in 1940. Clockwise, from top: John Barrymore head shot, date unknown, Barrymore in the title role, Svengali (1931), Barrymore as Louis XV in Marie Antoinette (1938), Barrymore as Richard III on Broadway (approx. 1922)

Center: The wicked King as drawn by Letitia Fairbanks in 1940.
Clockwise, from top: John Barrymore head shot, date unknown, Barrymore in the title role, Svengali (1931), Barrymore as Louis XV in Marie Antoinette (1938), Barrymore as Richard III on Broadway (approx. 1922)

Douglas Fairbanks and John Barrymore, date unkown, approx. 1933

Douglas Fairbanks and John Barrymore, date unkown, approx. 1933

Fascinating to say the least, the imagery involved in selecting John Barrymore as the model for the wicked King. Barrymore and Letitia’s real-life uncle, Douglas Fairbanks, were known to be pals about town. Could Barrymore have represented the shadow side of the publicly lighter and happier Fairbanks?  Speculation abounds, especially when you read quotes likes this, from Letitia’s cousin, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, who writes, “He is a chap whom most men like and most women hate.”

Till next week, dear readers

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