Hollywood’s leading aviators were heroic knights of the sky on the screen as well as in real life. These leading aviators performed aerial stunt sequences and acted, plus some wrote and directed motion pictures. Directing giant Cecil B. DeMille was so enthralled with aviation that he owned three airfields. Charlie Chaplin’s family airfield also doubled as a motion-picture set. Thomas H. Ince, the famous producer who invented the studio system, owned Ince Airfield, which became the hub of Hollywood aviation. Eternal legends Rudolph Valentino, Oliver Hardy, Harry Houdini, and Mary Pickford performed in aerials. Many aviators gave their lives making motion pictures; three fatalities were incurred for Howard Hughes’s great air epic, Hell’s Angels. Hughes himself broke records within aircraft and film production. Aviators brought their screen work to life between films through barnstorming. The roaring in 1920s Hollywood was often aviators soaring beyond limits.
About the Author
Shawna Kelly, whose aerial courage includes skydiving at 10,000 feet, was inspired to write by her medal award–winning writer relative, Bliss Carman. She is also the great granddaughter of “Daredevil” DeLay, innovator of several aerial firsts for motion pictures and one of the aviators who gave his life for the entertainment world.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As you "fly away with this book", you may find yourself wing-walking with Ormer Locklear or thundering through the sky with Dick Grace in one of his precision plane "crack ups". Next, you may be hanging from a rope-ladder suspended from a speeding plane with the statuesque thriller queen Ruth Roland, and then be transferring from plane-to-plane with glamorous Gladys Ingle of the 13 Black Cats. Perhaps you'll plane-to-train transfer for a motion picture scene with the dashing father of the professional motion picture aviators, "Daredevil" DeLay. To top it off, you could soar into the sunset, or soar with flares through a looping night skywriting sequence with aviator DeLay.
You'll see many superstar celebrities who were deeply involved in aviation. For instance, Charlie Chaplin and great director Cecil B. DeMille operated airfields next to each other in what is now the "Miracle Mile" (next to the Farmer's Market) in Los Angeles. DeMille was actually an accomplished aviator who relished the thrill of flying multiple loops over Grauman's Chinese Theater.
The author, Shawna Kelly, is not content to merely describe to you what you're seeing on the page as is the case in a lot of pictorial books. She also provides you with a wealth of interesting information behind the aviator actors, aerial filming locations, and motion pictures represented in the photos. As a result you will come away with a greater respect for these inspiring, brave aviators and aviatrixes.
You'll also sense the camaraderie, and deep bonds of loyalty that these "cowboys of the air" had together. The world could be a much better place if everyone practiced the loyalty code of the aviator.
Whether you're a fan of aviation, classic film, or thrive from books with passion provoking unique images, let Aviators in Early Hollywood fly you away to the heights of glory. This uplifting and insightful book should definitely be on your gift giving list.