Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Peggy Joyce Was Outrageous Roaring Twenties Icon

Peggy Hopkins Joyce was called “superficial, shallow and an unabashed slut.” The biography “Gold Digger” by Constance Rosenblum concludes that PHJ was “high spirited” and was the pioneer in the media driven rise of celebrities.  My interest in all matters Joyce was prompted by the 1933 all star comedy “International House” which was headlined by Joyce and W.C. Fields.  This is a fun filled double entendre romp comparable to Mae West’s “She Done Him Wrong.”  Some said she lacked any visible talent other than being glamorous.
In the 1920s when average Americans were struggling on $1,000 a year, Joyce went on a million dollar shopping spree in Manhattan.  She probably was the inspiration for many songs of the day.  In fact she “ala carted with barons and earls” and some said “The Lady is a Tramp.”
She was married six times and engaged to countless other men  Some of her lovers included King Gustav of Sweden, Charlie Chaplin and auto tycoon Walter P. Chrysler who was giddy enough to buy her two Isotta Fraschini cars and a $300,000 blue diamond, an 18th century bauble found in Brazil and now housed at the Smithsonian Institution.
Our fascination with people who  are famous for being famous and are today’s marketable commodities exploited by super market tabloids and TV shows like “Insider” and “Extra.”  Zsa Gabor and Liz Taylor certainly were adored for their diamonds and marriages and Kim Kardashian is another story.

No comments: