(The section of this article on Pauline Frederick is excerpted below)
|Pauline Frederick and her mother, photographed in the garden of the home they occupy in Hollywood, California. "Polly's" mother has always been her daughter's best pal, and wisest counselor. They work and play, together.
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Now here's the fatal one on Pauline Frederick.
She was not only born and brought up in Boston, but the process was superintended by a Family Council of aunts, cousins, grandmammas, etc., who were so proper, and prim, and correct that they put pantalettes on the angels in her illustrated copy of the Bible and dressed Eve up in such glory that the significance of the figleaf was lost upon her for years.
But there were certainly no pantalettes on Pauline when she delighted and fascinated New York as Pothiphar's careless wife in "Joseph and His Brethren," a number of years later. In fact, I have never seen art and nature more closely allied. Of course she had Scriptural authority for her version, but Boston doesn't always hold with a literal translation.
It seems impossible that there were ever only four pounds of so vital a person as Miss Frederick. But her own mother assures me that on her birthday morning Pauline tipped the scales at exactly that amount.
"She was a pretty baby right from the start," said stately Mrs. Frederick. It is easy to connect Boston with Mrs. Frederick, though she is graciousness itself. Yet she is the sort of person one cannot imagine taking liberties with. I could find no trace of physical resemblance between mother and daughter, but the resemblance of character is obvious, and Mrs. Frederick's taste in clothes, as manifested by a blue silk sweater, satin sport skirt and white shoes and stockings bore silent witness as to one trait handed down.
"People speak now of Pauline's great personal beauty. Of course, she was always lovely, but there never was a child who had more care. I cared for her hair, her skin, her teeth, her feet and hands, her eyes, with every attention in the world. I wasn't a mother who acted just for that day. I saw the whole future. I wanted Pauline to be grounded with the right physical foundation and she was. If all mothers would take the time for that, there wouldn't be so many homely girls in the world.
"She was never a student, but always a leader in school. She was very young when her teachers began to speak to me about her voice. They predicted marvelous things of it and I did everything to give her the very best musical education. It is still, in spite of her success in her chosen work, a little regret in my life that she didn't go on with her voice instead." (Myself, I say, when you can look like that why bother to make a noise?)