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Remembering Louise Brooks, Hollywood Flapper Icon

Louise Brooks was born in Cherryvale, Kansas, in 1906. She became a celebrated actress and dancer, lighting up the silver screen in the early days of Hollywood.

Ninety-nine years ago this month, The Flapper - starring Olive Thomas - was released in movie theaters. It was the first film to portray the flapper lifestyle. Flappers, of course, were those young women who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, smoked cigarettes and listened to jazz. One of the most famous flappers was a silent film star who grew up in southeast Kansas: Louise Brooks. Guest Commentator Bobbie Athon has more on the rise and fall of this Hollywood icon.


Guest Commentator Bobbie Athon is a lifelong Kansan and the communications director for the Kansas Historical Society. Her essays are part of an occasional Kansas history series on Kansas Public Radio.

Check out other KPR essays and commentaries.

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