Friday, December 16, 2011

The Sennett Bathing Beauties at Dana Point

Here are Hollywood's once-famous Sennett Bathing Beauties at Dana Point, helping promote real estate sales at the behest of developer Sidney Woodruff.  

Woodruff had also developed Hollywoodland, which ultimately provided the town of Hollywood with its iconic hillside sign. He also convinced many film industry bigwigs to invest in the new town he was going to develop on a stretch of scenic coastline called Dana Point. One of those backers was Mack Sennett

Sennett was best known as a director of silent slapstick movies, but also worked as a screenwriter, actor, producer, cinematographer and composer. In 1912, he founded Keystone Studios, which launched the movie careers of such talents as Charlie Chaplin, Bing Crosby and W.C. Fields. And, as you may have guessed from the name, the studio also made the Keystone Kops comedies.

In 1915, Sennett introduced the popular Sennett Bathing Beauties, who appeared in humorous short films (including some shot in Orange County), wearing what were then considered revealing swimsuits.

The year after this photo was taken, the Sennett Bathing Beauties were disbanded. And a year after that the stock market collapsed, destroying Woodruff's plans for Dana Point. Ultimately, the town wouldn't "take off" until well after World War II. By then both Woodruff and his Hollywood pals were well out of the picture.

(This post's for you, Brent!)

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

Great stuff!

I live in San Clemente and wasn't aware of this bit of history about our neighbor to the North.