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Louise Brooks: Fame and Irony

August 23, 1985

She is gone. There was never an actress like her in films before her. There will never be, can not be, anyone like her again. Her final, towering hours in film came at the end of the silent era. Her image is fixed forever in the mythology of the modern world in such films as "Diary of a Lost Girl" and, above all, "Pandora's Box."

I had read and reread her superb essays in "Lulu in Hollywood." So I knew that she could write. My god, could she write! And though I have seen hundreds of films nothing in any of them can compare with the final moments of "Pandora's Box."

She is gone and tears blur my eyes to think she no longer exists. I never knew her. I only knew her words and her image. Yet I shall never--can never--forget her. I shall love her for the rest of my life: for her honesty; for daring to speak the truth in her brilliant prose and daring to reveal that same truth upon the screen. No greater actress will ever exist in our century.

KENNETH DORWARD

Port Hueneme

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