My name is Annette Bochenek, Ph.D., and I am a film historian and scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. One of my favorite pastimes includes exploring the hometowns of classic Hollywood’s film actors and actresses, as documented on my Hometowns to Hollywood blog and discussed in my presentation series.
Through my travels, I have learned time and again that not every star came from a background of glitz and glamour; instead, some of the larger-than-life icons of the screen came from more modest means and humble beginnings. Interestingly, many of their hometowns continue to recognize and celebrate them to this day through museums, film festivals, childhood homes, statues, plaques, philanthropic efforts, and more.
Since the lives of many actors and actresses are well documented from their Hollywood careers onward, I find it fascinating to examine their lives prior to that time. I focus on places of relevance to them during their early days, while also researching how their legacies are celebrated in their hometowns and beyond.
Among my favorite experiences are studying the lives of classic Hollywood stars, visiting places of relevance to them, and walking the same streets that they had graced in days gone by. To me, these moments make some of my favorite silver screen stars more accessible and relatable. Moreover, each journey affords me added knowledge and respect for these individuals and their stories.
This first installment in the Hometowns to Hollywood series focuses on a selection of forty actors and actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age, exploring their lives, careers, and legacies. Hometowns to Hollywood documents how these individuals are celebrated to this day in their hometowns and beyond, through a variety of different tributes and points of interest relating to their lives and influence as classic film stars. Included in this edition are Rosemary Clooney, June Haver, Carole Lombard, Dick Powell, Spencer Tracy, and more.
I thank you for your interest in this era of filmmaking and in my work as I invite you to read about the selection of film actors and actresses included in this first volume of Hometowns to Hollywood.
Hometowns to Hollywood: Volume I is available for purchase via Amazon in ebook, paperback, and hardcover form.
Congratulations on the book, Dr. Annette! It is definitely going on my to-get list. Always love reading your most informative and enjoyable articles!