Perfect woman label 'ghastly': Annette Kellerman

Title:
Perfect woman label 'ghastly': Annette Kellerman
NFSA ID:
563992 and 8900
Year:
1974
Category:
Access fees

Looking back over her career, Annette Kellerman describes the perfect woman label she received at 26-years-old as 'the most ghastly thing in the world'.

This excerpt from an oral history interview with Joel Greenberg in 1974, when Kellerman was 88 years old, is presented with footage of Kellerman as a mermaid in Neptune's Daughter (Herbert Brenon, USA, 1914).

The label followed her around for the rest of her career, with publicity material for Neptune's Daughter declaring she had ‘measurements that almost surpass belief’.

The cover image is taken from a scrapbook compiled by New Zealand actor Vera James Snaps From Screenland. As we can see from these images Kellerman, including one of her referencing The Birth of Venus (Sandro Botticelli, Italy, 1486) in a lost scene from A Daughter of the Gods (Herbert Brenon, USA, 1916), Kellerman was often compared with figures from the western art and cultural canon.

A poster for A Daughter of the Gods (Herbert Brenon, USA, 1916) included a chart comparing Kellerman's physical measurements with (what must be the estimated measurements) of Cleopatra and Venus.