Austin and Howard Mutti-Mewse for their new book “I Used to be in Pictures”.

Austin and Howard Mutti-Mewse - © Charles Shearn 2013

It was a great pleasure to be asked to photograph Austin and Howard for the jacket cover of their latest book “I Used to be in Pictures”.

Long after the demise of the Hollywood studio system, aged just 12 years, Austin and Howard started writing fan letters; first to Lillian Gish, then Douglas Fairbanks Jnr, quickly snowballing as a generation of actors shared their lives.

Thrilled at the recognition by the two young men, born a quarter of a century after many of their correspondents were at their prime, the stars began inviting the boys to take tea in their houses in Hollywood, Palm Springs, Malibu, Glendale and Santa Barbara. Those stars include Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Kirk Douglas, Lillian Gish, Gene Kelly, Pola Negri, James Stewart, Frank Sinatra, Ginger Rogers, Elizabeth Taylor, Claudette Colbert, Lana Turner, Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Rogers, Keye Luke and Dorothy Revier.

I promised I would also mention that Austin and Howard would like to ask for your help. They are hoping to grant the last wish of Dorothy Revier twenty years after her death, to have a star placed on Hollywood Boulevard in her memory. Every ‘Like’ on the campaign page brings her wish one step closer (click here).

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