Louise Brooks was an American silent-film actress born on November 14, 1906 in Cherryvale, Kansas. She endured a hostile upbringing due to her emotionally-unavailable parents, who failed to provide her with any attention or discipline. In addition, she was sexually-assaulted at nine-years-old which she claimed had long-term impacts on her mental health. In 1925, Brooks made her screen debut with a supporting role in the silent film entitled The Street of Forgotten Men. Yet, that first appearance in the Hollywood spotlight was only the beginning and she would go on to play lead roles in major pictures. Her best-known works throughout her career are Pandora's Box (1929), Diary of a Lost Girl (1929), and Miss Europe (1930).
In 1982, long after her career as an actor, Louise Brooks published a book of essays, Lulu in Hollywood. It details her experiences working in show business and how the desire for popularity pervades every aspect of an actor’s life. Constant popularity leads to better roles in the industry, but also leads to a lack of privacy and security. Janet Maslin of The New York Times describes the essays as “selective, nostalgic, poison-tipped and fearlessly smart. They’re sharp about Hollywood’s definitions of success and failure, about how actors are manipulated by their employers and pigeonholed by the press.”
Not long after writing Lulu in Hollywood, Brooks suffered from a heart attack at age 78. She died on August 8, 1985 and can now be found at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in New York.