"You'll like Louis Mayer," Mary Pickford told Charles Foster in 1943. "He is from Canada, too." As Foster was soon to discover, Mayer was not alone: a great many of those who helped shape Hollywood into the movie capital of the world were Canadian. Stardust and Shadows brings together the stories of eighteen Canadians who were celebrities during Hollywood's formative years. Most of those profiled were known to Foster, and stories they told him about Hollywood's early days, enhanced by many years of research and interviews with other living performers and directors from the silent movie era, reveal a never-before-seen look at what the movie industry was really like in those early days. This is Canadian history that has never been told, and many of the startling stories and secrets of Hollywood's past are revealed here for the first time. Celebrities profiled: May Irwin, Al and Charles Christie, Joe and Sam De Grasse, Marie Dressler, Allan Dwan, Florence La Badie, Florence Lawrence, Del Lord, Louis B. Mayer, Sidney Olcott, Jack Pickford, Mary Pickford, Marie Prevost, Mack Sennett, Douglas Shearer, Norma Shearer.
Charles Foster lives in Riverview, New Brunswick. A pilot in World War II, he first visited Hollywood on leave and became lifelong friends with many of the Canadians he writes about in this exciting book. After the war he opened publicity offices in England and Hollywood, representing such personalities as Marilyn Monroe, Sir Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Boris Karloff, Errol Flynn, and Charlie Chaplin. He also wrote material for several TV shows and comedians like Jack Benny and Bob Hope.