Once there was a Titania who put the tinsel in Tinseltown, creating the sparkly screen gems worn by MAE WEST in her most memorable motion pictures.
• • According to The Los Angeles Times, Joan Castle Joseff headed Joseff Precision Metal Products, a maker of aircraft and missile parts — — and Joseff-Hollywood, a producer of costume jewelry worn on and off the screen by some of the most notable movie stars.
• • Staffer Dennis McLellan writes: As president of Joseff-Hollywood — — it makes and rents dazzling costume jewelry that has been worn on and off the screen by Hollywood's most illustrious stars — — Joan Castle Joseff was hailed in a 1990 People Magazine story as "the High Priestess of Paste."
• • Mrs. Joseff, who took over running both Burbank, California based businesses after husband Eugene's death in 1948, died on 24 March 2010 of congestive heart failure at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, said her daughter-in-law, Tina Joseff. She was 97. . . .
• • Staffer Dennis McLellan adds: The company's jewelry has appeared — — and reappeared — — in thousands of films and TV shows over the decades. Those items include an amethyst necklace, bracelet and earring set that Vivien Leigh wore in "Gone With the Wind" and pearl pendant earrings worn by Grace Kelly in "High Society."
• • Mae West, Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, Marlene Dietrich, Myrna Loy, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor are among the many other stars who wore Joseff's jewelry in films. Many of them also rented pieces to wear at the Oscar ceremonies.
• • "The heyday of our business was in the 1930s and 1940s, when people really dressed up and wore jewelry," Joan Castle Joseff told People Magazine in 1990. "Those days are gone."
• • A fascinating and informative obituary appeared on 4 April 2010 in The Los Angeles Times, from which these brief details have been extracted.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
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