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Happy Holidays from the Stars of Classic Hollywood

Here’s an old-school entertainment tradition we wouldn’t mind making a comeback: in the days of old Hollywood, part and parcel of the studio publicity machine was the star (and, often, star’s family) Christmas photo. These publicity pics were distributed to the gossip columnists and movie magazines; sometimes they went out on the family’s own Christmas cards. And flipped through now, considering what we know about that period, they’re often the most naked of image-making ploys. But they’re also charming and sweet, a glimpse of silver screen legends simply having a good time and enjoying their stardom on the holiday. Here are a few of our favorites.

Audrey Hepburn


Rita Hayworth


Jean Harlow


Gloria Swanson


Greer Garson


Bette Davis


Shirley Temple


Natalie Wood


Alan Ladd


John Wayne and family


Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, and family


The “Thin Man” family, aka William Powell, Myrna Loy, Dickie Hall, and Skippy.


Debbie Reynolds (with Eddie Fisher, right)


Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney with the Rooney family


Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert


Errol Flynn and first wife Lili Damita


Danny Kaye and Nat King Cole


Jackie Gleason and family


Bela Lugosi


The Three Stooges


Jayne Mansfield


Marilyn Monroe


Diana Dors


Joan Crawford


Esther Williams