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.
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
The Three Stooges