n otes



Introduction
1. Richard Dyer, Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society (New York: St. Martin’s,
1966), 19; Brenda R. Silver, Virginia Woolf Icon (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 1999), 28. Silver’s work is an exemplary study of how (nonfilm) star signs
change over long periods of time and through many different kinds of media. The
phrase transmutable star sign comes from Ramona Curry, Too Much of a Good Thing:
Mae West as Cultural Icon (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996),
xix. For other diachronically ordered examinations of changes in a star’s signs,
see S. Paige Baty, American Monroe: The Making of a Body Politic (Berkeley: Uni-
versity of California Press, 1995); Gilbert B. Rodman, Elvis after Elvis: The Posthu-
mous Career of a Living Legend (London: Routledge, 1996); Joanne Hershfield, The
Invention of Dolores del Rio (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000);
Michael DeAngelis, Gay Fandom and Cross- Over Stardom: James Dean, Mel Gibson,
and Keanu Reeves (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001); Adrienne L.
McLean, Being Rita Hayworth: Labor, Identity, and Hollywood Stardom (New Bruns-
wick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2004).
2. Karen Beckman, Vanishing Women: Magic, Film, and Feminism (Durham, NC: Duke
University Press, 2003), 185. Many of Beckman’s points about the ambivalence
of star “presence,” the metaphysical terms of the female star’s vanishing and re-
appearances, are compatible with points I make in my own argument. However,
in her study of disappearing women, Beckman looks at a variety of discursive and
visual modes (imperial rhetoric, magic, spirit photography, film), and in two chap-
ters she employs textual analysis of individual film texts as her prime methodology
for investigating the phenomenon of the “vanishing woman” in cinema. While I
examine general press discourses, star biographies and memoirs, trade publica-
tions, fan production, and multiple film, television, and video texts and genres,
Beckman mainly discusses media industries and audiences as they are figured as
visual and narrative elements in films rather than as active players in the recycling
of female star images through their extratextual material practices and relations
to multiple media.
3. Jennifer M. Bean, “Technologies of Early Stardom and the Extraordinary Body,”
in A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema, edited by Jennifer M. Bean and Diane Negra
(Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002), 407.
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