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#85: Impossible to Imitate

August 11, 2009
Some looks are always in flower.   Others, no matter how gorgeous or ageless, seem only possible for a brief and perfect moment in time– moments impossible to imitate.
Impossible to imitate: Leslie Howard’s transcendental, godly summer style.  This guy’s got it.
Leslie Howard and Ingrid Bergman in Intermezzo, 1939
Leslie Howard and Ingrid Bergman in Intermezzo, 1939
Aboslutely dreamy.
Riveting notes on Mr. Howard’s untimely death in 1943, from his dedicated Wikipedia page:

Howard died in 1943 when he was flying to Bristol, U.K., from Lisbon, Portugal, on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines/BOAC Flight 777.  The aircraft, a Douglas DC-3, was shot down by a Nazi German Junkers Ju 88 aircraft over the Bay of Biscay.

Although they have been discredited, there were rumours that the Germans believed the U.K. Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who had been in Algiers, Algeria, to be on board.  Howard’s manager, Alfred Chenhalls, physically resembled Churchill, while Howard was tall and thin, like Churchill’s bodyguard, Walter H. Thompson.  Churchill himself seems to have been to blame for the spread of it; in his autobiography, he expresses sorry that a mistake about his activities might have cost Howard his life.

Several exhaustively detailed books such as Bloody Biscay: The Story of Luftwaffe’s Only Long Range Maritime Fighter Unit, V Gruppe/Kampfgeschwader 40, and Its Adversaries 1942-1944 (2001 by Chris Goss) by (which comes to a slightly different conclusion), Flight 777 (1957 by Ian Colvin), and In Search of My Father: A Portrait of Leslie Howard (1984 by Ronald Howard, Leslie’s son), conclude that the Germans were almost certainly out to shoot down the plan in order to kill Howard himself. (Read more…)

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2009 2:27 am

    Leslie Howard’s photographs are haunting. I like that he was wearing espadrilles!

  2. Maria Grazia permalink
    September 4, 2009 9:52 am

    Perhaps sombody can help me clear up a mystery. Several years after the death of Leslie Howard, probably in 1951, my grandmother and my mother made a strange encounter on the beach of Alassio on the Italian Riviera.
    They met a gentleman in every respect equal to actor Leslie Howard.
    This gentleman spoke a little Italian and had a brief conversation with the two ladies.
    My mother and my grandmother did not never see him anymore and were never able to know who that mysterious man could be. That was especially exciting for my grandmother who had been a big fan of the died actor. Does anybody know if Leslie Howard had a double? Thanks for the help you can give me.

  3. PiterJankovich permalink
    March 29, 2010 9:21 am

    My name is Piter Jankovich. oOnly want to tell, that your blog is really cool
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    P.S. Sorry for my bad english

    • indiansummervintage permalink*
      April 11, 2010 8:36 am

      Hi Piter, sorry for a delayed response! Yes, this is just a hobby that I wish I had more time to devote to. All best to you, thank you for visiting!

  4. Jose permalink
    October 12, 2010 4:49 pm

    Very nice photos of Leslie, thank you for that.

    I am very found of Leslie Howard.

    Best regards.

    José

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