Episode 094: Interview with Robert Harned

Episode 094: Interview with Robert Harned.mp3

This podSally Phippscast features former Cataloging Librarian Bob Harned who worked for the Brooklyn Law School Library in Technical Services from 2001 to 2006. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Bob grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. A lifelong research librarian, he worked at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and in several universities and law firms in New York City. He now resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, with his partner, food journalist, cookbook author, and broadcaster Arthur Schwartz. Robert’s interests are film history, Greek and Roman archaeology, and singing. He has recorded four CD albums. Since leaving the BLS Library, Bob has been busy with many projects, the most recent of which is the publication of Sally Phipps: Silent Film Star, a biography of his late mother.

A complimentary copy of the 290 page book with its 150 pictures, mostly photographs, is at the BLS Library Circulation Desk for library users can look through it. It is also available for purchase in paperback and via Kindle on the Amazon webpage which states:

Sally Phipps was only three years old and the veteran winner of several beautiful baby contests when she appeared as the Baby in the film “Broncho Billy and the Baby.” It was made at the Niles California Essanay Studio in late 1914. This book follows her amazing life and a career that culminated in her receiving the Rosemary (for remembrance) Award shortly before her death in 1978. Her memories of the early years at Essanay include sitting on Charlie Chaplin’s lap and enduring a frightening stage coach accident. In her teens, she was a Fox Studio star appearing in 20 films, including a cameo in the classic “Sunrise.” There were bad times also. She was on the set of her Fox two-reel comedy “Gentlemen Preferred Scotch’” in 1927 when word reached her of the scandalous death of her father, a state senator. But in that same year, she was selected as one of the 13 Wampas Baby Stars, starlets that were considered destined for future success. Despite her popularity in Hollywood, she left for New York where she became the darling of gossip columnists, particularly Walter Winchell. She appeared in two Broadway shows, made a Vitaphone comedy short, and married and divorced one of the Gimbel department store moguls before she darted off for India and around the world travel. Back in New York, there was another marriage, two children, and later a stay in Hawaii. Earl Wilson wrote about her in 1938 when she was working for the Federal Theatre Project during the WPA period — headlining his column “Wampas Ex-Baby Lives on WPA $23 – And Likes It.” Her images – especially her pinup photographs – have become highly collectible. The book features 150 pictures from Sally’s personal and professional life, including glamorous portraits and pinups.