Who Were the Major Stars During the 1920s?


Quick Answer

Major stars during the 1920s included Hollywood actors such as Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, John Barrymore, Greta Garbo, Norma Shearer and Rudolph Valentino. Famous musicians included Joe "King" Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Paul Whiteman and Duke Ellington.

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Full Answer

Although film was already invented by the 1920s, the film industry boomed and expanded in the 1920s. Several studios were founded in the decade, such as Warmer Bros. Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Disney Studios. Several existing studios merged or expanded in the 1920s, including Paramount Studios (Paramount Pictures), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Fox Film Corporation (20th Century Fox), Universal Pictures and United Artists. The studio system developed during the decade, which involved long-term contracts for actors, larger production costs and in-house publicity departments. Studios made celebrities out of their key actors and audiences around the world could see their favorite stars on the silver screen. The 1920s gave rise to personalities such as Buster Keaton, Louise Brooks, William S. Hart, Lillian Gish and Harold Lloyd.

The 1920s also gave birth to the jazz era, broadcast radio and the record industry. Many jazz musicians, such as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton, got their start playing in New Orleans before moving onto New York or Chicago. Recordings and radio broadcasts introduced these musicians to a national audience and turned them into stars.

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