Once upon a time, a sure-fire way for an aspiring screen actress to get noticed was to be named a WAMPAS Baby Star. Each year from 1922 until 1934, the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers chose thirteen young women whom they believed would be the screen’s next stars. The girls got lots of attention, party invitations, publicity, and small parts, and some did break into big time stardom. I found this photo at an antiques mall hanging on a pegboard wall in a shoddy frame and bought it for $10. It was taken in 1934, the last year of the promotion.
WAMPAS Baby Stars you might know include Clara Bow (the “It Girl”), Joan Crawford, Janet Gaynor, Loretta Young, Ginger Rogers (Fred Astaire’s dance partner), Sally Rand, and Fay Wray (of King Kong fame). For a complete list, see