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Douglas Fairbanks Sr. "The King of Hollywood" By John Decker

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Posted 6 years ago


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Original John Decker oil painting of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Early 1930’s.

Leopold von der Decken, November 8, 1895 in Berlin Germany – June 8, 1947 in Hollywood) was a painter, set designer and caricaturist in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s.

As a teenager, Decker lived in London, painting scenery in theatres; this was interrupted by the advent of the First World War, when he was arrested as an enemy alien and interned on the Isle of Man. In 1921, he changed his name to John Decker and emigrated to America, where he worked as a cartoonist for the New York Evening World until 1928, when he moved to Hollywood and took up fine art. Many film stars, including Anthony Quinn, Errol Flynn, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, and the Marx Brothers, commissioned Decker to paint their portraits,and many of his works were used in films: the paintings of the frustrated artist protagonist in Fritz Lang's 1945 film Scarlet Street were actually by Decker. One of his most famous portraits, depicting his friend and drinking companion W.C. Fields as Queen Victoria, hung for many years at Chasen's Restaurant in West Hollywood, California. Decker died on June 8, 1947.

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