The Hobbies of Ann Dvorak: Bacteriology

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 58

Ann Dvorak had many hobbies during her life; horticulture, language learning, poetry writing, hat making…the list goes on. Out of the bunch, the oddest was probably bacteriology. That’s right, in her spare time, Ann Dvorak studied bacteria.

This was something she picked up from her first husband, Leslie Fenton, when she was 21 and he was the center of her universe. Fenton was probably introduced to bacteriology by director/scientists Paul Fejos with whom he worked with in the 1920s. Ann claimed she read a book on the subject while they were traveling back from Europe in 1933, and instantly fell in love with the science.

For the next couple of years, the Fentons would study bacteria at their ranch and Leslie would buy Ann higher-powered microscopes on her birthdays. After about four years of engaging in this mad passion, they moved on to other hobbies and the bacteriology equipment was given away.

I do like to think that whenever Ann was in the midst of viewing magnified bacteria, she did so in full hair and make-up, like in this photo.


  1. artman2112 February 27, 2013

    what an unusual “hobby” for a person to have! i think this photo is posed tho, we both know damn well Ann wore her most favorite sleek and chic Orry Kelly creations when she was studying her little pet bugs 😉

  2. DickP February 27, 2013

    Orrrr…she could have worn one of Christina’s favorites: the white “bird woman” outfit (Sweet Music-1935) -or- the “fish” thingy (Midnight Court-1937)… Both were sensational (only Ann Dvorak could have made either of those costumes look presentable).

    Mmmmh, wonder if we could convince Christina’s publisher to have Christina wear facsimiles of either (or both) of these marvelously chic outfits at her book signings. I’m sure either would draw an enormous crowd of potential book buyers!!

  3. admin February 27, 2013

    I would wear the Fish Dress in a heartbeat.

  4. artman2112 February 28, 2013

    haha having seen midnight court for the first time just a couple weeks ago i too was taken aback by the fish dress! was that designed by Orry-Kelly?

    personally i think you would rock the fish dress Christina 😉

  5. admin February 28, 2013

    It was designed by Milo Anderson who said the inspiration came from the costumes of medieval knights. Still looks like a skinned fish to me.

  6. amanda rae May 20, 2015

    Well, this just made my day! Can’t wait to start reading your book 🙂

  7. admin May 20, 2015

    Thanks Amanda! Much appreciated.

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