FishbowlLA was the first media outlet to report about the wonderful Tumblr blog powered by Philadelphia Inquirer film critic Steven Rea. Under the self-explanatory title Rides a Bike, he posts vintage shots of Tinseltown movie stars on two wheels.
Much media coverage followed and now there is a companion book from Angel City Press, publishing in the third week of February. The 160-page tome–which has added the word “Hollywood” to the title–contains 125 different images, some of which were generously provided by collector Howie Cohen, whose family used to run a group of bike shops that serviced the studios.
Rea will be signing copies at Vroman’s in Pasadena and Book Soup in West Hollywood during his upcoming media tour. He tells FishbowlLA that although it’s hard for him to pick favorites from the book, a couple of images immediately come to mind. One of Rita Hayworth with Glenn Ford, and another that is more tragically tinged.
“The photo of Susan Peters is beautiful,” he says. “She’s stopped on her bike on the Palisades in Santa Monica. She was Oscar-nominated for Random Harvest and being groomed by MGM for stardom, but then had a terrible accident.”
“She was shot on a hunting trip with her husband,” he continues. “Peters was paralyzed from the waist down, tried to continue her career in a wheelchair, but ended up severely depressed and anorexic, dead at 31. So this lovely photo has a patina of tragedy about it.”
Like a number of other Angel City Press books, Rea’s is designed by LA graphic artist Amy Inouye, famous for having helped rescue the 22-foot “Chicken Boy” fiberglass statue that stands atop a building in Highland Park. Cleverly, Rea has also got a bike-specific index in his upcoming book, so that those so inclined can look up star pics by make and model.
Previously on FishbowlLA:
Critic Collects Movie Stars on Bikes