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New Mystery Photo Contest

Cary O’Dell at the Library’s National Recording Registry is the maestro of our ever-popular Mystery Photo Contest. He’s back with another round, featuring some of Hollywood’s not-so-famous faces.

Hello my fellow Americans and citizens of the world!

It’s time for a brand new set of old and odd mystery pics! These, like others in the MPC series, came to the Library’s Moving Image section as part of a much larger collection of film, TV and music stills. Most were properly identified…but then there were the stumpers. The ones with no identification. The ones we couldn’t name.

So we need your help. Do any of the people, places or things below look familiar?

A few words of caution:

  • We’ve tried web-based reverse-image searches.
  • We have no information beyond what is listed below. There are no dates, locations or titles. They may not be from the United States.
  • Standards of proof: We’d most like to see the same photo, with the person’s name, in a newspaper, magazine or somesuch. Failing that, another image from the same photo shoot, but with the person named.

Esther Anderson, publicity still from “The Touchables,” 1968.

We are happy to investigate any legitimate guesses, and always report back on success stories. Like this one: The April MPC photo array got cult film aficionado Joe Bob Briggs’ attention. He tweeted it out to his friends and fans. One said that photo #18 looked like Jamaican actress and filmmaker Esther Anderson. We reached out to Ms. Anderson and…. she confirmed it was her!

Esther Anderson, magazine cover from 1968. Courtesy: Esther Anderson.

It’s a publicity photo from “The Touchables,” a 1968 British romp about love and sex in the rock scene of the era. Anderson, whom the BBC dubbed “the Caribbean’s first lady of film and music” in 2007, has had a career as an accomplished actress, model, photographer and businesswoman. She starred opposite Sidney Poitier in his 1973 film, “A Warm December.” She was also present at the creation of Bob Marley and the Wailers, filmed their first rehearsal, and her 2011 film using her long-ago footage, “Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend,” won multiple awards. Now 72, she’s living in London and Paris. Thanks again to Joe and friends for picking her out!

Here you go with the new round. Good luck to one and all!

#1 Based on the set, costumes and the date (“1647”), this seems to be from a production of “Knickerbocker Holiday.” BUT: it does not sync with 1944’s “Holiday” film, the original Broadway production or the early TV version.

#2.We have yet to identify these two gentlemen or determine why they might be pictured together. #3. We have not been able to determine if this is from a film? A musical duo? We can’t even agree if it is two men, two women or one of each! (We do know it is NOT rockers Wendy & Lisa. We reached out, and they said, “Not us.”)

#4. This seems to be a band from the 1980s or early ‘90s. (Look at that hair! Those tats!) But we don’t know who they are individually, collectively or where they’re from.

#5. Our version of an internet troll. This might be from a film that was originally aimed at some (very brave) children. Again, it might not be U.S. in origin. #6.This gentleman looks quite official with the map of the world behind him and pictures of boats to boot. But who is he?
#7. This harem girl has long had us stumped. Who is she and, if this is from a film, what film? #8. This might be from a film or documentary. Recognize this woman or the mural behind her? #9. We assume that this actress is from the silent film era—Edwina Booth? Jeanette Loff? Someone else entirely?

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