Cinema: The Virgins of Hollywood

In ancient Rome the Vestal Virgins were six daughters of patrician families who were appointed at the age of six to ten to keep a flame constantly burning in the temple of Vesta, Rome's goddess of the hearth. Twenty centuries later, when Producer Gabriel Pascal got around to casting six Vestal Virgins for RKO's Androcles and the Lion (TIME, Oct. 15), no less than 2,200 hopefuls from Hollywood's horde of extras felt eminently qualified for the parts. One literal-minded applicant enclosed a medical affidavit certifying her eligibility, but many felt that photographs of themselves clad only in scanty Bikini bathing...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!