Ian Hendry – Photoplay Film Magazine Picture c.1967

Picture above/ below: Ian Hendry in Photoplay Magazine c.1967

Ian Hendry Photoplay Magazine

Photoplay Magazine

First Issue 1911 – Last Issue 1980

Photoplay was one of the first American film fan magazines. It was founded in 1911 in Chicago, the same year that J. Stuart Blackton founded a similar magazine entitled Motion Picture Story. For most of its life, it was published by Macfadden Publications.


Photoplay began as a short-fiction magazine concerned mostly with the plots and characters of films at the time and was used as a promotional tool for those films. In 1915, Julian Johnson and James R. Quirk became the editors (though Quirk had been vice-president of the magazine since its inception), and together they created a format which would set a precedent for almost all celebrity magazines that followed. By 1918 the editors could boast a circulation figure of 204,434, the popularity of the magazine fueled by the public’s ever increasing interest in the private lives of celebrities. It is because of this that the magazine is credited with inventing celebrity media.

Photoplay reached its apex in the 1920s and 1930s and was considered quite influential within the motion picture industry. The magazine was renowned for its artwork portraits of film stars on the cover by such artists as Earl Christy and Charles Sheldon.


Picture: Dorothy Phillips on a 1921 fan magazine cover, illustration by Rolf Armstrong.


Picture: Marion Davies Cover Portrait from 1921

Macfadden Publications purchased the magazine in 1934. With the advancement of color photography, the magazine began using photographs of the stars instead by 1937.

Until next time.

Best wishes

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Website of Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read:  ‘Send in the Clowns – The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry’ by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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