Adrian Adolph Greenberg
1906 - 1984
1903 - 1959
Costumer designer Adrian and actress Janet Gaynor wed in 1939. They remained wed until his passing. Their one son, Robin Gaynor Adrian, born 1940, survives.
Janet Gaynor, born Laura Augusta Gainor, has a special place in Hollywood history as the winner of the first Best Actress Award for her performances in "Seventh Heaven" and "Sunrise" (1927) and "Street Angel" (1928). Gaynor beat out Louise Dresser and Gloria Swanson. The first year’s awards were given for multiple acting roles. Gaynor, unlike many of her peers, was able to transition from flickers to talkies. Adrian Adolph Greenberg, known professionally as Adrian or, less commonly, Gilbert Adrian, was a custom designer, the designer of the famed ruby slippers worn in The "Wizard of Oz" and the wardrobes of a host of the leading ladies of his time. From Wikipedia, "Adrian was hired by Rudolph Valentino's wife Natacha Rambova to design costumes for "A Sainted Devil" in 1924. He would also design for Rambova's film, What Price Beauty? (1925)."
Adrian became head costume designer for Cecil B. DeMille's independent film studio. In 1928, Cecil B. DeMille moved temporarily to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Adrian was hired as chief costume designer at the studio. While DeMille eventually returned to Paramount, Adrian stayed on at MGM. In his career at that studio, Adrian designed costumes for over 200 films. Adrian left MGM in 1941 to set up his own independent fashion house, though he still worked closely with Hollywood.
After exchanging wedding vows, the couple lived in Adrian’s home in Toluca Lake on the edge of the Lakeside Country Club. Janet withdrew from Hollywood, save for a few live stage and television roles after a two-decade break. In 1942 they bought the former Zeppo and Marion Marx residence from the second owners, Thomas and Mary Quince. They were not involved in the Marwyck Ranch. The same year, they bought a Granada Hills ranch, Bull Canyon Meadows, which they operated as a Thoroughbred stud farm and cattle ranch. The couple sold the Marx home to J. H. Ryan and the Granada Hills ranch to James Cagney in 1953. The sales may have been motivated by a heart attack suffered by Adrian the previous year.
Little is known of the interior treatments within the Marx home when occupied by the Adrians; but, Adrian was known for avant garde tastes some years earlier when he lived in the French Village near the Hollywood Bowl. Adrian kept pet monkeys and other wildlife on the grounds of his Northridge home.
A very special thank you to Shel Weisbach for your ongoing Oakridge research