Best anecdote in Eve Golden’s “The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara”:
Her most famous dog was Belva, a photogenic white Russian wolfhound, who died in 1917. A Photoplay reporter showed up for a story and photo shoot one day and was distraught to hear of Belva’s recent death. Theda, making the best of a bad situation, insisted she communicated with Belva through her crystal ball.
When the reporter told her he couldn’t hear a thing, Theda raised one eyebrow meaningfully and snapped, “Well, if you didn’t hear it, you can’t write a story, can you? Now listen again.” The reporter finally caught on and went back to the office to compose his story, “Ghostly Belva Barks at Theda.”