But it’s more commonly said that she picked up the nickname because she loved a movie called The Blue Dahlia. The movie, interestingly, which is still shown on TCM from time to time, is a thriller about a woman who may (or may not) have drunkenly killed her sexually intimidating date. I won’t extrapolate too much about Elizabeth’s feelings, but I will say that is in the Thelma and Louise vein, and is a movie to watch if you happen to be feeling fairly angry at men.
She also had a rose tattooed onto her thigh. Acquaintances said that she loved to wear high cut, or high slit, dresses and flash it to passerbys. It’s uncertain whether or not that part of the story was true (or if it just went along with tales of her sexy sexiness) but she was found with a gash on her leg where the tattoo had supposedly been carved out. You can see where it was located in this absolutely terrible picture:
But The Black Rose does not trip off the tongue as well, and certainly doesn’t have the same movie connection.
I think Elizabeth probably would have liked the movie connection. She never did make it in the movies. In 2003 there was a Dateline special that thought they identified her off of some stock footage, which reported:
It’s VJ Day, 1945. The Second World War is over and Hollywood Boulevard, the main drag of the movie capital, is one big party. Look closely at these home movies and you’ll see a famous face. We’re not 100 percent sure, but that dark-haired girl about to kiss the sailor seems to be the Black Dahlia, the soon-to-be victim in perhaps the most sensational unsolved murder in American history.
That is as close as anyone can find to an actual clip of her in a movie. But she was soon to become the most famous actress in the world.
Incidentally: I AM ABOUT TO SHOW THE PICTURE. PLEASE BRACE YOURSELVES.