The Ten Faces of Cornell Woolrich was a 1965 collection of short stories, one of two Cornell Woolrich short story collections published that year (the other being The Dark Side of Love). It was distinguished with an introduction by Fred Dannay of Ellery Queen, who wrote rather arbitrarily that Woolrich's
ninth face....is really a mask. For what do we know of the man inside?....Woolrich is retiring almost to the point of being a recluse. When we add up all we know, we know very little, and Woolrich is reluctant to reveal his inner self....
The Ten Faces title was really metaphorical (and the conceit rather forced), causing Dannay to struggle in his introduction, although his observation above was perceptive. Here I take the opportunity to show you ten actual faces of Cornell Woolrich, arranged as chronologically as I can get them from fresh youth in the Twenties to worn age in the Sixties. As Barry Malzberg has written, in the last year of his life Woolrich was sixty-four but looked eighty-four.
1925 photo of Woolrich, when he was
21 years old and still in college at
described him as boyish, pale,
hollow-cheeked, shy and sickly.
Cornell in college?
The blurry image is
symbolic of an elusive man
Cornell Woolrich at the time he went
Hollywood, 1927-30, when he was
employed as a screenwriter
This banner story ran in newspapers across the country in 1933
after Bill filed her annulment suit in Manhattan in 1933.
See my recent Crimereads article.
The picture of Woolrich used appears to have been a rendering
of his earlier 1925 photo, making him look younger
than he did in 1933.
Woolrich in the late 1950s, another book jacket photo,
I believe, an iconic mid-century image
1958 book jacket photo
Woolrich made the effort to spruce himself
up here, but compare to the 1925 photo
and you see a huge change, although the
paleness and sunken cheeks are the same.
you can see
near the end