Classic Film Actresses Countdown #2-5

22 Mar

2.Barbara Stanwyck- Aww, Babs!  She almost ties with #1 on my list.  Always the fiery, spunky spitfire was Ms. Stanwyck.  She seemed to bring such a vivacious and thought-provoking side to her characters.  I first saw her in Christmas in Connecticut (1945) and I thought she was hilarious.  That’s the thing with Barbara- she could do both comedy and drama!  Now that’s an actress!  Like Crawford, she also had a tumultuous relationship with her adopted son but it probably points to the fact that she also had a tough childhood.  Nevertheless, her films speak for themselves.  In early pre-code film Baby Face (1933), she plays one of cinema’s first slutty office women.  You are required to see her in Stella Dallas (1937) which is a tearjerker about a mother’s sacrifices for her only child.  My other favorites: Remember the Night (1940), Meet John Doe (1941), Lady of Burlesque (1943), The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), Clash By Night (1952) and The Thorn Birds (1983).

3.Joan Crawford- Being as controversial as she is, I had to put her in my top three.  I must admit her acting is not my favorite and several of her movies are bombs BUT I find Ms. C very fascinating.  Mildred Pierce (1945) is her defining screen moment in which she deservedly won an Oscar for playing the mother who would do anything for her ungrateful daughter.  How ironic?  I mean, let’s not forget Mommie Dearest, her adopted daughter’s tell-all memoir that shattered Joan’s image forever.  Remember “NO WIRE HANGERS!” and the 1981 creepy, campy film starring Faye Dunaway?  I’ve read Christina’s book and I believe every word of it.  BUT Joan the actress however, was the epitome of a star no matter what.  Her few other shining films Sadie McKee (1934), This Modern Age (1931) and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1961) are amazing.  As nutty as her personal life was, she was always the STAR!

4.Natalie Wood- I have been a huge fan since I saw her in Splendor in the Grass (1961).  I also played her role as Deanie in a play here in Hollywood a couple years ago so Natalie has a special place in my heart.  She’s also hilarious in The Great Race (1965) and heartbreaking in West Side Story (1961).  She died tragically in a drowning accident and I’ve always thought there was much more to the story than reported.  Natalie Wood was the “IT” girl of the ’60s.  She’s an icon in my eyes.

5.Elizabeth Taylor– She was the last of the old, glamorous Hollywood stars before she sadly passed last year.  I was devastated and my friend Shane and I went to visit her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Violet eyes and raven black hair, this beauty sizzled with all the handsome actors of her day from Monty Clift to James Dean and Paul Newman.  My faves of hers are Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), A Place in the Sun (1951) and especially Suddenly Last Summer (1959) where she plays tragic mental ward patient Catherine.  We love you Liz, eight marriages and all!

Honorable Mentions: Janet Leigh, Shirley Temple, Margaret O’Brien, Grace Kelly

 

*Check out my MARCH 16 & 20 BLOGS FOR #11-15 AND #6-10 COUNTDOWNS!*

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