Saturday, October 24, 2015


One of my all-time favorite movie stars, she lived a long, full, productive life that she often made clear she was grateful for, and made it to 95. The gif above is from THE QUIET MAN, which, despite it's outdated mores (pretty sexist, even if it's intended to be comic, and even though she didn't mind and claimed to enjoy the humor of it and held her own against John Wayne's title character) still works.

And the reason it works is not just the chemistry between her and Wayne (that also worked in several other movies they made together) but because she was such an amazingly strong yet gorgeous movie actor and screen presence (her star charisma jumped out from the screen in one of her earliest triumphs, playing the gypsy girl to Charles Laughton's THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME).

She was everything she appeared to be, glamorous yet down-to-earth, strong and independent (she made the tabloids back in the 1950s for being caught getting too intimate in the back of a movie theater with her date) yet capable of great sweetness and vulnerability, not just in her roles but in life, a great artist and yet humble in the sense of not denying her star stature but not denying her good fortune and common humanity either.

One of the people I'd most like to have met in my Hollywood years, but unfortunately never did. Yet like many of us I feel like I've always known her and always will.