Tag Archives | stars

Remembering Elizabeth Taylor

I knew today was going to be a bad day as soon as I read Elizabeth Taylor is dead. The photo above is the first I remember seeing of hers. I was 7 years old at the time and would often spend the afternoon at the shop where my mother worked, reading gossip magazines like a middle-aged lady, living the life. I remember thinking this image was very strange. Who was this old, eccentric-looking woman? What was up with her appearance? Why were her eyes so light and her hair and body so brown? Wasn’t she a bit old to get married? Why did the husband have a mullet and look like the East German footballers in my Italy’90 sticker album? What the hell was Michael Jackson doing there? These and other life-changing questions crossed my innocent mind, and I thought Elizabeth Taylor was a very very weird grandma.

And then I watched Little Women (the 1949 version) with my mother and she told me that the nice looking girl was the weird, scary-looking woman from the magazines. My mind was blown and I forgave the strange woman for looking so strange because she was in one of my favourite films, and that was like, really cool.

once divine, always divine

 

It’s a shame that many people my age only know her as wife of many, friend of Michael Jackson and voice of Maggie Simpson. Ms Taylor truly was one of the greatest (and most beautiful). Don’t believe me? Have a look at this article with clips of her best roles, then come back to this post and thank me. Now let me show you Elizabeth at her best.
Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor, the best looking couple I’ve ever seen on screen.
Photo from the Hudson Archive/Getty Images via life.com
Photo from the Hudson Archive/Getty Images via life.com
Photo by Frank Worth, via Life.com
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Remembering Audrey Hepburn

Today marks 18 years since the death of Audrey Hepburn. To be honest, I’m more of a Katharine Hepburn or Lauren Bacall sort of person, but Audrey was undeniably elegant and, despite the fact that she’s not one of my favourite actresses, I find myself watching some of her films over and over again, especially Roman Holiday and Love in the Afternoon. Here are some photos of hers that I really love.
source unknown
source unknown
Source unknown
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Grahame vs Monroe

Next Wednesday I am doing a presentation on Human Desire (which I haven’t watched yet). We are analysing Hollywood stars and looking at the actress (or female actor, whatever) Gloria Grahame across different films (The Big Heat, Human Desire, Oklahoma!, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Bad and the Beautiful). Today we talked a bit about the different representations of femininity in 1950s Hollywood. I have spent the whole evening thinking about the possibility of comparing Grahame’s character in Human Desire, which is a Film Noir from 1954, with Marilyn Monroe’s femme fatale in Niagara, a Film Noir made one year earlier. My thinking is that both actresses appropiate the character of the femme fatale, giving their characters features characteristic of their star persona, so I think it would be interesting to see how very similar characters are made different by stars in the same genre and during the same period. I am excited about this, but I haven’t watched Niagara since I was about 12 and I still have to watch Human Desire, so it might not work at all.

And I am posting this because I had to write it down somewhere before the idea leaves me.

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