May 6, 2013

Classic Movie May // Favorite Actresses

I'm linking up to...

And I'm back to do some more classic film rambling!  It's my favorite silver screen leading ladies this time.

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Olivia de Havilland | My favorite actress for as long as I can remember, adorable Olivia made her film debut in the 1935 production of Shakespeare's  A Midsummer Night's Dream as Hermia.  Her sweet little voice and loveliness lent itself well to her earlier roles as romantic heroines.  But don't let her fool you, she wasn't just eye candy - she could act!  If you've seen her in Gone with the Wind, The HeiressThe Snake Pit, or Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (that one is not on my recommended list, by the way), then you know she could hold her own with the best of them.  She could do comedy too, as she proved in Princess O'Rourke and Four's a Crowd.  Olivia's screen pairing with Errol Flynn was perfection itself.  The chemistry between those two is delightful!  They made eight films together, including Captain Blood and The Adventures of Robin Hood, and all of them are on my favorites list (I've marked them with an *).
My favorite of her films {that I've seen} are Captain Blood*, The Charge of the Light Brigade*, The Adventures of Robin Hood*, Four's a Crowd*, Dodge City*, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex*, Gone with the Wind, Santa Fe Trail*, They Died with Their Boots On*, Princess O'Rourke, The Snake Pit, The Heiress, and The Proud Rebel.

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Audrey Hepburn |  Classy and caring, Audrey believed in smiling and laughing a lot.  She never thought of herself as beautiful, but we all know she was, both inside and out.   I love her outlook on life, and a more generous and compassionate person you will never find.  Reading about her inspired me to find my own fashion style, to be myself.  And is there anything more delightful than curling up and watching an Audrey Hepburn film?  No, I think not.  She was a talented actress and always conveyed such ladylike charm in her films.  Her smile makes your day better.
My favorite of her films {that I've seen} are Roman Holiday, Sabrina, War and Peace, Love in the Afternoon, Funny Face, The Nun's Story, The Unforgiven, Breakfast at Tiffanys (some content - please watch with caution), Charade, Paris When it Sizzles (ditto), My Fair Lady, How to Steal a Million, and Wait Until Dark

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Greer Garson | When my grandma and I have long conversations about our favorite silver screen actors and actresses (which we do rather often - I inherited my love of film from her;), sooner or later we always end up talking about this lovely lady.  My grandma remembers going as a child to the movies to see Greer Garson.  Stunningly beautiful, with red hair (which we don't get to see enough of), and a melodic voice, you're in for a treat whenever she comes on screen.  She was extremely popular during WWII, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1942 for her role in Mrs. Miniver.
My favorite of her films {that I've seen} are Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Miniver, Random Harvest, Madame Curie, and The Happiest Millionaire.

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Ginger Rogers | Here is a actress who is greatly under-rated.  Most well known in her dancing roles opposite Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers could not only sing and dance, but she had so much more to offer than that.  Watch her in Kitty Foyle or The Major and the Minor, and you'll know I speak the truth when I say Ginger was a great actress.   Of course I absolutely adore her and Fred together.  This girl could really dance!  Her autobiography Ginger: My Story is a fun read, and I highly recommend it.
My favorite of her films {that I've seen} are Roberta, Top Hat, Follow the Fleet, Swing Time, Shall We Dance, Stage Door, Carefree, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, Kitty Foyle, The Major and the Minor, and The Barkleys of Broadway.

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Joan Fontaine | I didn't discover Joan until a few years ago, but I was immediately interested when I learned she was Olivia de Havilland's younger sister.  The sisters, who are two of the last surviving leading ladies from the 30s, are famous for their sibling rivalry and haven't spoken to each other for decades.  My brother hates it when I talk about their rivalry, but I find it rather fascinating...and very sad, too.  What makes me laugh (a bit) is that they are both extremely talented actresses in their own right!  Sometimes, while watching Joan in a movie, she'll wrinkle her nose a certain way or lift an eyebrow or smile a certain way, and I say, "Uh huh - she's Olivia's sister alright!"  While they don't look exactly alike, they are definitely sisters, no doubt about that!  And both stunningly beautiful, too.
Joan's performances in Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca and Suspicion are especially brilliant.  If you've not seen Rebecca, do yourself a huge favor and watch that movie!
My favorite of her films {that I've seen} are Gunga Din, Rebecca, Suspicion, Jane Eyre, Letter From an Unknown Woman, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

And just for fun, a picture of the two rivals sisters together...
   They don't appear to be killing each other here, which makes me wonder how much of the rivalry was just publicity doing what it does best - exaggerating.

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Just like my list of favorite actors, my list of favorite actresses is very long, indeed.  Here are the honorable mentions, all fantastic actresses who I enjoy watching: Maureen O'Hara, Ingrid Bergman, Jean Arthur, Irene Dunne, Teresa Wright, Rosalind Russell, Debbie Reynolds, Judy Garland, Jean Simmons, Myrna Loy and others, but I'll stop there;)

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Question: Who are some of your favorite silver screen actresses?  I want to know!


  1. My favorites are Maureen O'Hara, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, and Audrey Hepburn. I bought Audrey Hepburn's biography, but haven't found the time to read it. So it was interesting to read about her in your post.


  2. I totally agreed with you on all of that!! There is nothing quite so lovely as sitting down and watching a black and white movie :D My favorite actresses are Your favorite too :)Have you seen "Vivacious Lady"? It has Ginger Rodgers too. So cute :)

    God BLess!

  3. I had only seen Greer Garson in P&P, up until about a week ago. And then I saw Random Harvest...oh my goodness, I love that movie! Though it tore my heart into little bits at times. :) Now I really need to find more of her films!


  4. Of all of the actresses you mentioned, Audrey Hepburn is at the top of my list. All of them were talented and special, but Audrey had a certain humbleness that translated into a beautiful strength. She was amazing in all of her roles!

  5. Olivia de Havilland will always be my favorite classic film actress. I love the movies she did with Errol Flynn! Her sibling rivalry with Joan Fontaine has always interested me. I agree, it is sad.

    I haven't seen any of the other actresses yet, (I actually haven't seen very many classic movies) but I'll have to remedy that.

    Tasha, I tagged you! Here:

  6. I just want to leave a comment to say: your new blog header is so cute! Also: Greer Garson is one of our most favorite actresses, too :) "Mrs. Miniver" is the best.

  7. Kimberly - I love reading about Audrey Hepburn:)

    Bella - No, I haven't seen Vivacious Lady, sadly. It's been on my "too watch" list for quite some time, but I haven't been able to get a copy.

    Winnie - I haven't seen Audrey in a role I didn't like. She was such a special lady!

    Miss Melody Muffin - Errol and Olivia <3
    Thanks for the tag! I'll got take a look:)

    Maribeth - Thank you! I rather like it, myself:)
    Mrs. Miniver is definitely the best! Have you seen Random Harvest? So good.

  8. I am woefully ignorant about classic movies. I haven't seen half as many as I'd like. However I adore Audrey Hepburn. She was a wonderful actress and she brought so much warmth and charm to her characters. And she was an amazing person.


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