Fifty Years Ago Today: I’m One Of The Many

Fifty years ago today: the passing of my favourite actress, the actress whose seeming fragility was underpinned by a steely resolve. Rest In Peace to the talented and courageous Vivien Leigh. 

“I hope my life will prove a useful and good one to many people.”

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Of The Silent World:Dolores

As a self-confessed fan of both old movies and old photographs, I love this. It is Dolores Costello, who married John Barrymore, and is the grandmother of Drew Barrymore.

I’m sure there are other family members who could be name dropped here, too. 🙂

Oh the days before the world succumbed to sound and colour.

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Pain Is Love

I woke this morning to the news that Debbie Reynolds had died, just one day after Carrie Fisher. The strain must have been just too much for the aged star. “She’s now with Carrie and we’re all heartbroken,” said her son, Todd Fisher. “She said, ‘I want to be with Carrie’, and then she was gone.”

Debbie wanting to be with her daughter is a nice thought, but what a time their family must be going through. On hearing the news, the lyrics of Ja Rule came to mind:

If pain is truly love,

for my family I die.

R.I.P both mother&daughter.

Of Brains, Beauty And Suspicious Wives

I was reading a biography of Hedy Lamarr. For a while my wife, Jen, showed no interest. She thought it was a book about a man named Eddie.

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Then she glimpsed the close-up of the face on the cover.

“Have you got that book to perv?”

“Of course not. I picked it up at the library. You know I like old movies, and I was intrigued that she was also an inventor.”

She picked the book up, immediately confronted by the title:

Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman In Film.

“Hmmm . . .” 

She seemed prepared to give me the benefit of the doubt. But it seems the Fates were working against me.

She opened the book, and out of 281 pages, she happened on the very one that informed her that Lamarr acted out the first female orgasm on screen.

“She was a porn star?”

No, I explained. She was an actress, adding weakly (again) that she was also an inventor.

“Well she didn’t invent the orgasm.”

She flicked through the book, pausing on another page.

(Goddamn you, Fates!)

She decided to hit me with a verbatim quote:

Aged 52, she accused a business-machine repairman she had known and dated for six months of raping her at gunpont. In court, a macabre interest was revealed: he liked to keep people in jars. He told the judge “I don’t know why she was shocked, no one else is. I have a five-month-old baby and a foetus that I got from a hospital in the east; a mummy, and also a unicorn.”

“What the hell is this crap that you’re reading?”

She got the impression that Hedy Lamarr was an orgasm-faking floozy who was raped by a man who collected foetus’, dead babies and unicorns. Easy mistake to make.

I immediately sought out something that might paint Lamarr in a more positive light, such as the invention that she worked on to aid the war effort, the technology which we encounter today whenever we use mobile phones or Wifi.

I thought that this might win her over:

Lamarr worked with a man called George Antheil on the invention. His wife came home one evening to be told that her husband couldn’t dine with her, as he was expected at Hedy Lamarr’s, (you know, the most beautiful woman in film), and she was not invited. They were too busy working on something.

“Oh, so you’re going to be busy! ” Böski, his wife, exclaimed. “What doing, dare I ask?” She was a trifle sarcastic.

“We are inventing a radio-directed torpedo,” he said.

“Indeed,” said Böski frigidly.’

Jen snorted: “Oh, that old chestnut. Inventing a radio-directed torpedo. Try a line like that with me and you’d be copping for a head-directed missile.”

Think she prefers Meryl Streep.