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Posts Tagged ‘hollywood’s greatest’

Where Is She Now?

Elaine Stritch was never one for the big screen, or the little screen, so a lot of her credits in those areas are limited. Since 2000, she has appeared in only 10 TV shows or movies. She made an appearance in two episodes of 3rd Rock from the Sun as Martha Albright, her first in the 1997 episode Dick-In-Law, and her second in 2001 My Mother, My Dick. 2005 proved to be a “busy” year for Stritch. She would appear in a supporting role in the romantic comedy Monster-in-Law, starring Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda. She would also make an appearance in the John Turturro directed film, Romance & Cigarettes, but it was a very minor role.

But there is one show where she has become very well known to us all of a younger generation: 30 Rock. She plays the absolutely hilarious and wonderful Colleen Donaghy, the mother of Jack Donaghy. In fact, in 2007, Elaine Stritch won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for the episode Hiatus. She would go on to be nominated again the next three years in a row. She is honestly one of the funniest characters in the show whenever she gets a chance to appear. I absolutely love her character and how much she is feared.

But while Stritch has been quiet in front of a camera, she still does her thing on stage. From November 7, 2001 to December 30, 2001, she had a one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty in New York’s Public Theater. The show was a summation of her life and career. It ran on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre from February 21, 2002 to May 27, 2002. And since 2005, Stritch has been performing a cabaret act at the Cafe Carlyle in New York City. It’s safe to say that she’s still got it. And for anyone who may miss Stritch, she will be lending her voice to the stop-motion animated film ParaNorman, which will be in theaters August 17, 2012.

Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

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Known more for her work on the stage than on the big screen, Elaine Stritch was born February 2, 1925 to Mildred and George Stritch in Detroit, Michigan. Born into a wealthy family, Stritch had the opportunity to pursue her dream of acting and train at the Dramatic Workship of The New School in New York City. Several other students of the prestigious Dramatic Workshop were Bea Arthur, Harry Belafonte, Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Rod Steiger, and Tennessee Williams.

Stritch made her stage debut in 1944, and in three short years was able to make her Broadway debut in the play Loco. 1947 would also mark her appearance in two other plays, Made in Heaven and the revue Angel in the Wings. As the years went on, her roles began to get bigger and better. While she was an understudy to Ethel Merman in Call Me Madam, she appeared in the revival of Pal Joey (1952). She would then star in the national tour of Call Me Madam, and was given a supporting role in the original production of William Inge’s Bus Stop.

It was in 1961, when Stritch starred in Noël Coward’s Sail Away, that she was “promoted over the title and given virtually all the best songs when it was reckoned that the leading lady … although excellent, was rather too operatic for a musical comedy.”(1) Throughout her time on the stage, Stritch became known as the singer with the brassy, powerful singing voice — and it wasn’t long before she became the toast of both Broadway and London’s West End.

When talking about Elaine Stritch, it’s essential to talk about her role in the British comedy series Two’s Company alongside Donald Sinden. Stritch played the role of Dorothy McNab, an American writer who lives in London and is famous for her sensationalist thriller novels. Sinder played the role of Robert, Dorothy’s English butler who disapproved of just about everything Dorothy did. The series thrived on the culture clash between these two characters. The show lasted from 1975 to 1979, and in total was nominated for four Britich Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA): 1977 for Best Comedy, 1979 for Best Comedy, Best Graphics (for the opening credits sequence) and Best Light Entertainment Performance for the two stars, Stritch and Sinden.

Stritch never appeared in many films, but when she did make an appearance, she always seemed to be a small, but integral part, of a very strong cast. Early on in her career, she appeared in the 1956 film Three Violent People, which starred Charlton Heston and Anne Baxter. She then co-starred with Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones in the David O. Selznick remake of A Farewell to Arms. A year later, she appeared in The Perfect Furlough co-starring with Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. But her best performance, in my opinion, was in the film Providence, directed by French filmmaker Alain Resnais.

(1) Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=iQyQNfaIKXwC&pg=PA126&dq=Coward+%22Sail+Away%22&hl=en#v=onepage&q=Coward%20%22Sail%20Away%22&f=false

Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

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Elaine Stritch

Prominent Roles

The Scarlet Hour (1956) as Phyllis Rycker
Three Violent People (1956) as Ruby Lasalle
A Farewell to Arms (1957) as Helen Ferguson
The Perfect Furlough (1958) as Liz Baker
Providence (1977) as Helen Wiener
Two’s Company (1975-1979) as Dorothy McNab
September (1987) as Diane
The Cosby Show (1989-1990) as Mrs. McGee
An Inconvenient Woman (1991) as Rose
Law & Order (1992/1997) as Lanie Stieglitz
Small Time Crooks (2000) as Chi Chi Potter
3rd Rock from the Sun (1997/2001) as Martha Albright
Monster-in-Law (2005) as Gertrude
30 Rock (2007-1012) as Colleen Donaghy
ParaNorman (2012) as Grandma

Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

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Where Is She Now?

I’m going to be completely honest here, I only knew Tippi Hedren from her work with Hitchcock, so when I started looking into her most recent film appearances, I was surprised to see that she hadn’t been in any well-known movies recently.

She did have a role in the David O’Russell film, I Heart Huckabees in 2004, and she also made a guest appearance on CSI in 2008, but for the most part, her roles consisted of TV movies or relatively unknown movies. I’m happy to say, however, that this doesn’t signal an end for Tippi. She’ll be appearing in the Billy Bob Thornton film Jayne Mansfield’s Car. While there’s no official release date yet, it does seem rather exciting due to its all-star cast: Thornton, Robert Duvall, Kevin Bacon, and John Hurt.

Hedren will also be appearing in the silent film, Return to Babylon, which revolves around the scandals that took place during the silent film era. The film will feature an ensemble cast including Jennifer Tilly as Clara Bow, Debi Mazar as Gloria Swanson, Maria Conchita Alonso as Lupe Velez, Brett Ashy as Fatty Arbuckle, and Stanley Sheff as Douglas Fairbanks, to name a few. Again, there hasn’t been any confirmed release date for this film either.

There are several movies in the pre-production stage for Tippi, but looking at the director and the cast, it’s hard to say what kind of impact they will have on her career. From the way I see it, it really seems like Hedren had a tough time picking up her career after she left the world of Hitchcock, but hopefully, with her two movies coming out later this year, she can make a comeback.

Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

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Tippi” wasn’t always her name. Born Nathalie Kay Hedren on January 19, 1930 to Dorothea and Bernard Hedren, she was given the nickname “Tippi” by her father — from the Swedish nickname, Tupsa, meaning ‘sweetheart’.  Growing up in Minnesota, Tippi had dreams of becoming a model. As a teen, she took part in department store fashion shows. While she was still in high school, her family relocated to California, and when she turned 18, she bought a ticket to head to the greatest city in the world: New York.

From 1950 to 1961, Hedren was a successful fashion model, appearing on the cover of many national magazines. But it was her role in a commercial that would change her life forever — Alfred Hitchcock was watching The Today Show, and in a commercial for a diet drink called Sego, saw Hedren.  After working with Grace Kelly, Hitchcock was looking for someone who possessed similar sophistication, self-assurance, and cool sex appeal, and he believed he had found that in Tippi.

After a costly $25,000 screen test, Hitchcock signed Hedren to a multi-year contract, his plan being to personally mold Hedren’s public image. Although Hitchcock may have been aiming to make Hedren the next Grace Kelly, Hedren had other ideas: she wanted to be known as the first Tippi Hedren.

The first, and most famous of Hedren’s films, would be The Birds. The film was met with extremely positive reviews, and would wind up being one of Hitchcock’s last successful films. Unfortunately, however, the relationship between Hitchcock and Hedren would slowly start to fall apart.

The next film that Hedren and Hitchcock collaborated on, and the last, was Marnie. The film was greeted with mixed reviews, but was Hedren’s favorite role between the two films. After Marnie, Hitchcock had several other roles in mind for Hedren, but she declined to work with Hitchcock anymore, apparently due to unwanted ‘advances’. Hitchcock kept her under contract, and when other directors expressed interest in casting her, informed them that she was unavailable. As Hitchcock wouldn’t allow Hedren to get out of her contract — Hedren could do nothing, and while doing nothing was paid a ‘small sum’ every week.

Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

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Tippi Hedren

Prominent Roles
The Birds (1963) as Melanie Daniels
Marnie (1964) as Marnie Edgar
A Countess from Hong Kong (1967) as Martha
Roar (1981) as Madeline
Pacific Heights (1990) as Florence Peters
Citizen Ruth (1996) as Jessica Weiss
I Heart Huckabees (2004) as Mary Jane Hutchinson

Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

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Where Is He Now?

Nominated for an Oscar six times, winning it twice, Caine has settled down into more supporting roles over the past 10 years. Caine appeared in a couple of remakes of his older films, the first being the Stephen Kay-directed Get Carter with Sylvester Stallone starring in the lead role as Jack Carter this time (instead of Caine). The second would be the Kenneth Branagh adaptation of Sleuth, starring Jude Law in Caine’s previous role and Caine in the role originated by Laurence Olivier. Jude Law would end up starring in a remake of Caine’s Oscar-nominated film Alfie.

Now that we’re past the remakes, Caine would be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar in the Phillip Noyce directed film, The Quiet American. In 2005, Caine would appear in the first of his films with director Christopher Nolan, Batman Begins. Since 2005, Caine has appeared in all four of Christopher Nolan’s films: Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception.

In 2006, Caine appeared in one of the most acclaimed films of the decade: Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men. The film is considered the eleventh-greatest film of the 2000s (source:Metacritic). While playing a minor role, many critics praised Caine’s performance. And to be perfectly frank here, when I first watched the movie, I honestly had no idea that it was him. And when I found out it was him…I couldn’t believe it.

In 2011, Caine would lend his voice to two animated films: Gnomeo and Juliet (also featuring the voice of Maggie Smith), and Cars 2. In 2012, he already appeared in the action-adventure family film Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans. Later this year, Caine will reprise his role as Alfred Pennyworth in the third and final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise, The Dark Knight Rises. Caine will also be starring in the film Mr. Morgan’s Last Love, and will play a supporting role in Louis Leterrier’s magic/heist thriller Now You See Me. Caine has been busy over the past year, and I can just about guarantee that he won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

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