To celebrate National Classic Movie Day, I’m joining Rick’s Five Stars blogathon by sharing some of my favorite classic movie stars. And though I can’t quite say they’re my favorites ALL of the time (of course, that shifts), they are always on my list. Since my favorite character actors deserve their own post, I’m focusing on those who frequently star in their vehicles. Here we go. In no particular order:
1: Barbara Stanwyck
Because her acting was superlative and ageless. Because she got her scenes in one take, her emotions so visceral you always feel immersed in her characters’ lives. Because her crews loved her. Because she could be funny, dramatic, or both at once. She was marvelous.
2: Van Heflin
Because his acting was so natural. Because he didn’t demand attention or the starring role, but the authenticity of his acting and his easy confidence made him riveting anyway. Because he singlehandedly changed my mind about westerns with his understated performance in 3:10 to Yuma. Because he never got the credit he deserved, which somehow makes me love him more.
3: Cary Grant
Because he had the all-time best smirk. Because he could be sexy or goofy, usually both at once. Because his acrobatics were truly impressive. Because in spite of his unfailing glamour, his characters were always real. Because he knew how to share the screen with a canine. Because he was adept at self-creation. Because he gave me a name for my blog.
4: William Powell
Because I wouldn’t typically consider his looks attractive, but his personality onscreen was so assured and wonderful and silly that I find him sexy just the same. Because I want to befriend most of his characters, and am sad I can’t. Because I could listen to that voice all day. Because I’ll watch anything he’s in, just to fall for him again.
5: Mae West
Because she wrote her own lines and dictated her own role–onscreen and off. Because those lines were so well written that people know them almost 100 years later, without knowing where they’re from or who she was. Because she was combustible onscreen, and always hilarious. Because she was a feminist, whether she admitted it or not. Because she had impeccable timing. Because of that walk. Because her movies are utter joy. Because there will never be another like her.
Check out other bloggers’ favorites at Five Stars blogathon!