Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's a tie!

Barbara Stanwyck and Katharine Hepburn win movie star poll
Of the six actresses (Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Stanwyck, Hepburn, Carole Lombard, and Claudette Colbert), Stanwyck and Hepburn each received 30% of the vote. Davis received 15%; Lombard and Colbert both received 10%; and Crawford received 5% of the vote.

Oscar champ
Hepburn is the Academy Award champ, winning four competitive Oscars in the Best Actress category. Stanwyck never won a competitive Oscar but was nominated for Best Actress four times, the last time in 1949 for Sorry Wrong Number. But the role that Stanwyck is most remembered for today is her portrayal of the ultimate femme fatale, Phyllis Dietrichson In Double Indemnity.

Davis is "Dangerous"
Bette Davis won two competitive Oscars and was nominated a total of 11 times for Best Actress (the first was a write-in nomination for Of Human Bondage). The award she won for Dangerous in 1935 was considered by many to be a consolation prize for losing the year before (Of Human Bondage was released in 1934).

Lombard and Colbert one-time neighbors
Before Carole Lombard married Clark Gable, she lived next door to Claudette Colbert. At the time, both were top stars at Paramount studios, often competing for the same roles. Colbert excelled at both comedy and drama but received her only Best Actress award for It Happened One Night, costarring Lombard's future husband, Gable. Ironically, Lombard was offered the role of Ellen Andrews but was committed to making a movie with George Raft. Lombard never won an Academy Award and was only nominated once for her breakout role as Irene Bullock in My Man Godfrey. At the time of her death in 1942, Lombard was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood with a bright future ahead of her. It's impossible to know what awards might have come her way had she lived.

Crawford: The movie star's movie star
By all accounts, Joan Crawford loved being a movie star. For years, she answered her own fan mail and autographed her own photographs for distribution, when a lot of other stars allowed others to forge their signatures. A major movie star since the silent picture days, Crawford remained a major force in Hollywood until the early 1960s. She won her only Academy Award for her performance as a self-sacrificing mother in Mildred Pierce, a role that was supposed to go to Barbara Stanwyck. Director, Michael Curtiz didn't want to work with Crawford. Desperate for the role, Crawford agreed to a screen test, which was unheard of for a star of Crawford's caliber, but it won Curtiz over.

Who’s your favorite?
Did the poll overlook your favorite movie actress from Hollywood's golden age? Who would you have included, voted for?

1 comment:

  1. Barbara Stanwyck is my favorite. She was always so smart and sharp and sexy. It wasn't so much that I identified with her as it was I wanted to be her.

    I'm not surprised about Joan Crawford's ranking in your poll. Sadly, people today know little about her beyond being the subject of "Mommy Dearest," if that.


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