Archive for March, 2011
Ramsay Ames, born Phillips Ames, March 30, 1919 in New York City, New York, was a leading 1940s American B movie actress, model, dancer, comediene, and pin-up girl. As a teenager, Ames attended the Walter Hillhouse School of Dance, specializing in Latin-style dance. She later became part of a dance team under the name “Ramsay Del Rico”, and appeared as a model at the Eastman Kodak-sponsored fashion show at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. During a trip to California to visit her mother, Ramsay had a chance meeting at the airport with Columbia President Harry Cohn. The meeting resulted in a screen test and then her 1943 movie debut “Two Señoritas from Chicago” (1943). From there Ramsay Ames moved to Universal where she went on to star in “The Mummy’s Ghost” (1944), where she played the Princess Ananka opposite Lon Chaney Jr. as the mummy. After her career started to subside in the late 1940s, Ames and her husband lived in Spain, where she had her own television interview show and occasionally took on support roles in films produced in Europe. In all, Ames starred in and had lesser roles in 26 movies during her career. Ramsay Ames died of lung cancer on her birthday, March 30, 1998, in Santa Monica, California. She was 79 years old.
“By the time I was 15, my mother had turned me into a real clotheshorse.” ~ Gloria Swanson
“I was married when I was 17. I knew nothing. I was full of romance.” ~ Gloria Swanson
“I was 25 and the most popular celebrity in the world, with the possible exception of my friend Mary Pickford.” ~ Gloria Swanson
“After 16 years in pictures I could not be intimidated easily, because I knew where all the skeletons were buried.” ~ Gloria Swanson
“Life and death. They are somehow sweetly and beautifully mixed, but I don’t know how.” ~ Gloria Swanson
“Nobody gets something for nothing.” ~ Gloria Swanson
Seas Ablaze…with black villainy, with fiery romance, with breathless deeds of daring…in the roaring era of Love, Gold and Adventure!
“The Black Swan“ (1942) is a swashbuckling, high seas, action packed, technicolor film directed by Henry King. The movie stars Tyrone Power as pirate Jamie Waring and Maureen O’Hara as the Lady Margaret Denby with Laird Cregar, Thomas Mitchell, George Sanders, and Anthony Quinn.
After England and Spain make peace, notorious pirate Henry Morgan (Laird Cregar) is persuaded to give up “pirating” and is made Governor of Jamaica, with orders to rid the Caribbean of his former comrades, by persuasion or force if necessary. Morgan convinces Captain Jamie Waring (Tyrone Power) and his lieutenant, Tom Blue (Thomas Mitchell), to also give up their old ways and join him, but others of the Pirate Brotherhood, such as Captain Billy Leech (George Sanders) and Wogan (Anthony Quinn), refuse to change. Captain Waring falls in love with The Lady Margaret Denby (Maureen O’Hara), who happens to be inconveniently engaged to an English gentleman, Roger Ingram (Edward Ashlei). As it turns out, her fiancé is a traitor and is secretly providing information about ship sailings to the unrepentant pirates. When Morgan is unable to stop the pirating ways of his old shipmates, he is suspected of still being allied with them. It is up to Waring to set sail to find out the truth and stop the renegade pirates led by Captain Leech and Wogan.
Jamie(Tyrone Power): “You can lower your pistols, Lady Margaret.”
Margaret Denby (Maureen O’Hara): “Unfortunately, I have no pistols.”
Jamie: “Your eyes. I’ve looked into pistol barrels that are warmer.”
Capt. Sir Henry Morgan (Laird Cregar): “I wish my nature hadn’t changed. I’d have made that whole assembly walk the plank.”
Capt. Jamie Waring (Tyrone Power): “Can’t go wrong drowning politicians, Henry.”
Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most beautiful and talented actresses to ever grace the silver screen. The following is a pictorial honoring some of her best and most important movies.
Lassie Come Home (1943). Taylor had a secondary role in this movie as Lassie Come Home featured child star Roddie McDowell. But McDowell and Taylor both recieved favourable reviews which led to eleven year old Taylor signing a seven year contract with MGM. Taylor and McDowell became friends during the filming and would remain close friends until McDowell’s death in 1998.
National Velvet (1944). Mickey Rooney had top billing but it was Elizabeth Taylor who stole the show with her role as Velvet Brown, a young girl who trains her horse to win the Grand National. Taylor’s performance skyrocketed her to stardom at the age of twelve and led to her signing a new long term contract with MGM that raised her salary to 30,000 dollars a year.
Father Of The Bride (1950). Taylor easily made the transition to adult roles as she grew older. Father of the Bride, with Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett, was Taylor’s first big box office hit in an adult role. She was seventeen at the time.
Giant (1956). Giant was a star studded epic directed by George Stevens and starred Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean. Giant was nominated for 10 Academy Awards with one win for best director. (On a side note, this was James Dean’s last movie as he died in a car wreck before the movie was released.)
Raintree County (1957). Taylor starred opposite Montgomery Clift in this Civil War Drama which earned Taylor her first of four in a row nominations for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958) . Elizabeth earned her second of four nominations in a row for an Academy Award for Best Actress in her role as Maggie opposite Paul Newman in this movie adaptation of Tennessee William’s play.
Butterfield 8 (1960). Taylor won her first Academy Award for Best Actress after being nominated for the 4th year in a row for her role as Gloria Wandrous starring opposite her then husband Eddie Fisher.
Cleopatra (1963). Elizabeth Taylor became the first woman ever to sign a million dollar contract when she accepted the title role in the 20th Century Fox lavish production of Cleopatra. The movie won 4 Academy Awards and was the highest grossing movie of 1963. Taylor played Cleopatra opposite Richard Burton’s Marc Antony. It was during the filming of this movie that Taylor and Burton first met and started their torrid love affair which recieved much attention from the press as they were both married at the time. (Taylor and Burton would later marry and divorce, twice, but would remain friends for the rest of their lives.)
Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Wolf (1966). Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf was a drama starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, and Sandy Denis. The film was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and is the only film to ever recieve an Academy Award nomination in every eligible catagory possible. It won five times including Taylor recieving her second Academy Award for Best Actress. Many critics said that Elizabeth Taylor’s role as the lewd and unkept Martha was her best performance ever.
For more on Elizabeth Taylor click here.
Feb 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011
Elizabeth Taylor, Academy Award winning actress, aids activist, beauty and fashion icon, died this morning at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California from congestive heart failure. Taylor is survived by her four children, ten grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. She was 79 years old.
“My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love,” her son, Michael Wilding, said in a statement. “We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”