Archive for February, 2012
Grace Kelly on the set of “To Catch A Thief” (1955)
“To Catch a Thief” is a 1955 romantic thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis and John Williams. The movie is set on the French Riviera, and was based on the 1952 novel of the same name by David Dodge. This was Grace Kelly’s final film for Hitchcock as she became Princess Grace of Monaco in 1956.
“If someone’s dumb enough to offer me a million dollars to make a picture, I’m certainly not dumb enough to turn it down.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“I, along with the critics, have never taken myself very seriously.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“Everything makes me nervous, except making films.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“One problem with people who have no vices is that they`re pretty sure to have some annoying virtues.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“You find out who your real friends are when you`re involved in a scandal.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“I had a hollow leg. I could drink everyone under the table and not get drunk. My capacity was terrifying.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“It is very strange that the years teach us patience… that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
“I believe in mind over matter and doing anything you set your mind on.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
At the 7th Academy Awards for 1934, held on February 27, 1935 at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California, Frank Capra’s romantic comedy “It Happened One Night” became the first film to perform a “clean sweep” of the top five categories; Best Picture, Best Director (Frank Capra), Best Actor (Clark Gable), Best Actress (Claudette Colbert) and Best Screenplay (Robert Riskin).
“It Happened One Night” (1934) is an American romantic comedy directed by Frank Capra, in which a pampered socialite (Claudette Colbert) tries to get out from under her father’s thumb, and falls in love with a roguish reporter (Clark Gable).
Clark Gable gave his Oscar for “It Happened One Night” to a child who admired it, telling him it was the winning of the statue that had mattered, not owning it. The child returned the Oscar to the Gable family after Clark’s death.
Claudette Colbert was so convinced that she would lose the Oscar competition to write-in nominee Bette Davis, that she decided not to attend the awards ceremony. When Colbert won the Academy Award for Best Actress she was summoned from a train station to pick up her Oscar.
“They nicknamed me “The Oomph Girl”, and I loathe that nickname! Just being known by a nickname indicates that you’re not thought of as a true actress… It’s just crap! If you call an actress by her looks or a reaction, then that’s all she’ll ever be thought of as.” ~ Ann Sheridan
Ann Sheridan was born Clara Lou Sheridan in Denton, Texas on February 21, 1915. The youngest of five children, she grew up in a normal childhood environment. Sheridan was a self-described tomboy and was very athletic. She went to the University of North Texas and played on the girls basketball team for North Texas State Teacher’s College, where she was planning to enter the teaching field. Her sister thought her beautiful enough to send in a picture of Ann in a bathing suit to Paramount Studios. The “Search for Beauty” contest carried, as the prize, a screen test and a bit part in a movie. Ann Sheridan won the contest and she abandoned college to pursue a career in Hollywood, signing a contract with Paramount. Sheridan made her film debut in 1934, aged 19, in the film “Search for Beauty”. Performing under her real name of Clara Lou, she appeared in several more films that year, most designed to showcase her beauty along with other starlets that Paramount had signed. Twelve more bit parts followed in 1935, but Paramount made little effort to develop her talent, so she left Paramount and signed a contract with Warner Bros. in 1936, changing her name to Ann Sheridan. With Warner Brothers she received substantial roles and positive acclaim from critics and moviegoers. Sheridan starred in such films as “Angels with Dirty Faces” (1938) opposite James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart, “Dodge City” (1939) with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, “Torrid Zone” (1940) with Cagney and “They Drive by Night” (1940) with George Raft and Humphrey Bogart, “The Man Who Came to Dinner” (1942) with Bette Davis, and “Kings Row” (1942), in which she received top billing playing opposite Ronald Reagan, Robert Cummings, and Betty Field. Ann Sheridan also appeared in several comedies and musicals such as “It All Came True” (1940), “Navy Blues” (1941) and “Shine On, Harvest Moon” (1944).
During this period of her career Ann Sheridan became known as one of the most glamorous women in Hollywood and was dubbed as the “Oomph Girl,” a nickname she detested. Her beauty made her a favorite pin-up, along with Betty Grable. Rex Harrison said of her, “I was struck by her extraordinary magnetism and directness,” and noted that he liked her “distinctive quality of earthiness that never transcends to blatant sexiness.”
Ann Sheridan was also memorable in what became two of her biggest hits, “Nora Prentiss” and “The Unfaithful”, both in 1947. She was dropped by Warner Brothers in 1948, but came back in Howard Hawks’ comedy “I Was a Male War Bride” (1949) with Cary Grant. She continued to make films into the 1950s but her career went into a decline and her film roles were sporadic. Sheridan was aging and a crop of younger actresses coming up meant her services were no longer in demand. Her last role was in “Woman and the Hunter” (1957) and Sheridan retired from film soon after. Sheridan then moved to New York and took whatever acting jobs she could find, whether on stage or TV. Most soap opera fans remember her in “Another World” (1964). In 1966, Sheridan began starring in a new TV series, a Western-themed comedy called “Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats”. Ann Sheridan appeared in twenty one episodes and the show was popular with television audiences but she became ill during the filming and was diagnosed with esophageal and liver cancer. Sheridan died from her cancer on January 21, 1967, aged 51, in Los Angeles, California. She was cremated, and her remains were interred in a niche in the Chapel Columbarium at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Ann Sheridan was married three times; Edward Norris from 1936 to 1939, George Brent from 1942 to 1943, and Scott McKay from 1966 until her death in 1967. The first two marriages ended in divorce. She had no children.
For her contributions to the motion picture industry, Ann Sheridan has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame at 7024 Hollywood Boulevard.