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Friday, 4 June 2010

Live! Live! Live! Life is a Banquet...

...and most poor suckers are starving to death!

Yes, you guessed it, today is Rosalind Russell's 103rd birthday! Many happy returns of the day!!

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Roz (born June 4th, 1907 in Connecticut and died November 28th, 1976 in Beverly Hills) was the middle of 7 children, and was named after the S.S. Rosalind. She attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, unbeknownst to her family who thought she was studying to become a teacher!

When she first went to Hollywood in 1934, she was mostly cast in secondary, supporting parts but by 1935 she was being seen as Myrna Loy's replacement - and actually taking many of the roles that were initially meant for Myrna. However, Roz was dissatisfied with the image that was being created for her as a 'sophisticated' lady on and off the screen and she very much wanted to change this perception.

Roz was an extremely versatile actress - nowadays, she is most known for her work as a comedienne. The Women (1939) is comedy-drama starring Roz, Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford. This film really solidified Roz's reputation as a comedienne.

(I can't embed this video, but it has some of the best lines from The Women so please do check it out!)

Her first real "leading" role was in His Girl Friday as Hildy Johnson. It was screwball comedy which starred her opposite the wonderful Cary Grant. It has possibly the quickest exchange of dialogue EVER in a film. I honestly don't know how they were able to 1: keep straight faces and 2: speak so fast!! Apparently the writers wrote the rapid firing dialogues with the beginning and end of each sentence unnecessary, so that the conversations sounded realistic but without the audience missing anything. Genius!

I urge you to watch it, it's wonderful!

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I think probably my favourite film of Roz' is Auntie Mame, however. It's the film which I quoted in the title of the post - "Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!". It is a wonderful film. I quite honestly adore it. Roz is spectacular, her lines are spectacular, and she looks spectacular.

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This is one of my favourite scenes, Roz plays it beautifully - her facial expressions crack me up.

Once again, I urge you to watch this marvellous film!

Roz wasn't a drop dead gorgeous Hollywood beauty but she had a certain character and charm to her that was [is] very endearing. I think she brought a new meaning to sophistication with her humour and exuberance. Because she was sophisticated however much she disliked the tag. Roz was one of a kind really!

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When she died after a long battle with breast cancer in 1976, aged 69, the world lost a great woman. She was wonderful person, and she's without a doubt one of my favourite actresses ever.

Happy birthday, Roz!

With Greer Garson...
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In His Girl Friday...
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A presto!


  1. Great actress of character and personality, liked very much to me ... and that pair bubbling with Cary Grant. Beautiful your blog, full of actresses who adore, it's nice to see that others love this kind of films and actors. Ah I love Pier like tea and ice cream could wyverns. Miaooooooooooùùùùùùùùùù

  2. I'm so glad you like Roz too! (: Oh, Cary and she are so wonderful!
    Thank you! I'm also glad to find people who love these wonderful ladies! (:
    Miaooo! (:

  3. You too love much those films and of those actors,-you have seen from me often meet titles years 30 40 50-, is an immense pleasure to find those who appreciate such things, and men and women had an incredible charm, but I find even more personality. Meanwhile calmly I will do a spin to read in your blog the various characters you wrote.
    Miaaaaooooooo arrivederci


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