Without further ado, I'll get started! My Top 5 are the actresses who I really, really admire and love...to an obsessive level! ;D
No. 1 (by a mile) Deborah Kerr
Reasons: Ever since I was really, really small I've loved Deborah. The reason I loved her then was because she always radiated warmth. She was comforting to watch, even in her more, uh, earthy (? I have totally the wrong word...) roles (most of which I didn't see 'til I was older, but even then the same holds true). When I watched her films (mainly The King and I over and over again (; ) I felt safe and happy. There was something so very reassuring in her poise, the way she spoke, and in the kind, brightness of her eyes.
When I started to appreciate people's acting skills more aged about 11/12 (before that, if I liked an actor/actress, I would have said they were the best in the world...EVER!!), I started finding something totally new in Deborah. She wasn't at all a showy actress, but the thing that really struck me was how well, or cleverly maybe, she used her eyes and her voice. It does sound silly saying that, I know, but really, if you just close your eyes and listen to her voice...it's amazing. She channelled so much emotion into it...it's really astounding! And her eyes, well, they speak volumes!
Although not an exotic beauty like Ava Gardner or Hedy Lamarr, she was an astonishing natural beauty. Also, she didn't care about going without make up in films. Check out The Sundowners...no make up, and she looked so radiant!
And lastly, she was, by all means, a wonderful lady off the screen. Jean Simmons once said of her "She is the most beautiful person, inside and out, I think I've ever met." (that's not word for word, by the way, as I can't remember it exactly!). She was very kind to her fans, and I once read a lovely story of how a fan wrote to her (I think it was in the 80s or 90s) telling her about her life and how she had a lot horrible things going on in it, and Deborah replied with the most beautiful letter, and after that they corresponded for many years. I also read that even when she became too ill to write letters any more, she used to get someone to write a Christmas card to this certain fan (I'm not sure if it was the same one as I just mentioned), and then she would sign it, and when she became even more ill and couldn't sign, she made sure to put two little kisses. I think that speaks for itself. She really was a lovely person! I wish I could have had the honour of meeting her! ♥
No. 2 - Greer Garson
Reasons: Ok, so No. 2 was really hard to choose. I was tussling with Greer and Barbara for ages, and I had already put Barbara there...but as I started to type out my reasons, I saw Greer with a really sad face begging me (in her delicious voice) to put her in the No. 2 slot. So, here she is! And that's kind of one of the reasons, because she talks to me inside my head. To be fair, I have conversations with a lot of my favourite actresses - for example, whenever I'm scared of something or someone, I talk to Bette Davis! (I'm actually not joking either...sooo, that make me really weird, yes?...I thought as much...)
The reason Greer Garson is No. 2, apart from the voices in my head, is because she was such a beautiful actress - and I'm not talking solely about her looks (I'm not that shallow, I hope!). Yes, she was extremely beautiful, but, aside from her physical beauty, she was beautiful in everything she did. The way she moved, the way she talked, the way she used her eyes...the way she used all of herself to make her acting absolutely stunning to watch! Greer was a wonderful lady!
No. 3 - Barbara Stanwyck
Reasons: She was just a stupendously amazing actress. She always delivered, and, in my humble opinion, she is definitely one of the greatest actresses of all time. To top off her exceptional acting chops, she was also sickeningly gorgeous and had a to-die-for voice!
No. 4 - Rosalind Russell
Reasons: Roz was just unbelievable. I really don't know what to say. I just love her. She was an amazing comedienne, but she was equally good in more serious roles (although, I must say I do love her comedic films the most...). I think she is surprisingly underrated :(
No. 5 - Bette Davis
Reasons: Bette Davis was cool. Really cool. She was so cool it hurts. There'll never be anyone who can match up to Bette Davis and her coolness. Oh, did I mention she's cool?
Aside from her coolness, she was an amazing actress. Yes, she did get a little stale towards the end of her career...much as I hate to admit it...but, still, it doesn't take away from the fact that she was one of the most glorious actresses of all time. She's up there with Babs.
...she was also waaaaay more amazing than Joan Crawford...
(The next 10 are in no particular order)
Reasons: I would say that Eleanor Parker is one of the most underrated actresses of all time. I've always been extremely puzzled as to why she's never got the recognition she deserved. She was an incredible actress. Her versatility was quite astonishing, and she is always a pleasure to watch. She was exceptionally talented, beautiful and very, very charming. - so, why oh why didn't she get more appreciation and acknowledgement? I was buying some DVDs online the other day, and I happened to come across The Man With the Golden Arm. Apparently it doesn't star Eleanor Parker any more, it stars Rita Hayworth! Geez.
Reasons: Audrey was astounding. Simple as. There'll never be another Audrey. I think that often her films, other than Breakfast at Tiffanys and Roman Holiday (and the other 2/3 that are always in Audrey Hepburn Box Sets), are forgotten. It's sad, because she was in many other fine films! I sincerely hope that in the years to come she will be remembered not just as a fashion icon and the star of B+T, but as the fantastic actress that she was!
Reasons: Jean was an incredibly beautiful actress. In the same way as Greer Garson almost, but she was more fresh, youthful and exuberant. She oozed energy, especially in her earlier films. If I want cheering up, Jean is the one for the job!
Kate of the Clenched-Jaw Hepburn
Reasons: I used to love her...and then I really went off her. Now, I love her again - not as much as I used to, but she's back in my top 10. I think she was a brilliant actress, but, like Bette, she kind of went a bit stale towards the end. That was what made me dislike her for a while, but then I kind of got past that and saw her for her amazing talent again. I also love her voice. I don't care what anyone says...she did have a really cool voice. I take my hat off to Cate Blanchett for her portrayal of Kate in The Aviator - she almost had the voice down perfectly! (The same can't be said for Kate Beckinsale - WHY was she cast as Ava!?)
Reasons: She was an amazing actress, and her role as Maggie in The Parent Trap (one of my fav. films, and the first I saw her in) will always hold a special place in my heart! She was also way too gorgeous and had the perfect smile. ♥
Reasons: Because if it wasn't for her, I probably wouldn't re-watch High Society. Well, it does have Frank, Bing and Louis in...so, I probably would. I don't think Celeste ever got the credit she deserved either! She was so charmingly funny...I just want to jump into the screen and hug her. Even photos of her, that aren't meant to be funny, are funny (in a good way...). She was infectiously charming and witty.
Reasons: She was style. And she could act. So...she was a stylish - with a capital S - actress. Oh, and not only was she stylish and a great actress, she was drop dead gorgeous too. Absolutely stunning.
Reasons: Ava is another actress I think was, and is, incredibly underrated. Now wait, before you start thinking I'm off my rocker, let me explain. I think she's underrated for her acting ability. She's always been known as one of the most beautiful women in the world, and I think that has detracted from her recognition as a terrific actress. And, secretly, I wish I looked like her...or at least had her eyebrows.
Reasons: The "It" girl certainly had it...whatever that "it" may have been. No one's had it since, and I venture to say no one will have it for a long, long time to come...if ever. She'll always be my favourite flapper, and the one whose hair I wish I had (you know you want it too...). Every time I mention her to someone and they say "Who?", as if she was never the most popular actress of the early 20s and received more fan mail than anyone else, it makes my heart sink. She paved the way for people like Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe...and even Maddona. And she was ten times greater than all of them too! :D
Reasons: She was incredible. Just watch her in anything. It was all in her eyes!! I'd like to see Keira Knightley (ugh) or any other modern "actress" try starring in a silent film. Actually, I wouldn't. It would be really, really painful. But yeah, back on track, Lulu was astounding. I dare you to watch Die B