Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dames in Frames

I was tagged by Rick Olson for this 20 Actresses meme which was started by my friend and sometime drinking buddy Nathaniel at The Film Experience. I love many, many lead actresses in Hollywood and World Cinema history and could make a list of 20 plus easily without breaking a sweat. But it's the character actresses that usually bring a smile to my face more frequently and since they are always forgotten at times like these I decided to focus on them exclusively. Some of these got lead roles in B-pictures (Cinema Styles favorite Glenda Farrell) while others never went beyond bit parts that called for comic relief (Mary Wickes, Marion Lorne). Some were formidable actresses on stage as well as screen (Edith Evans, Kate Reid) and some didn't hit full character actress stride until late in their careers (Margaret Rutherford, Ruby Dee). But I love them all. Here they are, in alphabetical order, my Dames in Frames:

The official list is Beulah Bondi, Billie Burke, Ruby Dee, Mildred Dunnock, Dame Edith Evans, Glenda Farrell, Margaret Hamilton, Elsa Lanchester, Marion Lorne, Hattie McDaniel, Agnes Moorehead, Una O'Connor, Maria Ouspenskaya, Kate Reid, Thelma Ritter, Margaret Rutherford, Frances Sternhagen, Billie Whitelaw, Mary Wickes and Estelle Winwood. Even at 20 I had to make some cuts. I considered Marie Dressler but eventually decided she was a star (she did win a Best Actress Oscar after all which none of these did although Hattie McCaniel and Margaret Rutherford won Supporting Oscars) and dropped her from the list but she is most definitely an honorable mention.

And now as always I tag you, and you... and YOU!