Ann Blyth was only 17 when she did "Mildred Pierce"?!
Actually 16 during filming, as the movie came out a month after her 17th birthday. I'm shocked! She did not look that young. Has she shaved some years off her birthdate?
I'm shocked too. Frankly, she looked about 25-26. Se was so the star of that movie. I admit, I've seen I two doze times ad never tire of it.
The restaurant was at the Farmers Market in LA. Where the Grove is.
Which restaurant? Mildred's or the one she originally got hired at with Eve Arden? I thought the restaurant she started was supposed to be on the PCH.
She was playing a 17 year old in most of the movie, so her age was just right.
Veda was first offered to Shirley Temple.
I actually think she would have been fabulous.
Young women in movies back in that era were more mature as were the men. Lana Turner, for instance, was playing the love interest of much older actors when she was in her late teens/early twenties.
Ann Blyth is still alive. She's almost 90. She and Crawford remained friends for the rest of Crawford's life and Ann only had good things to say about her. Ironic, isn't it?
She did a bunch of commercials for snack cakes in the 60s.
I got tickets for "Naughty Marietta" starring Ann Blyth. At the time I knew nothing about the operetta and figured she would be playing an older woman in this show. No! She played the young lead. She looked young. She moved young. Her voice was young - both speaking and singing. I have no idea how she did it but it was fantastic. The audience went wild over her. She was 57 years old at the time!!!!
The guy who was with me, wasn't familiar with her and I didn't know her age. I told him that I thought she must be in her late 40s or even in her 50s since she had been in movies for many years. He said that couldn't be true. It was years later when I found her real age and was amazed.
[quote]Ann Blyth is still alive. She's almost 90
She's 84. That's closer to 80 than 90.
IMHO the clothes and makeup they put on teenaged girls in those days made them look much older. False eyelashes, styled hair, and red lipstick takes away the girlishness, and the conservative clothes that Hollywood teenagers wore made them look old before their time.
And I seem to be in the minority, but I've never been impressed with Blyth in that role. She has no sexiness or charisma, Crawford blows her off the screen.
I just assumed she was mid-20s at least. In the early scenes when she's still playing a teen she looks so much older, like they couldn't convincingly make her look 15 (not an uncommon problem in movies and TV.)
By all accounts she's a very sweet woman. She did a great job playing such a nasty character.
[quote] I'm shocked!
But it's wrong... [italic]shockingly[/italic] wrong!
Was Ann nominated for Best Suporting Actress for MP? Considering how sensational she was, she didn't really have much of a follow-up after that film.
Her bigger stardom came mostly from playing simpy ingenue sopranos in last gasp of those MGM musicals in the early 50s like Kismet and Rosemarie.
[quote]Young women in movies back in that era were more mature as were the men.
Not just in the movies, but in real life, too. Young adults in their teens weren't infantilized until youth culture took hold in the late 50s. Even into the 60s, teenagers made an effort to look like adults.
Saw Ann Blyth at Rainbow and Stars when she was well into her 60s. Her singing voice was gorgeous. The only other person who impressed me (and surprised me) like that was Arlene Dahl at an MGM retrospective at Carnegie Hall. I'd always thought she had been dubbed in the movies, but she had a beautiful soprano.
[quote]Considering how sensational she was, she didn't really have much of a follow-up after that film
Agree, but there aren't more than a handful of parts as sensational as Veda Pierce. She made the most of it, however. There is a moment late in the film when Monty rejects her and she looks like a broken puppet.
But I wonder why Ann didn't play any young vampy types after Mildred Pierce. Her career really took a completely different direction after that.
I liked her Twilight Zone ep Queen of the Nile
I think of as a dead ringer for Debbie Ryan from Disney Channel
"I wonder why Ann didn't play any young vampy types after Mildred Pierce."
The studios may not have thought she was hot enough to carry off "vamp" roles. She had such an interesting face, and such a slight little figure, that she wasn't a typical 40s-50s bombshell type.
She certainly could have played young bitches, but there weren't many good roles for young bitches in those days. Certainly not leading roles.
Recherché n'est pas?
r22 Veronica Lake was all the those things Ann projected as Veda yet Veronica became a leading lady/vamp/sensation in the 1940s. At least for a few of those years.
Perhaps Ann just wanted to play roles that were more like her own sweet self?
Just saw this video of her on youtube. This is how a star should age-gracious,beautiful. She is putting all these 'starlets' on notice how to act like a lady!
[quote] Lana Turner, for instance, was playing the love interest of much older actors when she was in her late teens/early twenties.
So, not much has changed..
Teenagers in that era strived to look like adults, unlike today when adults strive to look like teenagers.
She was usually typecast as the juvenile lead in musicals--she had the kind of weird piping soprano (a la Irene Dunne and Kathryn Grayson) that people still wanted to hear at the time, and not a lot of other MGM female stars could sing like that (thank God).
I am surprised she didn;t get more nasty parts after doing such a spectacular turn early in her career that got so much attention. The thing that's so great about Veda is that you really believe she's such a selfish monster but you also feel she genuinely suffers when Kay dies (which you don't believe of Mildred), and she also manages to be so hilarious when she's at her worst.
Wow, r11 - what theatre was still doing a production of NAUGHTY MARIETTA starring Ann Blyth in 1985? I thought that sort of thing had died out by then. I'm jealous that you got to see it!
She really aged well - she looks fantastic for 78 in r25's clip.
[quote]Teenagers in that era strived to look like adults
They strove -- sounds wrong but is correct.
She's 85 now,r30 and still looks great! This photo is from April of his year:
She looks fantastic for 85, you'd never guess how old she was.
Wow. She does look great in R33's link.
Ay ay ay, ay ay ay, have you ever been to the tropics..
There are only four surviving best supporting actress nominees nominated before 1950-and three of them from the same year-Ann,Angela Lansbury and Joan Lorring. Doesn't hurt that they were nominated in their teens/early twenties...
I think Ann Blyth was sensational as Veda. She effectively goes from troubled teen, to sinister ingenue very believably. It's an almost-perfect movie for me. The briskly-paced storytelling, and the lighting seal the deal.
In the mid-1960s, I think Blyth replaced Lee Remick in WAIT UNTIL DARK on Broadway
[quote]what theatre was still doing a production of NAUGHTY MARIETTA starring Ann Blyth in 1985? I thought that sort of thing had died out by then.
It was a big theatre in Long Beach. The audience was filled with Hollywood film and TV stars. I think it was Long Beach Civic Light Opera who put it on. They also presented "The Merry Widow" starring Edie Adams. I knew she had been a pop singer and didn't know that she had trained for opera.
Are you sure it was Naughty Marietta, r41? I saw her in "The New Moon" at LBCLO sometime in the 80s.
Blyth more than holds her own with Crawford in their big scene with the check when Mildred finds out that Veda faked the whole pregnancy just to get money
You're right R42, it was "The New Moon." She was supposed to star in "The Merry Widow" but was replaced by Edie Adams.
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