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Best "Best Actress" of the 1940s

Who do you think was most deserving of the prize? The winners:%0D %0D 1940: Ginger Rogers in "Kitty Foyle"%0D %0D 1941: Joan Fontaine in "Suspicion"%0D %0D 1942: Greer Garson in "Mrs. Miniver"%0D %0D 1943: Jennifer Jones in "The Song of Bernadette"%0D %0D 1944: Ingrid Bergman in "Gaslight"%0D %0D 1945: Joan Crawford in "Mildred Pierce"%0D %0D 1946: Olivia de Havilland in "To Each His Own"%0D %0D 1947: Loretta Young in "The Farmer's Daughter"%0D %0D 1948: Jane Wyman in "Johnny Belinda"%0D %0D 1949: Olivia de Havilland in "The Heiress"

by Anonymousreply 15105/15/2013

Livvy in The Heiress gets my vote. Fontaine, Bergman and Wyman are also terrific.

by Anonymousreply 101/22/2011

[italic]To Each His Own[/italic] - I've never even heard of this one. Is it worth seeing?

by Anonymousreply 201/22/2011

Yes, r2. It's a classy "women's picture," complete with a sacrificial mama theme. De Havilland is very good.

by Anonymousreply 301/22/2011

Thanks, R3. I'll put it on my list.

by Anonymousreply 401/22/2011

I'll go with Joan Crawford

by Anonymousreply 501/22/2011

Never knew Ginger Rogers won an Academy Award for Best Actress.

by Anonymousreply 601/22/2011

Crawford is probably my FAVORITE performance of those listed but I don't know that I can rate it the best. Olivia De Havilland kicks ass in both of her winning roles.

Off topic but kinda related...anybody else looking forward to seeing what Kate Winslett does with Mildred Pierce? It'll definitely be completely different (closer to the book) but I'm excited for it.

by Anonymousreply 701/22/2011

I'm glad to see that DeHavilland (The Heiress) is winning by a large margin.%0D %0D It's only right, considering.

by Anonymousreply 801/22/2011

I just have to go with Joan.

by Anonymousreply 901/22/2011

Joan was much better in Rebecca, for me. Yet I like To Each His Own best. But then again Barbara Stanwyck should have been in there at some point.

by Anonymousreply 1001/22/2011

Barbara Stanwyck should have won in '44 for Double Idemnity. God, she was terrific in that movie, and her performance is still modern.

by Anonymousreply 1101/22/2011

This list is like a bunch of baseball players playing out of position. Joan Fontaine should have won for "Rebecca", Barbara Stanwyck should have won for "Double Indemnity" in 1944, Ingrid Bergman should have won for "Notorious" in 1946, and Ginger Rogers, Jennifer Jones and Loretta Young are a joke. Plus Greer Garson won on wartime sentiment.

I also voted for Livvy in "The Heiress". She gave a knockout performance which would have won in any decade.

by Anonymousreply 1201/22/2011

WhT r12 said.

by Anonymousreply 1301/22/2011

Song of Bernadette is UNWATCHABLE. By 1944 Americans were so worn torn and battle weary, they didn't know what they were looking at on screen.

by Anonymousreply 1401/22/2011

FYI..Between 1935-1944, Bette Davis was nominated for seven times for Best Actress. She won twice--her only two wins: Dangerous in 1935 and Jezebel in 1938.%0D %0D She was nominated three more times: All About Eve (1950); The Star (1952); and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962).

by Anonymousreply 1501/22/2011

Song of Bernadette is my stock counterexample when people start saying how Academy Awards were far more credible during the Hollywood "Golden Era" than they are today.

by Anonymousreply 1601/22/2011

Your anti-Catholic bias is showing, girls...Jennifer Jones actually gave a simple, lovely performance in SONG OF BERNADETTE. In addition to the proven miracle at Lourdes, it was almost as much of a miracle that this project was even made in Hollywood at that time. Granted the Jews had not yet completed monopolized Tinseltown yet. And to their everlasting credit, they produced a reverent, eminently watchable and, yes, spititual film.%0D And Jones deserved her Academy Award.

by Anonymousreply 1701/22/2011

Please. Olivia is good in "Heiress," but really it is just a variation of her work as Melanie Wilkes. There are many other actresses who could have done just as well with that part.

by Anonymousreply 1801/22/2011

No, I know Melanie Wilkes and Catherine Sloper in The Heiress is no Melanie Wilkes. She is (mild spoiler) a bit nasty by the end.

by Anonymousreply 1901/22/2011

Kitty Foyle must be one of the least known films with an Academy Award winning performance. Has it been kept from popular release on TV and DVDs for some reason? I can't remember ever having the opportunity to see it on TV. Is it any good?%0D %0D For that matter, To Each His Own isn't seen very much either.

by Anonymousreply 2001/22/2011

Haven't seen it in years, but it has turned up on Fox Movie Channel recently. I don't recall being tremendously impressed, but it's probably the most serious role Ginger Rogers ever did, and she's OK in it, which may explain why she won.

by Anonymousreply 2101/22/2011

R21 here again--looked up Ginger's competition. Wow. Bette Davis in The Letter, Joan Fontaine in Rebecca, Hepburn in Philadelphia Story, Martha Scott in Our Town.

by Anonymousreply 2201/22/2011

Olivia de Havilland should have won for THE SNAKE PIT (1948).

by Anonymousreply 2301/22/2011

[quote]For that matter, To Each His Own isn't seen very much either.

It was on TCM at least 3 times last year. I Tivo'd it each time but haven't been able to get into it. Incidentally, 'To Each His Own' was directed by a gay man, Mitchell Leisen.

by Anonymousreply 2401/22/2011

Joan...her role was the most iconic.

by Anonymousreply 2501/22/2011

[quote]Granted the Jews had not yet completed monopolized Tinseltown yet. And to their everlasting credit, they produced a reverent, eminently watchable and, yes, spititual film. And Jones deserved her Academy Award.

You know from shit, R17, and evidently missed the recent series on TCM about movie moguls. FYI: Jews invented Hollywood--Goldwyn, Fox, Lasky, Zukor, Mayer, Thalberg, etc. were all Jewish and in 1944 the only Gentile power-types were Daryl Zanuck and Walt Disney.

"Everlasting credit"? "The Song of Bernadette" is Hollywood at its worst, and Jennifer Jones won in a weak field against actresses who were either miscast (Ingrid Bergman in "For Whom the Bell Tolls"), appeared in a non-memorable role (Joan Fontaine in "The Constant Nymph") or gave a petrified performance (Greer Garson in "Madame Curie"). Of those nominated, Jean Arthur should have won for "The More the Merrier".

by Anonymousreply 2601/22/2011

"Kitty Foyle must be one of the least known films with an Academy Award winning performance. Has it been kept from popular release on TV and DVDs for some reason?"%0D %0D I saw it on TCM, but there are reasons it's not popular now. It's not a good film, and Ginger isn't good in it; apparently she won the Oscar for having the nerve to put down her dancing shoes and do a dramatic role.%0D %0D The other reason it's not shown today is that the line "I'm free, white, and twenty-one" is used in a critical scene. Who likes a girl who says things like that?

by Anonymousreply 2701/23/2011

Don't want to sound mawkish but the win for Jennifer's Bernadette had as much to do with a nation questioning its moral values and searching for faith in God during the crisis of a world war as anything else. It was the darkest year of the decade and that character was a symbol of hope. The cheery and colorful Meet Me in St. Louis was the most popular film of the year.

by Anonymousreply 2801/23/2011

It's crazy that Ginger Rogers won that year over Davis in "The Letter" and Hepburn in "The Philadelphia Story," two of their best performances. Who the fuck remembers or has even seen "Kitty Foyle?"

by Anonymousreply 2901/23/2011

By the end of the 30s Ginger was the most popular female star in Hollywood and admired even more for having the guts to leave the Astaire partnership behind her, dye her strawberry blonde hair auburn and focus on non-musicals. %0D %0D Hepburn, in spite of the success of The Philadelphia Story, was just coming out of her "box office poison" phase and Davis was considered a snooty, difficult and uncooperative bitch. Well, actually they both were not well-beloved in Hollywood in 1940. %0D %0D Of course, we view all of that very differently with hindsight.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 3001/23/2011

Interesting info R30. So perhaps in another 20 years, we will be much-loved on DL.

by Anonymousreply 3101/23/2011

What R30 said. Rogers was a big star, even apart from Astaire; she did a series of pictures with Gregory LaCava in the late 1930s and early 40s that made her, according to Joel McCrea.%0D %0D A little bit of Rogers the actress goes a long way. I watched "Roxie Hart" last week--she signals the audience aggressively throughout, although she is entertaining. James Agee said something to the effect that Rogers sweats over the sort of parts that Lucille Ball was born to play, and you can see immediately that Ball would have been an improvement in "Roxie Hart." I've always gotten the impression--not sure from what source--that Rogers wasn't the most pleasant or happiest person off-screen. Maybe it was that mane of hair and heavy makeup she adopted for the last 20 years of her life?

by Anonymousreply 3201/23/2011

Ginger Rogers gave a weak performance in an even weaker film, but I did think she was great in The Major and the Minor.%0D %0D Olivia DeHaviland is brilliant in The Heiress and anyone who compares that role to her performance in Gone with the Wind is wrong. Go to Youtube and watch her first scene in The Heiress and then watch the last scene -- the character has completely evolved over the course of the movie; even the depth of her voice and manner of speaking have changed by the end of the film.

by Anonymousreply 3301/23/2011

Ginger was great in The Major and the Minor....maybe not necessarily believable as a pre-teen, but hilarious, nonetheless. She should have won her Oscar for that one.%0D %0D I always think it's funny how they had her scrub her makeup off to look like a kid with a shiny face but it kind of had the opposite effect.

by Anonymousreply 3401/23/2011

Wow r33 great minds think alike!

by Anonymousreply 3501/23/2011

Great that the top three - Olivia as Catherine, Ingrid as Paula (Bella), and Joan as Mildred - have gotten the most votes. Hard to say which one is best, but I went with Olivia.

by Anonymousreply 3601/23/2011

Actually, the order so far is showing an uncharacteristic and welcome degree of taste and distinction for DL.

by Anonymousreply 3701/23/2011

Ridiculous that Ginger Rogers beat that competition.

I have never gotten the hate for Jennifer Jones. She was a very underrated actress and brilliant as Madame Bovary and Sister Carrie.

Jesus Fucking Christ, this is the week everything in the world gets blamed on the Jews on DL. We might as well rename it MG.

by Anonymousreply 3801/23/2011

wow, 1947 was an extremely weak year for leading women:

"LORETTA YOUNG in "The Farmer's Daughter", Joan Crawford in "Possessed", Susan Hayward in "Smash Up - The Story of a Woman", Dorothy McGuire in "Gentleman's Agreement", Rosalind Russell in "Mourning Becomes Electra""

Let's face it - and with due respect to each actress - with the possible exception of Hayward's, none of these are what one would call oscar caliber performances.

When one looks at this year's crop of great performances by leading women in meaty roles: Portman, Bening, Williams, Steinfeld, Manville, Rapace, Swank, Moore, Swinton, Lawrence, Hye-ya Kim..... 2011 beats 1947 - a year from an era we think of being prime for women in film - hands down.

by Anonymousreply 3901/23/2011

should have included Watts on that list as well. actually both Bening and Watts' performances in Mother and Child should be added to their work in The Kids Are All Right and Fair Game.

It may not have been a banner year for movies, but it was a great year for actresses.

by Anonymousreply 4001/23/2011

It seems surprising now that Bette did not win an Academy Award during the early 40s, her best era - for those key roles like The Letter or Now Voyager.

by Anonymousreply 4101/23/2011

Two words r41, Warner Brothers.

by Anonymousreply 4201/23/2011

Jack Warner was never very fond of Bette Davis, despite all the money she raked in for Warner Brothers - she was their top star for years. Warner never went out of his way to get Davis an Oscar.

by Anonymousreply 4301/23/2011

Back to Olivia -----I personally liked "Hold Back The Dawn", also a 1940s film in which she starred with Charles Boyer. Don't know if she was nominated for that but she should have been, more so than the overwrought "Snake Pit". Olivia really had a better track record in the 40s than Bette Davis.

by Anonymousreply 4401/23/2011

R44, it's great to see another "Hold Back the Dawn" fan. Livvy was wonderful, and I can't say enough about Charles Boyer, who was one of the best actors to appear in Hollywood films. He was like Fredric March in the sense that you never caught him acting, even when he was playing villains, as in "Gaslight". For Charles Boyer at his best, watch his performance in the 1930's version of "Mayerling"--superb.

by Anonymousreply 4501/23/2011

[quote]Granted the Jews had not yet completed monopolized Tinseltown yet. And to their everlasting credit, they produced a reverent, eminently watchable and, yes, spititual film. And Jones deserved her Academy Award.

The screenplay for that execrable movie was written by Franz Werfel, who was Jewish.

Oh, and fuck you, R17.

by Anonymousreply 4601/23/2011

Olivia was nominated for "Hold Back the Dawn" but baby sister Joan got it that year. Joan mentioned in her autobiography thinking Olivia was going to pretty much jump across the table and throttle her.

by Anonymousreply 4701/23/2011

137 votes so far, and not one for that sanctimonious hypocrite, Loretta!

by Anonymousreply 4801/23/2011

r45 - Agree about Boyer. It wasn't just the seductive accent. He was an honest actor. Many fine performances in which he held his own beside major actresses.

r47 - Thanks. I really wasn't sure she got a nom for "Hold Back---" but now I remember she was competing with her sister that year, as you point out.

Still, I love De Havilland and Bergman , but must say I agree with post that Stanwyck in "Double Indemnity" -- well, it was THE performance of the 40s. No other 'femme fatale' had been portrayed quite that way in films up to that point. Davis worked the roles so hard - Stanwyck let the dialogue do it for her. And the Billy Wilder script --can't be topped in that era of film.

by Anonymousreply 4901/23/2011

Boyer was also a favorite co-star of all the big female stars of the 30s and 40s...he is mentioned thus in several of their bios.%0D %0D He had a solid and long marriage and died (or was it unproven suicide?) just days after his wife's death.

by Anonymousreply 5001/23/2011

1946 must have also been a rather weak year. Who was Livvy's competition?

by Anonymousreply 5101/23/2011

[quote]but must say I agree with post that Stanwyck in "Double Indemnity" -- well, it was THE performance of the 40s.%0D %0D I think you're right, but Davis in "Now, Voyager" is arguably the premier performance in the genre of the woman's picture. %0D %0D [quote]1946 must have also been a rather weak year. Who was Livvy's competition?%0D %0D %0D Olivia de Havilland %E2%80%93 To Each His Own%0D Celia Johnson %E2%80%93 Brief Encounter (my choice)%0D Jennifer Jones %E2%80%93 Duel in the Sun%0D Rosalind Russell %E2%80%93 Sister Kenny %0D Jane Wyman %E2%80%93 The Yearling

by Anonymousreply 5201/23/2011

Wow. You must be on crack if you think de Haviland has a better track record than Davis in the 40s. She has nothing to match The Letter, Little Foxes, Now Voyager or Mr. Skeffington. Dark Mirror and Snake Pit are campfests. Olivia is salvaged only by The Heiress

by Anonymousreply 5301/23/2011

Elizabeth McGovern, who is appearing in the PBS Masterpiece Theatre's Downton Abbey has a lot of the same annoying qualities as Jennifer Jones and she is getting as much hate over on that thread as Jennifer is getting here. %0D %0D There is just something about their voices and manner that are whiny and bothersome.

by Anonymousreply 5401/23/2011

Jones was because she was fucking Selznick at the time and he pushed for the win. The best thing she ever did as an actress was fall out of that elevator in "The Towering Inferno".

by Anonymousreply 5501/23/2011

I thought Jennifer Jones was still alive, just like Joan Fontaine and Olivia De Havilland, but I just read that she died a year ago.

by Anonymousreply 5601/23/2011

Claudette Colbert's career was still strong in the 1940s. I'm watching her now in 1942's The Plam Beach Story. Was she nominated for anything in this decade? Was there someone more deserving when she won for 1934's It Happened One Night? That was the very rare win for a comdeic role.

by Anonymousreply 5701/23/2011

Ol%C3%ADvia de havilland is the sort of actress that i detest. Her mannerims are awful. Ugh

by Anonymousreply 5801/23/2011

r57, she was nominated for 'Since You Went Away' Coincidentally, that was on TCM earlier today.%0D

by Anonymousreply 5901/23/2011

Colbert is forgotten today.

99% of the public probably haven't heard of her.

by Anonymousreply 6001/23/2011

"Jean Arthur should have won for "The More the Merrier"."%0D %0D That HAM? I heard there was nothing left of the scenery after filming because she ate it all!

by Anonymousreply 6101/23/2011

Jennifer Jones was very good in "Song of Bernadette." It wasn't an over the top performance. I say a tie between Jennifer Jones & Joan Crawford.

by Anonymousreply 6201/23/2011

R53, I will acknowledge that Bette Davis was a major talent if you will admit that by the 1940s the style of acting was changing in Hollywood films and she failed to get the message. Partly because of war films and the different use of actresses in those films, partly because of film noir, whatever, acting style became more subtle. Davis kept right on doing her rather mannered work --brilliantly, yes, but mannered nevertheless. Every film you mention were big hits and raves for Davis but when you look at the actors surrounding her in Now Voyager and The Letter - to just take two--today, viewing them, you are amazed at the subtle, rich performances of every one surrounding Davis. She came awfully close to being laughable in contrast to her co-stars.

by Anonymousreply 6301/23/2011

r57, the official nominees in 1934 were Claudette Colbert in "It Happened One Night," Grace Moore in "One Night of Love," and Norma Shearer in "The Barretts of Wimpole Street." However, one of the most acclaimed performances of the year - Bette Davis in "Of Human Bondage" - had been left off the list, leading to the Academy allowing, for the first time, write-in votes.%0D %0D Colbert assumed this meant Davis would win the Oscar, so she didn't bother to show up and, in fact, was about to board a train heading east when Academy flacks grabbed her and brought her to the ceremony because she had won.%0D %0D Other actresses not nominated that year: Carole Lombard in "Twentieth Century," Myrna Loy in "Manhattan Melodrama" and "The Thin Man," Marlene Dietrich in "The Scarlet Empress," and Margaret Sullavan in "Little Man, What Now?"

by Anonymousreply 6401/23/2011

R63 is an idiot.

by Anonymousreply 6501/23/2011

Was Marlene Dietrich ever nominated? She should have been for "The Blue Angel."

by Anonymousreply 6601/23/2011

How many actresses have won Best Actress in an all-out comedy after Claudette? Not many, I bet. %0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 6701/23/2011

What R65 said.

by Anonymousreply 6801/23/2011

Diane Keaton in ANNIE HALL and Helen Hunt in AS GOOD AS IT GETS come to mind, R67.

by Anonymousreply 6901/23/2011

The word "mannered" has begun to be way overused here on DL.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 7001/23/2011

Dietrich was nominated for Morocco in 1931. She lost to Marie Dressler in Min and Bill.

by Anonymousreply 7101/23/2011

r66, Dietrich was nominated once, for 1931's "Morocco."%0D %0D r67, actresses that have won for all-out comedies:%0D %0D Loretta Young in "The Farmer's Daughter"%0D %0D Judy Holliday in "Born Yesterday"%0D %0D Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday"%0D %0D Glenda Jackson in "A Touch of Class"%0D %0D Diane Keaton in "Annie Hall"%0D %0D Cher in "Moonstruck"%0D %0D Gwyneth Paltrow in "Shakespeare in Love"

by Anonymousreply 7201/23/2011

[quote]Gwyneth Paltrow in "Shakespeare in Love"%0D %0D That was not a comedy, that was a tragedy.

by Anonymousreply 7301/23/2011

As Good As It Gets was the saddest comedy I've ever seen.%0D %0D Has anyone ever really seen The Farmer's Daughter?

by Anonymousreply 7401/23/2011

I have, r74, but it was 20 years ago when I was a teenager. All I remember is her painful Swedish accent.%0D %0D Here's the trailer:

by Anonymousreply 7501/23/2011

I've read a lot of Hollywood biographies, and it seems that Loretta Young was disliked by almost every other actress of her era.

by Anonymousreply 7601/23/2011

Loretta Young was a hypocrtical bitch and a lousy mother. She was a fervent and conservative Catholic who had multiple marriages and a child out of wedlock to Clark Gable, who she treated abominably (after 'adopting' her from an orphanage). Her son was also a pedophile whose connections got him out of a potential life sentence for producing kiddie porn.%0D %0D Miss Goody Two Shoes parlayed her virginal reputation into a TV series based The Loretta Young Show, where she swanned around in some overwrought southern belle dress every week quoting the bible.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 7701/23/2011

I've seen "The Farmer's Daugher" several times, most recently last year when it was on TCM. It's pleasant enough but LR didn't deserve an Oscar for it. Maybe combine that with her performance in "The Bishop's Wife" and it works. The other nominees (Joan Crawford %E2%80%93 Possessed, Susan Hayward %E2%80%93 Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman,Dorothy McGuire %E2%80%93 Gentleman's Agreement,Rosalind Russell %E2%80%93 Mourning Becomes Electra) weren't all that deserving that year either. I liked Deborah Kerr in "Black Narcissus" but she wasn't nominated.

by Anonymousreply 7801/23/2011

Wasn't Rosalind Russell the raging favorite the year Loretta won? She all but got out of her seat before she realized she lost. I'm not surprised; as middlebrow as "The Farmer's Daughter" was, "Mourning Becomes Elecrta" is just horrible.

by Anonymousreply 7901/23/2011

NOT nominated in 1947:%0D %0D Joan Bennett in "The Macomber Affair"%0D %0D Deborah Kerr in "Black Narcissus" or "The Adventuress"%0D %0D Betty Grable in "Mother Wore Tights"%0D %0D Jane Greer in "Out of the Past"%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 8001/23/2011

Actually, Loretta Young was a very close life-long friend of both Rosalind Russell and Irene Dunne, all fellow Catholics who attended the same church.%0D %0D Loretta's last husband was Hollywood costume designer Jean Louis who designed Rita Hayworth's Put the Blame on Mame dress from Gilda, among many other famous costumes. I assume that was a sexless marriage.

by Anonymousreply 8101/23/2011

The church they all attended was given the less than flattering nickname "Our Lady of the Cadillacs" (I kid you not)

by Anonymousreply 8201/23/2011

That's pretty brilliant, r 82!

by Anonymousreply 8301/24/2011

You love to make me hit you. Bring me the axe!

by Anonymousreply 8401/24/2011


by Anonymousreply 8511/12/2012

Bette Bette Bette!

by Anonymousreply 8612/09/2012

Ginger Rogers' Oscar ranks up there with Liz Taylor's 'Butterfield 8' and Halle Berry's 'Monster's Ball' as Least Deserved. She has no business in this poll.

Jane Wyman, OTOH, was magnificent as Belinda.

by Anonymousreply 8712/09/2012

Let's talk about Jane Greer, please. There is not a thread for her yet! That sucks! Wasn't she wonderful in Out of The Past? She was so charmingly evil and fiery and cold in that prominent film noir.

(Part One) Bettejane Greer and her twin brother Donne, were born in Washington, DC, on September 9 1924. From the age of five her stage-struck mother entered her for singing and dancing talent contests but, she recalled, "I always came second". Attendance at Western High School offered only minimal interruption to her career; at 12 she was already a professional model, although aged 15 her hopes were threatened by an attack of Bell's Palsy which paralysed one side of her face and required intensive physiotherapy.

By the age of 17 Bettejane Greer was earning $100 a week singing with Ralph Hawkins's band and performing rumbas and other Latin American songs with Enric Madriguero's Orchestra at the Del Rio nightclub in Washington. She knew no Spanish and learned the words phonetically: "Later I found out I was singing dirty lyrics."

In 1942 she modelled for a recruiting poster, wearing a uniform of light khaki cotton twill to emphasise the heightened seductiveness of life in the American army. When the picture was published in Life she was soon approached by a number of Hollywood studios, and eventually summoned to California by Howard Hughes, who gave her money, insisted that she should go out with no one, and left her to stew for six months.

Bettejane Greer found it hard to abide by such terms, and began to sing on the crooner Rudy Vallee's radio show. She also entertained the troops with Rudy Vallee's Coast Guard Band. Hughes was not amused by this breach of their agreement, still less so when she married Rudy Vallee in 1943. Vallee proved serially unfaithful, and within a few months she had instituted divorce proceedings.

Although Bettejane Greer continued to see Howard Hughes, she bought herself out of her contract with him, and in 1944 signed with RKO. Her first film was Pax Americana (1945), and the same year she was also in Two O'Clock Courage, a murder mystery, and George White's Scandals, another musical. In the detective thriller Dick Tracy she was billed for the first time as Jane Greer.

She took a detached view of her appearance in these films: "My mouth was too large, my eyes turned out, and my legs mere toothpicks." She appeared in several other films over the next two years before making her mark in They Won't Believe Me (1947), as a young writer who has an affair with a cad (Robert Young). She received excellent notices, and was given the part of Kathie in Out of the Past.

Jane Greer's new status was evident in her appearance on the cover of Life on June 2 1947, and, after Out of the Past, in her salary of $1,000 a week. But Howard Hughes, who had begun to buy himself into RKO in 1947, was very disapproving of her marriage that year to Edward Lasker, the son of a millionaire. She had three sons by Lasker, and over the next few years made only four films, including You're In the Navy Now (1951), a comedy with Gary Cooper, and The Company She Keeps (1951), in which she was a parolee who makes a move on her parole officer's man.

With Hughes now showing little interest in promoting her career, she moved to MGM, for whom she made You For Me (1952), playing a nurse distinctly unimpressed by Peter Lawford's millionaire. Later that year she appeared in the disappointing remake of The Prisoner of Zenda, and in Desperate Search (1952), helping her husband (Howard Keel) look for his two children after an air crash, little aided by the baleful presence of his previous wife, the children's mother.

by Anonymousreply 8803/04/2013

(Part Two)

Although she appeared in two more films in 1953, by now motherhood had supervened with a vengeance. "I didn't want the children to grow up, and when asked what their mother did, say; 'Oh, Mom's a gun moll in the movies'."

Three years later, however, she returned to the screen as a reporter who does a story on an adventurer (Richard Widmark) and falls in love with him in Run for the Sun (1956). It proved a miserable experience, as she caught a virus on location in the Mexican jungle and her marriage was beginning to fall apart.

Jane Greer's last lead role in a major film was her outstanding performance as the virtuous second wife of Lon Chancy (James Cagney) in Man of a Thousand Faces (1958). During the 1960s and 1970s she took on smaller roles in films such as Where Love Has Gone (1964) which, starring Susan Hayward and Bette Davis, was based on Lana Turner's romance with Johnny Stompanato. In 1983 she played the mother of Kathie Moffat (Rachel Ward) in Against All Odds, a disappointing remake of Out of the Past. The only effect, wrote one critic, was to sully the image she had created in 1947.

Jane Greer appeared in various films for television. During the 1980s she was frequently seen in the series Falcon Crest, and in 1990 turned up in four episodes of Twin Peaks as Vivian Smythe Niles.

Jane Greer's marriage to Edward Lasker was dissolved in 1963. She is survived by their three sons, two of whom are successful screenwriters. Her third husband, Frank London, an actor and dialogue coach, died in January.

by Anonymousreply 8903/04/2013

Rudy Vallee and Jane Greer ORIGINAL AP Wedding Photo

by Anonymousreply 9003/04/2013

Jane Greer was married twice. The first marriage was to Rudy Vallee in 1943, but they divorced the following year. She remarried in 1947, to Edward Lasker (1912–1997), a Los Angeles lawyer and businessman, with whom she had three children. Her son Lawrence Lasker is a movie producer who has co-produced several films, including “WarGames” (1983) and “Sneakers” (1992). The couple divorced in 1963. Edward Lasker had been an owner/breeder of thoroughbred racehorses since 1929, and Greer also became an owner of race horses under her own name. Among her graded stakes race wins were the 1966 Withers and Jim Dandy Stakes and the 1967 Fall Highweight Handicap with the colt “Indulto”. Greer never married again but stayed with ‘partner’ Frank London from 1963 until his death in 2001. Jane Greer died of cancer at the age of 76 on August 24, 2001 in Los Angeles, California. She was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.

by Anonymousreply 9103/04/2013

Get your own thread, Jane Greer.

As for the Oscars I think it just goes to show that the Oscars are no more political now than they were in the 1940's; at least in regard to acting.

by Anonymousreply 9203/04/2013

Also, amazingly "The Song of Bernadette" came closest to sweeping the 1944 Oscars.

by Anonymousreply 9303/04/2013

Howard Hughes spotted Greer modeling on the cover of Life magazine on June 8, 1942 and sent her to Hollywood to become an actress. She married Rudy Vallee, her senior by 22 years, in 1943.

Vallée and Greer, who met while performing on radio, were married from December 2, 1943-July 27, 1944. Their marriage broke up under pressure from Howard Hughes, who had contracted Greer for film work and was outraged when she left Hollywood to marry the crooner. One of the most popular entertainers of the 1930s, RUDY VALLÉE (1901-1986) was one of the few vocalists to begin crooning before Bing Crosby.

I don't remember where i read that but it was somewhere in the Internet. Well, i read that Rudy Vallee was kinky in bed. He couldn't 'get on' if Greer wouldn't spank him first. He demanded from Greer to spank him otherwise he couldn't get his kicks. Lol, imfao! Greer of course was surprised to find that out. By the way Hughes was furious with Jane's marriage to Vallee. He was telling her that Rudy Vallee is a sick pervert and that she shouldn't be with him anymore.

by Anonymousreply 9403/04/2013

In 1948 Jane Greer becomes a close friend of Gloria Grahame. I would love to see them together, those two vixens!

In 1951 Greer played next to Lizabeth Scott in 'The Company She Keeps'.

Do you believe that Lizabeth Scott made a pass on Jane? I really wonder because Lizabeth Scott was if not a lesbian, in the best case bisexual.

by Anonymousreply 9503/04/2013

With Lizabeth Scott again in 'The Company She Keeps'

by Anonymousreply 9603/04/2013

'The Company She Keeps' ...

by Anonymousreply 9703/04/2013

Lizabeth Scott giving an intense glance at Jane for...the needs of The Company She Keeps....

by Anonymousreply 9803/04/2013

The fuckin' Company She Keeps!

by Anonymousreply 9903/04/2013


by Anonymousreply 10003/04/2013

Jane Greer's hands on the office...

by Anonymousreply 10103/04/2013

One more...

by Anonymousreply 10203/04/2013

No words needed...


by Anonymousreply 10303/04/2013

Ingrid and Olivia (and Joan C. when she was working well) are the only ones on that list that I even consider real actresses. The others are movie stars.

Joan is great in POSSESSED, that's the one where she went to the asylum and studied the patients as part of her prep. The obsessions of the character in the story dovetail neatly with what we know about her private life now.

by Anonymousreply 10403/04/2013

I love Crawford in MILDRED PIERCE but I would have given the 1945 Oscar to Gene Tierney for LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN.

Ginger Rogers showed her range in KITTY FOYLE by showing she could play a brunette.

by Anonymousreply 10503/04/2013

[quote]I love Crawford in MILDRED PIERCE but I would have given the 1945 Oscar to Gene Tierney for LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN.

Yes! Me too. As much of a Joan Crawford fan I am I thought her performance in "Mildred Pierce" was rather pedestrian by her standards. She should have won for "A Woman's Face" or "Possessed"

by Anonymousreply 10603/04/2013


#1. de Havilland in "The Heiress"

#2. Bergman in "Gaslight"

Davis should have won over Rogers

Stanwyck should have won over Fontaine

Davis or Russell should have won over Garson

1943 was a weak year all around

Tierney should have won over Crawford

Crawford, Hayward and Russell were all better than Young

de Havilland and Stanwyck were easily as good as Wyman

by Anonymousreply 10703/04/2013

[quote]Davis or Russell should have won over Garson

Garson wasn't a great actress most of the time and her Oscar win was somewhat political but she was born to play Mrs Miniver.

With her star in Hollywood in the forties she would've just won for something else.

by Anonymousreply 10803/04/2013

It's hilarious to think that Rosalind Russell's performance in MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA was the front runner for Best Actress. The only award that performance should have won was a Razzie.

If we are going to talk about criminally ignored performances I have to add Ida Lupino in The Lela Rogers Story - I mean THE HARD WAY. She did win NY Critics' Award but that's it.

by Anonymousreply 10903/04/2013

Guys,fff, what do you think of Jane Greer?

Don't be snobbish!

by Anonymousreply 11003/04/2013

[copy]It's hilarious to think that Rosalind Russell's performance in MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA was the front runner for Best Actress. The only award that performance should have won was a Razzie.

I've never seen it but was it very stagey and affected like most of what was considered good acting in those days?

I think it's interesting that Joan Crawford was never considered in her day especially prior to "Mildred Pierce" but her performances hold up the best today.

She genuinely does display real emotion onscreen unlike Garson and Hepburn and such who always seemed so unnatural.

Even in those awful later B movie horrors, she seems so real as though she actually is terrified.

by Anonymousreply 11103/04/2013

[quote]Garson wasn't a great actress most of the time and her Oscar win was somewhat political but she was born to play Mrs Miniver.

[quote]With her star in Hollywood in the forties she would've just won for something else.

Just to add to r108's post, if she had not been nominated for Mrs. Miniver, she would most definitely been nominated for Random Harvest and probably would have won anyway.

by Anonymousreply 11203/04/2013

Incidentally, March is Greer Garson month on TCM. They are playing her movies every Monday this month.

by Anonymousreply 11303/04/2013

Fuck you guys.

You are stuck-up bitches.

by Anonymousreply 11403/04/2013

R114 = Ginger Rogers, who came to think she was a great actress post Oscar.

Greer Garson benefited greatly from practically being given her pick of roles whilst at MGM. Whilst Joan was left with "Ice Follies of 1939" and such.

by Anonymousreply 11503/04/2013

R111, MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA is so stagy and Russell devours the scenery. so does Katina Paxinou but nobody is as bad as Roz.

And R111, I totally agree about Crawford. Even working with William Castle, she gave it her all like she was back at MGM. I am always touched by the scene in that film when she reunites with her daughter. Sure it may have been the liquor driving those tears, but it works.

by Anonymousreply 11603/04/2013

I really, truly loved Ginger Rogers' performance. She showed a lot of range. That's why I chose her in the survey.

You should really re-watch her performance.

by Anonymousreply 11703/04/2013

117 = shit-stirring troll.

by Anonymousreply 11803/04/2013

No, I'm not, R118.

by Anonymousreply 11903/04/2013

I'm not a newb, R118. Just sleep deprived and too lazy to proofread.

by Anonymousreply 12003/04/2013

It's a shame that Fontaine, Garson, Jone, Young and wyman aren't beter remember today. Each was a very good actress in her own way.

I agree that Fontaine should have won over Rogers, but Rogers was a big star and Kitty Foyle is delightful confection that is seriously dated.

I am a HUGE Ingrid Bergman fan, but I cannot watch neither Gaslight nor Notorious. She was much better in Bells of St Mary's, For Whom the Bell Tolls and Casablanca

Despite her two Oscars, de Havilland's obituary will read "The last major cast member from Gone With The Wind has died ..."

Garson was a personal favorite of Louis B. Mayer and he would have thrown the power of MGM begin any of her films at the time Personally, I liked her performance in Madame Curie, but much of the story is highly fictionalized

by Anonymousreply 12103/04/2013

[quote]It's a shame that Fontaine, Garson, Jone, Young and wyman aren't beter remember today. Each was a very good actress in her own way.

Yes, that's true.

[quote]I agree that Fontaine should have won over Rogers

She did get a make up Oscar the following year.

[quote]Despite her two Oscars, de Havilland's obituary will read "The last major cast member from Gone With The Wind has died ..."

Not that there's anything wrong with that, she was an important part of one of the greatest movies of all time. Although I agree she gave many great performances.

by Anonymousreply 12203/04/2013

Greer Garson was a very highly regarded actress, a contemporary to Hepburn, Crawford and Davis.

Davis was considered her only competition as “the greatest actress in Hollywood”.

But unlike Davis Garson she doesn’t really have one notable movie or perennial role that is constantly on TV.

She started her career late and didn’t do much notable after leaving MGM except for a couple of roles and her stagey style of acting which was popular in those days doesn’t hold up well today.

Still she is enjoyable to watch BECAUSE she is over-performing.

by Anonymousreply 12303/04/2013

Greer Garson was supposed to play a parody of herself in "Thousands Cheer" but refused so Judy Garland did it and Greer was suspended by MGM.

by Anonymousreply 12403/04/2013

Best performances of the 40s (in terms of technique or charisma). Not an Oscar winner in the bunch.

Stanwyck, Double Indemnity, Ball of Fire, Lady Eve, and just about everything else

Gene Tierney, Laura, Leave Her To Heaven

Bergman, Casablanca

Jean Arthur (More the Merrier)

Claudette Colbert (Palm Beach Story)

Bette Davis (The Letter, Now, Voyager)

K. Hepburn (Philadelphia Story, etc.)

Jennifer Jones (Cluny Brown)

Joan Fontaine (Rebecca, Letter from an Unknown Woman)

Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter)

by Anonymousreply 12503/04/2013

Jane Wyman in JOHNNY BELINDA. The film hasn't aged well, but her performance was so earnest and poignant, and she did it all without saying a word.

Take Ginger Rogers OFF THIS LIST. She was the Halle Berry of the 40's. Total fluke that she won.

by Anonymousreply 12603/04/2013

Very hard to choose between Olivia in The Heiress and Ingrid in Gaslight, two great performances, two first rate movies.

by Anonymousreply 12703/04/2013

I has to vote for OdH for "The Heiress"..fantastic performance.

I saw 'Kitty Foyle" not long ago. It's not awful, and Ginger is fine, but an Oscar worthy performance it's not.

Have any of you ever seen a book called 'Alternate Oscars" by Danny Peary? In came out in 1992 and the author gives his pick for Actor, Actress and Film. Sometimes he agrees with the winners, sometimes his choices weren't even nominated.

His picks: 1940: Rosalind Russell, "His Girl Friday" 1941: Stanwyck, "Ball of Fire" 1942: Carole Lombard, "To Be or Not to Be" 1943: Arthur, "The More the Merrier" 1944: Stanwyck, "Double Indemnity" 1945: Joan Bennett, "Scarlet Street" 1946: Bergman, "Notorious" 1947: Kerr, "Black Narcissus" 1948: Fontaine, "Letter from an Unknown Woman" 1949: OdH, "The Heiress".

I especially agree with his choices for 1940, 41, 46 and 47.

by Anonymousreply 12803/04/2013

Is it surprising that Maureen O'Hara got no nomination for "How Green Was My Valley"?

"How Green Was My Valley" did come closest to sweeping that year and won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor.

by Anonymousreply 12903/05/2013

I think Loretta Young's Oscar was in recognition of her career, which began in the silent era

Ginger Rogers' win was probably in recognition for all the money her movies made for RKO in the 1930s and for playing against type, albeit only slightly against type

Joan Crawford made a professional comeback with Mildred Pierce. Hollywood loves a comeback story

by Anonymousreply 13003/06/2013


The gracious, socially adept, popular, perfectly at home in her environment Melanie Wilkes is extremely different from the awkward, gawky, underachieving, and painfully shy Catherine Sloper. And even more different from the magnificent, commanding, deeply wounded, stalwartly independent Catherine Sloper she becomes.

by Anonymousreply 13103/07/2013

de Haviland is a competent but kind of dull actress. She got those two Oscars because she fought the studios over their oppressive contracts, and won. Actors were grateful to her. Anyone who thinks she a great actor needs to look at her performance in THE SNAKE PIT. Talk about fussy and melodramatic, even for the time.

Bergman was the great actress of the '40s - she was working in a different style from everyone else - and she should've gotten her Oscar for NOTORIOUS, not GASLIGHT.

Stanwyck should've gotten an Oscar in ever decade, '30s, '40s, and '50s.

Davis should've had 4 Oscars by 1943: for OF HUMAN BONDAGE, JEZEBEL, THE LETTER, and THE LITTLE FOXES.

Greer Garson should never even have been nominated for anything. She's the dullest prissiest actress who ever lived.

by Anonymousreply 13203/07/2013

Ok, no dissing Greer Garson. She was fabulous!

by Anonymousreply 13303/07/2013

Greer Garson is the paint you watch dry when something is so dull it's like watching paint dry. She is that forever-never-drying paint. And she is the mind-numbing tedium of watching it.

by Anonymousreply 13403/07/2013

[quote]Greer Garson should never even have been nominated for anything. She's the dullest prissiest actress who ever lived.

She's pretty good in "Pride and Prejudice," and holds her own with a lot of very good actors.

by Anonymousreply 13503/07/2013

[quote]She's pretty good in "Pride and Prejudice," and holds her own with a lot of very good actors.

She's 36 in "Pride and Prejudice".

by Anonymousreply 13603/07/2013

I was thinking I had never seen Roz's "Electra" until I started reading about it. I had DVRd it a couple of years was horrible! I must have blacked it out.

But I did love her in everything else.

by Anonymousreply 13703/07/2013

I don't understand why people think Joan Fontaine was a credible actress in Rebecca. She looked like a stricken deer the entire time, always wringing her hands. Can not understand why Maxim de Winter would be attracted to such a ninny.

by Anonymousreply 13803/07/2013

He wanted someone the total opposite of Rebecca, who was glamorous, sensual and humiliated him.

by Anonymousreply 13903/07/2013

The screen tests from "Rebecca" are on YouTube.

by Anonymousreply 14003/07/2013

Maureen O'Hara is a lovely woman but hardly a great actress (often a very bad one) and there is nothing particularly impressive about her role or performance in How Green Was My Valley

by Anonymousreply 14103/07/2013


Was hoping to find she would be uproarishly bad in it, while trying to root around the world wide web for some footage.

In the only clip I could find, was surprised to she her relatively warm and natural, is she Razzily bad in the rest?

I was expecting her to be more like the certain English Knight playing her husband? He seems to be the one about to teeter on the verge of "Acting,though they all start doing voice throwing routines 30 seconds into it

Unusually beardily handsome at 0:27

until he starts speaking anyhow

by Anonymousreply 14203/07/2013

Oops am newbie, just made a mistake embedding video intead of just linking, apologies dont know how to delete post

(ducks gunfire)

by Anonymousreply 14303/07/2013

If any actress deserved the Oscar for an all out comedy it was Roz Russell in His Girl Friday and she wasn't even nominated. IMHO she's funnier than Colbert, Holliday, Keaton and all the latter day winners for comedy.

Roz also should have gotten Best Supporting Actress in The Women over Hattie in GWTW. Yet again, not even nominated.

by Anonymousreply 14403/07/2013

I LOVE Greer Garson! I love the warmth and graciousness she emanated - she seemed like such a lady!

by Anonymousreply 14503/07/2013

Greer's best, least mannered performance is in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips", before she became a Grand Lady of the Screen

by Anonymousreply 14603/07/2013

Best performance by an actress in the 1940s: Agnes Moorehead as Aunt Fanny in "The Magnificent Ambersons." NY Film Critics gave her Best Actress (they didn't have a supporting category yet); Oscar nommed her for Supporting Actress, but she lost to Teresa Wright, who was swept in by the Miniver sentiment and b/c she was also up for Best Actress for Pride of the Yankees. Wright was a superb actress and deserved many awards, but not that time for that role.

by Anonymousreply 14703/07/2013

Greer Garson was one of the all time best "What's My Line?" guest:

by Anonymousreply 14803/09/2013

I liked Bergman's last scene with Boyer in Gaslight where she pretends to be mad, but I agree wtih previous posters, Notorious is her best performance of her 40's Hollywood era (plus it is on of Hitchcock's best movies from that era as well).

I think she was great in Casablanca, but suspect it was not the most challenging role for her acting wise. Still her screen presence helped make that movie and a lesser actress would have created a void with a fairly passive part. I think she was in her mid-twenties then, I can't imagine a lot of the actresses in that age range now having that kind of presence.

I always figured her Bells of St. Mary's nomination was simply due to she was the It girl at the time. I watched it for the first time in years last Christmas and changed my mind. The scene where she is told she has to leave is great acting. No big theatrics, just some subtle facial reactions and the slight change in her voice, but you can see her go from disbelief, to sadness, to hopeful, to sadness, to contempt at Bing and contempt at herself for having quite unnun like thoughtsw when she realizes Bing is behind it.

by Anonymousreply 14903/09/2013

"Notorious" - Bergman's sexiest performance ever.

by Anonymousreply 15003/15/2013

Jane Greer was a very beautiful woman. What a pity we didn't get to see her star rising.

by Anonymousreply 15105/15/2013
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