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"
Best "Best Actress" of the 1940s
|by Anonymous||reply 151||05/15/2013|
Livvy in The Heiress gets my vote. Fontaine, Bergman and Wyman are also terrific.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||01/21/2011|
[italic]To Each His Own[/italic] - I've never even heard of this one. Is it worth seeing?
|by Anonymous||reply 2||01/21/2011|
Yes, r2. It's a classy "women's picture," complete with a sacrificial mama theme. De Havilland is very good.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||01/21/2011|
Thanks, R3. I'll put it on my list.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||01/21/2011|
I'll go with Joan Crawford
|by Anonymous||reply 5||01/21/2011|
Never knew Ginger Rogers won an Academy Award for Best Actress.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||01/21/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 7||01/21/2011|
I'm glad to see that DeHavilland (The Heiress) is winning by a large margin.%0D %0D It's only right, considering.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||01/21/2011|
I just have to go with Joan.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||01/21/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 10||01/22/2011|
Barbara Stanwyck should have won in '44 for Double Idemnity. God, she was terrific in that movie, and her performance is still modern.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||01/22/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 12||01/22/2011|
WhT r12 said.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||01/22/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 14||01/22/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 15||01/22/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 16||01/22/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 17||01/22/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 18||01/22/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 19||01/22/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 20||01/22/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 21||01/22/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 22||01/22/2011|
Olivia de Havilland should have won for THE SNAKE PIT (1948).
|by Anonymous||reply 23||01/22/2011|
[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 Anonymous||reply 24||01/22/2011|
Joan...her role was the most iconic.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||01/22/2011|
[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 Anonymous||reply 26||01/22/2011|
"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 Anonymous||reply 27||01/22/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 28||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 29||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 30||01/23/2011|
Interesting info R30. So perhaps in another 20 years, we will be much-loved on DL.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 32||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 33||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 34||01/23/2011|
Wow r33 great minds think alike!
|by Anonymous||reply 35||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 36||01/23/2011|
Actually, the order so far is showing an uncharacteristic and welcome degree of taste and distinction for DL.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 38||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 39||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 40||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 41||01/23/2011|
Two words r41, Warner Brothers.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 43||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 44||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 45||01/23/2011|
[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 Anonymous||reply 46||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 47||01/23/2011|
137 votes so far, and not one for that sanctimonious hypocrite, Loretta!
|by Anonymous||reply 48||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 49||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 50||01/23/2011|
1946 must have also been a rather weak year. Who was Livvy's competition?
|by Anonymous||reply 51||01/23/2011|
[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 Anonymous||reply 52||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 53||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 54||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 55||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 56||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 57||01/23/2011|
Ol%C3%ADvia de havilland is the sort of actress that i detest. Her mannerims are awful. Ugh
|by Anonymous||reply 58||01/23/2011|
r57, she was nominated for 'Since You Went Away' Coincidentally, that was on TCM earlier today.%0D
|by Anonymous||reply 59||01/23/2011|
Colbert is forgotten today.
99% of the public probably haven't heard of her.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||01/23/2011|
"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 Anonymous||reply 61||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 62||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 63||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 64||01/23/2011|
R63 is an idiot.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||01/23/2011|
Was Marlene Dietrich ever nominated? She should have been for "The Blue Angel."
|by Anonymous||reply 66||01/23/2011|
How many actresses have won Best Actress in an all-out comedy after Claudette? Not many, I bet. %0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 67||01/23/2011|
What R65 said.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||01/23/2011|
Diane Keaton in ANNIE HALL and Helen Hunt in AS GOOD AS IT GETS come to mind, R67.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||01/23/2011|
The word "mannered" has begun to be way overused here on DL.%0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 70||01/23/2011|
Dietrich was nominated for Morocco in 1931. She lost to Marie Dressler in Min and Bill.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 72||01/23/2011|
[quote]Gwyneth Paltrow in "Shakespeare in Love"%0D %0D That was not a comedy, that was a tragedy.
|by Anonymous||reply 73||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 74||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 75||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 76||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 77||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 78||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 79||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 80||01/23/2011|
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 Anonymous||reply 81||01/23/2011|
The church they all attended was given the less than flattering nickname "Our Lady of the Cadillacs" (I kid you not)
|by Anonymous||reply 82||01/23/2011|
That's pretty brilliant, r 82!
|by Anonymous||reply 83||01/24/2011|
You love to make me hit you. Bring me the axe!
|by Anonymous||reply 84||01/24/2011|
|by Anonymous||reply 85||11/12/2012|
Bette Bette Bette!
|by Anonymous||reply 86||12/09/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 87||12/09/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 88||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 89||03/04/2013|
Rudy Vallee and Jane Greer ORIGINAL AP Wedding Photo
|by Anonymous||reply 90||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 91||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 92||03/04/2013|
Also, amazingly "The Song of Bernadette" came closest to sweeping the 1944 Oscars.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 94||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 95||03/04/2013|
With Lizabeth Scott again in 'The Company She Keeps'
|by Anonymous||reply 96||03/04/2013|
'The Company She Keeps' ...
|by Anonymous||reply 97||03/04/2013|
Lizabeth Scott giving an intense glance at Jane for...the needs of The Company She Keeps....
|by Anonymous||reply 98||03/04/2013|
The fuckin' Company She Keeps!
|by Anonymous||reply 99||03/04/2013|
|by Anonymous||reply 100||03/04/2013|
Jane Greer's hands on the office...
|by Anonymous||reply 101||03/04/2013|
|by Anonymous||reply 102||03/04/2013|
No words needed...
OUT OF THE PAST!
|by Anonymous||reply 103||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 104||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 105||03/04/2013|
[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 Anonymous||reply 106||03/04/2013|
#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 Anonymous||reply 107||03/04/2013|
[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 Anonymous||reply 108||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 109||03/04/2013|
Guys,fff, what do you think of Jane Greer?
Don't be snobbish!
|by Anonymous||reply 110||03/04/2013|
[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 Anonymous||reply 111||03/04/2013|
[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 Anonymous||reply 112||03/04/2013|
Incidentally, March is Greer Garson month on TCM. They are playing her movies every Monday this month.
|by Anonymous||reply 113||03/04/2013|
Fuck you guys.
You are stuck-up bitches.
|by Anonymous||reply 114||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 115||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 116||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 117||03/04/2013|
117 = shit-stirring troll.
|by Anonymous||reply 118||03/04/2013|
No, I'm not, R118.
|by Anonymous||reply 119||03/04/2013|
I'm not a newb, R118. Just sleep deprived and too lazy to proofread.
|by Anonymous||reply 120||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 121||03/04/2013|
[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 Anonymous||reply 122||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 123||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 124||03/04/2013|
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
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 Anonymous||reply 125||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 126||03/04/2013|
Very hard to choose between Olivia in The Heiress and Ingrid in Gaslight, two great performances, two first rate movies.
|by Anonymous||reply 127||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 128||03/04/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 129||03/05/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 130||03/06/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 131||03/06/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 132||03/06/2013|
Ok, no dissing Greer Garson. She was fabulous!
|by Anonymous||reply 133||03/06/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 134||03/06/2013|
[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 Anonymous||reply 135||03/06/2013|
[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 Anonymous||reply 136||03/07/2013|
I was thinking I had never seen Roz's "Electra" until I started reading about it. I had DVRd it a couple of years ago...it was horrible! I must have blacked it out.
But I did love her in everything else.
|by Anonymous||reply 137||03/07/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 138||03/07/2013|
He wanted someone the total opposite of Rebecca, who was glamorous, sensual and humiliated him.
|by Anonymous||reply 139||03/07/2013|
The screen tests from "Rebecca" are on YouTube.
|by Anonymous||reply 140||03/07/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 141||03/07/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 142||03/07/2013|
Oops am newbie, just made a mistake embedding video intead of just linking, apologies dont know how to delete post
|by Anonymous||reply 143||03/07/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 144||03/07/2013|
I LOVE Greer Garson! I love the warmth and graciousness she emanated - she seemed like such a lady!
|by Anonymous||reply 145||03/07/2013|
Greer's best, least mannered performance is in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips", before she became a Grand Lady of the Screen
|by Anonymous||reply 146||03/07/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 147||03/07/2013|
Greer Garson was one of the all time best "What's My Line?" guest:
|by Anonymous||reply 148||03/09/2013|
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 Anonymous||reply 149||03/09/2013|
"Notorious" - Bergman's sexiest performance ever.
|by Anonymous||reply 150||03/15/2013|
Jane Greer was a very beautiful woman. What a pity we didn't get to see her star rising.
|by Anonymous||reply 151||05/15/2013|