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Most Versatile Actress?


Dialogfan
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Considering the beauty of Olivia D' Havilland, is there an actress who resisted type-cast better?

 

In her mid 20's, in spite of her beauty, she portrayed tired, sickly and even "plain jane" characters convincingly. 

 

Can you think of any other actress who "broke the mold" so repeatedly and successfully?

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Dialogfan, I agree with you about Olivia.  She really could do it all.  I recently watched "Lady in a Cage" and that was a huge departure for her.  Possibly second choice might be Barbara Stanwyck.  Another one who could do it all:  Westerns, comedy, drama, murder mysteries, and tragic figures.

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Considering the beauty of Olivia D' Havilland, is there an actress who resisted type-cast better?

 

In her mid 20's, in spite of her beauty, she portrayed tired, sickly and even "plain jane" characters convincingly. 

 

Can you think of any other actress who "broke the mold" so repeatedly and successfully?

 

Well we have a lot in common!    Olivia DeHavilland is my third favorite actress.   Very versatile with an interesting career arch: came out strong in very popular first rate productions like Anthony Adverse,   second fiddle in solid, entertaining Flynn movies,   a coming out performance in Gone With The Wind,   Oscar nomination for Hold Back the Dawn (ok so Joan won!),  and after winning her lawsuit,  4 solid years with 2 Oscars and her fine, compelling work in The Snake Pit.    What a lady!

 

I would say Stanwyck (my #2) is a little more versatile since she in more noirs (and I'm a major noir fan).

 

FYI:  Bette Davis is my #1.

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I would think that Vivien Leigh's two oscar winning performances are sufficiently different that one should consider her. 

 

One thing is that once actresses achieve a certain type of fame, they become typecast.  One reason that Streep appears so versatile is that after Sophie's Choice is that she became almost a default choice, especially over the last quarter-century as other actresses of her generation were ignored.  Katherine Hepburn tended not to play stupid people.  People weren't that interested in seeing Ginger Rogers in dramas.  One could go on.

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Studio era - Joanne Woodward.

 

Modern era - Jennifer Jason Leigh or Christina Ricci.

 

Joanne is a little late for Studio era, isn't she? The system was breaking about that time when she began her best stuff, late 50s.

 

I would seek someone a little more representative, just me.

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No.

 

A television actress from 1952 - broke into movies in 1956. Most of her best work was from 1957-1973. That's mostly studio era. Modern era began in 1970.

 

Okay then, but is seems late with respect with what we normally think of as "studio era" movies we see on TCM, i.e, the Golden Era, 20s, 30s, and 40s especially, when the the studio era was in full swing and was exclusive to boot.

 

I won't quarrel with your choice, if she is considered studio, then fine ... not to argue but just for the record, my sensibilities would probably lean towards a Golden Age actress to represent a Studio choice, at least for the purposes of this thread. With the advances made by 1958 in the movie industry, she comes across (to me) more modern. IMO.

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