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Favorite Character Actresses


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What do you all think about Maude Eburne, Lucile Watson, and Esther Dale? They are three of my favorites. And let's not forget Una O'Connor.

 

The magazine Films of the Golden Age ran an article about Miss O'Connor in one of their early issues. Has anyone read it, and if so, is it informative?

 

Lastly, does anyone have a contact address for Rhonda Fleming, Gloria DeHaven, and Kathryn Grayson?

 

Thanks so much! These movies are my passion--I am 23 and do not know many people who love them so so much, so I am so happy to read all of your posts!

 

Thanks again!

 

--Jonathan

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something today about one of my favorite character actresses, Una O'Connor but you beat me to it.

 

I own copies of The Invisible Man but had to stay up to watch her schtick in it last nite, just for the fun of it.

 

She somehow manages, to steal every scene she is in, and though she is full of antics it never detracts from the movie.

 

As for the others you mention, Maude has been a favorite since I saw her in W.C. Fields' film "Poppy" and she is magnificent and so human. I love Miss Watson and Miss Dale, and I put them in the same category as the greats Ruth Donnelly, Jane Darwell, and Clara Blandick.

 

A few other favorites of mine are Zazu Pitts, Laura Hope Crews, and Margaret Dumont. Josephine Hull is a treasure and Beulah Bondi transcended character parts and could carry a whole film. I think her transformation from kindly mother to nasty old crone in Capra's IAWL, is what holds the film together.

 

I also love and adore Estelle Winwood.

 

Great question and I look forward to seeing other's favorites.

 

 

 

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I just finished writing a book on Marjorie Main. She's always been one of my favorite character actresses. Incidentally, the book should be available around this time next year. She had an interesting, albeit eccentric life.

 

All character actors are highly underrated, in my opinion. Many of them make a good film better and a bad film bearable. Thelma Ritter is another favorite of mine.

 

Michelle

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  • 1 year later...

TCM is showing My Favorite Year tonight, and it's reminded me of what a wonderful character Selma Diamond was. It's as if she picked up the baton from Thelma Ritter. I understand that she was a comedy writer for years before she actually appeared on the screen, but I'm sorry that Hollywood didn't cast her in more movies.

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Someone get my smelling salts because I love Laura Hope Crews. She was very amusing as Prudence in Camille, scatterbrained in Gone With the Wind, and as a drunk magician in Idiot's Delight. She's buried not too far from me in Colma, CA south of SF.

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> I just finished writing a book on Marjorie Main.

> She's always been one of my favorite character

> actresses. Incidentally, the book should be available

> around this time next year. She had an interesting,

> albeit eccentric life.

>

> All character actors are highly underrated, in my

> opinion. Many of them make a good film better and a

> bad film bearable. Thelma Ritter is another favorite

> of mine.

>

> Michelle

 

she was a clean addict or ? Since you wrote a book on her what information do you have on her about wallace beery? thanks. I read she thought he adlib to much?

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Marjorie Main hated Wallace Beery! I would venture to say that Beery didn't hold much regard for her either, but that feeling was mostly out of jealousy over her being able to match him for gruffness on screen. As popular as their films together were, Marjorie was always hoping for a box office bomb on their next venture out just so she could put an end to the misery of working with Beery. But, the audiences loved them and Marjorie had to keep plugging away as Beery's partner.

 

Generally speaking, Marjorie was quite straight laced. On the other hand, Beery was foul mouthed and gruff and Marjorie was offended by his ongoing antics, which he probably turned up a level due to Marjorie's reaction. He did adlib a lot, which completely threw Marjorie for a loop. She was a stickler for knowing her lines and the lines of her co-stars and when Beery went off the script, at first, she didn't know how to respond. Eventually, she became an expert at adlibbing and she matched Beery shot for shot.

 

All in all, their blatant dislike for each other did not show on film which is probably the mark of two VERY good actors!

 

Michelle

 

www.michellevogel.com

 

Author of - "Marjorie Main: The Life and Films of Hollywood's 'Ma Kettle.'"

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My favorite character actress is Una Merkel. Who could forget her Lily Belle Callahan and her catfight with La Dietrich? And also cast my vote for Thelma Ritter, she is a sentimental favorite of mine because she reminds me of my dear Aunt Carrie.

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All character actors are highly underrated, in my opinion.

 

Absolutely true, mvozus. True then and true now. If not for the Phillip Seymour Hoffman's and William H. Macy's of current Hollyweird, the media would be populated by a plethora of Tom Cruise's and I'd have to stick my head in an oven.

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My vote for favorite character actress is Beulah Bondi. She was superb in "Make Way for Tomorrow" as part of the elderly couple that was seperated by their children when they were relegated to an old folks home, however, my favorite part that she did was in the Emmy award winning role she did on TV's "The Walton's" as Martha Corinne Walton in the episode entitled "The Pony Cart." Elderly cousin Martha Corinne Walton came to the Walton's to live out her last days and indelibly touched each member of the family with her wise ways.

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