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Entries in Billie Burke (3)

Monday
Aug072017

Charlize's Birthday Share

Look at all these people who share Charlize Theron's birthday! Our favorite Atomic Blonde isn't even the only South African Oscar winner born on this day. It's quite a day in showbiz history all told. Which of these luminaries will you celebrate today inside your hearts?

Jeanne Moreau as Mata Hari in 1964

1876 Mata Hari, exotic dancer / spy / juicy role for both Greta Garbo & Jeanne Moreau
1884 Billie Burke, Glinda the Good Witch herself (also an Oscar nominated actress for Merrily We Live, 1938)
1901 Yuliya Solntseva, actress/director (the only female to win Best Director at Cannes until Sofia Coppola this summer)
1902 Ann Harding, Oscar nominated actress (Holiday, 1930)
1914 Ted Moore, Oscar winning cinematographer from South Africa
1927 Carl "Alfafa" Switzer of Our Gang fame
1942 Garrison Keillor of A Prairie Home Companion
1942 BJ Thomas, singer of the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"
1942 Caetano Veloso, singer of the sublime "Cucurrucucú Paloma" which is heard in several movies including two Oscar winners: Talk to Her and Moonlight
1943 Alain Corneau, French writer/director 
1944 John Glover, enduring character actor

1944 David Rasche, undervalued funny character actor (Veep, In the Loop, Burn After Reading)
1960 David Duchovny, aka Fox Mulder
1963 Harold Perrineau, TV regular (currently on Claws)
1965 Jon Jon Briones, stage and screen actor (last seen in revival of Miss Saigon)
1971 Rachel York, Broadway regular and TV actor
1974 Michael Shannon, scene-stealer / Oscar nominated actor

Elizabeth Debicki with Luca Calvani in "The Man From UNCLE"

1974 Luca Calvani, italian actor (The Man From UNCLE)
1975 Charlize Theron, fierce icon / Oscar-winning actress
1978 Alexandre Aja, horror movie director
1979 Eric Johnson, actor (The Knick/ 50 Shades franchise)
1982 Abbie Cornish, Bright Star who seems to have disappeared!

Wednesday
Feb102016

Judy by the Numbers: "Why? Because!"

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...

With Judy Garland's growing success, MGM decided it was time to have her star in her own feature. The studio dusted off some musical numbers (arranged by Roger Edens) as well as a handful of contract players and Ziegfeld stars. Judy played a young aspiring actress stuck in a conservative school. Supported by her zany Russian maid (Fanny Brice), the young girl decides to join a musical. The result was another hit for Judy, and a delight for future Vaudeville nerds and historians.  

The Movie: Everybody Sing (MGM 1938)
The Songwriters: Harry Ruby & Bert Kalmar
The Players: Judy Garland, Fanny Brice, Allan Jones, Reginald Owen, Billie Burke, directed by Edwin L. Marin

The Story: In Everybody Sing, Judy was joined by not one but two famous Ziegfeld women: Billie Burke (aka Mrs. Florenz Ziegfeld, who we'll see again later), and Fanny Brice, a Jewish comedienne whose life would eventually inspire the musical that would launch Barbara Streisand's career. At the time of Everybody Sing, Brice had successfully transitioned from Vaudeville to radio, and this musical number was based on one of her characters, Baby Snooks. I'll admit that this week's clip isn't so much Judy by the Numbers as Fanny by the Numbers, but there are so few films of Brice. Watching Fanny Brice in action, you see the blueprint being laid out for future funny girls like Barbra Streisand, Lily Tomlin, and Gilda Radner.

Wednesday
Jan082014

A Year with Kate: Christopher Strong (1933)

ICYMI - New Series! - Episode 2 of 52

In which Katharine Hepburn plays another British lady, and her acting gets better even if her accent doesn’t.

If Katharine Hepburn has one problem in her early career (besides her infamous intractability) it is her inability to be anything other than herself. That odd quality that made her a star in A Bill of Divorcement also plagued her through her career. She’s too stubborn to be an ingénue, too young to be a dame, too androgynous to be a femme fatale and too fascinating to be a character actor. What then to do with her? Once she hits MGM she definitely hits her stride, but sadly that is seven years, twelve movies (and for us, twelve very long weeks) away.  First we have to get through the trial and error period of Kate’s career, where she tried on many hats.

The next hat is this:

Click to read more ...