Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A British Bonanza

I am leaving for London on August 24th to go to college for four years! So, I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate British actors and actresses that have left their mark on the world with their talent.

                                                       Jean Simmons 1929-2010

                                                       Julie Christie 1941-
                                                        Deborah Kerr 1921-2007

                                                       Susannah York 1939-2011
                                                               Rita Tushingham 1942-
                                                                 Audrey Hepburn 1929-1993. She was actually born in Belgium but spent a good part of her childhood and life in England as a British citizen.
                                                     Julie Andrews 1935- . Who could ever forget her in Mary Poppins (1964)? I wanted her to be my mother the first time I saw it. I was enamored from the start. And of course later in life she played the coolest grandma ever in The Princess Diaries (2001) and made me love her even more.
                                                     Vivien Leigh 1913-1967

                                                     Elsa Lanchester 1902-1986
                                                             Greer Garson 1904-1996

                                                     Elizabeth Taylor 1932-2011 The voice, the laugh, the beauty. She was as talented as they come and connected to millions of people through her acting, charity work, and personality. She fought for many causes but especially a cause that was considered taboo at the time. That cause was AIDS and she was not afraid to speak about it publicly and defend people who had it. She was relentless and beautiful in every way.
                                                         Angela Lansbury 1925-. She was one of the other women I had wished was related to me. Even the fact that she played a villain in Gaslight (1944) and not so nice characters in a few other films couldn't take away from her kind, gentle, motherly persona. Just watch Bed knobs and Broomsticks(1971) and you'll see.
                                                        Richard Attenborough 1923-

                                                    Michael Caine 1933-

                                                     Charlie Chaplin 1889-1977. The original comedian who took the nation by storm. We had no defense against his slapstick comedy gold. He was a pioneer of film and comedy. Period.
                                                        Vanessa Redgrave 1937-
                                                               Bob Hope 1903-2003. He was born in England but came to America in 1908 and was a citizen by the time he was 17 in 1920. He was also a huge pioneer for comedy as well as for stars giving their time to support the troops. He hosted and performed at at least 199 documented USO shows. In my opinion he often stole the show from Bing Crosby in their "Road to" films.
                                                       Ronald Colman 1891-1958

                                                      Cary Grant 1904-1986
                                                         Laurence Olivier 1907-1989

                                                 Malcolm McDowell 1943-. He might not be quite up to the acting standards as the actors and actresses above but I love him for many reasons. He blew my mind in Clockwork Orange (1971) with the way he spoke in Nadsat (the language used in the film which was a cross between English, Cockney English, and Russian.) Most of his other films were not as mind blowing but if I'm able to sit through Caligula  (1979) and still love him then that means something. His sarcastic, wise-ass attitude in his films is a part of him that I actually quite like. It can be much at times but there's just something about it. I did enjoy Royal Flash (1975) in which he was quite a wise-ass so I guess I'm fine with not exactly knowing what it is that draws me to him.

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