Daily Archives: April 5, 2016

Happy Birthday, Doris Day

Sunday was the 92nd birthday of Doris Day, one of the last living legends of the Golden Age Of Hollywood.

In honor of her birthday and her illustrious career, I’d like to use this post to honor her work and her life.

First, her films.

My favorite Doris Day film is Pillow Talk (1959).

Brad Allen (Rock Hudson) and Jan Morrow (Doris Day) share a telephone line. Interior decorator Jan needs the line open for work but playboy Brad uses the phone for more personal uses. Coincidentally, Jan and Brad are dining at the same restaurant and Brad takes a liking to Jan. The kicker here is that Brad introduces himself to Jan not as himself, but as a Texas native new to the big city.  I will let the trailer take it from here.

Decades later, in the 1980’s, when Rock Hudson not only came out, but revealed that he was dying from AIDS, Ms. Day was one of several performers to stand by their friend and colleague.

She is not only an iconic performer, but what we in the Jewish community call a mensch, a good person.

Happy Birthday.

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Happy Birthday, Heath Ledger

If the mark of an unforgettable actor is that his or her fans shed a tear for them and remember the performances that moved them, then Heath Ledger is most certainly an unforgettable actor.

He died at the young age of 28, leaving a hole in our lives that will never truly be filled.

We will never know what his career could have been. But we can remember what it was and the impact it left on audiences. In honor of his birthday, which was yesterday, let us take a moment to remember his finest work.

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Joker was the last role Ledger completed before his tragic death. While other actors tried to exude a charm under the face paint, Ledger’s psychotic Joker sent a chill down the backs of audiences. If and when there is another Batman movie and the Joker is the antagonist, this actor, whomever they are,  will have mighty big shoes to fill.

A Knights’s Tale (2001)

William Thatcher is a peasant who has been working for a recently deceased knight since his childhood. When his master dies, William decides to take fate into his own hands. The only problem is that there is no such thing as a self made man in those times. Whatever your place in life was at birth, it would remain fixed for the rest of your days. But William is not content to remain as he is, so he takes a chance and pretends to be a knight with aristocratic origins. That is only the beginning.

Last, but certainly not least, one of my perennial favorite Heath Ledger movies……

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Taming Of The Shrew set in a modern high school, Ledger played a high version of Petruchio opposite Julia’s Stiles’s Kat. This movie is electric. Their chemistry is obvious from the word go. Instead of using vague character and plot references, the screenwriters kept to the original narrative while making the movie feel fresh and new.

Heath Ledger was not the type of actor to rest on his laurels and play the same character in the same genre over and over again.

RIP, sir, your physical presence maybe gone, but your work will live on.

 

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