Wednesday, October 24, 2012

being and becoming

“There ought to be a law against any man who doesn’t want to marry Myrna Loy.”
-James Stewart

Mryna Loy had it all: smart, funny and drop dead gorgeous.  She was stunning.  That's what got her noticed by Rudolph Valenteno back in the silent film era.  Her early work involved playing mostly bad girls - the seductive vamps. 
Mryna started in film in 1925, and it wasn't until 1934 that the audience experienced the full range of her talent.  Someone noticed that she had more than a pretty face and cast her as Nora Charles opposite of William Powell in The Thin Man.  Wow!

About ten years ago some friends and I were sitting around at a party.  The subject of handsome men and beautiful women in the movies came up.  The ladies present mentioned the guys they thought were pleasing to the eyes.  The guys mentioned who they thought were attractive.  Beauty of course is subjectively in the eye of the beholder.   I couldn't think of anyone on screen today that possessed any quality near what once was.  There's no one today that can match the kind of talent we had on the screen back in the Hollywood of yesterday.  Mryna Loy is at the top of my list of the most beautiful and the most talented women.  I watch her today and I am still captured by her beauty - in every stage of her life.  She aged gracefully on film and her rolls just got richer.  She was an actress with such incredible range and dimension.

"Life, is not having and getting, but a being and becoming."
-Myrna Loy

One of my favorite rolls of hers is The Best Years of Our Lives where she plays the wife to returning soldier played by Frederic March.  She's not the primary character in this film, but her roll as a loving wife to a husband dealing with a transition from soldier to citizen.  Both Frederic and Myna gave a very real, a very tangible performance.  It's a beautiful thing.

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