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Drawing on historical documents and newspaper reports, this book provides a fascinating portrait of a diverse group of character actresses who left their stamp on Hollywood from the early sound era through the 1960s. The lives of 35 actresses are explored in detail. Some are familiar: Margaret Hamilton starred in dozens of films before and after her signature role as the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz; Una Merkel nearly died when her mother committed suicide in 1945. Others are nearly forgotten: Maude Eburne owed her career to a spectacular fall on the Broadway stage in 1914; Greta Meyer, who played the quintessential German maid, came to Hollywood after years in New York's Yiddish theater--though she wasn't Jewish.
"This survey focuses upon the typical roles available to character actresses in classic Hollywood films. Each profile captures the essence of the individual performer's on-screen persona, unique talents and popular appeal--with special emphasis on the actress's single definitive performance. The appendix offers a list of "The Top 100 Performances by Character Actresses in Hollywood, 1930-1960.""--Provided by publisher.
Dame Maggie Smith stands as a remarkable example of the concomitance – in a performer’s career – of typecasting and characterisation, that is the ability to impersonate ‘against type’ infinitely various screen or stage characters. This book of appreciation essentially aims at correcting the preconceived image that the general public has of Dame Maggie Smith. Focusing on the last twenty-five years, it examines, through the many parts she has played since the early 1990s, her ability to go beyond typecasting and give, thanks to her chameleon skills, nuanced and convincing portrays of infinitely diverse characters. From The Importance of Being Earnest to Gosford Park and Becoming Jane, to Downton Abbey and Sister Act, to The Last September and the Harry Potter saga, Dame Maggie Smith has had a wide spanning career in TV and Film. Not to mention her theatrical work on the stage. Author Caroline Fevrier lives in Paris, France and has a passion for theatre and performing. Caroline holds a PhD in Literature and Humanities and an MA in Literature and Drama. She was also trained as a professional performer and has been involved in several stage productions and short movies. Caroline regularly gives lectures on theatre and performance to academic audiences and had published several books on literature and humanities, and now focuses closely on the performing arts.
"Information presented regarding birth, death, film credits and analyzes each player's unique talents, signature roles and career development. Representative range of backgrounds, character types and career experiences including actresses such as Agnes Moorehead, Thelma Ritter, Beulah Bondi, Sara Allgood, and Jessie Ralph, among others. A fascinating tour through Hollywood's big studio era and the lives of its characters"--Provided by publisher.
In a career spanning six decades, Agnes Moorehead (1900–1974) was perhaps unique among 20th-century American actresses in making her name in four entertainment media—radio, theater, film and television—after age 40. Focusing on 25 of her most representative performances, this retrospective analyzes her work on radio serials like Mayor of the Town (1942–1949) and Suspense (1942–1962), her stage productions of Don Juan in Hell and Gigi, her television appearances on Bewitched and The Twilight Zone and her Emmy-winning appearance on The Wild Wild West. The author presents Moorehead's roles in the context of her personal life, discusses her relationship with directors, producers and other performers and provides little known facts about the productions.
"This survey focuses upon the typical roles available to character actresses in classic Hollywood films. Each profile captures the essence of the individual performer's on-screen persona, unique talents and popular appeal--with special emphasis on the actress's single definitive performance. The appendix offers a list of "The Top 100 Performances by Character Actresses in Hollywood, 1930-1960.""--Provided by publisher.
In The Films of Agnes Moorehead, Axel Nissen looks at Agnes Moorehead’s sixty-three feature films between 1941 and 1973. Each film is profiled, with particular emphasis placed on the films that merit closer attention: Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Mrs. Parkington, Dark Passage, All That Heaven Allows, The Left Hand of God, The Swan, Tempest, The Bat, and Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Arranged in chronological order, the discussion of these films highlights Moorehead’s contribution to each feature. In addition to analyzing her performances, the author discusses the development of Moorehead’s career as a whole, along with her relationship with various studios, directors, producers, and fellow actors. Based on extensive interviews with the actress’s surviving friends and co-workers, as well as detailed archival research into primary sources, this book brings to light new information not just about Moorehead’s work in film, but on her life and career in general.

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