Monday, December 1, 2008

A Christmas Album

In honor of the season, I thought that I'd try to post a Christmas-themed picture from Hollywood's studio past each day leading up to the holiday. Our first day finds Virginia Grey, the perennial good sport of MGM, a pal of Clark Gable between his marriages, (who never married once he failed to ask her), and an actress who had, according to Louis B. Mayer, "everything but luck," as she prepared to play a very fetching Santa.

Born into a show biz family, the elegant and lithe Miss Grey memorably played roles in Uncle Tom's Cabin (1927) as Little Eva, Idiot's Delight (1939), The Women (1939), and several smaller movies that I'm quite fond of, such as Grand Central Murder (1942), Tish (1942), Jungle Jim (1948), The Threat (1949), (a well done film noir), The Bullfighter and the Lady (1951) and All That Heaven Allows (1956), in which her relaxed charm and beauty shine through her small part as a grounded woman who befriends Jane Wyman. Her role in Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo (1955) was said to be her finest and might have led to an Oscar nomination, if it weren't for the cutting allegedly performed at the behest of the star,Anna Magnani. She described her approach to her job in these terms: "I consider myself a professional who acts -- not to express my soul or elevate the cinema -- but to entertain and get paid for it."

See you tomorrow for Day Two.


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