Sunday, July 01, 2007

Olivia deHavilland

Happy Birthday (yesterday, as I write this in Bali), Olivia deHavilland.

I suppose I can just barely forgive her for her anti-Communist campaigning in post-war Hollywood. I think that she was probably not a big witch hunt type, turning people in like Elia Kazan did. From what I know about her, she is very level-headed about self determination, which takes a back seat in Communist politics. The fact that she can spot human exploitation when she sees it (second quote below) means she's not just blindly supporting all that comes with Capitalism. So I'll give her a little honor on her 91st birthday.

She was such a great actress, truly the first leading lady who could be homely (really homely) in one movie, glamorous in the next. Even Kate Hepburn can't make that claim.

Check out her IMDB bio. What a family!

Here's her interesting take on Hollywood:

"The one thing that you simply have to remember all the time that you are there, is that Hollywood is an oriental city. As long as you do that you might survive. If you try to equate it with anything else you'll perish."

I do believe she's referring to the Tai-Pan mentality of the film business in those days. Here's what she said, later, about the TV industry:

"The TV business is soul crushing, talent destroying and human being destroying. These men in their black towers don't know what they are doing. It's slave labour. There is no elegance left in anybody. They have no taste. Movies are being financed by conglomerates which take a write off if they don't work. The only people who fight for what the public deserves are artists."

Tell it, Livvie!

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