Category Archives: Actors

The John Wayne Jitterbug

From The Fighting Seabees (1944). I love this scene so much. When does John Wayne ever dance, let alone jitterbug? I love it, too, because he is not the “leader” of the dance. She is. In jitterbug, the male has … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, John Wayne

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Excerpt from Slouching Towards Bethlehem: ‘John Wayne: A Love Story’, by Joan Didion

For John Wayne’s Birthday A second excerpt from the essay collection: Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics), by Joan Didion This is one of the best things written about John Wayne. It’s not just an essay about who he was … Continue reading

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For John Wayne’s Birthday: Hondo (1953) at MoMA: John Wayne in 3D

Perfect timing: I’ve been absolutely loving Scott Eyman’s biography of John Wayne: John Wayne: The Life and Legend. It’s so good, people. It’s the biography that this icon deserves. I’m not done with it yet, and I’ll post more on … Continue reading

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For John Wayne’s Birthday: John Wayne’s Balletic/Symphonic Gesture in Angel and the Badman

One of my favorite quotes about acting comes from John Wayne. It’s included in Peter Bogdanovich’s Who the Hell’s in It: Conversations with Hollywood’s Legendary Actors: Peter Bogdanovich: Your gestures in pictures are often daring — large — and show … Continue reading

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R.I.P. Burt Kwouk, aka “Cato”

Actor Burt Kwouk has died at the age of 85. Kwouk’s most well-known role was “Cato”, the ninja-manservant of Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther franchise. I was a child going to the Pink Panther movies (they were major Events … Continue reading

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For Laurence Olivier’s Birthday: “You’ve Got a Fucking Cheek, Haven’t You?”

Happy birthday, Laurence Olivier! Here’s a funny anecdote from Antony Sher’s book Year of the King: An Actor’s Diary and Sketchbook, his diary detailing his process rehearsing (and creating) Richard III at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Sher was daunted by … Continue reading

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“Does it all sound depressing to you? Queasy? Well, I’m not ashamed.” – Barbara Payton

No secret that I love Kim Morgan’s writing. No secret either that we are friends. But this piece, on the re-issue of the autobiography of poor messed-up Barbara Payton – actress, drunk/heroin-addict, prostitute, bar-fly, dead at the age of 39 … Continue reading

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Film Society at Lincoln Center: Anna Magnani Retrospective 5/18-6/1

In a recent radio interview about Gena Rowlands, host Jason Di Rosso asked me what other actresses might even enter the foyer of the foyer of what Gena Rowlands does as an actress. I’ve got my Top 4: Gena Rowlands, … Continue reading

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Extra! Extra! Anna Karina Is In New York!

That’s what it’s been like in New York in the film and moviegoer community over the last week or so. French New Wave actress (and one-time wife of Jean-Luc Godard – at one point they were the hippest coolest couple … Continue reading

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