Birthday Double: Olivia de Havilland & Leslie Caron

This year we bring you a special beginning to July. We celebrate two Hollywood legends birthdays and they’re both still alive! Happy Birthday to Olivia de Havilland and Leslie Caron!

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Both ladies have brought their own achievements to old Hollywood and are true Hollywood actresses in every sense of the phrase.

 

Olivia de Havilland

Olivia_de_Havilland_stillBorn in Tokyo, Japan on 1st July 1916 de Havilland has lived through it all. She broke into Hollywood early on and is famous for starring opposite Errol Flynn in eight films including The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), having a public off screen feud with her sister, Joan Fontaine, but she’s probably most famous for playing Melanie Hamilton in Southern epic Gone With the Wind (1939) with Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. Her acting shows how versatile she was and her attitude fits in perfectly with the era of films she was in.  All her big films will be remembered forever as will her supposed romantic ties to Flynn. De Havilland won many awards during her long stage career including two Academy Awards. She also won a court case about how long you could be signed to a certain producer for, even today this is known as the de Havilland Law. She is an actress and woman who will always be remembered for her work, her long life and what she has done for the movie industry as a whole.

Happy 98th Birthday Olivia!

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Leslie Caron

leslie-caron-and-gigi-galleryCaron was born in Seine, France on 1st July 1931. Her first film role was in An American In Paris starring opposite Gene Kelly. It was Kelly that managed to get her into the big films which shot her to stardom. Caron is a well known dancer and singer and is one of only a few actresses to have danced with the likes of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev. Her most famous role is probably that of her playing Gigi in the 1958 version of Gigi. Her portrayal of a young woman learning to be a courtesan is fun and care free in Minelli’s version of the film. The addition of her lovely singing and dancing makes it a brilliant performance.

Caron has had a long and wonderful career with a mixture of musicals, dramas and tv work. The awards she has won are well deserved and we can only thank Gene Kelly for seeing her talent all those years ago at Ballet des Champs Elysees.

Happy 83rd Birthday Leslie!

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It’s great to be able to write a post about one actor from the Golden era still alive to celebrate their birthday but two is magical in our book. Enjoy your birthday’s ladies while we enjoy celebrating by enjoying your films.

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Happy 85th Birthday Audrey Hepburn!

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Google’s doodle for Hepburn’s 85th Birthday

Today’s birthday girl, Audrey Hepburn, really needs no introduction. Her films have become classics, her charity work changed the world and made her legendary and she still remains a fashion icon 21 years after her death. Even today she’s on TV in the Galaxy chocolate advert. Hepburn took what we knew of the film industry and films themselves and gave us a fresh, brand new perspective. She worked with all the greats, won plenty of awards and was best friends with Givenchy (yes the famous fashion designer) and still remained humble and down to earth.

Here we look at five of the films we deem as classic Hepburn films… Enjoy!

Roman Holiday (1953)

tumblr_n51hjzdJ8y1tymyz0o1_500The first film Audrey was credited for, had a leading role in and won an Academy Award for. Here she plays Princess Ann who sneaks out to explore Rome on her own. She meets Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) who’s a reporter. The film is wonderfully light hearted and has some lovely funny parts. Hepburn’s performance shows why she won Best Actress and with her age in the film, she was 24 at the time, makes her stand out as one to watch.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Well what do we really say about Breakfast at Tiffany’s? I suppose (and hope) we’ve all seen it. Hepburn tumblr_n50hm1Spix1qa70eyo2_r1_500plays Holly Golightly a very fun, outgoing, party girl type in public but seemingly very quiet in public. Paul Varjak (George Peppard) plays opposite. Hepburn said the film was one of her biggest challenges because she had to play an extrovert when she herself is an introvert. The film shows so much emotions and has some very memorable scenes and fashion choices.

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My Fair Lady (1964)

my-fair-lady-1964-the-real-thingA very loveable musical with songs everyone remembers. Hepburn plays Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle who get’s picked by phonetics professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) to show that he can teach her to speak correct English so she can be presented in Edwardian Society. It’s fun seeing Hepburn talk in Cockney and see how she blossoms into a lady of society at the end. Her character changes throughout the film and she pulls it off fantastically. Hepburn doesn’t sing herself in the film but it certainly doesn’t detract from her performance.

How to Steal A Million (1966)

I love this film. Audrey stars with Peter O’Toole in this comedy heist film. It’s all about art forgery and claiming offtumblr_n517wfOVL01qiawh2o1_500 scams when art work goes missing. At some point in the film you realise that Hepburn and O’Toole’s characters aren’t as serious as you may have expected them to be, but their partnership works very well on screen and is very believable. The cupboard under the stairs scene is fantastic. It’s well worth a watch because it’s quite different to Hepburn’s other works.

Funny Face (1957)

tumblr_n51i3ie1QX1ttqe7vo1_500Another musical with Audrey playing Jo Stockton a very shy bookshop clerk who’s bookshop is used in a fashion magazine’s photoshoot. The photographer is none other that Fred Astaire. Lots of Hepburn and Astaire dancing and a great Hepburn makeover turn Stockton into the next big model in the industry. The songs work well and the change of clothes is a plenty. We also here Hepburn’s true singing voice for the first time ever.

This is just a mix of a few of Hepburn’s films. Remember she’s not just an actress, she was a woman who we can call a role model and someone who’ll be remembered forever for her work on screen and throughout the world. Even Google have acknowledged her birthday.

Happy Birthday Audrey. It truly is a day for celebrations.

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Celebrate Gene Kelly’s Birthday with us!

tumblr_mrww0eX4Ro1rn55g9o5_250Today, the 23rd August, is a special day. Mr Gene Kelly would have been 101 today! We realise that there’s not much we can tell you that you don’t already know. Singer. Dancer. Director. Actor. All round good guy. Friend to the stars. So what can we do to make his birthday special? Well I scoured my DVD collection, flicked determinedly through all my relevant books and decided to tell you about my top 5 Gene Kelly Musical Dancey moments. Continue reading

Happy Birthday Judy Garland!

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Judy Garland A.K.A  Frances Ethel Gumm was born today in 1922.

Judy starred in a lot of films from a young age, but is probably mostly known for playing Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz when shewas around 16. However, go back to when these movies were first released, Judy was known almost by everyone as one of the best/most natural performers of her time. She still probably is one of the best performers of all time. if Fred Astaire described her as, “The Greatest Entertainer who lived,” Then it shows even in a famous Hollywood actor’s eyes, Judy’s abilities to capture audiences was above amazing.

If you watch Judy perform in any of her films such as, Meet me in St Louis, Easter Parade, The Pirate. You can see how much acting and musicals have changed since the amazing era of the 1940s/1950’s. I’m not dissing today’s movies/acting abilities but back in Judy’s era the acting seemed more natural, there was less technology to factor into movies, no one was CGIed, everyone gave their best performance as film wasn’t something that could be rewrote as easy as today.

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Although she was a fantastic and incredible looking woman, Judy still struggled with image issues never truly believing she was beautiful. She might not have believed it but Garland fans would agree that on 10th of June 1922 a gorgeous star was born who rewrote acting and singing standards forever.

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To finish this post off. One of my favourite Quotes said my Judy- “Someday he’ll swoop down like a chickenhawk and carry me away.” And the awesome video that involves that quote… It also involves Gene Kelly :3