On the eve of her tribute by the Academy
By Silvia Bizio
Sophia Loren set many standards throughout her long film career, while showing a unique ability to combine her Mediterranean beauty and sex-appeal with a humorous and sympathetic approach to all her roles. Glamorous though she was, “La Loren” was always able to provide a high degree of credibility to her portraits of real women. It’s no coincidence that she grew up as an actress in the Italian neo-realistic film movement in the ’50s and ’60s.
Ms. Loren has won many acting awards in her long career, including five Golden Globes. An appearance at the last Golden Globes garnered her a standing ovation, testament to the warmth she still inspires in Hollywood. She won her Best Actress Academy Award for Vittorio De Sica’s Two Women, in 1962, the first time in Oscar’s history for a foreign actress playing a foreign language role. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences is honoring her again Wednesday, May 4, 2011, an event that sold out in a few minutes, this time to celebrate her life and career with a special tribute. The gala evening, hosted by Mrs. Loren’s good friend Billy Crystal and organized together with Italian actress Jo Champa, will include clips from many of Loren’s past films and personal remarks by her friends and colleagues in Hollywood and from abroad.
“A tribute like the one the Academy is dedicating to me is exciting, overwhelming,” she says. “I think people see me as a normal person, not as a movie star or an icon, but as their friend. Even when I meet people on the street, I can perceive a familiar attachment; they give me a smile, a handshake.” She believes that people’s affection for her comes from the leading roles she played in Hollywood productions. “Many of my most successful American movies I did are comedies, such as Houseboat, It started in Naples, Man of La Mancha, a quite dramatic movie about Don Quixote, but with some musical scenes. When I first came here, I could not play any other role because, speaking English with an Italian accent, I was always seen as an Italian-in-America. Actually it was not effortful at all because I barely knew English. But maybe it was Desire Under the Elms, my first important dramatic role, to put me to the test as an actress. I was 22 years old.”
“My love story with the American film industry, and Hollywood in particular, has been wonderful,” continues Ms. Loren, who has lived for many years in a large villa north of Los Angeles with her husband Carlo Ponti. He was the legendary Italian producer who discovered young Sophia and launched her film and TV career, and with whom she eventually had two children – Carlo, now an orchestra conductor, and Edoardo, a film director. She presently lives in Geneva, Switzerland. Ponti passed away four years ago.
Star of dozens of Italian films, Ms. Loren’s relationship with Hollywood dates back to 1957, when she worked in Stanley’s Kramer’s The Pride and the Passion; with Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant in Eugene O’Neil’s Desire Under the Elms in 1958. “The moment I arrived in Hollywood, I felt like I was in a fairytale,” she says. “But I was also coming from a cinema which was very strong at the time, with directors like De Sica, Rossellini, Antonioni. It was not difficult to develop many friendships here, even though I never really left Italy – or better yet, Naples – in my heart.” Among the many friends, she still cherishes the memory of at least three: “Cary Grant, of course. Then Charlie Chaplin, an extraordinary friend of mine, he was always very close to me. And also George Cukor.”
“I owe my shape and good health to the spaghetti,” says the down-to-earth Neapolitan star, whose real name is Sofia Scicolone. She chose the name Sophia Loren, suggested by her then-”sponsor” Carlo Ponti, as her stage name. Her surname is too often mispronounced: it’s Loren with the accent on the “o”, not on the “e”…
“Every woman should be a mother, because every woman is a mother, and being a mother is the most beautiful thing a woman could aspire to.” Still a working mom, Ms. Loren was recently seen on the big screen in Nine, Rob Marshall‘s musical inspired by Fellini’s 8 1/2, and in the Italian made-for-TV movie My House is Full of Mirrors. In 1994, she famously parodied herself in Robert Altman‘s Ready to Wear, re-enacting with her frequent co-star Marcello Mastroianni the hilarious bedroom scene they played in 1963 in De Sica’s comedy Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Ms. Loren also appeared along with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in “Grumpier Old Men (1995).
About Italian contemporary cinema she says, “Nowadays, I think Italian cinema is good. There are many young and very talented directors who made great comedies, young and talented comic actors too. I am Love has been more successful here than it has in Italy. Great! This means that Italian movies can be exported.”
Ms. Loren is considered an icon and an inspiration to many younger actresses. Monica Bellucci, another Italian beauty “gone global” has often credited Sophia Loren for her motivation to start acting. ”My dream of becoming an actress was born when I saw La Loren in films such as Two Women and A Special Day, says Ms. Bellucci. “Sophia’s beauty never shadowed the humanity of her characters nor the depth she gave to her roles; the glamour she often played with has never put aside the real woman she is, nor the real women she portrays in such a believable way and in everything she does.” Sophia Loren echoes her: “I consider myself a wife and a mother first and foremost, then an actress.”Read More »
By Yoko Narita
The Festival Internacional de Cine En (FICG 26) took place in Guadalajara, Mexico from March 25 to April 1, offering interesting Spanish language cinema and several colorful local events, one of which was evening of fun professional wrestling matches a la Jack Black‘s Nacho Libre in a ring in the middle of a tent. The crowd went wild and Tequila glasses flew.
Their main venue was at the very modern and huge Convention Center where movies were screened. A vast breakfast terrace was the general meeting place to exchange information and conduct interviews. About 200 films were screened, a majority were in Spanish, and all were subtitled in English. The crowd was mostly young and enthusiastic, from the nearby University.
There was Diana Bracho, a famous Mexican actress on the red carpet, and our Hollywood friend Eva Longoria came to support the festival. Particular focus was on animation, documentary and student films, and there was a retrospective of the noted German director, Werner Herzog. There was even an Israeli cinema sidebar. One film that was enthusiastically received was Tequilla, Historia Una Pasion, a love story, with Edward Furlong in a supporting role.
Director of Difusion Eduardo Castaneda welcomed us and offered a tour of Tequila, some 50 miles north of Guadalajara, where we learned that tequila is made from blue agave. Agave offsprings ( hijelos) are cut, keeping the mother plant( pinas) and the cone is shredded. Then they ferment its sweet juice. The Mexican government is very protective about tequila and only allow it to be produced in Jalisco state.Read More »
HOLLYWOOD, CA, April 28, 2011 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) President, Philip Berk, announced today the timetable for “The 69th Annual Golden Globe® Awards.”
The deadline for Motion Picture and Television submissions is Friday, November 4. Nominations will be announced Thursday, December 15. Rules and submission forms may be obtained online at www.goldenglobes.org/entryforms/index.html.Read More »
By Scott Orlin
The summer of 2011 is shaping up to be a true ‘sequel’bration’ as such titles as The Hangover, Kung Fu Panda, Transformers, Cars, Harry Potter, The Fast and the Furious, X Men and Pirates of the Caribbean will park their next cinematic installments at theaters.
And thus begins the great debate: is this art or economics? Why is this wave of film familiarity sweeping the movie making process? Let’s face it: nothing excites Hollywood more than making money, and creating the franchise has proven to be one of the surest and safest ways to achieve that. When the Coca-Cola Company purchased Columbia Pictures back in 1982 (subsequently sold to Sony in 1989), they did an extensive research study into what was the safest and most reliable product to bring to the screen. The clear answer was sequels.
A few critics make a clear distinction between sequels and series. The Harry Potter films, for example, are a specific adaptation from the seven novels, just as the Lord of the Rings film trilogy was based on the individual books. So what exactly is the definition of a sequel and when did they really begin?
By definition, a sequel is a “narrative, documental, or other work of literature, film, theater or music that continues the story or expands upon issues presented in some previous work. The sequel portrays events set in the same fictional universe as a previous work, usually chronologically following the events of that work.”
While some decry the 1970’s as the decade when Hollywood officially began the exploitation of their film libraries, tapping into such titles as Willard, The Exorcist, The Poseidon Adventure, The Love Bug, Billy Jack, Airport and Shaft for further cinematic chapters, one would only have to go back as early as 1916 to see evidence that sequels found their niche in the movie-making process.
D.W Griffith released his classic film Birth of a Nation in 1915, enrapturing audiences all across the country and becoming the highest grossing film of the silent movie era. The next year, Thomas Dixon, Jr., who wrote the novel that Birth was based on, co-wrote and directed Fall of a Nation, which is acknowledged as the first sequel in Hollywood’s history (it also has the distinction of being one of the first major ‘lost’ films as well).
The next great period for sequels was the 1930’s where such films as Dracula (1931), The Thin Man (1934), and A Family Affair (1937), which introduced the Andy Hardy character, spawned several follow-ups as audiences began to embrace the idea they could revisit beloved characters.
While it would be easy to dismiss sequels as pale imitations of the originals, there have been many examples of artistic bars being raised with such titles as The Godfather Part II, Toy Story 3, The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Bourne Supremacy and The Empire Strikes Back all delivering fresh approaches to their original.
Looking into the archives, it would surprise audiences just how many films got the sequel treatment. Among the many titles besides those mentioned have been Rocky, Superman, Star Trek, Spiderman, The Pink Panther, Alien, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Terminator, Lethal Weapon, Jaws, Dirty Harry, The Matrix, Jurassic Park, Home Alone and . . . . Grease. The great obstacle many of these faced was that while they fostered nostalgia for the original adored film, it also triggered some disappointment because it didn’t invoke the same initial pleasure from the first experience. But with box-office delivering in most cases two-thirds of the original’s financial success, movie studios are willing to take the risk.
As Harry Potter comes to theaters with episode 8, and Fast and Furious with number 5, we did a little research to see what films hold the record for the most sequels ever brought to the big screen.
Halloween has delivered 10 films; Star Trek 11 and Friday the 13th comes in with 12. Research shows that James Bond holds the record with 23 films (initially based on Ian Fleming’s best selling novels but now evolving into pure sequels), including the Casino Royale spoof (1966) and Never Say Never Again (1983). But does it really?
If one takes worldwide cinema into consideration, James Bond has a long way to go to catch up with a few of its cinematic Asian cousins. The Japanese film It’s Tough to be a Man from Yoji Yamada spawned 45 sequels. That pales in comparison to the worldwide leader which title belongs to the Huang Fei-Hong series from China. Introduced in 1949 with Huang Fei Hong Zhuan: Bian Feng Mie Zhu, there have been a whopping 88 sequels made about the Chinese folk hero.Read More »
By Jorge Camara
The winner of the Golden Globe for the Best Comedy/Musical Picture of 1954 was Carmen Jones. The film, an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was an adaptation of Georges Bizet’s famous opera “Carmen,” respected the music, but used a script and new English lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein of Rodgers & Hammerstein musical fame.
Although the basic plot of the opera remained the same, there were drastic changes in the adaptation. Instead of Spain, the story takes place in the American South; the Spaniards become African-Americans; Carmen no longer works in a cigarette factory but in a Korean War parachute factory; the tavern is now a nightclub; and the famed bullfighter is a celebrated boxer.
Dorothy Dandridge, considered at the time (with Lena Horne) the most beautiful African-American actress in Hollywood, had the title role (along with an ill-fated love affair with the director, Otto Preminger). Her voice, though, was dubbed by Marilyn Horne. Harry Belafonte, as the soldier she seduces and then drops, was dubbed by LeVern Hutcherson. Other stars in the cast: Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll, and Brock Peters.
The picture was very well received by critics and the public, but Dandridge had the bad fortune of competing that year with Judy Garland, who deservedly won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy for A Star is Born. It is worth noting that Dandridge was nominated for an Oscar for this performance, the first black actress so honored in the category of Best Actress.
By Jorge Camara
As Paula Alquist, the suffering wife being driven mad by her supposedly devoted husband in Gaslight, an extraordinarily vulnerable Ingrid Bergman won her first Golden Globe as the Best Lead Actress of 1944. She received the statuette in 1945, the second year that the award was given, and at the time there was only one category in acting, as opposed to the division between Drama and Musical and/or Comedy, a tradition that started in 1950.
Gaslight was the American remake of the British film Angel Street, adapted from the play by Patrick Hamilton and released in 1940 with Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynward, under the direction of Thorold Dickinson.
If not better, at least as good as the original, the second version of the play was directed by George Cukor, and also starred Charles Boyer, as the sinister husband, and Joseph Cotton as a Scotland Yard policeman. In her motion picture debut, a 19 year old Angela Lansbury distinguished herself as the young and insolent maid.
Gaslight was the sixth movie of Ingrid Bergman in Hollywood after Intermezzo, her first English language film released in 1939. The Swedish actress went on to win two more Golden Globes, the second the following year for The Bells of St. Mary, and the third in 1957 for Anastasia.
Curiously, two more versions of Gaslight were made, but for the small screen, one in England in 1947 and the other in France in 1959, with Jennifer Gray and Loleh Bellon, respectively, playing Bergman’s role.Read More »
By Philip Berk
Years ago, when Martin Scorsese and I were discussing our all-time favorite movies, the one that immediately popped up was The Red Shoes. We both marveled at the screenplay which juggles three subplots before the main focus of the story comes into play.
When the Film Foundation proposed that The Hollywood Foreign Press fund the restoration of the film, I wondered aloud, why a film, that even in its primitive VHS version was one of the most beautiful films ever made, would need restoration. Well, that question was answered when the restored film was screened both in Cannes, at its American premiere in Hollywood, and at the New York Film festival.
Ironically, what is universally considered the greatest ballet movie of all time had a checkered past when it was first released in 1948. Its London reception was decidedly chilly, and even middle-brow critics dismissed it as overly schmaltzy.
Only when it traveled to the U.S., where incidentally it was released by Eagle Lion, a B movie company, did it gain respectability, and in fact, it was nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture.
Over the years the film has gained stature as one of the great movies of the post-war era. Towering among its many virtues is the superb screenplay by Emeric Pressburger (it’s a good twenty minutes before the central conflict kicks in) and the incomparable performance of Anton Walbrook as the obsessed Lermentov. But then there’s also the matchless Moira Shearer in her film debut, who did her own dancing; the exquisite score by Brian Easdale (who won a Golden Globe); the art direction of Hein Heckroth; and the photography of the legendary Jack Cardiff.
And above all is Michael Powell’s direction. This is his masterpiece. Here is one classic that has and will stand the test of time.Read More »
ARTICLE BY PHILIP BERK FROM A 2007 HFPA INTERVIEW
“Of all the directors I’ve worked with, the one I enjoyed working with the most was Sidney Lumet. He tells you what to do, where to go, how to go, how far to go. For instance, with Dog Day Afternoon, he set the bank robbery in such a way you knew exactly what you were doing. All you had to do was go there and rob a bank.” – Al Pacino
The name Sidney Lumet conjures memories of the Golden Age of Hollywood. You immediately think of Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, Network, Rashomon, The Fugitive Kind, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Hill (Connery’s favorite,) The Group (Lumet’s least favorite,) The Sea Gull, The Verdict, and Running on Empty in a career that spans 50 years. So when you have an opportunity to meet him for the first time, you expect someone frail, hearing impaired, forgetful. What a surprise when a robust, handsome, broadly smiling individual walks in the room.
Known for his speed and ingenuity, Lumet was the go-to guy if there was a film that needed a tight budget. So what does he think of that reputation? “It’s there and it’s true. I come from the theatre, and I come from television, and there you make the dramatic selection in advance. Now there’s no superiority to the way I work. Somebody who I consider a great American director is William Wyler. Willie would expose 1,200,000 feet on a movie. I don’t know if you know how much that is. It’s insane! I mean, I expose 125,000 feet, and Willie would expose over a million. George Stevens would expose over a million because from their training. Wyler was an editor when he began, and he didn’t know it till he saw it. He sure knew when he saw, though. So as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t really matter what method you use, except if you like to work with, or have to work with low budgets as I do. It helps to make the dramatic selections in advance; I get rid of an awful lot of choices.”
He’s been able to overcome ageism in Hollywood. If either Wyler or Stevens were alive they’d have a hard time finding work. “I’ll tell you an absolutely true story. Right after my first picture, Twelve Angry Men, I was the new genius in town. We were nominated, this job offer and that job offer, and I received a script that was very good but it was literally World War 3. It was armies and airplanes and God knows what. I didn’t want to do it, but the head of the studio that was doing it asked me to come and see him — I’d never met a head of a studio before – and I thought what the hell, I’ll go and meet him. And so I went, and we chatted. It was very nice, and then he said to me, ‘What do you think of the script?’ I told him, and then I said, ‘Look, I’ve got to ask you something. All you know about my work is 12 guys in a room. What makes you think I can do World War 3?’ and he said to me, ‘I’ll tell you what we’re looking for Sidney, we’re looking for a young Lewis Milestone.” Milestone of course had made All Quiet on the Western Front 30 years earlier. I was a great admirer of his. I had never him at that time. He was in his early sixties and couldn’t get a job, and he was in such a state of despair that he had developed shingles, where the skin just peels away. And thank God I had the guts to say, ‘Well what’s the matter with the old Lewis Milestone?” So my awareness of age as a problem started very early.” [At the time Milestone was relegated to directing TV series Have Gun Will Travel. It took Sinatra and the Rat Pack to give him a second career with Ocean’s 11.]
Over 50 years he must have seen changes in Hollywood. How does the current Hollywood compare to the Hollywood of the 50’s? “There are enormous differences. The basic thing stays the same: make money or else. But there are enormous differences in the financing now. It used to be that financing was entirely the studio’s bailiwick. They didn’t want partners, they didn’t want any help. Now they look for partners in everything. I guess that’s because the pictures that really make them their money — those so-called tent pole pictures, the summer pictures, have gotten so expensive. The actors are expensive. For a picture to cost over $130 million now is quite common, so they have to hedge their bets.”
And from the director’s standpoint? ”From my end, it’s not different, no. There used to be this thing among directors or any creative people, ‘Oh, God, will they ever get off my back!’ But private financing is just as impossible except now you get five bosses instead of one.”
Besides directing, he’s written a number of the scripts he’s directed and in fact he won an award from the Writers Guild. He has a lot to say about that. “The stories about how writers were held in contempt during my “hot” periods is quite true. In fact, I don’t think I ever received a script which didn’t say at the end of it, ‘We understand this needs some work, and you can put on any writer you choose,’ a rather contemptuous way of treating anybody. I was always bothered by that because then, what the hell did you buy in the first place if you’re going to bring in a director and let him assign anyone he likes to rewrite it.”
He pioneered the concept of rehearsals for film. Could he imagine making a film without a rehearsal period? “It would be almost impossible for me not to do so. I don’t think I’d know what I was doing. There are so many things I get out of it, particularly if the characters are complicated. On most pieces I rehearse two weeks, but when I did Long Day’s Journey into Night, I rehearsed four weeks, like in the theatre, and the rehearsals were very thorough — we didn’t just sit around the table and bullshit — we got up on our feet, the actors learned their lines, it was like a theatre rehearsal. Generally, before I start shooting, we have what’s called a run-through. I’ll run the entire picture straight through without stopping.”
He once said that if you’re any good, your limitations will turn out to be your strengths. What were those limitations? And are they now strengths? “I’m not a good comedy director at all. I’m so envious of people who have a natural talent for comedy. I’ve learned a little bit how to do it sheerly technically because I’ve done enough of them. And I’ve ruined enough of them; so that I learned. But the problem is that I have no natural talent for it. I give you an example of what I mean. I think people who are naturally funny and can create comedy have a different pair of glasses on. They see the world differently. For a long time one of my good friends was Neil Simon, who may be one of the genuinely funny people in the world. We were walking down the street and we stopped at the corner for a red light, and a little lady tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘Excuse me, which way is Fifth Avenue?’ and he said, ‘That way,” and he put his finger right up her nose. That’s Neil. That’s the way he lives. He’s always getting his finger up somebody’s nose, and it’s funny. It’s a natural part of the way he lives; so he has a right to say it’s reality, but it’s not my reality.”
Anyway you look at his career, Lumet is a master, having directed no less than eighteen Oscar nominated performances! How does he do it? “Oh, that’s complicated. There’s a lot of good feeling in the rehearsals. I don’t work with lunatics and we know who the lunatics are… We talk among ourselves. Basically what happens at rehearsals, they learn to trust me, and I learn to trust them, and that mutual trust gives us a real connection. But you must remember, actors are very afraid. I’m good at getting rid of their fear.”
What does he think of watching movies on an iPod? “It horrifies me. When we get down to that, we’ve lost the visual way of telling a story because you can’t see anything. That chariot race in Ben Hur. That ten minute sequence may be the greatest ever made.”
Orson Welles once said everyone thinks Hollywood moguls are only interested in making money, but what they really want is to win awards. Any comment? “Well I’ll tell you my first film Twelve Angry Men, which opened doors to me, was a failure in the United States. It owed its success completely to Europe. We went to Berlin, where we took the Golden Bear. And we did marvelous business in France and England and in Germany. So I guess Orson was right. But I can’t tell you how large a part luck plays. Before that I had worked on live television. I had done a number of scripts by Reginald Rose who wrote Twelve Angry Men, but I had not done the television version. Somebody else had. At the time I was running a workshop for actors down in Greenwich Village, and because there was nobody to direct scenes I started to direct, and one of the things we did at the end of the year was put on a full length production of a new play. Two of the members of the workshop were in the Broadway play Mr. Roberts, which Henry Fonda was starring in. They invited Hank down to come and see it; so when Reggie Rose and Henry Fonda got together to produce Twelve Angry Men, Fonda said to Rose, ‘Who would you like to direct?’ and Reggie said, ‘I’ve been working with Sidney Lumet in live television, and I love him, and I’d like to use him even though he’s never done a picture.’ And Fonda said, ‘Yeah, I saw something of his last year. It was very good. Okay.’ And it was that simple. I didn’t have to meet anybody. I didn’t have to talk my way into it. I didn’t have to be charming to anybody. I received the script and the offer at the same time. Now that’s sheer luck.”
How important is a title? “I don’t think they’re important at all. If the picture’s successful, it was a wonderful title. If the picture flopped it was a bad title. When we were doing Dog Day Afternoon, we all thought it was such a bad title. We had a contest. $5,000. Employees at Warner Bros., come up with a title. $5,000 reward. Nothing. Nothing came up good. We said, the hell with this, let’s stay with Dog Day Afternoon. The only bad title I can remember was Sydney Pollack‘s Yakuza. I think that was a dumb title. It sounded like a bath.”
Was it always his dream to make films? “No, in fact, quite the reverse. I started as a child actor, and I was on Broadway. That was in the 30’s, and we were snobs. We were theatre snobs. Movies, you went there to make money. It had nothing to do with art. The theatre was art.”
Talking to him it’s obvious why people like Al Pacino and Sean Connery love working with him. He’s the gentlest, most positive person I can remember interviewing. Is the secret of his success positive reinforcement? “I never even think of myself as successful. How many movies have I made?” 46, he is told. “I’m surprised. All I do is work and then hope it’s good. Fred Astaire once said something very terrific. He said, ‘I don’t take myself seriously, but I take my work very seriously,’ and I think that says it perfectly.”Read More »
Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor passed away this morning due to congestive heart failure. She was 79.
The Golden Globe winner and Cecil B. DeMille recipient starred in such classic films as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Cleopatra.
In her later years she was mostly involved as co-founder and ambassador for the charity organization AMFAR and widely credited for being one of the first high profile celebrity activists to take up the cause to find both a cure for Aids and help those dealing with the disease.
In 1992 she told members of the HFPA: “AIDS is not an American disease. There’s no corner of the earth that hasn’t been touched by AIDS, and 30% of AIDS patients are women and heterosexuals.”
Throughout the years Taylor would raise millions of dollars for AMFAR. “I became involved with AIDS when it was a very unpopular thing to do, no one was doing anything.”
She then recalled her close friendship to actor Rock Hudson. “I didn’t know that Rock Hudson had AIDS, but I knew him, and I had doctor friends that told me about the effects of the disease, the depth of the disease and how it was going to become an epidemic.”
“There was a definite social stigma attached to it and I was outraged, so I put together the first fundraiser for APLA (Aids Project Los Angeles), and I was so blown away by the non-reaction of people that I spoke to and tried to get involved. Eventually, after Rock Hudson announced (he had AIDS), people did come, but it took seven months to get that dinner (organized). I have never felt so rejected and I took it personally, so I thought “I’ve got to try and make a difference,”that’s why I became involved with AIDS.”
“I travel all over the world and some countries are still in denial, where there’s so much promiscuity and such obvious needle exchange, needles being shared (by drug addicts). I think America and England are doing a good job.”
In 2001 when Elizabeth Taylor was the “grand finale” of that season’s Golden Globes announcing the “best motion picture winner,” she inadvertently started to announce the winner before even listing the nominees.
Always possessing a quick wit, when Dick Clark frantically called to her from offstage during the live telecast alerting her to the gaffe, she calmly smiled and said: “Oh, I guess I’m more used to receiving awards rather than giving them.”
Following the sad news of Elizabeth Taylor‘s passing, longtime friend George Hamilton told the HFPA, “The whole world has been in love with Elizabeth Taylor and I was fortunate enough to be one of them.”
Debbie Reynolds added, “It was a long productive career and she was the most glamorous and sexual star of our generation. No one else could equal Elizabeth’s beauty and sexuality. Women liked her and men adored her and her love for her children is enduring. She was a symbol of stardom. Her legacy will last.”
Joan Collins agreed. “I am so terribly sad about the death of Elizabeth Taylor. Although everyone here in Hollywood knew that her end was near we are all shocked. She was the last of the true Hollywood icons, a great beauty, a great actress and continually fascinating to the world throughout her tumultuous life and career. There will never be another star who will come close to her luminosity and generosity, particularly in her fight against AIDS. She will be missed.”
Shirley MacLaine treasured her decades long friendship. “I don’t know what was more impressive her magnitude as a star or her magnitude as a friend. Her talent for friendship was unmatched. I will miss her for the rest of my life and beyond.”Read More »