Sam Maronies Entertainment Funhouse (Maronie Creative Services, LLC)
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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK

May 7, 2014

ROSALIND RUSSELL

RUSSELL

 

RUSSELL

 

Rosalind Russell was one of the greatest screen actresses–and personalities–in Hollywood history. There didn’t seem to be much that she could not do.

Ms. Russell started out as a ‘second-lead’ in movies. She usually played the rival to the film’s heroine and was left without a man by the picture’s end.

She was vastly different from most screen actresses at the time. She was not a simpering girl with a one-note personality. Russell’s women were strong, independent, and able to hold their own in a man’s world.

She played one great role after the other in such classics as Four’s A Crowd, His Girl Friday, Take A Letter Darling, My Sister Eileen and many others! Her portrayal of uber-witch Sylvia Fowler in 1939’s The Women, is a true screen classic. She stole the picture from Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford.

Always a smart businesswoman, Russell produced a string of popular comedies for Columbia Pictures. This endeavor made her one of the wealthiest people in Hollywood. She worked constantly throughout the late 1940s and 1950s.

She achieved a career highlight during this period with her screen portrayal of sexually repressed school-teacher Rosemary Sydney in 1955’s Picnic, directed byJoshua Logan

1958 marked her all-time popular role as the ultimate extrovert, Mame Dennis, in the screen version of the play, Auntie Mame.

Ill-health plagued her in the 1960s, but she continued to work. Her time had passed as the movies had changed, but she forged on, dipping her toe in the genre of made-for-tv movies.

She passed away on November 28, 1976.  in many ways, she was truly a cinema ground-breaker.  We miss her!

 

 






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