Hollywood chic actors bygone!

Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren
Sydney Poitier
Sydney Poitier
Bette Davis in Baby Jane
Bette Davis in Baby Jane
Jean Simmons
Jean Simmons

The old greats are the best. Of course I am being highly subjective here when I talk about Hollywood actresses and actors.

One of the best I remember is Catherine Hepburn who was so charming on film you could identify with her in any acting role, displaying such force of character and panache as she matured in her ripe old age.

Another is Spencer Tracy, a leading actor who seemed to have carried the scene and the picture everywhere he went. Sydney Poitier was another great one that should have got more recognition than was the case.

Sophia Loren was beautiful, delightful and detectable, enchantment that carried the screen and camera forward. And of course there were lots more like the imaginative but mysterious Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Janet Leigh, Rita Hayworth, and Jean Simmons. They acted in a rich fashion, speaking to the camera and directing it to capture the best angle shots.

Many said this was a favorite with Ronald Regan who became the US president in the 1980s but started out as a Hollywood actor in the 1940s. Critics said Regan had a way with the camera as president especially when he wanted to sway the audiences to his own point of view. He could manipulate the shots and few people could do that.

The old era was a grand one, introducing the cinema through innovation and creativity, starting with the silent films, with who else of course but Charlie Chaplin. With sound however, the voice became much more important intertwining reality with fiction and novelty, combining vocals with picture.

The actors and actresses gave poise, dictum, and deportments. There was grace and style, special way that only trained professionals knew how.

Voice became more important than action. Voice carried the story line along through dialogue rather than mayhem and wild actions which were mainly products of the 1970s onwards. Acting was made for a purpose but it was quickly being replaced by bang bang.

Here comes to mind a great many but include Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. These were followed by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood with their cowboy westerns, Robert Mitchem, Christopher Plummer, Henry Fonda, Robert Taylor, Robert Redford, John Newman, Charles Bronson, and people like Yul Brenner.

There are lots more of that era. Marlon Brando was a good one, saw was James Caan and Steven McQueen. In filming Brando seemed a towering inferno with his Last Tango in Paris and creating much controversy particularly with Maria Schnieider and their bath frolicks.His magic shone later as will as he played leading actor in the God Father with the younger James Caan. The first two stayed on top during their filming careers.

Of course as well there was the horror movie makers like Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, the masters of the macabre, the Draculas, Franksteins, the moving hands and arms and the warewolfs.

Looking back on the disgust of today's horror movies in terms of blood, gore and fright, films then made were mild and entertaining.

The camera can't lie, or it has great ways of making the actor look greater, for both men and women radiated with elegance, and for the cynic lots of make-up to transform them into delightful stars everyone can identify with them.

Obviously, this is a very short memoir of the actors and actresses I remember, and think are great because they lived with me through the cinema and television I grew up on up.

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Comments 7 comments

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

Hollywood Greats Indeed - I like the people you mentioned. Elizabeth Taylor who did a lot of humanitarian work, Sophia Loren who reminds women that beauty is not just in the face, Clint Eastwood and more.

Great Hub.


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan Author

Cheers Lady_E. That was quick. These people have always stuck on my mund, a reflecting a particular era in great acting.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

We have a lot in common, marwan, when it comes to choosing great film stars of the past. I, too, admired every one of the movie stars you listed ... in addition to Lana Turner, Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Fred Astaire and many more you may be too young to recognize. Thanks for the memories.


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan Author

Yes drbj, I know, there are so many, I am glad you mentioned more of these actors, they were simply brilliant. Another is Jack Lemon and Walter Mathau, Jack Nicholson, maybe (he was a bit latter) and much more I have to dig into. Cheers for comment.


carolinemd21 profile image

carolinemd21 5 years ago from Close to Heaven

Great article. I love the old hollywood stars.


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan Author

Thanks..........


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 years ago from Georgia

I just watched Gas Light and Dial M for Murder this weekend. The stars, Ingrid Bergman and Grace Kelly, were both beautiful and talented. Your article was a nice look at Hollywood legends. Great read.

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