Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Men of Laura PT .II

Clifton Webb


Three such characterizations-acid-tongued columnist Waldo Lydecker in Laura (1944), Elliott Templeton in The Razor's Edge (1946), and unlikely baby-sitter Mr. Belvedere in Sitting Pretty (1948)-earned him Academy Award nominations.... He had roles in several silent films, beginning with Polly With a Past (1920), but his movie career began in earnest with the smash hit Laura (cast by director Otto Preminger despite the misgivings of studio chief Darryl Zanuck, who thought him too effeminate)-. His priggish Mr. Belvedere (series) was supposedly not far removed from his real life persona (He's openly gay in real life): he was inseparable from his mother, Maybelle, with whom he lived until her death (Noel Coward said "It must be tough to be orphaned at seventy-one"). The recent success of Titanic (1997) created a brief revival of interest due his having played, with Barbara Stanwyck, in a 1953 version of the story.

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