Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thelma Ritter -Scenes Stealer

Thelma Ritter, a great excellent actress who brought much pleasure to the screen. Its a shame that she was never given an Oscar for all her performances (honorary)after her death.

She'd earned six Academy Award nominations as best supporting actress: "All About Eve" (1950), "The Mating Season" (1951), "With a Song in My Heart" (1952), "Pickup on South Street" (1953), "Pillow Talk" (1959), and "The Birdman of Alcatraz" (1962).... In "All About Eve" (1950), she was Birdie, Margo Channing's maid and companion and who utters the immortal line, "What a story Everything but the bloodhounds yapping at her rear end."

In "Rear Window" (1954), she was Jimmy Stewart's housekeeper, in "Pillow Talk" (1959), her drunk stole scenes from Doris Day, and in "A Hole in the Head" (1959), she was Frank Sinatra's understanding sister-in-law. In "How the West Was Won" (1962), Ritter was a spinster traveling to the west with Debbie Reynolds, and in "A New Kind of Love" (1963), a fashion designer alongside Joanne Woodward -- a job one might never imagine Ritter doing in real life.

In film after film, her presence was the highlight of the picture, and although she was more than 40 before she stepped before a camera, Ritter eventually worked with virtually every major director of her period (Hitchcock, Mankiewicz, etc.) and every major star (Edward G.Robinson, Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift, etc.) stealing scenes from most of them

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