Lana Turner photographed by Eric Carpenter, 1942.
1. She was a descendant of the Mayflower and a King.
2. She used to swim naked in the library fountain while attending Bryn Mawr college.
3. In her first play, The Warrior’s Husband, she dressed like an amazon and carried a stag around on stage.
4. In 1938, her house was annihilated in a hurricane destroying 95% of her worldly possessions. Instead of cry about it, she starred in a Broadway production of The Philadelphia Story the same year.
5. When Katharine Hepburn met Spencer Tracy she said, “I’m afraid I’m a little tall for you.”
6. Howard Hughes used to chase Katharine Hepburn around in his airplane to get a piece of that badass.
7. She holds the record for most Oscars won by an actor and the second-most nominations. She never attended a single Academy Awards ceremony.
8. Ripped leeches from the chest of Bogart in The African Queen (who cares that they were rubber, it still looked badass).
9. Didn’t believe in religion, the afterlife or that death was anything other than just a really long sleep.
10. Played golf. Shot in the 80s.
11. When she broke an ankle doing the play A Matter of Gravity in 1976, she continued the show in a wheelchair.
12. Made nine movies with Tracy, who was also a badass.
13. To quote Katharine Hepburn, “Life is hard. After all, it kills you.” This quote has 990 Facebook fans.
14. “The bitterer the medicine, the better it was for you” is not lyrics from an AC/DC song, it’s another badass quote from Katharine Hepburn.
15. Katharine Hepburn was her own stuntwoman.
16. Liked to take cold showers and swim in frigid water. What an ice cold badass.
17. Once told a crowd chasing her for an autograph: “Beat it, go sit on a tack!”
18. Hepburn disliked the acting of Meryl Streep and Marlon Brando. Liked John Lithgow’s.
19. Given an award in 1986 by the Council of Fashion Designers for her trademark pantsuit.
20. Gets a shout out in Madonna’s Vogue.
21. In 1990 she said “I’m what’s known as gradually disintegrating.” Then she withstood disintegration into the next century, passing away in 2003.
22. Titled her autobiography simply Me: Stories of My Life.
23. “Oh boy, if only I could be like her” - Elizabeth Taylor on Katharine Hepburn.
24. Showed Audrey Hepburn who’s boss by being named #1 Actress of the Century by the American Film Institute. Audrey had to settle for #3.
25. Lived to 96, because she’s a badass and had good longevity.
“Movies are influencing fashion again. There was a time when every woman wanted to dress like Garbo or Lombard. Clark Gable took his shirt off in ‘It Happened One Night’, and it took 18 years for Brando to bring the t-shirt back. Most of the designs nominated this year are based on yesterday, and once again are influencing the fashions of today. I like that. Cause it proves that romance is on its way. Are you ready for it? I am.”
Lauren Bacall presenting the award for Costume Design at the 1975 Academy Awards. (x)
The Internet never ceases to amaze me. Here is a rarity I managed to find: ‘Citizen Kane’ — RKO Pictures — 1941 — 20 pages — program [pdf].
Recommended viewing and reading:
‘The Complete Citizen Kane’ (1991, BBC). The most complete investigation in the origins and making of one of the most important films in cinema history. This excellent documentary was created as an Arena Special and includes interviews with Welles from BBC interviews in 1960 and 1982. It also includes an interview with Pauline Kael discussing her controversial “Raising Kane” article. The finest most insightful work ever done to date on ‘Citizen Kane.’
Another comprehensive account of the making of ‘Citizen Kane,’ still considered the greatest American movie ever made. It compares the larger than life personalities of the young maverick auteur Orson Welles and ruthless press magnate William Randolph Hearst who attempted to destroy the film before its release due to the startling similarities between himself and the central figure of Charles Foster Kane.
Orson Welles and Gregg Toland: Their Collaboration on ‘Citizen Kane’
Robert L. Carringer, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Summer, 1982), pp. 651-674
Below: Orson Welles directs ‘Citizen Kane’ with a broken ankle.
Merrry Pop Culture Christmas to me.