Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Bill: What should I tell Tyrone Power for you? 
Birdie: Just give him my phone number; 
I'll tell him myself. 

Legendary character actress Thelma Ritter was born 115 years ago today in (where else) Brooklyn, New York. She acted a little on stage and the radio when she was younger (she even took professional training) but she got married and raised her two kids before having any sort of career - her first movie role was in 1947 at the age of 45 where she played a harried shopper in Miracle on 34th Street.

A little somebody named Darryl F. Zanuck noticed her and loved her and had her part beefed up a bit - same happened with her next role in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's A Letter to Three Wives' in 1949.

Mankiewicz loved her so much that he went and gave her the shiny role of Birdie in All About Eve, his next film, and wham, Thelma Ritter was Thelma Fuckin' Ritter. She received her first of six Oscar nominations for the movie -- of course she never won a statue, because the Oscars are hella dumb. But Thelma Ritter is forever.


Pierce said...

She's terrific opposite Eli Wallach in The Misfits, too!

joel65913 said...

Just a wonderfully distinctive utterly delightful woman. LOVE her in everything but I'd say my top three favorites of her performances are her Molly Brown stand-in in the Barbara Stanwyck/Clifton Webb Titanic, the marvelous Stella in Rear Window but most of all her fabulous Ellen McNulty in the delightful The Mating Season. That should have been her Oscar winner.

But she is also amazing as Moe in Pickup on South Street, that's the role that asks the most of her and veers furthest from her established persona.

Anonymous said...

What Joel said.

Dave R said...

Don't forget Rear Window.

JA said...

Rear Window is my favorite, of course, but I've posted about her in that movie so much I wanted to only post about other movies this time. Rear Window is my favorite movie (tied with Rosemary's Baby anyway) so no forgetting that! ;)

That said I have never seen The Mating Season, and clearly I must