Thoughts on Popular Culture and Unpopular Culture by Jaime J. Weinman (email me)
Monday, September 10, 2007
The Yahoo headline for her obituary calls her "Ronald Reagan's first wife," which makes me wince a little, because she deserves to be remembered for much more than that. She was a fine actress in every genre, an Oscar winner for Johnny Belinda, a fine singer who didn't do nearly enough musicals. Her movies with director Douglas Sirk, star Rock Hudson and producer Ross Hunter, Magnficent Obsession and All That Heaven Allows, almost single-handedly re-invented the "woman's picture" and re-defined an entire studio (Universal would spend the next decade and a half making movies like this). And she introduced herself to a new generation on a prime-time '80s soap, Falcon Crest.
Here she is with Bing Crosby introducing the Oscar-winning "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening":
And here's her solo number from her second movie with Crosby, Just For You: