Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gorgeous portrait—Katharine Hepburn

With so many beautiful portraits of Katharine Hepburn, it was difficult to choose just one, but this photo is unusual with its chiaroscuro—an Italian term for dramatic lights and darks--and I couldn't resist it. The woman had amazing bones and a powerful presence behind the camera to be sure. Loved her.

It's difficult to choose a favorite film role of hers. I loved her in her younger roles: she played a rich socialite in The Philadelphia Story, and a wacky and eccentric pet leopard-owning heiress in Bringing Up Baby. Those are fun films. She holds her own against a constantly bellowing Peter O'Toole as Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter... there was some seriously sharp, witty dialogue in that dysfunctional family flick. In Eugene O'neill's  Long Day's Journey Into Night, another Dysfunction Junction film, she portrayed a morphone addicted mother. Then there was the delusional and son-obsessed wealthy widow Mrs. Violet Venable role that she played in Suddenly, Last Summer with Elizabeth TaylorShe was a lonely woman traveling in Venice in Summertime, and a graceful and gutsy wife who challenges unwritten social racial rules of the time in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner starring with her long-time love, Spencer TracyShe portrayed a spunky strait-laced missionary alongside Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen, royalty in Mary of Scotland, and in one of her later films, she played a lovely old New England Yank in On Golden Pond with Henry Fonda. All of these films, plus many more, are my favorite—I couldn't possibly choose just one. She dressed well, always looked statuesque, and commanded the screen. Love that Miss Hepburn.

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