Saturday, June 04, 2016

A Birthday Tribute to Rosalind Russell

Rosalind Russell was born in Connecticut on June 4, 1907.

Russell has always been a favorite of mine, but even so I was surprised to realize how many of her films I've reviewed here! (Links are at the end of the post.) Happily, I've seen a very significant portion of her filmography.

In her early days at MGM in the mid '30s, Russell tended to play prim and proper women the hero jilts for someone more exciting, say, Jean Harlow.

As the '30s continued, she varied dramatic roles in films such as NIGHT MUST FALL (1937) and THE CITADEL (1938) with romantic comedies such as FOUR'S A CROWD (1938), on loan to Warner Bros., and FAST AND LOOSE (1939) opposite Robert Montgomery.

She broke the mold in a big way in THE WOMEN (1939), an over-the-top performance in which she played cruel, catty Sylvia for laughs. She's seen above with the film's star, Norma Shearer.

After that, she never looked back, jumping right into Howard Hawks' HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940), seen above, and a string of wonderful romantic comedies for a variety of studios. Her leading men included Cary Grant, James Stewart, Clark Gable, Walter Pidgeon, Fred MacMurray, Melvyn Douglas, and Brian Aherne (below), to name just a few.

In her romantic comedies Russell was somewhat unique for the era as she tended to play successful career women and even a couple of judges. Favorites include films such as HIRED WIFE (1940) and TAKE A LETTER, DARLING (1942).

Later in her career Russell played notable character roles in films such as PICNIC (1955), GYPSY (1962), THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS (1966), and of course one of her best-known roles, AUNTIE MAME (1958).

Russell married Frederick Brisson in 1941; Cary Grant was the best man at the wedding. Her only child, Lance, was born in 1943.

Rosalind Russell died on November 28, 1976. She is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

Frederick Brisson was buried alongside her after his passing in 1984.

Two Russell classics I've not yet reviewed here are HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940) and MY SISTER EILEEN (1942), each of which I've seen many times. (Update: Here is my review of HIS GIRL FRIDAY.)

I've reviewed many of Rosalind Russell's films here at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings and encourage checking out the links for ideas on Russell movies to watch! Each post contains information on the film's format availability: FORSAKING ALL OTHERS (1934), CHINA SEAS (1935), WEST POINT OF THE AIR (1935), RECKLESS (1935), TROUBLE FOR TWO (1936), LIVE, LOVE AND LEARN (1937), MAN-PROOF (1938) (also here), FOUR'S A CROWD (1938), FAST AND LOOSE (1939), THE WOMEN (1939), NO TIME FOR COMEDY (1940), HIRED WIFE (1940), THE FEMININE TOUCH (1941), DESIGN FOR SCANDAL (1941), TAKE A LETTER, DARLING (1942), WHAT A WOMAN (1943), FLIGHT FOR FREEDOM (1943), SHE WOULDN'T SAY YES (1945), SISTER KENNY (1946), THE VELVET TOUCH (1948), TELL IT TO THE JUDGE (1949), and A WOMAN OF DISTINCTION (1950).


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Such a grand gal! I adore her and her films. You have enough reviews for a book.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Net - "It's a Wonderful Movie" said...

Awww, what a very nice tribute to such a grand lady! What a firecracker she was in all her roles, always a standout! Thank you for posting this! I need to catch more of her movies on TCM! \uc0\u8236 }

5:35 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you both! I'm delighted you enjoyed it and especially that you share my admiration for this delightful woman. Hope you can each catch some more of her films! :)

Best wishes,

12:55 PM  

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