Friday, December 12, 2008

20 Favorite Actresses

J.C. Loophole of The Shelf tagged me for a fun game currently circulating among classic movie blogs: name your 20 favorite actresses.

Click the title of this post for J.C.'s list...then click over to check out the list by The Siren, who had tagged J.C. You can find several more links at each's fun to compare the various lists.

This was harder than it looks...I think I generated a second list of 20 just trying to decide who to put in the last four or five places on my list! I followed the Siren's basic criteria in that I would watch any of these actresses in pretty much anything she ever made. It's been fun mulling over this list at the back of my mind while engaged in other tasks today, like Christmas shopping.

My list isn't in any particular order, although I'll say the first 8 names on the list are the very first names that immediately came to mind, without giving it a second thought.

My Favorite Top 20 Actresses:

Loretta Young:

Gene Tierney:

Maureen O'Hara:

Jeanne Crain:

Linda Darnell:

Ginger Rogers:

Myrna Loy:

Carole Lombard:

Doris Day:

Cyd Charisse:

Jean Arthur:

Irene Dunne:

June Allyson:

Kay Francis:

Claudette Colbert:

Hedy Lamarr:

Ida Lupino:

Rosalind Russell:

Maureen O'Sullivan:

Eleanor Parker:

Looking at the above list, I guess you could generally say I like girls next door and screwball comediennes, along with a few more glamorous actresses. I'd note that many of these women had multiple talents: some could sing and/or dance in addition to excelling at both drama and comedy...the list also includes a pair of actresses who were groundbreakers as TV pioneers (Loretta Young, Ida Lupino) and as a female director (Lupino again)...and a rather remarkable inventor (Hedy Lamarr).

Some of the names lingering just outside my Top 20: Deborah Kerr, Esther Williams, Grace Kelly, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth, Jane Powell, Ava Gardner, Marsha Hunt, Priscilla Lane, Julie Andrews, Donna Reed, Norma Shearer, Deanna Durbin, Jennifer Jones, Betty Grable, Greer Garson, Eve Arden, Margaret O'Brien...well, you get the the idea! A top 40 list would have been a lot easier (grin). And I have a feeling I must be forgetting someone important...

So...when do we list the Top 20 Favorite Actors?

It would be fun to see lists by Carrie at Classic Montgomery, Moira at Skeins of Thought, Carrie at Classic Ramblings (I can guess your No. 1 choice!), and Missy at Missyisms, if any of you are inclined to play! It's a busy time of year, so no pressure. :)

If anyone else wants to participate, feel free to post your list or a link in the comments!

Update: Check out the big roundup at Film Experience!

Monday Update: Here's a great list from Jacqueline at Another Old Movie Blog. It's nice to know there are so many Cyd Charisse fans out there. :)

Tuesday Update: Here are links to more lists from the Self-Styled Siren.

I'd also like to add a welcome to new readers who have stopped by to check out my list!

Tuesday Late Update: Here's Carrie's list at Classic Montgomery. More great choices! Ruth Hussey would probably be in my "Top 40" list along with Priscilla Lane...

Thursday Update: More fun lists: Asleep in New York, Out of the Past, Hollywood Dreamland, and Cine Classics.

December 22nd Update: Here's Carrie's list at Classic Ramblings. A wonderful list. (And finally, someone else picked Eleanor Parker!)

December 28th Update: Here's a very interesting list from the Bookworm Room.

I have now posted a similarly styled list of 20 Favorite Actors.


Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

What a great list! I can't believe I forgot Ida Lupino and Kay Francis! D'oh!
I guess that's why it was so hard - it's too difficult to confine to just 20! Great pictures too!

8:55 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

Oh my, the pressure is on!

You've come up with a good list. It's hard to choose. But, choosing 20 actresses from classic films is much easier than choosing 20 actress from modern day...there aren't enough good ones to choose.


9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Golden Age of Hollywood and those Black & White movies bring back times of a better world. I noticed you didn't have a photo of Deanna Durbin so here are 100s to choose:

9:42 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

This was definitely tough, J.C.! But fun. :) Today I've been pondering a Top 20 actors list, just for fun.

You're so right, Missy. I could name maybe five modern-day actresses if I had to make a list from, say, the '80s or '90s on. But I doubt any more than that.

Thanks for the link, Texas Opera Star! I've loved discovering Deanna's films over the last year -- she is definitely way, way up there in my regard.

Best wishes,

10:29 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

No list of this sort would be complete without Myrna Loy and Jean Arthur! btw, Laura, what gives - no Bette Davis?

3:15 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Dana!

You know, I've never thought of Bette Davis as one of my favorites, but I find I enjoy her more and more as time goes on. I've collected quite a few of her movies on DVD, as well as taping them. She's really gone up in my estimation in the last few years, and I have a feeling she'll keep moving up the more I see of her work. :)

Best wishes,

3:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'd say: Betty Grable, June Haver, Judy Garland, Alice Faye, Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn, Jean Arthur,
Gloria DeHaven, Grace Kelly,
Donna Reed, Ginger Rogers, Jeanne Crain, Maureen O'Hara, Carole Lombard, Vera-Ellen, Marjorie Reynolds, Priscilla Lane, Myrna Loy, Barbara Stanwyck, and Sandra Dee.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's a wonderful list, Grable! I enjoy all of them.

My younger daughter is quite a fan of Sandra Dee and Gloria DeHaven in particular. :)

Best wishes,

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for tagging me, Laura! I'm having fun getting the pictures together for my list.

It's so interesting to see your choices. Wonderful choices... And as you've said before, it seems we have much the same taste. :}


2:09 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm looking forward to your list, Carrie Liz! Glad you have time to participate. It will be fun to compare notes. :)

Best wishes,

2:24 PM  
Blogger Evangeline Holland said...

I did mine here!

Now that I look at the list, which I did off the cuff, I seem to have placed all my dramatic actresses (with the exception of Ingrid) at the bottom of my list, and the comediennes at the top!

7:25 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's a great list, Evangeline! We have many of the same favorites.

Thanks for sharing it!

Best wishes,

7:34 PM  
Blogger Classic Maiden said...

You chose so many of the actresses I love as well, am especially glad to see Kay and Claudette on your list :)
And I find Eleanor Parker underrated....

3:25 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Welcome! I enjoyed checking out your blog. It's always great to see someone else is blogging about "old" movies.

I think thus far my "20 Favorites" list is the only one with Eleanor Parker...

Best wishes,

8:42 AM  
Blogger Classic Maiden said...

Thanks Laura.
I feel the same way and one my true pleasures is reading thoughts on old movies by people who enjoy them as well...

Parker, could really sink into any role, I think. I have quite an urge to see more with her.

Best wishes,

8:57 AM  
Blogger Lady Rose said...

I really love youi list. Olivia de Havilland is my favorite but the ones on ur list are good.


2:08 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Thank you .. Ida was so wonderful

Do you have any great shot of Priscilla Lane.. ? the Saboteur... she stole my heart...

I was born in 67 but live in Thanks!!

11:11 AM  

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