Thursday, November 03, 2016

A Birthday Tribute to Wanda Hendrix

Actress Wanda Hendrix was born on this date in 1928.

Hendrix was born November 3, 1928, in Jacksonville, Florida.

The talented Hendrix was something of a chameleon, with her most notable roles including a young Mexican peasant girl in Robert Montgomery's RIDE THE PINK HORSE (1947)...

...a Renaissance princess in PRINCE OF FOXES (1949), also starring Tyrone Power...

...and an Italian girl in CAPTAIN CAREY, U.S.A. (1950), starring Alan Ladd.

Hendrix is particularly special to me for her role opposite Joel McCrea in one of my childhood favorite films, SADDLE TRAMP (1950):

Hendrix married Audie Murphy at age 20, a brief marriage which seems to have been doomed, at least in part, by his PTSD. Hendrix married twice more but is said to have never stopped loving Murphy.

Hendrix died of pneumonia in 1981. She was only 52 years old.

Wanda Hendrix left behind a series of bright, interesting performances in a too-brief film career, which continue to entertain audiences decades after they were filmed.

Wanda Hendrix movies previously reviewed at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings: NORA PRENTISS (1947), WELCOME STRANGER (1947), VARIETY GIRL (1947), RIDE THE PINK HORSE (1947), PRINCE OF FOXES (1949), SADDLE TRAMP (1950), SIERRA (1950), THE ADMIRAL WAS A LADY (1950), CAPTAIN CAREY, U.S.A. (1950), and HIGHWAY DRAGNET (1954).


Update: Here's a review of MISS TATLOCK'S MILLIONS (1948).

Update: I paid my respects at Wanda Hendrix's final resting place at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.


Blogger Blake Lucas said...

A nice tribute to her.

Coincidentally, I was just thinking about her (didn't know it was her birthday) because of SADDLE TRAMP and Joel McCrea, whose own birthday is in a couple of days (there will be a Blogathon at 50 Westerns of the 50s and I assume you are participating, as I also am). She was 22, just less than half the age of McCrea but I thought they made a believable, indeed affecting couple, and you know how much I share your affection for that movie.

Still, her most memorable role is surely in RIDE THE PINK HORSE. I find the last scene in that one quietly heartbreaking.

Given how much I like both of them, it made me sad (and yet was touching) to read that she never stopped loving Audie Murphy. Together such a short time, really. Well, sometimes it's that way--and doesn't make it less.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Blake! I agree, I always thought she and McCrea were very well matched, especially in the final scene when we see her character evolved to a more mature-appearing woman.

When I saw RIDE THE PINK HORSE for the second time not that long ago I was even more impressed with her than I was the first time. She was excellent, especially given her age at the time she tackled the role.

I will also be participating in the McCrea Blogathon! I'll be writing about GUNSIGHT RIDGE (1957).

Thanks again!

Best wishes,

6:28 PM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Lovely tribute that highlights just what a fine actress Wanda Hendrix proved to be in so many films.

I had never seen that wedding picture and was touched to learn that the love never faded away.

See you at the McCrea blogathon!

6:51 AM  
Blogger john k said...

Oddly enough I only saw RIDE THE PINK HORSE for the very first time only
last week. I thought that Wanda was sensational in the film.
Sign me up to the SADDLE TRAMP fan club-my favorite Universal McCrea.
Laura,I was very interested in your comparing SADDLE TRAMP to TAKE ME TO TOWN
recently,I'm really looking forward to the Elephant,France release next year as
I've never seen TAKE ME TO TOWN and have always wanted to.
Laura,GUNSIGHT RIDGE is a very brave choice for the McCrea blogathon and I'm intrigued
to hear your take on the film.

Barry Lane,
If you are out there thanks so much for your very kind words over at Fifties Westerns,
much appreciated.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you, Caftan Woman! I'm so glad to know others share my appreciation of her. Looking forward to the McCrea Blogathon!

John, great to hear from you! How fantastic you just saw RIDE THE PINK HORSE -- wasn't she good?!

I'll be very interested to hear what you think of TAKE ME TO TOWN -- it has some of the same gentle appeal as SADDLE TRAMP, with children who need care and the parental figures coming together.

Looking forward to GUNSIGHT RIDGE, Mark Stevens is a charismatic actor and I've seen some of Joan Weldon's other films in the last year so it's perfect timing to finally check this one off my McCrea list!

Best wishes,

12:23 AM  

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