Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

People We Like: Dorothy Malone

Idly looking at Robert Aldrich's 1961 western THE LAST SUNSET - not seen that since I was a kid - on TV yesterday afternoon, I was again struck by how watchable and magnetic Dorothy Malone is. Maybe not a star of the front rank, she was one of those reliable ladies - like Vera Miles, Shelley Winters or Martha Hyer - who forged a long career, and was probably at her cinematic peak in the 1950s. 
Dorothy first caught one's attention with that scene in the bookshop with Bogart in Hawks' THE BIG SLEEP in 1946 - even then she was someone unusual. As she matured her sultry, rather bruised looks made her a Hollywood blonde to watch - up there with Janet Leigh, Kim Novak and the others: Lana Turner, Grace Kelly, Judy Holliday, Jayne Mansfield ..... Dorothy was one of those girls who fitted in well out west, being an expert horsewoman - among her westerns are solid items like WARLOCK in 1959, FIVE GUNS WEST, QUANTREZ, and TENSION AT TABLE ROCK
Her other plentiful credits include YOUNG AT HEART, the army wife seducing young Tab Hunter in BATTLE CRY (both 1954), romancing Liberace in SINCERELY YOURS - Dorothy made everything look convincing; ARTISTS AND MODELS, MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES, TOO MUCH TOO SOON, THE LAST VOYAGE, FATE IS THE HUNTER and her final screen credit BASIC INSTINCT in 1992. 
Maybe her biggest hits were for Dougas Sirk in the mid-50s: her Best Supporting Actress win for WRITTEN ON THE WIND in 1956 as the trampy nymphomaniac with that killer mambo dance, and THE TARNISHED ANGELS in 1957. 

The 1960s saw her going successfully into television as Constance McKenzie in the very long running series PEYTON PLACE, which ran for years. Among her husbands was French actor Jacques Bergerac (who had also married Ginger Rodgers). Dorothy is 90 now and one trusts she is well after some serious illnesses.