Well, not wars, exactly. This week the topics-list said that we were to pick a movie star, past or present, that we’d like to hang out with…and why. That is a very hard choice for all of us, I gather. The rest succumbed to the temptation to list a number of stars they’d like to get to know, and we learned a lot about the appeal of masculine and feminine pulchritude to the Foxes and Hound!
I will not give a list of my fantasy men; sorry. I am more apt to actually get goose-pimply about an attractive actor’s role than the actual actor. I truly am attracted to a number, but stopping to think, (physical attraction aside), do I really know enough about them to want top ‘hang out’ with them or, with what I do know about them, would I want to hang out with them? Again, the few that may make that cut will not be mentioned here.
Before I get to my choice, I missed a chance to hang out with Tony Randall.(See “Good Actor…But No Oscar” 11/16/12 the archives.) I am sure I could have sat and talked, had I not had a sick kid I needed to put on a plane.
And I also have this story I’d like to share.Many of you know my aunt had an Italian-American radio show in the 1940’s-50’s. In going through her papers when researching for an article about her, I found a note in her correspondence from a huge star in previous years, Myrna Loy. Ms. Loy had married a diplomat and was active in the Washington, DC social circles at that time. It seems that she had met my aunt at one of those functions. Apparently, Ms. Loy loved Italy, especially Florence. My aunt sent something pertaining to, or from, that city to Ms. Loy, and in the thank you note, she referred to their conversation. We never heard that story from my aunt and it occurred to me while we were pondering the mystery that my aunt must have hoped to ‘hang out’ with Myrna. It didn’t happen. Ms.Loy was polite and gracious, but she offered my aunt no invitation or hope for another meeting. My aunt must have been crushed.
For my choice I will pick a man who is an unlikely heartthrob.
When I was growing up in the Washington, DC area, the local television stations, (as all of the D.C. society there at the time), was pretty conservative. We could get more interesting movies,(sometimes very “educational” movies, but I digress), late at night from stations in Harrisburg, PA and Baltimore, MD . One late-night when I was a young teenager, I stumbled into a movie and stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to see it to the end…and I was hooked on the star…not for his looks, although he was quite charming, but for his ability to captivate me. I saw whatever I could of his performances, back when we had to wait for movies to simply show up on TV. (What a change now, huh?) I have to admit I borrowed every movie I had time to see when I’d find them at video stores and I still look him up on Hulu and Netflix.
My all-time choice of who I’d like to hang out with? Sir Alec Guinness. Ever since I saw “The Scapegoat”, a movie based on a Daphne DuMaurier book, I could not get enough of his work. In fact, I had read the story of ‘Star Wars’ serialized in the DC newspaper “The Evening Star” a week or so before the movie opened. It was cute. But when I heard that Alec Guinness was portraying Obi-Wan Kenobi, I HAD to go see it. I dragged my sister and friend and we stood in line through a showing and a half waiting to get in. I would not leave, (or let them go). I am still overwhelmed with his performance every time I watch. I have the grandkids running the movies now: Generation Three of Star Wars fans here!
Sir Alec was apparently a ‘royal bastard’ in the most literal sense. His mother was unmarried when he was born, the ‘Father’s Name’ portion of his birth certificate remained empty, but monies came in for his education from somewhere secret. There are only rumors about just from how high up they came down, as he never allowed it to be a problem to him, in public or private. (Let’s put it this way, if Alec Guinness was of royal or titled blood, he showed more “class” than his father ever did.) He kept his private life well, private. When he made a religious conversion, he would never talk about it in public. He would not allow it to become an issue, and felt it had no bearing on his acting, and that was all the public needed to know. He never grandstanded or flaunted any part of his life. He was married for over 60 years to his wife, an artist and playwright, who died just two months after his death. Probably of a broken heart, if I had to guess.
Alec Guinness is my pick among many actors and actresses whom I love watching. I love good acting; I love a good story and a person who can make me forget that I am watching a movie and can involve me totally in ‘their’ story has my admiration. If there is a star war going on, it’s in my heart. I could list another few whose movies I generally search for and watch when I get a chance, but I would have loved to have been a friend of Alec Guinness. To see his person humor, to hear his personal views, to try to find where from within him he pulled such great performances…such as the rakes in “Captains Paradise”, “The Lady Killers” “The Lavender Hill Gang”, to the heroes in “Bridge Over the River Kwai, “Tinker,Tailor, Soldier Spy” and , of course, “Star Wars” and every ethnic portrayal, dramatic role and comedy in between, yes,I’d loved to have tried to see.
Now, after all this, excuse me while I go searching for one of his movies to put on…I need a shot of Guinness!