Saturday, December 20, 2008

The 20: 10 Favorite Actresses (Classic)

I'm a little late with this -- it's so last week -- but who cares. Here's my list of 20 favorite actresses, complete with a gimmick: it's going to be divided into two separate posts. Consider this one the "Classic" list, with performers either no longer with us or whose body of work is more or less complete. Of course I hope I'm proven wrong....

Lauren Bacall
Not a great actress, and never as effective without Bogart around, but always a stunning presence and the only person onscreen who was truly a great actor's match.

Ingrid Bergman
Luminous, melancholy and brave, both tortured and torturer to onscreen partners like Grant and Bogart and directors like Hitchcock.

Ellen Burstyn
One of the best actresses of the 70s, often playing either a weak woman with inner strength or a strong woman with inner weakness.

Julie Christie
Still a major actress going on five decades, essentially unchangeable yet endlessly fascinating. A star seemingly indifferent to fame.

Claudia Cardinale
A powerfully sensual presence in some of the defining films of the 1960s, versatile enough for comedy (The Pink Panther), westerns (Once Upon a Time in the West), and historical epic (The Leopard), an actress who crossed genres and international boundaries.

Catherine Deneuve
Another striking presence, and among the most fearless actresses who ever lived, never more so than in Belle de Jour.

Audrey Hepburn
By turns funny and sad, a heartbreaker, and a triumph of charm over technique.

Katharine Hepburn
A grounded eccentric, an overwhelming personality who could be bizarrely subservient, she had a knack for both slapstick and pathos, and exposing her contradictions onscreen.

Shirley MacLaine
Multitalented oddball, witty in drama and serious in farce.

Barbara Stanwyck
Master of the double entendre, expert in screwball comedy, deep-dish soap opera and film noir, committed and captivating.

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