Thursday, April 16, 2009

Who Is That: Charlotte Greenwood

"Who is that???"

I've gotten this response from people more times than I can even fathom counting when I talk about an actor, singer, performer, director, writer, or other individual of whom I am a fan.

As pretty much everyone who knows me is aware, I'm a fan of entertainment history, classic film actors, and of current yet relatively unknown (but still talented and hardworking) actors and actresses of both screen and stage. I have an inborn love and fascination with history and the entertainment industry in general, with a special love of the underdog. The supporting players.

I recall at the age of about eight telling my mother, "Someday I'm gonna win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor!" She looked at me with a mixture of amusement and mild confusion and asked, "Wouldn't you rather win Best Actor?" To which I promptly responded, "No. Supporting actors get all the best roles."

To this day I uphold that opinion.

But the real point of this entry as well as the ones I plan to post continually in the future is more about addressing that unending question "Who is that?" I've grown weary of people making a wide array of excuses as to why they know nothing and don't care to know anything.

So here is the first of many planned posts dedicated to an individual whom I especially admire, whose work I thoroughly enjoy, and about whom I have been specifically asked: "Who is that???"

Name: Charlotte Greenwood
Occupation: Actress
Genre: Stage / Film
Born: June 25, 1890
Died: December 28, 1977

Starting her career in a series of comedic solo performances and musicals in New York (creating a well-loved character known as Long Legged Letty), Greenwood's comedic skills went on to make a big splash in Hollywood musicals and comedies between 1929-1956. She appeared in relatively few films for the era (thirty-four) but was still awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

She is best remembered for her roles in the film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, appearing alongside Shirley Temple in Young People, as well as a slew of films she starred in with Betty Grable including Springtime in the Rockies, Moon Over Miami, and Down Argentine Way.

Below is not only a display of Greenwood's famous high-kicks (from the 1943 film The Gang's All Here), but also of her unique charm and comedic style.

1 comment:

  1. I know Charlotte Greenwood! I saw a clip of her and Shirley Temple in Young People and I've seen that video of her high kicks before. I know faces but I'm not good at names. You get the "Who is that??" .. I get the "..Oh well you would know him/her if you saw him/her". Where does that fall under in your "stupid people" scale?