Saturday, January 14, 2006

RIP, Shelley Winters

So sad to report that we have lost one of our great movie stars, two-time Oscar-winner Shelley Winters, to heart failure at the age of 83 (or possibly 85--a lady never tells).

It always makes me mad when people only remember her as the fat lady running around "The Poseidon Adventure," because she was such a bombshell for most of her career, not to mention a really fine actor. Of all her many great roles--from the pregnant factory worker in "A Place In The Sun," to the middle-aged American hottie in "Alfie," to Roseanne's grandmother--I will always have a special place in my heart for her incredible performance as Ma Barker in "Bloody Mama."

From the NY Times obit:
Even when she became the dominating force in many of her later movies, Ms. Winters often played vulnerable monsters. As Ma Barker in the 1970 cult classic "Bloody Mama" - in which she is first seen giving her four grown sons their Saturday-night baths - she was murderously maternal while brandishing a tommy gun.

Robert DeNiro's screen debut was his role as Ma Barker's junkie son, who dies of an overdose. (The two had an offscreen affair, according to her book. Huzzah!)

The Times goes on to note that:
Shrieking, shrewish, slutty or silly, Ms. Winters always seemed larger than life on screen.

There will never be another Shelley.

2 comments:

impychimp said...

little-known fact: cult lounge singer and macrobiotic adherent Harvey Sid Fisher was one of Shelley's closest friends. Her autograph was brandished on his acoustic guitar and he phoned her several times from my house to check in on her when he was in town for SXSW. So that means I was practically her next bestest friend. Okay, enough of that...

Anonymous said...

there will never be another...not until I am discovered anyhoo...ev