Female Screen Legends – Part 1

Hollywood and the Silver Screen bring up memories of when cinema was in its heyday, a time before televisions and internet games, and film stars were legendary. The term Silver Screen is actually a technical term from the 20’s which refers to a reflective metallic paint that the projection screen was coated with to display the images better. Of course, in later years the term came to mean a whole era in cinema and was defined by classic movies and their stars.


In this blog we look at some of the greatest female stars to ever grace the cinema screen, some of whom, undoubtedly, were also stars of the Silver Screen.


Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall oozed sexuality on the big screen, her sultry looks and pouting demeanor made her an instant sex goddess. Bacall started her career starring in many Film Noir type movies, where the themes were often downbeat, concerning war and crime. One such film was in 1946, The Big Sleep, featuring fictional detective Philip Marlowe played by her husband Humphrey Bogart.


Bacall also tried her hand at comedy when she co-starred with Marilyn Monroe in 1953 with the film How to Marry a Millionaire. When Lauren Bacall married Humphrey Bogart in 1945, it was truly a Red-Carpet Hollywood event as they were two of the biggest stars of cinema in the world at the time. After Bogart’s death in 1957, Bacall went on to have a relationship with Frank Sinatra and later married Jason Robards.


Vivien Leigh

One of the greatest female cinema roles of all time has to be that of Scarlet O’Hara in the classic Gone with the Wind. Looking back on her performance, it is doubtful that any other actress at the time could have played the feisty female as well as Vivien Leigh. Surprisingly, the casting directors almost passed over her as she was considered too English for the all-American character


Her most famous husband was Laurence Olivier who, of course, she starred alongside in many great movies. The roles she played were diverse and challenging as her films show: Caesar and Cleopatra, Anna Karenina, Waterloo Bridge, A Streetcar Named Desire and Storm in a Teacup.


Ava Gardner

Born when the Silver Screen was in its heyday, Ava Garner was considered one of the most attractive and beautiful women of her whole generation. She was also highly successful in her acting career, being nominated for an Oscar for best actress in Mogambo, and in 1964 received a BAFTA and Golden Globe for The Night of the Iguana.


Her off screen life also hit the headlines, with marriages to film star Mickey Rooney and the great jazz musician Artie Shaw. Her third and most famous marriage was, of course, to Frank Sinatra, but only lasted a brief six years before the couple were divorced.


Ava Gardner completes the first round of our blog into the most memorable female screen legends. In part two we will discover even more of the fantastic stars of the big screen including Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and the irrepressible Marilyn Monroe.


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