classic villainesses

All posts tagged classic villainesses

Va-Va-Villainess: Majorie Gateson

Published October 15, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

One of the most elegant supporting players in the early talkies, Majorie Gateson added a superiorly venomous flair to 1932’s Street of Women. Forcing the film’s romantic lead, played by Alan Dinehart, to remain in their loveless marriage for the benefit of her social standing and the maintenance of her lifestyle, she is rich presence onscreen – often stealing the focus with an oily disdain.

Nicely, Gateson’s co-stars here include Warners Brothers’ original diva Kay Francis, who would go onto play a role similar to Gateson’s in 1939’s In Name Only, and Gloria Stuart. Stuart, gained mega latter-day fame for her Academy nominated work in James Cameron’s Titanic, but spent her early career highlighting such classic horror fare as The Old Dark House and The Invisible Man. Gateson, herself, received some sunset significance by playing the revered matriarch for fourteen years on the long running soap opera The Secret Storm.

Horror Hall of Fame: Gateson added her elegant essence to such early fright offerings as Fog and Thirteen Women. She also notably appeared as an endangered widow in the Wisteria Cottage episode of the anthology series Suspense.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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(Photos: Above, top: Street of Women cover art with Gateson reacting imperviously in the lower right. Above, bottom: Gateson bringing a somber dignity to Conrad Janis” threats on Suspense.)

Va-Va-Villainess: Patrice Wymore

Published October 29, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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Her obituary in 2014 highlighted her role as Errol Flynn’s wife (and mother to his daughter), but true cinema fans know there is much more to the glorious Patrice Wymore. In particular, she displayed much grace and beauty as an actress in projects such as Tea for Two and I’ll See You in My Dreams (both with Doris Day).

Significantly, this distinguished beauty also gave the world its first incarnation of Poison Ivy. Almost 15 years before the DC universe introduced their own misguided floral enchantress, Wymore brought Ivy Williams to vengeful fruition in 1952’s She’s Working Her Way Through College. Nicknamed “Poison” by the other characters in this collegiate musical, Wymore invests Williams with a silken determination and steely focus. Jealous of the attention that Virginia Mayo’s sassy burlesque queen Angela Gardner is receiving on campus, Ivy threatens to reveal her brightly spangled past to the conservative college officials. Naturally, blackmailing Gardner backfires, but Wymore’s destructive Ivy pretty much steals the show here. Her icy concentration contrasts perfectly with Mayo’s chummy warmth.

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Unfortunately for cinema buffs, caring for the ailing Flynn took Wymore away from the silver screen, prematurely, and she spent her senior years on a plantation in their beloved Jamaica. Still, anyone lucky enough to stumble upon the handful of successful projects she appeared in, is sure to fall in love with her obvious charms.

Horror Hall of Fame:

In a rare latter day credit, Wymore appeared as Vivian in 1966’s fun, star studded Chamber of Horrors.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan

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