Irving Berlin

All posts tagged Irving Berlin

Music To Make Horror Movies By (Pride Edition): Ethel Waters

Published June 26, 2022 by biggayhorrorfan

One of my favorite Broadway tales was provided by an actress who appeared with the legendary Ethel Waters in a play. Waters was apparently known, industrywide, for her Sapphic interests and her co-star was a bit nervous when the two decided to rehearse alone. But before they even had a chance to begin their line readings, Waters sensed the apprehension in the air and chuckled, telling her scene partner to relax as she must certainly didn’t waste her time trying to hook any timid, very uninterested fish. 

This cute tale belies the complexity of Waters’ life, though. Conceived from a rape, Waters had a chaotic childhood, surrounded by prostitution and crime. Despite disadvantage and rampant prejudice, she worked her way from the stages of Black vaudeville to Broadway productions and onto film and television. Married three times throughout her lifetime, she also proudly wrote about her loving relationships with women. Interestingly and seemingly at cross purposes with her past, this powerhouse wound up her life campaigning and performing for televangelist Billy Graham, sure proof that she was a singular entity who listened to only one pertinent drummer – her own.

Much loved for her unmistakable renditions of such standards as Irving Berlin’s Suppertime, a heartbreaking song about lynching, and Am I Blue?, which was included on the soundtrack to genre series Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, Waters died in 1977 at the age of 80. Then and always, she reigns as a beacon of pure talent and uncalibrated willpower – a true icon for the LGBTQIA community. 

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

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Hopelessly Devoted To: Joan Woodbury

Published December 21, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Joan Charlie

With cheekbones that could have cut you like a quick blade, the striking Joan Woodbury actually brought a truly cozy energy to her many screen roles. Whether adopting a slight accent (King of the Zombies) or blonde locks (The Chinese Cat), she always radiated with warmth and easy humor.

The Living Ghost, an old dark house style murder mystery, especially gave her a chance to shine with a screwball wit. Paired against the wisecracking James Dunn, Woodbury truly steals the show here with her glamorous fashions and good natured bantering.Joan Woodbury the-living-ghost-2

Proceeding Brooke Shields by decades, Woodbury was also the first actress to bring famed comic strip reporter Brenda Starr to life. Although, she is perhaps more significantly known for her multiple roles in the Charlie Chan programmers, including Charlie Chan on Broadway.

Joan charlie-chan-on-broadway-1937But with credits in everything from Bride of Frankenstein to popular musicals (Bring on the Girls, Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies), Woodbury is truly deserving of appreciation from old school film lovers of every imaginable genre in glorious perpetuity.

 

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

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Joan Woodbury blonde