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.
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
June Allyson was the girl that every G.I. wanted to marry. Her sweet presence provided a happy glow to many 1940’s musical-romances. But ever a true performer, her roles in the ‘70s showed a darker depth. She found the emotional heart of a vengeful bisexual in the Giallo style murder mystery They Only Kill Their Masters, giving the film’s final moments an understated punch. The television film The Curse of the Black Widowprovided a bit more of the fun side of horror with Allyson’s Olga getting the sticky end of an old family curse.
But even in supernatural circumstances, this Golden Age icon was always accessible. Anyone with an ounce of humanity and self doubt could definitely relate to Allyson’s sorrowful take on Just Imaginefrom Good News, one of her most popular projects.
Beautiful. Violent. A showcase for the brilliance of Doug Jones. Yes, Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Wateris many things. But, as an ode to the cinema of old it, nicely, also introduces modern audiences to the majesty of such golden age troupers as Alice Faye, Carmen Miranda and Betty Grable.
As a prominent part of the soundtrack, Faye’s husky, thoughtful version of You’ll Never Know definitely mimics the emotional lives of the outsiders at the film’s core.
Not surprisingly, Del Toro hasn’t been the first genre specialist to recognize Faye’s brilliance. Eagle eared viewers may remember her signature stylings from Innocence, a Season Two offering from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, as well.
Auteurs recognize. Now, it’s your turn.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
She added a little sophistication and dignity to cheesy, fun monster fests such as 1979’s The Darkand to 1982’s Parasite, but the glorious Vivian Blaine was best known for her take on the ditzy Adelaide in the original Broadway and movie versions of Guys and Dolls. Most importantly, perhaps, Blaine was also one of the first celebrity advocates for the AIDS crisis, providing a very visible presence in a time when most public figures shunned the realities of the disease.
Blaine, who also acted and sang in multiple movie musicals with the likes of the vivacious Carmen Miranda and smooth crooner Perry Como, reprised Adelaide’s Lament, her most famous number from Guys and Dolls, on the 1971 Tony Awards, twenty years after her debut in the role. There, she proved, beyond a doubt, that no one could portray the little quirks and eccentricities of the character quite like she could.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!