Old Hollywood Survivors

Much of the world woke Wednesday morning to the news of the death of Dame Elizabeth Taylor, a star of Hollywood’s yesteryear whose passing indicates the continued end of the era of old Hollywood. Taylor was quickly and lovingly eulogized in virtually every news source, and while we here at The Muse have nothing but respect and admiration for the Dame, her death got us thinking. How many stars of old Hollywood are still living? Who should we still appreciate while we have the chance, before they join Liz Taylor and cease to exist on this earth except for somewhere on a piece of celluloid film? The Muse runs down the list of some of the greatest female stars of yesteryear you might not have realized were still alive:

Shirley Temple: If you see ‘Shirley Temple’ and think of the drink, shame on you. America’s first real child star, this girl could have danced circles around Willow Smith and Justin Bieber…and people were almost as obsessed with her hairstyle as they are with Bieber’s today. Not only did Temple shine as a child actress, she later went on to serve as an American Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. Let’s see Miley Cyrus pull off something like that when she grows up. Temple is now 82 and living in California. Bond with your grandmother and rent one of her films. We personally recommend Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm. The kid was just so darn cute!

Debbie Reynolds: Debbie Reynolds, now 78, was the original American Sweetheart – the Reese Witherspoon of the Golden Age of Hollywood. If you haven’t seen Singin’ In The Rain lately, you really should. Pardon the pun, but it is my go-to rainy day movie. Reynolds was, incidentally, a great friend of Elizabeth Taylor’s. Their friendship suffered a little when Taylor ran off with Reynold’s husband, the late Eddie Fisher, but these two (the original Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie) long since reconciled and Reynolds expressed great love for Taylor after she passed away.

Lauren Bacall: The ferocity and fierceness of Bacall can pretty much be summed up entirely with this image. Still alive and kicking at the age of  86, she’s still a force to be reckoned with. As the second half of the famous Bogie & Bacall duo, she found fame and chemistry on screen and off, with the man who would become her husband – the love of her life, Humphrey Bogart, whom she met while acting in her break-through film. Released in 1944, To Have and Have Not solidified Bacall’s place in Hollywood and in Hollywood history.

- Julia Butler, Film Editor

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4 comments

  1. David Cuthbert

    Just saw Carroll Baker at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival here in New Orleans. She is 79 (80 in May), still looks like Carroll Baker with hardly any make-up and under lights on the stage, where she did some readings, looks spectacular, and has that unmistakable voice that is like no other. She lives in New York now and says she is “happily retired.”

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