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Archive for October, 2007

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Beautiful Brunettes

It was brought to my attention that I have payed entirely too much attention in the past to beautiful blondes, praising and positing them on high pedestals while completely neglecting the brunettes of the world, so to make up for it I’ve prepared a celebration of beautiful brunettes that I have beheld.

One of the most beautiful brunettes of all time has to be the actress Vivien Leigh. Star of the hugely successful movie adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s hugely successful best-selling novel “Gone With The Wind” she will always be remembered as the jilted belle to whom Clark Gable read those famous lines from the proverbial riot act, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Later in her career she played the part of Blanche DuBois, the sister-in-law from hell who drove Marlon Brando to drink and cry “Stella!” in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Of course neither actor could have her in real life either, for she was married to Sir Laurence Olivier.

When I was growing up, the loveliest brunette in all of our land was Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, the wife of President John F. Kennedy. She went everywhere with him, and together they had two children, but surprisingly he still had time for other women. When Jackie was only ten years old, she wrote a poem titled “Sea Joy.”

When I go down by the sandy shore
I can think of nothing I want more
Than to live by the booming blue sea
As the seagulls flutter round about me
I can run about when the tide is out
With the wind and the sand and the sea all about
And the seagulls are swirling and diving for fish.
Oh, to live by the sea is my only wish.

I love that poem, and it’s easy to see how JFK won his lovely bride and was able to keep her despite all the talk. After all he gave her a lovely home by the sea.

Natalie Wood was another lovely actress who also happened to be a brunette. She was a fine actress and a jewel to behold, and she couldn’t sing. She had to lip-synch the lyrics in “West Side Story,” but I don’t think viewers cared much. It was a great movie, and now even gang-members appreciate the genius of Shakespeare. Nor will I ever forget her being swept up by John Wayne at the end of “The Searchers” and the way she stood there in her deer-skins when she told her half-breed brother to go back: “Mon-ta-kee-ah!” she cried. That’s probably not what she really said, because I’m pretty sure that’s Spanish for butter, but that’s how I heard it from the scratchy little speaker box at the La Mirada Drive-In.  In real life she was married several times to the same man, and she died tragically when she fell overboard from her yacht in the middle of the night while it was anchored off Catalina Island.

Elvis Presley found a lot of beautiful brunettes for his movies, not the least attractive or least obscure was Joan Blackman. She starred in several of his movies in fact, and I’ll never forget the first time I saw her in the movie “Kid Galahad” at the same drive-in. I couldn’t help thinking how much more mature she seemed than Elvis. In “Blue Hawaii” it was the other way around.

I was looking through a list of great people once, and though there were hundreds perhaps even thousands of famous names, one entry stood out from all the others for its brevity. On the line it read:

Anne Frank – Diarist.

I thought to myself, what a lovely tribute to be remembered for sharing your personal thoughts and recollections.

And then there was That Girl…

Nowadays you don’t see brunettes that much anymore. When you do see one, their hair is usually streaked with blond or red highlights. I don’t know why; I guess there’s just something about a blonde…

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