Theresa Harris and Bette Davis, Jezebel
Like most old Hollywood lovers, I have my own, personal regrets:
- … that the film Bette Davis and Joan Crawford made together wasn’t better (massive apologies to those who love Whatever Happened to Baby Jane – I dislike it… a lot).
- … that Dorothy Dandridge didn’t win the Best Lead Actress for Carmen Jones – she absolutely should have.
- … that Barbara Stanwyck wasn’t recognized by the Academy for her outstanding acting. Where were their heads?!
- … that Irene Dunne wasn’t, at the very least, given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy.
- … that Lena Horne wasn’t given the role of Julie LaVerne in Showboat (1951). Blame this one on the horrifying, idiotic racism that existed at the time.
- … that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz ever got a divorce! Seriously, this one breaks my heart.
- … that Marilyn Monroe didn’t realize her own talent and worth. Her contributions to Hollywood simply cannot be overstated.
- … that Theresa Harris was never given a role worthy of her beauty, talent, and extra special screen presence.
It always makes me sick to my stomach that, when I want a picture to post or tweet of Theresa Harris, I have to look for her co-stars. Find them, and you’ll find her… supporting them in their starring role. Before anyone points it out, I am, of course, very aware that many actors and actresses made entire careers from being character actors and actresses. I also will be the first to acknowledge the GREAT worth of these supporting stars. Many, many, many “good” films were made “great” based upon the character stars.
Also, a career in film is highly admirable, rewarding, and glorious whether you are a lead or supporting star. I get every bit of that… trust me.
However, Theresa Harris had all of the qualifications to be both a supporting actress and a lead actress. Again, due to the time in which this beautiful actress lived, she was never given the chance she would have been given had she been born later. As a fan of hers, it simply bothers me, that’s all.
How frustrating it must have been to know you were every bit as talented and beautiful as many stars getting the lead roles (heck, more so than plenty!) – and yet, you were never given your shot.
By nature, I’m a very positive person, so I don’t want to spend any more time with this line of thinking. I’d rather focus on the fact that Theresa Harris got to be a movie actress! She worked on some very special films (Jezebel and Baby Face to name just two). She also not only met some of Hollywood’s biggest legends, but worked alongside them. Heck, she even stole scenes from more than a few of them!
Today’s picture of the day is from one of my absolute favorite movies, Jezebel (1938). The movie stars Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent, Theresa Harris, Spring Boyington, Margaret Lindsay, and Fay Bainter. It was superbly directed by William Wyler and is one of the first movies that comes to my mind when I hear the words, “Perfect film.”
I just wish Theresa Harris’ character had more screen time – it would have made the movie EVEN better.
You can find the excellent film Jezebel (link to the dvd on Amazon) on Amazon.