One of the absolute best actresses to ever hit movies was born on this day in 1906. It’s only fitting that this larger than life actress was born in a larger than life state, Texas… San Antonio, to be exact.
When it comes to the lasting legacies of our favorite actresses, actors, directors, and other celebrities, much of what becomes their legacy is within their control. How they behave, the things they say, the way they treat others, the movies they made, their performances, and the activities they engaged in – all of these things are individual pieces of a puzzle that future generations piece together to come up with what they view as the individual’s image… their, in turn, legacy.
Some made grave errors in judgement, and others had incredible weaknesses they either never sought help for or were incapable of overcoming. Some either chose bad movies or the studio forced them into roles in films they never liked in the first place!
Some had (quite frankly) moronic views of the world, possibly stemming from a childhood when such views were perpetrated upon them.
Some stars did things that make us cringe and cause us to feel outrage toward them, when… oddly enough… they felt they were doing the absolute best thing possible. There were stars who were surrounded by other stars who also cheated, lied, drank to excess, and/or did drugs. While it boggles our minds, these things… when viewed all around you… can start to seem somewhat normal.
Am I making excuses for dirty deeds, inflicted pain, or stupid quotes… absolutely NOT. However, I am not, by nature, a judgmental person. I simply don’t judge others, period. I did not walk in their shoes, I was not under the same pressures they had, and I (thank God) do not suffer from the emotional or mental illness many of these stars battled.
Makes me crazy grateful, not crazy judgmental.
If we’re honest, almost all of us have at least one (probably quite a few more!) star who was guilty of something less (or even far less) than desirable.
Some parts of a star’s legacy are, of course, out of their control. Possibly invited into their legacy, to a certain degree, but mostly because of someone else. Sickeningly, many stars had people who took advantage of them, after they were no longer here to defend themselves. I can’t wrap my mind around that type of vindictiveness, bitterness, or hate and… again… it makes me crazy grateful rather than crazy judgmental. Ironically, behaving this way puts them on par with the individual they seemingly thought so poorly of.
Another destroyer of legacies is a frustrating one – when they become a caricature or somewhat of a joke in some regards. Imitators of a particular star cause so much of this – even if they, in some world, think they’re honoring the star.
Several of these have happened to so many of our favorite stars, including Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Elvis and it’s honestly a great shame. I wish there were a way to wipe out the negative books, movies, jokes, and bad impersonations of these stars – allowing them to be remembered and respected on their own terms, not someone else’s.
If you haven’t seen many of Joan Crawford’s movies, I hope you’ll seek them out and appreciate her wonderful talent. She was stunningly talented and quite beautiful. She was multi-dimensional and none of us know exactly what she did or did not do… we only know what we’ve read or seen in a remarkably bad book and incredibly hideous movie. All of the people involved in these earned money for their efforts…. but I have to wonder how much more money they could have earned if they’d been more kind.
In the end, what some may have wanted (to destroy her legacy), fell flat. She is still a highly revered and loved star of old Hollywood and earns new fans almost daily. While I have zero idea what she did or did not do (come on, I wasn’t there!), I do know she was human and, therefore, as capable of mistakes as anyone.
Again, by nature, I am simply not judgmental… also, I prefer to concentrate on the positives in life AND in others. Joan Crawford was a beautiful, incredibly talented actress who meant SO MUCH to old Hollywood. She was known to adore and respect her fans and tried to personally respond to each fan letter.
The rest? I choose not to focus my attention or energy on it… not in the least.