Yesterday, we lost Mickey Rooney, the man a few of us still remember as that sweet-faced ball of energy who danced and sang alongside Judy Garland. He was Andy Hardy and Mi Taylor. (And, unfortunately, Mr. Yunioshi.) Because I was raised on the classics, I hate saying goodbye to these legends of Hollywood's Golden Age, and recently it feels as if that's all I've been doing. Already this year we've bid farewell to Shirley Temple, Russell Johnson, and Sid Caesar. Last year it was Peter O'Toole, Annette Funicello, Joan Fontaine, Esther Williams, and Deanna Durbin, among many more. And it's been years since Bette Davis, Jimmy Stewart, Audrey Hepburn, Bob Hope, William Powell, John Wayne, Paulette Goddard, and so many of the rest took their final bows.
So, who's left? I'm happy to report... many!
Maureen O'Hara (1920)
One of the few who never made a movie I didn't like, here she is with Tyrone Power (1914-1958) in The Black Swan.
Kirk Douglas (1916)
Rocking the chin cleft. I loved his small role as an easy-going English teacher in Letter to Three Wives.
Olivia de Havilland (1916)
Half of one of my favorite onscreen couples and an incredible actress, she starred in eight movies opposite Errol Flynn (1909-1959).
Doris Day (1924)
Dear, dreamy Doris Day starred opposite Rock Hudson (1925-1985) in three wonderful romantic comedies.
These two ladies made screwball comedy gorgeous in Court Jester, opposite funnyman Danny Kaye (1911-1987).
They made marriage look like a lot of fun, even if they did sleep in separate beds!
Lauren Bacall (1924)
This dulcet-voiced star's marriage to Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) is considered one of Hollywood's great love stories.
Joan Leslie (1925)
One of the sweetest stars in classic Hollywood, I love her best opposite Jimmy Cagney (1899-1986) in Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Jerry Lewis (1926)
Half of another great couple. Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin (1917-1995) made seventeen films together, all of them hysterical.
Sidney Poitier (1927)
In Guess Who's Coming to Dinner he held his own opposite Spencer Tracy (1900-1967) and Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003).
James Garner (1928)
A Hollywood hunk as popular today for The Notebook as he was for The Great Escape.
These two multi-talented girls co-star in one of my favorite musicals, Two Weeks With Love, opposite Ricardo Montalbán (1920-2009).
Joanne Woodward (1930)
A wonderful actress, but it is her 50-year marriage to Paul Newman (1925-2008) which inspires me most.
Eva Marie Saint (1924)
Her palpable chemistry with Cary Grant (1904-1986) makes North by Northwest one of my favorite films.
And so the big world keeps on turning. I hope this post inspires you to watch a classic film or two very soon!