Monday, January 19, 2009
Shelley Fabares (January 19, 1944) led the ultimate 1960's Starlet life: she appeared weekly as America's favorite daughter on The Donna Reed Show; co-starred in three Elvis movies; rode the wild surf with Tab Hunter and Fabian; and cut hit records like "Johnny Angel" in her spare time. Even more remarkably, she continued to work consistently and successfully after her teen fame had dissipated, including an eight year stint on the sitcom Coach (1989-97). But we love our 60's Shelley best -- recalling a more innocent time, when wearing pumps with your navel-concealing two-piece seemed entirely appropriate.
Dolly Parton (January 19, 1946) has managed the impossible: she's a respected self-parody; a living cartoon taken seriously as an artist. The secret of her success is that she has the talent to back it up, and unlike the images of, say, Anna Nicole Smith or Pamela Anderson, Dolly's overupholstered physique and lacquered visage seems...well, natural on her. There's no pretense there, even with the cotton candy wigs, huge bazooms, and false eyelashes. Simultaneously down home and completely artificial, there is simply no one like Dolly.
Tippi Hedren (January 19, 1930) made only one truly great movie -- and The Birds (1963) wasn't even really considered an unqualified success upon its original release. In fact, many of her personal reviews were critical, and director Alfred Hitchcock's expensive publicity campaign to groom the exotically-monikered Tippi into the next Grace Kelly misfired. Her next (and last) film for Hitch, Marnie (1964), was even less-enthusiastically received, although, like The Birds, it's become a cult favorite. Over the years, despite her initially lukewarm reception, and an acrimonious split from Hitchcock, with whom she had a personal contract (effectively dashing her hopes for further movie stardom), Tippi Hedren has become an icon, a paragon of icy, elegant beauty. We'll even forgive her for Melanie Griffith.