Friday, May 14, 2010

Connie-Connie-Connie-Chameleon


In the 1930's, Constance Bennett was renowned as a fashion plate even more than she was as a movie star ("I'm a lot more sartorial than thespian," she acknowledged. "They come to see me and go out humming the costumes."). Interestingly, for all her East Coast pedigree, the New York-born and bred Bennett seemed to look southward for her fashion inspiration. To wit: her sleek, polished look of the 1930's was a Hollywoodized magnification of the ultra-chic style of such socialites as the Kentucky-born Mrs. Harrison Williams, later Mona, Countess of Bismarck.


By the 1950's, Connie's screen career had declined, but she found great success in the touring company of Auntie Mame, the fabulous stage play based on Patrick Dennis' novel, and a precursor to the musical. She was the perfect embodiment of brittle, theatrical glamour, and her look seemed to mirror that of Alabama's infamous daughter, Tallulah Bankhead.



As related by our dear friend Poseidon3 over at his utterly fascinating, fabulous blog, Poseidon's Underworld, Bennett made her simultaneous big screen comeback and swan song in Ross Hunter's plush remake of Madame X (1966). In preparation for her return before the cameras, Bennett once again completely transformed herself - this time, apparently taking a page from the Texas handbook of Miss Ann Miller.



And if you're gonna go, you may as well go like Annie!

6 comments:

  1. she was to swoon for in madame x....what an exit.

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  2. Good heavens!

    "I'm a lot more sartorial than thespian."

    A four-syllable word followed by a three-syllable word. And no profanity. Could any actress in Hollywood today spontaneously say something like that? And at such an appropriate time?

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  3. I really loved her sister , Joan much more....

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  4. Ha! Love it. And thanks for the shout out. I still bow to you, Grasshopper... The first time I saw that garish headshot of CB, my retinas couldn't even really realize what I was seeing, there was so much going on!! There seems to be a wind machine blowing the fringe of her top up, but the hair is indestructable.

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  5. BTW, it just occurred to me that I would be Grasshopper! LOL I didn't watch enough Kung Fu to know who the master was...

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  6. "I'm a lot more sartorial than thespian." I love it!

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