Sunday, 28 October 2012

My favorite actors [REVISED!]


10. Desi Arnaz

One word: Underrated. It wasn't until I became a huge fan of I Love Lucy that I realized how much of the quality of show can be credited to Desi as well as to Lucy. First, what a life story. Bird-cage cleaner in Florida, vaudevillian in a traveling act, singer in the New York stage until finally meeting the love of his life, and settling down in Hollywood, then struggling to become the most legendary man on television. He was discriminated for being Latin American, he had to lie about his age, he broke in the conga drums, the maracas and the chick-chicky-boom when all everyone wanted to hear was rock'n'roll. He was a trend-setter and a trailblazer on a medium that still took its first steps. He had business wits that made I Love Lucy what it is today. And behind all these qualities, and certainly behind all his flaws, he was a passionate, loving man, who brought his wife carnations every year on their anniversary and sang the song he wrote especially for her in his crystal clear baritone. Desi was far from perfect, but what a wonderful man. 

9. Fred Astaire

The energy Fred Astaire emanates would be enough to provide power to the city of New York for a hundred years. Rough estimate, of course. The fact is: Fred Astaire is the best dancer in film, and one of the most magic smiles I've ever seen. The first time I saw him was on Funny Face, and I fell in love instantly, despite the presence of one of my favorite people on the planet Audrey Hepburn. I moved on to Top Hat and the scene about getting caught in the rain did the trick. Fred Astaire is the sweetest musical star ever. And he was so humble too. When told by Dorothy Kilgallen that he was one of the best singers who ever lived, he simply smiled and said "thank you, I just don't think so".

8. Henry Fonda

Henry Fonda is what I would describe as one heck of an actor. I first saw him on Twelve Angry Men, and before I watched the movie, I took some time to look at the cover. A friend of mine had lent me the DVD and told me the general storyline. I remember I had a hard time believing that such a sweet-looking man was capable of playing a part like that of the juror. But I was pleasantly surprised. He comes alive on the screen and he gets a strength in his eyes (and what a pair of eyes!) that he simply doesn't give off off-screen. When I really fell in love with him was in On Golden Pond, one of my favorite Katharine Hepburn movies and one that I had been told to expect one of the finest performances from the first lady of cinema. Turns out it was, but Fonda had no trouble holding his own. His crowning glory was Yours, Mine and Ours, with my beloved Lucille Ball. It's always like this with me and Hank: I watch his movies for someone else, but he ends up surprising me. 

7. Gregory Peck

Meet my husband, y'all: Gregory Peck! That's right, get in line Cary Grant, because this is the most attractive man in Hollywood in my opinion. He has the perfect face, his voice is deep and sexy, he has the perfect walk, everything about him makes me wish I had a time machine and he was single... But to top it off, he was a very gifted actor. I first saw him on Roman Holiday and it was then when I understood what type of character he could do better than anyone: the knight in shining armor. That one leading man who seems to have no flaws whatsoever, but for some reason he has to work to get the glamour girl's affection. We all know the type. With Greg, these fellas take knighthood to a whole new level. Perfect to spend hours and hours swooning in front of the TV. 
However, one of his characters, and incidentally his best performance, differed from this typecast: It was Atticus Finch, from To Kill A Mockingbird. Twenty minutes of this one movie had my mother in tears.

6. Clark Gable

No, my story with Clark Gable did not start with Gone With The Wind. It all began when I watched "It Happened One Night" and I realized just how charming this Clark fella really is. He was irresistible to watch on the screen, and I'm not just talking about physical appearance, although that Gable smile is as close to earth-shattering at they get, I'm talking about screen presence. He catches everyone's eyes at the screen, and that's in addition to his unquestionable talent. So much so that when I did watch Gone With the Wind, I thought he was the star that stood out, as opposed to Vivien Leigh, who took home the Academy Award. Along with his screen talent and presence, I have every reason to believe he was a wonderful man. Two anecdotes about those who I believe were, albeit in different ways, the two women of his life: Carole Lombard and Joan Crawford. His wife and his best friend. His Ma and his Baby.
One: When Carole Lombard died, he joined the army and went to fight in World War II. He convinced many of his fellow Hollywood stars to follow him. When he was honorably discharged, he asked the United States Navy to name a battleship after his beloved, and admitted that this would mean more to him than any medals or military honors. SS Carole Lombard was launched in 1944. 
Two: In the filming of one of his 8 movies with Joan Crawford, there was a scene where he had to slap her in the face. He always managed to only pretend to hit her for the cameras, while leaving her intact. On one take, however, his hand accidentally landed on Crawford's jaw. The minute the scene was over, Joan was happy it went well, but Gable looked distressed and she soon found out why: he took her in her arms and whispered: "I'm sorry, Baby."

5. Charlie Chaplin

What a genius. Charles Francis Chaplin is one of the most gifted, intelligent, brilliant individuals in history. He didn't appear or work in his movies, he was his movies. He wrote the script, he acted, he directed, he composed the background music and he even cut the final product. His co-stars were merely instruments to the completion of a piece of work that was nearly a hundred percent his. This is more than can be said about Orson Welles, Laurence Olivier, Roberto Begnini or any other versatile stars in history. He was the one who wrote the uniquely beautiful song "Smile", made so famous in Judy Garland's voice. His movies had a kind of childish innocence to them, but at the same time carried valuable life lessons. He was the brains behind some of the most well-known works in the history of film, works that people of all ages understand, appreciate and learn from. But, in my opinion, this is the best thing Mr. Chaplin has ever done. 

4. Cary Grant

If the word lovely has ever been used to accurately describe a Golden Age actor, this is it. Cary was sweet, loving, cheerful, kind, and boy was he handsome! He was my first favorite Classic actor, when I was just starting to explore this world. He stood out to me as such a great performer, who seemed at home in his roles, regardless of whether it was a screwball comedy, like Bringing Up Baby or a thriller, like Notorious. And not only his talent and his endearing personality, but the entire aura that surrounds him, the vibe he gives off with that enchanting smile makes me think that he was one of the nicest fellas around Hollywood. He was the one who picked up Ingrid Bergman's Oscar in 1956 and the one who stood by her side when she was being shunned by American audiences for having an unwed pregnancy. He sent a letter to Lauren Bacall when she lost Bogie in 1957, without ever having met her, inviting her to dinner with him and his wife, as a demonstration of his support. Katharine Hepburn developed a wild crush on him (as, she says, every woman did) during the filming of Sylvia Scarlett, and he was already taken at the time. What did he do? Found the best man around for Kate. Howard Hughes. They dated for four years. That was the kind of guy Cary was. 

3. Jimmy Stewart

I was very lucky with Jimmy Stewart because the first movie I ever saw him in was my favorite movie and one of his finest performances: The Philadelphia Story. He was absolutely brilliant in that movie and it was a type of character he excels at: the fella next-door, the stand-up guy who makes his living honestly, has nothing much special about him, but you can't help but love. When I really fell in love with him was when I got into his partnerships with Hitchcock. That showed a whole new face of Stewart, one I liked even better than the first one. Some of his movies with Hitchcock are on my list of favorites. I've yet to see him give a bad performance. One Oscar is certainly not enough.
In his private life, I understand he was incredibly faithful to his wife Gloria. He got married only once, a rarity in Hollywood and, frankly, the entire world at the time. And when he died, he could think only of her. His last words were: "I'm gonna be with Gloria now." As Jimmy himself would say: Aaah, shucks!

2. Spencer Tracy

Behold, in his glorious grey hair and Irish lion eyes, Potato Tracy, the only one capable of making my heart melt with only one smile. My story with Spence was a little different than any other actor. I usually see someone on-screen, like them, and do my Googling to find out if I'm ready to like them off-screen. By the time I saw any movie with Spencer, I already knew a lot about his private life. You see, Potato Tracy made my girl happy for twenty-seven years, so let's say I had a good impression of the fella before I even saw him. I saw his movies with Kate and somehow, I couldn't see the magnificence of his ability (except for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner). I couldn't see what Kate saw in him, his naturalness, his enchantment, his ability to touch and compel. I attribute that to my looking at Kate instead of him the entire time. (I know, I know.) I knew he was good, and he was on my top 10, but way down there at #8 or #9. It was when I saw Inherit the Wind, one of the finest movies ever made, that he immediately shot up to #2. Seeing Spencer alone, to me, was seeing the real Spencer. How did I not see this in his movies with Kate? How did I miss this incredible performer? I rewatched all of the Tracy-Hepburn flicks, now aware that Spencer's presence was one worth watching out for and I was, once again, pleasantly surprised. I was looking at the wrong thing all the while. The Great is fantastic alone, but with Tracy, she is even better. Potato is fantastic alone, but with Hepburn, he lights up. These two together make the best acting duo I will ever see. I followed with Boys Town, another Spence flick and one he got the Academy Award for. Needless to say I was blown away in the very first minutes. Potato is one actor that I feel the movie industry should thank heavens he was even born. 

By the by, the nickname Potato was given by Kate and it is not because she thought he looked like a potato (which I think he does), it's because his acting was very simple, very pure, much like a baked potato. Fit him like a glove. 

1. Humphrey Bogart

Bogie, my man. Fancy seeing you here. This is one guy who will never leave my #1 spot. If watching Inherit the Wind and Boys Town made Spencer shoot up to second position and not to first, it was because there was an unbreakable barrier securing #1 to one man and one man only: Humphrey Deforest Bogart. 
Bogie was the first actor, not only the first Classic actor, I've ever truly adored, the first one whose movies I searched the Earth for like a crazy person, the first actor I couldn't get enough of and the first one whose pictures I spent hours looking at with a huge and rather teenage-like crush. 
Here's the thing about Bogie: His acting is perfect. And I'm not throwing that word around, I am expressing a serious belief. But, so is Spencer Tracy's. To be 100% honest with you, I cannot tell you which one of these two I find more talented. It's not like it is with the actresses, when I have one favorite who I'm sure is head and shoulders above the rest. These two are a serious competition. And why is Bogie always my #1? Why does he always come first? 
From what I read about him, I have every reason to believe he was my ideal man. He was respectful, above all with women. He never undermined them or let them feel they were less than him. On the contrary, when he loved a woman, he was as passionate as they come, the type that writes love letters and sends flowers and chocolates on a rainy day. We share an intimate desire for freedom, one he exercised on his ever-so-charming boat, the Santana. He held himself and his friends to very high morals, and he would not tolerate a lie. He was tough, in the sense that he couldn't be bought or corrupted and it was very hard to get him off the path he judged as right for him. He was a very intelligent fella, he was friends with intellectuals of the caliber of Ernest Hemingway, and he knew the ways of life and how to interpret them in the best way he could. He made the right choices, he led himself to being one of the most recognized actors of all time, #1 of the AFI list of silver screen legends. He plays so well my favorite type of male character: The tough guy, from villains like Dobbs from Treasure of Sierra Madre to smooth-talkers like Rick Blaine from Casablanca, but always carrying that conviction in his eyes. 
One problem of his that I don't know how well I'd be able to handle was his drinking. Bogie, unfortunately, was a very heavy drinker. Betty Bacall was able to make him cut back on it, but he never stopped. I, as a non-drinker and a health-freak, don't know how well I'd handle it. But, frankly, to be with Humphrey Deforest Bogart, I think I'd be able to handle anything. 

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Saturday, 27 October 2012

Favorite Actors and Actresses [REVISED!]

Hello all! Guess what? This is my 50th post! Yaaaay!
I've never had a blog that lasted a whole 50 posts before. My goat, doesn't seem like this much at all! But, at the same time, it seems like so much more. Almost 200 published comments, 27 lovely followers, unspeakable amounts of fun...
I must thank you all for sticking with me for this long!

As a way to make this post very special, I decided to release a revised edition of my top 10 actors and actresses born before 1940. Now, the list originally published on my top bar was made in late May/early June when I had been an Old Hollywood fan for only around 5 months. It wasn't that long ago and, to be honest, I still consider myself a newbie in this world (despite writing fifty posts on a blog exclusively about it: good job biting more than you can chew once again, Marcela!). But I must say that I have made a lot of progress in the past 3 months. I've had a lot of time and resources in my hands and I've done a lot of research. I consider this list more carefully made than the last.

Now, the criteria for this is not only acting ability. If it were, the list would probably be entirely different, except for the #1 man and woman. It is all-encompassing: How much I like their movies, their characters, their life stories, their personalities, how much I admire them as human beings, and all that involves that person.

Let's start with the actresses. I'll post the actors tomorrow.


10. Barbara Stanwyck

It wasn't until recently when I really paid attention to Barbara Stanwyck. I saw her for the first time on the big screen of Action Christine Cinémas in Paris, at a late session of The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946). I went completely unpretentiously, not looking to find myself a new diva, as I was reading "Me: Stories of My Life" and Katharine Hepburn had just started to take over my heart. As a result, I realized Babs was a fantastic actress, but didn't go any further than that. Recently, a friend I met on Blogger (I think we can all guess who it is)  who is crazy about Ms. Stany stimulated me to look more into her filmography and to truly explore the extent of her talent. I was quick to realize that a film noir lover like me could not go any longer without the likes of Barbara Stanwyck. It was Meet John Doe (1941) that did the trick. By the first scene, I was hooked. Everything from her tone of voice, to her physical expression, to the way she walked, to her frail figure and strong face, to her quick reactions, to her immaculate aura, to her crystal smile. I finished it and immediately moved on to Double Indemnity (1944). Do I need say more?

9. Greta Garbo 

Greta Garbo is the greatest silent star who ever lived and there is no question in my mind about that. Notice I used the word "star". To be a star is to be beyond a performer. Greta has the so-called it factor that so many performers have had attributed to them, but so few actually had. Greta Garbo was a gifted actress, she could play various roles to perfection, she could do with or without her voice like very few could, she survived the transition from silents to talkies at the top, she was an extraordinarily beautiful woman, she managed to lead a normal private life somewhat away from the prying eyes of the media and she believed in her own talent and in her own hard work. Because of her private nature, little is known about her life after 1941, when she retired from the Hollywood scene. But what is likely to be true is that Greta was a rather (wait for it) normal individual. An independent woman, she made a choice not to marry, but she didn't live her life in seclusion. She had many friends with whom she socialized and traveled. After the death of her great love John Gilbert, when they were already separated and she was at the tender age of 31, she was known to have normal romantic relationships when other men and, according to some, other women. She liked to read by herself and to take long walks around New York City, dressed casually. She is said to have had some problems with depression, but nothing that stood on her way. She died at 84 and left her fortune, originated mostly from wise investments in the stock market (Greta Garbo! A stock marker investor! What do you know!) to her niece. It was estimated in over 32 million dollars. 

8. Carole Lombard

Aah, Carole Lombard. For a comedienne, it's amazing the amount of tears that this bombshell blonde has yanked from my eyes. Carole is such a natural for comedy. You can see it in all her performances, how very much at home she seems with those roles. I think most of that comes from her being an easy-spirited individual who didn't take life or herself too seriously. On the other hand, she was a very passionate woman, about her craft, about her country, about Clark... And thinking about her accident really upsets me, there was so much more she could've done and she was traveling for such a noble purpose. Her life was tragically interrupted, and to be honest, it was her death that hit me the hardest, but I try to remember her in life, with that everlasting smile shining on, like she would want me to. 

7. Audrey Hepburn

I've been looking for a word to describe Audrey Hepburn and I can only come up with one: angel. We use that word a lot when describing dead stars but I don't think it applies to anyone as well as it applies to Ms. Hepburn. And it wasn't just the charity work she did, even though I admire that very much. It was what she stood for in her entire life. She stood for selflessness, goodness of spirit, kindness of heart. She wished to live her life for other people and I have every reason to believe she did. She was very insecure, grew  up with a mother who discouraged her, the struggles of war and the loss of her biggest dream (being a dancer), but these didn't make her a bitter person. Au contraire, Audrey became very appreciative of life and her desire to give back all the love she received and more was fueled by her life story. Her son Sean tells that on her very last days, when she was about to succumb to appendicial cancer, she wouldn't stop thinking of the suffering of the Unicef children, and how, despite her being about to die, it was still greater than hers. Angel. No more. 

6. Bette Davis

It wasn't too long ago when I sat down to watch Of Human Bondage (1934). I watched it to explore the man  who mentored Bogie, Leslie Howard. Despite my not being a huge fan of Howard, I have to appreciate the fact that he helped along the career of my favorite actor ever. But, before I knew it, a scrawny ice blonde took over the screen. "I never cared for you, not once! (...) You bored me stiff, I hated ya! It made me sick when I had to let you kiss me! I only did it 'cause you begged me! (...) And after you kissed me, I always used to wipe my mouth! Wipe my mouth!" (Watch this scene here.) I had seen countless movies with Ms. Davis before, and in each of them, she blew me away. I always considered her one of the top 5 female performers of all time. But it was in Of Human Bondage that I realized what it was about Bette that made me think so highly of her. There is no one, who can play one type of character as well as Bette: the bitch. I love the bitch characters in movies, I've always found them fascinating and Bette gives them a quality no else possesses. 

5. Joan Crawford

There are many actresses in Hollywood, I feel, who deserve all of our love. But, Joan is one of the very few who, I feel, needed all of our love. Lucille Fay LaSueur - that's her birth name - had a very difficult childhood, one that led her to be an emotionally insecure adult. She needed other people's affection for her self-assurance, she needed external approval to reassure her of her own worth. While this character trait stood in her way as far as shyness and self-confidence, it did make her an affectionate and loving human being, described by friend and biographer Charlotte Chandler as a "very fine spirit". She got to the movies as a girl next door, and, despite her multiple talents, unable to catch the eye of an audience because she had nothing different about her. She molded herself into one of the most unique personas in the history of film. From the 1920s to the 1930s, she became almost unrecognizable. The praise Hollywood yielded her for her very gifted performances was highly appreciated. So much so that she believed it was her obligation to never leave her star persona. She was known for never leaving the house without making sure she looked and felt like a star
And, before you ask, no, I don't believe a single word of "Mommie Dearest". I understand she was a strong disciplinarian at home, but the child abuse stories were denied by multiple biographers and fellow Hollywood artists, including close friends such as Barbara Stanwyck, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Bob Hope. Even Bette Davis, who, as we all know, wasn't a huge fan of Ms. Crawford, died denying the entire story. In my book, Tina is a spiteful and jealous individual. In the word of Myrna Loy: "Christina Crawford didn't just admire her mother, she wanted to be her."
I wrote too much about Joan, I admit. But it's because I never mention her on my blog and I feel like I should do it more often. 

4. Ingrid Bergman

She may not be absolute #1 on this list, but Ingie and I go way back. Ingrid Bergman was the first leading lady I've ever seen on a pre-1960 movie. You guessed it, it was Casablanca (1942), the only Golden Age movie I had in my house at the time, and it belonged to my uncle. My parents aren't exactly movie buffs. I was desperate to watch a classic film, I was so curious about them and my experience with "old" movies had only gone as far as Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). Casablanca is still one of my favorites and it was then when I realized one of the best qualities of the Golden Era that the films of today, for the most part, lack: its unpredictability. I could swear she was gonna stay with Bogie. Since that very day, I realized Ingrid would always be special to me. She became one of my favorites when I was studying abroad in Paris and one of my colleagues was a huge fan of hers. We had a long conversation about her one day and my favorite movie theater (yes, there were multiple movie theaters dedicated to old films: heaven!) just so happened to be playing Notorious (1946) that night. I was hooked for life.

3. Lucille Ball

Hilarious. Strong. Charming. Humble. Human. There are so many adjectives that can describe Lucille Ball, but there are no adjectives that can do her justice. She is a fabulous actress, not only in comedy, even though this is the genre in which she surpasses all, who compels, moves and thrills on the big screen. Lucy's filmography is not very good - it wasn't until her late thirties that she hit it big - but she is always the best part, if not the only good part, of her films. Her face is seemingly made of rubber, she has the widest range of expressions I have ever seen. Her voice ranges from a high-pitched scream to a low, calming tune. I've never seen her deliver a poor performance. On top of all that, her life story and personality is absolutely beautiful. She was a woman of principle, she stood by them at all times, no matter how much she was risking. She was a strong woman who rose above all the disappointments in the world. And after all her success, she still couldn't believe her own talent and how it was the work of her own hands that led her to being where she is today. Lucy is certainly one of my role models as a career-oriented individual and as a woman.

Last piece of weirdness: What an unfortunate last name. Whenever I hear it, I don't imagine ball as in ballroom, I imagine ball as in football. Not that it matters.  

2. Lauren Bacall

Okay, putting this one over the other L.B. on this list was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my blogging life. It's nearly impossible to put anyone who isn't Katharine Hepburn over Lucille Ball. But every time I look in her eyes, I get reminded of why I love this little gal so much. She was so young when she got to Hollywood, but she had such maturity! Her life choices make me admire her so much. Look at the other teen stars throughout history: Nearly all of them had problems with drugs, alcohol or scandals. Everything in her life happened early and fast, and I don't think anyone else would have her tranquility to deal with the situation and come out with the impeccable record that she did. The thing about Betty is that she is one person that I look at and I think how, had things worked differently for both of us, she could've been my best friend. She is so straightforward and sincere, like I am, but she does it in such a classy and understated fashion that she seldom embarrasses herself (I'm afraid I do, much more than I would want to.) She is such a breezy spirit, she brings laughter wherever she goes, she can make anyone laugh and she has an endearing spontaneity about herself. She is one of those endearing people, that walk into a room and just bring so much light to it that there's no way her presence goes by unknown. She was a rather active political personality, with such a well-formed opinion for such a young age. She was also in some of my favorite movies ever: Dark Passage, To Have and Have Not, How to Marry a Millionaire, Designing Woman and Murder on the Orient Express. One of the most underrated actresses in the Golden Era. She deserved better parts, but it's amazing how much her presence alone improves an otherwise mediocre picture. And when a movie with her is indeed very good, you can't help but credit her for a sizable chunk of its quality.
I am so glad that she is alive.        

1. Katharine Hepburn, a.k.a. Surprise of the year

Nope. This one will never change.
Even if some people call her over the top and melodramatic, I find her acting absolutely perfect. Even if some people call her obnoxious and theatrical, I find her personality fascinating. Even if some people call her strange and angular, I find her absolutely beautiful. Who am I kidding?  This is my favorite person ever. And if anyone needs any reminding why, just read this.

So long,

Sunday, 21 October 2012

"A Letter To The Stars" Blogathon!

Hello all! Thank you for the amazing submissions! This Blogathon has been so fun to read and be a part of and it's definitely an experience I look forward to repeating in the future!

The hosts are:

Best of the Past, with 
"You're my woman of the century"

In The Mood, with "Dear Ruby,"

Frankly, My Dear with "Dear Lucy"

Here are some of the submissions from our wonderful readers!

A Mythical Monkey Writes About Movies with
"Dear Jane" -> this one gets first prize for creativity! :)

Crítica Retrô with "A Letter to Giulietta"

Noir and Chick Flicks with "A Letter to Cyd Charisse

More submissions  tomorrow! Thank you all again for participating and see you later! 

So long, 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

You're my woman of the century

Hello there, my big sister, my queen, my twin, my sexier half, my better self, my whole world!

In 1974, you went on a talk show hosted by a man named Dick Cavett. You came into the set and sat down. "I don't like your furniture." You said. You carried a coffee-table to the front of your chair so that you'd have a place for your feet to go up.  It was a two-hour special, and in that time window, you floored your host and your audience. By the end of the interview, Cavett, in awe of everything about you, asked if you had any advice for the rest of his life. "Dick dear," you said, "be fascinating."

Why, Kate, it's not as easy for us as it is for you. 

Fascinating is certainly the best word there is to describe you. Because, how do we even attempt to condense your gigantic personality into one single word? You never liked single words. You never liked short speeches. You liked being in the presence of talkers and listeners. And you were, more often than not, both. 

I'm sorry I barely ever talk to you anymore. 

I find that looking up at the sky, imagining your face smiling back at me and thinking you can hear and understand me gives me great comfort. I feel some things and I do some things that only you would understand, Kitty-Kat. Only you could tell me that it's okay, that you feel exactly the same way. 

One would think our conversations would be awfully unilateral. Maybe they are. Maybe I'm writing and talking to the air, I don't know. Maybe I don't speak to you. But, you certainly speak to me. And how lucky I am that you do. You were a remarkable human being, Katty

On the silver screen, no one can touch you. Four Academy Awards. Twelve nominations. How do I begin to describe your energy and presence? You had personality, Kat, you had magic! To see you in the movies is to enter a ride as unpredictable as it is extraordinary. It's to fall in love with a character you made human, you brought to life, to whom you gave flesh and blood. How fascinated I was. How I marveled at your talent, how I wondered how you transmitted such immortal and timeless emotions to me. You knocked me silly on your very first scenes. You could do anything.

You took charge of your own career and your own life. It went wherever you aimed it to. Why have managers treating your talent and your dreams as if it were their business? Sure, Leland tried to help you. He was a good agent and a good boyfriend, but all he did was lead you to your box office poison period. No, Kay, you couldn't be bossed around. You couldn't be tamed into a regular actress. It's you career, it's your life, it's your decision. This was your philosophy for, well, everything. 

What I didn't know (yet) was that behind that superstar façade, there lay a very normal girl, from a family with a certain amount of means, who didn't like parties, loved thinking and led an extraordinarily independent life. You see, Kitty Kat, we're not that different. Indeed, we are strikingly similar. You and I are absolute oddballs. And I think you realized, Kitty, that people find it easier to judge and ostracize the different, instead of taking time to understand and respect. I used to quake inside, terrified of external judgement, what will they think if I don't grow up to become the person they expect me to be? But, I always knew that there was a force of nature inside me, waiting to be used. I could do so much more than I was given credit for and I knew it, but there was only one barrier: Fear.

Sounds familiar? Well, our stories are pretty much the same, except for one detail. You unleashed yourself. You let yourself fly. You looked at the world and you said this is me! Take me or leave me! This is who I am and I will not apologize anymore! Little by little, I learned to do the same. 

The truth is I adore you. I adore that flaming red hair that curled tighter every year. I adore those green eyes shaped exactly like little baby fish. I adore that interesting mouth and how it points down instead of up, like you're constantly frowning at the world. I adore that strong body that did what you told it to. I adore that voice and accent that I could spot from miles away. I adore that brain that carried a million ideas per minute. I adore that heart no one ever gave you credit for. I adore what you've done for me and I adore the person you helped me become. 

Never quit. Be yourself. Never add to much flour to your brownies.
These three sentences have afforded me a happier and more fulfilled life since the moment I found out about you. It's about decluttering, uncomplicating your life. The simplicity of them mirrors very well the simplicity of the way you looked at life. It was there, it was a gift, it was supposed to be lived to the fullest, in whatever way one wished. Except if one wishes to put too much flour on one's brownies. Then, catastrophe!

Which is why no matter how many icons, role models, whatever you want to call them, come into my life, you will always be number one. I'm inspired by many people and I relate to another few, but none of them struck me quite like you did. And I'm confident to say that what I feel for you is a deep affection, a very strong love. Because what is love if not an appreciation for wonderful times spent together, beautiful memories and priceless lessons? You have unknowingly given me all of that. And I can only give you love in return.  

Life was easy for you. You were fascinated by it. What an adventure it must've been, to be in the world with a mind like yours. You looked at everything with interested eyes, you saw every day as a beautiful journey and you thought every waking moment of your life was an opportunity to do something new. You smiled at the face of challenge. You took action, you knew that life was not a spectator sport. Most people see in every opportunity an obstacle, you saw in every obstacle, an opportunity. 

And living as fully as you did, you were bound to have opinions. You knew what was wrong and right for yourself, you had your principles, you knew that there were things you did and there were things you didn't do, because they would hurt others. You stuck to your own morality. Your conscience was clean, and you made a point of keeping it that way. And when you thought something was wrong, you spoke out. You respected every opinion, but you made yours very clear. And for that you were hated by so many people gratuitously. But, hey, don't feel bad, Kitty-Kat. So am I. Aren't we all?

That's why some people (misinformed people, you and I know all about that) think that you had a problem with difference. Alas, Kay, you adored difference! Difference was the taste of life, and didn't you know it! You, as a human being, had an innate need to be marveled. You fished the entire world for the sources of true fascination, for the things, the people and the places that would fill your eyes and your mind. You found that fascination with all things different, all things unique, all things peculiar. 

And you demanded respect in every single circumstance. Respect for yourself, respect for others, respect for all living things, that under your eyes, were equals. If one has flesh, bones, a beating heart and the decency of spirit to call one's self "human", one deserved the utmost respect. It's ideas that simple that will wind up changing the world for the better. I'm so sorry you won't be able to see it, but I know the future will grant us the changes you foresaw and hoped for with all your heart. 

That's all you've ever wanted, Kate. To improve the world. And yet because you drifted away from traditional values and morays, they called you a bad example. You were no such thing. Unorthodox, yes, but with a heart and a mind of solid gold. 

And your friends, Kay? They would give their lives for you! You didn't have very many of them, you were a private person by essence, but when you did let someone into your world, they seldom wanted to leave it. You grabbed their hearts with a great deal of ease, and they never wanted them back. You were a firm believer that actions spoke louder than words. You had a great affection for Bogie. But, again how could you not? You were made to be the perfect friends. Both with high moral standards, zero tolerance for injustice and both with a certainty that without discipline, there's no life at all. You understood each other. You could be yourself with him. And so much so that when he passed, you attended his funeral wearing a skirt. That was your way to show him, wherever he was, that your very essence had been shaken by his loss. Betty Bacall was in tears. And, soon enough, on her knees for you. 

Your habit of showing people how much you cared about them didn't extend only to friends. How could you keep the most important person of your life from knowing how much he meant to you? When Spencer was too sick and thought he couldn't finish Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, you took his hand in yours and you said "Yes, you can. I'm here for you." I don't think the world has enough red roses to say "I love you" as effectively as you did with that one simple action.  

You had an enormous heart that no one quite recognized. I remember a noteworthy experience I had with you. One thing I love to do is listen to you reading your book, because that book represents how much you've taught me about life, and to listen to it in your voice is the ultimate way to feel like you are talking directly to me. You talked about Luddy at one point.You were 84 years old and you had divorced Luddy when you were 26. You thought you never showed him how much you loved him back, and you regretted it.  Talking about him and your time together, you cried. 

58 years later, Katharine Houghton Hepburn, you cried. 

Brave. Courageous. Unafraid.
Those are three words often used to describe both you and what you epitomized in your day.
You put on your slacks, threw your hair up in a messy bun, covered your lips with layers and layers of coral lipstick and left the house freckle-faced and relaxed. Who was to say what you were supposed to wear? Who was to say what you were supposed to be? In a time of misogyny, you were a feminist. In a time of religious domination, you were an atheist. In a time of married housewives, you lived the greatest love affair in the world and (bam!) he didn't put a ring on it. 

You were ahead of your day, Kate. You brought into this world a mindset from the future, a mindset that would change it forever. And, not only that, you did what you wanted and  you faced the consequences. You wanted to be an actress? Good, now push yourself to perfection. You wanted to be famous? Good, now deal with the pressure and loss of privacy. You wanted to be with Spencer? Good, now deal with the judgement and the dirty, terrifying status of mistress. A mistress that loved like no wife could. 

"Press on," you used to say "we'll sweep the blood later!" It was like you phrased my thoughts better than I ever could. This was exactly the thought in my head every time I achieved anything important in life. Nothing worth having comes easy. Do I want it enough to not mind a little bloodshed? If so, press on! We can't have everything. We'll have this at the expense of that and that at the expense of this. Sacrifice is necessary.

And it didn't matter what they thought, you stood up for yourself. You had learned responsibility to recognize your own mistakes and to trust your own judgement. It didn't guarantee you the best decisions, but it guaranteed the clear conscience that you did everything you could. And every success and every failure was in your hands and your hands only. "Talk to me, I'm to blame!"

I must thank you for what you represented for the female cause.
You made your own choices, you paddled your own canoe, you said loud and clear that you needed no man to regulate or organize your life. You could do that, as you did all things, yourself. But yet you loved a man so much that you were on your knees for him. You had a fabulous life. You were feminine and you lived you femininity, you had fun, you did everything you liked to do. You were utterly happy. And yet you fought for your gender's rights. You broke the impression that believing in the feminist ideals means that you need to put your life, your love and your femininity on hold for that. You showed the world that feminism was nothing more than making choices - and not letting anyone put their fingers where it wasn't called for. 

You once said "We must put up with each other." You were famous for stopping on the side of the road if someone had a flat tire. Haha! Their surprise was hilarious! "You look and sound just like Katharine Hepburn!" "That's because I am Katharine Hepburn!" You helped people when they needed you. You were there with Spencer in the nights where he succumbed to drinking. Tears flowing from your eyes, you heard him scream at you, make fun of you and hurt you as much as words could hurt. You'd cry and cry and cry, and ask him to stop this, and don't you know what this drinking is doing to you?! You're not the Spencer I knew! You're not my Spencer! And in the next day, he'd realize what he did. He'd say he's so sorry, he didn't mean any of it, he loved you. You knew he was telling the truth. You knew he loved you back. He wasn't perfect, but you weren't either. And if you loved him, you had to put up with his flaws. Or else you didn't deserve his qualities. 

Your smile was a constant, like everything else about you. Katharine Houghton Hepburn, born in 1907. 
Happy by nature and by choice. 
Cared about the important things. Shrugged off the frivolities.
Didn't understand much of people, but was fascinated by them. 
Memorable. Unique. 
Did whatever she wanted to do. And did it well

In writing you a letter, I'm attempting to do the impossible: To express in words what you mean to me. 
You are my inspiration, you are my muse, you are my role model, you are the person I look up to as the ideal of what a woman and person should be. 
You may be long gone from the earth, but the memory of you will live on. Not the actress, not the feminist, not the politically active criticizer of all-things. But the human being. The independent, modern, strong, feminine, loving and unique human being. 

You know what else, Kathy? Despite your being loved (and hated!) by billions of people around the world, after 28 acting awards in 46 films in 62 years as an actress, being depicted in over 20 published biographies, 31 published biographic articles, ranking #1 in over 10 lists of greatest actresses of all time and even making the Guinness Book of Records, you are still mine. Yes, Katharine, you are perfectly and deliciously mine.

And I love you so.

I need to finish this letter now, not because I think I've said everything I had to say to you, but because I think I'll never be able to say it. Not the way I want it, not the way you deserve it.

I am most beholden to you in every way possible. No one could've done what you did for me, and, in my heart, you are immortal. Thank you for changing my life.

So long,

This is my personal contribution to the Letter To The Stars Blogathon, which I am hosting alongside Frankly My Dear and In The Mood.
All the gifs in this post were made by me. 


I was gonna wait longer to post this, but seeing as I haven't gotten any e-mails for the blogathon yet, I thought this would be a good incentive! Remember: :D

UPDATE: I changed the name of this post to "You're my woman of the century". This phrase has a very strong meaning for me and my love for Katharine, so I decided it was more creative and appropriate.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Loving Lucy Day 5: The Story of a Lasting Passion

Hello all.
We have come to the final day of our I Love Lucy anniversary celebration.
We have come to October 15th.
61 years ago today, premiered the most important and influential television show in history.

Today, I Love Lucy is still much more than a memory. Young people everywhere watch it, relate to it and love it just like they did 60 years ago. We will talk to some of these youngsters (me included) and see just how they think this show lasted for so long. They are 20 years old or younger, and couldn't have seen the original airings. Here they are: Rianna and Anneleigh, from the United States, Katie and Jess, from Canada, and, finally, Juliana, and lil' old me (Marcela), both from Brazil.
The questions I asked them are as follow:

1. Describe Lucille Ball in one word.
Rianna: Best 
Anneleigh: Strength
Katie: Incredible
Jess: Comedienne
Juliana: Life
Marcela: Unstoppable

2. What was it about "I Love Lucy" that made it so successful?
Rianna: I think the show has that special ‘it’ factor that’s hard to explain, but it worked. It was the combination of so many things: Lucy’s incredible comedic talent, Desi’s brilliant business acumen, the rapport between Lucy and Vivian, the chemistry between Lucy and Desi, the sharp writing, etc.; it was a dream team and it all clicked together. I think it remains popular because the show never relied upon sex, violence, or vulgarity for laughs. Instead, as Desi Jr. said, its main principles are love and friendship, both of which are entirely timeless.
Anneleigh: Like Desi Jr once said, there’s not a part of them that isn’t inside of us. It was truly about love, family, friendship, even those crazy times in life. The principles are timeless and so is the comedy, we will always be able to relate to this show.
Katie: It’s funny, and relatable to audiences. Helps you forget about problems and, I think people fell in love with the characters, thinking of them more like old friends.
Jess: The writing and the cast. Both were just perfect.
Juliana: The fact that everything was very real. The love between Lucy and Ricky, the use of mostly real elements (for instance, the wedding pictures were true wedding pictures of the Arnazes and many of Lucy's fictional friends were named after Lucille's childhood gal pals), the way they depicted marriage (good, but not perfect) and the society of the time.
Marcela: Lucy herself. What else? That and relatability to the American audience.

3. What part of Lucy and Ricky's life would you be willing to bring into the 21st century?
Rianna: The genuine love and tenderness in their relationship was very sweet. You could tell that they cared for each other very much, and loved each other no matter what the other did. That particular factor is missing in the 21st century quite a bit.
Anneleigh: Their love, no couple on TV has ever compared to that love they shared. No matter how many times Lucy got herself into a predicament, Ricky was there by the end of that 24 minutes to say “It’s okay, I still love you and always will.”
Katie: Its humor.
Jess: The clothes! And also, the manners and class people were expected to have and use.
Juliana: Everything but the way Ricky tried to control Lucy's money! Haha
Marcela: They were a very loving, affectionate couple. They gave their son and their marriage a lot of attention, he never left the house without kissing her goodbye and every time they quarreled, they made up. I think this sort of feeling should always live on.

4. What do you think should stay in the past?
Rianna: The times when Ricky treated Lucy like a child, whether it was scolding her on rare occasions spanking her, justified sexism of the 1950s that I’m glad was left in the past. That being said, it’s good to know that in reality, the picture was different: Lucille Ball was more successful than her husband and a trailblazer in an industry dominated by men.
Anneleigh: Of course the only thing to stay back in the 50’s is the whole women’s rights/men’s control factor. Like Ricky giving Lucy a spanking for instance.
Katie: The role of women in the society the show represented.
Jess: The rights and roles of women.
Juliana: Already answered in the last one.
Marcela: Ricky tried to impose his will over Lucy's multiple times. Sometimes I feel he's talking to his daughter when he talks to her. And also, sometimes he resorts to physical violence, which makes me tremble to my very core.

5. How did you discover I Love Lucy?
Rianna: I had just gotten into old films at the time, and one afternoon after school they were showing I Love Lucy on TV so I decided to give it a try; my mom had always talked about how funny it was. The episode was Return Home From Europe and I fell in love right away.
Anneleigh: I first discovered I Love Lucy when my parents were watching the 50th anniversary special when it aired back in 2001. Then a few weeks later I saw my first episode. My life forever changed, that childlike character that had such beauty but such comedic expressions.
Katie: A few years ago, I started watching The Golden Girls after school and after seeing every episode a few times- I needed another series. So I started watching Maude because of Bea Arthur & Rue McClanahan. I went from Maude to The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Good Times to All In The Family to I Love Lucy.
Jess: I didn't really discover it. I Love Lucy has been playing on television here as long as I can remember. I've been watching it since I was a child.
Juliana: Through my grandmother, who's as big a fan as me.
Marcela: I'd seen Old Hollywood fans talk about it non-stop. So I decided to rent the DVDs one time. Blessed day.

6. Desi Arnaz: A good part of Lucille's life?  
Rianna: Yes. Though I think they both gave each other a lot of hell at times, ultimately they loved each other very, very much, and always did, even after the divorce. Her life would have not been the same without Desi, we may have not even have had I Love Lucy without him either (at least, it wouldn’t have been I Love Lucy as we know it). She said so herself: “I don’t even want to think what my life would have been like without him.” He was played a major role in her professional success, and in her personal life was the person who knew her the best, and the deepest, and was probably always the person most important to her.
Anneleigh: Desi and Lucy’s relationship was so strong, they loved each other so damn much. But sometimes the strongest love isn’t enough. Out of all people she trusted his judgment most. Lucy went to him for all moves of her career after the break up. Lucy’s even said that she didn’t have one success until she became Lucille Arnaz. (that’s why every Lucy character have an “AR” in their last name) So to answer Desi was the greatest part of Lucy’s life no matter how hard in my opinion. I always thought it was funny in the beginning of their marriage all they wanted to do was to be together, work together, and have a family, but then when they finally were able to do all those things their empire got so big, they became overworked, and ended up spending too much time together and it became even worse. Another thing that’s ironic is that when they stopped working regularly all Lucy wanted to do was play board games and with Desi, go boating. Too bad they didn’t realize that in ‘51!
Katie: A great part. Not only was he the love of her life, but also without Desi there wouldn’t have been an I Love Lucy. They started the show because they wanted to be together. He basically ran the whole company. She looked no further then his signature before signing something. He was the genius behind the whole thing. Desilu would have been nothing without him. The end of their marriage was probably the worst thing to ever happened to her, and it changed her forever without a doubt. However without him she wouldn’t have had probably some of the best times in her life either. I think the good out weighs the bad for sure.
Jess: Absolutely! No question about it!
Juliana: Of course! An essential part of her life. She may have gone through very rough patches with him towards the end of their marriage, but they were also very happy and loved each other very much. The fun thing is to read about them in her biographies. She always talks so fondly of him, so lovingly.
Marcela: Absolutely. The best. Unfortunately, reality kicked in soon enough. They were both very strong personalities and any clash between them would mean catastrophe. It got to a point where they could no longer live together, despite the love that unites them and that, to be frank, stood strong throughout their entire life.

7. What's your favorite episode?
Rianna: It’s really hard to pick just one, but if I had to, I’d go with Lucy is Enceinte. The final scene, with their unscripted tears, is so incredibly emotional. Their love for each other shines through so brightly there.
Anneleigh: Lucy is Enceinte
Katie: The Great Train Robbery
Jess: I can't! Too cruel! Haha
Juliana: Home Movies, in Season 3.
Marcela: I couldn't! Maybe Job Switching, but I couldn't!

8. What's your favorite scene?
Rianna: Again, I’d probably go with that end scene in Lucy is Enceinte is my favorite. You can’t know the backstory and NOT love it!
Anneleigh: My favorite Lucy scene would be when Lucy tells Ricky she is spectin’ a baby. I’m a huge sucker when it comes to Lucy and Desi, so when you see those true emotions come through, it just captures you completely. I don’t see Lucy and Ricky in this scene, I see Lucy and Desi’s love and happiness.
Katie: Lucy with her chicks in "Lucy Raises Chickens"
Jess: Lucy stomping grapes, for sure.
Juliana: Impossible, I'd have to pick at least three from each episode! Haha
Marcela: "Heaven", from Pregnant Women Are Unpredictable.

9. What's your favorite Ricky performance?
Rianna:  Once more, it’s hard to pick, but I might have to go with “Ricky Needs an Agent.” When Lucy tells Ricky she got him fired from MGM, and she gives him all the bric-a-brac to take his anger out on. His temper there is so incredibly funny. It’s hard, though, Ricky’s reactions to everything were always so sharp!
Anneleigh: Any Babalu performance is tops. Especially in The Pilot or in The Audition. I adore any performance of that song, he put so much emotion into it and looked damn handsome while beating that conga and belting that song.
Katie: The Straw Hat Song
Jess: When they're in Cuba and he performs with Little Ricky.
Juliana: When he sings "We're Having a Baby, My Baby and Me" holding her tight, I get emotional just thinking of it.
Marcela: "Cuban Pete". It's sexy, funny and romantic at the same time. Only the Arnazes could do it.

10. Send a "happy anniversary" message to the cast in 10 words tops. 
Rianna: Happy Anniversary, darlings. Thank you for everything. Love always.
Anneleigh: Here's to another 61 years of love and laughter!
Katie: Thanks for making me laugh, no matter what.
Jess: You make me laugh every time I watch. Thank you.
Juliana: Congratulations, best show around! Sixty-one years, what a blessing!
Marcela: Happy Anniversary! Thank you all for the laughter and tears.

So long,

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Loving Lucy Day 4: The Story of the Aftermath

Behold Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz at the height of their success and beauty in 1952. 

10 years later, this was nothing but a memory. Lucille Ball called Desi Arnaz on the phone. She was looking to buy him out of Desilu. Their voices were still familiar. Their faces, their smells, the way they walked, talked, slept... Neither forgot anything about the other. It was still vivid in their heads as if it was yesterday. But, it wasn't yesterday. Now, things were different. They had new people in their lives. They had new careers to seek after. They had new lives to start living. 

This is what life looked like for the Arnazes in late 1962:

I know. Doesn't feel right to me either. 

As a fairly impartial observer, however, I must admit: Yes, my guess is they were happy in their private lives after the divorce. Because Desi didn't retain his celebrity status with the same notoriety as Lucy, it is known more about her marriage to comedian Gary Morton than about Desi's marriage to Edith Hirsch. What is known is that they were both marriages with a lot more tranquility in the sense that the passionate fighting the Arnazes shared was nearly absent. However, it is important to note that the passion that lacked was not only in the fighting. It was also clear that the exasperating, earth-shattering, mind-blowing love the Arnazes had was substituted by a lukewarm, convenient feeling, that caused a lot less stress. I'm led to believe that this was exactly what they needed in that stage in their lives, so I'm grateful to Edith and Gary. 

In the last twenty-odd years of their lives, Desi and Lucy weren't separated only physically: There was an enormous gap in how successful their solos careers remained. Lucille was the unmatched queen of television until the mid-seventies and was a fail-free performer until 1986. Desi was barely even seen on TV then, as he gradually and willingly reduced his exposure after his marriage to Edith. He preferred producing positions and behind-the-camera jobs, but in time, even those quieted down.

The exquisite beauty no one got tired of seeing
As far as their relationship was concerned, Lucy and Desi remained good friends. It was easy to forget about their stressful life together when they were apart, each in their own turf, each in their own private life. But, when they saw each other again, like in their daughter's wedding, I have no doubt that the thought of rekindling their marriage must've entered their heads multiple times. It is certain that they were the loves of each other's lives. According to Desi Arnaz, by 1965, they were talking on the phone three times a week. She hired him as a producer for a few episodes of The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy. Even if not romantically, they certainly found ways to enjoy each other's presence and affection. 

Lucy had a rich career on television: At the end of the Comedy Hour, she premiered her own show, produced by the now fully acquired Desilu: The Lucy Show. Vivian Vance was still a co-star for three seasons and Gale Gordon joined the show later. Lucy couldn't help but be remembered mostly for Lucy Ricardo, but yet The Lucy Show never left the top 5 most watched shows in the United States. 

Lucy and Viv on "The Lucy Show"
After "The Lucy Show" was over, in 1968, Lucille sold Desilu productions and made a fortune. With it, she founded a new, smaller company, LBP - Lucille Ball Productions. Her husband, Gary Morton, was in on the deal, but she was clearly the prominent one in their marriage. He was jokingly called Mr. Ball, and, to be honest (and slightly acid), I have never seen such an accurate nickname.

LBP produced Here's Lucy. It co-starred Lucy and Desi's children. The show was less successful than The Lucy Show and certainly a lot less successful than I Love Lucy. Lucy's career had started its (very) slow decline.
Mr. and Mrs. Ball
In 1974, Lucy took a break that she thought would be permanent. For 23 years, she had given her entire life to television and now it was time to stop. She was 63 years old. Her hair was still flaming red and her nearly perfect doll-like features were practically unchanged. She liked playing backgammon and taking care of her dogs. Desi Arnaz was a happy man, living a quiet life with his wife Edie, enjoying periodic drum-playing jam sessions with his extraordinarily talented son. By the way, the Arnaz-Ball liaison produced two of the most talented Golden-Age children: singer/actress Lucie Arnaz and percussionist Desi Arnaz, Jr

In 1986, the shock of a lifetime.
Desi Arnaz.
The man of such underrated intelligence, such unforgettable talent, such unique charm, such impossible adequacy for his time and medium and such enchanting ability to love. 
Two days before he died, they spoke on the phone. She said "I love you" for the last time, repeatedly and in tears. Desi was too weak to even hold the phone to his ear. 
Two days after he died, she received a tribute on the Kennedy Center. A letter from Desi was read out loud. "I Love Lucy" was never just a title, he said. He expressed his feelings for her even from beyond the grave. 
Some say Lucy herself began to die then.

Does she sound like she is any condition to star in yet another comedic sitcom? 
Well, she did. 
Some say she was talked into it by Morton, but the fact is that Life With Lucy came on the air in 1986 and flopped. This can certainly be credited to her state of mind at the time. Having lost Desi, there was no way Lucy was ready to be a star again. If a few years were given to her, perhaps she'd come close to being the old Lucille Ball again, but immediately after Desi's death, not the strongest, coldest person in the world would be capable of carrying out another show.

Besides, television was starting to show its A game in the eighties: Who's The Boss and The Golden Girls were the best examples.

In 1989, the world became less colorful. 
Lucy died. 
There is nothing I can say to explain what this loss represents to the world and to me personally.

The world has never recovered from never seeing this smile again.

I would like to finish this four-post long story with a request: Please remember. 
Do not let these people be forgotten after all they've done for you, me and the world at large. 
I Love Lucy was never just a title. 
And its legacy will never end. 

I cannot, however, end a series on "I Love Lucy", no less, and leave you with sadness.
If you haven't seen this video and this performance, you missed half your life:

I promise it will brighten up your day.
Every time you feel down, no matter what has happened in your life, Lucy and Desi can easily be found and they'll teach you to chick chicky boom, chick chicky boom, chick chicky boom, and you'll be surprised at how fast your troubles will melt away. 

Thank you for sticking with me for four posts and a very long tale of love, struggle and glory.

I'll be posting the interviews with the Lucy fans tomorrow, in the anniversary of I Love Lucy.
Stand by, and don't forget, for their sake, to remember.

So long,

P.S. Check out the Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy.