Thursday, February 18, 2010

Goodbye to a Childhood Hero...



Kathryn Grayson.

I remember watching her in Kiss Me Kate when I was four.

I remember braving the depressingness of Show Boat just to see her.

I remember searching her name in my library's database so I could order as many of her films as possible. The Desert Song, Lovely To Look At, The Toast of New Orleans, Anchors Aweigh, Two Sisters From Boston, 'Till The Clouds Roll By, Andy Hardy's Private Secretary...I loved her in them all.

She was a hero of mine.

Kathryn wasn't any "normal" musical star of the 40's and 50's. Her characters weren't just pretty, demure young ladies...who also "happened" to sing. Her characters were strong, witty, and (for lack of a better word) spunky (oh, I hate that word)!

Kathryn held her own against any of her costars - male or female. She was a perfect match for her oft-leading man Howard Keel.

It's especially fun to watch them in Kiss Me Kate. Watching them fight it out in "real-life", onstage, in witty banter...and in song...is simply hilarious.

I can't imagine anyone else playing Lilli/Kate. I mean WHO else could have sung "I Hate Men" like her?

{See a bit of the number starting at 1:55}

What I'm trying to say, is that Kathryn Grayson means so much to me. She has since I was four. I have a letter all addressed and ready to mail sitting on my desk. But, now she'll never know how much I love her films. How they were - and still are - my escape whenever I'm sad.

Kathryn was wunderbar at everything she did. Her voice was unearthly, her talent was brilliant, and her beauty...well Howard Keel once said, that she was the most beautiful woman in the history of movies.

She certainly will be missed. But, her vibrant, wonderful performances will never leave.

Rest in Peace, Miss Grayson.


A little tribute video I made for her:

8 comments:

Mercurie said...

I always loved Kathryn Grayson. She was so talented, as both a soprano and an actress. To this day I cannot see anyone else as Lili in Kiss Me Kate. One thing I do have to disagree with you, though, I think Miss Grayson now knows how much all of us, her fans, loved and admired her.

emme said...

Millie, I love this. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful actress...

~Emily

Millie said...

Terry: I know! Neither can I. She was so perfect in the role.

Oh, yes, I understand that. I was merely, speaking about myself personally. It breaks my heart that I hadn't sent the letter yet.

Emily: Thank you so much. She really was...

Sally said...

Wonderful video. She was so incredible. She was so versatile and was, thankfully, never pidgeon-holed into any one type of role. And so beautiful! Very few women can pull of brunette, redhead, and blonde the way she did.

Francy said...

Such a great post. I loved her in Kiss Me Kate. RIP

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

A very nice tribute, Millie. It's hard to lose our heroes, but we never really lose them.

Merriam said...

This was a beautiful tribute. Her death was such a shock.

Ginger Ingenue said...

Lovely post, Millie.

Sweet, and heartfelt, and honest.

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