A few days ago Cinema Retro ran a really interesting piece by Tom Lisanti on four starlets who never quite fulfilled their promise. Yvette Mimiex, who never did anything for me; Carol Lynley who became a pretty good actress; the forgotten Diane McBain and Tuesday Weld. Of all the starlets I ever had teenage crushes on Tuesday Well ranked numero uno. Not only was she gorgeous and sexy she was also self-aware in a way starlets never are. She was, in comedies, well aware of her effect on men. You could see this early on when she starred in Dobie Gillis. But from the git-go she was a good actor on her way to becoming a truly fine one. You have to wonder how much of her turbulent life effected her career. At seventeen (as I recall) she was living with John Ireland, a man in his Forties.
Here's Cinema Retro:
"Tuesday Weld had more of an edge to her than Mimieux and Lynley, and in keeping with her real life wild child persona see-sawed back and forth between the mischievous hormonal teenager (Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys, 1959; Bachelor Flat, 1962; Soldier in the Rain, 1963; I’ll Take Sweden, 1965); the tramp (Wild in the Country, 1961); and the self-absorbed sex kitten (Lord Love a Duck, 1966). Weld undoubtedly could have become a superstar but she famously turned down Lolita (“I don’t have to play Lolita—I am Lolita!”) and backed out of Bonnie and Clyde due to pregnancy. After playing a murderous psychopath to great effect in the little-seen Pretty Poison (1968), she turned down in quick succession True Grit, Cactus Flower, and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice once again assuring that she would never be known to the masses. In the Seventies she kept working steadily in studio productions (Play It As It Lays won her kudos in 1972) and even received an Academy Award nomination for her supporting turn as Diane Keaton’s sister in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) but never appeared in a box office smash though by the Eighties she was still copping leads opposite major stars in big movies—Thief (1981) with James Caan; Author! Author! (1982) with Al Pacino; and Once Upon a Time in America (1984) with Robert De Niro."
Posted by Cinema Retro in Tom Lisanti on Thursday, August 14. 2008
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My favorite film she was in is "The Cincinnati Kid." Even with all the heavies in the picture and her having a relatively small part, she triumphed with her performance of McQueen's humble, pure, innocent girl. She provided the soft edge that the film needed and gave the best female acting performance in the movie. (besting Ann-Margaret and Joan Blondell) And on par with the men. She wasn't just a pretty face...
She had a heart-breaking quality about her. Loved her in Thief, Lord Love a Duck, Pretty Poison-all of them. But Thalia Menninger was one of the most originally portrayed characters in early TV. You couldn't take your eyes off of her on the tiny screen.
Interesting post. I liked TW in LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR, not really a memorable film, but I thought she did a good job in it.
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