So, to continue, here are the other half of the top ten movie legends.
6. Henry Fonda
Henry had a long career of 46 years and more than a hundred credits to his name. He was married five times and not only won two Oscars, but produced two children with awards and nominations under their belts as well. I think it is those children who have prevented a movie of his life. I read Jane's book that talked mostly about his absence. Their relationship in the movie "On Golden Pond" reflected some of the tension between them.
But I think he is a legend because he was a very real and natural actor.
6. Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn started this chain. See that discussion here.
7. Clark Gable
I like my Gable a little messy and roguish. He also had his adventures. Just his love affair with Carole Lombard is worth a real movie. It makes me sad that he never got to publicly acknowledge his daughter with Loretta Young. It is also sad that his only son was born four months after his death. He worked with all the greats.
All I can find is this crappy looking television movie with James Brolin and a bunch of little movie cameos in other people's stories.
7. Elizabeth Taylor
Liz got a mini series starring Sherilyn Fenn. It didn't do her justice. But then I'm not sure any movie could. Elizabeth Taylor was spirited and had to have been incredibly optimistic to have married eight times. Either that or no one ever told her that she could have sex outside of marriage.
8. James Cagney
No movie for Jimmy. He played gangsters and did song and dance numbers. (Different movies) He was outspoken and would purposely do a bad job as revenge for a bad script.
8. Judy Garland
It is all about the eyes. Judy was luminous. Judy Davis won a Golden Globe for her portrayal. There have been other little television movies too. They were OK.
9. Spencer Tracy
I like Spencer in a hat. He was only 67 when he died, but packed a lot into his life. He passed away at the home he shared with Katharine Hepburn. Kate called his wife of 45 years and spoke to her directly for the first time so that she could come take his body to the home they hadn't shared in 25 years. He was Catholic and reportedly didn't want to divorce his wife because of their disabled son.
I would watch that movie. I can't even imagine the actor to fill those shoes though.
9. Marlene Dietrich
I am trying to think of a movie, but I don't think I've seen one of hers. She had a career and spent a good portion of the last years of her life as a recluse in her Manhattan apartment. Makes me wonder what story her life would tell.
10. Charles Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin got a pretty famous adaptation that showed him warts and all. He liked younger women, like barely teenage young. He was also a perfectionist and was one of the first performers to have control of his work. Robert Downey Jr. did a great job. There are advantages to playing a silent film star.
10. Joan Crawford
If "Chaplin" was famous, "Mommy Dearest" was infamous. I remember seeing this movie on video as a child and believing every minute of film. Someday I will write about this movie in depth. Faye Dunaway looks like Joan Crawford for sure.
All the actors and actresses in the top twenty legends are so distinctive. They led interesting lives and had amazing careers. Since most of these actors peaked in the forties and fifties, I think we are getting too far away to see their lives on the big screen.
But if we did, who would play them?