Happy Birthday to Three Greats

Jean Arthur (1900-1991)

Did You Know?

  • Wore her natural brunette hair color throughout the silent film portion of her career, then began bleaching her hair blonde shortly after she started making talkies.
  • As her star began to decline, she was replaced by Rita Hayworth as Columbia Pictures’ top female star. Coincidentally, the two stars share the same birthday.
  • After retiring from films she taught Drama at Vassar.
  • Quit movies at the height of her career in 1944, following an Oscar nomination and while still Columbia Pictures’ top female box-office attraction.
  • Arthur was a shy person who came to loathe making movies, having developed a kind of stage fright that made acting in movies agony for her.


“I guess I became an actress because I didn’t want to be myself.”

(on doing interviews) “Quite frankly, I’d rather have my throat slit.”

[On Hollywood] “I hated the place – not the work, but the lack of privacy, those terrible prying fan magazine writers and all the surrounding exploitation.”

Director George Stevens famously called her “One of the greatest comediennes the screen has ever seen“.

Frank Capra credited her as “My favorite actress“.

Essential Filmography:

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Shane (1953)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
You Can’t Take It With You (1938)
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
The More the Merrier (1943)

Rita Hayworth (1918 – 1987)

Did You Know?

  • She appeared in 5 movies with classic leading actor, Glenn Ford: Affair in Trinidad (1952), The Lady in Question (1940), The Loves of Carmen (1948), The Money Trap (1965) and Gilda (1946).
  • Ranked #98 in Empire (UK) magazine’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” list. [October 1997]
  • Some legends say the Margarita cocktail was named for her when she was dancing under her real name in a Tijuana, Mexico nightclub.
  • The famous red hair was not her natural color (which was black). When she was signed, studio heads decided that her hairline was too low on her forehead, and she underwent years of painful electrolysis to make it higher.
  • Was named #19 Actress, The American Film Institutes 50 Greatest Screen Legends


Every man I have ever known has fallen in love with Gilda and awakened with me.”

“I haven’t had everything from life. I’ve had too much.”

When asked what had held up her dress in Gilda (1946), she replied, “Two things.”

“I never really thought of myself as a sex goddess; I felt I was more a comedian who could dance”.

“The fun of acting is to become someone else.”

“Every actor, every director, everybody needs an Oscar. You have to have that little statue in Hollywood, or else you’re nothing!”

Essential Filmography:

Gilda (1946)
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
The Strawberry Blonde (1941)
You’ll Never Get Rich (1941)
The Lady From Shanghai (1947)

Montgomery Clift (1920-1966)

Did You Know?

  • Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#29). [1995]
  • The release of Red River (1948) made Clift an overnight sensation and instant star. He embodied a new type of man on screen, the beautiful, sensual and vulnerable man that seemed to appeal to women and men alike.
  • He was voted the 60th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • Was Elizabeth Taylor’s choice to play her husband, the closeted homosexual Major Weldon Penderton, in Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967). He died before the film began shooting and was replaced by Marlon Brando, who at one time was considered his only rival as an attractive leading man who was also a great actor.
  • Spoke fluent French, Italian and German.
  • One of only six actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his first screen appearance. (The other five actors are: Orson Welles, James Dean, Alan Arkin, Paul Muni and Lawrence Tibbett.)
  • Hollywood folklore has it that his ghost haunts the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The actor had stayed there while filming From Here to Eternity (1953).


Reported last words, upon being asked if he wanted to see one of his movies on TV: “Absolutely not!”

“What do I have to do to prove I can act?”

“He was only forty-five when he died. It would have been better for this sensitive man had he never come to Hollywood, never heard the shrill trumpet of success and the canned laughter of this desperate insecure society.” – Hollywood columnist Sheilah Graham

Marilyn Monroe described him as “the only person I know who is in worse shape than I am.”

Essential Filmography:

Red River (1948)
A Place in the Sun (1951)
From Here to Eternity (1953)
The Heiress (1949)
The Misfits (1961)
Suddenly Last Summer (1959)
Judgement at Nurembourg (1961)

3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Three Greats”

  1. Montgomery Clift was one of the most talented actors to come out of Hollywood in that time period. He was great in everything, even after his car accident.

  2. … props for the Jean arthur tribute …

    … She was one of the greatest actresses, in a league with Kate Hepburn, and had such an unusual voice …

    ..I always felt she lit up the screen with more than just her pretty face …

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