Anyway, this movie came on TV the other day, and I wound up watching it for a little while. I was struck by the actress who plays the princess, and thought to myself:
"Wow - she's pretty cute! I wonder who that is...?"
This of course, is exactly what IMDB was invented for, so off to the intertubes I went for an answer that totally blew my mind.
The actress who plays the Princess of England in "The Court Jester" is...
Yup, that's right, Hot Blond In Pink Dress will one day be Murder She Wrote.
I could almost hear my brain fracturing as a key part of my world view came unglued: Angela Lansbury had not been born looking old. In fact, in her younger days, she was downright hot:
Time however, can be unkind. And combined with the effect of 80s pop culture and rerun syndication, entire generations have lived their entire lives never knowing that Angela Lansbury used to get Margaery Tyrell roles.
That got me thinking: Who is the next Angela Lansbury? Or the next Helen Mirren? Or the next Katherine Hepburn? Are there other archetypes that need to be accounted for? So many questions...
Obviously I had to take a crack at this. Here we go:
The Angela Lansbury Division:Key Characteristics:
- Not quite top-tier starlet level in youth
- Pop-culture / Celebrity fame that peaks in old-age, such that the younger persona's existence is practically forgotten
- A certain savviness about how showbiz works which keeps them working and in the public eye
- Under-rated comic timing
The archetype for this division and inspiration for the entire, rabbit-hole of a time waster that is this whole train of thought...
Although her comic timing may verge on being over-rated right now given her recent resurgence into the public eye...
I am quite sure that Maggie Smith was, in fact, born looking old. Oh, nevermind... wrong again.
Likely Future Members:
I would love to see Tea Leoni do a sitcom. I think she'd be hilarious...
Loved her in The Whole Nine Yards. Never quite seemed to breakout with mainstream crowds though, which bodes well for her inclusion in this division if she lands a few big roles later in her career.
Does anybody even remember Alias anymore? She's got a good shot here.
The Helen Mirren Division:
- Long-term, sustained image of sexiness, well past that of their peers
- An early career marked by flaunting of physical assets, and some questionable decision-making skills
- A late career marked by challenging, serious roles that endear them to critics and public
Have you ever seen Caligula? Watch Caligula, and then watch a season or two of Prime Suspect, followed by The Queen. This woman has some serious range...
Kept her clothes on as a young actress much more than Helen Mirren did, but probably has, on balance, a much more consistent quality to her career portfolio.
Think about this for a second: Basic Instinct was released 21 years ago. Yeah...
Practically a slam dunk
You know, because these two are forever intertwined...
The Elizabeth Taylor Division:
- Early fame
- Hot enough to be a papparazzi favourite (especially as a snark target), but no slouch in front of the camera either
- Somewhat less than graceful aging <understatement>
A celebrated Hollywood icon, but a borderline caricature of herself in her later years. Amazing to see how powerful she was on camera in her classic films.
<that's pretty much it right now>
Contingent on her getting her $#!^ together enough to last long enough
Honestly, with a few breaks going the other way, Cameron Diaz could very well end up in the Helen Mirren division, but the media seems to be much harder on her for some reason, which I think could drive her here.
All she needs to do is remarry and redivorce Tom Green a couple more times, and she's in there...
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