Saturday, April 20, 2013
Dj Buddy B's Happy Birthday Blog for the Divine Jessica Lange
Lange certainly is as talented and accomplished as her contemporaries, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close, as far as I'm concerned, and is in the same league of modern leading ladies.
She started as a Wilhelmina model and debuted on-screen, in the Faye Wray role, in Dino De Laurentis' dubious remake of King Kong. (She was also a roommate, in New York and before her early success, with Grace Jones and Jerry Hall, incidentally.)
She began to be taken seriously when she assayed the role of Frances Farmer in 1982's Frances. She was nominated as Best Actress at the Oscars and, in the same year, as Best Supporting Actress for her role opposite Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. She had arrived, as they say.
I've followed and adored her through the years, especially loving her as Patsy Cline is the biopic Sweet Dreams. I saw her on Broadway in her unforgettable performance as Blache DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire and was floored by her intensity in the role.
By 1998, she did her Crawford/ Davis-like descent into Grand Guignol with Hush opposite Gwyneth Paltrow. This flick was, unfortunately, marred by a bad ending despite its over-the-top, camp fun. A guilty pleasure of mine and I still recommend it.
Lange's Emmy Award-winning performance as Big Edie in HBO's wonderful Grey Gardens (opposite Drew Barrymore) impressed me to no end, especially her transformation from vivacious socialite to down-on-her-heels harridan.
I love Jessica Lange, who is now appealing to a younger audience via her campy, fierce performance in tv's American Horror Story. She has been Oscar-nominated 6 times, winning 2, and 14 Golden Globe nods, winning 5. She is magnificent and, in my opinion, can do no wrong. She is also a tireless AIDS activist.
So, Happy Birthday, Jessica Lange! We love you.
Below, the HBO trailer for Grey Gardens: