Monday, February 09, 2015

Legendary LIZABETH SCOTT passes on at the age of 92

She was the Paramount screen star that the studio billed as "“beautiful, blonde, aloof and alluring.” Along with Lauren Bacall and Mary Astor, she was one of the most memorable ladies to appear opposite Humphrey Bogart (in "Dead Reckoning.").

Closer to a Joan Crawford than a Veronica Lake, Lizabeth was often called on to play complex women who could be tough and perhaps even untrustworthy…with a touch of potential evil enough to make even a Burt Lancaster or Dick Powell feel a little unsure. Lancaster's line in "I Walk Alone" was: "What a fall guy I am, thinking just because you're good to look at you'd be good all the way through." If the film was a tough noir, she was the woman to make it tougher. She could hold her ground against anyone, even tough guy Robert Mitchum. In "The Racket" she confronted him with: "Who said I was an honest citizen, and where would it get me if I was?"

Despite the typecasting, Scott (born Emma Matzo, September 29, 1922 in Scranton, PA) turned up in some light fare, from the wacky "Hellzapoppin" (in a touring stage production) to the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis hit "Scared Stiff," to Elvis Presley's "Loving You." Her last film was "Pulp" in 1972, an obscurity that co-starred Mickey Rooney and Michael Caine.

A strong woman who chose her name from two other strong women (Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots), she had the confidence to walk away from show business and devote herself to charity work and ways of improving herself by attending college courses and working out at a health club. She said, "I proceeded to explore all of life’s other facets. None of us is ever too young or too old or too smart to learn or to create.”

I found her to be a strong lady with good values and a resolute personality, and I'll miss her. She had so much talent, too. A lot of beautiful stars were tossed into musicals and had to have somebody else do the singing, and a lot of ladies needed an echo chamber when a studio insisted they cut a single or do an album to help promote a film. Lizabeth had a good, natural singing voice, and there are a lot of solid cuts on her lone album.

A wryly erotic little tease of a number is "A Deep Dark Secret."

This song about her secret doings does not name a particular gender. While she strenuously denied the lesbian claim in a 50's "Confidential" gossip mag, which could've ruined her career, it's safe to say that Lizabeth stirred longings on both sides of the sexual equator, and still does.

Lizabeth Scott, a friend to Ill Folks. Just why is…. A Deep Dark Secret

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