When the grande dame of film says, “Oh, let’s get that straight,” one ought to take special notice; even at age 90, she recalls everything in vivid, Technicolor detail. And what a life it is to remember. She starred with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in the most successful picture of all time, “Gone With the Wind”; was romanced by Jimmy Stewart, Howard Hughes and John Huston; victoriously sued her boss, studio mogul Jack Warner, to get out from under his thumb in a case that was the beginning of the end of the studio system; and, as she revealed on one recent afternoon, mentored a 35-year-old Ronald Reagan.
These reasons, and the little fact that she’s a splendid actress (two Academy Awards, for “To Each His Own” and “The Heiress”), are why Hollywood has rolled out its red carpet for her this summer. She has been celebrated with events at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a two-week retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art — all confirming her status as film royalty.
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Hat Tip: Seraphic Friend, Jeremiah