Monday, December 1, 2008

Birthday Bombshell: The Divine

One of the oddities of getting, shall we say, older, is that one's youthful idols do too; nonetheless it seems quite, quite impossible that the Divine Miss M. should actually be 63 today.

Of course, 63, thank Heaven, isn't quite what it used to be.

One of the secrets of Miss M.'s success, I believe, is that she's never quite taken it all seriously, whether the it in question is cult stardom in the 70s, film stardom in the 80s, falterings and missteps in the 90s, or her recent resurgence as a Vegas star (just like her early alter ego, the inimitable Miss Vickie Eydie). She's a remarkably clear-eyed diva, one who has enjoyed the ups and weathered the downs of one of the most varied careers that comes to mind.

Actually, she does appear to take one thing seriously: Real Life. Behind the stilettos and curls and the long, long trip from the Continental Baths to Caesar's Palace is a thoughtful, funny, wry woman who is a wife, mother, and generous spirit.

Maybe that's why she looks every bit as good in a raincoat and no makeup in a garden, at something like a Certain Age, as she did in full 70s drag or in a bed of gold satin.

Like I say, probably too often, there's a lesson there, darlings. I only hope she sits down someday and writes at least some of it down; her first quasi-memoir, A View from a Broad, was a riot.