Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Lady in Question Says Goodnight...

We said goodbye this week to yet another ... well, perhaps not quite Hollywood legend, but certainly Hollywood staple: Miss Evelyn Keyes, best known as Scarlett's deeply trying sister Suellen (she who gets slapped and has her Mr. Kennedy stolen out from under her) in Gone with the Wind.

She was always on the second rung, somehow; on-screen, she was perfectly fine, but didn't offer anything uniquely distinctive. She too often gave the impression of being a blend of Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, Claire Trevor, and any one of the Bennett sisters.

What she did have was a private life to give any of her modern sisters pause - affairs and marriages long and short with everyone from Mike Todd to John Huston to Anthony Quinn (oh, and, of course, Artie Shaw. In the words of my dear friend Miss Rheba, discussing Keyes's passing yesterday, "Shaw? Who didn't marry him? I think he was written into their contracts!") Perhaps she was too busy managing her datebook to properly manage her career.

She made a lot of pictures, albeit too many of them with utterly forgotten titles like Strange Affair, The Mating of Millie, and The Killer That Stalked New York. At her best, she offered a sly, noirish twist on the depths that might lurk behind the nice girl next door.

Like so many of her contemporaries, she ended up in the usual television slots, including what sounds like the dirtiest Love Boat ever made: its segments are titled "Bricker's Boy", "Lotions of Love", and "The Hustler". Goodness.

She leaves behind, according to her New York Times obit, at least one great quote: "I always took up with the man of the moment - and there were many such moments."


  1. Yay for the man of the moment and for Ms Keyes having the sense to "take up" with them.

  2. Oh, that's sad. Evelyn came across as quite the firecracker -- she was one of the few native Southerners (and an Atlantan, to boot) in the GWTW cast.

    She'd been shopping around a screenplay based on her life, with Tab Hunter and his partner's production company...Tab said that she'd gotten a bit loony in her old age, but then, aren't we all going that way...

  3. Hola amigo: quería invitarte que visites el blog que estoy realizando con mis alumnos de segundo año de la secundaria sobre LA DISCRIMINACIÓN.
    Tema arduo e interesante.
    Seguro será de tu agrado.
    Tu aporte será valioso
    Un abrazo desde la Argentina.