Just Lookin’

Don’t often talk about the movies in this space, despite my love for them, but for Barbara Stanwyck, born one hundred years ago today, we must make an exception. And must link to a superb essay by Anthony Lane, that ran earlier this year in The New Yorker.

He includes a snatch of dialogue from a l943 movie, "Lady of Burlesque," in which she played a showgirl who had grown up backstage. She described it this way:

I went into show business when
I was seven years old. Two days later the first comic I ever met stole
my piggy bank at a railroad station in Portland. When I was eleven, the
comics were looking at my ankles. When I was fourteen, they were . . .
just lookin’. 

You said it, sister.



Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

3 thoughts on “Just Lookin’

  1. She always scared me as a child seeing her old movies on television. The same was true of Joan Crawford. And as far as “The Big Valley” goes, oooh, much too frightening.

    That Anthony Lane piece is wonderfully written, though. I also just read the 80-year-old Farley Granger’s recent autobiography and one of his celebrity sexual partners was none other than Babs. Others were Leonard Bernstein, Ava Gardner, Arthur Laurents, and Shelley Winters, which is possibly taking bisexual eclecticism just a little too far.


  2. Actually, Shelley’s two volumes of autobiography are riotous fun. She basically slept with every sexy guy in the movie business in the 1950s and 1960s, and she was roommates/best friends with everybody from Liz to Marilyn.


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