Source: The New Democrat
This might sound cold, but when I think of Shelley Winters I think of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, but with substance as well as style. The Blonde Bombshell with a brain, The Blonde Bimbo who wasn’t a bimbo. She had the looks, she had the body, the personality, but she was so smart, quick, honest and one of the best senses of humors Hollywood has ever seen at least. In many ways she reminds me of Joan Rivers. Someone who always had a wisecrack or monologue on the top of her head, with half of that humor aimed at herself.
One of the smartest, sharpest, self-deprecating senses of humors that we’ve ever seen. Which is why her interviews were so great and why when she would go on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, it would seem like she was the stand up comedian on the show and not Johnny. Because she was so quick and funny and could crack up great comedians like Johnny Carson. And why she became a great writer later in her life. Shelley’s brain was so big that she was always thinking to the point that she had an opinion on everything. She took notes about everything that she did which is how she was able to become the writer that she became and wrote several autobiographies that were deep in how personal they were talking about all the conquests that she had with men and her relationships.
I believe some of her best movies are Executive Suite from 1954, where William Holden I believe is the best star in the movie. But where Shelley plays and important role in the movie as a secretary in that company and wife of one of the executives of that company in that movie.
The Big Knife from 1955, where she basically plays herself in that movie. The Blonde Bombshell actress, who is tired of playing blonde bimbos as an actress and is ready for bigger roles. Who has a big mouth, personality, and brain as well and knows the dirt on key people in Hollywood and is ready to spill that dirt. Who is later killed in that movie because she knows too much.
The Chapman Report from 1962, which also featured Jane Fonda and Glynis Johns, where she plays a middle age wife who is having an affair with a younger man. And feels the need to talk about her affair with a therapist because she feels guilty about it. Again playing a role that is close to home for her.
Harper from 1966, which also featured Paul Newman and Lauren Bacall, where she plays an aging alcoholic blonde bombshell who becomes fat. And once again playing an actress with a big brain, big mouth., who knows and talks too much.
Shelley Winters is one of the cutest, prettiest, sexiest, smartest, honest, funniest, people who has ever worked in Hollywood. Perhaps who has ever worked anywhere. She was so adorable and funny and could combine those attributes so well together. Able to make fun of other people and situations or herself and do it in a way where she didn’t come off as bitchy but someone having a good time. Pointing out negative aspects about someone or something in a critical but not insulting way. She really would’ve made a great character on the sitcom Seinfeld and gone one on one with any of the cast members on that show. And I just wish there were more smart, funny, adorable people in America, because people like that are so much fun and so refreshing.