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Alexis Smith

I'm watching her on 'Dallas' as Clayton Farlow's sister. Why did she not have a bigger career in primetime soaps? She chews the scenery and is so charismatic.

by Anonymousreply 122September 17, 2023 4:22 AM

"Jessie" always seemed drunk, and was clearly in love with her brother. Smith was more Flamingo Road than Dallas.

by Anonymousreply 1February 2, 2022 11:15 AM

Alexis Smith - lavender marriage to fellow homosexual Craig Stevens that lasted nearly 50 years, until she died. Long-term lover of Rita Mae Brown.

I'm more interested in who her hubby was fucking. He was a hot daddy. Another matinee idol hunk from Henry Willson's stable.

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by Anonymousreply 2February 2, 2022 11:24 AM

She sure was a beauty in her younger days.

by Anonymousreply 3February 2, 2022 4:37 PM

Tell us more! Dot. Know about these two

by Anonymousreply 4February 2, 2022 4:59 PM

Was she more of a Lucy or Jessie in her private life?

by Anonymousreply 5February 2, 2022 5:41 PM


by Anonymousreply 6February 2, 2022 5:44 PM

R4 Here's some more information. It's interesting that there's virtually nothing known about Craig Stevens' dalliances. He must have been incredibly discreet.

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by Anonymousreply 7February 2, 2022 6:27 PM

I always thought Sigourney Weaver had an Alexis Smith quality.

by Anonymousreply 8February 2, 2022 6:32 PM

R7 Steve probably only hired male hookers and never fucked around with any showbiz folk.

by Anonymousreply 9February 2, 2022 6:42 PM

Steve must have been super discreet, because I don't even think Scotty Bowers fucked around with him, and Scotty Bowers fucked around with EVERYBODY in Hollywood back then,

by Anonymousreply 10February 2, 2022 6:43 PM

One of my favorite episodes is when her character, the crazy and brother-obsessed Lady Jessica Farlow Montford, kidnapped her sister-in-law Miss Ellie and forced her into the trunk of her car. Then when she was holding Miss Ellie hostage in a motel room, she was surrounded with cops, and the chief of police had to address her over the bullhorn somewhat quaintly (given the situation) as "Lady Montford": "LADY MONTFORD, WE DON'T WANT TO START SHOOTING! PLEASE COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP!"

by Anonymousreply 11February 2, 2022 6:49 PM

R11, several years ago, I taught a class about TV genres and focused on 'soaps and serials.' When I talked about prime time soaps and Dallas, I randomly showed this episode because I remembered your long-ago post (I'm sure it was you) about the sheer campiness of that moment. And yes, 'LADY MONTFORD!' got a huge laugh because I'd mentioned reading someone's commentary on it online.

Campiest moment on Dallas and a real scream. Glad you're still around!

by Anonymousreply 12February 2, 2022 7:05 PM

Thanks, bitches. I have to seek out these episodes now.

by Anonymousreply 13February 2, 2022 8:20 PM

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is one of her only film roles. She should have gotten an Oscar nomination for it.

by Anonymousreply 14February 2, 2022 8:32 PM

So tall she had to wear flats in her Warner Bros heyday in the 1940s (like Ingrid Bergman).

by Anonymousreply 15February 2, 2022 8:52 PM

Let's have a photo of her!

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by Anonymousreply 16February 2, 2022 8:59 PM

In later years with hubby Craig Stevens.

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by Anonymousreply 17February 2, 2022 9:03 PM

Spot on R1; Alexis and Jesse were more Flamingo Road; but boy did she have a devious run on Dallas. She shared a wicked moment or two with JR; NEITHER Of them wanted Miss Ellie and Clayton to wed.

by Anonymousreply 18February 2, 2022 9:03 PM

R14, she had over 50 film roles.

by Anonymousreply 19February 3, 2022 12:08 AM

Thanks for all the comments. I'm now watching the ep where JR checks himself in to the sanitarium to get Jessie (Alexis Smith) to sign a document worth $200 million worth of company shares to him. She's not chewing the scenery so much in the sanitarium, but they also make it clear that all the patients (including JR) are being heavily medicated. BTW, this is the very end of S13 of 'Dallas'.

by Anonymousreply 20February 3, 2022 1:59 PM

Alex Smith is on TCM right now in the 1952 noir "The Turning Point." She looks quite dykey in it.

by Anonymousreply 21February 6, 2022 2:03 PM

I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in anything other than Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane. First saw that when I was a kid and she scared the hell out of me

by Anonymousreply 22February 6, 2022 2:09 PM

[quote]Long-term lover of Rita Mae Brown.

Nobody is long term anything with Rita Mae Brown.

by Anonymousreply 23February 6, 2022 2:13 PM

She was so great on DALLAS that it's a pity that he made her a raging psycho and had to write her off. She'd have made a superb long-term villainess.

by Anonymousreply 24February 6, 2022 2:19 PM

A picture of Alexis in should be included in this thread. There's a very gay one out there of Alexis and Lena Horne kissing Bobby Short, but I couldn't find it.

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by Anonymousreply 25February 6, 2022 2:20 PM

She looked very chic in The Constant Nymph.

by Anonymousreply 26February 6, 2022 3:58 PM

She was utterly sublime in FOLLIES (saw her twice!) and hilarious in that otherwise banal revival of THE WOMEN, in which she played the same role as Roz Russell in the classic film but found her own unique and elegant route into Sylvia Fowler.

There's a sweet episode of the tv show THIS IS YOUR LIFE which featured Alexis and was shot when FOLLIES played L.A. One of her friends offering a tribute is FOLLIES costume designer and uber-dyke Florence Klotz. Look for it on youtube or perhaps someone clever here will link it.

by Anonymousreply 27February 6, 2022 4:25 PM

People like her always fascinate me. She was in the studio system for years and never did much of note and no one knew what to do with her. In middle age, when most actresses careers have all dried up, she hits the stage and finally shows everyone what she was capable of. How do studios miss this talent for years?

I remember seeing a clip of Bette Davis talking about seeing Alexis in Follies and having the same reaction. Where was all this talent for all these years?

by Anonymousreply 28February 6, 2022 7:53 PM

A frosty presence and was the theatre equivalent of a one hit wonder. Not that she didn't try over and over again but she never had another stage hit. Follies wasn't a BO hit so as much as people tried, she was not well known to the public.

by Anonymousreply 29February 6, 2022 8:04 PM

It is an interesting career arc. She didn't have many good roles in Hollywood, and maybe her acting talent deepened as she got older.

by Anonymousreply 30February 6, 2022 8:44 PM

Isn't she in the series Archive 81 on Netflix right now?

by Anonymousreply 31February 6, 2022 9:40 PM

Alexis Smith played a married (to Kirk Douglas) heiress who pays to have sex with Melina Mercouri (!) in Once is Not Enough, 1975. Yes, it's from the Jacqueline Susann novel. That's Alexis on the right:

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by Anonymousreply 32February 6, 2022 9:48 PM

She's been dead for 30 years, R31.

by Anonymousreply 33February 6, 2022 9:50 PM

She was a fat bitch

she kept stealing cows off of the South 40

and barbequing them in the field

by Anonymousreply 34February 6, 2022 9:53 PM

The second Alexis Smith stepped on stage at the Winter Garden, her legacy was immortalized as Mrs. Benjamin Stone and I think audiences found it difficult to see her as anyone else thereafter. The Loveland red dress was seared into our national consciousness and there was no turning back.

by Anonymousreply 35February 6, 2022 9:57 PM

r35: Mary!

by Anonymousreply 36February 6, 2022 9:59 PM

R35 David Ehrenstein is back!

by Anonymousreply 37February 6, 2022 9:59 PM

If Alexis was indeed gay then appearing as a lesbian (including a sex scene with Melina Mercouri - I remember it well!) in Once Is Not Enough was quite daring in its time, no?

by Anonymousreply 38February 6, 2022 9:59 PM

[quote] People like her always fascinate me. She was in the studio system for years and never did much of note and no one knew what to do with her.

I think she was the one who said she only got roles at Warner Brothers after they had first been turned down by Bette Davis and then Ida Lupino, and by then anything good was pretty much taken.

by Anonymousreply 39February 6, 2022 10:01 PM

r12, that must have been me!

But even if it were not, it would delight me no end that someone besides the two of us (and now your students!) remembers how hilarious that moment was.

Bless you for finding it and showing it to your class!

by Anonymousreply 40February 6, 2022 10:03 PM

Yes, R38, but everyone knew it before because of the book. Who would see that shitty movie unless they read the book? Besides having a long marriage, people/press would never inquire about an older woman's sexuality then. In 1975, being in your mid-50s was ancient.

by Anonymousreply 41February 6, 2022 10:10 PM

[quote]She was in the studio system for years and never did much of note and no one knew what to do with her. In middle age, when most actresses careers have all dried up, she hits the stage and finally shows everyone what she was capable of. How do studios miss this talent for years?

I've often wondered that myself!

by Anonymousreply 42February 6, 2022 10:39 PM

The year's most stunning new personality...

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by Anonymousreply 43February 6, 2022 10:47 PM

She's fine, she sends her...regards!

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by Anonymousreply 44February 6, 2022 11:48 PM

Alexis and Nanette Fabray were classmates at Hollywood High School.

They used to compete for roles in the school plays.

by Anonymousreply 45February 6, 2022 11:59 PM

Her last film role was in Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence" in 1993.

by Anonymousreply 46February 7, 2022 12:03 AM

Here she is being interviewed about her role on "Dallas".

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by Anonymousreply 47February 7, 2022 12:08 AM

There's an interesting FaceBook page devoted to FOLLIES and over time there have been many comments about how dowdy Alexis Smith looked at the beginning of rehearsals, with photos as proof (her personal wardrobe was not unlike Maude's). Apparently, at age 50 she had to be re-taught to dress and behave like the glamorous leading lady she was, or so say some of the FB members who were actors or staff on the original production.

by Anonymousreply 48February 7, 2022 2:34 AM

*2* Phyllises *2*

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by Anonymousreply 49February 7, 2022 2:05 PM

Alexis is wearing the same dress she wore in the PBS Musicals special.

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by Anonymousreply 50February 7, 2022 3:13 PM

Cover girl...

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by Anonymousreply 51February 8, 2022 1:00 AM

R51 - I'm astounded that Buster Crabbe ever did theater work!

by Anonymousreply 52February 8, 2022 2:55 AM

The one and only Lana Turner was offered a pivotal role in Once Is Not Enough. But when she discovered that it included a lesbian scene she confronted the producer and told him that under no circumstances would she be playing anything of a lesbian nature. She was probably shocked when she was let go from the movie - and Alexis Smith got the role. No lesbian scenes for Lana!!

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by Anonymousreply 53February 8, 2022 3:25 AM

Nice bangles...

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by Anonymousreply 54February 8, 2022 3:28 AM

That is a very peculiar hairstyle.

by Anonymousreply 55February 8, 2022 10:00 AM

HBO Max just added "The Horn Blows at Midnight".

Surprised to see that Alexis received above the title billing with Jack Benny as early as 1945.

by Anonymousreply 56February 8, 2022 10:04 AM

Alexis Smith died of brain cancer in Los Angeles on June 9, 1993, the day after her 72nd birthday. She had no children; her sole survivor was her husband of 49 years, actor Craig Stevens. Smith's final film, The Age of Innocence (1993), was released shortly after her death. Her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.

by Anonymousreply 57February 8, 2022 10:10 AM

Rita Mae Brown's dedication to Alexis for her novel "Rubyfruit Jungle".

Dedicated to ALEXIS SMITH

Actress, Wit, Beauty, Cook, Kindheart, Irreverent Observer of Political Phenomena, Etc. If I were to list her outstanding qualities, you, dear reader, would be exhausted before you get to page one. So let me just say the abovementioned woman took the time to give me a playful push in the direction of my typewriter. Of course, after you read the book, you may wish that she had pushed me in front of something moving faster than a typewriter.

by Anonymousreply 58February 8, 2022 10:20 AM

R54 That took a helluva lotta curlers.

by Anonymousreply 59February 8, 2022 10:50 AM

I always confused her with the lady who fell down the elevator shaft on LA Law, Diana Maldaur

by Anonymousreply 60February 8, 2022 11:10 AM

Where 50-something Alexis even met late 20-something Rita Mae Brown is very confusing.

by Anonymousreply 61February 8, 2022 1:12 PM

Not to be mistaken with...

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by Anonymousreply 62February 8, 2022 1:39 PM

R62, She's not an "actress".

by Anonymousreply 63February 8, 2022 1:40 PM

Where did I state she was, r63?

by Anonymousreply 64February 8, 2022 1:50 PM

Rita saw "Follies" in 1971 and said she "fell in love with Alexis" and wrote her a fan letter. Alexis replied to the letter and they met. Rita said she was "warm, wise, and direct. I have never felt such lust in my life as I felt for that gorgeous creature. She bore it with good humor. Wearisome as my crush must have been for her and her husband, Craig Stevens, she nudged me along. She never loved me but she saw a flash of talent. That was better than carnal love."

When Stevens died, he left most of his and Smith's estate to a charity that adapts public spaces to make them accessible for people with disabilities.

by Anonymousreply 65February 8, 2022 6:41 PM

^ I'm sure Alexis responded like that to every fan letter ;)

by Anonymousreply 66February 8, 2022 6:48 PM

All I got was a signed 8 X 10, r66.

by Anonymousreply 67February 8, 2022 6:54 PM

[quote]Besides having a long marriage, people/press would never inquire about an older woman's sexuality then. In 1975, being in your mid-50s was ancient.

Very true. In the 1970s people in their 50s looked like they were in their 70s. People in their 70s looked like they were 100. People looked and acted SO much older back then, it was a totally different time.

by Anonymousreply 68February 8, 2022 8:59 PM

Did Henry Willson represent any truly straight actors?

by Anonymousreply 69February 8, 2022 9:22 PM

R48, Some of the mosr devoted members of that site, who knew Alexis personally, admit that her marriage to Stevens was lavender.

by Anonymousreply 70February 8, 2022 9:25 PM

Hmmm.....I'm an avid follower of that Facebook FOLLIES page and I can't remember even one of Alexis' actual acquaintances commenting on the falsity of her marriage to Craig Stevens, r70. I think of it as a more "polite" space. But if someone did make such a claim on FB, I wonder if you couldn't tell us here who told on Alexis?

And don't worry....DL is an anonymous chat board, you're protected.

by Anonymousreply 71February 8, 2022 10:34 PM

Kenn Duncan photo

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by Anonymousreply 72February 8, 2022 11:35 PM

R71, I believe it was the gentleman who moderates the FB site and knew Alexis personally who posted that the Stevens'marriage was "lavender".

I wasn't looking for it, it just appeared as a comment. To be fair, subsequent posters found it inappropriate.

Are you claiming their marriage wasn't? Seriously?

by Anonymousreply 73February 9, 2022 12:41 AM

That Alexis Smith's marriage was lavender is so old that it's was printed in several books published in the 1990s.

by Anonymousreply 74February 9, 2022 12:45 AM

I think the length of their marriage attests to it being a solid one...regardless of its color.

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by Anonymousreply 75February 9, 2022 1:46 AM

I Shot a Prowler

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by Anonymousreply 76February 9, 2022 1:48 AM

The gent who runs the Follies FB site is Charlie Seidenberg who does theatrical PR. He never knew Alexis or Craig Stevens.

Really, has no one here ever known a childless decades-long, apparently happy couple who were both straight people? I mean maybe they were both gay....but where's the evidence after all these years?

by Anonymousreply 77February 9, 2022 3:03 AM

Alexis was a DYKE.

by Anonymousreply 78February 9, 2022 3:10 AM

R77, Why don't you go to the FB site and find the exchanges by scrolling, like I did? They're not very difficult to locate.

Several members participated in the discussion, including at least one who did, in fact, know Alexis personally.

The fact that Craig came from Henry Willson's stable gave rise to the speculation and it grew from there.

by Anonymousreply 79February 9, 2022 3:58 AM

R77, "evidence" tells me you're a troll.

by Anonymousreply 80February 9, 2022 12:26 PM

How does "evidence" make r77 a troll, r80?

by Anonymousreply 81February 9, 2022 3:05 PM

Love Craig's pinstripes...

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by Anonymousreply 82February 9, 2022 4:56 PM

On Dick Cavett...

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by Anonymousreply 83February 11, 2022 5:09 PM

I saw this camp movie at the Castro theatre with hundreds of inebriated gays decades after its release. The lines coming from the audience were better than the script by far.

Alexis, I hope that paycheck was worth it

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by Anonymousreply 84February 11, 2022 5:51 PM

R84, Brenda Vaccaro received an Oscar nomination.

by Anonymousreply 85February 11, 2022 6:17 PM

I saw her as Margo in a summer stock production of Applause. She was really good

by Anonymousreply 86February 11, 2022 6:28 PM

Actors would give their eye teeth to be cast in a Jackie Susann movie, r84. I saw it in the theater. I don't remember it even being bad enough to be good. It and The Love Machine never came close to attaining the cult status of Dolls.

by Anonymousreply 87February 11, 2022 7:03 PM

Phyllis is DEAD to me...

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by Anonymousreply 88February 11, 2022 7:07 PM

they probably wrote the role of Lady Jesse Monteford as short term before Smith was cast; ;but I agree; they should have kept her.

by Anonymousreply 89February 12, 2022 4:42 AM

I'd forgotten about this. I got it at the swap meet some time ago.

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by Anonymousreply 90February 13, 2022 3:34 AM

Lady Jessica Montford!

by Anonymousreply 91February 13, 2022 3:38 AM

I'm surprised to learn she was an LA native. She seemed to me to have an East Coast countenance about her.

by Anonymousreply 92February 13, 2022 7:25 AM

R92, Actually, Alexis was born in Canada.

"Smith was born in Penticton, British Columbia, to Gladys Mabel Fitz-Simmons (a Canadian) and Alexander Smith (a Scot). Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was about a year old. Her parents both became naturalized U.S. citizens in 1939, through which she derived her United States citizenship.

Smith grew up in Los Angeles, attending Hollywood High School along with other future talents, including actress Nanette Fabray."

by Anonymousreply 93February 13, 2022 10:05 AM

FUN TRIVIA = Alexis Smith real life husband Craig Stevens was also on Dallas...He appeared in two episodes (one of which was the final episode Jock was in). Video = TV interview with some queen named Skippy Lowe. A lot of it was about Alexis.

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by Anonymousreply 94February 13, 2022 11:29 AM

Alexis is gorgeous in the Bogart film Conflict (1945) where he has the hots for her but she is unaware.

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by Anonymousreply 95February 13, 2022 12:11 PM

[quote]with some queen named Skippy Lowe

That's not *some* queen named Skippy Lowe, r94, that's *the* queen named Skippy Lowe!

by Anonymousreply 96February 13, 2022 1:56 PM

R96, the queen's name is Skip E. Lowe, or perhaps, was since she's long dead. As is well known, he was the basis of Jiminy Glick. Short originally named the character Skip E. High until Lowe threatened to sue so he retooled him. He did a public access show in LA that's now being seen on YT where he got these ridiculous famous has been stars to appear.

I once saw Smith in an old war movie called "The Doughgirls" with Eve Arden playing a Russian soldier. She was attractive but essentially window dressing.

by Anonymousreply 97February 13, 2022 2:35 PM

Errol Flynn served as best man at Alexis and Craig's wedding.

by Anonymousreply 98February 13, 2022 2:37 PM

The Doughgirls...

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by Anonymousreply 99February 13, 2022 2:49 PM

She gets nuked, literally, in SPLIT SECOND (53). Which is just desserts, because she plays a total bitch. Who wears a big mink coat.

by Anonymousreply 100February 13, 2022 5:50 PM

She's so likeable in that Dick Cavett interview. Certainly not the stereotype of a lesbian. But then, as Katharine Hepburn said in her Cavett interview, an actor's job is to charm.

by Anonymousreply 101August 8, 2023 7:31 PM

Earlier in her career at Warners, she was basically window dressing, but In some of her later films during the 50s, like Here Comes the Groom and This Happy Feeling, she got to show of her great comic timing.

by Anonymousreply 102August 8, 2023 9:32 PM

she is good in a dramatic role in The Sleeping Tiger though having the hots for a gay Dirk Bogarde.

by Anonymousreply 103August 8, 2023 9:35 PM

The scene on Dallas where JR and Lady Jessica are walking the grounds of Southfork, and are in unison against Clayton and Miss Ellie's marriage, is hilarious. I loved that she used the telephone to knock out Donna, after dicing up onions for Miss Ellie's chili.

by Anonymousreply 104August 8, 2023 10:08 PM

We all know Darwin Porter is a questionable source but he has a funny quote from Paul Newman about Alexis who had a love scene together in The Young Philadelphians. Paul said Alexis was about as interested in me as Eleanor Roosevelt was interested in Jerry Lewis.

by Anonymousreply 105August 11, 2023 4:29 PM

She has a few great scenes with Jodie Foster in The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane. She plays the nosy bigoted landlady. Her character drives an old Bentley and gets brained by a trap door. The door was build specially for that scene.

by Anonymousreply 106August 12, 2023 5:08 PM

I refuse to believe Alexis and Craig were gay. Not that there'd be anything wrong with it, but there's absolutely no evidence of it for either of them at all. People refuse to believe couples can be married for 40+ years and never have children.

by Anonymousreply 107August 12, 2023 6:45 PM

R96 - Skip E. Lowe has great hair.

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by Anonymousreply 108September 16, 2023 4:36 AM

That weird hairdo didn’t require any curlers, just a lot of bobby pins.

by Anonymousreply 109September 16, 2023 7:28 AM

Looks good for a man in his 60s.

by Anonymousreply 110September 16, 2023 7:36 AM

[quote]I refuse to believe Alexis and Craig were gay. Not that there'd be anything wrong with it, but there's absolutely no evidence of it for either of them at all. People refuse to believe couples can be married for 40+ years and never have children.

Could this post be any frau-ier? It even includes the obligatory citing of a lack of "evidence."

by Anonymousreply 111September 16, 2023 7:45 AM

Speaking of lavender marriages, Alexis Smith plays Linda Porter, the wife of Cole Porter, played by Cary Grant, in the laughably fictionalized Porter biography "Night and Day" (1946).

by Anonymousreply 112September 16, 2023 7:48 AM

Alexis had a long friendship with Claire Trevor though Claire was married 3 times.

by Anonymousreply 113September 16, 2023 7:50 AM

She had a lot of success on stage for someone who came to it so late.

Besides Follies, she played Miss Mona in the national tour of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which was an 18-month gig with seven sold-out months in L.A. (I'd love to see her version of "Bus From Amarillo" if it's out there.) Platinum flopped, but she got a Tony nomination, and there was Applause and other assorted regional productions.

Her singing got better and better. In this 1990 performance of her big Follies song, she sounds better than she did 20 years earlier.

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by Anonymousreply 114September 16, 2023 7:52 AM

Her cancer was not announced till 1993 which is the year she died but if you look at her in 1990 like with her Dallas return you can see how she lost a lot of weight.

by Anonymousreply 115September 16, 2023 7:58 AM

[quote[The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is one of her only film roles.

Do you have any other interesting facts about her that you just made up and that are complete horseshit?

by Anonymousreply 116September 16, 2023 8:31 AM

Speaking of horses, she fell from one making The Young Philadelphians.

by Anonymousreply 117September 16, 2023 8:38 AM

“This is Your Life”(1972).

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by Anonymousreply 118September 16, 2023 10:57 AM

^ Great thanks. Have been wanting to see this.

by Anonymousreply 119September 16, 2023 12:56 PM

R119, FOLLIES was the first production to play at the brand new Shubert Theatre in 1972.

It was demolished in 2002 and replaced by an office building.

by Anonymousreply 120September 16, 2023 1:06 PM

[quote]FOLLIES was the first production to play at the brand new Shubert Theatre in 1972. It was demolished in 2002 and replaced by an office building.

Fine old theater, the Shubert. Full of tradition. Oh, wait . . .

by Anonymousreply 121September 16, 2023 6:50 PM

That Ralph Edwards was sneaky teasing all the others in the Follies cast to think he was there for them. I like Alexis' immediate reply. He tells her This Is Your Life and she says, Why??

by Anonymousreply 122September 17, 2023 4:22 AM
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