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Miriam Hopkins Birthday

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Oct 18th, 2014
2014
Oct 18

MIRIAM HOPKINS

Happy Birthday Miriam Hopkins!!

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Today, October 18, 2014 would be the 112th birthday of stage, screen and television actress, Miriam Hopkins. To celebrate, the above photo shows Miriam being introduced to actress Lee Remick. What event are they attending and what is it they have in common at this event and in film history?

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If you think you know the answer, click the CONTINUE READING tab to find out.

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Miriam Hopkins fan magazine cover

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Oct 5th, 2014
2014
Oct 5

MAGAZINE COVER SUNDAY

Miriam Hopkins in Becky Sharp

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Miriam Hopkins as Becky Sharp, on the cover of the October 1935 issue of Cine-Mundial magazine…

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Miriam Hopkins on TCM

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 11th, 2014
2014
Sep 11

MIRIAM HOPKINS

Miriam Hopkins on Turner Classics Movies tomorrow evening

 

hopkins-templedrake

 

Every Friday evening in September, TCM is showing classic pre-code films. Tomorrow evening, in addition to Jean Harlow, Kay Francis and Myrna Loy, four films of Miriam Hopkins are playing in a row including Design for Living, Trouble in Paradise, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Story of Temple Drake.

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NOTE: All times are Eastern:

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Miriam Hopkins biography update

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Feb 4th, 2013
2013
Feb 4

MIRIAM HOPKINS

Miriam Hopkins biography–an update

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By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

I thought it was time to give an update on my Miriam Hopkins biography. It’s been several years of research, talking to people who knew her, questioning her family, film historians, going to libraries and surfing the internet. There are probably about three or four more chapters remaining, but then there are the rewrites. There are still four actors that I would like to interview. Does anyone out there know how to contact them?

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DICK VAN PATTEN: In 1943, Miriam replaced Tallulah Bankhead in the Broadway version of The Skin of Our Teeth. I assume that Van Patten, who played a telegraph boy, was still with the show when Miriam joined, though I couldn’t find confirming evidence.

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JOYCE VAN PATTEN: The following year, Miriam appeared in the Broadway play, The Perfect Marriage with Victor Jory. Joyce Van Patten, the sister of Dick, played her daughter.

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SHIRLEY MACLAINE: In The Children’s Hour, Miriam played MacLaine’s aunt. Miriam originally played MacLaine’s role in the original version, These Three. I contacted MacLaine last year and asked for an interview but she refused. She said she was too busy which surprised me. I thought she would be one of the easiest to talk to.

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ROBERT REDFORD: Miriam played Redford’s mother in The Chase. I was told that Redford said that Miriam should have received an Oscar nomination. I’m not sure if that is true but I’d love to find out.

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SALLY FIELD: In her last role, Miriam played a Mother Superior on The Flying Nun, which starred the current Oscar nominee.

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If you know any of the above actors and could put in a good word for me, or if you have contact information where I could write or email them, I would appreciate it.

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My email contact is aellenber@aol.com . More to come…soon. Thank you.

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One of the last pictures taken of Miriam Hopkins (© Allan R. Ellenberger)


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Miriam Hopkins and Darth Vader

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Dec 8th, 2011
2011
Dec 8

MIRIAM HOPKINS

Miriam Hopkins and Darth Vader

 

  

What is the connection between Miriam Hopkins and Darth Vader of Star Wars?

 

 

Hurray for Google! The majority of answers were correct. In 1936, Miriam went to England and appeared in a film for Alexander Korda called Men Are Not Gods. Her costars were Gertrude Lawrence and Sebastian Shaw. They were involved in a love triangle with both women in love with him. In the film Shaw was married to Lawrence and had a clandestine affair with Miriam.

 

Shaw continued to do occasional films but mostly was seen on stage and television. In 1983, George Lucas chose him to play the unmasked and dying, Darth Vader. He was credited as Anakin Skywalker, and was also seen as his spirit in a vision to his son, Luke.

 

 

Miriam day-dreams of Darth Vader 

 

  

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Why a Biography on Miriam Hopkins?

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jul 22nd, 2011
2011
Jul 22

 

 By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

I’m often asked, “Why a biography on Miriam Hopkins?” I confess that I get this question mostly from people who are not fans of the actress. They can’t understand why anyone would be interested. On the other hand, those who are fans seem thrilled that one is being prepared. It’s scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

 

A few reasons why Miriam Hopkins would make a good biographical subject:

 

  • Hopkins appeared in 35 films, 2 shorts, 18 Broadway plays, 20 plus summer stock plays and road tours, 20 television programs and multiple radio plays and appearances.

 

  • Hopkins made her first film, Fast and Loose (1930) during the day while performing on the Broadway stage in Lysistrata in the evenings.

 

  • Hopkins appeared in the very first Technicolor film, Becky Sharp (1935).

 

  • Hopkins starred in the first produced play written by Tennessee Williams, Battle of Angels (1941).

 

  • Hopkins appeared in a silent short film in 1928 with Humphrey Bogart.

 

  • Hopkins had a love-hate relationship with her mother.

 

  • Hopkins did not have contact with her father for more than twenty years — not until she became a Hollywood star.

 

  • Hopkins was indirectly descended from Revolutionary figures, Arthur Middleton and John Dickinson.

 

  • Hopkins was Margaret Mitchell’s choice to play Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).

 

  • Hopkins was nominated for an Academy Award (Becky Sharp) and a Golden Globe (The Heiress).

 

  • Hopkins bought and remodeled John Gilbert’s house after his death and sold it ten years later to David O. Selznick.

 

  • Hopkins costars include: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Maurice Chevalier, George Raft, Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Lionel Barrymore, Kay Francis, Bing Crosby, Fay Wray, Joel McCrea, Edward G. Robinson, Merle Oberon, Gertrude Lawrence, Rex Harrison, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Olivia De Havilland, Gene Tierney, Laurence Olivier, Jennifer Jones, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, Marlon Brando, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Sally Field and of course, Bette Davis.

 

  • Hopkins was directed four times by William Wyler, three times by Ernst Lubitsch and twice by Rouben Mamoulian.

 

  • Hopkins was married four times and had numerous lovers.

 

  • Hopkins lived on Washington Square in New York during the late 1920s, the same place as her character in The Heiress (1949).

 

  • Hopkins was seriously interested in astrology and numerology.

 

  • Hopkins adopted a child as a single parent.

 

  • Hopkins was involved in political causes during her Hollywood years.

 

  • Hopkins was an authority at scene stealing.

 

  • Hopkins preferred writers, directors and intellectuals as friends and not Hollywood types.

 

  • Hopkins had an extensive book collection in her homes and was a voracious reader.

 

  • Hopkins actions were followed closely by the FBI for more than 15 years.

 

  • Hopkins never revealed her first marriage to her son

(he read about it in his mothers obituary)

 

  • Hopkins died nine days before her 70th birthday.

 

  • Hopkins feuded with Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, Errol Flynn and numerous others and pissed off half of Hollywood.

 

What’s not interesting about that?

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Hopkins vs Davis

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Nov 6th, 2010
2010
Nov 6

MIRIAM HOPKINS

“Old Loathing” starring Miriam Hopkins and Bette Davis

 

  

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

As many are aware, I have been working on a biography of actress Miriam Hopkins, on-and-off for several years. I was stalled for several months because of personal duties, my nine-to-five job and this blog, which takes an enormous amount of time, but I love it. With any luck I’m on track with Hopkins now and I’m sure some have noticed I have cut back on blog entries recently, which I have to until Hopkins is completed, so please understand and have patience.

 

Most of my research is completed (except for some last minute library and archive work), although there are a few people I would like to interview, such as: Dick Van Patten, and his sister Joyce, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field, Leticia Roman, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Clint Eastwood and Sylvia Miles, among others; many I have tried to contact with no success (So if anyone has entry to any of the above people, please contact me here or at aellenber@aol.com).  I have been so fortunate to interview more than forty people including family members, costars of film and stage, personal friends, producers, and film historians. Such people as the late Kitty Carlisle and Doris Eaton; Dickie Jones, Andrew Prine, Lizabeth Scott and Olivia de Havilland have been gracious enough to help.

 

The challenge has been to present the real Miriam Hopkins and not just the personality that most people are familiar with as being difficult and hard to work with. Yes, that was part of her persona but as with most people, there is much more to her than that. Bette Davis was so vocal about her dislike of Hopkins that, because she is such an iconic and beloved actress, she virtually turned people that have never seen a Hopkins film, except perhaps for the two they made together. Bette would always claim how difficult Miriam was but yet had that reputation herself. In fact, in one interview, when comparing Debra Winger and her alleged reputation, to herself, said that “all good actresses are difficult.” Bette admitted that Hopkins was a good actress – and she was – however her reputation has overshadowed that over the years.

 

With all their differences, Davis and Hopkins had more in common than either one would dare to admit. They could be “over the top” in their performances if not guided by good directors. However, both were great actresses and felt they had to fight to get what they deserved. As well as being “difficult” and stealing scenes, Hopkins had more to fight for than Davis – at least that was her perception. Warner’s was Davis’ studio and of course they would favor her. When Jezebel was made, Warner’s tricked Hopkins out of her share to the rights of the film (she played the role on Broadway) letting her think she would play it and instead, gave the part to Davis who won an Academy Award. I could go on (and will in the book).

 

Of course Hopkins battled with other costars during her career; except for Davis, all were men. Hopkins was sometimes difficult to work with, there is no arguing that, however so was Davis and her fans (of which I am one) need to accept that. She also had a sensitive side and might show compassion to those who couldn’t help themselves. In any event, don’t judge Hopkins too harshly, at least until you know the entire truth, which hopefully I will be able to expound on with some success. I hope to be completed by September 2011 – at least that is my goal.

 

If anyone has information about, or perhaps knows someone who knew Miriam Hopkins, or even knew her themselves, please contact me.

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The Story of Temple Drake

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jun 6th, 2009
2009
Jun 6

MIRIAM HOPKINS

The Story of Temple Drake

 

The Story of Temple Drake

 

The following is an unsourced review of the film,
The Story of Temple Drake (1933)

 

Those who are supposed to know about the motion picture business were pretty sure that Paramount would never be able to get a version of “Sanctuary” that would get past the censors. Yet Paramount did it and though the story is deodorized and generally spring-cleaned, it still carries the punch and wallop that it packed as a novel.

 

Miriam Hopkins, who is actually far too lovely for just one woman, has the role of the little southern girl and Jack La Rue bagged the role that George Raft turned down. William Gargan, who has certainly found his ideal working conditions in Hollywood, plays the man “who is too good to be married to anyone like me.” And, once more, he does a grand job with it.

 

“Sanctuary,” by William Faulkner, was labeled one of the most sensational stories ever written. Though much of the caustic characterizations must, of necessity, be lost on the way to the screen, there is still enough left to make this production one of the cinematic thrills of the season.

 

Miriam Hopkins bit off a large mouthful… and your reviewer certainly never thought that any real sympathy could be secured for the characters of Mr. Faulkner’s novel — they rang too strange and false — yet that is just what Miriam does. And she deserves your praise and attention.

 

We think you’d better go to see it.

 

Someone has downloaded the entire film onto the You Tube web site. If you haven’t seen the film, here is a chance to enjoy a classic pre-code film that is not available on DVD. NOTE: The film is broken up into approximately 10 minute segments.  Part 1 is below.

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Miriam Hopkins Biography…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jan 9th, 2009
2009
Jan 9

INTERVIEW

Miriam Hopkins

 

Miriam Hopkins

 

As most of you know, I am currently working on a biography of Miriam Hopkins. I was recently interviewed by Andre Soares from the web site, Alternative Film Guide about the controversial actress. Click HERE to read PART ONE of the interview – and HERE for PART TWO. Let us know your thoughts. Enjoy!

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Miriam Hopkins Birthday…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Oct 18th, 2008
2008
Oct 18

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Miriam Hopkins

 

 

October 18, 1902 – October 9, 1972

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