What a beauty.
She died much too young — in 1991 of cancer when she was just 55 — but she left a legacy of important films.
Just as important, she was one of the screen’s potent sex symbols through the Fifties and Sixties, playing sluts, alcoholics and majorettes with great conviction. And, she loved chocolates. Our kind of woman.
And, incidentally, she pocketed along the way one best actress Oscar nomination.
Lee Remick also won the admiration of some of Hollywood’s premier players of her time, but she was always self effacing about her career (from 1953 through 1989 comprising some 35 movies and tv credits).
I’m really a housewife who is incidentally an actress, she once said.
The daughter of department store owner in Quincy, Mass., Remick studied at Barnard College, and worked on the stage and tv before making her film breakthrough in 1957.
Although she came from a affluent and cultivated home in Quincy, Mass. (born there in 1935), Lee Remick was aces at playing, shall we say, downmarket sexpots who usually spelled trouble.
Check out her terrific performance in Otto Preminger’s 1959 courtroom drama, Anatomy of a Murder in which Lee convincingly plays a hot-to-trot Army wife who makes a play for her husband’s defense lawyer played by James Stewart.
The interaction between the characters is fascinating. (And to further entice you, we’ll mention that the movie’s score was composed by Duke Ellington.)
Some things you should know about Lee Remick:
— She bagged an Oscar nomination for 1962’s Days of Wine and Roses. There’s Lee (above) enjoying a glass or three. She plays the wife of fellow boozer Jack Lemmon.
— She once said that least favorite leading man was Lawrence Harvey. He and Lee costarred in the 1963 drama shown above. Tales of working with him, said Lee, are too horrendous to repeat. And she never did.
— Lee was also vocal about the male costar she liked best. Although she admired Lemmon enormously, Lee really felt protective for Montgomery Clift (pictured above), her costar in 1960’s Wild River. At this point in his declining career — post a disfiguring car accident and his own battle of the bottle — Clift needed all the support he could get. Said Remick: He was like a wounded bird, so vulnerable.
— Remick was not the first choice for the role of the sexy slut who comes on to James Stewart in Anatomy of a Murder. Lana Turner was. Bad choice, wisely dropped when Turner insisted on a designer wardrobe duds for her earthy character.
— At one point in her career, Remick’s onscreen sex appeal generated serious consideration by Hollywood studio execs to have her replace Marilyn Monroe in at least one key movie. Lee’s sex appeal is evident in the first big movie she made (above), Elia Kazan’s 1957 drama A Face In The Crowd. For a time, execs at 20th Century Fox considered Remick as a replacement for the always tardy Monroe in the 1962 production of Something’s Got To Give. The production was eventually scuttled and never made to the big screen. But Lee was in the running.