My Five Favorite Movie Actresses


That is, if this was 1969 — and I’m not convinced that it isn’t.

(5) Catherine Deneuve

She looks like a French Barbie crossed with the Infant of Prague, her hair never moves, and she’s so wry and chic that she struck me as the most brilliant import since crepes. My favorite movie: the screwball romantic comedy The April Fools, though I know her foreign work is a tad artsier.

(4) Liz Taylor

As a kid, I was mesmerized her her cleavage (strictly as an art piece, mind you) and her lusty, full-on performances in The Taming of the Shrew, Boom, and Secret Ceremony. Even when in utter claptrap, Liz made it seem profound. The woman never phoned it in — and if she did it was on speaker phone!

(3) Julie Andrews

If you didn’t like Julie, you were Hitler! She was so apple cheeked, so nice, and so talented, and she was willing to show a dark side now and then, too. Julie may well have been the single loveliest influence of my entire early life — and when I met her years later, she impossibly lived up to the image.

(2) Mia Farrow

A bug-eyed waif with great bangs, Mia mesmerized in Rosemary’s Baby and even the weird spy thriller A Dandy in Aspic. I loved her clipped speech and halting presence, all wrapped in the package of a wise adult/child.

And my fave …

(1) Sandy Dennis

Such an original! Her nasal intonations (which she spoofed so well in The Out of Towners) and propensity for playing outcasts (The Fox, That Cold Day in the Park, Sweet November) made her a twitchy oddity that I felt deeply connected to.

Sandy didn’t belong anywhere — except on-screen!