To me, the most versatile and the most underrated actress in film. Not the most beautiful actress in her day—Hedy Lamarr and Rita Hayworth were. And perhaps in some roles Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis were superior. And nobody was as radiant as Ingrid Bergman. But who else but Barbara Stanwyck could exude gutbucket vitality in Pre-Code classics like “Babyface”, “Night Nurse,” and “Ladies They Talk About”—reduce audiences to sobbing tears in “Stella Dallas—set the standard for la femme fatale in “Double Indemnity “—make you howl with laughter in screwball comedies like “Ball of Fire” and “The Lady Eve”—and be a commanding female figure in intense Westerns like “The Furies” and “Forty Guns”?

There was nobody like her—the accurately self-described “tough broad from Brooklyn” who, in Frank Capra’s words, was also the most beloved person in Hollywood because of her warm nature, generous heart, and utter lack of prima donna character flaws. Thank you, Missy (as her friends knew her) for such a broad, diverse, and inexhaustible cinematic oeuvre.

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The Bernstein Express

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