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6.6.09

Margaret Sullavan - The art of dying




" Sullavan dies in her first film, Only Yesterday (1933), and she dies in her last film, No Sad Songs for Me (1950). In between, she threatens to die in childbirth (Little Man, What Now?, 1934), nobly dies from tuberculosis (Three Comrades, 1938), nobly tries to die in a fire (The Shining Hour, 1938), is shot by Nazis (The Mortal Storm, 1940), expires in front of Charles Boyer's photograph (Back Street, 1941), and contracts a fatal case of malaria (Cry Havoc, 1943). In real life, Sullavan took pills and killed herself in 1960, at the age of 51. But she's not a gloomy actress; her characters are not portentous. In fact, her foregone tragic fate seemed to exhilarate her. She taught an audience the many ways of dying, yes, but she also showed them how to live: fearlessly, poetically." By Dan Callahan and thx to Mr. Tatum !

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