Friday, February 6, 2015
LIZABETH SCOTT, THE FILM NOIR FATALE IS GONE AT 92. AND I ADORED HER
She came along in the 40s about the same time as Lauren Bacall. Bacall married Bogart and Lizabeth didn't. The Bogart association helped Bacall's career escalate. To me, Lizabeth Scott was the Queen of Film Noir. I remember seeing her on TV when my mother watched black and white movies. I was too young to know about Film Noir, but when I saw Lizabeth on screen I knew she was special. As I got a little older I saw her in an Elvis Presley movie, and even as a kid I wondered why on earth she was doing that!
After the 50s her career was pretty much over for many reasons, but the most important of which was that she didn't want to play the Hollywood game. She came from Broadway Theatre and really was just interested in her craft.
I knew she lived in Los Angeles, and just as I wanted to meet (and did) Garbo and Dietrich, I really wanted to meet her.
One night, I was at a private after party following a Thalians benefit. It was only a few people gathered on Debbie Reynolds' room to celebrate. I was seated on the couch next to Debbie when there was knock at the door. Whoever answered returned to where Debbie was and said, "Lizabeth Scott is here, may she come in?" Debbie was delighted and thrilled to see her.
In walked this woman, who was 81 years old, dressed in back leather pants, a white silk shirt and boots. She looked like a Chanel or Calvin Klein ad of perfection. When you have the magic and the style it never goes away. People treated her like a queen. This was a rare sighting of her.
I was so lucky that she liked me and agreed to have lunch.
We had lunch a few weeks later at Cafe Roma in Beverly Hills. She was very guarded, but slowly relaxed. She came from Scranton, Pennsylvania and was of string Swedish stock. It had been decades since she'd made a movie and I asked why she still lived here. "I like it here. I have friends Here. I like the weather. I was one of the smart ones. I saved every penny from every paycheck and bought land and stock in companies like Coca Cola in the 40s. I never had to work. I just chose to live my life the way I wanted," she said with that enigmatic smile.
Good for you, special lady. You had a life well lived. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. And I'm so grateful for all those lunches and the good times.