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Katherine Hepburn

1830 - 1886

Katherine Hepburn

Kind of felt I was neglegcting the ladies. And what better lady to draw than The Grand Lady of the Silver Screen?

Kate started off as a conventionally glamorous starlet, but her acting and personality soon got her to the point where she could pick and choose her roles. So although her career spanned over sixty of her ninety-six years, she was "only" in (note quotes) about fifty movies. Of course, from those fifty movies, she picked up four Oscars - more than any other actor (male or female) has ever won.

It was also Kate who kept the noted playwright and screenwriter, James Goldman, in business. In 1966 James had the good fortune to have a play staged on Broadway. He also had the bad luck to have the play receive decidedly mixed reviews, including (to use his own words) a thunderous dismissal in the New York Times. Two Tony nominations notwithstanding, the show finally closed after only three months. By Broadway standards this was a failure, and James wondered if his days as a writer were over.

James, though, recast the play into a movie script (and kept it very close to the original). Then after independent movie mogul Joseph E. Levine drummed up financing, Kate was cast as the leading lady. As with the play, the film reviews were by no means all laudatory. But Kate's acting stood out and when the Academy Awards rolled around, Kate got her third Oscar. And at least in part to Kate's acting, James got one as well.

Then defying all logic and unique in theater history, the play became a hit after the movie appeared and after it was a flop on Broadway. So today The Lion in Winter remains one of the most produced plays in the world. James always scratched his head about that.

There's another classic movie based on a play. People still watch the movie, but the play is never performed, and it appears it never was.

Name the movie and the play. If you can't, click here for a hint, and guessing the movie should be easy. A bit of surfing on the net should get the title of the play.

Soft vine charcoal on smooth Bristol board with digital color