Saturday, December 6, 2014

Miss Moorehead's Mystique

Agnes Moorehead in The Blue Veil.
Happy birthday to Agnes Moorehead, born December 6, 1900 in Clinton, Massachusetts. Though memorable as Endora in Bewitched, that role was but a small part of a long, versatile career encompassing film, radio, television and a lifelong love for live theater. She was a busy and acclaimed actress for well over 30 years, until the illness that led to her death in 1974.

Though many actors embraced publicity, Moorehead tended to be wary of it. In a 1967 Associated Press article, she wrote, "I think an artist should be kept separated to maintain glamor and a kind of mystery. Otherwise it's like having three meals a day. Pretty dull. I don't believe in the girl-next-door image. What the actor has to sell to the public is fantasy, a magic kind of ingredient that should not be analyzed."

At the risk of ignoring Miss Moorehead's advice, I learned a great deal about this fine actress from my friend Lynn Kear's book Agnes Moorehead: A Bio-Bibliography, published in 1992.  You can also see my review of Axel Nissen's more recent volume, The Films of Agnes Moorehead, here.

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