Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Many Faces of Mala

Mala Powers, born on this date in 1931, was never content to be just one woman, or even to have just one career. A protégé of pioneering female director Ida Lupino, she won acclaim for her performance as a rape victim in Lupino's Outrage, and enjoyed plum roles in Edge of Doom and Cyrano de Bergerac. 

As Mala explained to columnist Bill Dunn in 1971, "I always see what is different between the character and myself. I can't help the similarities. It's much more interesting to impose the opposite characteristics." That eagerness to transform herself made her versatile to cast. She was a favorite guest star on shows like Perry Mason (where she made five appearances), and had a recurring role as the slightly snobbish, petulant Mona Williams, best pal of Barbara Baxter, in the final season of Hazel. She also co-starred with Anthony Quinn in the 1971-72 series The Man and the City. 

When not in front of the cameras, she had a second career as an acting teacher, and became a published author whose books included Follow the Year: A Celebration of Family Holidays (1985). Powers died in 2007, busy and productive as ever until shortly before her passing.

She packed quite a bit of living into 75 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment