July 30, 2013

The Blooming of Hepburn's Calla Lilies

The calla lilies are in bloom again darling, really they are is the most famous line that Katherine Hepburn never said, although in the 1937 film Stage Door Hepburn does say quite mournfully:
The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower, suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day, and now I place them here in memory of something that has died.

Hepburn, playing novice Terry Randall working her first part on Broadway, cues her famous line reading from Andrea Leeds (born August 14, 1914), playing celebrated yet perenially out of work Kay Hamilton who rips your soul when she reads the calla lily line for Hepburn and then ascends the stairs in her climactic scene, remembering that somewhere, somehow, I had the idea that I was a pretty good actress. Leeds snagged an Oscar nomination for her work but retired a scant two years later, living privately until her death in 1984.

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