Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Class #4: Fredric March - An Every Day Man

Fredric March

"Stardom is just an uneasy seat on top of a tricky toboggan. Being a star is merely perching at the head of the downgrade. A competent featured player can last a lifetime. A star, a year or two. There's all that agony of finding suitable stories, keeping in character, maintaining illusion. Then the undignified position of hanging on while your popularity is declining."

Fredric March was an every day man.  What do I mean by that?  He was an actor who looked like us and seemed to be someone we had met on the street or had coffee with.  This quality is what made his characters on screen seem so real.  He had a grittiness and an earthiness that made you watch him with compassion and respect.  Whether he was Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde (for which he won his first Oscar), you felt his pain, his joys, and his intelligence in ways that other actors could not show you.  His body of work speaks for itself:
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
Merrily We Go To Hell (1932)
Design for Living (1933)
Les Miserables (1935)
Anna Karenina (1935)
A Star Is Born (1937)
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946 - his second Oscar)
Death of a Salesman (1951)
Inherit The Wind (1960)
Seven Days in May (1964)
The Iceman Cometh (1973)

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