Thursday, October 17, 2013

Julie Newmar, Still Upstaging Everyone

"If we don't see the positive picture in aging, it won't be ours to have." 

In the infamous Episode #29, "Monkees Get Out More Dirt", the incredible Julie Newmar comes on.  Just to play herself.

Before she even has a major line, the Boys become enraptured with her (even if the makeup guy went a little overboard).    She has an inner radiance which comes through without her having to do much.

I saw her on Twilight Zone #116, "Of Late I Think Of Cliffordville", and she gets to play Ms. Devlin.  She's always the best thing on the screen.

THIS, I might argue, is the premiere difference between A VISION and an actress.  Lots of beautiful people flock to Hollywood.  Some of that group make it onto film (think of all the pretty faces you've seen).  Some of those are actually liked by the camera & become stars because of it (Natalie Wood, Ann-Margaret).  Some just remain beautiful throughout their lives, whether fame follows or not.  Julie Newmar is one of those.

Aside-The most beautiful woman I have ever been in a room with is Beverly D'Angelo. I am a Production Stage Manager for Independent Theater & Off-Off Bway.  At the turn of the last century, I was working at the Actors' Studio in NYC, doing a "Rehearsal-Version" of Oedipus Rex (I think I got the part because I had taken Ancient Greek in college).  It was directed by Estelle Parsons and Al Pacino was playing the King.  There were lots of other movie stars-remind me to tell you more about it sometime.  Anyways, we were having a room full of "special" invited guests, BD'A walked into the room and there was a sudden hush as everyone turned around.  It wasn't that everyone suddenly "recognized" her (there were people in the audience who were A LOT more famous, including Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward).  It was that she GLOWED.  Everyone was looking at her, as if no human could naturally be that beautiful.  It happens, and I'm here to provide my testimony.

Regardless, I have never seen Julie Newmar in person, but I believe she exists in this peculiar category.

And here she is on FB, alive and well at 80!!  Note how different/similar her post is to Nez.  (Peter's people put up trivia, Micky's FB is about marketing his latest appearance/CD and DJ has various groups that are devoted to his old pictures &/or his horses).  Julie waxes poetic and philosophical.

"ON BEING 80 by Julie Newmar 
It's time to rewrite the rules It was only two years ago that youth left me. Hate me or not, middle age didn't happen to me; a privilege undeserved, or unobserved. In August of this year, I will be 80. It is time to cross the Rubicon and come to terms with the best of myself. There is no more time for "unsuccess". I give myself four seconds to go from a losing to a winning thought, a life giving one. What if Sydney Pollock or Elizabeth Taylor lived to be 80? My hair is mostly white now, but with daily sprits of sheen it gleams almost pure silver. Like Clint Eastwood, I've kept a flat belly. I like the fact he can wear a plain T-shirt and scowl at some pretending offender. My spine is straight. I don't look down on those with their imagined weaknesses. I ignore irrelevance ― poor speech, bad manners and those awful screeching female reporters on TV whose voices sound like they are crunching on a mouthful of beetles. It's curious sometimes how life seems to reverse itself, when what was the strongest virtue in our lifetime becomes our weakest trait. Those dancers who can't walk, singers whose voices croak, a seamstress who can't see. In this fall from grace, from our former powers, we think that nature or God has damned us; this is not so. It is more like a peeling away of consumed fruit revealing our infinite but not yet explored core. There waiting is the next discovery, a new platform or stage to revel in. What's so great about “agefying”? It is the power that having distance gives us. It's the view from the top. At 80, you have patience. Patience is like a magical chess game; the magic part is being able to see six, seven steps ahead. Been there, done that stupid thing. Don't need this strife anymore. As my thinking goes today ― I win and I do, by making sure I always see others as winners. Ask and it will be given. This is easier than you may think. Food, things, the good stuff flow to me. True, I don't any longer race out to the post office and markets. In place I've created a remarkable delivery system. I call it: You do this for me. I am kinder, decidedly, but a lot less tolerant of those who practice life as a soap opera. Maybe it is a safety valve but I chose to live on top of my discomforts as well as diseases. I don't discuss, indulge in, support causes for, join chat groups, war against that which ails and annoys me. It's simply wastes energy. I can discuss unpleasant subjects, but in a less passionate and more general way. Another great virtue of age is to rise above the need to be seen or carry weight in situations of unnecessary stress. Strife is wholly unnecessary. Strife wins you nothing. It is self-inflicted and tenders depression. Being thin is good, though not necessary. You don't see an 80 year old weighing 300 pounds. Nor any 60 year old weighing 300 pounds who are actually healthy. Eat less, it's cheaper. Then you can have, like me, anything you like. The other evening around 8 PM, when the light outside was what cinema photographers refer to as golden, I sat silently for over an hour with my son observing the intense, almost palpitating color of the flowers in my garden. The hummingbirds were still sipping sweet nurture from their favorite tubular blossoms. Bliss, ecstasy and a good garden can extend life. Dance is my art, but the theme of my life is beauty of which a major part is discipline. I listen with the inner ear so that harmony can occupy the higher spaces and let intuition tell me what to do next. So, let us not confuse nature’s progress with lazy avenues of lament. If we don't see the positive picture in aging, it won't be ours to have. Perhaps, if we get out of our own way, we can desire and let be. Yes, that's it. To age successfully one must not be in resistance. Resistance and ill health go together. So there you have it. Now let's have fun."
10/17/13, 8:38am EST

FYI Sydney Pollack died at 73, Elizabeth Taylor died at 79

Imagine how lucky we are being in a generation to see the beautiful people we admire from the 60's reveal themselves on FB, rather than published biographies written by ghostwriters and polished beyond humanity.

She offers advice, "Eat less, it's cheaper." and "I am less tolerant of those who practice life like a soap opera".  If you cannot appreciate hummingbirds and beauty now, if you give into "unsuccess", your life will be shorter & more difficult.

Think of yourself at 80, and if you will agree with her.  Do you agree with her at your current age?

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