Lee Remick (December 14, 1935 – July 2, 1991)
“I make movies for grownups. When Hollywood starts making them again, I’ll start acting in them again.” – Lee Remick
I’m not sure when the above statement was made. Probably in the early 1980s, when Hollywood stopped making movies for grownups. Prior to that time, and starting with her memorable introduction in Elia Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd (1957), Lee Remick had starred in a number of the better grownup movies.
My favorites include Martin Ritt’s The Long Hot Summer (1958), Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder (1959), an underrated Kazan film Wild River (1960), Blake Edwards’s Experiment in Terror (1962), Robert Mulligan’s Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965), Paul Newman’s adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel, Sometimes a Great Notion (1970), and Joe Sargent’s Hustling (1975), which costarred Jill Clayburgh and is one of the best and most hard-hitting TV movies ever made.
Lee Remick’s male costars in these and other movies included Newman, Frank Sinatra, Gregory Peck, James Garner, Montgomery Clift, Glenn Ford, and Steve McQueen. Her favorite costar, however, was Jack Lemmon – in Days of Wine and Roses (1962) – and her role as Kirsten Clay, the alcoholic wife of the alcoholic Lemmon character, was her finest work. The performance Remick gives is every bit as good as that of Lemmon, which received all the praise at the time, and remains one of the finest and truest portrayals of an alcoholic woman in an American film.
Lee Remick was born in Quincy, Massachusetts. She died – far too young, of cancer – at the age of 55.