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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 18, 2008 / 15 Tamuz 5768

William Powell: Debonair and Delightful

By Greg Crosby


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The wonderful thing about cable television and DVD's is it enables us to be exposed to things that ordinarily we would know very little about. I've always been a big fan of classic movies, even as a kid, so becoming more familiar with them for me wasn't a huge jump. Turner Classic Movies in particular shows all the great classics, plus the second stringers, two-reelers, and obscure programmers and shows them totally commercial-free. Thanks to TCM I've seen pictures that I never knew existed, and what a treat to discover a brand new (for me) Bogart or Tracy or Jimmy Stewart film.


I want to spotlight a star that may have been one of Hollywood's most underestimated actors but has become one of my all-time favorites, William Powell. For anyone who is not familiar with Powell, well, you don't know what you're missing. Graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1912, he played over 200 stage roles, including Shakespeare and the classics, before getting into the movies in the 1920's.


He had a film career that spanned silent films to talkies and included more than 95 pictures between 1922 and 1955. He played an amazing number of character types including nasty cads, out and out villains, lovable rogues, goofy bohemians, and romantic leading men. He did screwball comedy, drama, even musicals and with everything he did he is best remembered to this day as Nick Charles, the urbane playboy detective, oozing with charm, elegance, sophistication, and poise who along with beautiful Myrna Loy teamed for six "Thin Man" films.


He was nominated for Academy Awards three times, in 1934, 1936 and 1947, but never took home an Oscar. He did win The New York Film Critics Award for his excellent portrayal of Clarence Day, the cantankerous but deeply human patriarch of an 1880's family in the heartwarming movie adaptation of the successful stage play, "Life With Father."


Bill Powell appeared opposite some of Hollywood's most notable (and beautiful) actresses including thirteen times with Myrna Loy, twice with Hedy Lamarr, three times with Luise Rainer, three times with Carole Lombard (who was to be the second of his three wives), twice with Jean Harlow (one of the great loves of his life), Kay Francis, Irene Dunne, Ruth Chatterton, Ginger Rogers, Jean Arthur, Rosalind Russell, Ann Harding, Donna Reed, and Joan Crawford.


In the beginning of his movie career he was teamed with such stars as Bebe Daniels, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Marion Davies, and Evelyn Brent. Toward the end he played opposite Esther Williams, Angela Lansbury, Lauren Becall, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marilyn Monroe. Quite a range of actresses, to say the least.


Among his male co-stars were John Barrymore, Richard Barthelmess, Ronald Colman, Gary Cooper, Emil Jannings, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Robert Montgomery, Henry Fonda, James Cagney, and Jack Lemmon. He worked with many of the great directors including John Ford, W.S. Van Dyke, Mervyn LeRoy, Jack Conway, William K. Howard, Irving Pichel, Michael Curtiz, Victor Fleming, Gregory LaCava, Josef Von Sternberg, and Henry King.


"Chemistry" is the term used to describe what happens when an actor and an actress blend perfectly in a film. William Powell and Myrna Loy had that chemistry. Myrna Loy once told an interviewer, "From the very first scene we did together in "Manhattan Melodrama" (1934), we felt that particular magic between us. There was this feeling of rhythm, of complete understanding, and an instinct of how each of us could bring out the best in the other." You bet they had chemistry - it positively jumps off the screen when you watch them together.


Besides being a charismatic personality and a powerful performer, Powell had another commodity as an actor that is worth noting. He was a great listener. Watch him in a scene when someone else is talking and you'll see what I mean. He is listening as if he is hearing the words for the first time. His expressions, his body language, his comportment are perfect. He never is a distraction when the spotlight is on another performer, never attempts to upstage, but he is in the moment completely. His reactions are wonderful. Watch his eyebrows, his mouth, and his head gestures.


His performances in "My Man Godfrey," "The Great Ziegfeld," "Libeled Lady," as well as "Life With Father," and "The Thin Man" pictures are all first rate and considered among his best. But I find that nearly any film that William Powell is in is eminently watchable and great fun. And his last part, that of Doc in "Mister Roberts" was a wonderful way for him to retire at the top of his form in 1955. He was 63 when he did that last role. He retired to Palm Springs and died in 1984 at the age of 91.


William Powell was a movie star when being a movie star was really something. He was also a gentleman when being a gentleman was what most men strived for and most women appreciated. William Powell. A great actor and a really good listener!

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2006, Greg Crosby

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