Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I came across a fabulous little autobiography by Tullalah Bankhead.  I'm completely smitten and from now on, wish to address you all as Dahling! 
I adore this little book, every time I pick it up and read a little, I smile.  Tullaluh Bankhead was a professional actress who in her words, "loathed acting" but desired fame, carried a parakeet named Gaylord with her wherever she went, married once and didn't apologize for her free and lively spirit.
 She grew up in Alabama and swears it was her name that allowed her to escape the place, although she was heckled for it as a child. 
Raised by Aunt Louise and Aunt Marie, her father and grandparents after the death of her mother when she was born.  Her father was elected to the House of Representatives in 1916 when she was 14 years old. It was her father that supported her future as an actor because of his own desire to be one. An entry into a beauty contest would take her to New York where she pursued the fame that she so desired.  She acted on stage, radio and eventually television and film.  I've caught her on an old rerun of I Love Lucy.  She had a sort of rough nasal voice, and a true air of sophistication.
She referred to everyone as dahling, saying, "Dahling has implications of affection, or at least friendliness.  It cannot disturb the recipient." I couldn't agree more.
Tullalah ends this little memoir with the following words, "By my own standards I've lived to the hilt. I've soared in the clouds and touched bottom.  Much as I like to idle, I know I must carry on or perish.  I have a tiger by the tail. Better than anyone, Edna St. Vincent Millay has expressed my plight, my philosophy:
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night:
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends,
It gives a lovely light."

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