July 1 produces great Hollywood stars. Tomorrow (or today in France, where both birthday girls reside) is the birthday of two film legends–Leslie Caron (born 1931) and Olivia de Havilland (born a whopping 1916).

As I know I’m going to get carried away about Olivia and basically write an entire novel about how wonderful she is, I’m going to start with Leslie Caron and save my energy for Livvie tomorrow, when I hopefully won’t be so jetlagged.

I find Leslie Caron to be a vastly underrated performer. A trained ballet dancer, I think she was often misused in roles that may not have been correct for her. I am going to wish her a happy birthday by showcasing some of her phenomenal dancing scenes, as well as some roles that I think she fit very well.

Her first film, the brilliant An American in Paris, 1951.

Daddy Long Legs, 1958.

Lili, 1953. One of my all-time favorite movies, and the one that introduced me to classic film at age 4. I will always be grateful to Leslie Caron for that.

Dance sequence in Lili.

I recently finished Leslie Caron’s autobiography, and she seems like a truly great person as well as a marvelous star. I wish I had been able to go to her Bed and Breakfast when I was in France, because how cool would that have been?

Happy birthday Leslie Caron!!


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