Friday, January 15, 2010

Once Young 1

This particularly evocative photographic portrait of Fay Bainter, likely from a stage appearance, reminds us that she was young and radiant long before she etched herself into our hearts with her films. In our memories, it is as if she was conceived in nitrate and born in her forties when we first discovered her films in the 1930s. She was older then, but no less a woman. Style and grace.

Fay Bainter was married to Lieutenant Commander Reginald Venable of the United States Navy. She was celebrating her 48th birthday when Pearl Harbor was hit. Remember those war films which portrayed a family at peace and then a camera pans to a wall showing that the day is December 6? And nothing is the same thereafter. Might such a day have played out on December 7, 1941 in the Venable household? We will likely never know.

Fay Bainter Venable died in April 1968. She rests at Arlington National Cemetery. (As does Constance Bennett.)

(The calendar is reproduced from the C.E.Daniel Collection: The photo at the head is from EmMe09' on Flickr.)

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