Typical of a twin, I, too, like Alice, did not realize you were off so soon! But now I've read why. That is so exciting! This will be a very special summer. And you WILL be missed, as we are all going to be hoping all is going well.....and anxious to hear, in the autumn, your great experiences over the summer! Susan will be here, keeping your seat hot!
Something just occurred to me! I wonder how many 'fans' of any admired performer first BECAME that fan because of what they READ about that person--well BEFORE they even got the chance to WATCH them perform??
That is exactly what I experienced. When knowing very little about Susan, at all--or even if I had actually even SEEN any of her films--I had the good fortune to sit down and read Beverly Linet's biography, "Susan Hayward - Portrait of a Survivor".
And I say 'good fortune', not because I know what Ms. Linet got wrong and what she got right (Susan seems as if she was way too private to 'tell all''--and.....why should she!)--but because just by reading her biography, I realized that this was not your typical Hollywood star to read about and just shelve the book. And--in this particular case--I have to admit that I grew so curious, just based on her 'personality'---her individualism, her, at times, duo-nature and her absolute devotion to her talent as an actress. Finishing the book, I also felt that I saw a very complex woman, who I would never 'know'.....and who struggled with the many facets of her life.
And so, I landed up introduced to her private life before I even had the opportunity to watch her films--and her extraordinary acting talent! I sort of became a 'fan'--backwards!!
I'm just mentioning this Elaine, because it is so true that fans evolve in so many different ways! It was because of my fascination with Susan as a woman and with all that she went through to achieve her dream, that brought me to want to view any and all of her films shown on television and, then DVD.
And, once I had this chance to watch the amazing range of roles she could handle, it was mesmerizing! And--Susan Hayward had a new fan!
(And, yes, by then it would have been impossible for me to completely separate "Susan--the Woman" from "Susan--the Performer". I also agree, Elaine, that women do seem to find it easier to merge the different sides of a person---focusing both on their career and their personal experiences. Knowing one's hardships brings compassion--and, as discussed, can add depth to that person's work. But it is up to us, the 'fans' not to confuse the two.)
First, thanks to our wonderful Trish, who took the time to point out to me those of Susan's films that I might particularly be interested in. Checking Susan's list of her work had totally floored me, as to what and where to start! And it was so helpful for Trish to 'get me started'. She certainly made me the 'fan' I am today! I have so much more awareness! Watching Susan play varying roles helps so much in seeing the different sides of her--I found Susan's acting SO real that in come cases ("IWTL"), the experience was almost too much for me! I had to remind myself that it was NOT our Susan facing the gas chamber!!!
At any rate, Elaine, your post spoke so 'eloquently' of just how complex that word 'fan' can be. Being a fan is really whatever you want it to be. For myself, learning so much about Susan as an individual first--even though there were bound to be flaws in the Linet book--must have in some way affected how I viewed those first few films. But, then, as I became more and more wrapped up in Susan's acting......and just how she moved and looked in each role.........that I began to see "Susan as actress" and "Susan as a woman coping with life" both combining to bring out the true and the special person she was.
I now feel like a true 'fan'---loving the woman for all she brought out to an audience---and for all the struggles she went through during the whole acting process--while fighting her own many difficulties in life.
I hope that we see on the Board more and more and more 'fans', as I don't think it is possible to run out of topics that we can discuss about this talented, beautiful woman!