"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, January 13, 2012

Girl of the Day - Penelope Ann Miller

Penelope Anne Miller turns 47 today, which probably won't make the network news.   A minor movie star, she was the right age to be someone I took notice of in my mid-20s as being sexy-cute or cute-sexy, i.e., not flat-out beautiful, but nice-looking and looking like she was nice.   A girl you might take home to meet Mom, in other words.   Actresses are an interesting breed, because, with rare exceptions, they tend to peak in their 20s and 30s and then disappear when ingenue and romantic roles dry up.   I also think the answer to the question "whatever happened to her?" is often that she went off to have a family and lost career momentum.   Much the same thing happens in other careers, though it's probably made more difficult in acting because, unlike law or medicine or business, if you try to get back in at age 40 after you've had your kids, there aren't many roles.   That's not a "glass ceiling," it's just reality.   Ms. Miller, for instance, had two daughters when she was 36 and 45, so that's where she was in the 2000s.

Her best performance was probably in the 1993 Al Pacino movie, Carlito's Way:

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