Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Girl of the Day - Leslie Caron
The Regular Guy was up late last night working on a brief, and I had on in the background a 1950s musical that I hadn't ever seen before, Daddy Long Legs, with an older Fred Astaire as a rich bachelor who anonymously sends a young French orphan girl, played by Leslie Caron, to college in the U.S., only to fall in love with her. These kinds of April-December romances were common in movies of that era -- I'm thinking of the various pairings of a waifish Audrey Hepburn with Gary Cooper (Love in the Afternoon) or Humphrey Bogart (Sabrina) when each was in their mid-50s -- but now they seem a little icky.
Anyway, when Daddy Long Legs came out, Caron was 24 and Astaire was 56. A little odd, particularly when she's calling him "Daddy" as a nickname. A great dancer and a great, though unorthodox beauty, Caron also starred, of course, in the greatest of movie musicals, An American in Paris, with (again, older) Gene Kelly.
Here she is in a show-stopper with Astaire: