The year was 1945. Going to the movies was the great escape. It was entertainment that helped everyone escape the stress of WWII. My mother loved the movies. As early as I can remember sitting on my mother’s lap during an afternoon matinee was an important part of my life; memories that have stayed with me throughout the years.
I fell in love with Gary Cooper while sitting on my mothers lap. So much so that I struggled free, escaping from my comfortable perch to join Gary Cooper on the screen. Movies and movie stars. My love of both started with Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman in Saratoga Trunk when I was five years old.
I never outgrew my passion for movies. Moving from teenage crushes on Tab Hunter, then William Holden in Picnic and then Cary Grant in To Catch A Thief. I absorbed the lives I saw on the screen and made them mine. I wanted to be a part of that life. I wanted to be an actress. I never lost that dream.
Well, life happened and I wound up, not on the big screen, but the small one. Television. For most of my adult life I was in television in various rolls. Romper Room, talk show host, news anchor and syndicated host of my own financial show. My plan for my life was different than my five-year-old dream.
Then, before I could blink my eyes it seems, my fiftieth birthday rolled in. My hair was starting to gray, I had just celebrated an anniversary with my husband of five years. Somehow all of these changing factors, milestones in my life, proved to culminate in an ‘aha’ moment. I was going to go for it.
For forty-five years I had put my life’s dream on the back burner. Never say never. I was going to be an actress. Maybe not a movie star, but I was ready to work at building a new career and living my dream.
I immediately got headshots, made the casting rounds, and auditioned for a theater group. I used the same persistence that had helped build my television career. I made new friends and connections and soon was working in theater, film and television. I was older and didn’t have to compete with ingenious like I would have had to years ago. I had a chance at a second act and life was good.
Well it still is. I rarely audition anymore, though, because I am in what I consider my third chapter. My husband and I have resettled to Florida. I write books, this blog, lecture, have a presence on social networks and have a YouTube channel. But one thing has remained constant. I love movie stars of the 40’s and 50’s. Those glamour girls with great acting chops and charisma.
What’s the proof of that? I am doing a retrospective on Instagram (sandrashart) of the actresses that kept me company in many darkened movie theaters while growing up and dreaming of being a movie star. Let’s remember the good days of movies together!
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