Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Nun who kissed Elvis

Here is something possibly "lighter" -- a throwback to a an era when faith and culture were at least on courteous terms: Thom Geier, "Mother Dolores Hart: The Nun Who Kissed Elvis Presley" Entertainment Weekly ran this piece in 2011, and I thought it was (to use a now almost never heard expression) charming, in terms of content and tone. [Especially welcome too since EW is the most irony-driven of secular magazines. You almost feel automatically gay-cultured, jaded, or studio-insider simply scanning it!]
Dolores Hart appeared in 10 movies in the late 1950s and early '60s, starring opposite some of the biggest stars of the era: Anthony Quinn, Myrna Loy, and Montgomery Clift. She was one of Elvis Presley's first onscreen kisses. At age 20, she earned a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in The Pleasure of His Company. She was an above-the-title star of 1960's spring-break romp Where the Boys Are, which led to an invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

And then in June of 1963, the striking starlet with the dark blond hair and piercing blue eyes left it all behind. She packed a single suitcase and attended one last autograph-signing session in New York City for Come Fly With Me, an MGM comedy about three husband-hunting air hostesses. ''I remember I had makeup on from some photography that they were doing,'' she recalls. Then a man working for the studio approached her. ''He wanted to know if he could take me somewhere when it was over, so I said, 'It's a long way. You could just take me to the bus.''' But he insisted, and so he drove her just over two hours north of the city and deposited her at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Conn., where she has lived the quiet life of a cloistered Benedictine nun ever since.

It's not every nun who enters the convent in the back of a chauffeured limo, admits Mother Dolores Hart, now 72. "Well, if that's in the script, then why not?"
[Hat tip to J.M.]

1 comment:

Jeff Miller said...

I'm reading the book right now and it is quite a good read and an amazing story beyond just the actress to convent storyline Especially considering her unstable family life which reminds me a bit of Mother Angelica's.