Leslie Howard, in the Studio, 1934. Photo: Edward Steichen

Leslie Howard (1893 – 1943) diffident Hollywood actor, author, director, producer, sympathizer for the Allied war effort in World War II. Well known for playing stiff-upper-lipped Englishmen, yet best remembered for the character that will always be associated with him, that of Ashley Wilkes, the honour-bound disillusioned intellectual Southern gentleman and life-long love interest of Scarlett O’Hara in one of the top 100 American films of all time Gone with the Wind. (1939).

Describing one of that film’s costumes, he once quipped:

“I look like that sissy doorman

at the Beverly Wilshire,

a fine thing

at my age.”



Myrna Loy, William Powell as Nick and Nora Charles, ‘After The Thin Man’, 1936.
Photo: Clarence Sinclair Bull

“My first scene with Bill, a night shot on the back lot, happened before we’d even met. Woody was apparently too busy for introductions. My instructions were to run out of a building, through a crowd, and into a strange car. When Woody called “Action,” I opened the door, jumped in, and landed smack on William Powell’s lap. He looked up nonchalantly. “Miss Loy, I presume?” I said, “Mr. Powell?” And that’s how I met the man who would be my partner in fourteen films.”


-Myrna Loy




~ by eaesthete on 11/11/09.

9 Responses to “Overheard”

  1. My heavens they were fabulous.

  2. You really do have the most consistently elegant blog – fascinating

  3. would I, if only I could fall into a William Powell’s lap! He, she for that matter, divine. I spent MANY hours with the thin man in my early 20’s. love these overheards. la

  4. I heartliy agree with ol’ Blue. As a longtime “Thin Man” fan, I love that photo. Mrs. E. and I spent our first night together (there were a number of us) watching the entire oeuvre.

  5. I adore them both! The first Thin Man movie I saw was a revelation. Nick and Nora’s large intake of alcohol and large output of loving sarcasm is just a joy to watch. But give me Howard in Pygmalion over Gone With The Wind any day. Heaven.

    • Ruth,

      I’ve not seen Leslie Howard in Pygmalion, but just discovered that netflix carries it, so it’s on its expeditious way. Thank you for the suggestion. Looking forward to it.

      • I do hope you enjoy it! The ‘not bloody likely’ scene is priceless. It doesn’t have the sumptuous images of My Fair Lady but it’s none the worse for that and far sharper I think.

  6. Chère Suzanne:

    The quality of your blog never ceases to amaze me, and now I discover that your taste in film is as refined as is your taste in cocktails. Thank you for the photo of Myrna and the charming story; she is one of the wittiest and sexiest actors to ever grace the screen, and has long been one of my favorites.

    À bientôt,
    The Utah Mixologist

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