Puttin' On More Style

Robert Lindsay presents an affectionate but in-depth look at the Hollywood stars who managed to rise above their contemporaries simply by the style they exuded.


01Katherine Hepburn20060801

Oscar winner The Aviator has of course recently introduced a whole new audience to the poise and style of Katharine Hepburn as portrayed by Cate Blanchett. Equally at home on the Broadway stage and the screen, Katharine received twelve Academy Award nominations, and won four Oscars for Best Actress, for Morning Glory, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter and On Golden Pond. However, The Philadelphia Story is possibly her most famous picture, a hit on the Broadway stage and a hit on film with Cary Grant and James Stewart. An incredibly feisty and fascinating lady, she often made headlines with her choice of partner, Howard Hughes, in the early days and a love affair with Spencer Tracy that lasted for 27 years.

02Errol Flynn20060808

Swashbuckler par excellence, Flynn was long-regarded as the prodigal son of Hollywood.

With his real-life adventures, scrapes and insubordination, he lived every man's dream of a full life.

Flynn made movies, did his own stunts, thumbed his nose at studio rules and famously left Jack Warner fuming in his Burbank office suite to go off to sea.

He loved writing and politics - especially towards the end of his life in the late 1950s, when filming in Cuba had made him persona non grata in conservative Hollywood.

Sadly he died at only 50 of a heart attack.

Yet he did have a good run - 53 films, and he was musically well-served by Steiner, Korngold, Waxman and Friedhofer somehow he stirred them to musical heights.

03Ava Gardner20060815

Ava is famous for her celebrity liaisons with the likes of Howard Hughes, and particularly renowned for her celebrity marriages - Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.
Born on a tobacco farm, Ava was brought up as a country girl and she actually never really liked Hollywood. In fact, she felt more at home in Europe and fell in love with Spain during filming of The Barefoot Contessa in the fifties.

04 LASTClark Gable20060822

Forever to be remembered as Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind, Gable was initially rejected in 1930 because 'his ears are too big'. However, he soon sprang from an unknown to MGM's most important star after he played opposite Jean Harlow in Red Dust.

Gable's own popularity was not only expressed by his fans - the popular catchphrase then was 'Who do you think you are, Clark Gable?' - there were even references to him in the movies themselves, most notably the love letter young Judy Garland sang, 'Dear Mr Gable - You Made Me Love You', in Broadway Melody of 1938.

In a poll of entertainment readers, he was overwhelming selected 'King of Hollywood' and was officially crowned as such by columnist Ed Sullivan in 1938.