Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Celeste Holm, RIP

The longest-living star of "All About Eve"

Celeste Holm, RIP

My friends and I agree: Lines from "All About Eve" have a home in almost any conversation.

You'd be amazed at how useful ripostes such as "don't play governess, Karen" or "life in the brewery apparently wasn't as dull as you pictured it" can be.

But while the script's literate wit and pithy dishiness are timeless, we mortals, alas, are not.

Celeste Holm, who outlived all of her co-stars in the 1950 film by more than two decades, died Sunday in Manhattan. She was 95.

An accomplished stage and screen performer who won an Oscar for "Gentleman's Agreement,"  Holm more than held her own in classic "Eve" scenes with powerhouses like Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Thelma Ritter, George Sanders and a young, incandescent Marilyn Monroe.

Holm played Karen Richards, best friend to Davis' Margo Channing, the aging diva whom the peerlessly evil Eve (Baxter) schemes to replace.

Onscreen, Holm was regal and a bit remote. Offsceen, she and Davis weren't exactly BFFs.

But when asked about Holm's performance during a pivotal scene in a stalled car, Davis said, "she was perfect."

Indeed.

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