Hollywood’s infatuation with Elizabeth the first

 

Queen Elizabeth II is so last year. This season’s royal obsession takes us back to a perennial favorite, her 16th-century namesake, Elizabeth I. Since the dawn of movies, great actresses have crowned their careers playing the enigmatic Virgin Queen. Sarah Bernhardt portrayed her in a 1911 film, Bette Davis starred in “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex” in 1939 and again in 1955’s “The Virgin Queen.”

Glenda Jackson was, in the 1971 BBC series, the best Queen Bess, say some ardent fans. Dame Judi Dench won an Oscar as the theatergoing ruler in “Shakespeare in Love,” and Helen Mirren played her on HBO (though not as brilliantly as her Oscar-winning turn as QE2). Even the flamboyant gay writer Quentin Crisp once had a go at old Queen Liz—which could’ve ignited those long-dead rumors that she was really a he. 

But the greatest Elizabeth I may well be Cate Blanchett, who became an international star with her 1998 portrayal in Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth.” Now she’s back on the throne in the second installment of Kapur’s potential trilogy, “Elizabeth: the Golden Age,” playing the monarch at middle age, in full command of her intellect, wit and subtle ability to manipulate her courtiers—if not in full control of her heart. 

(Source: MSNBC)


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