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Sheila O’Malley on in Savage:

Sheila O’Malley: “Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles were talking about Greta Garbo. Bogdanovich, unthinkingly, said, “You know, I love Greta Garbo, but it’s such a shame she did only one really great movie.” There was a pause, Orson just looking at Bogdanovich. Orson then said, “You only need one.” Ann Savage had a long career with many ups and downs. She did lots of B-pictures (and she usually stood out), but the material was not often up to her natural gifts. She was a hard-working actress, who was dedicated to the craft of acting. She studied with Max Reinhardt, and used the techniques she learned at his classes all her life. She people-watched. She would ‘rehearse’ by herself at home, trying out voices and characters and walks. She wasn’t ‘on the clock.’ She didn’t wait for an actual job to work on her acting. She was always working. She kept her instincts sharp, it takes practice. She watched other actors voraciously, and while she didn’t try to mimic them, she knew that she should try to steal whenever she could. She loved Carole Lombard’s laugh. It was infectious and brilliant. How did Lombard do it? She was obsessed with Barbara Stanwyck. She knew that Stanwyck was operating at a very high level of expertise, and so Stanwyck was someone to watch and study and learn from. Savage was very smart in that way. Savage said that practicing her craft kept her ‘sane in a crazy world.’”

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