Hollywoodland | Femmes Fatales Dec 26 2008
SMOKING HOT

At left is actress Ann Savage in a still from Detour, the 1945 film that helped define the classic femme fatale. The film was shot in only six days, but her turn as the amoral hitchhiker Vera resonated with audiences. Over the decades since its release Detour has become one of the most popular low budget noirs of all time, in no small part because of its entry into the public domain as an uncopyrighted work that any television station can broadcast without paying royalties. But it also has survived because of Ms. Savage's bravura turn as the female lead. Ann Savage died yesterday at age 87.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 27
1981—Hoagy Carmichel Dies
American singer and songwriter Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichel, composer of such American classics as "Stardust," "Georgia On My Mind," and "Heart and Soul," and actor in films such as To Have and Have Not, dies of heart failure in Rancho Mirage, California.
December 26
1919—Ruth Goes to Yankees
Boston Red Sox pitching star Babe Ruth is sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee. After moving to the Yankees, Ruth's transition from a pitcher to a power-hitting outfielder becomes complete. In his fifteen year Yankee career, consisting of over 2,000 games, Ruth rewrites the record books in terms of his hitting achievements, while making only five widely-scattered token appearances on the mound, winning all of them.
December 25
1946—W.C. Fields Dies
American vaudevillian and film star W. C. Fields, whose renowned hard-drinking, misanthropic persona was only partly an act, dies from a stomach hemorrhage in a Pasadena, California hospital.
1977—Charlie Chaplin Dies
British comedian, actor, and director Charlie Chaplin, who at the height of his fame had been targeted by reactionary commie-hunter Joseph McCarthy and FBI head J. Edgar Hoover, with the result of forcing him out of Hollywood, dies in his sleep in Vevey, Switzerland.

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