A Gala Tribute to Jessica Lange
(Jessica Lange Bio)
The Film Society of Lincoln Center
Produced by Tony Impavido
Directed and Edited by Wendy Keys
Writer: Joanna Ney
Tribute Staff: Exec. Director, Claudia Bonn
Avery Fisher Hall
NY, NY 10023
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 17, 2006
(See Jessica Lange in The Glass Menagerie)
Since 1972, the Film Society of Lincoln Center has created an Annual Gala Tribute, beginning with the effort to return Charlie Chaplin to the US from Switzerland, after an almost twenty year exile. He collected this tribute award, as well as his Oscar. The Film Society has a mission of supporting the artistic side of film and originally conceived the idea of the retrospective tribute. Past honorees, 1972-2005, include Fred Astaire, Alfred Hitchcock, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Jack Lemmon, Mike Nichols, and Jane Fonda. (Program Notes).
Jessica Lange, born in Minnesota, appeared in a multitude of films of passion, fantasy, comedy, thriller, and family drama. The opening montages of “five acts” included clips in the following sequence: King Kong (1976), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), Frances (1982), Crimes of the Heart (1986), Country (1984), Tootsie (1982), Music Box (1989), Cape Fear (1991), Rob Roy (1995), Sweet Dreams (1985), Don’t Come Knocking (2006), Blue Sky (1995), Bonneville (2006), and a mixed montage of all or most of her films. The film production companies range from Paramount, to Twentieth century Fox, to Columbia, to Universal, to De Laurentis, to Warner Bros., to United Artists, to Miramax, and many more.
Guest speakers at tonight’s packed Gala at Avery Fisher Hall, with giant pink floral balls strategically placed about the dim stage against the ever-present film screen, included friends who have appeared in film with Ms. Lange, such as Charles Grodin (King Kong, 1976), Sam Shepard (Country, 1984 and Don’t Come Knocking, 2005), Alan Cumming (Titus, 1999), Kathy Bates (Men Don’t Leave, 1990 and Bonneville, 2006), plus Ms. Lange, herself, whose newest film, Grey Gardens, will be released in 2007. The guest film stars spoke enthusiastically about their warm and long-lasting relationships with Ms. Lange, as well as her talents as an actress and her personal successes.
Jessica Lange, standing solo onstage in a stunning black strapless gown, spoke of her film career, her role in family, and her future: The success of an actor is in the “capacity to love the character…I’m just barely getting started…These were bits and pieces of 30 years of what I’ve done…”. Kudos to Jessica Lange, and kudos to the Film Society of Lincoln Center for 34 years of Annual Gala Tributes.