The 87th annual Academy Awards will be given out this Sunday, February 22, 2015. I'm sharing some information on two women who were born in Lowell, Massachusetts and each was a winner. One of them, I actually met, in London of all places.
Bette Davis was born in Lowell on April 5, 1908 and only lived there a few years. Her former home isn't too far from where I live.Winter is a great time for me to watch DVDs from Netflix, so I've been getting my fix of her wonderful movies. So far, I've seen about 12, and don't have a favorite yet. She was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, and won twice for best actress for her role in Dangerous and Jezebel.
Bette has always been a favorite of mine, and I was quite fortunate to see one of her gowns worn in a movie in the exhibit called, Dressed for the Part at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell. See my post about that exhibit along with my piece on seeing Princess Diana HERE.
The second Academy Award winner born in Lowell, was Olympia Dukakis. It seems that I've always known that, or maybe since she won her Best Supporting Actress award in 1987 for Moonstruck. Since I was living in Virginia, I must have seen or heard something about where she was from. This memory tidbit came in handy one afternoon in the early 1990s when I was alone in London. While waiting to talk to the concierge at the Russell Hotel, I listened to the lady in front of me (she was relaying information to her husband who was standing a few feet away). Dressed in casual clothes, she didn't stand out...but her voice did. When she turned to leave, I asked if she was Olympia Dukakis. (Note: little if any make-up on.) She said, "yes" and I told her that I had lived in Lowell. She was quite excited, and probably pleased that somebody from Virginia would know that fact. I must have asked for an autograph (since I was collecting them at that time), but I didn't have any paper. She did, and wrote, "To A Fellow Lowellian" Regards, Olympia Dukakis.
From Olympia's book, Ask Me Again Tomorrow, her autobiography published in 2003, I chose a few lines to quote. "My mother's family emigrated from the Mani region of southern Greece to Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1907, when she was six years old." "Those who chose to emigrate to American came because it offered them a place where their hard work would be rewarded, where they would be able to improve their circumstances in life. And Lowell offered them a place where they could, at the same time, maintain their Greek values." By the time my brother and I and all of our cousins were born, Lowell had become known as 'the Acropolis of America.'" In June 20, 1931, Olympia was born and 1939, the family moved to Somerville.