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ARTISTIC CELEBRITIES - THE HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS

Kirk Douglas - ArtistIt has often been said that acting is a very versatile art-form because it allows people to express themselves in a variety of different ways. Well, some people prefer to delve into drama, others get a kick out of comedy, and then there are those who can act and draw at the same time. Want to know more? Then please check out the following list of Hollywood legends who were also excellent artists.





James Cagney - Art
James Cagney

Born: July 17, 1899, in New York City
Died: March 30, 1986, in Stanford, New York
Best known for:  Playing tough-guys or song and dance men
Career highlights:  Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), White Heat (1949), and Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Years active in the film industry: From 1930 to 1984
Association with art:  When he wasn't acting, James Cagney was an ardent gardener and a passionate painter. In fact, he once said that he might have been a lot happier as a painter (as opposed to a movie star), even though financially he's sure he wouldn't have been as wealthy. In his later years, Cagney was taught how to improve his artistic skills by the renowned painter, Sergei Bongart, but refused to sell any of his work because he considered himself a rank amateur. Well, apart from one painting which he sold to Johnny Carson for charity.
Style of art: Caricatures and still-life. 


Frank Sinatra - Art
Frank Sinatra 

Born: December 12, 1915, in Hoboken, New Jersey
Died: May 14, 1998, in Los Angeles, California
Best known for: Being a crooner and playing a tough guy
Career highlights: From Here to Eternity (1953), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), as well as 'The Rat Pack' series of films, such as Ocean's Eleven (1960)
Years active in the film industry: From 1941 to 1995
Association with art: Frank was always a keen artist and loved to buy or create paintings whenever possible. He loved Japanese art. He loved work by the impressionists. And he especially loved following the careers of such talented artists as, Miró, Picasso, Matisse, Leroy Neiman, David Hockney, and Tony Bennett (his fellow crooner), who he thought was a talented painter and bought several of his works.
Style of art: Geometric shapes, still-life, and colorful clowns.


Henry Fonda - Art
Henry Fonda

Born: May 16, 1905, in Grand Island, Nebraska
Died: August 12, 1982, in Los Angeles, California
Best known for: Playing noblemen or elderly statesmen
Career highlights: My Darling Clementine (1946), Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Years active in the film industry: From 1935 to 1982
Association with art: Henry Fonda was a self-taught artist who first began experimenting with pastels while he was making the 1955 movie, 'Mister Roberts'. According to those who knew him, he preferred to paint his pictures from the top-left hand corner and then work his way down the canvas. That way, the image avoids getting smudged and progresses in stages. His favorite painters include people like William Harnett, Andrew Wyeth, and some of the Dutch realists.
Style of art: Dry brush style with some occasional pencil work. 


Orson Welles - Art
Orson Welles 

Born: May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Died: October 10, 1985, in Los Angeles, California
Best known for: Introducing innovative directing techniques to the film industry and a bodacious acting style
Career highlights: Citizen Kane (1941), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), and his radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds (1938)
Years active in the film industry: From 1941 to 1985
Association with art: Orson's artistic career began when he was a young lad, studying art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Then after he graduated, he was awarded a scholarship to Harvard University, but rather than enrolling, he chose to travel to Ireland in order to embark on a painting and sketching tour of the Aran Islands (until his money ran out).
Style of art: Sketches, caricatures, abstract, and other styles of painted or penciled work.


Tony Curtis - Artist
Tony Curtis

Born: June 3, 1925, in Manhattan, New York
Died: September 29, 2010, in Henderson, Nevada
Best known for:  Playing in light comedies or swashbuckling adventures
Career highlights: The Defiant Ones (1958), Some Like It Hot (1959), and Spartacus (1960)
Years active in the film industry: From 1948 to 2008
Association with art: Tony was an avid artist throughout his entire life, and from the early 1980s, he considered himself more of a painter than a full-time actor. Nowadays, his work commands more than $25,000 per canvas, and they're generally exhibited alongside many of the artists who previously influenced his style, including Van Gogh, Paul Matisse, Picasso, and Magritte.
Style of art: Surrealist watercolors and oil paintings.

Notable mentions: There were a number of other actors I could have added to this list, but to save time, I thought it best to mention a few of them here. Actors like James Dean (who enjoyed painting in his spare time), Marilyn Monroe (who was known to draw to calm her nerves), Kirk Douglas (who once owned an impressive art collection), and Vincent Price (who established an art gallery in his name because of his passion for the subject).  Please click here for further information. 

ARTISTIC CELEBRITIES - THE HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS ARTISTIC CELEBRITIES - THE HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS Reviewed by David Andrews on August 11, 2021 Rating: 5

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