So, there's this cool meme going around regarding naming your 20 favorite actresses, and, while I was contemplating who I'd put on that list, I let my thoughts drift to my favorite actors instead. Naturally! And you know, I realized something. I realized who my all-time favorite actor actually is.
It's William Holden.
Which surprised me a little, because I've tended to try to dismiss him, maybe because he has been such a constant figure in my life. But he's so clearly at the top over everyone else when I just stop and think about it. He's the only actor I've consistently and faithfully loved since childhood, ever since my first viewing of The Horse Soldiers. I like him at every age. He's never fallen out of favor, never angered me or embarrassed me with a performance, never been anything but my favorite for thirty or so years (and I most definitely cannot say all of those things about any other actor I like). And if anything, he gets better and better with each movie I see. Dana Andrews and everybody else on my list are relative newcomers, and as much as I adore them, and as special a spot as they have in my heart, they lack that solidity of lasting all those years and years. It was always William Holden's picture on my wall, and his book of complete films I read over and over out of all my movie books. And no matter who catches my eye, no matter whose movies I seek out, it's William Holden I always come back to. The one by whom I subconsciously measure everyone else. Because he plays the character-types I love best. Because he's handsome and bitter and sarcastic and vulnerable and has the best grin and a wonderful voice and he's a damned fine actor.