Jessica Lange, the actress, as always has been a periphery figure in my life.
When a child she made the news landing the Fay Wray damsel in distress
part in the 1976 remake of King Kong.
Later, when working in the Paris Embassy, I saw her in Cat on a Hot Tin
Roof. I was mesmerized by her use of her hands. Even when not speaking,
the audience knew exactly what Maggie the Cat was thinking by the
movement of her hands.
But what I’ll always remember Jessica Lange most for is her exacting
performance as the Mad-as-a-Hatter Sister Judith in TV’s American Horror
I always felt the big perk to graduating from any Catholic school was
not spending any more time with Brides of Christ that were Looney Tunes.
Imagine my surprise when I learned Miss Lange has had a long career as a
photographer in between winning Oscars and Emmys. Her work is featured in museums across Europe and the US and guess what her specialty is! Not the film sets she frequented but brooding black and white images of Mexican culture.
I learned Jessica got a full-ride to study photography in college but dropped
out to study mime in Paris. That would explain her exceptional use of body
language when acting.
Jessica is old-school insisting on using film and dark rooms, which must be
hard to come by in today’s world. In addition to Mexican culture Jessica has
a penchant clowns, but I figure the less said about those creepy carnies the
better. (Though it would explain her hot mess role as a ringmaster in
another season of American Horror Story.)
So, the next time you view an intriguing black and white image of Mexico,
look to see who snapped the photo. It just might be Tootsie’s romantic
interest though by modern standards Tootsie would certainly be labeled a stalker.
Joseph Toone is the Historical Society’s short-story award winning author of the SMA Secrets book series. All books in the series are Amazon bestsellers in Mexican Travel and Holidays.