Margaret O’Brien: Flamenco Connection
I’ve never been a big fan of child stars even though I’ve seen every Shirley Temple film. The only child actor that made an impression on me was that little boy in The Bicycle Thief, the best movie ever! What a waste if you never ever see that gem of a film. It’s the best. The best.
Anyway back on topic. I always knew Margaret O’Brien was like the Meryl Streep of child actors. Shirley Temple was the star but O’Brien, the actress.
This is so shallow but now I have a Margaret O’Brien obsession all because I recently learned her mother, Gladys Flores, and aunt, Marissa, were well-know flamenco dancers who even taught Rita Hayworth moves. My suspicion that Gladys taught Margaret flamenco was proven correct last night after reading a 1998 interview by Allan Ellenberger where O’Brien discloses her mother taught her flamenco and other dances but not ballet. Now I want to see her movies and coerce others (including myself) into liking her.
I’m also reaching out to Latinos. Okay Latinos, here is my take. Rita Hayworth is not Latina. She was part Spanish and part Irish….all European not Latin American. Why do you claim her? I don’t approve of Hayworth listed as a Latina actress but if you’re going to do it anyway, then claim Margaret O’Brien. She was part Spanish and Irish just like Hayworth. Wouldn’t the Latino community want to claim a legendary Oscar winning child star who can flamenco? Put her on the cover of People En Espanol and Latina. Look how beautiful she is now. Below is a clip from the TV show What’s My Line at age 20….gorgeous.