Accent: Super models
Ruth Cracknell: an actor’s friend and inspiration
Actor Pamela Rabe continues a series of reflections by prominent women on the “super models” who inspired them.
About the second day I was in Australia, my husband — well, he wasn’t my husband then — took me for a walk around Sydney and to Crows Nest. It was very hot and I was very jet-lagged, and he took me to a gallery.
As we were thumbing our way through some etchings, he nudged me and there was this very elegant patrician presence in the corner of the room with white-blonde hair. He said “that’s Ruth Cracknell, she’s a very famous actress”.
He had told me about her in Canada in the late ’70s. She had played the lead in an Edward Bond play that I was very fond of called The Sea. This obviously sowed a seed of great awe in me, and there she was,and I was actually in her presence.
I was aware of Ruth from then and I think I had seen her on stage a number of times, and on film. You can’t collide with Ruth’s presence without being affected in some way.
I have always collected tall women in my life. I don’t think I’m particularly obsessed with my height — I was brought up with my father’s advice: be proud, walk tall.
When you are tall, people assume that you should be majestic. It is funny because so many tall women feel different, I think, especially when they are defining their sexual attractiveness — when you are in your teens you just want to look like everybody else.
There are so many pressures to be smaller, bend down, try to blend in with the crowd, be feminine (whatever that means) — to actually keep your head up through that is hard. Read More