Mother Dolores Hart - Cloistered Benedictine nun attended the Oscars last year
Looking back: Dolores Hart and Elvis Presley promoting Loving You; Hart went on to become a nun.
The speculation will continue until the last minute about the fashion parade in store for us at the Oscars this weekend, but we can be sure that at least one of the actresses trooping into Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre will be wearing black — the black habit of the Benedictine order of nuns. The last time Dolores Hart walked the Academy Awards red carpet - in 1962 - she was the blushing starlet who had given Elvis Presley his first screen kiss. After a whirlwind rise to stardom, the 23-year-old beauty had secured a $1-million contract and roles opposite some of Hollywood’s leading men.
But then she gave it all up - disappearing from public life so completely she might have been a figment of some movie mogul’s imagination. But this Sunday she will finally return as the woman she chose to become - Mother Dolores, prioress of a cloistered nunnery in rural Connecticut, a Benedictine nun who has spent the past 50 years living a life of hard manual work, contemplation and prayer.
Now 73, she has agreed to make a rare foray from her isolated life at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in order to celebrate an Oscar-nominated documentary, God Is The Bigger Elvis, which has been made about her life. She says she is enormously excited about the biggest night in the showbusiness calendar - even if she has to go up on stage. And while the Oscars may not be used to people who dress in plain clothes and walk with a stick, this is a woman who’s already experienced the sort of movie star adulation about which many of today’s preening, pouting actresses in their megabucks designer gowns can only dream.
Mother Dolores still has the piercing blue eyes and demure, flawless beauty that once made Grace Kelly comparisons inevitable. She was just 18 when she made her screen debut, co-starring with a young Elvis in Loving You. The 1957 film was only his second movie, and his lingering kiss with Dolores Hart made her the envy of women everywhere. She is still asked what it was like and her unexciting, if rather sweet, answer is that they both blushed so much that filming had to be stopped while their purple ears were swathed in make-up. “If there is anything I am most grateful for, it is the privilege of being one of the few people left to acknowledge he was an innocent,” she said of Presley 10 years ago.
Devoted: Actress turned Benedictine cloistered nun, Mother Delores standing on the grounds of the Abbey of Regina Laudis
The film made her name and she swiftly made two more, starring alongside Montgomery Clift and Anthony Quinn, before teaming up again with Elvis in King Creole in 1958. She was to pack in nine films in five years, including the cult comedy Where The Boys Are with George Hamilton. All the time, she remained a devout Roman Catholic, getting up at 6am for Mass each day and praying before every audition. In what was to be her last film, 1963’s Come Fly With Me, she played a beautiful airline stewardess looking for romance and excitement.
But in real life she was gravitating towards something very different. The only child of two good-looking, bit-part Hollywood actors who separated when she was young, her lonely, unsettled childhood was split between the glamour of Los Angeles and a Catholic school in Chicago, where she lived for some of the year with her grandparents. After she left school, she moved to Hollywood, and in 1957 was signed up, aged 18. Fame came quickly, but she found the emotional side of film-making unsatisfying. “You worked intensely for maybe ten weeks, and then you break and you never see the person again,” she said later.
Flawless beauty: Dolores Hart with George Hamilton in Where The Boys Are
While starring in a Broadway play, a friend suggested she take a break and stay at a guest cottage in the grounds of a Catholic abbey in Connecticut. But she had unhappy memories of school. I said: “Oh, I don’t want to go to see more nuns,” she says. My friend said: “Just try it, they’re contemplative and they won’t talk.” Sure enough, Dolores instantly found peace, and the close-knit community she had been craving since childhood. She talked about becoming a nun there and then, but she was only 21 and the abbess considered her too immature.
Dolores certainly sounded surprisingly unworldly for someone who had already spent a few years in Hollywood, telling the abbess she was worried that a Catholic girl like her shouldn’t be making films with Elvis, because she could be “aroused by the boys.” It took three years and several more visits to the abbey before the nuns agreed she was ready to take holy orders, but by then she was engaged. Don Robinson, a successful Los Angeles architect, had been courting her for five years.
But as they returned from their engagement party, she admitted to him that she wanted to become a nun.
Ceremonial: Things could have been different and Dolores could have been a fixture at the Oscars… but her life took a very different direction
Robinson was devastated at first but, as a Catholic himself, brought himself to accept it as God’s will. In the years that followed, he went out with other women, but never found one he wanted to marry. Devoted to the woman he could never have as his wife, he continued to visit Mother Dolores in her nunnery at Christmas and Easter every year until his death just three months ago. “I never got over Dolores,” said Mr Robinson shortly before he died. “I have the same thoughts [about her] today as I did 52 years ago.”
But if Don Robinson showed great understanding of Dolores’s desire to serve God, her studio was furious. When studio MGM asked her to promote Come Fly With Me, Dolores said she wanted to visit “friends in the country.” The studio drove her to the abbey in a limousine, unaware she was never coming back. She became a novice nun that day.
If the studio executives were angry at what they saw as a betrayal of their trust, everyone else, including her family, was incredulous. The Press even pounced on a rumour that she had retreated to a nunnery after having Elvis’s love child. “It was hurtful and aggravating because ours was really such a fine relationship,” she said years later. Her early days as a nun were difficult as she came to realise that being a pampered star was no preparation for the hard life in the nunnery.
“The first night I felt like I had jumped off a 20-storey building and landed flat on my bottom,” she says in the new documentary. “I had no idea it was going to mean working in the garden, ten people sharing one bathroom, the sternness.”
‘I can understand why people have doubts. Because who understands God? I don’t.’
On top of the physical labor, each day Dolores had to keep three periods of silence and sing Latin chants seven times. The outside world and her fellow nuns expected she would soon be pounding on the abbey doors to get out. Dolores admitted she had grave doubts herself. “The first few years were a very, very difficult transition,” she says.
Even in her cloistered world, she was not cut off from her past. She became a close friend of the actress Patricia Neal in the Eighties after a mutual friend suggested Neal stay at the abbey to recover from the end of her turbulent marriage to Roald Dahl. The nuns calmed her down and Neal ended up staying at the nunnery for nearly a year. She later converted to Catholicism and is buried in the abbey grounds.
Mother Dolores has also remained an Oscars voter, watching DVDs of nominated films sent by the Academy in her office. “Watching films tells me what’s happening in civilisation and how much people are suffering,” she says.
She has suffered herself in recent years, her health blighted by a neurological disorder. But as the documentary’s director, Rebecca Cammisa, told me, the nun still has much of the actress in her. “I think she sees returning to the Oscars as a sort of homecoming,” says Cammisa. “If she had stayed in the film business, she would have been this huge star. It just shows you how strong her calling [to be a nun] must have been.”
So as she walks into the Kodak Theatre on Sunday, it’s hard not to think Dolores Hart won’t feel a twinge of regret for what might have been. She admits she has “struggled” with her vocation all her life. “I can understand why people have doubts,” says Mother Dolores. “Because who understands God? I don’t.”
P.S. : She also acted as St Clare with Bradford Dillman (as Francis) in the film “Francis of Assisi).
Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H39k9jfKMw
Plumber of the year award entries
How babies are really made
During his wife Sandra Denis’ pregnancy, Canadian photographer Patrice Larochethe artist created a hilarious explanatory photo series titled “How to Make a Baby”. The creative couple planned and carried out their project throughout the whole period of 9 months, taking pictures in the exact same settings as Sandra’s belly expanded.
The pregnancy saga of Sandra and Patrice basically denounces all the traditional stork stories.
The real laws of nature:
1.Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee.
2.Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
3. Law of Probability- The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
4.Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.
5.Supermarket Law - As soon as you get in the smallest line, the cashier will have to call for help.
6.Variation Law - If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.
7.Law of the Bath - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.
8. Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.
9. Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.
10. Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
11.. Law of the Theater & Hockey Arena - At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.
12. The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
13.Murphy’s Law of Lockers - If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.
14. Law of Physical Surfaces - The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.
15.Law of Logical Argument- Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.
16. Brown’s Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes fit, they’re ugly.
17.Oliver’s Law of Public Speaking - A closed mouth gathers no feet.
18. Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy -As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.
19. Doctors’ Law- If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better.. But don’t make an appointment, and you’ll stay sick. This has been proven over and over with taking children to the pediatrician.
If you don’t forward this your friends, your belly button will unscrew and your butt will fall off.
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A duck story
A woman brought a very limp duck to the veterinarian’s office. As she lay her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, “I’m so sorry, your pet duck Cuddles has passed away.”
The distressed owner wailed, “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead,” he replied.
“How can you be so sure,” she protested. “I mean, you haven’t done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.”
The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room, and returned a few moments later with a black Labrador Retriever.
As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.
The vet patted the lab and led it out of the exam room. He returned a few moments later with a cat.
The cat jumped up on the table and also sniffed delicately at the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.
The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck.”
Then the vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.
The duck’s owner, still in shock, took the bill. She screamed, “$150.00!” “$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!”
The vet shrugged. “I’m sorry. If you’d taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the lab report and the cat scan, it’s now $150.00.”
New Rules for 2013 (Complete set)
Anyone who predicts the end of the world must apologize publicly in all media if it does not happen
9) When visiting anyone’s house, you must have at least 30 min of conversation before you ask for wifi password
10) All sexual acts that end in orgasms must be logged, recorded and reported for purposes of data correlation with no. of future births to measure RH law vis-a-vis Filipino fertility
It is not easy for students to realize that to ask, as they often do, whether God exists and is merciful, just, good, or wrathful, is simply to project anthropomorphic concepts into a sphere to which they do not pertain. As the Upaniṣads declare: “There, words do not reach.’’ Such queries fall short of the question. And yet—as the student must also understand—although that mystery is regarded in the Orient as transcendent of all thought and naming, it is also to be recognized as the reality of one’s own being and mystery. That which is transcendent is also immanent. And the ultimate function of Oriental myths, philosophies, and social forms, therefore, is to guide the individual to an actual experience of his identity with that; tat tvam asi (“Thou art that’’) is the ultimate word in this connection.
By contrast, in the Western sphere—in terms of the orthodox traditions, at any rate, in which our students have been raised—God is a person, the person who has created this world. God and his creation are not of the same substance ontologically, they are separate and apart. We, therefore, do not find in the religions of the West, as we do in those of the East, mythologies and cult disciplines devoted to the yielding of an experience of one’s identity with divinity. That, in fact, is heresy. Our myths and religions are concerned, rather, with establishing and maintaining an experience of relationship—and this is quite a different affair. Hence it is, that though the same mythological images can appear in a Western context and an Eastern, it will always be with a totally different sense. This point I regard as fundamental.— Joseph Campbell, discussing the structure of his course on mythology at Sarah Lawrence, from “The Mythological Dimension - Comparative Mythology.” Joseph Campbell Foundation, 2011-03-11. iBooks.