Happy Birthday, Lovely Leslie

Today is actress Leslie Caron’s 80th birthday. Back in December I met Ms. Caron at a special event at the Film Forum. She was signing copies of her memoir, Thank Heaven, and I was shaking horribly. As I waited on the autograph line I obsessed over what I should say and what I should ask Ms. Caron to write. I thought of her most famous work – An American in Paris, Lili, Daddy Long Legs, Gigi, Fanny, The L-Shaped Room, Father Goose, Is Paris Burning?, Valentino, Dangerous Moves, Damage, Chocolat, Le Divorce, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” – and drew a blank as to what I should refer to. When the time finally came to speak to Ms. Caron and hand over my copy of her book, I had to tell her my name three times (understandable, since “Jetta” is not a common name and she was probably tired from the long night’s proceedings). For the minute or two that it took for Ms. Caron to write in my book, I stared at her hands. Then I gushed something like, “Thank you, I’m such a big fan!” and promptly ran away. Anyway, in spite of my awful nervousness, it was a nice moment that I’ll always remember. Leslie Caron is charming, elegant and gracious. A lady through and through!

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