No matter, in terms of physical appearance, Kathy Bates was likely as close to the real deal as Hollywood could get. Not the "Sweet Bundle of Sex" types that Tinseltown normally likes to go for.
I wouldn't call Margeret Brown hard on the eyes. She may not have fit the ideal of a "dish" then or now, but keep in mind that she was a lady who was straight out of the American West. A tough customer and one who had to be given the often hard realities of living in mining communities.
While it's true that Margaret Brown knew the meaning of hard work and sacrifice, once she and her husband came into money, she worked very hard to polish herself, learning to speak five languages fluently, studying the arts, philosophy and anthropology; traveling the world, becoming active in community affairs and a leader of the suffragette movement in America, acquainted with European royalty and the best of New England society, etc. She not only survived the sinking of the Titanic, she survived fire and a near-capsizing of two ferries in the Nordic Sea, as well as a major fire that destroyed the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. She was a tough cookie alright--but a fancy one!
I had thought Mrs. Brown was stout, but after seeing the pictures, I agree she is a nicely well endowed older woman - fashionably shaped for her era.
As for her speaking voice: I suppose her great-granddaughters, if they were alive when she was and not relying on their parents' recollections grew up in her part of the U.S., so they would not have noted an accent. I might have said she had a midwestern, or western accent, because I grew up with an Ontario - Great Lakes states accent (so what's 'accented' to me would not have been 'accented' to her and vica versa.)and because, knowing she came from Missouri and Colorado, I would have expected her to have a western states accent.
Arguably, everybody has an accent but you tend not to notice what your used to. Down here in South Carolina, some people figure I'm from New York because of the way I pronounce certain words and some of the slang I've used. (I'm not but my parents are from Buffalo. I grew up in Pennsylvania) Down here, I'm the one with the accent. Up north, it's the other way around.
Yes, Michael, whoops! Sorry! And big sorry to you too, Bob! That's my second late night typo! I think I'm spending far to much time on here lately!
And I agree with both Michael and Kyrila - she definitely had to be tough growing up and living in the old West, and while her personality (at least deep down) may have remained with that certain 'you can't break me down' edge, (as proven by her strength and courage proven so many times), if I were her and suddenly found myself a 'society woman' among so many... I don't want to say snobbish but certainly uptight and less accustomed to the loosey gooseyness of miner life, I would do my utmost to hide that from them, and do all I could to fit in and better myself.
She would talk differently then the rich society that she was around. Molly was a poor woman and would have acted that way. I strongly believe that it toke a lot of guts to stand up to the man running the lifeboat. Think about it, you probably would do the the same thing. I would have done the same thing as she did and wouldn't have worried about a accent and if I was acting lady like or not.
"Molly" as she was never called in her lifetime, was not a poor woman at the time she boarded Titanic. Her husband had discovered one of the richest silver mines in the west and they had an enormous home in Denver. It's true that Margaret Tobin started out life poor in material things, but she had a good childhood friend who was related to Samuel Clemons, known best by his pen name, Mark Twain. Her father worked very hard to support their large family, and Margaret worked very hard as soon as she was old enough to help take the burden off her father. She moved to Colorado to strike it rich so her father would never have to work again, and she succeeded in that goal. So yes, she had a strong work ethic and strong personality, but she had also worked hard to refine herself. She had a survival instinct from growing up along the Mississippi River, which was prone to floods, and also from mines which were prone to collapse, not to mention the hard winters, avalanches, flash floods and other natural disasters that are part of the experience of living in the Rocky Mountains. She was tough, all right--but gentle and quite the lady. Well-educated and athletic, but also talented and graceful. She studied dance in Europe and also took up acting lessons with none other than the great actress Sarah Bernhardt.
I quite agree with you, Dave. Which is why it is so important for me to portray her correctly. I use the same process in study for portraying Renee Harris, Lutie Parrish, Lady Duff-Gordon and others. I've been asked by a local friend to create a script for "Muddy Boons" and also the nurse for Thomas Andrews' daughter, Elba. I'm looking into it.
JJ Brown didn't discover any kind of mine as such. As an engineer rather than a prospector, he developed a means of extending the workings of his employer's silver mining operation to reach the gold deposits known to exist at deeper levels.
IBEX Mining Company in Leadville, Colorado was jointly owned by JJ Brown, John Campion and their partners William Page and AV Hunter. According to the Leadville Herald Democrat, the company had proposed to make a gold mine out of the Little Jonny Mine because of a discovery of dolomite sand in the shaft. JJ used bales of hay supported by stout wooden timbers to hold the sand back. On October 29, 1893, the newspaper reported tht the mine led to a lake of ore. JJ was credited with the mine's success, although John Campion had made the decision to work the mine.
So you're right, Jason--Although IBEX was known prior to the strike as a silver mining company, the Little Jonny Mine was successful for its rich motherlode of gold.
>>A newspaper account of Margaret's wedding describes her as "an accomplished young saleslady", whose marriage would be blessed by the patrons of the store where she worked.
I think there is quite a gap between the real Margaret Brown and the caricature seen in the movies. Movies and third-rate documentaries are the curse of Titanic studies<<
Again...."All I know is what I read......" (LOL) but I have heard that Mrs. J.J. Brown (certainly not "Molly" !) probably spoke in a quite cultured manner of speech and was fluent in several languages, including French and German which she acquired in her journey to Europe prior to sailing on the Titanic.
>>Arguably, everybody has an accent but you tend not to notice what your used to.<<
One of the great cultural shocks of my brief period of Service with the United States Navy... (In the beginning there was the Boot Camp Company)...was the vast amount of "accents" of all those strange persons who spoke of "Youse guys", "Y'alls", et cetera and so forth. I did not consider myself to have an accent ! (I am a native of Dallas and one "Boot" from Tennessee (good naturedly, though) accused me of "you talk like a Yankee !")
"Are You Being Served Again ?"... and all the many other British Situation Comedies ...are an education in British accents...from the rural "Mr. Molterd" to the snobbish "Captain Peacock". I'm certain the British find American accents even more amusing. LOL.
"Hear them down in SOHO square,
Dropping 'H''s every where,
Speaking English any way they please."
("Professor Henry Higgins" in "My Fair Lady")
There has always been a gap between real people and Hollywood--no matter who the subject is--but especially with Margaret Brown. She was never called Molly in her lifetime--in fact, Molly was a derogatory racial slur used in regards to Irish girls in America at that time and earlier.
It is true that Margaret worked as a sales clerk, selling draperies and carpets for a general store. Probably area carpets, not wall to wall as we have in our homes today. She and JJ sought to improve themselves through studies even before they struck it rich. And yes, Margaret did learn several languages which she became fluent in during her frequent travels.
Margaret was called Maggie or Mag until she was 13 and graduated grade school. Afterwards, she preferred to be called Margaret--after her marriage she preferred either Margaret or Mrs. JJ Brown.