It is very common for gay men of a certain age (over 30) to become addicted to certain actresses or pop divas. In fact, you can tell a lot about a gay man through his choice of diva. A love of Judy Garland means you're probably quite damaged and have addiction issues. Bette Davis - you're a bitch. Joan Crawford - you're also a bitch, except you're good at hiding it. If you choose Madonna then I'm afraid you're lacking in imagination. However, my Diva of Choice is Shelly Winters. And to celebrate I've been engaging in a Shellython, watching all my favourite Shelly films again. Shelly is great because the films she chose did not cast her in glamorous roles. Instead she tended to play annoying, whiny victims or bullies. And she usually came to a sticky end (the exception being Alfie, where she ends up with a much younger man in her bed). Here are my favourite Shelly denouements (don't read if you hate spoilers):
1. The Poseidon Adventure - she drowns while trying to save the other members of the cast. It's actually her most heroic death.
2. Cleopatra Jones - playing racist, lesbian drug-baron Mommie - destroyed in a car wrecking yard.
3. Lolita. As the overbearing mother, she practically eats Humbert Humbert alive, and then is killed in a car accident after realising that he's only after her daughter. One two, cha, cha, cha!
4. The Diary of Anne Frank. And we all know how THAT turned out.
5. Night of the Hunter. Note to Shelly: Don't choose a serial killer as your husband.
6. Who Slew Auntie Roo. Burnt to death by plucky orphans. Well, if she does insist on recreating a 1970s version of Hansel and Gretal.
7. Bloody Mama - after a "spree" of robbery, murder and kidnapping, it's only a matter of time before she goes down in a blaze of glory.
8. A Place in the Sun. Murdered in a boating "accident" by Montgomery Clift. The only puzzle is that he kills her to get into Elizabeth Taylor's knickers, not Rock Hudson's!
9. What's the Matter With Helen? I can't remember exactly how this ends, but she does go mad and start killing innocent bunny rabbits.
10. Wild in the Streets. Her tour de force. Sentenced to an LSD "prison camp" along with everyone else over the age of 35 when her son becomes president of the USA. Last heard screaming "Where are my feathers?"