I am writing this 40 years too early…..She wasn’t supposed to be gone. She was supposed to have her opportunity to have her full comeback, a true return to her glory. The type of comeback that would make all of her detractors shut up and recognize the greatness. But that wasn’t in the cards. We just didn’t realize that she would only be with us a short time, but thank God for the time that he did allow us to spend with his child Ms. Whitney Elizabeth Houston.
At times like this, it is best to focus on the reason why Ms. Houston is important to us. For many, she is the woman who you grew up with. Her songs were so iconic and her influence was so far reaching that even now you can probably remember a major event that occurred in your own life during the release of “Run to You” or at the time that “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” was released. Only a few people ever had the opportunity to come in direct contact with Ms. Houston, and an even smaller number of people knew the real Whitney Houston. I have heard that she was both extremely warm and had an amazing, down-to-earth sense of humor. You can see a display of both in the clip below.
In this clip die hard fan Quencie Thomas interviews Whitney. Whitney interacts so naturally with Quencie, as if they have been hanging out for years. The interview was arranged by MTV, but that doesn’t matter. Whitney still could have chosen to either decline the interview or to be standoffish. She chose to do neither.
There are no pretenses here, and she even touches Quencie’s hands and her back…….Who knew that Whitney loved to vacuum?
Whitney the Thespian
I loved Whitney as an actress. In “Waiting to Exhale” she was so seamless and so natural as the girl waiting on a man who belonged to someone else to love her. In “The Preacher’s Wife”, she was just as convincing in a very different role, one in which she played wife, mother, and teased us with a friendship with a very handsome angel.
I was thinking about Whitney’s career earlier this week, and the thought hit me that even in her short time on Earth, Whitney worked with almost everyone (in the vein of heavyweights in the music and film industries). As an actress she worked with both Angela Bassett “Waiting to Exhale” and Denzel Washington “The Preacher’s Wife”. There are hundreds of professional actors that would love to work with either Angela or Denzel, and Ms. Houston had the honor of accomplishing a major film with both actors. Skeptics would say that both of these opportunities were solely due to her star power and projected box office power. While I am sure that may have been part of the initial thought process with regards to casting, in the end Ms. Houston proved to more than hold her own in her roles. She never overacted or underacted, she was relaxed and convincing in her portrayals. It should also be noted that neither Angela Bassett nor Denzel Washington accept movie projects idly (which is why we rarely see Ms. Bassett on screen). They welcomed working with Ms. Houston, and that speaks well of Whitney’s character on set.