Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Friday, 1 October 2010
If you were young in the mid-50s (I was 10) and had just missed James Dean then Tony was IT - along with the emerging Elvis. Those Universal programmers like MISTER CORY, MANY RIVERS TO CROSS, BLACK SHIELD OF FALWORTH, THE PERFECT FURLOUGH and then that run of good ones: TRAPEZE, SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, THE DEFIANT ONES, THE VIKINGS, SOME LIKE IT HOT, SPARTACUS ... it must be difficult to have five years of classics and then to have to keep going in lesser material ... but thats what actors have to do. His Josephine in SOME LIKE IT HOT (channelling Eve Arden) along with Lemmon's Daphne and Marilyn's Sugar Kane and Joan Shawlee's Sweet Sue will always be in my top 10, and we love Eric the Viking and "I am SPARTACUS" and "why would a guy want to marry a guy?" and his books are full of hilarious stories... he and Janet were just ideal, just one of his many lives. He of course worked with practically everyone: Janet, MM, Olivier... the ones with Vitti (a dim farce THE CHASTITY BELT) and Claudia (McKendrick's DON'T MAKE WAVES) were thrown away as supporting features. He also wrote the introduction to Bob Willoughby's book (below), and of course took up painting.
Tony inspires so much affection that the London "Times" devoted 9 pages to him - 2 page news story, cover picture, editional comment, 2 page obituary + 2 pages in the comment section on his life and times. No one since Katharine Hepburn got that kind of coverage at their passing!