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.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Betty Garrett RIP

Another link to the classic musicals has gone with the death of Betty Garrett, who was not that prolific - she and her husband Larry Parks had their hollywood careers curtailed due to those dark ages communist witch hunts of the early '50s]. Betty though continued working (LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY on tv, and on Broadway, in FOLLIES and others. She lived though to be 91 - sometimes that is the best revenge. (Betty was actually, though a redhead, rather similar in style to Celeste Holm - who is also still with us in her 90s).

There are though two movies featuring Betty that I absolutely love: ON THE TOWN of course where she is sensational as Brunhilde Esterhazy (or Hildy) the driver of the yellow cab which the sailors drive around in looking for Miss Turnstiles, while Hildy tries to get Sinatra "back to her place" (where of course Alice Pearce as Lucy Schmeeler is waiting - as Gaby (Gene Kelly) finds out .... add in Ann Miller and Vera Ellen and those dancing showgirls and it is as delirious now as back in 1949. Betty is terrific here, as of course she is in the 1955 Richard Quine Columbia musical MY SISTER EILEEN - the latest version (then) of the Sherwood sisters arriving in New York from Ohio - Betty wants to be a writer and gets involved with young Jack Lemmon, while Janet Leigh (Eileen) has Bob Fosse and Tommy Rall - the two best male dancers ever (apart from Fred and Gene) fighting over her - and they certainly dance up a storm here. It is certainly one to re-watch now.

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