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, 18 July 2014

RIP continues ...

James Garner (1928-2014), aged 86. We always liked James, he was a pleasing presence and an attractive, amiable guy, great at comedy too, particularly with Doris in THE THRILL OF IT ALL, where he drives home and into the swimming pool that was not there that morning ... he was CASH McCALL, and his hits include THE GREAT ESCAPE, 36 HOURS was one I particularly liked, and THE AMERICANISATION OF EMILY and with Julie again in VICTOR/VICTORIA, and of course all those ROCKFORD FILES
He was also of course one of the first tv western stars (MAVERICK) to make it big in movies, an ideal co-star for the likes of Audrey, Lee Remick, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Novak and a host of others in films like MR BUDDWING, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF, MARLOWE and MURPHY'S ROMANCE. GRAND PRIX from 1966 is actually in this afternoon's tv schedules here on the BBC, we will be tuning in. Cliff Robertson, Rod Taylor and John Gavin were similar new '60s leading men who also started out in the late '50s, but James seemed the best of them. He had an astonishing early life too, and saw action in Korea, before ending up acting. 

Elaine Stritch (1924 -2014), aged 89. 'Broadway Baby' and legend, quite at home in London too where I saw her one-woman show ELAINE STRITCH AT LIBERTY, a decade ago, and we also saw her in Tennessee's play SMALL CRAFT WARNINGS and Neil Simon's THE GINGERBREAD LADY.. Films included the 1957 A FAREWELL TO ARMS and the Tony Curtis comedy THE PERFECT FURLOUGH (reviewed here recently) and Resnais's PROVIDENCE in 1977. She was in Noel Coward's SAIL AWAY and Sondheim's COMPANY where she immortalised "The ladies who lunch". Luckily she has been preserved in the concert version of Sondehim's FOLLIES (with Lee Remick, Barbaba Cook et al). Known for her caustic wit and frank tales of her romances as well residing at the Carlyle in New York and at The Savoy in London, we will raise our glass to Elaine later ...

Paul Mazursky (1930-2014) aged 84, American director and screenwriter, who had a winning streak in the late '60s and '70s ... his dramatic comedies were nominated for 5 Academy Awards including his AN UNMARRIED WOMAN nominated for Best Picture. Other hits included BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE, MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON, NEXT STOP GREENWICH VILLAGE, SCENES FROM A MALL etc. Roger Ebert stated that "Mazursky has a way of making comedies that are more intelligent and relevant than most of the serious films around".

Bobby Womack (1944-2014). Soul legend, singer-songwriter, musician, Bobby wrote the Rolling Stones early hit "Its All Over Now", just one hit in a career coverig 50 years. He worked with Sly & The Family Stone, Janis Joplin and played on several Aretha Franklin albums. 

Jacques Bergerac (1927-2014) handsome French actor who had a brief hollywood career in the '50s - amusing in my favourite LES GIRLS in '57, GIGI in '58 and with Susan Hayward in THUNDER IN THE SUN in 1959 where they are Basque peasants fighting Indians en route to California. Jacques married two Hollywood stars: Ginger Rogers and Dorothy Malone, and later, like Cary Grant, went into cosmetics, Revlon.  Below: Bergerac with Kay and Mitzi in Cukor's LES GIRLS.

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