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.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

RIP, continued ...

2016 hasn't finished with us yet.

Debbie Reynolds (1932-2016), aged 84. A day after the passing of her daughter Carrie, it is sad indeed to hear that Debbie has died too. I shed a tear for the passing of this irrepressible Hollywood legend, who was screen-tested after being crowned Miss Burbank 1948.
She entertained us throughout our 1950s and '60s with items as choice as SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (when she was just 19), THE TENDER TRAP with Sinatra, TAMMY, IT STARTED WITH A KISS, HOW THE WEST WAS WON, THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN, the oddball GOODBYE CHARLIE, DIVORCE AMERICAN STYLE etc. and, er, THE SINGING NUN! She held her own against Bette Davis in THE CATERED AFFAIR in 1956, a nice dramatic role.  Then she found a whole new career as  a sassy grandma gay-icon, particularly as Grace's mother in WILL & GRACE and films like MOTHER and IN AND OUT., and practically unrecognisable as Liberace's mother in BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Then there was her work preserving Hollywood history and costumes, and she kept busy. She was fab too in the camp horror flick WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN?, acting up a storm with Shelley Winters,  in 71. (review at Debbie label). She was a wicked mimic too, as per her impression of Streisand at:   RIP to a game gal.

Carrie Fisher (1956-2016), aged 60.. Carrie Fisher was Hollywood royalty, her parents being Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Carrie was a teen in SHAMPOO in 1975 and then of course immortalised as the plucky Princess Leia with that hairstyle in the first STAR WARS films, and she returned to the latest one last year, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. She actually clocked up 90 acting credits, and was also that acerbic, funny writer, who wrote POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE and that campfest THESE OLD BROADS for her mother, Taylor, McLaine and Collins. Her colorful private life included a brief marriage to Paul Simon. She was her usual witty self on television here only a few weeks ago.

Liz Smith (1921-2016), aged 95. Veteran character actress Liz was much loved and so very individual, across British television, stage (I saw her in the original ONCE A CATHOLIC) and film - particularly A PRIVATE FUNCTION (she and Maggie Smith were a perfect double act) and WE THINK THE WORLD OF YOU. She only began acting at 50, after a hard early life. She stunned in those early Mike Leigh films like HARD LABOUR and BLEAK MOMENTS. Her most loved role though was as Nana (with some priceless one-liners, as scripted by Caroline Aherne, who also left us this year, in the long-running BBC hit THE ROYLE FAMILY, RIP to a favourite of ours. She also excelled in that TV SEPARATE TABLES in 1983, and the film APARTMENT ZERO.  

Richard Adams (1920-2016), aged 96. Best-selling author of WATERSHIP DOWN which became a worldwide success and that enjoyable film.

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