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.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Some interesting careers ....

Hope Lange / Tom Tryon / Keir Dullea / Lola Albright. 

We are fascinated here at The Projector as to how some acting careers pan out, who gets the breaks and who keeps working into old age.  Here are some interesting ones .... maybe more later. 

If you were asked who co-starred with Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Montgomery Clift, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, would you come up with the answer? And if told it was Hope Lange would you be any the wiser?
Hope Lange (1933-2003) was one of 20th Century Fox’s players who came to prominence in the mid-50s and had a good career into the 1960s, maybe not individual enough to be a top line star, but a pleasing presence (rather like Vera Miles) in several hits of the time. She studied dance with Martha Graham, and was the young ingénue in BUS STOP in 1956, having scenes with Monroe, and then was Selina Cross in the Fox hit PEYTON PLACE in 1957, when she was also in the western THE TRUE STORY OF JESSE JAMES, with Robert Wagner and Jeff Hunter,  and in IN LOVE AND WAR, and then Montgomery Clift’s love interest in THE YOUNG LIONS in 1958. She was the lead and top-billed in a favourite of ours, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING in 1959, teamed with Stephen Boyd, with Joan Crawford in the supporting cameo role as her boss. 
She was the main lead opposite Elvis in the Fox meller WILD IN THE COUNTRY. Her scenes were cut out though from HOW THE WEST WAS WON in '62. Then Bette Davis had a supporting role in the 1961 A POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES  where Lange starred with her then amour Glenn Ford, after her marriage to BUS STOP star Don Murray. She then married directed Alan J. Pakula, and had a successful TV series from the film of THE GHOST AND MRS MUIR, among other television roles. Later films included the 1974 DEATH WISH and BLUE VELVET.

Keir Dullea, born in 1936, now 80, was a very individual young actor with those striking looks and eyes, and in interesting films like DAVID AND LISA in 1962 (for which he won the Golden Globe as “Most Promising Male Newcomer”), THE HOODLUM PRIEST, the comedy western WEST OF MONTANA and the lead in Preminger’s BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING in 1965 (where co-star Noel Coward famously said "Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow"), plus the Lana Turner classic MADAME X in 1966, and THE FOX in 1967. He is immortalised for posterity as Dave Bowman, the surviving astronaut in Kubrick’s 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY (and certainly looks better now than his co-star Gary Lockwood – see below). 
The 1969 DE SADE (see review – Dullea label) is a hoot now,
Dullea also did several stage roles and we saw him on stage in London in 1976, as that annoying cowboy in a revival of BUS STOP, with Lee Remick as a world-weary Cherie. - right.
He has kept busy with 84 credits and is still working now. Like Michael York, Terence Stamp and others he shows how actors can keep working as they get older, and the next crop of actors take over.

Tom Tryon (1926-1991) aged 65, clocked up 39 acting credits before becoming a best-selling author. The tall dark and handsome actor was very individual in early roles like I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE in 1958, and in THE UNHOLY WIFE, THREE VIOLENT PEOPLE, THE STORY OF RUTH (see below), MARINES LETS GO, THE LONGEST DAY. 
He was the lead as THE CARDINAL for Otto Preminger in 1963, and also in Otto’s IN HARM’S WAY in 1965. There were lesser roles after that for the gay actor, who had been a marine in the South Pacific during the war, but his novels which were filmed including THE OTHER, HARVEST HOMECROWNED HEADS – a great read, which included the short story FEDORA (which became Billy Wilder’s last interesting film) brought him a lot more success and money than acting! He would have been the sailor marooned on a desert island with Marilyn Monroe in SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE, in 1962 – if the film had been completed.
Lola Albright, born 1925, now in her early 90s – Considered one of the most stylish, sultriest and beautiful actresses in Hollywood, with one of the throatiest, smokiest and most distinctive voices in the business, she starred with Kirk Douglas in the 1949 hit CHAMPION, after uncredited appearances in THE PIRATE and EASTER PARADE, and a bit part in THE TENDER TRAP in ‘55. From 1958 to 1961 she played nightclub singer Edie Hart in the popular TV series PETER GUNN. She also made TV guest appearances on ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS (1955) – he should have made her a Hitchcock blonde. She played Constance McKenzie in the TV series PEYTON PLACE (1964) after Dorothy Malone became ill. Lola received critical acclaim for her performances in A COLD WIND IN AUGUST in 1961, and was in Rene Clements’ LES FELINS with Alain Delon in 1964, and was terrific as Tuesday Weld’s mother in the hilarious LORD LOVE A DUCK in 1966. A great example of a stylish actress under-used by Hollywood, but who kept busy with lots of television work.

Next:  Richard Beymer? Don Murray ? Tuesday Weld? Carol Lynley? Ann-Margret? plus ..... ? 

2 comments:

  1. Keir Dullea never did much for me, his passivity which was so perfect for 2001 left much to be desired in pretty much all his other films.

    However love those other three with Hope being my favorite of the trio.

    I think Hope might have sensed that her type of fluffy/melodramatic gloss heavy features were going out of style since she took a couple years break and then made the jump to TV where she had a big hit right off the bat with Mrs. Muir. I remember being shocked when both she and Suzy Parker died within months of each other and I feared for Diane Baker but bless her she's still plugging away.

    Lola never got the breaks she deserved but you could count on at least one good performance when you saw her turn up.

    Tom Tryon was sure a looker and a good enough actor but he never really popped on screen. Love him in Three Violent People as Chuckles Heston's no account brother with Anne Baxter in one fab outfit after another out there on the range.

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  2. I have not seen THREE VIOLENT PEOPLE but it sounds just up my alley, will have to get it. Anne also wore some terrific outfits in that western THE SPOILERS ....

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