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Adam West RIP

I was never a fan of Batman, the television series.  Correction, I didn’t understand camp.

(You must understand, I was in junior high, preparing to graduate to high school, and thought myself a serious intellectual.  😛 )

I did remember Adam West from a previous episode of Robert Taylor’s The Detectives, though.  I liked him in that role.

Most persons who become type cast eventually fade away, unless they have amazing talent and staying power.  George Reeves killed himself (or was murdered).  And Baby Boomers will always associate him with the Superman TV series.

Mr. West worked long before he was Batman, and long afterward.  Sometimes as cartoon voice-overs, but not always.  He didn’t just do car shows with the Batmobile.  He embraced the Batman mythos, and made it his.

And, not unlike Patrick Stewart (in American Dad), he made his famous voice even more famous in ‘adult’ cartoons, like Family Guy. (as the Mayor of Quahog).

He passed after a short bout with leukemia.  Having had a blood disease, myself, this definitely got my attention.

He will be missed.

‘I Consider Myself A Guest Here’

Canadian William Shatner REFUSES

To Trash Trump: ‘I Consider Myself a

Guest Here’

William Shanter, the ICONIC Star Trek actor himself, refuses to talk ill of President Donald Trump regardless of his feelings for politics. In a recent interview he had with the Daily Beast he spoke all about it, and his new book, ‘Spirit of the Horse’. During this interview, Shatner made it really clear that his name was not to be added to an open letter that was released out of Hollywood last year denouncing Trump’s candidacy.

“I didn’t do that. I would never have done that,” the actor said of the anti-Trump letter posted on the Trek Against Trump Facebook page last September.

There were however, notable personalities of the original star trek series like George Takei (of course) who played Hikaru Sulu, and Star Trek Into Darkness director JJ.Abrams, who was a very avid Clinton supporter did sign that letter.

The Beast reporter did attempt more than once to get Shatner to dish on Trump, and the actor stuck to his guns refusing to do so, making it very clear that he wasn’t willing to speak ill of the president.

“I don’t want to discuss Trump or [George] Takei,” Shatner said, adding: “Listen, I’m Canadian and I’m apolitical. I love America. I consider myself a guest here.”

“I won’t do anything that might get me deported,” the 86-year-old star joked.

The Priceline pitchman, known best for his role as Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise, also revealed that while he and Abrams have discussed him having a role in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise, the director hasn’t extended the offer.

“I’ve met with J.J. Abrams, who seems to be running the film franchise now,” Shatner said. “Though I’ve repeatedly expressed my interest in being in one of the Star Trek movies they seem to have no interest in bringing back old Captain James T. Kirk.”

Shatner, who made his small-screen debut as Captain Kirk in 1966, also revealed that he has never seen any of the new films.

A lifelong lover of horses, Shatner’s new book Spirit of the Horse is a love letter to his four-legged friends.

Although he is very liberal in his political beliefs, he knows how to stand for those beliefs without being ridiculous and out of line like his other Hollywood friends.

Yep. I could sit next to him on a plane, introduce myself as a conservative and he’d like me.

That’s how it’s suppose to be.

h/t Facebook, I Have the Truth.com

AMEN, Mr. Shatner and Mr. Wendal!

Now, I’m not an unabashed fan of the current President (although he is certainly a vast improvement over the last one!)  Having said that, I tire of the juvenile and sometimes criminal actions taken against the President.  Like it or not, he IS the President!  And deserves some respect.

(I’d preferred a more libertarian President, stopping this ongoing assault on the Fourth Amendment.  One with a better speaking style.  Wish in one hand…)

To see and hear (most) Hollywood types continue to attack and beat on him is more than shameful.  YES, everyone has a right to an opinion.

But, lets be adult about it, shall we?  Disagree on policy choices, not hairstyles!

 

Powers Boothe, RIP

You guys know how much I love character actors.

Sadly, another one has passed on – Powers Boothe.  Yesterday, of natural causes.

He’s one of those guys whom I had difficulty remembering his name, but loved his work.

Most of you probably remember him as ‘Curly’ Bill Brocius from the epic film Tombstone.

But he was so much more.

Jim Jones, Sin City, The Avengers, Deadwood, Agents of Shield, Nashville, Red Dawn, and 24 among many others.  He did the voice-over for Con Air.

I’ll always have a fondness for Philip Marlowe-Private Eye and Rapid Fire (wherein he played opposite Brandon Lee).

You will indeed be missed.

 

Memorable Movie Mistakes

I’ve not been ‘on a date’ in some time.  It’s simply a matter of logistics – I’ve no extraneous funds and my car is a beater with no air conditioning.

The fact that I don’t travel is any circles with available women has nothing to do with it!

😛

I was thinking this morning about a few of my more memorable dates in the distant past.  Some with fondness; some not-so-much.

I used to like to attend the cinema.  There were many first-run films each week, lots of theaters from which to choose, and who doesn’t like sitting in the dark with a young woman? (this was in my 20’s – before I had been married, and subsequently divorced).

Now, of course, there are fewer movies and movie houses.  And one may sit at home in one’s skivvies and watch videos until the cows come home, with beer, pizza, and (if one is so lucky) company.

AND, one may pause to go to the bathroom!

Times have changed.

ANYWAY, I remembered a couple of dates.  One was a later Hitchcock film.  I did (and DO love Alfred Hitchcock).  My date said she did as well.  Were post-date antics in the offing?

Sadly NO.  The film was Frenzy.  A film of a serial killer rapist, made in London.  I think it was the first time Hitch actually exposed breasts on film.  Following a violent rape and strangulation.  Hardly something to arouse a normal young woman to later romance.

Sigh.

Another time, a former girlfriend returned to town and looked me up.  We went out a few times, and I had hope of rekindling the romance.  But, it was not to be…

She had mentioned she liked Burt Reynolds.  There was a new film out with him in it.  I thought “Hey!  Maybe this will get things going again?”

Hardly.  The film was Deliverance.  You remember – dueling banjos, homosexual rape?

I just couldn’t get a break!

(as an aside, the consummate actor Ned Beatty was the rape victim here.  I’ve wondered about the audition…“Hey, pages 18 and 19 are missing?  Don’t worry about it, Ned.)

Rifleman Babylon?

When I was growing up, there were numerous Westerns on television.  Being raised by TV, I was familiar with most.  One of them was The Rifleman (1958-1963).

The Rifleman, aka Lucas McCain, was played to his macho hilt by Chuck Connors, a 6’5″ athlete (from Wikipedia, in part):

Kevin Joseph Aloysius “Chuck” Connors (April 10, 1921 – November 10, 1992) was an American actor, writer and professional basketball and baseball player. He is one of only 12 athletes in the history of American professional sports to have played both Major League Baseball and in the National Basketball Association. With a 40-year film and television career, he is best known for his five-year role as Lucas McCain in the highly rated ABC series The Rifleman (1958–63).[1]

There was a book, first published in 1965, entitled Hollywood Babylon.  There have been two subsequent printings.  The book went out of it’s way to defame the famous in Hollywood, mentioning the scandals, the rumors, the crime, the ‘dirt’ for which the public was so hungry.  Sal Mineo, Sharon Tate, Jayne Mansfield et al.

I don’t believe Chuck was mentioned in any of them.

The theme of the TV show was almost always (TV violence aside), a lesson which Lucas (a widower) would impart to his young son, Mark.  I remember one particular episode wherein the lecture was (at the end of the show after much gunfighting) regarding people who are differentAnd just because they are different, doesn’t automatically make them BAD.  And how we, as honest human beings should strive to be accepting of such folk.

Of course, I was a kid, so this message went over my head.  When I saw the show again years later, some additional context was added.

An acquaintance, who has been a professional gun writer for many years, happened to see Chuck Connors at a large California gun show.  IN FULL DRAG! – complete with a wig and makeup!  This was a short time before he passed away.

This is not to defame Mr. Connors, but to suggest perhaps he and the TV show writers had a meeting-of-the-minds (?)

There are further rumors regarding Mr. Connors behavior all over the Internet.  As there are with pretty much anyone regarded as ‘famous’.

Just because it says so on the Internet doesn’t make it true! – Abraham Lincoln

I remember sharing this tale with a collections manager @ TMCCC* (my last workplace).  He ran away from me, covering his ears as though he were five years old!  Obviously, I had been messing with a macho hero of his!

Be judicious with whom you share this tale.

*That Major Credit Card Company

No New Ideas

whatyear

I’m thoroughly convinced.  Hollywood has officially run out of ideas.

We were watching commercial TV last night.  The big promo was the announcement of the premiere of the new TV show Prison Break!  (Hmmm?  Wasn’t there a show with a similar title a few years back?  Hey look! – they have the same cast!)

Television has a plethora of repeats or re-writes.  Time After Time, based on the 70’s film with the same name, is now a series.  (BTW – there are at least another THREE time-travel-themed TV shows.  Stop looking at each other’s papers!)

I realize there are only so many formats, and popular themes make money.  And, to be honest, I enjoy some of the retreads.

But, how many?

Sherlock Holmes, Elementary, Star Trek Generation ∞, C.H.I.P.s, Going in Style, ….

When did sequels and re-writes champion original ideas and thoughts?  (not to mention some re-makes are abysmal!  The Man From UNCLE?)

Get some original ideas, people!

Again, The Grim Reaper Does Not Rest

Remember last year, and the celebrities just dropping like flies?

Well, it is continuing unto 2017!

And how sad is THAT?  😦

BILL PAXTON, who went from bit player to fifth lead, to third lead, to romantic lead (!) to character actor.  (You KNOW how I love character actors!)

bp1

bp2If you don’t follow Hollywood news, you will not have heard.  But, he passed away from complications after heart surgery Saturday at age 61!

And from all reports was a funny, decent, kind man.  (Sometimes, when these Hollywood folks go away, little is said about their character.  Because they are @$$holes.  Obviously, not in this case.)  He was married 30 years, and had two children.  Hardly stereotypical Hollywood.

bp3

Stripes, The Terminator, Weird Science, Aliens, Miami Vice (TV), Navy Seals, Tombstone, True Lies, Twister, Apollo 13, Titanic, Big Love (TV), Hatfields & McCoys (TV), Training Day (TV) – just to name a few.

Word is the remaining episodes of Training Day are ‘in the can’ and will be shown.  Sadly, even if he had survived, word is also it would probably not have been renewed for a second season.

RIP, Bill.  You will be are missed!

 

Mike Connors R.I.P.

 Death, obviously knows no change in calendars…
mike-connors

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Connors, who starred as a hard-hitting private eye on the long-running television series “Mannix,” has died. He was 91.

The actor died surrounded by family Thursday afternoon at a Los Angeles hospital from complications of leukemia that had been diagnosed a week earlier, said his son-in-law, Mike Condon.

“Mannix” ran for eight years on CBS beginning in 1967. Viewers were intrigued by the tall, smartly dressed, well-spoken detective who could mix it up with the burliest of thugs and leap on the hood of a racing car to prevent an escape. Episodes normally climaxed with a brawl that left the culprits bruised and beaten.

“Up until Mannix, most private investigators were hard-nosed, cynical guys who lived in a seedy area and had no emotions,” Connors theorized in 1997. “Mannix got emotionally involved. He was not above being taken advantage of.”

In the first season, Joe Mannix was a self-employed Los Angeles private investigator hired by a firm that used computers and high-tech equipment to uncover crime. The ratings were lukewarm. Connors feared the series would be canceled but it was produced by Lucille Ball’s Desilu studio, and CBS was reluctant to antagonize its biggest star.

In the second season, Mannix opened his own office and combatted low-lifes by himself. The ratings zoomed.

When “Mannix” was revised the office acquired a secretary, played by African-American actress Gail Fisher.

The network was concerned that affiliates in the South might object to her character but “there wasn’t any kind of backlash,” Connors recalled.

Another highlight was the theme music by legendary screen composer Lalo Schifrin.

Connors also starred in the TV series “Tightrope!” and “Today’s FBI.” Each lasted one season.

His movie and TV career stretched from the 1950s to 2007, when he had a guest role on “Two and a Half Men.”

Connors made his film debut in 1952’s “Sudden Fear,” which starred Joan Crawford. Other films included “Island in the Sky,” ”The Ten Commandments,” and a remake of “Stagecoach.”

Connors, born Krekor Ohanian in 1925, was from an Armenian community in Fresno. He served in the Air Force during World War II and played basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles.

After graduation he studied law for two years but his good looks and imposing presence attracted him to acting. In an era when film actors were given names like Tab and Rock, he appeared as Touch Connors — “Touch” being his basketball nickname. He later changed it to Michael and finally, Mike.

Connors and his wife, Mary Lou, were married in 1949 and had two children: a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Dana. Their son, beset by hallucinations starting in his teens, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and before his death lived in a small residential care facility. Connors and his wife championed efforts to erase the stigma of mental illness.

In addition to his wife, daughter and son-in-law, Connors is survived by a granddaughter, Cooper Wills.

___

The late Associated Press writer Bob Thomas contributed biographical material to this report.

We humans always seem to make the passing of time with a New Year, with the hope that Death will do the same.

But, he never stops.

There have been others, Mary Tyler Moore being the most notable.

But my high school TV years were filled with shows like Mission Impossible.

And Mannix.

For me, Mannix filled the generational gap between 77 Sunset Strip and Magnum.

This was Mike Connors image, even though he did other things.

He even did a show where he was named Ohanian – his real Armenian name – but it didn’t take.

He once quipped as Mannix he was hit on the head something like 57 times, but always came back.  Maybe PIs should be issued safety helmets?

Godspeed, Mike.  R.I.P.

The King of Film Noir

Those familiar with this blog know I loves me character actors and film noir.  I’m certain this evolved from my Dad’s love of film and character actors.

Humphrey Bogart is one of my favorites, but there are so many others.

Robert Mitchum is the king.

If you’ve not seen The Night of the Hunter or (the original) Cape Fear, you have missed something.

Of course, he had an ‘interesting’ private life.  One of the early Hollywood types busted for marijuana use, he served a week in the county jail, then more time in a prison farm. (from Wikipedia)

On September 1, 1948, after a string of successful films for RKO, Mitchum and actress Lila Leeds were arrested for possession of marijuana.[7] The arrest was the result of a sting operation designed to capture other Hollywood partiers, as well, but Mitchum and Leeds did not receive the tipoff. After serving a week at the county jail, (he described the experience to a reporter as being “like Palm Springs, but without the riff-raff”) Mitchum spent 43 days (February 16 to March 30) at a Castaic, California, prison farm, with Life photographers right there taking photos of him mopping up in his prison uniform.[8] The arrest became the inspiration for the exploitation film She Shoulda Said No! (1949), which starred Leeds.[9] The conviction was later overturned by the Los Angeles court and district attorney’s office on January 31, 1951, with the following statement, after it was exposed as a setup:

After an exhaustive investigation of the evidence and testimony presented at the trial, the court orders that the verdict of guilty be set aside and that a plea of not guilty be entered and that the information or complaint be dismissed.

He did appear to be an early version of the stereotypical beatnik, but, considering his career, certainly not with an aversion to work(!)  Robert Mitchum was an American actor who was in over 110 films and TV series over the course of his career. (Wikipedia)

He was married to his wife Dorothy for 57 years!  He reportedly proposed by saying to her, “Stick with me Baby, and you’ll be farting through silk!”

Mitchum as Max Cady in Cape Fear (1962)

Mitchum as Max Cady in Cape Fear (1962)

At The Movies

Regular readers know I love movies and TV.  What you may not know is, I rarely go ‘out’ to the movies.

Part of the reason is the technological shift in how we can view movies.  I get them directly on my satellite dish, or through services like NETFLIX™.  I even own a ‘few’ on DVD! (I know – OLD technology!)  😛

There are more than enough from which to choose.

And there’s this (from FB, in part – not me!):

Went to the H****** Metrocenter 12 …at the 01:30pm “Jupiter Ascending”…Me and 2 others of my party had to walk out!!!
Some trashy family with 3-4 kids sat right next to us and talked and talked ..and talked…and also they let their kid run up and down in front of us!

Then to top if off….the father had the nerve to pick up one of our parties drinks and hand it to his kid to drink out of ….then said sorry and handed it back “AFTER” his kid (& himself took turns slurping it down!).

I had to had have a friend get a manager…2 (Two) times….then finally got our money back and walked out!!

BAD!!!! I wont be back to the H****** Metrocenter 12…sad missed a film that I had been wanting to see for weeks!

Metrocenter used to be a family-friendly huge, upscale mall, wherein many weekends were spent window and actual shopping.  With my then wife and young daughter.  Now, with most of the brick-and-mortar department stores closed, it’s become a hang out for misguided yutes.

I remember even in pre-VHS days, attending a different theater and encountering rude people.  As the film began, three yutes (misguided teens) began talking loudly to each other and the screen.  Against my better judgment, I approached them and strongly suggested I paid good money to hear the movie, and not to hear them sh*** and j***. (Using a 40’s vernacular with which I’m certain they lacked familiarity).

They quieted down, and I spent most of the movie checking my six for some variety of retaliation.  Thankfully, none came.

While I sometimes miss the big screens and speakers (remember CINERAMA™ and Dolby­™?), it is nice knowing I can pause the film for bathroom and/or beverage, and even watch in my skivvies.

AH! Technology!

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…