Monthly Archives: September 2010
This is a bad week for Hollywood, we are losing all the good ones. Yesterday we lost director Arthur Penn, and this morning the news comes that also last night actor Tony Curtis passed away. His daughter Jamie Lee Curtis confirmed his passing from cardiac arrest after several medical maladies this past year. He was 85.
Tony Curtis starred in my favorite film of all time, The Great Race. It was a fave when I was a kid, and remains to this day. I watch it every time it airs from start to finish, nearly three hours. It’s got adventure, romance, music, history, satire and comedy. Throw in the fight between good and evil and race cars, and it just can’t be beat. And in the center of it all, as the dashing hero radiating charisma, is Tony Curtis. That’s the kind of guy he was, the epitome of the leading man, even when he was playing a parody of one.
Curtis was great in everything he was in. Whether he was in drag as in Some Like It Hot, getting an Oscar nod in The Defiant Ones, or being the best thing in the completely dreadful telemovie Tarzan in Manhattan, he was always marvelous. He was the undisputed star of so many movies, including Houdini, Operation Petticoat, Boeing Boeing and Spartacus.
Born Bernie Schwartz in Hells Kitchen, he came to Hollywood in the late 1940s and became an almost instant star. He was married to Janet Leigh and romantically linked to Marilyn Monroe. He also played regular roles on television on shows like “The Persuaders” and “Vega$,” and on this the fiftieth anniversary of “The Flintstones,” he might be remembered for his guest appearance as Stony Curtis. The last time I saw him on television was on “The Graham Norton Show” a year or so ago. He didn’t look well, but he still rocked the house with his stories of old Hollywood.
This is indeed a sad day. We have lost one of the legends of Hollywood.
The man behind not only some of my favorite films, but some of the greatest films ever made, period, has passed away. Director Arthur Penn died last night at the age of 88.
His vision and talent changed the film industry in the late 1960s and changed the way we watch movies in both expectation and complexity. Among his films are the groundbreaking Bonnie and Clyde, The Miracle Worker, Little Big Man, Alice’s Restaurant and The Missouri Breaks. These are all films I will watch all the way through every time I see them on. They were not many, one every few years, but what he lacked in quantity he made up for in quality.
Penn began in television, but he also worked on the Broadway stage winning both the Tony and the Pulitzer. This great man will be missed. We have truly lost one of the legends of the field.
The insult comic, writer, and television and radio celebrity was originally a lawyer before becoming a comedian. Giraldo frequently did his stand-up on most of the talk shows of the last couple decades. Most recently he was a judge on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.”
He hosted and appeared on numerous shows and specials on Comedy Central, most notably their revival of the celebrity roasts, and was considered a mainstay of the network.
He’ll be missed.
Eddie Fisher passed away yesterday from complications of hip surgery. He was 82.
Fisher was a singer and actor on radio and television, but he was probably better known for what he did in his personal life. Fisher married five times. Among his wives were Elizabeth Taylor, Connie Stevens and Debbie Reynolds. Actress Carrie Fisher is his daughter from that last marriage.
His recording career was huge and he ruled the charts until some guy named Elvis Presley came along. He will be missed.