Category Archives: lois and clark
Sherman Hemsley was found dead this morning, presumably of natural causes. The television, stage and film actor was 74.
Hemsley was best known for playing George Jefferson, Archie Bunker’s neighborly nemesis on “All in the Family” before moving on up to his decade long rein in the spin-off “The Jeffersons,” also by Norman Lear. Later Hemsley played Deacon Frye on “Amen.”
I’m a bit more out there when it comes to my favorite roles for Sherman Hemsley. I loved him as the Steel Condor in the Disney superhero satire Up, Up, and Away. I also dug him as the Toyman, along with “Jeffersons” co-star Isabel Sanford, on “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” He was also the star of my favorite story from the second incarnation of “The Twilight Zone” called “I of Newton.”
A bit of trivia about Mr. Hemsley is that he was a huge prog rock fan and expert. He loved bands of the early seventies like Yes, Genesis, and the more obscure Gentle Giant. Sherman Hemsley even collaborated with Jon Anderson on an unreleased album.
Gypsy 83 ~ Sara Rue, late of ABC’s “Less Than Perfect” is a Stevie Nicks-obsessed Goth girl who takes a cross-country jaunt with her gay Goth guy-pal to see ‘the Night of a Thousand Stevies.’ No, I shit you not. It’s actually pretty good and Sara gives an impressive performance except for one moment that invalidates the rest of the flick. In a scene that out-camps Phoebe Cates doing her Christmas and Lincoln’s Birthday speeches in the Gremlins movies, Sara tells of a talent show in high school where she pees herself on stage. The subplot of the Amish hitchhiker exploring the outside world for the first time is sometimes more intriguing than the main plot itself. And Karen Black is also here, not as creepy as usual, and definitely not as creepy as in real life. Great soundtrack and worth seeing unedited, as opposed to how it’s shown on Logo.
BOA ~ Here’s what OnDemand has to say about BOA: ”It’s the future. Deadly criminals shipped off to high security prison in Antarctica. But there’s a presence there more dangerous than all of them combined: A giant, prehistoric snake hibernating under the facility. Gee, I hope nobody wakes him up.” Wow, not much I can add to that, eh? Dean Cain is actually funny and watchable here, more so than he’s been since “Lois and Clark” probably.
Quatermass and the Pit ~ I first saw this one as a child, when it was called Five Million Years to Earth, and it scared the hell out of me. When I saw it for four bucks at Walgreens the other night I had to pick it up. While all that remained in my memory for three decades was the devilish image at the end of the film, I fully expected it not to live up to expectations – especially in the discount rack at a drug store, but I was wonderfully surprised. This is a very sophisticated sci-fi thriller that I’ll probably watch again and again. I also look forward to checking out the rest of the Quatermass films. A definite winner.