Category Archives: mary hartman

Kenneth Mars 1936-2011

Kenneth Mars, the film, television and animation actor passed away this past Monday. You might not know the name but you know this guy. He was in everything. You might remember him as the Nazi playwright in Mel Brooks’ original The Producers film, or perhaps as Hugh in one of my favorite films, What’s Up, Doc?. But that would only be the tip of the iceberg.

He was also in Young Frankenstein, “Get Smart,” “Wonder Woman” and even “Misfits of Science.” On television I first discovered Mars as recurring guest W.D. “Bud” Prize on the brilliant “Fernwood Tonight” and “America 2-Night.” Just think of a TV series in the 1970s and he was in it. His animation career began with voice work on “The Jetsons” in 1962 and continued until just a couple years ago.

Kenneth Mars will be remembered and he will be missed.

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Nurse Jackie, Nurse Jackie

It’s been a couple weeks since the season finale of Showtime’s brilliant “Nurse Jackie,” and something has been bugging me about the ending/cliffhanger. I finally realized what it is. It’s “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”

The popular but only one season long series created by Norman Lear and starring Louise Lasser ended with the star in the nuthouse, rocking back and forth, repeating her name over and over just like the title of the show, “Mary Hartman… Mary Hartman… Mary Hartman… Mary Hartman…”

What is significant is that none of the dangling plotlines or cliffhangers were ever really resolved. Yes, the series was revisited, without Lasser or her title character, a year later with much the same cast in less popular “Forever Fernwood,” but as I said, much was left unresolved.

This is why I’m worried about “Nurse Jackie.” Things came crashing in, conflicts came to a head, the lead character’s life literally hit a dead end. Will her drug induced state send her into a coma from which she’ll emerge later with no repercussions? I hope not. Time will tell. Either way I’m glad such an amazing show has been renewed. Let’s hope Edie Falco fares better than Louise Lasser.

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