Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fond Farewells

Beverly Garland
October 17, 1926 - December 5, 2008

Beverly Garland was an actress of great vibrancy. Her winning personality was an asset to every role she tackled. The perfect tv wife to Bing Crosby in a short-lived series and Fred MacMurray on My Three Sons. The perfect tv mom on Remington Steele, Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Lois and Clark. Beverly's first movie role was in 1950s noirish D.O.A. She had small roles in A pictures and starred in well remembered B's such as Gunslinger in 1956. She was tv's first lady cop in Decoy (1957 - 1959) and if you had a favourite tv show then you saw Beverly guest star.

My favourite movie memory is a bit in 1953's The Glass Web. Murderer Edward G. Robinson is trying to tidy up the crime scene (his girl's apt.), a long playing record is on (an Eddy Duchin sort of thing). Drunken reveller Bev leaves the party next door to pound on the door, interrupting our frightened criminal with "Hey, I like classical music as much as the next guy, but could ya' keep it down!"

Page Cavanaugh
January 26, 1922 - December 19, 2008

What can I say about this legendary musician that isn't said perfectly at pagecavanaugh.com? Check it out, folks. I will say that ever since I first heard the trio on the Disney tv show extolling the Truth About Mother Goose, I was in Heaven. Just in case you were wondering, it's what I call real Paddy Lee music. Classic movie fans check out Howard Hawks' musical retelling of Ball of Fire as A Song is Born or Romance on the High Seas for more of the smoothest, coolest sounds ever.

Don Galloway
July 27, 1937 - January 8, 2009

Kentucky born Don Galloway studied acting with Herbert Berghof in NYC and, as so many have, got his start on the soaps with The Secret Storm in 1954. Handsome and talented, he had a busy career, but it is as Sergeant Ed Brown on Ironside that he has an eternal place in my heart. He's family.

Ricardo Montalban
November 25, 1920 - January 14, 2009

He's just so cool! Handsome leading man who has left us some amazing movie and television memories. I recall reading once that he never turned down a job because an actor is only an actor when he is working. I have two images of Montalban. One is of the television guest star in such series as Bonanza or his Emmy winning role in How the West Was Won. The other is the MGM leading man of the 40s and 50s. Three fine movies to check out are William Wellman's Battleground, and the crime dramas Border Incident and Mystery Street. Married for 60 years to Georgianna Young, Montalban is surely an inspiration for hard working actors and hopeful couples.

James Whitmore
October 1, 1921 - February 6, 2009

Oooh, he's one of the good ones. You see James Whitmore's name in the credits and you rub your hands with glee and settle back for a fine piece of work. This ex-Marine studied acting on the GI Bill and won awards for his Broadway entree, Command Decision. In one of his first film roles, the memorable Battleground from 1949 he was nominated for an Oscar. From The Asphalt Jungle and Them! and Kiss Me, Kate to Where the Red Fern Grows and The Shawshank Redemption, he has generations of admirerers. Television appearances on the likes of The Big Valley, The Twilight Zone (On Thursday We Leave for Home), and The Virginian have left indellible memories. Name someone else with a roster of one man shows that matches Will Rogers USA, Give 'Em Hell, Harry and Bully: A Teddy Roosevelt Adventure. Yes, indeed. He's one of the good ones.

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