Hollywood is a fickle town – you make a movie & before you know it – you’re in Forest Lawn!
If you grew up when I did, you may have noticed that it seems every Movie Star you see on the small screen is no longer with us.
Then you start doing the math – fudging a bit & finally admitting – ‘Isn’t he my age’?
How can you enjoy the rest of the movie when you know everybody is dead! But you love the movies & sometimes you just need a fix – with Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray or Sabu!
If you’ve never heard of these actors before – you were born too late to enjoy the very best – with the exception of Sabu – who only had to show up in a loin cloth!
You just might want to ease into it by watching any movie with Actor Abe Vigoda in it but never be too sure…because he was pronounced dead when he was living!
On a gut level, the Stars don’t have to be living for me to enjoy it. But time marches on & let’s face it, Hollywood can be hard on anyone’s sex life & longevity prospects – I’ve eaten ‘Craft Services’ as an ‘Extra’ too! haha
Then there are those who passed during the making of a movie! Usually, the Studio would have a meltdown, scramble for a replacement or wish they had AI! But that will sadly come in the future, won’t it?
Of course, the older the movie, the stats multiply. These geezers wouldn’t be in your 1st run Movie Theatres – they’re on TV, streaming or found in an empty ghost town’s ‘Blockbuster’ store in Bend, Oregon – the last of 9,000!
You see, whether I wanted to or not, as a young teen I unconsciously memorized all the movie credits that rolled at the start of the picture & put names to faces.
When I think of all the extra room in my head I could’ve used for more important minutiae than the goings on of Monte Wooley, Zasu Pitts & Rin Tin Tin!
Another reason teens like myself got so skilled at putting names with faces was ‘The Studio System’, where Stars would have to work in every movie their studio made for 7 years & couldn’t work anywhere else.
Each studio put out 10 to 20 films a year so the audience would see the same actor/actress over & over again – even if they were shot dead in the last one!
I always say, ‘You can’t get too much of Veronica Lake! haha Young people are scratching their heads thinking, ‘What body of water is that’?
Some of these movies were called ‘B’ Pictures & as I recall, mostly in Black & White – or maybe my Optometrist is wrong!
I also blame the 15 cent Movie Magazines like ‘Modern Screen’ & ‘Photoplay’ where all my Babysitting money went. You see, I had to know who’s kissing who & if they got home all right!
But, it turned out to be a big plus when my late husband would cry out for help with an urgent need of an actor’s name from a movie. ‘Who’s that – who’s that’ & I told him without blinking an eye. The more obscure the actor was, the more of a movie buff I felt & well – it was a public service!
Of course, those movie stars were dead then & even deader now – but, darn it – I still remember both their screen and birth names & bet their own grandchildren don’t even know that! Thank you, Bernie Schwarz & Norma Jean!
Here’s a few Movie Stars from the 1950’s & 60’s that I insist aren’t really gone!
“Some Like it Hot” – Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis
“Singing in the Rain” – Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor
“Giant” – Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean – even Sal Mineo
“In the Heat of the Night” – Sidney Poitier & Rod Stieger
“Lawrence of Arabia” – Omar Sharif, Peter O’Toole, Anthony Quinn, Alec Guiness
And, “The Magnificent Seven” – that’s 7 right there! Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach & 3 other guys!
That’s right, they’re not gone! If you think I’m gonna memorize any newbie whippersnapper’s names – my name isn’t…wait a minute, I know it starts with an M!
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