Saturday, April 6, 2024

"California Girls" by The Beach Boys

It has been a long week, so I will leave you with a song tonight. Here is one of my favourites, "California Girls" by The Beach Boys.

Friday, April 5, 2024

The Late Great Louis Gossett Jr.

Louis Gossett Jr. who appeared in the movies A Raisin in the Sun (1961) and An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) and the mini-series Roots, died on March 29 2024 at the age of 87.

Louis Gossett Jr. was born on May 27 1936 in Brooklyn, New York. He was class president at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn and participated in such sports as baseball, track, and basketball there. It was when he had a sports injury that he took up acting and he made his stage debut in a high school production of You Can't Take It With You. One of his English teachers suggested he try out for the Broadway production Take a Giant Step. He made his Broadway debut in that play, and received good notices for playing the part of Spencer Scott. He received a dramatics scholarship at New York University and later studied at the Actors Studio, where he befriended James Dean.

Louis Gossett Jr. made his television debut in an episode of The Big Story in 1957. In the Fifties he appeared in the short subject "The New Girl" in 1960. On Broadway he appeared in The Desk Set and A Raisin in the Sun. In the Sixties he reprised his role as George Murchison in the film adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun (1962). He also appeared in the films The Bushbaby (1969) and The Landlord (1970). He guest starred on the TV shows The Nurses, East Side/West Side, The Happeners, Cowboy in Africa, The Invaders, Daktari, The Mod Squad, and The Bill Cosby Show. In the 1970-1971 season he played the regular role of Isak Poole on the TV series The Young Rebels. He appeared on Broadway in Tambourines to Glory, Golden Boy, The Zulu and the Zayda, My Sweet Charlie, and Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights.

In the Seventies he played Fiddler in the mini-series Roots and appeared in the mini-series Backstairs at the White House. He starred on the short-lived show The Lazarus Syndrome. He also guest starred on the shows The Partridge Family; Bonanza; Longstreet; The Bold Ones: The New Doctors; Alias Smith and Jones; The Rookies; The Mod Squad; Love, American Style; Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law; McCloud; Lucas Tanner; Petrocelli; Insight; Caribe; Harry O; Good Times; The Jeffersons; The Six Million Dollar Man; Police Story; Little House on the Prairie; The Rockford Files; and Visions. He appeared in the movies Skin Game (1971), Travels with My Aunt (1972), The Laughing Policeman (1972), The White Dawn (1974), The River Niger (1976), J.D.'s Revenge (1976), The Deep (1977), The Choirboys (1977), and It Rained All Night the Day I Left (1980).  He appeared on Broadway in Murderous Angels.

In the Eighties Louis Gossett Jr. was a regular on the TV series The Powers of Matthew Star and starred on the show Gideon Oliver. He guest starred on the shows Palmerstown, U.S.A.; Straight Up; and American Playhouse. He played Sgt. Emil Foley in the movie An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), for which the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He was the first Black actor to do so. He also appeared in the movies Jaws 3-D (1983), Finders Keepers (1984), Enemy Mine (1985), Iron Eagle (1986), Firewalker (1986), The Principal (1987), Iron Eagle II (1988), and The Punisher (1989).

In the Nineties Louis Gossett Jr. appeared in the movies Cover Up (1991), Toy Soldiers (1991), Aces: Iron Eagle III (1992), Diggstown (1992), Monolith (1993), Blue Chips (1994), A Good Man in Africa (1994), Curse of the Starving Class (1994), Flashfire (1994), Iron Eagle IV (1995), Managua (1997), Legend of the Mummy (1998), Y2K (1999), and The Highwayman (2000). On television he appeared in the mini-series Return to Lonesome Dove. He was a voice on the animated series Captain Planet and the Planeteers. He guest starred on the shows Picket Fences, Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, Early Edition, and Ellen. He was a guest voice on the animated series Hercules.

In the Naughts he appeared in the movies Deceived (2002), Left Behind III: World at War (2005), All In (2006), Daddy's Little Girls (2007), Cover (2007), Stories USA (2007), The Least Among You (2009), The Perfect Game (2009), Shannon's Rainbow (2009), Why Did I Get Married Too? (2009), The Grace Card (2010), and The Lamp (2010). On television he had a recurring role on Stargate SG-1 and was a recurring voice actor on the animated series The Batman. He guest starred on the shows Resurrection Blvd., The Dead Zone, Half & Half, and ER. He was a guest voice on the animated series Family Guy. He appeared on Broadway in Chicago.

In the Teens Louis Gossett Jr. had roles on the TV shows Extant and Hap & Leonard. He had a recurring role on the mini-series The Book of Negroes, The Spoils Before Dying, and Watchmen. He guest starred on the shows Psych, Boardwalk Empire, Madam Secretary, The Good Fight, and Hawaii Five-0. He appeared in the movies Smitty (2012), The Undershepherd (2012), Breaking at the Edge (2013), Pride of Lions (2014), Boiling Pot (2015), King of the Dancehall (2016), Double Play (2017), Undercover Grandpa (2017), Breaking Brooklyn (2018), Supervized (2019), Miracle in East Texas (2019), Foster Boy (2019), The Cuban (2019), Canaan Land (2020), and The Reason (2020).

In the 2020s, he appeared in the movies Not to Forget (2021), Three Months (2022), and The Color Purple (2023). He guest starred on the show Kingdom Business.

Louis Gossett Jr. was an extremely talented actor who played a wide variety of roles. In A Raisin in the Son he played George, who has assimilated into white culture and tends to think he is smarter than those around him. In Skin Game he played one half of a pair of con men with James Garner.  On Roots he played Fiddler, the somewhat obliging slave who is assigned to teach Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton) English and how to behave as a slave. He was the hard-as-nails s Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman. In the mini-series he played Will Reeves, the grandfather of police officer/superhero Sister Night. Over the years Louis Gossett Jr. played everything from medical doctors to military officers to clergymen, and he did all of them well.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Lynn Loring Passed On

Lynn Loring, an actress who appeared on the TV shows Search for Tomorrow, Dobie Gillis, and The F.B.I., and a one-time MGM/UA executive, died on December 23 2023 at the age of 80. Her family recently disclosed her death.

Lynn Loring was born Lynn Zimring on July 14 1943 in New York City. She began modelling when she was 3 years old. As a child she appeared in commercials for RCA Victor. She was only eight years old when she became one of the original cast on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow. She appeared on Search for Tomorrow for the next ten years. In the Fifties, she also had a regular role on The Jean Carroll Show. She guest starred on the TV shows The Web, Starlight Theatre, Hands of Murder, Robert Montgomery Presents, Studio One, The Man Behind the Badge, The Stranger, Omnibus, Frontiers of Faith, Kraft Television Theatre, Armstrong Circle Theatre, CBS Repertoire Workshop, and Play of the Week.

In the Sixties she continued to appear on Search for Tomorrow. She was a lead on the short-lived show Fair Exchange. She also had a semi-regular role on The F.B.I. in its first season. She appeared on two episodes of Dobie Gillis, playing Edwina "Eddie" Kegel, a love interest for Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver). She guest starred on the TV shows Bus Stop, Wagon Train, Target: The Corruptors, The Eleventh Hour, Gunsmoke, The Defenders, The Greatest Show on Earth, Perry Mason, Daniel Boone, Mr. Novak, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Big Valley, Amos Burke Secret Agent, The Wild Wild West, A Man Called Shenandoah, Bonanza, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, The Invaders, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., My Three Sons, Lancer, The Immortal, and The Mod Squad. She appeared in the movies Splendor in the Grass (1961), Pressure Point (1962), and Doppelgänger (1969).

In the Seventies Miss Loring guest starred on The Young Lawyers, The Mod Squad, Ghost Story, Return to Peyton Place, and Police Woman. Her last appearance on screen was in the TV movie The Kansas City Massacre in 1975. She retired from acting to go into production. She produced the TV movies The Return of the Mod Squad (1979), The Best Little Girl in the World (1981), Sizzle (1981), and Making of a Male Model (1983). She produced the TV series Glitter. She produced the feature films Mr. Mom (1983) and Me and the Kid (1993).

In 1985 she became a development executive at MGM/UA Television. Among other things, she suggested to Fred Silverman that it would be a good idea to adapt the hit movie In the Heat of the Night as a TV series and that Carroll O'Connor should star in the series. The TV series In the Heat of the Night proved to be a hit that is still seen in reruns. Lynn Loring eventually became president of MGM/UA Television and one of the highest paid female studio executives in Hollywood.

Lynn Loring was an extremely talented actress capable of playing a number of diverse roles. I will probably remember her best as Maynard's one true love Eddie on Dobie Gillis. Eddie was in many respects a female version of Maynard, if a little smarter than he was, and Miss Loring played the role perfectly. In the Gunsmoke episode "Pa Hack's Role" she played a part far removed from Eddie, the daughter of the ne'er-do-well title character, whom he wants to marry off to a wealthy rancher. On the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Paper Bullets" she played the younger sister of a politician who is dating the son of his opponent. In the Bonanza episode "Something Hurt, Something Wild," she played a mentally unstable young woman who accuses Little Joe (Michael Landon) of assault. Lynn Loring was nothing if not versatile, and she could play roles that were dramatically different from each other.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Ron Harper Passes On

Ron Harper, who starred on the TV shows 87th Precinct, Wendy and Me, Garrison's Gorillas, and Planet of the Apes, died on March 21 2024 at the age of 91.

Ron Harper was born on January 12 1933 in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania. He earned a scholarship to Princeton University. It was while he was at Princeton that he did two seasons of summer stock. He was offered a fellowship to Harvard Law School. Instead he studied acting with Lee Strasberg and then served in the United States Navy.

Ron Harper made his television debut in 1955 in an episode of Kraft Television Theatre. In the late Fifties he also guest starred on Tales of Wells Fargo, Thriller, and Wagon Train. He was an understudy for Paul Newman on Broadway in Sweet Bird of Youth, in which he also appeared as a man at a bar.

In the Sixties Ron Harper starred on multiple television shows, including 87th Precinct, Wendy and Me, The Jean Arthur Show, and Garrison's Gorillas. He guest starred on The Deputy; The Tall Man; Shotgun Slade; Laramie; Love, American Style; and The Big Valley.

In the Seventies he starred on the TV show Planet of the Apes and the third season of Land of the Lost. He had a recurring roles on the daytime soap operas Where the Heart Is and Another World. He guest starred on the shows Cannon; Love, American Style;  and The Blue Knight. He appeared on Broadway in 6 Rms Riv Vu. He also appeared in the movie Temporada salvaje (1971).

In the Eighties Ron Harper had roles on the soap operas Loving, Capitol, and Generations.He guest starred on the shows Mike Hammer, Remington Steele. and Dragnet. In the Nineties he guest starred on the shows Beverly Hills, 90120; Melrose Place; Night Man; Night Stand; Boy Meets World; Walker, Texas Ranger; and Malibu, CA. He appeared in the movies Below Utopia (1997), Freedom Strike (1998), and The Odd Couple II (1998).

In the Naughts he guest starred on the shows Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place; The West Wing; and Cold Case. He appeared in the movies Pearl Harbor (2001) and Touched (2005). In the Teens he appeared in the movie Whoa! (2013).

Ron Harper was a fine actor and seemingly perfect as a leading man for TV series. After all, among other things, he played First Lt. Craig Garrison, leader of the group of the title, on Garrison's Gorillas and astronaut Coloenl Alan Virdon on the TV series Planet of the Apes. The fact that the various series on which he was a lead did not last long was certainly  due to no fault of his own, as he gave solid performances in each of them. He was also excellent in his various guest appearances. He was a husband who wanted to keep gold that he found, against the objections of his wife, in the Laramie episode "Edge of Evil." In the Cannon episode "Fool's Gold," he played the hotel manager in a small town insistent on protecting an armoured car robber. Ron Haper was certainly a talented actor whose performances made any show better.

Monday, April 1, 2024

The Late Great Barbara Rush

Legendary actress Barbara Rush, who appeared in such films as When Worlds Collide (1951), It Came from Outer Space (1954), The Young Philadelphians (1959), and Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964), and on such TV shows as Peyton Place and Seventh Heaven, died yesterday, March 31 2024, at the age of 97.

Barbara Rush was born on January 4 1927 in Denver, Colorado. Her family moved to Santa Barbara, California, where she and her father worked as ushers at the Lobero Theatre there. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and afterwards studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. It was in 1950 that she signed a contract with Paramount Pictures.

Barbara Rush made her film debut in The Goldbergs in 1950. Her first starring role was in the science fiction classic When Worlds Collide (1951). In the Fifties she appeared in such films as Quebec (1951), The First Legion (1951), Flaming Feather (1952), Prince of Pirates (1953), It Came from Outer Space (1953), Taza, Son of Cochise (1954), Magnificent Obsession (1954), The Black Shield of Farnsworth (1954), Captain Lightfoot (1955), Kiss of Fire (1955), World in My Corner (1956), Bigger Than Life (1956), Fight to Hong Kong (1956), Oh Men! Oh Women! (1957), No Down Payment (1957), The Young Lions (1958), Harry Black (1958), The Young Philadelphians (1959), The Bramble Bush (1960), and Strangers When We Meet (1960). She made her television debut in an episode of Lux Video Theatre in 1954. She guest starred on the shows Matinee Theatre, Suspicion, Lux Playhouse, Sunday Showcase, Playhouse 90, Checkmate, and Our American Heritage.

In the Sixties, Miss Rush had a recurring role on the TV show Saints and Sinners and a regular role on the nighttime soap opera Peyton Place.  She made an unsold pilot titled The Barbara Rush Show that aired as an episode of the show Vacation Playhose. She guest starred on the shows Frontier Circus; Theatre '62; General Electric Theatre; The Eleventh Hour; The Dick Powell Show; Ben Casey; The Outer Limits; Kraft Suspense Theatre; Convoy; Dr. Kildare; The Fugitive; Laredo; Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre; Custer; Batman; Mannix; and Love, American Style. She appeared in the movies Come Blow Your Horn (1963), Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964), and Hombre (1967).

In the Seventies she guest starred on the shows The Mod Squad; Night Gallery; Marcus Welby, M.D.; McCloud; Cade's County; Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law; Maude; Ironside; The Streets of San Francisco; The New Dick Van Dyke Show; Medical Center; Police Story; Cannon; Mannix; Ellery Queen; The Bionic Woman; ABC Weekend Specials; The Eddie Capra Mysteries; Fantasy Island, and The Love Boat. She appeared in the mini-series The Seekers. She appeared in the movies The Man (1972), Superdad (1973), and Can't Stop the Music (1980).

In the Eighties Barbara Rush was a regular on the nighttime soap opera Flamingo Road. She guest starred on the TV shows Cop Shop; Matt Houston; Knight Rider; Fantasy Island; Masquerade; Finder of Lost Loves; Glitter, Hotel; Magnum, P.I.; Murder, She Wrote; and Hooperman. She appeared in the movie Summer Loves (1982).

In the Nineties Miss Rush had recurring roles on the daytime soap opera All My Children and the TV series 7th Heaven. She guest starred on Paradise, Hearts Are Wild, Burke's Law, Relativity, and The Outer Limits. In the Naughts she continued to appear on 7th Heaven. She appeared in the short "My Mother's Hairdo." Her last appearance on was in the short "Bleeding Hearts: The Arteries of Glenda Bryant" in 2017.

Barbara Rush also had an extensive career on stage. She appeared on Broadway in A Woman of Independent Means in 1984. She also appeared in such productions as The Little Foxes, Antony and Cleopatra, Unsinkable Molly Brown, Butterflies are Free, Night of the Iguana, Blithe Spirit, Steel Magnolias, and Love Letters. She attended multiple TCM Classic Film Festivals over the years.

Following Barbara Rush's death, I heard someone describe her as a "classically beautiful character actress," and I think that is a very accurate description. She had the looks of a leading lady, but she could play a wide variety of roles with ease. For sci-fi fans she might be most familiar as the astronomer's daughter Joyce Hendron in When Worlds Collide and school teacher Ellen Fields in It Came from Outer Space. While she is remembered for those two sci-fi classics, she was also at home in more straight-forward dramas. She played the wife of drug-addicted teacher Ed Avery (James Mason) in Bigger Than Life. In The Young Philadelphians Barbara Rush played socialite Joan Dickson, who falls in love with middle class Princeton student Tony Lawrence (Paul Newman). Barbara Rush could and did play villainous roles. In Robin and the 7 Hoods she played the somewhat duplicitous Marian. In Hombre she played the aristocratic wife of an Indian agent who has her own agenda.

Of course, Barbara Rush was not only beautiful and talented. She was an altogether wonderful person. I never got to meet her, but I have many friends who did get to meet her at the TCM Classic Film Festival and other events. She was warm, friendly, and known for her kindness to her fans. And she was so very intelligent, as anyone who has seen an interview with her will know. She was generous with her stories of Old Hollywood. In the end Barbara Rush was the very definition of a lady, intelligent, elegant, kind, and so much more.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Happy Easter 2024

Here at A Shroud of Thoughts  we realize that some people appreciate some cheesecake to go along with their Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies. Here then is this years collection of pinups.

Mary Carlisle is dressed as the Easter Bunny and ready to deliver eggs!

Marla English is also dressed as the Easter Bunny.

Gloria Holliday is being stalked by a rather sinister looking Easter bunny.

Claudia Barrett really loves her carrots.

Felicia Farr has completed painting her eggs.

And, finally, Ann Miller is eschewing the Easter Bunny to water her lilies!

Happy Easter!