So…we lost the fabulously irascible Elaine Stritch last month, the marvelously talented novelist Dame Mary Stewart in May, our beloved James Garner recently, and now word comes of Robin Williams taking his own life at the young age of 63, and the passing of screen and stage legend Lauren “Betty” Bacall at the age of 89. Ms. Bacall had a gorgeous figure, and a style and elegance that was the epitome of “cool.”
As for Mr. Williams, so much has been said that I’ll only add that I hope his death is a wake-up call for people who are depressed to seek help.
Here’s a great quote from New York Times film critic A.O. Scott:”Robin Williams was one of the most explosively, exhaustingly, prodigiously verbal comedians who ever lived, and the only thing faster than Williams’s mouth was his mind.”
Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist whose “One Hundred Years of Solitude“ established him as a giant of 20th-century literature, died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City, at the age of 87.
Wonderful excerpt from “Gabo’s” obit in the New York Times:
Mr. García Márquez attributed his rigorous, disciplined schedule in part to his sons. As a young father he took them to school in the morning and picked them up in the afternoon. During the interval—from 8 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon—he would write.
“When I finished one book, I wouldn’t write for a while,” he said in 1966. “Then I had to learn how to do it all over again. The arm goes cold; there’s a learning process you have to go through again before you rediscover the warmth that comes over you when you are writing.”
Incidentally: “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is Bill Clinton‘s favorite book. If you haven’t read it yet, you should, and investigate Gabo’s other books, too. Adios Gabo!
I adored Shirley Temple the moment I saw her as a three-year-old moppet in “Bright Eyes,” and continued to admire her on-screen and real-life spunk, amazing talents and generous heart. Some of my favorite Shirley Temple films are: The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947), Since You Went Away (1944), Wee Willie Winkie (1937), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938), and The Little Princess (1939).
The beautiful, versatile and talented actress Eleanor Parker died at age 91 in Palm Springs, California on Monday, December 9. She starred with Frank Sinatra in two films: The Man with the Golden Arm and A Hole in the Head, other great leading men such as Clark Gable, Kirk Douglas, and Fred MacMurray, and was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar three times.
“I have great admiration for Eleanor Parker, an artist of first rank,” said producer-director Robert Wise, who cast her as the glamourous baroness in The Sound of Music (1965) and described her as “perfect” in the role of the woman Christopher Plummer throws over for Julie Andrews.
“A dazzling array of work” —Hollywood Reporter on Eleanor Parker
Eydie Gormé, one of our most popular and talented singers, passed away on August 10, a few days shy of her 85th birthday. With her husband singer Steve Lawrence, Eydie was the among the best interpreters of tunes by the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, including Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Irving Berlin, and the Gershwins. Folks under 50 may remember Eydie’s fun novelty hit “Blame it on the Bossa Nova.”
My favorite Eydie Gormé hits are the fabulous “I Wish You Love,” (by Trenet and Beach) and “If He Walked Into My Life,” (by Jerry Herman) from “Mame.” Hers is the most vibrant rendition of the song ever recorded (apologies to Angela Lansbury). Ms. Gormé also recorded in Spanish and enjoyed a number of hit songs en español. When you get a chance check out some of Eydie Gormé’s songs on YouTube.
We recently lost three notable Americans: Father Andrew Greeley (85), Roman Catholic priest, novelist and outspoken critic; award-winning actress and national treasureJeanStapleton (90), (Edith Bunker of “All in the Family” fame); and the beautiful actress, MGM star, swimming champion and bathing suit designer, Esther Williams (91). They lived rich, full lives and shall be missed.