Actors I Love, Part III


The last group. Some are still assuredly missing from my list, but many of these actors and actresses are in modern movies that I’ll probably never get around to blogging about, so this was a fun way to give them a little SBBN-approved love.

Stewart Granger

Timothy Carey

Kathryn Grayson

Richard Jeni

Austin Pendleton

The 1967 revival of “The Little Foxes,” with Anne Bancroft, George C. Scott, E.G. Marshall, and Austin Pendleton.


8 Comments

  1. I remember it all too clearly myself. I had been a big fan but in the late 1990s, I realized he had basically disappeared. Had no idea why; a lot of comedians I liked were popular for a moment then disappeared, but Jeni didn’t seem destined for that.

    It took several years, but he got a small 7-minute spot in a Comedy Central show, the kind of show usually reserved for the up-and-comers. I was shocked at the time because it seemed so beneath him. But he was in top form for that special, and he started working again with an HBO special, writing for the Oscars and Chris Rock, etc. I was so glad. I had missed him! It’s true, I had genuinely missed Richard Jeni, like he was an old friend. Silly, I guess.

    So I was shocked when one day a short article on Shecky Magazine online said Richard Jeni had died earlier that day. It couldn’t be real. I stayed up all night to read a few bits and pieces of info that came out, all basically rumor that I think must have spread during comedy sets that night. I think I kept updating on alt.obituaries as did a couple of others until we finally realized it was true.

    If you see photos of him from a year or two before he died, Richard Jeni looked ill. So ill. It’s just heartbreaking, and I can’t really get over it. I will hate Elaine Boozler to my dying day because she said on HuffPo that Jeni probably killed himself because no one knew who he was. Such a backhanded bitchy comment, especially since we later learned he was seriously ill with schizophrenia and other disorders he had probably fought like hell to keep under control while working so hard in the industry.

    I miss him constantly. That sounds ridiculous and even a little selfish, but it’s true.

    FWIW, here is the only thread on alt.obituaries I can find. Really posting it more for me than anyone else:

    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.obituaries/browse_thread/thread/3f3b38155b20ec9a/356b8134120904c0?lnk=gst

  2. I first came across Stewart Granger in Western series ‘The Virginian’, which used to be shown on Saturday mornings on TV in the UK when I was a child – I remember my friends and I used to be amused that he had a huge billing above the title, but his character usually hardly appeared! A few years later one or two of his films were shown on TV here and we discovered what all the fuss was about. I remember seeing ‘Beau Brummell’ with another girl from school who nearly cried herself sick over the tragic ending, saying “He was so beautiful!” Looking at these photos, he really was.

  3. Jeni used to do this hilarious routine about how his father would complain about how good people have it nowadays and how life was shit back in his day: “All we had to eat was dirt…and we were damn lucky to have it.” I so identified with Jeni after hearing him doing that because he was essentially doing an impression of my father (though I’m sure I’m not the only one who had a pop like that).

    I tear up now and then because TCM generously donates footage of Jeni talking about some of my comedy heroes like the Marx Brothers and Hope and Crosby. What’s great about hearing him discuss these people (and Lewis Black is the same way) is that they come off as genuine fans and not a bunch of jaded academics dissecting humor to the point where nobody will ever watch it after that.

    I didn’t know my Facebook chum Elayne Boosler made such a classless comment so she’s kind of lost a little stock with me…but the fact that she models a T-shirt in her profile photo that reads “Facebook is a clocksucker” kind of raises it a bit.

  4. I remember seeing ‘Beau Brummell’ with another girl from school who nearly cried herself sick over the tragic ending, saying “He was so beautiful!”

    Oh, that’s really sweet! I get weepy and girly over movies all the time, too, I just don’t mention it on SBBN much. Gotta keep my street cred.

  5. Ivan, I love those interviews with Jeni, Black, Buck Henry, Michael McKean, etc. They do all seem genuinely interested. That great Monty Python doc you pointed me to last year had interviews with Eddie Izzard and — as much as I love him — he seemed almost completely disinterested and even a little confused. You can always tell when the interviewee isn’t interested.

    Elayne Boosler (look at me spelling things right for once) may be a terrific person, but her purposely abrasive shtick isn’t my cup of tea.

  6. Granger and Austin Pendleton, what a curious world. I love ’em both, they are so diametrically opposite. My uncle got me onto Stewart Granger by making sure I watched “Scaramouche” as a kid – he said it had the best swordfighting ever, and that’s prolly still a good judgement, but the other discovery from that was Eleanor Parker – Technicolor seemed to have been invented just for that role, throw the rest out.

    Pendleton in “What’s Up Doc?” is so effing fun.

    Carey’s stomping the cockroach in “Paths of Glory” is like the story of his career – he was always busting something up.

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