Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dear Brigitte-1965

When I was a kid, Billy Mumy was on everything on television. This includes now classic roles on TWILIGHT ZONE, BEWITCHED, and, of course, every single week on LOST IN SPACE. While he never quite made it as big on the big screen, he does hold one major claim to fame in movies and that's that he co-starred with French sex symbol Brigitte Bardot in her only American movie!

Jimmy Stewart is the nominal star replacing originally announced Bing Crosby and playing the absent-,minded father of Erasmus Leaf, a math prodigy who gains some measure of fame and whose sister's boyfriend utilizes his talents to help him win at the races. Billy was cast as Erasmus at the recommendation of Stewart's wife, Gloria. 

Erasmus is completely enamored of BB, however, and while she appears in only what amounts to a brief cameo (which she was reportedly reluctant to do) her "presence" dominates the film and the Erasmus character.

As a kid, I found the film warm and funny and, being a smart kid with celebrity crushes myself, could relate. As an adult, I watch it and see my own son David--a math prodigy now in college studying to be a math professor)--in Billy's performance.

For whatever reason, Bardot never made another American picture. She did do a couple of English language films, but they were European produced. Bill Mumy went on to continue his long career as a musician, writer, and actor to this very day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Godfrey Cambridge

Growing up, I used to see the talented and wonderfully monickered Godfrey Cambridge on TV a lot, either doing standup routines on ED SULLIVAN or sketch comedy with RED SKELTON or acting on everything from THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW to NIGHT GALLERY. At a time when TV was still pretty whitebread, Godfrey offered a constant presence of color on TV. It was only later when I realized that he was also an impressive character actor in motion pictures, particularly THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST, COTTON COMES TO HARLEM and COME BACK, CHARLESTON BLUE.  Hard to believe he's been gone 40 years this year. R.I.P. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Ringo the Movie Actor

Excepting cameos, documentaries, TV appearances, children's videos, concert footage and voiceovers, what you see here represents the entire big screen acting career of today's birthday boy Ringo Starr, hailed in 1964 as "The New Chaplin." While it would be tough to say he lived up to that promise as an actor, this is certainly not a film legacy to sneeze at. Peace and Love, Rich! Always!