Monday, February 27, 2006

Celebrity R.I.P. X3

My mother said that celebrities always die in groups of three. I remember this vividly from my childhood years, probably from the first time I heard her say it. It's a frightening thought for a small child when you think about it. When Don Knotts died a few days ago, I thought "Who's next?" Sure enough, no sooner than we lose Deputy Barney Fife, than we also lose McCloud and Detective Kolchak.

Don Knotts created such a memorable character in Barney Fife that it's hard to picture him as anything else. I also fondly remember his roles as the Reluctant Astronaut and Mr. Limpet. Oh, and he was Jack Tripper's landlord after the Ropers moved out, but he was a little creepy in that role.

I never liked McCloud. The role that defines Dennis Weaver for me is the classic Spielberg TV movie Duel. A man, a Dodge Dart and a truck from hell. If you haven't seen this movie, go immediately to your local rental shop or Netflix queue and check it out. Made in 1971, for years it was a late night TV staple. Today the movie has developed a real cult following. It's probably in my top 25 favorite films.

Darren McGavin had an amazingly prolific acting career; go to Credits, it's unbelievable. I liked him as Sinatra's drug supplier in The Man with the Golden Arm and the gambler in The Natural. The Night Stalker scared the hell out of me. I prefer to remember him as the "Old Man" in A Christmas Story. "It's a leg!!"

Ok that's three. I guess Hollywood is safe for a little while.



Anonymous candyo said...

If I'm not mistaken, we all watched The Incredible Mr. Limpet and Duel together on the technicolor carpet many moons ago. Duel is still one of my favorite movies. Our musical tastes are astonishingly similar these days. Nature or nurture?

10:05 AM  

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