Hello, everybody.  Joe Morella and Frank Segers, your classic movie guys, once again with our arms elbow-deep in our email bag.

We are very pleased to received your missives, and enjoy hearing a range opinions that occasionally — only occasionally — conflict with our own.

We’ve published at least three blogs over the last year or so on Van Johnson (above with Elizabeth Taylor), the last of which (Was Van Johnson Gay? Continued, Feb. 3, 2012) drew this response from Rebeca:

I and my mother love Van Johnson. I miss him a lot and I feel pity that he is dead and some people are still talking about if he was or not.  Let him have some peace now. Who cares about it? The real fans of Van don’t care a thing!

It’s all bull…!

Hard to disagree, Rebeca.  As Johnson fans, Joe and Frank respect the actor’s wide body of work.  He was so often an underrated actor.  But we were also intrigued by the lengths the studios went in the Forties to invade and “protect” their stars’ private lives. MGM was particularly intrusive in the case of Johnson. In any event, R.I.P, Van.

Here’s Laura weighing in on our Family Business blog of Feb. 15, focusing on the Knox-Harmon-Nelson clan that, among others, produced Tracy Nelson daughter of Kristin Harmon and Rick Nelson — who had a modest tv career.

Enjoyed your post!  I always enjoy reading about Hollywood families.

Here’s some more fun trivia — Tracy was formerly married to William R. (Billy) Moses, a steadily working actor whose best-known role was in FALCON CREST.  He was himself from an acting family — his brother Rick Moses caused a brief sensation on GENERAL HOSPITAL in the ’80s.

Billy appeared in an episode of NCIS, so he was working with his ex-wife’s uncle (Mark Harmon)  in that show.

Impressive, Laura.  We may steal your idea in our next “Six Degrees of Separation” parlor game, linking Kevin Bacon and many other Hollywood personalities.

Finally, Anonymous has been on our case re James Dean.

To put it mildly, Anonymous disagrees with our view that Dean is highly overrated as an actor (but not necessarily as a “legend.” ) We began our recent Dean blog with these sage words — if you have the ability to provoke controversy nearly 60 years after your death, you definitely qualify as someone exceptional.

Writes Anonymous:

“If you have the ability to provoke controversy 60 years after your dead, you definitely qualify as someone exceptional….”

Gentlemen, that was my WHOLE POINT from the beginning. I’ll consider your remark as some kind of clenched-teeth capitulation.

Not so fast, Anonymous.  Our critical view of Dean was based strictly on his acting ability, and excluded (we think) consideration of the hype that has developed since his death and surrounds the actor’s “legend” today. In short, Dean the actor had shortcomings which have not stood well the test of time.

 

 

 

 

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