Here’s part of reader Dan’s comment (June 10) regarding the 1947 cast of Nora Prentiss, a solid film noir if there ever was one.
I love ‘Nora Prentiss.’ Kent Smith was the perfect schlub. All he wanted was a little happiness.
I don’t have time today but I really want to talk a bit about one of the most horrifying characters in movie history, the doctor’s wife in ‘Nora Prentiss,’ played to utter perfection by Rosemary DeCamp.
The character makes ‘Harriet Craig’ seem like a cuddly pussycat. No wonder the doctor (Smith) wanted out, and to just disappear.
Nicely put. DeCamp’s interpretation of the chilly, upper-middle-class wife who values her possessions more than her kindly, beleaguered husband makes for chilling viewing. (There she is above lording it over her suffering spouse.)
What makes her performance all the more noteworthy is that DeCamp spent most of her nearly half century movie and tv career playing cheery, self-effacing friends, mothers and spouses. It was the maternal role she fulfilled offscreen as well.
DeCamp is best remembered today for her many tv appearances. Let’s see how much you remember about this quietly accomplished actress. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: Rosemary DeCamp was indeed noted for playing the mothers of famous stars, who in reality were sometimes younger than she was. Which one of the following did NOT portray a DeCamp son or daughter? a) James Cagney; b) Marlo Thomas; c) Doris Day; or d) Dwayne Hickman.
2) Question: As a budding movie actress, DeCamp had a somewhat unusual connection to Howard Hughes. Why? a) They were lovers; b) He produced some of her pictures and made her miserable; c) Hughes crashed an airplane he was piloting into the roof of her Beverly Hills home; or d) None of the above.
3) Question: In 1949 to 1950, DeCamp costarred with this actor in the early tv sitcom, The Life of Riley. Who is he? a) William Bendix; b) Lew Parker; c) Jackie Gleason; or d) Red Skelton.
4) Question: DeCamp is probably best remembered for playing Robert Cummings’ aunt in The Bob Cummings Show on tv. a) True; or b) False?
5) Question: DeCamp did a ton of television later in her career. Which of the following programs did she NOT appear in? a) Rawhide; b) The Partridge Family; c) Death Valley Days or d) The Memoirs of a Fairy Godmother.