It should be well known by now how much we enjoy getting letters from readers expanding on, commenting on and criticizing what we write. So here we go with some of our more recent reader missives.
Regarding our speculations in the Aug. 24 blog, What is JACK PALANCE Doing In This Movie? (And Where Did He Get That Face?), regular contributor Graham Hill wrote us this:
What a face…
Jack Palance was my neighbor up in the Tehachapi Mountains of California. He had a beautiful sprawling 900 acre ranch, complete with cattle.
The locals all knew him, he often frequented the K-Mart to buy dog food. But one thing that might surprise everyone, is that Palance was very keen on poetry,
The tough, gruff bad guy of the screen had a very gentle, sensitive side to his persona. He had a very diverse, odd kind of career that saw him working a lot in Europe in the 60?s and 70?s, in movies that were clearly for the money to live on.
So many HOLLYWOOD leading men had to go to Spain, Italy and England, as their faces were a bit too weathered to command the star treatment anymore.
But the role of Curly in 1991?s CITY SLICKERS sure changed that.
I first met him at Universal in 1979, on a TV episode of ‘Buck Rogers In the 25th Century.’ But he did have a short-lived TV series of his own called ‘Bronk’ a few years earlier (actually in 1975-76).
After he died, Palance’s beloved Holly Brooke Ranch, named for his two daughters, where he spent 42 years of his life… sold for a mere $6.5 million in 2008. It was valued at a whole lot more, and like so many other actors, so were the many memorable roles of the man himself!
We’ve written about the marvels of the internet that allow readers to easily catch up on things we published years earlier. Here’s an example: Elijaj Skyeagle weighed in this month responding to our GEORGE SANDERS — Bored To Death blog published way back in May of 2013:
Loved George Sanders — lovely man, one of a kind excellent actor. Was a teenager when he starred in (1960’s) ‘Village of the Damned.’
That velvet voice and cynicism was so wonderful.
I hate he suffered in that way (described in our blog). He deserved so much more for the joy he gave. My favorite might be the cynical beloved critic (Addison DeWitt) in ‘All About Eve’ which without him would not have been the same.
We agree, completely, Elijaj.
On Aug. 17, in A Candid Snapshot of BETTY GRABLE, we plucked a wonderful photo from our Donald Gordon Collection showing the late Donald standing next to Bette Grable in mufti. Brittaney responded with this:
I don’t think today’s stars can really match those of the past. But the film climate is also totally different now. Today’s stars don’t have the studio molding, tutoring and controlling their PR. Too, I honestly think the quality of the films aren’t as good either. We seem to value big budget, special effects movies over those with witty, intelligent dialogue and plots.
Afraid you are right, Brittaney.
Finally, in our week-long celebration of stars who actually saw combat in World War II, we profiled Jackie Coogan Aug. 11 via The ‘Kid’ in World War II. Patricia Nolan-Hall, who is pretty knowledgeable, wrote in:
Fascinating aspect to Mr. Coogan of which I was unaware. Thanks so much.
Thanks to all contributors, and please keep those cards and letters coming.