Time to dip back into our trusty e-mailbag. As you should know by now, we love getting reader feedback — good, bad and indifferent. We welcome your views.
It’s been more than four years since we published our speculative blog, WAS VAN JOHNSON GAY?, and we still get reader responses. This time it’s Josee, who writes:
Who really cares, the guy was a decent actor. (I) enjoyed his movies. He can use his penis as he felt like, it was his to play with.
Nicely stated, Josee. (That’s Van and wife Evie above). Moving right along, more recently we received responses to our July 20 Mini-Quiz covering one of Hollywood’s frequently overlooked actors, Van Heflin. We like him a lot (check out his solid performance in 1953’s Shane), and made no bones about our admiration.
Reader Jocelyn writes:
Fun quiz! I’m a huge Van fan too and glad to see the love! Did you read the recently published bio?
I wrote a review here: https://classicfilmobsessions.blogspot.com/2016/04/van-heflin-life-in-film-by-derek.html?m=1
Heflin could also play mean and nasty with the best of them. ‘THEY CAME TO CORDURA’ being a good example.
An actor less admired is Anthony Quinn, the subject of our mini-Quiz on Aug. 2. We quoted actor Frank Langella’s harshly negative description of Quinn. Langella found the older actor cold and imperious…his aura was so sour and his sense of entitlement so pervasive that I was helpless to conquer my distaste for him.
Regular reader Mike Sheridan took exception:
Quinn was great. I would hate to have Langella’s opinion one of the last things written about him. Quinn deserves his due and Langella need just pucker or be quiet. No one there (at the private social function described) that night was because of him. Too many good things could’ve been written instead — in other words, a lot of older actors have/had become cranky.
Finally, Patricia Nolan-Hall, a big fan of the character actor, writes us in response to our July 18 blog, In Support GUY KIBBEE — Who?, in which it was noted that he had a rather tasty-sounding dish named after him.
We wrote that Kibbee is one of the few actor’s whose onscreen culinary preparations in character resulted in a dish named for him — “Guy Kibbee eggs.” Just cut a hole in the center of a bread slice and crack an egg in the opening. Then fry in a skillet.
Kibbee as “Sam Preston” cooked this concoction in 1935’s Mary Jane’s Pa, and it caught on with audiences. Thus a new breakfast treat was born.
Hey, that’s my specialty, but I never had a proper name for it. My mother would call it a ‘bird’s nest’, but that never seemed quite right. Guy Kibbee rules!
Thanks to all, and keep those cards and letters coming.