Friday, August 10, 2007

My Adopted Acter, for Splotchy.

Splotchy commented on an earlier post and asked me to do a little explanation as to why I chose this gentleman to the left to be my adopted actor.

To be honest, I adopted an actor because all the cool kids were doing it. I am an avid reader of the folks listed in my blog roll, and when one after another started to add one to their sites, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I was tinkering with the look of our little cyber-bar one night and I added one. I started with Peter Lorre, then I added Sydney Greenstreet, both wonderful actors and both had appeared in one of my all time favorite films "Casablanca".
I left them there for a week or two, until I decided that the photos I had chosen didn't really fit with the decor. Mr. Lorre had both of his middle fingers extended on the cheeks of his face while Mr. Greenstreet appeared with a nude woman.

So I took them down and went into a steady rotation of actors. Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Clint Eastwood, etc., but when Flannery saw Mr. Gable she said "Well he isn't a B actor".
This was a criteria that I was wholly unaware of. I just picked them because I liked them. I sat and thought about a really good "B" actor that should get his own nod from the nice folks here at SZ, tcob and I settled on Denholm Elliot.
He came to mind for one scene that he had done in the wildly successful film called "Raiders of the Lost Ark", playing the museum curator, Dr. Markus Brody. The scene where he appears at Indiana Jones' house (played by another favorite of mine, Harrison Ford) and tells him that the museum will bankroll the trip is priceless. First they have a drink to celebrate and Indy starts packing, but Brody seems leery and warns Indy to be careful. Indy chuckles. Brody, clutching drink in hand, looks off into the middle distance and delivers two or three lines, and I as an audience, am chilled to the bone. It set the tone for the whole rest of the movie for me. Yes, there is action. Yes, there are some laughs. But in a few lines, he convinced me of the awesome power of God's wrath, and how one doesn't meddle in these things lightly. That is the mark of a truly great actor.
I am truly ashamed that I have seen so little of his other work, but I have to say that as the butler Coleman in "Trading Spaces" he made the movie for me. Should I ever have a butler, I hope that he will join me in my madcap schemes.
He was wonderful in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", but they turned his character into a bumbling boob who got lost in his own museum and that seemed an awful waste of such fine talent.
His career spanned forty years and he enjoyed lots of recognition such as winning the Peter Sellars Award for Comedy, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "A Room with a View" (1985). The Internet Movie Database mentions that he was bisexual, which I think is tacky, but also that in 1987 he tested positive for HIV, and was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988. He passed away October 6th, 1992.
You, Sir, will be sorely missed.
Splotchy, I hope that this is of some use to you, and thanks for stopping by. Should you find yourself in NE Ohio, stop in. I'll buy you a beer and take you to Tiki.


  1. That's a nice tribute to your adopted actor.

    I miss him too.

  2. What's tacky-- that he's bi or that IMDB mentioned it?

    in the former, lettuce not forget the words of George Carlin: "I feel sorry for bisexuals. Can you imagine wanting to fuck EVERYONE YOU MEET? think of the PHONE NUMBERS you'd accumulate!! Might as well walk around with the goddamned WHITE PAGES under your arm!"

    ('course, I DID see a tee-shirt one time that said "yes, I AM bisexual and no, I'm NOT attracted to you.")

    in the latter-- yes, your orientation is nobody's goddamned business. Even if you're out of the closet like Ian M., that's irrelevant to your acting skills.

    Meanwhile, I kinda' LIKED the Lorre and nakey-woman pix as well as the actors themselves. Still, this is a good choice.

  3. I ment tacky that they should mention it. Who cares if his gate swung both ways? He was a fine actor and should be remembered for that, not that he played both ends of the field.

    I wouldn't want my bio to read that I was a good dad, a passable writer, and a chronic mooner for laughs, as well as being a poor speller. I would like my peculiarities left out thanks.



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