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Old 01-05-2019, 12:05 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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Anyone ever discover in an old show, a great talent you wern't aware of, only to find....

....yup. They died prematurely. Though my example is even more twisted.

So I'm going through my Twilight Zone watch. I'm watching the season five ep "Ring A Ding Girl". Who is this Maggie McNamera*??? She's gorgeous and the ending of the episode caught me off guard so maybe i was a little emotional.

So I look her up. First thing I see is she died before reaching fifty. "F**K."

Then I see she killed herself. "F******K"

So i read about her and find that after that TZ episode she only worked in TV for one more year before dropping out of show business. She was nominated for an Academy Award just 11 years earlier in her very first movie! For the next 15 years she worked as a typist to help make ends meet.

*The actress who played her sister, Mary Munday, was quite good too.
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:31 PM
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The actress who played her sister, Mary Munday, was quite good too.
I see she was married to writer/producer/director Tom Gries, whom I remember from my two favorite TV shows in 1966, Batman and The Rat Patrol.* He died at the age of 54, from a heart attack while playing tennis.

*The star of Rat Patrol, Christopher George, also died of a heart attack, at the age of 52. It was apparently a result of an accident on the show's set.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:10 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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I see she was married to writer/producer/director Tom Gries, whom I remember from my two favorite TV shows in 1966, Batman and The Rat Patrol.* He died at the age of 54, from a heart attack while playing tennis.

*The star of Rat Patrol, Christopher George, also died of a heart attack, at the age of 52. It was apparently a result of an accident on the show's set.
We still have Monte Markham. I don't know why, Christopher George always reminds me of Monte Markham.
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:48 PM
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If you can find it, look for "The Moon Is Blue," one of her first credits. She was absolutely adorable in that and more than held her own against William Holden and David Niven.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:38 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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Yes, this happens to me. My wife is tired of me saying, "Hey, you know that (girl/guy) playing the lead? She died just after they made this."

And so forth.

I often look up guest spots to see if I've seen them elsewhere and once in awhile, we learn they died. There is a Buffy episode about a guy who makes a Frankenstein-monster-girllfriend(Some Assembly Required). The main guest actor killed himself.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:19 PM
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My friends and I, when watching movies together, quite often chorus "Hey, you're DEAD!" when a now-deceased actor comes on screen. We're not nice people, obviously.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:43 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Back in the day, I had a pen pal who was a big fan of the early-1970s series "Alias Smith and Jones", and specifically the actor Peter Deuel, who committed suicide. She told me that she had recently (at the time) watched an MST3K episode where they were lampooning a movie where Deuel had a bit part, and at some point opened a coffin containing an extremely decrepit mummy. At that moment, one of the robots said something like, "So, THAT'S what happened to Pete Deuel!"

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Old 01-05-2019, 05:47 PM
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Samantha Smith, died in a plane crash at the age of 13.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:50 PM
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From the film 'Up the Down Staircase'. Came out in 1967 but I saw it for the first time about a year ago. I remember the lovestruck teen girl character Alice, played by Ellen O'Mara. While average looking, there was something about her appearance and demeanor that made her as cute as a button. I felt that "Oh, what a damn shame" feeling when finding out she appeared on screen very little after that movie, and died in her early 50s.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:29 PM
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Valérie Quennessen

She was in French Postcards, Summer Lovers, and Conan the Barbarian. If you watched late-night HBO in the 1980s, you saw a lot of her (so to speak).

Sadly for Hollywood, she dropped out of showbiz to concentrate on her family. Sadly for everybody, she died in a car wreck in 1989.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:15 PM
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I didn't watch The Godfather until 2005 or so and I kept thinking to myself, "John Cazale is nailing is Fredo. How come I never see him in anything else?" Turns out he died of cancer before the the release of what would be his final movie, The Deer Hunter.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:26 PM
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Cathy O'Donnel lived only to 46. The few things I saw her in showed me she had a fine talent. Her first role was as the girlfriend/wife of the sailor who had lost his hands, in The Best Years of Our Lives. She was also Judah's younger sister in Ben-Hur.

Cancer sucks.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:00 AM
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I thought highly of Janet Munro after seeing her in Darby O'Gill and the Little People and Swiss Family Robinson. So did Walt Disney.

Alas, her tragic, turbulent life ended at 38.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:54 PM
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I've had the almost-opposite thing happen to me. I've seen old movies knowing an actor or actress is dead and thinking they died prematurely under tragic circumstances only to find out they lived well into their 80s or 90s.
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:08 PM
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I didn't watch The Godfather until 2005 or so and I kept thinking to myself, "John Cazale is nailing is Fredo. How come I never see him in anything else?" Turns out he died of cancer before the the release of what would be his final movie, The Deer Hunter.
Huh.


Quite saddening watching a film whose lead you know will have died almost immediately after the movie was made. Apparently, the writer/star of Il Postino, Massimo Troisi, postponed heart surgery so that he could complete the film. The day after filming was completed, he suffered a fatal heart attack.

Last edited by Guest-starring: Id!; 01-06-2019 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:03 PM
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Kinda sorta the same, except with a song . . .

I didn't "discover" The Pogues' Fairytale of New York until the early 2,000s (I know! what rock had I been living under?!)and was so thrilled by Kirsty MacColl's voice and performance for the video, only to find out she had tragically died a few years prior.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:01 PM
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It's not a show, it's music related, but last year I was reading an old issue of Bass Player magazine from the 1990s that had an interview with Mick Karn, who was the bassist of the band Japan, which I had never heard of at the time. I googled them and this video, Methods Of Dance, was the first one I watched - I was absolutely blown away by his amazingly creative and distinctive style. Then I looked him up on Wikipedia and was disappointed to find that he died back in 2011. He was 52, which I would consider premature.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:09 PM
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Jeff Buckley's rendition of "Hallelujah", released in 2008 and responsible for making the Leonard Cohen song such a part of life, was so wonderful that I looked up what else this bright new star was doing. He had died ten years earlier, in a stupid accident.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:32 PM
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My friends and I, when watching movies together, quite often chorus "Hey, you're DEAD!" when a now-deceased actor comes on screen. We're not nice people, obviously.
We go, "Dat guy der?" pause "He's dead."

We're quoting something but damned if I can remember what it's from.

We were watching an old episode of To Tell The Truth from 1963 and the truth teller was Jay Sebring, Hair Dresser to the Stars. We always like to look up the contestants, in a where are they now way. Turns out he had very bad day six years later, poor guy.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:51 PM
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A few years ago I was introducing someone to the cheesy delight from the 90s that was Xena: Warrior Princess
Which lead me to do a little "where are they now" googling, where I learned that the actor who played Ares, Kevin Smith died right before his first Hollywood movie.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:59 PM
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Another one from the music world. I think she was more well known in Britain, but I heard Kirsty MacColl's "In These Shoes?" on the radio circa 2001 or so and loved it. Then I found out she had been hit by a speedboat and killed while swimming in Mexico with her family in 2000. Just awful.
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:17 PM
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I binged on the Beverly Hillbillies for a few months. There is a attractive blonde actress playing various small roles. She looks slightly different each time.

Each time the credits indicated it was Sharon Tate. I got curious and looked her up. Imdb lists 15 appearances on the Beverly Hillbillies.

I certainly know the significance of that name. But it always surprised me to see her pop up in very ordinary roles and nothing like her movie star image.

She could have been a very respected character actor.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-07-2019 at 03:21 PM.
  #23  
Old 01-07-2019, 03:40 PM
Go_Arachnid_Laser Go_Arachnid_Laser is offline
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I watched the French movie Gainsburg (2010) about the life of the French musician responsible for that sensual "Je t'aime" song from the late sixties. He used to date Brigitte Bardot, played in the movie by the model Laetitia Casta, but who absolutely drew my attention was the British actress playing Jane Birkin. Absolutely breath-taking.

I looked her up. I assumed that, since the movie was already a few years old, she must be well on her way to superstardom by then and somehow escaped my attention. But this was such a mesmerizing presence, she was bound to have been quite in demand and have a fairly robust filmography.

No. Sadly, Gainsbourg was to be Lucy Gordon's last movie. She commited suicide in her apartment in Paris in 2009.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:22 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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I didn't watch The Godfather until 2005 or so and I kept thinking to myself, "John Cazale is nailing is Fredo. How come I never see him in anything else?" Turns out he died of cancer before the the release of what would be his final movie, The Deer Hunter.
He only made 5 feature movies and all of them were nominated for best picture Oscar. Godfather 1 and 2 , The conversation, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 01-07-2019 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:35 PM
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Charlotte Coleman, who played the adorable Scarlett in Four Weddings and a Funeral, died of a massive asthma attack in 2001.
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:56 PM
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Back in the day, I had a pen pal who was a big fan of the early-1970s series "Alias Smith and Jones", and specifically the actor Peter Deuel, who committed suicide. She told me that she had recently (at the time) watched an MST3K episode where they were lampooning a movie where Deuel had a bit part, and at some point opened a coffin containing an extremely decrepit mummy. At that moment, one of the robots said something like, "So, THAT'S what happened to Pete Deuel!"

Mmmm...not quite. The MST3K episode was "Being from Another Planet" which starred Ben Murphy, Deuel's co-star on "Alias Smith and Jones." The movie was a "mummy that was actually an alien" stinko film.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:03 PM
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Pretty often when I run across an old show for the first time ever or the first time in a long time I Google/IMDB search the cast, and note the short lives of many of the stars. Alias Smith and Jones (as mentioned above) was one of them, given that I first ran across it in the early 2000s. Can't recall specific examples, but sometimes I see that an actor died in their 20/30s. (Here is a depressing list.)
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:15 PM
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I often look up guest spots to see if I've seen them elsewhere and once in awhile, we learn they died. There is a Buffy episode about a guy who makes a Frankenstein-monster-girllfriend(Some Assembly Required). The main guest actor killed himself.

And that reminds me of the death of green Lorne at 33.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:29 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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And that reminds me of the death of green Lorne at 33.
I was literally watching an episode of Angel with Lorne on screen when the news broke that Andy Hallett had died.

I remember pausing it and saying to my wife, "You will not believe this coincidence....but the guy who played Loren(still paused on screen) just died."

We were both sad and amazed at the random coincidence.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:45 AM
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Once in a great while I see a charming blonde on something like Cheers or a movie like ...All the Marbles*. Who is this actress and what else has she done? So off to IMDb. And it's always Angela Aames.

Dead at 32 from a viral/heart thing.

* TCM recently ran this. Man, Peter Falk was good at what he did.
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:55 AM
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....yup. They died prematurely. Though my example is even more twisted.

So I'm going through my Twilight Zone watch. I'm watching the season five ep "Ring A Ding Girl". Who is this Maggie McNamera*??? She's gorgeous and the ending of the episode caught me off guard so maybe i was a little emotional.

So I look her up. First thing I see is she died before reaching fifty. "F**K."

Then I see she killed herself. "F******K"

So i read about her and find that after that TZ episode she only worked in TV for one more year before dropping out of show business. She was nominated for an Academy Award just 11 years earlier in her very first movie! For the next 15 years she worked as a typist to help make ends meet.

*The actress who played her sister, Mary Munday, was quite good too.
Can’t help but wonder if Maggie McNamara was a victim of the casting couch, and Hollywood sexual harassment, that contributed to her demise.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:56 PM
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Once in a great while I see a charming blonde on something like Cheers or a movie like ...All the Marbles*. Who is this actress and what else has she done? So off to IMDb. And it's always Angela Aames.
I have a similar experience about Kellie Waymire, who appeared in episodes of Friends, Seinfeld, Six Feet Under, CSI, and quite a few other popular shows. She died in 2003 at age 36 of cardiac arrhythmia.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:09 PM
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I've had this happen several times; not that I expected the actors I noticed to become superstars, just sometimes wondered why I didn't see them in more roles. I just can't really think of very many right now. Perhaps I should bookmark this thread for the next time.

Two that I can think of are...

Carole Lombard, who was brilliant in the original My Man Godfrey. She died in a plane crash in 1942 at age 33. To Be or Not to Be was her final film.

Juanin Clay. She was in the running to play Col. Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century; didn't get that part but had a prominent guest role in one episode, and was in WarGames as one of the staff of the war room inside Cheyenne Mountain. Died at 45; according to IMDb it was a heart ailment complicated by breast cancer.

And since the OP was partly inspired by The Twilight Zone, I might mention Jonathan Winters. I looked him up online once after seeing my favorite TWZ episode and found a video of him talking about spending time in a psychiatric hospital at about the same time that episode must have been shot.

Oh, one more. I caught some old episodes of What's My Line and wondered what became of the panelists, who seemed to be the epitome of the New York publishing and social scene. I found out that Dorothy Kilgallen died during the run of the show from a combination of alcohol and barbiturates, and had some seemingly controversial episodes during her career.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:46 AM
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The beautiful Inger Stevens began her career in the mid 1950s as a teenager, did quite a lot of TV for the next decade, appearing in two episodes of the Twilight Zone (including the classic "The Hitch-Hiker"), and was starring in feature films in the late '60s. In 1970 she died in an apparent suicide, at age 35.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:45 AM
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Jim Hutton. Played Ellery Queen in the 70s, and also was a bright spot in The Green Berets. I loved watching him on-screen. Died of liver cancer at age 45 in 1979.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:33 PM
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I didn't watch The Godfather until 2005 or so and I kept thinking to myself, "John Cazale is nailing is Fredo. How come I never see him in anything else?" Turns out he died of cancer before the the release of what would be his final movie, The Deer Hunter.
Bruno Kirby played the young version of Clemenza, and had a pretty good role in When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers and several other easy to watch movies. I was wondering why I had seen anything from him in a while only to discover he died in 2006, from complications related to leukemia at the age of 57.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:53 PM
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Valérie Quennessen

She was in French Postcards, Summer Lovers, and Conan the Barbarian. If you watched late-night HBO in the 1980s, you saw a lot of her (so to speak).

Sadly for Hollywood, she dropped out of showbiz to concentrate on her family. Sadly for everybody, she died in a car wreck in 1989.
I caught Summer Lovers about 10 years ago. I was wondering why I had never seen such a beautiful actress in any other work - looked her up on IMDB and found out she was dead. Quite disappointed.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:56 PM
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I'm watching "The Code," S 4 Ep 1 of Mission: Impossible (Leonard Nimoy's debut as Paris). A beautiful actress with long blonde hair has taken the place of Barbara Bain. Her name is Alexandra Hay, and I remember seeing her in different shows in the '60s and '70s.

I look her up at IMDb and find she was born in July 1947 and died of coronary disease (!) in October 1993, at the age of 46.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:48 AM
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Bruno Kirby played the young version of Clemenza, and had a pretty good role in When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers and several other easy to watch movies. I was wondering why I had seen anything from him in a while only to discover he died in 2006, from complications related to leukemia at the age of 57.
Don't forget his role as Lt. Steven Hauk in Good Morning, Vietnam. He had three jokes under consideration by Reader's Digest!
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:45 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Sammi Kane Kraft, who played Amanda Whirlitzer in the remake of BAD NEWS BEARS. She died in a car crash a few years later. Pretty girl, okay actress, very good athlete.

John Cazale, who played Fredo Corleone and died from a brain tumor not long afterwards. He only made four movies, but they were probably the four best movies made in the 1970s. We had a thread about the most famous actor with the fewest IMDB credits, and he was the winner. (My suggestion was Gummo Marx.)
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:29 AM
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From the film 'Up the Down Staircase'. Came out in 1967 but I saw it for the first time about a year ago. I remember the lovestruck teen girl character Alice, played by Ellen O'Mara. While average looking, there was something about her appearance and demeanor that made her as cute as a button. I felt that "Oh, what a damn shame" feeling when finding out she appeared on screen very little after that movie, and died in her early 50s.
The star of that movie, Sandy Dennis, died much too young as well, at 54. What a great talent she was. She and Jack Lemmon just nailed it in The Out of Towners (one of the funniest movies ever made) and her performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was riveting. She was the Queen of Quirk.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:34 PM
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The star of that movie, Sandy Dennis, died much too young as well, at 54. What a great talent she was. She and Jack Lemmon just nailed it in The Out of Towners (one of the funniest movies ever made) and her performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was riveting. She was the Queen of Quirk.
How true, how true. I should have mentioned her as well.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:26 PM
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A few years ago I was introducing someone to the cheesy delight from the 90s that was Xena: Warrior Princess
Which lead me to do a little "where are they now" googling, where I learned that the actor who played Ares, Kevin Smith died right before his first Hollywood movie.
That dude was hot! I was really sorry when I heard he'd died.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:45 AM
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Jeff Buckley's rendition of "Hallelujah", released in 2008 and responsible for making the Leonard Cohen song such a part of life, was so wonderful that I looked up what else this bright new star was doing. He had died ten years earlier, in a stupid accident.
I had to look this up because I knew the song was on his album in 1994. I did not realize it was only officially released as a single in 2007 and enjoyed a resurgence after being performed by other singers on American Idol and elsewhere in 2007-2008. Buckley's version made Rolling Stone's "Top 500 Songs of All Time" in 2004. So there was some acclaim for it prior to that commercial single release, but I think it's cool it reached a wider audience later. His single "Last Goodbye" did well on modern rock/alternative radio and he received good press during his lifetime, but around the 10th anniversary of his death appreciation for his music reached new levels.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:14 PM
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Jeff Buckley's rendition of "Hallelujah", released in 2008 and responsible for making the Leonard Cohen song such a part of life, was so wonderful that I looked up what else this bright new star was doing. He had died ten years earlier, in a stupid accident.
Tim Buckley (Jeff's father), also a musician, died at 28 of a drug overdose. So Jeff outlived his dad by about two years. Sigh....
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:16 PM
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He only made 5 feature movies and all of them were nominated for best picture Oscar. Godfather 1 and 2 , The conversation, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter
He was also the great love of Meryl Streep's life. She cared for him as he was dying and took acting jobs to pay the incredible medical bills.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:05 PM
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Cazale was going to be fired from the Deer Hunter due to his cancer but Streep said if he is fired then she would quit the movie so he stayed on.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:58 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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Cartooniverse writes:

> He was also the great love of Meryl Streep's life. . .

Um, maybe this is to exaggerate slightly. Six months after he died, she married Donald Gummer, who she's been married to for over forty years. I sure hope she doesn't have regular conversations with her husband where she says, "You know, don't you, that John Cazale was the great love of my life."
  #49  
Old 01-14-2019, 10:59 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Well, omitting the 'great talent' part. . . I recently saw the original 1936 "Flash Gordon" serial, and looked up Priscilla Lawson, a bona find knockout who played Princess Aura. Looks like she drank herself to death by the age of 44. She didn't have any noteworthy 'career,' and she was definitely not an 'actress'.
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