Monday, August 29, 2011

The Suave Ones

Characters like this pop up into my head when I think about the classic howcatchem, Columbo. I watched a pilot, Murder by the Book, some weeks ago, and this actor, Jack Cassidy played the evil one.

He has a great look, and probably would have become even better known had he lived longer. Such actors age well.

After researching a bit, mainly just through wiki, I found that both he, and the lead actress of this one episode, came to bizarre ends in real life. He became quite eccentric, displaying unhinged behavior before being incinerated in a fire, his corpse identified by a family crest signet ring.

This detail is gruesome and somehow reads as if it should be in a crime film or book.
 His colleague Barbara Colby, a decade junior at death, died even more freakishly. In fact, her murder is still unsolved. Where is Columbo when you need him?

The "Ethel Mermin" headline ads some  surrealism to the newspaper clipping below, which might lie in a file at the LAPD. I imagine a rumpled detective blowing dust off it,  cock-eyed, grunting.

More curiosity piles on when I recognize the face of Jack Cassidy's son, Shaun. A lightbulb of recognition turns on. I remember him from high school days. His mug was commonly cradled by girls who read heartthrob magazines.  I wonder if they still read these? Probably not. 
He's still alive, no tragedy furthering the strangeness. Other than the transitory nature of teen celebrity.
30 years from now another mug who smiles to young girls, Justin Beaver, or whatever he's called, will probably be a fairly obscure character.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Eddie Albert and the Turtle

Though Eddie Albert didn't seem to play malicious characters, he reminded me of the Turtle mayor in Rango, right.

So I looked the actor up, and sure enough, he was dead, but not long dead, dying only in 2005. What's more, he was 99 years old!

In the earlier part of the film the turtle seems more wise and avuncular, which I associate with Albert's characterizations. His voice seemed to fit too--an uncanny illusion.
As his role became more ominous, it didn't matter, for I have seen Albert in more ominous TV shows, such as a chilling Outer Limits episode.

As time goes on, we will mistake characters more, such as I did. Phenotypes will become reincarnate.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The beginnings

I have a few notebooks lying around, which I can rarely find, so I thought it best to start up yet another blog, which has the express purpose of discussing my activity regarding nostalgic research of characters that might or might not be dead. You know, those types that you maybe have not thought about for a while, and which you try to make a note of to yourself (if you had your notebook), to research later on wikipedia.
If this blog takes, it will be my journal of (1) jotting these subjects for potential research and (2) eventual results. It will be fairly stream of conscious and raw, not so manicured.

As an example, I was watching Rango today, and while marveling at the strange creatures, I found that the turtle uncannily resembled...what's his name, Eddy Arnold? The actor on Green Acres and Outer Limits, classic TV actor of the 60s. I figured, no it is doubtful that they would be alluding to him, and even more doubtful that his voice would be use; surely he is retired, if not long dead.

In my next post I will write about these results.

As the blog title might confer, this stuff is related to the obituaries. Some of the subjects will be in the public domain, or somewhat well known, while other subjects will be far more obscure, warrenting at best an obituary of my old home town newspaper, if it still exists.