Sunday, April 1, 2012




Jessica Baines Fletcher

John Finnegan

"Goodbye, Charlie"

Literary TV World
(The same dimension where the 'Once Upon A Time' characters originated.)

Charlie was the uncle of Frank Albertson and he used to sponge off his nephew and Frank's wife Sunny.  But then he disappeared.  When Frank and Sunny learned that Charlie had inherited a vast fortune, they tried to have him declared dead so that they could get the money.  But since that would take another six plus years, they instead tried to claim an unidentified corpse, mangled from getting hit by a train and now unrecognizable, to be that of Uncle Charlie.

Unfortunately, there were two other claims to the body - one saying it was that of Mort Bascomb, and the other saying it was Roper Bailey......

From the source:
With Charlie on his way to Las Vegas with Doreen, and Mort Bascomb disinterred, and Roper Bailey back to drinking Mexican beer.....
from the afterworld by J.B. Fletcher

Normally I do two "ASOTV" showcases on Tuesdays ("Two For Tuesdays"), but since I chose to put the spotlight on Charlie's nephew Frank Albertson today, I couldn't let the opportunity pass without paying tribute to a character played by John Finnegan.

Mr. Finnegan is best known - to me, anyway - for his many characters whom he portrayed in episodes of 'Columbo'. (The best one is Lt. Duffy in "A Friend In Deed".) But he also worked with Peter Falk in the Cassavetes movie "A Woman Under The Influence".

I met Mr. Finnegan through my job, and I had to tell him how much it meant for me to get that opportunity. Over the course of his stays there, he told me a couple of behind-the-scenes stories about working on 'Columbo'.

The best one involved Forrest Tucker, who played the victim in the first season episode "Blueprint for Murder". It was the episode Falk finally got to direct (after much haranguing of the producers - they figured to "punish" him by giving him the episode that had a lot of outdoor scenes.) and Mr. Finnegan played a foreman at a construction site.

Apparently, Tucker was acting a big too big for his britches (and not in the way for which he's gained a certain notorious reputation - as one of the great Hollywood "swordsmen".  If you know what I mean, nudge, nudge, wink, wink!) So after one particular bout of obstinance, in which Tucker called Falk and Finnegan - both much smaller (in height, let's be clear) than him - a couple of leprechauns or munchkins, something like that, Finnegan turned to Falk and said, "You take one knee and I'll take the other; let's bring him down!"

I guess I helped Mr. Finnegan a bit during his time there, because as a thank you, he got Falk to autograph a copy of his autobiography and then he sent it to me. It's a prized possession in the Toobworld Central library.

Anyway, not your typical "As Seen On TV" showcase, but I wanted to tip my hat to a favorite character actor while I had the chance.....


No comments: