Saturday, November 26, 2016
Friday, November 25, 2016
Florence Henderson, who began her career as an ingénue soprano in stage musicals in the 1950s but made a more lasting impression on television, as the perky 1970s sitcom mom on “The Brady Bunch,” died on Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 82.
Her death was confirmed by David Brokaw, her publicist. He said that she died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and that her family said the cause was heart failure.
[The New York Times]
Mike and Carol Brady have always been on my list of candidates for eventual inclusion into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. And they would be multi–dimensional characters, to boot!
So when I opened up Facebook first thing this morning, before even getting out of bed, and seeing all the posts about the death of Florence Henderson, I knew Mr. and Mrs. Brady would have to be put on the fast track for induction.
But like Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo, who also just passed away, I decided to save them both for next year when I will be doing a memorial theme the whole year long.
But fear not, gentle Tooblings! The TVXOHOF can still commemorate Florence Henderson by inducting her as a member of the League of Themselves.
'The Muppet Show'
- Florence Henderson (1976)
The Muppet Theater is plagued by pig-related problems with The Bouncing Borcellino Brothers flubbing their opening act and Miss Piggy throwing herself at an uninterested Kermit, then later gets jealous at guest star Florence Henderson who she thinks is gonna steal her frog away. [IMDb]
'It's Garry Shandling's Show'
- The Schumakers Go to Hollywood (1987)
Grant wins a trip to Hollywood and decides to attend a taping of 'It’s Garry Shandling’s Show'.
'Out of This World'
- My Mom, and Why I Love Her (1991)
After spending a $200 check from her grandmother rather than putting it into the bank as ordered by her mother, Evie Garland entered a slew of money-making magazine contests. She ended up winning for an essay about how great her Mom was.
But Evie didn't expect a magazine rep to show up and see their mother-daughter dynamic in person. Caught in a bind, Evie summoned a simulacrum of Florence Henderson to stand in as her mother. So not the real thing, but her similarity to, and knowledge of, the real Florence Henderson confirms the reality of the actress.
There was an episode of 'The Brady Bunch' with the title "Out Of This World". And since this episode title dealt with the Terran Mom of the alien hybrid Evie, Florence Henderson seems like the perfect choice for guest star. Although I consider June Lockhart to be America's TV Mom.
'Caroline in the City'
- Caroline and the Balloon (1995)
Caroline is thrilled when she gets to relive her childhood dream: as her comic strip is showcased as the newest balloon in a Thanksgiving Day parade but chaos ensues afterwards, when the balloon is set free and injures Wessonality Float hostess, Florence Henderson. [IMDb]
- Salute to Getting Off Easy (1995)
'Night Stand with Dick Dietrick' is an American television comedy show that satirized American tabloid talk shows. [Wikipedia]
I can't find any more information than that she was a guest on this pseudo-talk show. But given its tabloid nature, and the fact that Florence Henderson enjoyed lampooning her "America's Mom" image, I would not be surprised if host Dietrick probed into her well-publicized "date" with Barry Williams, who played her stepson Greg Brady on 'The Brady Bunch' and who was almost twenty years her junior.
(I'd hate to think they dealt with her one night stand NYC Mayor John Lindsay and its unfortunate effects. I only learned about that chapter in her life just now as I Googled the name of the this show & Florence Henderson.....)
- My Whole Life Is Thunder (2012)
Kenneth tells Tracy he is upset that girlfriend Hazel lost her job at TGS and then dumped him. Tracy tries to cheer him up by making life more like TV, where people never leave, including by bringing in old TV star Florence Henderson. [IMDb]
These four shows can be included in her tally, but have no influence in determining her eligibility for entry in the Hall:
'The Surreal Life'
'My Fair Brady'
'The Florence Henderson Show'
She also appeared as herself in two movies, but those should be included in any Cineverse archives which might exist:
"Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult"
"Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star"
Even though the "Naked Gun" franchise grew out of the TV show 'Police Squad', there were enough recasting discrepancies to consider the movies as a separate entity in its own fictional universe.
So I salute you, Florence Henderson. And I will admit that when 'The Brady Bunch' was first on the air, I had a major crush on you. For me, it was never Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!
Good night and may God bless.....
Lonnie Trevor had been a movie star and sex symbol in Hollywood back in the 1950s. But she became better known for frequent appearances in gossip pages and scandal sheets around the world.
Lonnie Trevor wasn't even her real name. She had been born in One of and she spoke English with an accent, but to broaden her appeal stateside, her name was Americanized. (Personally, I'd like to think she was originally from Leutonia.)
She was married twice: the first time to Archie Blanc, a racecar driver who lost his nerves in the Grand Prix. But he went on to win at Le Mans, once Lonnie picked him up as a husband and turned his life around.
Her second husband was Felix Rodriguez was an alcoholic jockey, but he went on to win at Churchill Downs, thanks to Lonnie as his wife and mentor.
Lonnie Trevor had a habit of picking up Life 's losers and transforming them. Which might have been admirable, except when she married Rodriguez, she was still married to Blanc!
Eventually, her licentious lifestyle of illicit affairs and assorted scandals caused the government to exert pressure on the movie executives at Mammoth Studios (via threats to appear before the HUAC committee with the possibility that they would be blacklisted) in order to get them to stop bankrolling the racy films she appeared in.
And so, early in the 1960s, Lonnie Trevor was "Hollywood's ambassador to the isle of Capri". There, SIA's thief, Alexander Mundy, played on her weakness for losers in order to mingle with the "Beautiful People" of Capri.
Eventually Al Mundy was able to complete his assignment and then he turned to romancing Lonnie without any distractions.
Their fling couldn't last, built as it was on a fiction, but it was probably fun while it lasted. Eventually Lonnie turned her attentions to other men, including electronics genius Harold Van Wyck. However, their affair may have contributed to the paralysis of his wife Elizabeth and hardened his mother-in-law, Margaret Meadis, against him.
'It Takes A Thief' - "The Beautiful People"
I wrote this character sketch about Lonnie Trevor because I watched her episode of 'It Takes A Thief' yesterday and then I found out that the actress who played her, Ann Smyrner, died this past August at the age of 81.
Good night and may God bless.....
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
With the recent death of Robert Vaughn, I've been looking at his role of Napoleon Solo in 'The Man From UNCLE' anew. However, in this post, he's the supporting player....
In the reunion TV movie, "The Return Of The Man From UNCLE: The Fifteen Years Later Affair", Keenan Wynn played Piers Castillian, one of Justin Sepheran's main henchmen. (The other being Janus.) Castillian was a relatively small role for such a noted character actor, and may have only existed for a quick punch line.
As Castillian went Mano a Mano with Solo, it became apparent that he and the UNCLE agent had crossed paths once before.
"Napoleon Solo… You can't imagine how long I've looked forward to this meeting."
"It must be rewarding."
So that makes for a good reason why we never saw Castillian in any other TV shows sharing the same TV dimension as 'The Man From UNCLE': because he was obviously beaten by Napoleon Solo and ended up in prison for a good number of years. That is, until Sepheran was able to either hire him after his release or busted him out of prison.
So there's an episode of 'The Man From UNCLE' which we never saw; Keenan Wynn never appeared on the original series. Piers Castillian must have previously tangled with Mr. Solo either before the series began in 1964, at some point between the show's cancellation and this TV movie, or perhaps it was even an adventure that took place between the episodes which actually aired.
I'm leaning towards it happening before the series began, perhaps even back to when Solo was a novice operative and Castillian was the more seasoned adversary. I would think it was back during the Eisenhower years, maybe circa 1957.
But now the tables were turned and Castillian must have realized the years had put him at a disadvantage...
"How do you look so young?"
"Good make up men."
Solo left the old man dazed and confused with his hearing aid broken. He was arrested and sentenced to serve a lengthy jail term. He most likely died in prison, which is why Piers Castillion was never seen in Toobworld again.
But maybe we did see his half brother, Lamar Pettybone, around that same time. Lamar was Matt Houston's ranch foreman, who basically always in charge since Matt was off playing private eye.
No "identical cousins" theory at play here. I just think Keenan Wynn and Paul Brinegar look enough alike to be brothers. But those last names of Castillian and Pettybone could mean their mother had two different husbands...
So we get a little theory of relateeveety in as well.....