Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film - Due out this Fall from UOK Press

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Alan's sporadic takes on Film Noir and other aspects of pop culture

Actors and Actresses

Commentary and critique on actors and actresses

Posted by on in Actors and Actresses
I was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Rose Freeman aka Joan Taylor who was a featured actress in movies and television from 1949 until her retirement in 1963. Rose was a special lady and we had a rather unusual relationship that began over five years ago. I was wrapping up my Charles McGraw biography manuscript but wanted to learn more about one of his movies, Warpaint, an interesting Western that he appeared in 1952 after leaving the contractual confines of RKO studios. Rose, or I should say Joan, played an Indian woman who helped make life extremely difficult for a thirst-crazed Army cavalry detachment led by Robert Stack and a pipe-smoking McGraw with Peter Graves, Robert J. Wilke, Walter Reed, Douglas Kennedy, and Paul Richards lending able support. I briefly wondered how the sole woman in the cast managed to cope with such a robust ensemble of...
joan taylor
©Alan K. Rode
Shortly after relocating to the far reaches of the western San Fernando Valley, I came across this sign while driving home one day.  Was this street named after Francis Lederer, actor?  Of course, it was.  It must have been fate and a collective touch of native soil that brought us together. My awareness of Lederer began at a young age. After viewing Return of Dracula (1958) on local N.Y. television, I firmly believed that the Czech-born thespian was the real Count Dracula and Bela Lugosi was well... Bela Lugosi. Sorry about that all you devoted Lugosiphiles. I was enamored with horror and sci-fi movies before acne and a deeper voice.  Francis Lederer and that Dracula movie made quite an impression on me.  I particularly enjoyed Lederer's continental lilt as the Count -  "...and your arm holding that cross, it feels like lead, no?" - along with a uniquely creepy score composed...
lederer st
©Alan K. Rode

Posted by on in Actors and Actresses
2/8/2010: Sad news. Bobby Hoy passed away early this morning. He leaves a loving family and a legion of friends and colleagues who will miss him greatly. R.I.P. Here us a link to his obit in the L.A. Times. It was my distinct privilege to attend the Golden Boot Award ceremony last week that honored Bobby Hoy. The Golden Boot is the most prestigious Western genre award that recognizes the elite of that special fraternity of actors, stuntmen, writers, directors who contributed significantly to the Western tradition in films and television. Here's a link that provides more detail about the legacy of the Golden Boot Award. It is disheartening to realize that the ranks of this exclusive alliance are becoming increasingly thinned by the inexorable march of time. For those of us who grew up during the 50's and 60's, the Western experience, especially on television, was an important part...
golden boot 1
©Alan K. Rode

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