Category Archives: Actors

Happy Birthday, Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson is one of my favorite living actors. Here’s a piece I wrote about The Cry Baby Killer, from 1958. It was Nicholson’s film debut. In the late 1950s, producer and director Roger Corman took an acting class. From … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, On This Day | Tagged | 3 Comments

“What Was It, Spence?”

Gillian Anderson reads a letter Katharine Hepburn wrote to Spencer Tracy 18 years after his death. The letter is pretty famous, I’ve read it before, but it came to life for me in a different way, falling into Anderson’s beautiful … Continue reading

Posted in Actors | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Gena Rowlands in Opening Night

“So please. Tell me. Tell me what this play doesn’t express.” “Hope.” I had a great time talking with Peter Labuza for his Cinephiliacs podcast, and the final 25 minutes we spend talking about Cassavetes’ Opening Night. You can download … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday, Marlon Brando: We Can Still Hear That Roar

“You can’t always be a failure. Not and survive. Van Gogh! There’s an example of what can happen when a person never receives any recognition. You stop relating: it puts you outside. But I guess success does that, too. You … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, On This Day | Tagged | 17 Comments

Happy Birthday, Lon Chaney

In tribute, here are some screen grabs from his beautiful and disturbing performance as the clown Tito, in love with tightrope-walker Simonetta (Loretta Young) in 1928′s Laugh, Clown Laugh. An unforgettable evocation of love, loneliness, and hope, with madness coming … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, On This Day | 5 Comments

Happy Birthday, Michael Caine

Yesterday was Michael Caine’s 81st birthday. In honor of him, here is a wonderful post by my friend Kim Morgan, who describes sitting in a roundtable discussion with Michael Caine, where he related a wonderful story about learning to hold … Continue reading

Posted in Actors | Tagged | Leave a comment

Elvis Presley and Orpheus Descending, Part Deux

This long post, inspired by my own research and a couple of paragraphs in Elaine Dundy’s wonderful book Elvis and Gladys, puts out the theory that Tennessee Williams re-wrote his first full-length play Battle of Angels into Orpheus Descending in … Continue reading

Posted in Actors | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Happy Birthday, Dean Stockwell

Those of you who have read me for a while will remember the Dean Stockwell Year. Today is his birthday. Dean Stockwell is still with us. I treasure his entire body of work. Here is a piece I wrote about … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, On This Day | Tagged | 10 Comments

A Master at Work: Claude Rains Orders Dinner in Deception

A couple months ago, a conversation ensued amongst a couple of film people on Facebook about Deception (1946). I’d seen it but the conversation was so fascinating I pulled it out to watch again. (Check out Glenn Kenny’s analysis of … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies | Tagged , | 10 Comments

“How far you goin’?” “How far YOU goin’?”
Happy birthday, Ann Savage

Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles were talking about Greta Garbo. Bogdanovich, unthinkingly, said, “You know, I love Greta Garbo, but it’s such a shame she did only one really great movie.” There was a pause, Orson just looking at Bogdanovich. … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, On This Day | Tagged | 14 Comments