A Sweet Goodbye To One Of My Favorite Actors

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Rod Taylor has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  From have watched and loved him. He was very talented and played every part with a deep commitment and true talent.

The first movie I think I can remember seeing him was The Time Machine.  A classic that I loved before I even knew what time travel or science fiction was.  Before I had read an H. G. Wells novel, I was in love George the time traveler.  He did something that just endeared me it was the sweet twinkle in his eye as he watched the mannequin change clothes and he went through the different time periods.  He was also so real in the midst of all the special effects and of course the romantic I am a mush so I loved the love story.

Of course I saw 101 Dalmatians but I didn’t it was him. So now that I do I may go back and watch it again just see if i can catch a phrasing that is pure Rod Taylor.

I loved him in Do Not Disturb  with Doris Day as the over worked and confused husband oblivious that his assistant had the hots for him.  In Sunday In New York as the adorable stranger who becomes both the hero and love Jane Fonda’s life, while being very, very funny.

I adored him in The Vips as the Aussie living in the UK with a great company who is fighting hard to keep it.  I had no idea he was an Aussie but I thought he was adorable and his relationship with his secretary, best friend and future love is one of my favorite parts of the movie.  I thought that he and Maggie Smith were just the cutest couple, I mean even a miserable Richard Burton could see she was in love Rod Taylor.

In Hotel as the manager he gets to show all the different sides.  He really plays the rock of the place who cares for the owner and employees and is trying his best to protect them all.  The scenes with Robert Webber as the Corp. Raider just made me sad because is that what really happened to all the beautiful hotels.

I recently saw The Catered Affair and though he had a tiny part I just thought he was adorable as the overwhelmed fiancee of Debbie Reynolds.

I also saw him in his TV guest shots, My favorites were in Murder She Wrote when he was older.  He still had it even though he was obviously not the sexy leading man anymore he was a sweet and caring friend and lover.

In other words I love Rod Taylor and I will miss him.  RIP Rod Taylor.

 

 

Love A Good Neil Simon Play

come blow your horn

Come Blow Your Horn is Neil Simon’s first play about when he finally left home and moved in with his older brother.  The play is very different from the movie.  I am not knocking the movie.  I really loved it.

I mean how can you go wrong with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bill,   Lee J. Cobb and Molly Picon.  It is a fun movie, a bit of a romp. I saw the movie before I saw the play.  My Grandma met Molly Picon, she was from the Yiddish Theater and my Grandmother and her family used to supply fabric for the costumes for the Yiddish Theater.  She had met Molly and her mother when they came in to buy material and my Grandma used to tell us great stories about it.  So i have soft spot for this wonderful and funny lady.

The movie also had Jill St James and Barbara Rush who I also admire, in fact there really isn’t anyone in the cast that I didn’t admire.  I also think that Norman Lear who wrote the screenplay is an amazing writer and producer, ( I grew up watching all his TV Shows and they were all the type of shows that pushed boundaries and taught while they made you laugh,)  but he is a different man with a different life from Neil Simon and he gave the movie his own take and it was very different then Neil Simon’s vision.

I saw the play in the 80’s and I was surprised by how different it is. It is a sweet charming and very Jewish Play.  It was what they did to his first baby that convinced Neil Simon that only one person could make his plays into screenplays from then on is Neil Simon.  So from then  on he always wrote the screenplays when his plays left the foot lights and went on to the big screens.

Come Blow Your Horn is all about growing up and finding your path to adulthood.  I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that it led one of the best playwrights of our time to grow as an artist.  Actually I kind of love the idea of that, don’t you?