If you're watching Feud, you're probably enjoying it. It has flashes of brilliance, mostly attached to Jessica Lange.
I'm not crazy about Susan Sarandon in this project because she seems intimidated by Bette Davis, and it comes out in her timidity when speaking. It's like she's scared to be a parody, so she winds up being a weak imitation.
I did enjoy the fairly accurate recreation of Bette's undignified promo activities in singing on The Andy Williams Show.
Madonna mega-fan Hamlet Tallaj hosted the production of Emmy and the Breakfast Club — that long-awaited, detail-obsessed retelling of Madonna's early-'80s NYC days from director Guy Guido — at his chic shop Hamlet's Vintage (146 W. 4th St., NYC) this weekend.
Behind-the-scenes magic ...
The pics he took are more proof that while Jamie Auld kinda looks Madonna-ish in real life, she is set to become the all-time, hands-down, most jaw-droppingly exact replica of Madonna that ever shimmied onto the big screen.
The likeness, once she is put into hair, makeup and painstakingly recreated wardrobe by grooming god Guido, is astonishing.
Keep reading for one more snap, this one posted on the movie's official Instagram ...
Jean Rouverol: July 8, 2016—March 24, 2017 (Image via Republic Pictures)
Jean Rouverol, an actress, author and screenwriter who was blacklisted in the '50s after fleeing a House Committee on Un-American Activities subpoena, has died at 100.
Rouverol inspired me to write this post, in 2014, about figures who were still alive from long-ago, classic films. When I started looking into the topic a couple of years earlier, I could hardly believe someone from the classic film Stage Door (1937) was still with us, and was even more shocked that people from 1923 (she's still alive) and 1930 (he passed away) were also still five-plus feet over.
Rouverol was the daughter of Aurania Rouverol (1886-1955), the creator of Andy Hardy. She acted in several 1930s films along with Stage Door, most notably in It's a Gift (1934) opposite W.C. Fields (1880-1946), but segued into a career as a writer.
She and her husband, Hugo Butler (1914-1968), were members of the American Communist party, fleeing to Mexico to avoid punishment in the U.S. They eventually returned, her husband dying in 1968. As the blacklist thawed, Rouverol was able to find work again, writing an episode of Little House on the Prairie in the '70s before being named head writer of the long-running soap Guiding Light (started on radio in 1937, ultimately canceled from TV in 2009).
Lola Albright: July 20, 1924—March 23, 2017 (Image via publicity still)
I have a thing for Lola Albright, a sultry blonde actress who brought an appealingly opaque quality to the sirens she played. She just had a surprising beauty that felt grounded in her surroundings rather than piled on by Hollywood, and she starred in one of my favorite episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, “The Woman Who Wanted to Live” (1962).
After several uncredited bit parts — including as a showgirl in the 1948 classic Easter Parade starring Judy Garland (1922-1969) and Fred Astaire (1899-1987) — Albright made her credited film debut in Champion (1949), the hit boxing movie with Kirk Douglas (b. 1917) and Marilyn Maxwell (1920-1972).
In the thick of things with Elvis in Kid Galahad (Image via UA)
Albright was a favorite in B westerns, but rose above B status in hits like Kid Galahad (1962) with Elvis Presley (1935-1977) and in the award-winning parody Lord Love a Duck (1966), a black comedy that earned her an acting prize at the Berlinale.
I need to see Lord Love a Duck right now! (Image via UA)
Though she appeared in numerous features, Albright was busier on early TV, where she was well-suited to the serious roles on early, theater-based productions.
She enjoyed recurring roles on The Bob Cummings Show (1955-1957), Peyton Place (1965-1966; replacing an ailing Dorothy Malone (b. 1925) — who is also now in her nineties) and Branded (1965-1966), but was probably best-remembered as the bombshell of Peter Gunn (1958-1961) opposite Craig Stevens (1918-2000), a role for which she received an Emmy nomination.
Now that's an album title! (KEM Records)
Albright was also renowned for her luscious singing on Peter Gunn, a series dripping with style to this day. Along with her televised warbling, Albright released torch-style albums.
She would continue making enigmatic episodic TV appearances sporadically, including a delicious turn on Columbo in 1976 sparring with William Shatner (b. 1931) — Albright: “Silver certificates... I'd paper my bedroom with them if I could.” Shatner: “I wouldn't put it past you.” Albright: “Where would you put it?”) — until her final on-screen gig, on a 1984 episode of Airwolf.
A phantom IMDb post about Albright going before the camera for a Web series recently seems to have vanished.
Still a babe — and a cougar — on Columbo, and in disbelief over who's about to kill her (Video still via NBC)
She is survived by a step-daughter from one of her three marriages.
Albright's gorgeous performance of “It's Always You” after the jump ...
Chuck Barris: June 3, 1929—March 22, 2017 (Video still vis CBS)
Oddly, I always used to confuse the names Chuck Berry and Chuck Barris, and now they've died in the same week. Barris, most famous as the host of The Gong Show (1976-1980), has died of natural causes at 87.
Barris also created the unbelievably, intentionally trashy game show, which featured Z-list celebs attempting to sit through the marginal talents of a host of never-gonna-bes, always having the option of banging a gong to stop them dead in their tracks. Those who won took home $516.32 (or $712.05, $716.32 or $996.83 in syndication).
The judges were a hoot, often pushing the boundaries of good taste. Among them, Jaye P. Morgan (b. 1931) was the show's Brett Somers (1924-2007), and Rip Taylor (b. 1935) was more than game. I remember Phyllis Diller (1971-2012) almost looking like she was considering refusing her paycheck so she could split.
Though most of the contestants were average people with below-average gifts, there were notable exceptions: Boxcar Willie (1931-1999), Pee-wee Herman (b. 1952), Andrea McArdle (b. 1963), Cheryl Lynn (b. 1957), Oingo Boingo and Mare Winningham (b. 1959) all gave the show a shot.
Danny Lockin (1943-1977), who was seen in the movie version of Hello, Dolly!, won the show in 1977, only to be brutally murdered in the hours after, probably after a gay one-night stand gone wrong; his killer, who kept a torture diary, stabbed him more than 100 times, but was sentenced to just four years for manslaughter.
But it was the crappiness of the acts that made the show absurdly pomo fun, along with staples like the painfully unfunny Unknown Comic aka Murray Langston (b. 1945); big, bopping black dude in a tracksuit Gene Gene the Dancing Machine aka Gene Patton (1932-2015); and The Wizard of Oz (1939) star Jerry Maren (b. 1920), who would emerge as the winner was announced.
Once, when Gene was doing his dance, Morgan did a stripteease and briefly flashed her boobs. On TV.
The most infamous act — by several inches — was the sister act who came out, sat on the stage and started earnestly licking phallic popsicles. Impossibly, they were not gonged, and Morgan announced, Do you know that that's the way I started? It was pulled from airing elsewhere after censors on the East Coast realized they'd goofed.