In Memoriam

Back in the 50s, there was a television series titled December Bride.  It starred Spring Byington as a widow who longed to find a suitable man and remarry.  A character actor played the next-door neighbor named Pete.  The actor was Harry Morgan.  He went on to star in a spinoff series titled Pete and Gladys, a show that I remember.  My grandmother was a great fan of both shows; and no matter what other series Morgan was in, she always called him “Ol’ Pete.”  So when Harry Morgan passed away this past December, I guess it was natural for me to think, “Ol’ Pete is gone.”

Of course, most of us know Morgan best for M*A*S*H and Dragnet.  Classic movie fans remember him from High Noon and Inherit the Wind, as well.  And as I read over the names of other actors and actresses who died in 2011, images of their movies and television performances came to mind.  James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon.  Peter Falk as Columbo.  Cliff Robertson as Charly.  Anne Francis in Forbidden Planet.  Whether they specialized in leading roles or supporting, they were talented people who deserve to be remembered.

Actors and Actresses

James Arness (Gunsmoke)
Jeff Conaway (Taxi; Grease)   
Jackie Cooper (Treasure Island; Superman films) 
Peter Falk (Columbo; The Princess Bride)     
Anne Francis (Forbidden Planet; Bad Day at Black Rock)     
Betty Garrett (On the Town; Take Me Out to the Ball Game)     
Farley Granger (Rope; Strangers on a Train)     
Kenneth Mars (The Producers; Young Frankenstein)
Pete Postlethwaite (The Usual Suspects; The Lost World: Jurassic Park)
Cliff Robertson (Charly; Spider-Man)
Jane Russell (The Paleface; His Kind of Woman)
Michael Sarrazin (For Pete’s Sake; They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?)
Sada Thompson (Family; Our Town)
John Wood (War Games; Ladyhawke)
Susannah York (Tom Jones, A Christmas Carol)

But it’s not just talent in front of the camera that we should remember.  Below are the names of people who used their skills behind the camera, giving us classic movies and television series – and music that stirs the soul.

Gil Cates
(A Death in the Family; The Promise -- one of my mother’s favorite movies)
Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men; Murder on the Orient Express; Network)
Ken Russell (Women in Love)

Sherwood Schwartz
(Gilligan’s Island; The Brady Bunch; The Brady Bunch Movie)

Sam Denoff
(The Dick Van Dyke Show)
Madelyn Pugh (I Love Lucy)

John Barry
(James Bond films; Born Free; Out of Africa; Dances with Wolves)

Flickr CC : fp102106-04 Photo by fontplaydotcom