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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Writer's Life 3/1 - Guest Stars

RIP George Kennedy, 91, one of Hollywood's all-time great supporting players, equally adept at comedy or drama, at home on the big or small screen. He won an Oscar for his good ol' boy convict role in Cool Hand Luke (1967). He has 183 credits listed under his name at IMDb, which does not include multiple guest starring appearances on popular TV fare, and 73 episodes of the Dallas reboot of the '90's and 24 of The Blue Knight, in which he starred. His first roles were uncredited, playing a Master Sergeant in 14 episodes of The Phil Silvers Show beginning in 1956. His last came in 2014 in The Gambler, starring Mark Wahlberg. Well done, sir. Thank you. Here's a trivia question about my favorite of GK's performances. In what film does he call out: "John W. Burns -- telephone."? Answer below.

There were two interesting guest star appearances last night in prime time. B.D. Wong, who has logged 250 credits as a psychologist on Law & Order SVU, played an offbeat one on Gotham -- Hugo Strange, bald as Telly Savalas, head of the Arkham Asylum. He will be in at least two more episodes, whereupon he will, I predict, meet an ugly demise at the hands of the Penguin, whom he is treating... On Scorpion, a gray-haired, bespectacled man triggered my memory. It was about five minutes before I realized it was Eric Roberts, who is a far cry from his hunk days. His resume` is astonishing -- 408 credits! I doubt if any actor of his generation even remotely approaches that. In 2016 alone eleven of the projects he is associated with have been completed, and 52 more are in post production. When does he sleep? Kudos to Julia's older brother.
One last note on the Oscars -- the In Memorium segment omitted the beloved Abe Vigoda! Hey, Hollywood, he's really dead this time.

In today's NY Post, Naomi Schaefer Riley's op-ed piece responds to the annual letter from Melinda and Bill Gates. The first half of the missive from the billionaires, written by the Mrs., decries gender roles. The second, by the man behind Microsoft, warns of the perils of global warming. Riley quotes from another source: "...death rates from floods, extreme temperatures, droughts and storms have dropped 97% from early in the 20th century until the 2010's." Kudos, ma'am.

The final tally in the Hillary email scandal is in -- almost three thousand violated security protocols. David Petraeus' was two. Everyone knows the press would be showing the same indifference had a Republican committed such violations.

Answer to the trivia question: George Kennedy played a sadistic deputy in Lonely Are the Brave (1962), starring Kirk Douglas, one of the most under-rated films ever.

My thanks to the kind folks who bought books on this glorious day. If the forecast is correct, winter weather will be returning to NYC tomorrow. Mother Nature wouldn't want to spoil anyone.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
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Vic's Short Story Collection:
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Vic's 1st Novel: