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Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Writer's Life 12/29 - Golden Girl from the Golden Age

RIP Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, 84, who succumbed to a stroke a day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher. In 1948, at 16, she won the Miss Burbank beauty contest, which led to a contract with Warner Bros.. She rocketed to fame with her performance in her fifth film, Singin' in the Rain (1952), arguably the best original cinema musical ever. She had no experience as a dancer prior to that. She learned on the fly and was later quoted as saying: "Singin' in the Rain and childbirth were the two hardest things I ever had to do in my life." She had a face the camera and public loved, projecting girl-next-door wholesomeness. She had a great run in '50's and into the '60's despite the public humiliation she suffered when Eddie Fisher left her for Elizabeth Taylor, with whom she eventually made peace. She received her only Oscar nomination in 1964 for The Unsinkable Molly Brown. In 1969 she followed Doris Day and other contemporaries in launching a sitcom bearing her name. When the debut episode included an advertisement for cigarettes, a direct violation of one of her contractual stipulations, she was outraged. The series was canceled after 22 episodes. Although she seemed a natural for Broadway, she appeared in only three productions: a revival of Irene in 1973, for which she received a Tony nomination; a self-titled one-woman show in '78; and a long run as Lauren Becall's replacement in Woman of the Year in '82. She toured nationally in a production of ...Molly Brown, and did other theater on the west coast and in Australia. She was even a successful recording artist, earning a gold record for Tammy from Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), and had two other top-25 Billboard hits: A Very Special Love (#20 in January 1958) and Am I That Easy to Forget? (#25 in March 1960) . For ten years she headlined for three months a year at Las Vegas's Riviera Hotel. She also ran her own casino in Sin City until it went bankrupt in '97. Nearly all the money she earned in the latter half of her career was put toward her goal of creating a Hollywood museum. Her collection of items numbers more than 3000 costumes and 46,000 square-feet worth of props and equipment. For 56 years she was involved in The Thalians, a charitable organization devoted to children and adults with mental health issues. In real life she was as unsinkable as Molly Brown. Not only did she have to endure Fisher's betrayal, her second husband gambled away a lot of her money, leaving her in dire straits financially. And she survived a third divorce as well. She battled adversity with the pluck of a Hollywood heroine. She was an original. Kudos, madam, and thank you. (Facts from Wiki & IMDb)

There were a couple of items in today's Post that manifest how fascinating the human race is. An Uber driver asked his passenger to take the wheel, and went into the back seat for a nap. When he awoke, the guy was involved in a high speed chase with cops. Now he's suing both the customer and, incredibly, Uber. He claims the right to go after the company because he was a helpless passenger at the time. Some people have big ones... Speaking of which - a Virginia woman hit on a lucrative scheme that almost made her rich. She bought expensive purses in department stores and returned knock-offs in their place. She was a million dollars to the good when finally caught. She should have quit while she was way ahead.

Here's another example of the bias of the mainstream media - its silence, indifference to combat deaths when a Democrat is in the White House. More than 1900 U. S. military personnel have been killed in and around Afghanistan since President Obama took office. During Bush's reign, there were about 625. I expect the liberal press will start raising this issue once Trump is in office.

The floating book shop was rained out today.
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