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Good people in a tough business: Celeste Holm passes away, too.

  • Blog Post by: Barry ZeVan
  • July 17, 2012 - 6:30 PM

A couple days ago, I wrote about the passing of film producer and former 20th Century Fox president, Richard (Dick) Zanuck, apparently sharing the sentiments of many in the media regarding his kind and gentle demeanor. Thanks to blog reader Sea Shark's kind comments about the homage paid, I learned others in the media, especially in L.A., had expressed similar thoughts about him, which was good to learn. "Sea Shark" also expressed a wish that I'd reflect on the late and very great actress, Celeste Holm, who oassed away this past Sunday at the age of 95.

I met Ms. Holm only once, and very briefly. It was at a press conference in Las Vegas at Caesar's Palace. The press conference was to honor actress Susan Hayward when she sadly had to exit portraying MAME in the CP production of that exhilarating musical. Ms. Hayward had become ill and couldn't perform. She was succeeded by the aforementioned Ms. Holm, who also appeared at the conference. To no one's surprise, she was as alive and affable as one might have expected. I hadn;t seen Ms. Hayward perform the lead role in that production, so I had no points of reference when watching her successor, Ms. Holm. Obviously, Ms. Holm did the part more than justice and the play ended it's run successfully. Again, as was the case with Dick Zanuck, she was a good person in a rough business.

Speaking of rough, the vitriol making the rounds these days between a lot of people, at almost every level, especially in politics, has unfortunately been part of the human fabric for a very long time. An example from the 1930s: I remember the late Arthur Godfrey telling his radio audience in the 1950s about the days when he was a local air peronality on WMAL in Washington, D.C. One morning Arthur complained he'd received a vicious hate mail letter from a listener. Ironically, Arthur stated President Franklin Roosevelt had been listening to Arthur that morning and called him directly at the station. He told Arthur he wanted him to come to the White House that day, if he was available, to "see something". Godfrey said he accepted the President's invitation and got to the White House just before Noon. He said the President took him to a basement room in the White House. The room was used expressly to save all the hate mail the President had received. The President invited Godfrey to start reading some of the letters. Godfrey said he couln't belive his eyes regarding the deranged words jumping from the pages. Godfrey said he never again complained about, nor paid attention to, his hate mail or his detractors.

Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read these thoughts and opinions. I'm appreciative they strike some good responsive chords with those who take the time to comment, "Sea Shark" being an example, as well as "stingball". If you wish, please also take the time to watch my SENIOR MOMENT webcasts at www.startribune.com/video for some other opinions via this geezer brain. The subject changes every Monday.

 

 

 

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