Was there a TV show greater than The Andy Griffith Show? Not many, that's for sure. Boy howdy, I love Andy Griffith! He had one of the great Southern accents, with which he could deliver any moral sentiment as if it were coming from a deep well of archaic wisdom; our agreement was a necessity. Of course, that has a dark side, too, which he portrayed in his obverse role as Larry Rhodes in A Face in the Crowd (see clip). The actor died this morning at age 86.
Yesterday saw the death of one of my favorite actresses, Patricia Neal, from lung cancer. A belief in Heaven might be comforting at this point, but for myself, I can’t help but think this planet got a little less awesome.
Neal’s performances have always struck me as profoundly internalized. The women she portrayed often seemed unwilling to betray their true feelings, and it was Neal’s ability to stay true to this, while at the same time radiating their deeper passions, that make her an endlessly rewarding study. I find I always want to see how she would play a role, given the chance.
Neal’s most famous roles were as the female lead, Helen, in the 1951 production of The Day the Earth Stood Still, and her performance as Alma in Hud, for which she won the 1963 Academy Award for Best Actress.
Allan Melvin passed away this week, and regardless of the headline - he was far more than Sam the Butcher: he also was beloved in The Phil Silvers Show, All In The Family, appearances on Gomer Pyle, The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. A lot of folks who remember Magilla Gorilla don't even realized that Magilla was voiced by Mr. Melvin.
Nonetheless ... to many he will always be remembered as the love interest of Alice (Nelson), the maid on The Brady Bunch - played by Ann B. Davis. In this day and age, how many of us even know the name of our local butcher ... heck, how many of us still eat meat?
It's an era passing by, and I pause here to stand solemnly as it slides by us in the night, never to return.
Our respects and condolences go out to his wife and family.
George Vlosich III,
and one of my favorite
drawings by him.