Monday, November 30, 2009

Reconsidering Richard Crenna

RICHARD CRENNA
November 30, 1926 - January 17, 2003

It was easy to overlook Richard Crenna - or, at the very least, take him for granted. His rugged, reassuringly solid presence in every other TV movie of the 1980's (and, somewhat less nobly, the Rambo series) made him a familiar, if not terribly exciting, face and name. But digging deeper into his career and filmography is an eye-opening experience. For one thing, his list of leading ladies is nothing if not impressive. There was Gloria "I Married a Monster from Outer Space" Talbott in an episode of the western series Frontier (1956)...


...the Destitute Man's Gloria Grahame, Cleo Moore, in the pulpy neo-noir Over-Exposed (1956)...


...an even-wackier-than-usual Shirley MacLaine in the subversive spoof John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (1965)...


...the luscious Ann-Margret, and even more luscious Louis Jourdan and Chad Everett, in Made in Paris (1966)...


...a terrorized Audrey Hepburn in her Hollywood swan song, Wait Until Dark (1967)...


...Dame Julie Andrews in the campy, cult-ish Star! (1968), in which they locked lips and clashed plaids...


...and the intense, drag queeny Janice Rule in the sub-Jackie Susann howler, Doctors' Wives (1971).


Clearly, a re-evaluation of Mr. Crenna's ouevre is in order. Oh, and as the deal clincher, we realized that, as the unfortunate husband of Kathleen Turner in Body Heat (1981), Crenna displayed an admirably lean physique at age 51; we would have kept him and dumped William Hurt who, frankly, always sort of freaked us out. Creepy dude.

4 comments:

  1. I always did admire a man with a built in rug on his chest.. Cant say much about the bad rug on Ann-Margret head...

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  2. You are right about RC in Body Heat! I'll have to watch that again for the first time since the 80s.

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  3. my first memory of dicky? he played the goofy teenager arthur, in love with lucy ricardo on ILL.

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  4. Our Miss Brooks! Our Miss Brooks!

    Oh, am I showing my age?????

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