Friday, April 30, 2010

Good Time Gal

Dorothy Provine was a flashy, glamorous, dishy blonde; just the sort of dame you'd expect Sinatra to be palling around with post-Ava, pre-Mia. That was a big romance; presumably the one with Richard Chamberlain was strictly for the fan mags. It was in the gossip columns that Dorothy made the biggest splash; aside from her role on the television series The Roaring 20's (1960-62), Provine's career never took off the way most expected it to. Her films "progressed" from low-budget fare like Riot in Juvenille Prison (1959) to supporting roles in such all-star tediums as It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) and The Great Race (1965). She certainly had range: a decade before Faye Dunaway, Provine played the lead in The Bonnie Parker Story (1957); she was giantess in The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959); and at least one characterization called upon her, er, minstrel skills.

Perhaps she was difficult: Provine herself alluded to a feud with studio boss Jack Warner; he dropped her after she refused to make another television series, The Perils of Pauline, insisting upon a film career or nothing. Warner opted for nothing, and Provine hit the supper club/Vegas trail, replacing Carol Channing as George Burns' nightclub act partner. That, too, ended amid rumors of acrimony. Leading roles on Broadway (Little Me) and in Hollywood (Harlow) were announced, then went nowhere. Finally, in 1968, Provine left the rat race, Sinatra, and Chamberlain (and Alan Ladd, Jr., Ray Anthony, Andy Williams and Gardner McKay) behind, marrying director Robert Day. Though that happy union lasted until her death, it began with a typical Hollywood splash: Day's wife filed for divorce once she discovered his adultery with Provine, who was already pregnant with Day's child. The divorce was expedited to become absolute in only one month, rather than three, and Day and Provine wed almost immediately thereafter. A mad, mad, mad, mad world, indeed! R.I.P., Dottie. We always hate to see a good time gal go.

January 20, 1937 - April 30, 2010


  1. "mmmm world" was an all-star tedium? gulp. sure, it wasn't gwtw, but i adored the screeching merman!

    i also recall liking dorothy in "good neighbor sam"

    i also liked her last name.

  2. She's all right. I didn't like her fluffing her boa in my girl Natalie's face.

  3. Good Neigbor Sam is one of my favorite comedies next to Mad x4 World.
    She also was on Tv in the "Roaring 20's" where she sang.
    I got the record and have worn it down since the 1960s.


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