Blog Post: And Another One Gone…

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Feb 3, 2024
New blog post by James Charles – discussions in this thread, please

Donald Sutherland is gone. I saw him on stage at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles years ago in a play. What can one say? M*A*S*H etc…

I knew Eddie Albert and bid him adieu nineteen years ago. Wow, stop the clock! I sat next to him at a few dinner parties at our friend’s house in Santa Monica–screenwriter, producer, and novelist, Mary Loos–(her aunt was Anita Loos – look them up). As a child I watched Green Acres, then saw The Longest Yard where Eddie played the evil warden (Burt Reynolds was the inmate/football player); I was intimated at first sitting next to the bad, evil warden. But nevertheless, he was funny, gracious and had a lot of stories about Errol Flynn (oh the drinking), Tyrone Power and on and on.

I knew Mary’s ex-husband, Richard Sale too. He was a screenwriter, director and novelist. He was good friends with Charles Bronson, who I did not meet, but Richard had a lot of stories too; I loved the ones about him flying around with Darryl Zanuck (the titan of 20th Century Fox) on Zanuck’s private plane, both of them drunk as skunks. I’ll leave the other stories right there.

I cannot even begin to list the countless acts I saw live at the Hollywood Bowl who are now gone. And ones I’ve seen on Broadway.

When we see famous people we grew up watching either on TV, in the movies and elsewhere die, it’s like … wow. They were, for better or worse, a part of our lives. But when you’ve met, known, or seen these people in person, it seems like a little more of yourself dies as well. I’m sure many of you who are comparable in age feel the same?

By @James Charles
Get the discussion going – post your thoughts & comments in the thread below…
Donald Sutherland was always a favourite of mine but not from Mash from Kellys Heros. For reasons best not looked at too closely Oddball became my youngest son's favourite hero. I have a feeling when he did his Swiss service it was as "Oddball." (When an officer tried to make him cut his hair he took it all the way to the Swiss Supreme Court. Of course he was in intelligence so he got away with it. His true ambition was to be a tank driver , but the military thought he was too tall.)
I think their sword community was the equivalent of Kelly's Heroes and one reason they got thru the teen years wo pain.

Eddie Albert would have been a fantastic dinner partner. I just recently read Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. And I have a 1960's era tour of NYC with her and Helen Hayes that is a time capsule. What grand memories.

We were alive at the best of times and the worst of times. Write down those stories. They are treasures.
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As a fellow Canadian, Donald Sutherland was a national treasure. He was a great actor who had a particular blend of humanity and humour. His loss along with so many others of that generation does feel like losing family. Those of us who grew up in Canada and the US in the 60's take our cultural references from those TV years -- Green Acres, I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan's Island. And even earlier: The Honeymooners (I adored Ralph Cramden), Leave it to Beaver. And all those reruns of I Love Lucy. When the greatest thrill was looking for the prize inside the cereal box. *Sigh* Thanks for sharing your memories, @James Charles!