Thursday, January 23, 2014

Way To Go, Screen Actors Guild!

It was such a treat to watch the great Rita Moreno receive her well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild last Saturday evening. Rita gave one of the best acceptance speeches I have ever heard. And she sang part of it – to the joy of everyone attending the SAG Awards event and TV viewers like me.

This versatile actress can sing, dance, and perform both comedy and drama with the best of them. She’s won numerous awards, including an Oscar for West Side Story, a Golden Globe, a Tony and two Emmys. The Internet Movie Data Base lists over 140 film and TV acting credits for Rita. In addition to West Side Story, she’s appeared in such films as Singin’ in the Rain, The King and I, Carnal Knowledge, Marlowe, The Four Seasons, Pagan Love Song, The Ritz, Blue Moon, The Toast of New Orleans, Angus, and King of the Corner. She’s been in numerous popular television shows, and won Emmys for her outstanding work on The Muppet Show and The Rockford Files. Her autobiography, “Rita Moreno: A Memoir,” was published last year and received excellent reviews.

I had the good fortune to talk with Rita when she was one of the guests on our Movie Addict HQ radio show celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Singin’ in the Rain. She’s delightful, candid and remarkably entertaining.

The Screen Actors Guild definitely got this one right!  

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Saturday, January 04, 2014

There Is Nothing Like a Dame

Dear Angela Lansbury,

Congratulations on being recognized by Queen Elizabeth with the Order of the British Empire. I think that means you are now a Dame! You certainly deserve this honor because of all your work raising so much money for research, scholarships and numerous worthy charities.  But I'm sure your wonderful contributions to the field of entertainment helped you be such a successful fundraiser.

Like so many movie lovers, I've been an avid fan of yours ever since first seeing you in Gaslight; and I want to thank you for the great pleasure your performances on film and television have given me. Although I haven't been fortunate enough to see your live theater work, I love watching YouTube clips of your splendid musical numbers in Mame and Sweeney Todd. You, dear lady, have it all -- the ability to do drama, comedy and musicals equally well.

Angela Lansbury performances among my favorites include your terrifying mother in Manchurian Candidate, your amusing witch in Bedknobs and Broomsticks and your marvelous portrayal of Jessica Fletcher in those terrific "Murder, She Wrote" television episodes, which I watch over and over again.

As a film critic and host of a movie-related radio talk show, I appreciate the professionalism you bring to every project you become involved in. And whenever I see you on screen, I feel a strong sense of admiration that I've wanted to express to you for a very long time.


Betty Jo Tucker 

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