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GeezerNoir

Nancy Blind Date

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Watched Best Foot Forward this morning.  So I’m thinking, “This is an ok musical, but certainly nothing special.”  Seemed to me that the two best things in it were the Harry James orchestra and that Nancy Blind Date person.  Yeah, I was really liking Nancy Blind Date.  “Now there’s a dame with attitude!”, I’m thinking.  I like dames with attitude.  And then I’m thinking, “I should know that actress.  She looks really familiar.  Who the heck is that?”  But there was no answer forthcoming from my dim old brain, so off I went to IMDb.  And there it was:  Nancy Walker.  (Yeah, Brain Boy, the Nancy part wasn’t enough of a clue for you, right.)  Rhoda’s mom!  Wow!  Who else thinks she was the best thing in that film?  Or am I alone here?  I mean Lucy was good, but only just that.  She hadn’t quite hit her stride yet.  And Walker had a big advantage cause, although this was her first film, she had played that same role on Broadway.  She had it DOWN.  Oh yeah.

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I think I saw this movie a long time ago but missed it this morning. Now that you mention it, I vaguely remember Nancy Walker being in the cast. Since I have it on DVR now I'll definitely be watching it again.

And not only was Nancy Walker Rhoda's mom, she was also Sophia's sister on the Golden Girls, although I think she only appeared once or twice.

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Saw her as Domina in A Funny Thing Happened... with Phil Silvers and Larry Blyden.  By the time it got to Broadway, she had been replaced by someone I don't remember.  She was memorable, and I don't know why she didn't make the trip to Broadway.  This was in 1971, a few years prior to Rhoda.

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I knew her best as the housekeeper on McMillan & Wife. I’ve always loved her & agree she stole the show until the final number by Tommy Dix. What a voice!  The course spotlights certain movies which are discussed in the lecture notes, videos, etc. However I’d love to see some sort of blurb on why each of the movies was chosen for inclusion.  While Best Foot Forward was ok, I definitely wondered why it would be chosen for this course. 

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She was Hildy the taxi driver in On The Town's original cast. Here's an abbreviated version of one number and then a "follow the bouncing ball" singalong of Chattanooga ChooChoo. 

 

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Nancy was awesome in this, and I did the same thing - looked up who was playing the blind date because she just looked so familiar but I couldn't quite place her!  

I was so happy to see a Lucille Ball movie on the schedule...but I agree, she was good but not as great as she became later in her career.  I thought perhaps this was chosen because it was early June Allyson?  And it's an example of the theme of this week - nationalism - being set at the military school.  

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It took me a moment to figure out who she was. Her voice had certainly not changed in her later years. She was a delight to watch. I agree that Lucille Ball's performance was forgettable. Almost every other musical number was more enjoyable than hers. Even her acting was subpar compared to the "kids."

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From her 1992 NYT obit:

Quote

"I don't understand it myself," she said in 1976, "but I have this effect on people, so when I walk onstage, they start laughing."

That is pretty much what happened when through a case of mistaken identity she got her big break on Broadway at age 19. Her father, who was an acrobat, asked his agent to send her to see the producer George Abbott, who was auditioning actors for a new comedy, "Best Foot Forward." Genesis of a Comedian

She was introduced as Miss Walker -- Mr. Abbott and Richard Rodgers had been expecting a singer named Helen Walker -- and began belting out a song called "Bounce Me Brother With a Solid Four." Mr. Abbott built up the "blind date" role in "Best Foot Forward" from five lines to a leading role, making her an instant success.

After her success in "Best Foot Forward," M-G-M flew her to Hollywood and signed her to a seven-year contract. She appeared in the movie version of the play and in "Girl Crazy" and "Broadway Rhythm," playing variations of the blind-date character she had mastered on Broadway. She also appeared in "Lucky Me," which starred Doris Day and Robert Cummings.

On Broadway, she also starred as the jaded cabdriver Brunnhilde Esterhazy in "On the Town" in 1944 and later appeared in "Pal Joey," "Wonderful Town," "Look, Ma, I'm Dancin"' and "Do, Re, Mi," a spoof of the jukebox industry in which she played Phil Silvers's long-suffering wife. 'The Quicker Picker-Upper'

She was also the face that launched a million rolls of paper towels in television commercials beginning in the 1970's, saying: "Bounty. It's the quicker picker-upper."

She was not defensive about making commercials. "One minute's work done well is just as important as one hour," she said. "Look, if it were a bad minute, I'd feel terrible, because I get paid very well, and that would be cheating. I'm not cheating anybody. I mean, an artist is an artist no matter what he does. Besides, if I weren't doing those commercials well, I'd not have gotten on the Mary Tyler Moore show."

Here's Rosie pushing a new product, a paper towel especially to wrap food in for a "new-fangled microwave oven." 

 

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