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Actors/actresses' swan songs.


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I'm going to be obvious again. Rudolph Valentino in The Son of the Sheik. He did a wonderful job playing both the son and the father. A great movie and bittersweet at the same time. He didn't live long enough to see the film's success. 

u-g-Q10V98L0.jpg?w=550&h=550&p=0

It's a complete 180, but I was also thinking of Robin Williams. His last movie was Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. At least both went out on an artistic high note. 

robin-williams-ben-stiller-lg.jpg

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4 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Every actor has a swan song.

It will be interesting to see how some of today's big stars end their careers. 

People like Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Tom Cruise. Will they go out on a high note, or just quietly fade from view.

I suppose some of them "age out" of leading roles and cannot successfully transition to older character parts. Some of them have a hard time adjusting after having been a lead star for many years, to being faced with supporting roles, so they just walk away.

I noticed you didn't mention Harrison Ford, who turned 78 on Monday. He may never stop acting.

The next installment of the "Indiana Jones" series is scheduled for 2022.

Harrison Ford stars in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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How about Burt Lancaster?

First film: THE KILLERS

Last film:  FIELD OF DREAMS

*Technically, DESERT FURY was his first film appearance but THE KILLERS was completed and released first.

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Judy Tyler's second film, Jailhouse Rock (1957), was unfortunately her last. She and her husband died in a car crash driving back to New York after the film was completed. I'm sure that anyone who's seen her in the film would feel like she had a career ahead of her. She'd previously starred on Broadway in the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Pipe Dream (1955), so she definitely had a range which Hollywood could have built on. A beautiful, charismatic woman.

xjudytylerwithep2.jpg.pagespeed.ic.b5kkrFGtft.jpg

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9 minutes ago, DougieB said:

Judy Tyler's second film, Jailhouse Rock (1957), was unfortunately her last. She and her husband died in a car crash driving back to New York after the film was completed. I'm sure that anyone who's seen her in the film would feel like she had a career ahead of her. She'd previously starred on Broadway in the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Pipe Dream (1955), so she definitely had a range which Hollywood could have built on. A beautiful, charismatic woman.

xjudytylerwithep2.jpg.pagespeed.ic.b5kkrFGtft.jpg

I read somewhere that Elvis could not watch that film after she died, because he had a hard time dealing with her sudden death. They'd become close during the making of the movie.

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5 hours ago, jakeem said:

I noticed you didn't mention Harrison Ford, who turned 78 on Monday. He may never stop acting.

The next installment of the "Indiana Jones" series is scheduled for 2022.

Harrison Ford stars in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I didn't mention Harrison Ford, because I sort of put him with a slightly older generation of stars. He's still a working actor, and still a star, but his peak seems to have been awhile ago. If not for the Indiana Jones franchise, he would be in decline. I think Julia Roberts is probably well beyond her peak too. Sandra Bullock has diversified into producing, so that helps her stay relevant in other ways. Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise, however, still seem as viable and bankable now as movie stars, as they were at their peak in the 90s. It's like they've had a second or even a third peak. And I'm not exactly a Tom Cruise fan when I say this.

Anyway, my goal was not to compare Star X with Star Y and Star Z. It was to speculate how some of their Hollywood careers will eventually wind down. As I said, all stars have a swan song at some point.

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

I didn't mention Harrison Ford, because I sort of put him with a slightly older generation of stars. He's still a working actor, and still a star, but his peak seems to have been awhile ago. If not for the Indiana Jones franchise, he would be in decline.

Ford does not live on Indiana Jones bread alone. His filmography is diversified and distinguished, and he even had a modest hit earlier in the year with a remake of Jack London's "White Fang."

He may outlive us all.

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Just now, jakeem said:

Ford does not live on Indiana Jones bread alone. His filmography is diversified and distinguished, and he even had a modest hit earlier in the year with a remake of Jack London's "White Fang."

He may outlive us all.

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I feel like you are doing here what some of you guys do on the off-topics board about politicians. Comparing this one to that one, like it's a competition. As I suggested in my previous post, I was not slighting any specific actor. Though I happen to classify Ford differently than the ones I mentioned. And my original point was about what their last projects may be. That's all.

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10 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I feel like you are doing here what some of you guys do on the off-topics board about politicians. Comparing this one to that one, like it's a competition. As I suggested in my previous post, I was not slighting any specific actor. Though I happen to classify Ford differently than the ones I mentioned. And my original point was about what their last projects may be. That's all.

Well, as The Bard once wrote: "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” 

Ford's in the second category (and it isn't just because of Indy). I have a feeling he won't be hanging up his spikes anytime soon. Unless, of course, he keeps flying airplanes.

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This exchange is only confusing me, so I will try to steer back to the original intent of the thread.

I don't know if this is exactly ending with a  "career high", but I think to a generation younger than me, this character and franchise were quite beloved, James Stewart, providing the voice of a canine sheriff for his final role in An American Tail: Fievel Goes West.

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)

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8 hours ago, skimpole said:

I've never seen Ragtime and therefore I have not seen James Cagney's last movie.  You would think that alone would be reason for TCM to show it.

james-cagney-ragtime-1981-BP7FEJ.jpg

Cagney last appearance was a TV movie from 1984; "Terrible Joe Moran" with Art Carney where he played a retired boxer.

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     Lon Chaney Sr. made his only talkie, "The Unholy Three" which not only proved that he had a good speaking voice but he also did multiple voices in the film. Sadly he died a short time later. Lilyan Tashman was filming "Frankie and Johnny" in 1934 when she went to the hospital and died of cancer. This film wasn't released till 1936. Poor Ross Alexander just completed "Ready, Willing and Able"  with Ruby Keeler when he committed suicide.  At first Jack Warner wanted to refilm his scenes but it was deemed too expensive. They released the film and Ross was delegated to fifth in the film credits even though he was the co star with Ruby.  

I'm not sure if this thread is for a stars who died during or shortly after their last film or simply their last film.  But Clara Bow went out with a bang in her last film "Hoopla"  in 1933.  Her last scene shows her in a very skimpy revealing outfit waving and smiling to the camera before the fade out.

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Here's one for the books. 

The 1976 film "Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood" featured an all-star cast (that's Rhonda Fleming pictured below with the title canine).

Won Ton Ton, il cane che salvò Hollywood - Wikipedia

It provided the final film appearances of the following performers: 

  • Richard Arlen
  • Edgar Bergen
  • Janet Blair
  • William Demarest 
  • Andy Devine
  • Stepin Fetchit
  • Eddie Foy, Jr.
  • Dick Haymes
  • George Jessel
  • Jack La Rue
  • Peter Lawford 
  • Dennis Morgan
  • Carmel Myers
  • Benny Rubin 
  • Ann Rutherford
  • Rudy Vallée
  • Johnny Weissmuller  
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Edward G. Robinson in Soylent Green

In a film filled with 21st century gangsters running/ruining the planet, his last feature went against his perceived stereotyped roles, and provided a much-needed dose of humanity in an otherwise bleak movie.

image.jpeg.e3d7bac22c1ce6dd40628e97e20db650.jpeg

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1 minute ago, SunAndMoon said:

And once again, it falls to me to mention Tyrone Power and Witness for the Prosecution.

Of course, he had started work on SOLOMON AND SHEBA but became very ill on the set and died a short time later.

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1 hour ago, txfilmfan said:

Edward G. Robinson in Soylent Green

In a film filled with 21st century gangsters running/ruining the planet, in his last feature he went against his perceived stereotyped roles, and provided a much-needed does of humanity to an otherwise bleak movie.

image.jpeg.e3d7bac22c1ce6dd40628e97e20db650.jpeg

Yes, it was a fitting swan song for him.

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On 7/14/2020 at 11:16 AM, EricJ said:

Gene Kelly, who had to sit down for nearly all of That's Entertainment, Pt. III (1994). What, you thought he went out on some othermovie?

Yes because Gene is listed as a host on that movie.  His actual last ACTING roles were Sins (miniseries) and Xanadu (theatrical movie).   His last good movie (IMHO) was Forty Carats made two decades before his death (the pre-disco 70s).  

- The sad truth is both actors & athletes continue working past their prime.  (On the flip side George Burns made his best movie in his 80s.)

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16 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

Edward G. Robinson in Soylent Green

In a film filled with 21st century gangsters running/ruining the planet, his last feature went against his perceived stereotyped roles, and provided a much-needed dose of humanity in an otherwise bleak movie.

image.jpeg.e3d7bac22c1ce6dd40628e97e20db650.jpeg

Robinson died of cancer on January 26, 1973, only days after completing "Soylent Green" -- which made his final scene even more poignant.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had announced he would be presented a special Oscar for career excellence. But he died two months before the March 27, 1973 awards ceremony. The inscription on Robinson's posthumous statuette hailed him as a man "who achieved greatness as a player, a patron of the arts and a dedicated citizen...in sum, a Renaissance man."

The award was presented to Robinson's widow Jane by his "Soylent Green" co-star Charlton Heston.

 

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On 7/15/2020 at 10:34 AM, jakeem said:

Ford does not live on Indiana Jones bread alone. His filmography is diversified and distinguished, and he even had a modest hit earlier in the year with a remake of Jack London's "White Fang."

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Which Fox later retitled Call of the Wild.  (So as to avoid confusion with Disney's 90's "White Fang".)

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32 minutes ago, EricJ said:

Which Fox later retitled Call of the Wild.  (So as to avoid confusion with Disney's 90's "White Fang".)

Aren't they just about the same, anyway? 😄

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47 minutes ago, EricJ said:

Which Fox later retitled Call of the Wild.  (So as to avoid confusion with Disney's 90's "White Fang".)

 

13 minutes ago, jakeem said:

Aren't they just about the same, anyway? 😄

Well, there was THIS "White Fang" TOO ya know, jakeem. And it had nothin' to do with Jack London as I remember ;) ...

 

 

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