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Actors/actresses' swan songs.


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13 hours ago, Davehat said:

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.)

I don't consider it sad at all. Painters paint, writers write and actors act, this is what they do. If they've done is all their lives, why stop ? If an actor says to themselves "Well, this is an Oscar winning performance, so I should stop now because I will never do anything better" , that would be a disservice to themselves. I say continue to work as long as you enjoy doing it.

And by the way, some of us enjoyed the disco era, and still do !

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3 minutes ago, GGGGerald said:

I don't consider it sad at all. Painters paint, writers write and actors act, this is what they do. If they've done is all their lives, why stop ? If an actor says to themselves "Well, this is an Oscar winning performance, so I should stop now because I will never do anything better" , that would be a disservice to themselves. I say continue to work as long as you enjoy doing it.

And by the way, some of us enjoyed the disco era, and still do !

I was reading some comments Luise Rainer made in her later years. It sounded like she rather enjoyed doing things like Combat! and The Love Boat because she could still act, still get paid quite well for it, and she didn't have to worry about turning in an Oscar performance. She had already done that in the 1930s and earned two Oscars. Later on, she didn't feel so much pressure anymore.

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We sometimes have difficulty seeing things from the stars perspective.

Imagine flipping on the TV in the 70's and seeing one of your old friends from yesteryear appearing on a Columbo episode, or some TV movie, or Love Boat as was posted above me. And the star knows she/he still wants to work and can work. How can that star not call their agent and see what's available ? There are many episodes of TV filmed in front of a live audience. And when a surprise star walks onto the set, they get applause. That's a win/win for all I would think.

Same with athletes. Just hanging around the guys, traveling from town to town is something they enjoy. Even if they only play once in a while. And the money's not bad at all.

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11 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I was reading some comments Luise Rainer made in her later years. It sounded like she rather enjoyed doing things like Combat! and The Love Boat because she could still act, still get paid quite well for it, and she didn't have to worry about turning in an Oscar performance. She had already done that in the 1930s and earned two Oscars. Later on, she didn't feel so much pressure anymore.

Yes, and not only THAT, but she ALSO got the privilege of working with Fred "Gopher" Grandy TOO! And, before he went into politics.

(...and which NEVER would've happened if she had retired at a much younger age, RIGHT?!!!)

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On 7/14/2020 at 1:30 PM, TopBilled said:

Some swan song movies have to be finished with stand-ins or voice-over artists because the stars weren't quite finished with the role when they died.

Examples:

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Jean Harlow in SARATOGA (1937)

Natalie Wood in BRAINSTORM (1983)

Heath Ledger in THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS (2009)

thanx for including natalie

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16 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Yes, and not only THAT, but she ALSO got the privilege of working with Fred "Gopher" Grandy TOO! And, before he went into politics.

(...and which NEVER would've happened if she had retired at a much younger age, RIGHT?!!!)

Btw, I was just thinkin' here that if Clara Bow had just stayed in the Biz a little longer than she did, then SHE might've had the privilege of maybe workin' with Ronald Reagan somewhere along the line.

(...and before HE went into politics!!!)

LOL

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Ginger Rogers' final film was "Harlow" (the 1965 version that starred Carol Lynley. There was another 1965 biopic titled "Harlow" that was headlined by Carroll Baker).

Rogers (pictured below with Lynley and Barry Sullivan) portrayed Jean Harlow's mother, Jean Bello. 

See the source image

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37 minutes ago, GGGGerald said:

We sometimes have difficulty seeing things from the stars perspective.

Imagine flipping on the TV in the 70's and seeing one of your old friends from yesteryear appearing on a Columbo episode, or some TV movie, or Love Boat as was posted above me. And the star knows she/he still wants to work and can work. How can that star not call their agent and see what's available ? There are many episodes of TV filmed in front of a live audience. And when a surprise star walks onto the set, they get applause. That's a win/win for all I would think.

For quite a few stars, an appearance on The Love Boat was their swan song.

Or else an appearance on Murder She Wrote was their swan song.

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On 7/15/2020 at 8:07 AM, sewhite2000 said:

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.

 

This one reminded me of another acting great whose final film was also supplying the voice for an animated character...Paul Newman as Doc Hudson in the Cars movies series...

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In case you were wondering, Dame Angela Lansbury portrayed Mama Jean Bello in the Carroll Baker version of "Harlow." Lansbury is still going strong at the age of 94.

See the source image

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4 minutes ago, Dargo said:

This one reminded me of another acting great whose final film was also supplying the voice for an animated character...Paul Newman as Doc Hudson in the Cars movies series...

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As you probably know, Newman was a race car enthusiast and had raced when he was younger. So this was a fitting final project for him.

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55 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

For quite a few stars, an appearance on The Love Boat was their swan song.

Or else an appearance on Murder She Wrote was their swan song.

Shows like Columbo and Murder She Wrote gave them one last opportunity to actually do some acting. And in a not so serious vehicle. Matching wits with the star. They might have actually worked with Peter Falk and/or Angela Landsbury.

If I were an actor, I would have loved to work with a well known veteran from yesteryear. Just to see them work, the preparation, all that goes into it. I think there is a lineage, where one star hands off the fame to the next younger star. At least when one is willing to listen and learn.

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Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin made their final big screen appearances in "Cannonball Run II" (1984), which starred Burt Reynolds. Fittingly, the movie also featured two other members of "The Clan" -- Shirley MacLaine and Sammy Davis, Jr.

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17 minutes ago, GGGGerald said:

Shows like Columbo and Murder She Wrote gave them one last opportunity to actually do some acting. And in a not so serious vehicle. Matching wits with the star. They might have actually worked with Peter Falk and/or Angela Landsbury.

If I were an actor, I would have loved to work with a well known veteran from yesteryear. Just to see them work, the preparation, all that goes into it. I think there is a lineage, where one star hands off the fame to the next younger star. At least when one is willing to listen and learn.

Yes, that's part of it. I guess I've never told this story on here before, probably because it involves a soap opera actor. I've mentioned it on soap message boards, though.

About eleven or twelve years ago, I wanted some paintings for my bedroom and living room. Ideally I would have done them but I am not a painter or at least not a painter with real skill for painting! So I ended up hiring an actor I had gotten to know, a guy who had been on The Young and the Restless for three or four years, back in the late 80s. His name is Thom Bierdz. He had sort of left acting and had become a painter. I had seen some of his work and was impressed. Plus he was open to my ideas on how I wanted the living room painting done.

Anyway, he lives in California and I had moved to Arizona. So most of our communication was by phone or by email. Around this time, when he was completing one of the paintings for me, the season 10 collection for Murder She Wrote was issued on DVD. He's in the very last episode of season 10. He has a substantial role. He had done a few primetime jobs in the early to mid-90s after he left Y&R. So of course I watched that episode and I was eager to ask him about it. He also had been invited back to do another episode during the 12th season, where again he had an important role.

Oh I should mention one thing that helped in my knowing Thom Bierdz is that his family was from Kenosha, Wisconsin and my family was from near La Crosse. We were both Wisconsin natives so to speak. The 12th season episode of Murder She Wrote happens to take place in Wisconsin, so it was a logical choice for him to be asked back to do that episode.

When I asked him what it was like working on MSW those two times, he had nothing but nice things to say about Angela Lansbury. He said she made them all feel at ease, that she was a true professional and that he enjoyed working with her both times. In real life away from Hollywood, Thom's mother had been murdered. And I am sure Angela knew about that. While he did not say it directly, I got the impression that he liked working with Angela because she took him under her wing a bit and treated him the way a mother would treat a son. It meant a lot to him to be able to have that experience. From what I've read in various places, I think she's known for being very hospitable and for mentoring younger costars.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thom_Bierdz

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 Sammy Davis, Jr.'s finale was the 1989 movie "Tap," which teamed him with another gifted hoofer, Gregory Hines.

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Alexis Smith gives a lovely swan song performance in Martin Scorsese's beautiful adaptation of The Age of Innocence (1993). The film was released shortly after her death.

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9 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Too young, too soon for a swan song

Screen Shot 2020-07-16 at 6.08.00 PM.jpeg

And all three of his movies are considered to be classics by many. Personally I would put REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and EAST OF EDEN ahead of GIANT (though I won't deny he turned in a fine performance in that as well).

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7 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

And all three of his movies are considered to be classics by many. Personally I would put REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and EAST OF EDEN ahead of GIANT (though I won't deny he turned in a fine performance in that as well).

I remember watching the Universal period comedy, HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL? (1952) starring Rock Hudson, Piper Laurie & Charles Coburn. There's a scene inside a malt shop that features James Dean. A bit part. He's uncredited but has dialogue.

 

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17 hours ago, jakeem said:

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.

 

I feel it's sad that Robinson didn't live long enough to receive the elusive Oscar, the award he was never even up for any nominations despite the many fine performances he turned in during the studio era (and I don't just mean the gangster movies but the films where he played against type like OUR VINES HAVE TENDER GRAPES and SCARLET STREET).

I do appreciate that Charlton Heston, his co-star in SOYLENT GREEN and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, was the one to give the Honorary Oscar to Robinson's wife. No doubt Robinson himself would have appreciated that very much.

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Edward G. Robinson starred in a good TV movie near the end of his career/life. It's called THE OLD MAN WHO CRIED WOLF (1970).

It may currently be viewed on YouTube.

Screen Shot 2020-07-16 at 6.51.39 PM

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36 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I feel it's sad that Robinson didn't live long enough to receive the elusive Oscar, the award he was never even up for any nominations despite the many fine performances he turned in during the studio era (and I don't just mean the gangster movies but the films where he played against type like OUR VINES HAVE TENDER GRAPES and SCARLET STREET).

It's even more painful when you realize that his film career began in 1916 -- a decade before the first Oscars were awarded. At least he knew that he had been voted an honorary award.

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So, I looked up Peter O'Toole on imdb and found out his last movie was not Stardust or Venus or Ratatouile, which all probably would have been better for him, but something called The Whole World at His Feet or Diamond Cartel, which was filmed in Kazakhstan, the country Borat used to make fun of. It also has Armand Assante and Michael Madsen, but all three actors apparently had their voices dubbed. It seems to be some kind of homage to '90s straight-to-video, Z-budget American action movies. It wasn't released until two years after O'Toole's death. I don't know if he needed the money or owed somebody a favor or what. Anyway, here he is:

Peter O'Toole in The Whole World at Our Feet (2015)

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40 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

So, I looked up Peter O'Toole on imdb and found out his last movie was not Stardust or Venus or Ratatouile, which all probably would have been better for him, but something called The Whole World at His Feet or Diamond Cartel, which was filmed in Kazakhstan, the country Borat used to make fun of. It also has Armand Assante and Michael Madsen, but all three actors apparently had their voices dubbed. It seems to be some kind of homage to '90s straight-to-video, Z-budget American action movies. It wasn't released until two years after O'Toole's death. I don't know if he needed the money or owed somebody a favor or what. Anyway, here he is:

I was surprised that Tony Curtis -- TCM's July 2020 Star of the Month -- made his final appearance onscreen in the 2008 film "David & Fatima." He played -- get this -- Mr. Schwartz, who provided advice for an Israeli youngster (Cameron Von Hoy) in love with a Palestinian girl (Danielle Pollack). Set in Jerusalem, the film was directed by the Egyptian-born, Canadian filmmaker Alain Zaloum.

 

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