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NAME AN ACTOR OR ACTRESS THAT YOU REGARD AS A TRAGIC FIGURE


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Zhou Xuan was one of the leading singers and actresses of 20th century China, but she died at 37 in a mental hospital after a life of unhappy marriages, illegitimate children, suicide attempts and, though the Wikipedia article only alludes to it, possible repression from the Communist regime.

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10 hours ago, Dargo said:

 

(...and, least we forget that the ol' boy WAS nominated seven times of an Oscar, and so I'd say his career couldn't even begin to be thought of as lacking achievement, and even though winning one would elude him...the REAL tragedy here is that he drank himself into an early grave and like so many other leading men have and had done, like Holden, and like Flynn, and like......)

Speaking of which until now, I don't believe anyone has mentioned William Holden, perhaps because, despite his decades of drinking, the actor appears to have been a functioning alcoholic, whose film career continued to prosper off and on for years. Right up until his final film Holden was giving professional accounts of himself on screen. Just look at his brilliant delivery of Paddy Chayefsky dialogue in Network, five years before his death. for example.

Still, with Holden, you could see the ravaging of his features, which began as soon as the late '50s (shortly after, ironically, one of the real highlights of his career, Bridge on the River Kwai) and the circumstances of his death in 1981 (banging his head on the side of a table while drinking alone and bleeding to death) is truly a tragic (and senseless) way for any man to die.

Flynn, on the other hand, became a sorry spectacle with his career going down the toilet as a result of his lack of dependability with his boozing. Errol did  experience a brief "comeback" playing alcoholics on screen (even with Oscar buzz surrounding one of his performances) but it became another form of typecasting and Hollywood soon lost interest in him again when his second and third boozy film portrayals were in films that died at the box office. To his credit, though, Flynn is very good (even touching) in The Sun Also Rises and Too Much Too Soon.

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(A side note: Flynn died two months before the release of his autobiography, My Wicked Wicked Ways, which, ironically, would have been his one touch of real success in years that he didn't live to see, poor guy. It would have picked up his spirits, if only for a brief period of time. Even then, though, Errol needed a ghost writer, Earl Conrad, to do much of the work for him because he lacked the concentration and discipline to pull the book together).

Holden and Flynn, who had known each other superficially (Holden's wife, Brenda Marshall, twice had been a Flynn leading lady during Errol's prime years as a star), almost made one film together, The Roots of Heaven in 1958. Due to contractual negotiations, however, Holden dropped out of the project and was replaced by Trevor Howard. This resulted in Flynn getting top billing in the last "A" film of his career, despite the fact he clearly had a supporting role in it. While Howard was excellent in that film, it would have been interesting to see Holden share the screen with Flynn that one time just a year before Errol's death.

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S.O.B., Holden's last film appearance. His features are ravaged but his professionalism was still with him right to the end.

Has anyone heard of Holden losing out on film roles because of his alcoholism? I haven't.

 

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13 hours ago, Dargo said:

 

Richard replies:

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     "Yes, and besides, EVERY actor has an Exorcist II somewhere in their filmography!"

(...and, least we forget that the ol' boy WAS nominated seven times of an Oscar, and so I'd say his career couldn't even begin to be thought of as lacking achievement, and even though winning one would elude him...the REAL tragedy here is that he drank himself into an early grave and like so many other leading men have and had done, like Holden, and like Flynn, and like......)

Well said.    Yea,  I don't think he had major talent above most other actors,  and as you noted he didn't lack achievement in his career.

So to me he was just another talented individual that didn't fully realize his talents,   like the vast majority of all actors, artist and musicians.

 

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What about N!XAU,   the Namibian farmer who starred as the bushman XI in the 1980  film THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY ?   

Did a few unheard of films after that(including the film's sequel) and actually hadn't much of a life or career after that, given his background of not knowing about money management and how to handle a moderate farm(which was much larger than he was used to)  before dying of multiple drug resistant tuberculosis.  Said to have been around 56-58 years of age possibly.  

Same could be said of HAING S. Ngor, the Cambodian doctor who won an academy award for his role in THE KILLING FIELDS('85) and whose short 12 year acting career ended with his murder in 1996.

Sepiatone

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24 minutes ago, reneex said:

John Hall. Remember him from the classic film, The Hurricane.

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What was so tragic about the life of Jon Hall?     He did die of cancer at the relatively young age of 64.  

 

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J. Edward Bromberg is to me a sad and tragic figure. I grew up watching him in every conceivable type of film (the Chan and Moto films, lots of westerns, horror movies)  in every conceivable type of role. He was particularly adept at playing diverse ethnic characters (Germans, Mexicans, Arabs) and authoritative doctors. His performance as Dr. Lazlo (sort of a low-key, educated Van Helsing type) in SON OF DRACULA, caused me to wish that Universal had spun off that character to appear in other films. He comes off as the strongest among those attempting to destroy Dracula, certainly more driven and knowledgeable than Robert Paige and Frank Craven.

I had watched MARK OF ZORRO as a kid, and I loved it. Watching it as an adult, it is still great but the performance that stands out to me is Bromberg's as the alcalde. Tyrone Power is like a supporting actor in their scenes together! And Bromberg even blows Basil Rathbone off the screen (not an easy task). To me, Bromberg is the most memorable actor in the movie. 

Sadly, Mr Bromberg was outed as a Communist in the HUAC frenzy. Blacklisted and unable to work in film, this busy actor's career ground to a halt and he passed away at just 47 years old, in 1951.

See the source image

 

 

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Jon Hall, for those interested, committed suicide because he had inoperable cancer. I can understand why some would regard the circumstances of his death as tragic.

It's the same as Pedro Armendariz. In his case, however, Armendariz insisted upon completing his final film role (in From Russia With Love) so his family would benefit from his income after his death.

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Armendariz knew he was dying as he played his role as Kerim Bey ("Mine has been a particularly fascinating life," he ironically tells one captured SMASH agent on that fateful train ride in his next to last scene in the film). Not only that, the actor was also in great pain (apparently he can be seen limping as he walks) from the disease that would lead him to his suicide, but he kept going through the pain for the sake of his family. This Mexican actor had CLASS!!!

His death due to cancer is among that of a large cast that perished from the disease that had been on the Utah film set of The Conqueror in 1956, filmed near a Nevada nuclear testing site. Of 220 people on that set, 91 would develop cancer, with 46 of them dying as a result from the disease over the following two and a half decades.

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We can add one more child star.  Lee Aaker died of a stroke on April 1, 2021, in Mesa, AZ, alone and unclaimed, listed as "indigent and decedent."

Lee Aaker starred as Rusty in The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin from 1954--59 on TV.   He was discovered by director Fred Zinnemann in 1951 who cast him in the Oscar winning short Benjy.  Then Fred  gave him a small part in his 1952 western High Noon.  In fact before he was 10,  Aaker was cast in 9 films in 1952 including the Best Pic Oscar winner The Greatest Show on Earth, Hans Christian Anderson with Danny Kaye,  O. Henry's Full House and The Atomic City with Gene Barry.  The following year in 1953 he appeared in Jeopardy with Barbara Stanwyck, Mister Scoutmaster with Clifton Webb, Arena with Gig Young, and 1954's Destry with Audie Murphy.  In 1963, he was  uncredited in Bye, Bye Birdie.

Former child actor Paul Peterson, who is an advocate for former youth performers, is trying to organize a burial service for his friend.  "As an Air Force veteran, he is entitled to burial benefits.  I am working on that.  God knows when a sparrow falls."     

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     I just thought of Lupe Velez ;  another tragic figure.  Single and pregnant she was devastated that the father of her unborn child wouldn't marry her and so committed suicide.  She was 36. She was also having financial problems. Legend has it that she was found dead with her head in the toilet. Her bizarre death tale (whether it be true or not) was even mentioned in the first episode of the TV series Frasier. 

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On 4/3/2021 at 1:38 PM, NoShear said:

 I qualified that account with "...to my knowledge..." as I could not find any support to my memory years ago while searching Inger Stevens in the context of The TWILIGHT ZONE...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           In viewing both her appearances on the Rod Serling gem as well as "HANG 'EM HIGH" (1968), it seems like she was tapping into some real pain and desperation.

 "The SIXTEEN-MILLIMETER SHRINE": Unlike Henry David Thoreau's "...mass of men..." who "...lead lives of quiet desperation", though, Inger Stevens will forever be taking that black 'n' white drive across America th?id=OIP.dUBBseOEgR3BcT50v5uv5wHaEK&pid=Api&P=0&w=323&h=182 .....

I read she took an over dose of sleeping pills.

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On 4/23/2021 at 11:18 PM, mabelnormand1930 said:

I read she took an over dose of sleeping pills.

 You're probably right. It has been many years since Marc Scott Zicree's s-l300.jpg was my "bible", and I had read some archival clipping on the Inger Stevens misadventure at the time. Whatever her poison, it's interesting to note how many acting roles followed the incident prior to her final "scene".

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4 hours ago, NoShear said:

 You're probably right. It has been many years since Marc Scott Zicree's s-l300.jpg was my "bible", and I had read some archival clipping on the Inger Stevens misadventure at the time. Whatever her poison, it's interesting to note how many acting roles followed the incident prior to her final "scene".

I hope I'm putting this in the right place. It's so sad she was a good actress. She was on more than one episode of The Twilight Zone. Can't recall the title but remember the one where she found out she was really a robot that her father built?

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4 hours ago, mabelnormand1930 said:

Re: "It's so sad she was a good actress. She was on more than one episode of The Twilight Zone."

  Perhaps it was in the proverbial depths of despair that Inger Stevens was able to give her acting depth. In the other episode of The TWILIGHT ZONE you alluded, "The Lateness of The Hour", Stevens played the part as a very troubled young woman.

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9 minutes ago, NoShear said:

 Re: "..."The Lateness of The Hour"..."

 I meant to also mention: "The Lateness of the Hour" has that old soap opera look to the film as six episodes of The TWILIGHT ZONE were shot with videotape.

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28 minutes ago, NoShear said:

 Re: "..."The Lateness of the Hour" has that old soap opera look to the film as six episodes of The TWILIGHT ZONE were shot with videotape."

 On further thinking of "The Lateness of The Hour" and with the aforementioned cost-cutting videoptape for a half dozen episodes of The TWILIGHT ZONE in mind, "The Lateness of The Hour" includes a scene which arguably is more confrontationally creepy than anything offered up in the big budget of  THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975).

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On 4/15/2021 at 7:56 PM, midnight08 said:

     I just thought of Lupe Velez ;  another tragic figure.  Single and pregnant she was devastated that the father of her unborn child wouldn't marry her and so committed suicide.  She was 36. She was also having financial problems. Legend has it that she was found dead with her head in the toilet. Her bizarre death tale (whether it be true or not) was even mentioned in the first episode of the TV series Frasier. 

I thought of Edie Sedgwick who rates this thread if she's yet to have been mentioned and once loosely portrayed Lupe Velez in one of  Andy Warhol's 1966 underground films:

                                                                                                                                                  MV5BNzMyN2UzNzQtNjM3ZC00YWQwLWIyM2ItMGY2ODAwMDA2MDQ5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDA5Mjg5MjA@._V1_UY268_CR13,0,182,268_AL_.jpg

 Sedgwick is also said to have "played" the ending of Lupe Velez's life for real to a tee: an alcohol and barbiturate suicide!                                                                                                                                   Several songs are associated with Edie Sedgwick. The following immediately comes to mind and appropriately with its poor-little-rich-girl imagery:     

 

 

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On 4/14/2021 at 4:58 AM, TomJH said:

Re: "...one captured SMASH agent..."

 FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963) is a SPECTRE operation. Having had no real-life relevancy for years, SMERSH was largely left behind with the earlier Ian Fleming novels.

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13 hours ago, NoShear said:

Re: "On further thinking of "The Lateness of The Hour" and with the aforementioned cost-cutting videoptape for a half dozen episodes of The TWILIGHT ZONE in mind...

 The Lateness of The Post: With "The Lateness of The Hour" still in mind and recent mention of the so-called cancer epidemic associated with THE CONQUEROR cast/crew without any further context, I want to mention one of the aforementioned episode's players, John Hoyt. Hoyt is one of the so-called cancer casualties associated with THE CONQUEROR , but his came much later (86 years of age) than most of the actors/actresses who lend support to the scary story. Also, John Wayne himself was more pragmatic about his bouts with cancer, pointing to a massive amount of cigarette smoking. Unfortunately, the stats for men in the United States who will develop and/or die from cancer are very close to the numbers seen from THE CONQUEROR sets.

 

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1 hour ago, NoShear said:

 The Lateness of The Post: With "The Lateness of The Hour" still in mind and recent mention of the so-called cancer epidemic associated with THE CONQUEROR cast/crew without any further context, I want to mention one of the aforementioned episode's players, John Hoyt. Hoyt is one of the so-called cancer casualties associated with THE CONQUEROR , but his came much later (86 years of age) than most of the actors/actresses who lend support to the scary story. Also, John Wayne himself was more pragmatic about his bouts with cancer, pointing to a massive amount of cigarette smoking. Unfortunately, the stats for men in the United States who will develop and/or die from cancer are very close to the numbers seen from THE CONQUEROR sets.

 

Well, in that case you might well mention DICK YORK among that company, although emphysema got him before the cancer could.  Not in THE CONQUEROR, but well.....

Sepiatone

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52 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Re: "Well, in that case you might well mention DICK YORK among that company, although emphysema got him before the cancer could.  Not in THE CONQUEROR, but well....."

 Counter to William Talman's "I'll be dead by the time you see this..." commercial, there's been the residual free plugs for the tobacco industry with spots such as Sean Connery's iconic baccarat toke and Rock Hudson demonstrating some cool hand acting in, I think, "ICE STATION ZEBRA".

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Sal Mineo, was in the film Rebel Without A Cause, 1955. Also Giant, 1956? Both films starred James Dean who also died tragically. Sal was also a singer, other films include Somebody Up There Likes Me, Exodus to name a few. He's one of my favorite actors. Sal was murdered on Feb 12th, 1976 his murder went unsolved for several years. He was only in his 30s, very sad.😪

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