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Classic film actors that nixed television


MyFavoriteFilms
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>>I think Cary could've done very well on television...of course, these would have had to be high-profile projects like the type Kate Hepburn did.

 

According to the book "The Films of Cary Grant" he did do a bit on a local Los Angeles TV show titled DAVE AND CHARLEY. This was a show that paired Dave Willock and Cliff Arquette (as Charley Weaver) and Grant was such a fan that he did a walk-on.

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If I remember correctly, Grant did a cameo on their show as a hobo in an alley. He was heavily made up with a old hat and dirty face. I though it had to do with Cliff Arqutte, but couldn't find any info.on it.For some reason I seem to remember him sleeping in an alley and he's disturbed and looks up at someone, maybe Cliff....

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> {quote:title=MyFavoriteFilms wrote:}{quote}

> Oops, I'm wrong about Lauren...

>

> She did one episode of 'Dr. Kildare' in 1963; two episodes of 'Rockford Files' in the 70s; and two episodes of 'Chicago Hope' in the 90s. That is it. Still, five episodes of weekly television in all these decades really says something.

 

The TV-movies she did do were all high-class projects. Dinner at Eight, The Portrait, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, A Little Piece of Sunshine, Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke, but the one I would like to see most again was a TV adaptation of Applause, her Broadway success (based on All About Eve).

 

It is no shame to do TV. Olivier did it. Hepburn did it. Ginger Rogers tried to get a series. Bette Davis did TV. James Stewart did. Even Brando appeared on TV.

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I did not know that Fred turned down the role of Perry Mason. That's interesting. I guess he could've made it work, but Raymond Burr became so strongly associated with that part, it's hard to imagine anyone else doing it.

 

His declining the role may have had to do with profit sharing. When My Three Sons came along, he was able to be a silent partner (co-owner) of the program along with producer Don Fedderson. He also was able to secure a very nice work schedule that only required him to be on set for about 13 weeks per year. I think he did six weeks in the summer, then he came back around October and did another seven weeks (for pick-ups and new scenes). This came to be known as the 'MacMurray method' and it allowed him to do film roles and run his ranch.

 

It was the perfect gig that lasted 12 seasons and 380 episodes. After The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, it's the longest running sitcom in television history, not counting The Simpsons. And he appears in every episode. When CBS finally pulled the plug, he was disappointed, thinking the show could've kept on going for another season or two. He turned to ranching full time but did make two more films: CHARLEY AND THE ANGEL (his last for Disney) and the all-star disaster epic THE SWARM. There was also a My Three Sons reunion special.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Three_Sons

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> {quote:title=MyFavoriteFilms wrote:}{quote}

> I did not know that Fred turned down the role of Perry Mason. That's interesting. I guess he could've made it work, but Raymond Burr became so strongly associated with that part, it's hard to imagine anyone else doing it.

 

My mom was an avid reader of Erle Stanley Gardener's Perry Mason books. She said that Barbara Hale, they had right, she was perfect as Della. But, she always said that Raymond Burr was wrong for the part, and wouldn't watch the series. I wonder what she would have thought of Fred? Well, I liked Raymond Burr quite a bit, and am a big fan of the series.

 

At one point, near the end of its run, Burr was sick, and couldn't play the role. They had IIRC, 5 eps where well known actors played the lawyer. I know Bette Davis was one, and maybe Walter Pidgeon, but I can't remember. Throughout the series, they had zillions of almost forgotten stars, and up-and-coming stars, Mala Powers, Phyllis Coates, Jon Hall, Ellen Corby, Mike Mazurki, James Colburn, Lee Merriweather, lots and lots.

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One of my all-time favorite Lauren Bacall performances is for TV. She's fantastic in her Ford Star Jubilee appearance in Blithe Spirit with Noel Coward and Claudette Colbert. It's a shame that it's not more readily available for viewing. To my mind, it's as good as or better than the 1945 movie.

 

She also appeared in a television version of her stage hit Applause for CBS, and was nominated for an Emmy for her performance. It's one of two acting Emmy nominations she received - the other being for her guest appearance on The Rockford Files.

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Valentine Xavier wrote:

My mom was an avid reader of Erle Stanley Gardener's Perry Mason books. She said that Barbara Hale, they had right, she was perfect as Della. But, she always said that Raymond Burr was wrong for the part, and wouldn't watch the series. I wonder what she would have thought of Fred? Well, I liked Raymond Burr quite a bit, and am a big fan of the series.

 

From stories I?ve read and comments from Raymond Burr, the choices for Perry Mason were down to Richard Carlson and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Burr, a popular movie villain, was approached for the Hamilton Burger role and agreed. Earle Stanley Gardner had actor approval and he choose Burr for Mason clearing the way for another movie nasty, William Tallman, to be burger. Anybody want to verify this for me?

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You're going to laugh, but this is what I do when I have a double entry:

 

Since I don't know how to delete the duplicate, I go into the second post and edit it...usually by writing a new sentence related to the topic and then post a picture. That's why there are so many pictures in my posts! :)

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