Let no one accuse this blog of good taste. A round-up of the recently deceased:
During World War II, American GIs pinned up photos of Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable, but June Allyson was the girl they wanted to come home to. Petite, blond and alive with fresh-faced optimism, she seemed the ideal sweetheart and wife, supportive and unthreatening.
With typical wonderment, Allyson expressed surprise in a 1986 interview that she had ever become a movie star:
"I have big teeth. I lisp. My eyes disappear when I smile. My voice is funny. I don’t sing like Judy Garland. I don’t dance like Cyd Charisse. But women identify with me. And while men desire Cyd Charisse, they’d take me home to meet Mom." [via Bob Thomas at the AP]
Speaking of the early years, when he was playing mostly minor parts in film and theater, Mr. Hughes said in a 1978 interview in The New York Times that he could have played the roles "without pants."
"I was always sitting behind something like a desk," he said. "I was a judge or a businessman or a lawyer or a doctor. Nobody saw my bottom half."
In 1981, Mr. Hughes played the rustic schoolmaster in the American premiere of Brian Friel‘s "Translations" at the Manhattan Theater Club. Frank Rich, in The Times, called Mr. Hughesâ€™s performance "especially exciting," adding that "funny as he is, Mr. Hughes always turns his eyes sadly downward, as if heâ€™s surveying the defeated landscape of his own soul." [via Campbell Robertson at the New York Times]
Uruguayan filmmaker Juan Pablo Rebella, one of the most outstanding productions of the latest Latin American cinema, died on Thursday in Montevideo, sources close to the artist confirmed.
His death early Thursday morning was apparently a suicide, although details are still unknown. His colleague Pablo Stoll found him dead.
Rebella was born in 1974, studied at Catholic University and then began working with Stoll. They co-directed "25 Watts" and "Whisky," two of the emblematic films of the emerging Uruguayan cinematography. [via Prensa Latina]
He spent the rest of his years living quietly in Cambridge, although for a time he also kept an apartment in Chelsea. His royalties from early Pink Floyd recordings ensured that he did not need to work and he passed much of his time painting. Fans who hunted him down found a remote, balding and heavy-set man who was unwilling â€” or unable â€” to talk. In 1987 The News Of The World knocked on his door and ran a two page "exposÃ©" on what LSD had done to him and claimed that his drug use had left him virtually unable to string a sentence together.
That his reticence might have been because he did not want to talk to the tabloid press apparently did not occur to them. Yet although the story was cheaply sensational and caused some offense to his family, there was no doubt that drugs had contributed to his decline. The following year, his former Pink Floyd colleague Rick Wright claimed: "If he hadnâ€™t had this complete nervous breakdown, he could easily have been one of the greatest songwriters today." [via the London Times]
Nigel Gordon, a film student at the time, made a silent 8mm short in 1966 consisting mainly of footage he shot of Barrett’s first encounter with psychedelics â€” it was released a few years ago for the hardcore fans who’d shell out for a 15-minute DVD, but is also, of course, on YouTube here.
+ June Allyson, ‘perfect wife,’ dies at 88 (AP)
+ Barnard Hughes, Character Actor, Dies at 90 (New York Times)
+ Outstanding Filmmaker Dies in Uruguay (Prensa Latina)
+ Times Obituary: Syd Barrett (London Times)
+ SYD BARRETT FIRST ACID TRIP (YouTube)