Candy Darling was an actress. Her friend Jackie Curtis invited pop artist Andy Warhol to a play that Curtis had written starring Candy and a young actor named Robert DeNiro. Warhol was impressed and cast Candy in his film Flesh in 1968 and then in a more substantial role in his film, Women in Revolt in 1971. She later appeared in the horror film Silent Night, Bloody Night, Klute with Jane Fonda and Lady Liberty with Sophia Loren. Excessive campaigning resulted in rejection for a role in the controversial film Myra Breckenridge. However, Candy was hand-picked by playwright Tennessee Williams to appear in his 1972 play Small Craft Warning.
At 29, Candy was diagnosed with lymphoma. On her deathbed at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, she wrote a letter to Andy Warhol and his minions. The letter read: “Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life … I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death. Did you know I couldn’t last. I always knew it. I wish I could meet you all again.” She passed away in March 1974.
Actress Julie Newmar delivered a eulogy at Candy’s funeral. Warren Law, Candy’s estranged half-brother, was visibly shaken by Candy’s appearance. The last time Warren had seen her, Candy was James Lawrence Slattery. That name — her birth name — was not spoken by the minister nor by any of those who delivered a eulogy.
Candy and her friends and fellow actors Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn, Joe Campbell and Joe Dallesandro were immortalized in the 1972 song “Walk on the Wild Side,” by Lou Reed.
Imogene Coca was funny. Very funny. She starred opposite Sid Caesar on the early live TV showcase Your Show of Shows and she kept up with Caesar’s comic shenanigans every step of the way. Imogene was nominated five times for her work on Your Show of Shows, finally winning in 1951. In the early 1960s, Imogene starred in a few, short-lived sitcoms of her own, including the Sherwood Schwartz-produced It’s About Time, with comedian Joe E. Ross. Later in her career, she made memorable guest appearances on Bewitched, The Brady Bunch, Fantasy Island, and an episode of the comedy-drama Moonlighting for which she received her sixth Emmy nomination. At 75, she gave another brilliant hysterical character performance as eccentric “Aunt Edna” in National Lampoon’s Vacation.
Imogene passed away in 2001 at the age of 92, leaving a career that spanned eight decades — one of which anyone would be proud.
Over the course of his six-decade career, Victor Mature made a lot of movies. And he always looked like he was having the time of his life. Best known for action thrillers like One Million BC in 1940, Westerns like My Darling Clementine in 1946 and biblical epics like Samson and Delilah and The Robe, Victor was curiously cast in numerous musicals, often co-starring with Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable.
Victor never took his chosen career too seriously. Once, after being rejected for membership in a country club because he was an actor, he cracked, “I’m not an actor — and I’ve got 64 films to prove it! I never was an actor. Ask anybody, particularly the critics.”
In a 1980 interview, Victor revealed he was pretty proud of about 50% of my motion pictures. “Demetrius and the Gladiators wasn’t bad. The Robe and Samson and Delilah weren’t bad. I made 72 pictures and I made close to $18 million. So what the hell.”
Victor retired from acting in 1984 and passed away from leukemia in 1999 at the age of 86.
George Clooney loosely based his character of “Baird Whitlock” in the 2016 Coen Brothers’ film Hail Caesar! on Victor.
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
— Edwin Arlington Robinson, 1897
A little yellow.
A little blue.
And what have you got…. in any language.
Christine Chubbuck was a broadcast major at Boston University. It was a bold direction for the timid, quiet girl from Shaker Heights, who, as a teen formed the group “Dateless Wonders Knitting Club” at the high school she attended.
Christine pursued her chosen profession at several television stations in her native Ohio, nearby Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and, eventually, Florida. She was hired by Sarasota’s ABC-affiliate WXLT-TV, first as a reporter, then as the host of a morning community affairs talk show called Suncoast Digest. The twenty-nine year old took her position very seriously and researched many topics for inclusion in the show.
On July 15, 1974, Christine opened her show with a newscast, something she had never done before. The morning’s show guest waited off-stage while Christine read three national news stories followed by an account of a shooting at a local restaurant. When technical difficulties kept the accompanying film footage of the story from being shown, Christine shrugged, looked straight into the camera and said: “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in ‘blood and guts’, and in living color, you are going to see another first—attempted suicide.”
She drew a revolver from under the anchor desk and shot herself behind her right ear. Christine fell forward, bleeding profusely. The show’s technical director gave the signal for the cameramen to fade to black. A public service announcement ran, followed by a movie. In the panic on the set, the station news director picked up Christine’s script and read it completely, finding that, in addition to the words she spoke on-camera, it also contained a third-person account to be read by whichever staff member took over the broadcast.
Christine died at Sarasota Memorial Hospital 14 hours after the on-air incident.
Gilbert was angered by having to constantly explain that he wasn’t a goddamn hamster!
Fay Spain was on her own at 14, living in the attic at the home of her English teacher. At 17, she lied about her age and got a job as a dealer at a Reno, Nevada casino. She proudly proclaimed she made more money than her husband who worked as a gambling shill at the same casino.
Through a mutual friend, she became acquainted with noted columnist Walter Winchell, who mentioned Fay’s name in a column. A casting agent from Columbia Pictures called Fay in for a screen test. She was not offered a contract, though. She was told that she wasn’t “pretty enough” for Hollywood. Another failed screen test — this one with up-and-coming actor James Garner — resulted in Fay being told that she was not photogenic enough for the big screen.
Fay was undeterred. In 1955, she was named one of 15 young ladies to represent the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers on a promotional tour. This led to a role in The Crooked Circle, a boxing picture in 1957 and later to a part in the big screen adaptation of Erskine Caldwell’s God’s Little Acre, co-starring Robert Ryan and Tina Louise in her motion picture debut. Fay proved Hollywood wrong by starring in dozens of films and television programs through the 50s, 60s and 70s. She even appeared as a contestant on You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx. Fay’s final film role was in The Godfather Part II, potraying the wife of mobster Hyman Roth (as played by Lee Strasberg).
Fay passed away from cancer in 1983 at the age of 50.
Despite his imposing appearance, André Roussimoff was a gentle giant.
The so-called “Eighth Wonder of the World” passed away in 1993 at the age of 48.