DCS: carol lynley

there's got to be a morning after

Carol Lynley started off her career as a child model, eventually transitioning to actress in such films as the controversial Blue Denim  with Brandon deWilde and Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake is Missing. She is best remembered for her role as ingenue “Nonnie Parry” in The Poseidon Adventure, wherein she sang (actually lip-synched another actress’s voice) the Oscar-winning song “The Morning After.” In the star-studded disaster film, Carol was paired with veteran actor Red Buttons, who was 23 years her senior. The two characters were linked in a budding romance as they tried to overcome the perils of a capsized ocean liner. However, Carol and Buttons disliked each other intensely during production, refusing to speak to each other aside from acting. Later in their lives, they reconciled and Carol accompanied Buttons at his last public appearance — the premiere of the reboot of Poseidon in 2006.

carol made a career of numerous guest roles in episodic television, including eleven different roles on eleven different episodes of Fantasy Island. Conversely, she only made one appearance on The Love Boat. She capped her career with small roles in B-grade horror movies.

I met Carol at an autograph show many years ago. She was pleasant and personable, although she appeared a bit distant and other-worldly. There was just something a bit “off” about her.

Carol suffered a fatal heart attack at her home in Southern California. She was 77.

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DCS: valerie harper

when you're in love the whole world is jewish

“My name is Rhoda Morgenstern. I was born in the Bronx, New York in December, 1941. I’ve always felt responsible for World War II. The first thing I remember liking that liked me back was food. I had a bad puberty; it lasted 17 years. I’m a high school graduate. I went to art school. My entrance exam was on a book of matches. I decided to move out of the house when I was 24; my mother still refers to this as the time I ran away from home. Eventually I ran to Minneapolis, where it’s cold, and I figured I’d keep better. Now I’m back in Manhattan. New York, this is your last chance!”

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DCS: curt lowens

Curt Lowens had a successful, fifty-plus year career in Hollywood, mostly portraying German officers in World War II pictures. He played a similar role for laughs in an episode of the TV sitcom Hogan’s Heroes. Early in his career, he played the title role in the ill-conceived horror film Werewolf in a Girls’ Dormitory. Curt described the atmosphere on the set as chaotic, comparing it to the Tower of Babel, with actors speaking four different languages and not understanding each other.

However, prior to his arrival in Hollywood, Curt was part of a network of Dutch rescuers, assisting in helping Jewish children flee the Nazis during World War II. Curt’s father was a respected lawyer in his native Poland. With his governmental connections, he was able to circumvent the fate of Auschwitz for his family. Instead, Curt and his mother went into hiding and eventually joined the Dutch resistance group, leading over 150 children to freedom. Curt also aided two downed American Army Air Corps flyers, for which he later received a commendation from General Dwight D. Eisenhower. After the war, he worked with the British Army as an interpreter.

After emigrating the to United States, Curt appeared in over 100 films and television productions until his death in 2017 at the age of 91.

 

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IF: folklore

freedom freedom freedom freedom

This past weekend celebrated the 50th anniversary of the legendary Woodstock music festival that took place over three days on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York. Thirty-two acts performed at various — sometimes drastically-postponed — set times, filling the days and nights with an eclectic mix of folk, rock and blues. The festival was attended by approximately 400,000 people, although over the course of time, that number has been inflated to unbelievable proportions. Exaggeration surrounding the lore of Woodstock was not limited to the attendance. It seems that many folks — performers and audience members alike — have very different recollections of the event. Recollections that have been embellished considerably as time entered the equation.

Folk singer Richie Havens opened the festival at seven minutes after five on August 15, 1969. He was not originally scheduled to be the first performer, but was recruited when planned opener Sweetwater were stuck in the heavy freeway traffic. With acoustic guitar in hand, the 28-year old singer kicked off his set with “From the Prison,” followed by several covers, including a few familiar Beatles numbers, some of which Richie didn’t know all the words. He was well received by the crowd, capping his performance with an ad-libbed version of “Motherless Child,” that was, coincidentally, tagged as the opening song for Sweetwater when they finally took the stage.

For his entire life, Richie Havens claimed to have performed at Woodstock for three hours. He stood firm on this claim until his death in 2013. In the days before the internet and the fuzzy record-keeping of the Woodstock festival, Richie’s claim was rarely disputed. The time frame and performance length wasn’t addressed in the 1970 Academy Award winning documentary nor on the sprawling three disc soundtrack album.

However in 2019, Rhino Records and producer Andy Zax meticulously compiled a real-time chronological documentation of the entire Woodstock event, including lovingly restored and enhanced recordings and a plethora of stage announcements that eerily transport the listener back to the time and place of the festival. The entire recording was replayed — in its entirety — on Philadelphia radio station WXPN, synchronized to the exact day and time from fifty years earlier. My son, an on-air host and producer at WXPN, worked with other staff members to bring this on-air event to reality — discovering some truths that contradicted folklore along the way. One thing they discovered — almost immediately — was that Richie Havens’ performance lasted a mere fifty minutes, not even close to the marathon three hours that he maintained for his entire career. Perhaps that’s how he remembered the day, but history and fact remember differently.

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