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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Nancy Malone: A Fond Farewell.

Nancy Malone died this past week at the age of 79.
This is significant to me for a couple of reasons.
First, she was the last surviving regular cast member of one of my favorite TV series, "Naked City".
She played Paul Burke's girlfriend.
I loved and love "Naked City".
Much more so now than when it first aired over fifty years ago.
And I watch it regularly on MeTV.
As should you.
The writing and storytelling were first-rate.
It was mostly shot in the streets of Manhattan, so it is evocative of places I knew when I was growing up there, that no longer exist
The exterior shots are filled with traffic that is filled with cars with tailfins.
The kind you only see at old car rallies these days.
Every year that "Naked City' was on, the lead detectives had a new Pontiac to drive.
I guess a deal had been struck.
The executive producer was Herbert B. Leonard.
I once did a pilot with Rita Moreno, who, in a moment of rapture, waxed ecstatically about Herbert B. Leonard.
She had appeared in the film "Popi" that Leonard produced, where there were a lot of child actors, no one of whom could act, and the set and the shoot were totally chaotic.
Her words were approximately "How that man pulled together a movie that actually made sense is one of God's miracles".
Leonard didn't have to work that hard on "Naked City".
He had wonderful writers, great directors, and above all, a uniformly wonderful cast.
The kind of romantic relationship that Paul Burke and Nancy Malone had was one that, as a young teenager, I aspired to have when I grew up.
They shared a great sense of humor with each other that I had never witnessed before.
The show had the great Horace McMahon as the Police Lieutenant.
He was one of those actors that could be dismissed as hammy.
He over-pronounced all of his dialogue to the point where it all sounded written.
But boy, was he interesting to watch.
You couldn't take your eyes off him.

The other reason Nancy Malone was significant to me was that I was in love with her.
This sixteen year-old had a major crush on her that wouldn't quit.
When James Whitmore died, I wrote a post about his show, "The Law and Mr. Jones", in which I described my major crush on actress Janet DeGore, who played Whitmore's secretary.
I used the Yiddish word "facchliuppit" (translation: "Consumed to the point of embarrassment") to describe my feelings about Ms. DeGore.
The difference is that Janet DeGore was a classically beautiful Patrician Gentile.
And I was only twelve at the time.
Nancy Malone was somewhat flawed.
A little plump, a somewhat crooked nose....but her intelligence and sense of humor and basic prettiness afforded me no less fachliuppitude.
And my loins were much more easily stirred at sixteen.
Thus, it was rather disturbing to learn that she was, at least in later years, if not always, a Lesbian.
It was mentioned in several obituaries that she was the life partner of Linda Hope, adopted Lesbian daughter of Bob "I've got an adopted Lesbian daughter" Hope.
A friend of mine, whose father was a production manager on "Naked City" for most of it's run, had clued me in on this relationship quite a while go.
And he described Nancy as currently looking very butch.
Short hair, plaid shirts, jeans, fat, and frumpy-looking.
I just watched her three-and-a-half-hour interview at the Emmy TV Legends website.
You know.
The website where there is a four hour interview of me.
She had lovely hair, was well-dressed, with a scarf covering her neck, perhaps to hide whatever the ravages of time had done to it.
She looked very much like the Nancy Malone that I was fachliuppit with years before.
Only a little older.
She continually referred to Linda Hope as her friend Linda Hope.
They respected her privacy about it, as they respected my privacy about whatever I wanted to remain private.
She certainly did not look her age, which would have been 75 at the time.
But then I remembered how I looked when I showed up for MY interview, and what magic they had performed on me.
So I guess the jury is out on that score.
I'm embarrassed to say that with all the other TV work that she has done, I only know her from "Naked City".
I'm going to have to do a major "YouTube" scavenger hunt.

R.I.P., Nancy.

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My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:  www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****

3 comments:

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."