Academy Award

All posts tagged Academy Award

Va-Va-Villainess: Hope Emerson

Published April 4, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Hope Emerson Caged

Her work as cruel prison matron Evelyn Harper in the historic WIP effort Caged earned the distinctive Hope Emerson an Academy Award nomination and a place in history for creating one of the most odiferous presences ever committed to celluloid. Immortalized on the track Miss Pamela and Miss Sparky Discuss Stuffed Bras and some of their early gym experiences on the 1969 (Frank Zappa produced) GTOS’ album Permanent Damage, Emerson actually manipulated her unusual height and malleable face to great effect in a variety of roles.

Besides her grand efforts tormenting Caged‘s Eleanor Parker, Emerson effectively backed up everyone from Edward G. Robinson to Greer Garson to Bob Hope. One of her final roles, though, brought out an acidic maternal quality and gave her great recognition among jazz buffs and beat swingers. Hope Peter Gunn

As the gruff, but loving Mother on Blake Edwards music drenched series Peter Gunn, Emerson did some of her most sensitive work. Beaming with matriarchal pride, Emerson affectionately interacted with Craig Stevens and Lola Albright, the performers who played the titular, danger ridden private eye and his teasing chanteuse girlfriend. Utilizing her impressive 6’2” frame, this veteran performer rounded out her affectionate antics here with a take no guff attitude. Thus, only the series’ roughest thugs dared to mess with her…and usually from a distance and with the help of explosives when they did!

Dying at the far too young age of 62 from liver disease, those who appreciate fine performances know that Emerson has definitely left behind a memorable legacy of characters.  Her striking signature style refuses to fade quietly into the mists of time.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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hope-emerson stare

Review: I Said Yes to Everything

Published December 15, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

lee grant bookDamien: Omen II. Visiting Hours. The Swarm. Airport 77. The Spell. The Cage. Academy award winning actress and acclaimed documentarian Lee Grant has appeared in more genre outings than even her most disciplined fans can often recall. Those interested in detailed accountings of such offerings, though, may be a bit disappointed by Grant’s emotionally complex, extremely well written 2014 memoir I Said Yes to Everything.

She gives only passing reference to many of these projects here – ignoring others outright – and sums up her experience working on them by saying that she eventually discovered that good acting work could be done in properties that often didn’t meet her qualifications of artistic merit.

Still, some glittering factoids do emerge. She, happily, recounts the tale of Michael Caine falling asleep, on camera, while filming The Swarm. Self deprecatingly, she also recalls consenting to do her own water stunts on the set of Airport 77 after witnessing the distinguished Olivia de Havilland, gleefully, taking a bath to make one of that film’s many scenes of destruction seem more realistic. Slasher Visiting Hours is also given a bit of notice as being the project that made the ever age conscious performer determine that her days as a leading lady were over and that it was time to devote her talents to behind the camera opportunities.lee grant damien

Nicely, Grant does major justice to the years she spent trying to regain her life after her complicated first marriage left her blacklisted by the House of Un-American Activities. The trauma of that relationship and her triumphant return to a career are definitely book highlights. Her honesty about her struggles to connect with an adopted daughter is also a revealing and intimate look at how hard parenthood and life, in general, can be.

Of course, all is not hardship and Grant’s tales of her loving, eccentric family and coming of age adventures lighten the atmosphere, giving readers a well rounded portrait of a woman who has successfully forged her own path despite all that life has thrown at her.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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