Perry Mason

All posts tagged Perry Mason

Unsung Heroines of Horror: Margo

Published February 8, 2023 by biggayhorrorfan

I am forever diving into the cheap bins of LPs at my local record & thrift shops, searching for vinyl treasures to make their way into my ever-expanding collection. Try as I might to resist the lure of overwhelming my domicile with tuneful aluminum-based creations, I truthfully admit that I spend far too much time in these pursuits of rampant purchase. A couple of Sundays ago, with minutes to spare ‘til closing, I hit up the Brown Elephant in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago for some late afternoon perusing. There I found an old, old school Kapp recording of film & television star Eddie Albert & his singing companion, a glamorous creation named, singly, Margo. 

Low and behold, it turned out this was the very Margo who, starred with coquettish precision, in the moody Val Lewton produced horror The Leopard Man (1943). Further research revealed that Margo & Albert we’re married for decades. Albert’s continued fame, with projects ranging from comedy sensations like Green Acres and kiddie favorites like Escape to Witch Mountain, compared to Margo’s relative obscurity reveals an all to common tale of masculine privilege, though.  

Politically progressive, the couple both faced ostracism and backlash for their liberal viewpoints during the McCarthy era and often lost work because of it. A war record and his Caucasian background ultimately freed Albert from this witch-hunt, but the very feminine, very Mexican Margo never regained her momentum. She was relegated to sporadic television appearances, with a 1965 episode of Perry Mason marking her last acting credit. Albert’s career, meanwhile, continued for decades after that. 

Thankfully, we can still appreciate her magnetic presence in the well regarded Lewton film while gratefully acknowledging the sacrifices that this one of a kind woman made for truth & justice in society.

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

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Hopelessly Devoted to: Allison Hayes

Published December 4, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Despite her absolutely stunning looks, there always seemed to be a flinty edge to the iconic Allison Hayes. Even as the vulnerable Nancy Fowler Archer in Attack of the 50 Ft Woman, her best-known role, she instinctively was able to play both the light innocence and the vengeful evil within the confines of one character. This duality was in evidence in even one of her earliest roles, Lidice in Sign of the Pagan, an assignment that saw her stab Jack Palance’s powerful Attila the Hun to death. Likewise, in one of her multiple appearances on the original black and white run of Perry Mason, she effectively plays a sympathetic hatcheck girl, who much to her eventual regret, sets up a friend for a murder rap in order to save her own skin.

Of course, Hayes was most magnificent when she played women who were completely and totally immoral. As the wicked Tonda Metz in 1957’s The Disembodied, she seduces every man in sight while plotting out her murderous plans with steely glee. Three years later, she would sport a less fabulous moniker – Tonda Metz is almost impossible to beat, no? –  in the popular cheese-fest The Hypnotic Eye. Here, her Justine finds Hayes emoting with a vicious persistence. As she endeavors to acidly corrupt all the beauty around her, she herself resonates with gorgeous power, certainly offering up her most strikingly physical moments ever committed to celluloid.

Suffering from various medical difficulties brought on by accidental lead poisoning, Hayes worked consistently (if difficultly) throughout the 1960s. Often buoyed up by the friendships she had made throughout her career, those closest to her must have felt an exhalation of sorrow and defeat when she left this world at the tender age of 46 in 1977.

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Vanessa Williams

Published November 1, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Initially gaining fame as a model and television actress, the uber talented Vanessa Williams eventually branched out into the worlds of pop music…and Broadway stardom! Grimm’s Brothers aficionados were probably awestruck by her witch in the revival of Into the Woods, while the rest of the world may have still been reeling from her sexy attack on the pop laced numbers from her debut album.

Nicely, this number even made it into a Perry Mason television film. (Talk about a flashy take on recycling!)

Most recently, this modern day diva brought her years of performing experience to a gloriously demented fruition in Bad Hair, a delightfully twisted original Hulu horror extravaganza.

https://www.vanessawilliams.com/

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

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Hopelessly Devoted to: Ann Robinson

Published April 19, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Ann Bad

Best known for her strong portrayal of Dr. Sylvia Van Buren in the 1954 science fiction classic War of the Worlds, Ann Robinson also proved her versatility in a series of roles in noir films and female focused thrillers.

One of her bigger roles was as Nancy in The Glass Wall. As the protective girlfriend of a musician needing a break, she radiates with proud concern. Meanwhile, as the wealthy, flirtatious Lucille Grellett (with Charlton Heston, above) in Bad for Each Other, she shows another side of her talents – a strong sex appeal and a talent for comedy. Her capriciousness also resonates magnificently on an episode of the original Perry Mason, as well. Here, as the spoiled daughter of a wealthy businessman she tries her best to charm her military husband into a number of suspect deals.

Ann Julie 1Referred to as “99 minutes crammed with suspense” by John Douglas Eames in The MGM Story, 1956’s Julie found Robinson co-starring, side by side, with the magnificent Doris Day. As Day’s co-stewardess (left and below), Robinson acts with appropriate surprise as the plane she is assigned to risks crashing unless Day is able to fly it to safety. More of a resilient victim here than some of her more manipulative assignments, Robinson proves she had the versatility and presence to be a major star. It is every celluloid buff’s loss that she wasn’t.

Ann Julie 2

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

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