Whether mocking the heroics of action cinema in 1956’s Forever Darling or reacting perfectly to the antics of comic Red Skeleton as the two explored a haunted house on his long running variety show, Marilyn Maxwell was always on the mark. One of those eclectically zaftig blondes that never got the attention she deserved despite her multiple talents, Maxwell has probably been best known, and then only to aggressive cinephiles, as the agreeable accomplice to such legends as Bob Hope, Lucille Ball and Skeleton.
Beginning her career as a beautiful background artist, often cast as supple showgirls, in such MGM epics as Presenting Lily Mars and Du Barry Was a Lady(which featured both Ball and Skeleton), Maxwell eventually graduated to leading roles in such silly efforts as The Show Off (again with Skeleton) and The Lemon Drop Kid(with Hope). Her first major role as entertainer Ginger Gray in 1943’s Swing Fevereven had a bit of a genre connotation as it revolved around the ridiculous exploits of a band leader cursed with an evil eye.
Skilled as a singer and dancer, Maxwell was also a hit in USO shows for the troops during WWII and the Korean War. Apparently, she was a hit with Rock Hudson as well and, thusly, has been sporadically entering the news again as Hudson’s public profile blossoms due to Ryan Murphy’s recently released Hollywood series. Apparently, after initially being set up as one of the gay actor’s beards, the two quickly grew close and even contemplated marriage. Some reports even claim that their relationship may have gone past the friendship stage.
But more than anything, Maxwell, who died at the very young age of 50 due to heart problems, deserves to be remembered for her magnetic performances and joyful spirit. She was definitely one of kind. In fact, one can even imagine her spirit sprinkling out into the starlight, creating glittery energy and hopeful wanderlust for all those weary small-town kids living only for their future dreams.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Sibling rivalry does its thing. My sister’s love of Beauty and the Beat by The Go-Go’s meant that I was unable to truly worship at its punk-pop greatness until nostalgia hit me in my mid-40s. Meanwhile, my brother’s love of Madonna and Olivia Newton-John left their charms eternally foreign to me. Another of his favorite records, the Pointer Sisters’ Contact, also came under my powers of derision. But a recent pick-up from a dollar bin has uncovered its darker, smoky charms to me. The popular Dare Me, for example, seems like the perfect background music to the violent cat and mouse face-offs that exist between such supernatural slasher icons as Freddy and Jason and their (often ingeniously) wily targets, Nancy Thompson and Laurie Strode.
Thankfully, The Pointer Sisters are still spreading their rich magic – one of their songs was even used on Ryan Murphy’s short lived Scream Queens – and showing the world how their blend of pop, rock, soul and (even) country music made them one of the world’s truly under-sung super groups. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/The-Pointer-Sisters-Official-131523497289/ –
…and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
She’s endured public tragedy and overt sexism on a national scale. Her Chanel #2 even met a very bloody end on the first season of Ryan Murphy’s short lived Scream Queens.
But the magnificent Ariana Grande, whose dream role just happens to be Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, instinctively knows how to keep rising above. …Or majestically sinking below as this delightfully Alice in Wonderland inspired video for No Tears Left to Cry so artistically proves.
There is nothing that a gay dude loves more than a diva. Well, maybe there’s…but s-h-h-h…I can’t talk about that here. Anyhow, in my book, if anyone could take on Jessica Lange in the Chicago theater community, it’s the divinely eclectic Caitlin Jackson. Nicely, she seems to be doing just that with her role of Reverend Mother in The Cowardly Scarecrow Theatre Company’s Ryan Murphy send-up Musical Horror Story Exorcism.
From all glimpses, this production promises to offer a bit of blood, a lot of humor and, well, Ms. Jackson (pictured, right, in the photo)! There are only 3 performances left – Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 15-17th, at the Charnel House, 3421 W. Fullerton, in Chicago. So throw all of your bad habits onto the CTA (or however you get about in this unholy city) and head on over!