Thursday, October 16, 2008

RIP Edie Adams, Neal Hefti

You fall out of the 24/7 news cycle for a while and look what happens. I didn't know who this "Joe the Plumber" was till I turned on CNN; turns out no one really did, as Joe/Sam scurries from the white-hot media glare. But I did know who Adams and Hefti were, and the world is a little less bright without the bounce they brought with the performing skills. Everyone remembers Hefti's contribution to the lost art of TV themes, with Batman (surely a Top Ten in the category) and The Odd Couple among them; less known, but deserving attention, are his flavorful scores for the tough Western Duel at Diablo (a Morricone-level accomplishment, which you can hear playing on a TV in a scene from the original Halloween) and the wicked comedy Lord Love a Duck, both in 1966.

Adams, a Tony winner for Li'l Abner, was a vivacious presence in numerous films and TV shows, from The Apartment (pictured), It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World (stuck in the hardware store with Sid Caesar) and The Best Man to Up in Smoke and Tales of the City, and an admirable smiling-through trouper in real life.

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