Wednesday, April 28, 2010

RIP Dorothy Provine

The AP, the Times, etc. will file the nuts and bolts but this is a far more satisfying obituary of the charming actress, who pretty much left show business in her 30s. How nice of the community theater players to stop by and cheer her up in her final days. She was so nice (and so sexy) in movies like Good Neighbor Sam and Who's Minding the Mint? you want to know that she passed with a smile on her face. She could be rowdy, though the pose is uncharacteristic of her film work; I'd like to see her pre-Bonnie and Clyde Bonnie Parker, and she's fun vamping it up in a Johnny Mercer/Henry Mancini musical number in The Great Race. But I'm surely not alone in remembering her most vividly as the oasis of calm among the comedians in It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, the one who discovers the "Big W," then watches as its riches slip away (and is spared the final slapstick indignities). "It was a nice dream, if only for a couple of minutes," she says wistfully to Spencer Tracy. Lovely moment, lovely performer.

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