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PCR #139. (Vol. 3, No. 47) This edition is for the week of November 18--24, 2002.
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Hello, gang! Hollywood Babylon, indeed! A legend passes on and the truth about Margot Kidder. Shall we begin?

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Wow! Jeffrey Jones and Pee Wee nabbed in the same investigation! I didn't even know they knew each other. Poor Paul Reubens.........just when he almost gets a career back, he blows it again. According to his attorney, Reubens does not knowingly possess any kind of images that could be construed as "child pornography" in his immense collection of classical and modern art. Of course, he wasn't "knowingly" spanking the monkey at that theatre in Sarasota, either. As for Jones, apparently he just likes to take pictures. I'm sure that will go over well in prison. Maybe he can work in the cell block photo lab.

Having taken it on the chin during the whole Buddy Holly/Waylon Jennings episode last year, I have found it more and more important to exhaust every source possible before I make my own comments and observations. This week, Deadguy takes issue with Nolan's remarks about Margot Kidder. (See this issue's front page "Hollywood Babylon" and "Letters to the Editor"---N) And Nolan was quick to apologize if he had made fun of something as serious as Alzheimer's. Well, boss, no need to say I'm sorry! What Margot Kidder suffered from was a chemical imbalance in her system. Remember the movie "Sisters," where Kidder played separated Siamese twins? If you take away the whole "Siamese twin" part, you pretty much had Kidder in a nutshell. She is currently touring the country in the show "The Vagina Monologues" and is a spokesperson for Mental Wellness. In fact, she actually hosts a chat on this subject once a week through her official web site, the Margot Kidder Web Site. As for the Christopher Reeve comment, it was indeed mean-spirited. The day that man gets up out of his wheelchair and walks across the room is coming, my friend. And I will definitely shed a tear on that happy occasion.

Hollywood lost two more people this week. One of them a bonafide legend.
   James Coburn, who's career spanned over 40 years in Hollywood, passed away this week at the age of 74. Mr. Coburn suffered a massive heart attack at his home while listening to music with his wife. Born in Laurel, Nebraska in 1928, Coburn first studied acting in Los Angeles before he moved to New York City and studied under famed teacher Stella Adler. He spent the 50's doing stage and television, and made his name in films by playing the knife throwing Britt in "The Magnificent Seven." He went on to star with Steve McQueen in "The Great Escape." In 1967, he cashed in on the James Bond craze by playing secret agent Derek Flint in "Our Man Flint" and it's sequel, "In Like Flint." In the 70's he worked with such directors as Don Siegel, Sergio Leone, Walter Hill and had his best notices in two films directed by Sam Peckinpah - "Pat Garret and Billy the Kid" and "Cross of Iron." A painful battle with arthritis kept him semi retired until the early 90's. It was then that Coburn discovered a dietary supplement, methylsufonylmethane, that eased the pain of his condition, though his left hand was permanently crippled from the disease. He returned to Hollywood, appearing in such films as "Hudson Hawk," "Sister Act 2," "The Player," "Maverick" and an uncredited appearance in "Payback." In 1999, he received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the bigoted, unsympathetic father of Nick Nolte in "Affliction." Most recently, he appeared in the surprise hit, "Snow Dogs" and voiced CEO Henry Waternoose III in "Monsters, Inc." He can currently be seen costarring with Andy Garcia and Mick Jagger in "The Man from Elysian Fields" and the upcoming "American Gun." He was working on a proposed sequel to "Snow Dogs" at the time of his death.
   Eddie Bracken, probably best known to this generation as Wally World proprietor Roy Wally in "National Lampoon's Vacation," died last Thursday at the age of 87. Mr. Bracken was best known for his roles in two Preston Sturges comedies, "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek and "Hail the Conquering Hero." He earned a Tony award nomination for his role in "Hello, Dolly" with Carol Channing and originated the role of Archie in "Shinbone Alley" opposite Eartha Kitt.

Well, that's it for now. Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova.