After a matinee of "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", I asked one of my castmates to go out for lunch when he told me that he had plans to hang out with Elaine. I naively asked who she was and he said, "...you'll know when she gets here". Not even five minutes later, I heard that booming, gravely voice bellowing for her friend to come down the stairs, because she wasn't coming up...LOL. That was my introduction to Elaine Stritch. I loved her immediately, because she NEVER suffered fools gladly and wouldn't let anyone waste her time. So when that uniquely bold personality left this realm over the weekend, I was curious about her entire career and not just her affiliation with Stephen Sondheim and "Company". What I found was absolutely fascinating. She had worked in many shows, but her big break came when Noel Coward wrote "Sail Away" for her making her a star, however, it was the memorable song, "The Ladies Who Lunch" from Sondheim's "Company" that made her a Broadway Legend. Her status was further solidified when she won a Tony for her one-woman show "Elaine Stritch at Liberty". In 2013, Stritch was the subject of a documentary called "Shoot Me", where she is seen looking back on her life, career and ultimately says goodbye to the bright lights of Broadway for a simpler, quieter life back home in Michigan. Elaine Stritch was one of a kind and we were lucky to have her if just for a little while. "Shoot Me" and "Elaine Stritch at Liberty" are available now on NETFLIX.
One of my favorite shows to watch back in the day was Rockford Files with James Garner. What was not to like? He was acerbically funny, handsome and there was something about his presence that made you want to be friends with him. Garner, was one of the last true "movie stars", and made a career out of simply being himself. Younger audiences became familiar with him when he starred opposite Gena Rowlands as the older couple version of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in the film version of Nicholas Sparks' novel "The Notebook". Garner passed on over this weekend as well, but thanks to film restoration, we can watch him and get a giggle one last time anytime we want.
RIP Elaine Stritch and James Garner