Post by Brad Ferguson Post by Laurie Mann Post by Mark
I wondered that the other day when I saw him in an old Columbo
episode. During 1960s through the 1980s he was everywhere on TV. One
of those faces that showed up on every program. Always seeming to be a
little on the shifty side. Then he seemed to disappear. I checked
imdb.com and he would be 77 years old now but seems to have done no
work since 1990. Anyone know what happened to such an ever-present
I have no idea, but I thought he was a fine actor, especially in
The Andromeda Strain.
A&E is remaking The Andromeda Strain right now as a mini-series.
It looks like about all they took was name of the book, and basic
and one of the character's names. All the other character
names are different.
James Olson is in my favorite guilty pleasure, the Schwarzenegger movie
"Commando." That thing rocks.
Ironic. I was wondering about Sian Barbara Allen recently, too. She
did gain her notoriety for her work on a few episodes of "The Waltons"
and yes, I believe she and Richard "John-boy" Thomas were a pair for a
few years, then broke up. Possibly that was the reason for no further
appearances on "The Waltons" after about 1974. But she had quite a
prolific career as an actress in both feature films ("Billy Two Hats")
and TV guest spots. I recently watched a "Columbo" marathon -well,
some of it- and she portrayed a murder victim in an episode of the hit
sleuth series. Her last appearance on film seems to have been a 1989
guest part on "L.A. Law", acc. to the Imdb.
Another actress I miss seeing is Eleanor Parker ("Caged", "Madam X",
"The Sound of Music"). Definately still living, but has no screen
credits since 1991.
I don't see quite as much of Cliff Robertson or Dina Merrill these
days either. But it appears good film parts for actors and actresses
who are now senior citizens, as is the case with the latter three, are
far and few between compared to the memorable character-actor type
parts that were written with more consistency in the '40s-'80s. That
could be a factor, too. Then again, many greats do semi-retire -Van
Johnson, Esther Williams, James Arness, Phyllis Thaxter, John
Forsythe, Jane Wyman, among others. But the sure gave many great
performances back in the days.