Discussion:
Janet Landgard, 75, "The Swimmer" "Donna Reed Show"
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Dug
2023-11-12 15:57:12 UTC
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Janet Landgard, who accompanied Burt Lancaster on a portion of his bizarre tour of backyard swimming pools in the acclaimed 1968 drama The Swimmer, has died. She was 75.

Landgard died this week after a very brief bout with brain cancer, actor Paul Petersen told The Hollywood Reporter. She recurred as his love interest on the final three seasons of the ABC family comedy The Donna Reed Show.

On Facebook, Petersen called her “the best TV girlfriend my alternate ego, Jeff Stone, ever had. Janet was gorgeous, inside and out … a flawless Scandinavian beauty that literally stunned jaded Hollywood types into silence. We were always close no matter the time or distance.”
In Columbia Pictures’ The Swimmer — directed by Frank Perry and adapted by his then-wife, Eleanor Perry, from a John Cheever short story in The New Yorker — Landgard was memorable as Julie Ann Hooper, who used to babysit Ned Merrill’s (Lancaster) kids but is now grown up.

The two reconnect as Ned is “swimming his way home” using neighborhood pools in suburban Connecticut, but when she admits she once had a crush on him, and he gets a bit too intimate, she runs away, leaving him to continue his bizarre trip alone.
Born on Dec. 2, 1947, Landgard was raised in Pasadena and worked for the William Adrian Modeling Agency. While still at Pasadena High, she made her onscreen debut in 1963 on The Donna Reed Show, playing a girl named Sabrina on a fifth-season episode. She also appeared on ABC’s My Three Sons that year.

She returned to play Jeff’s girlfriend Karen on 11 installments of The Donna Reed Show through 1965, and the pair would grace the cover of Teen Screen magazine.

Landgard was showcased as a rising young talent alongside Raquel Welch, Mary Ann Mobley, Barbara Parkins and others on the TV special The Hollywood Deb Stars of 1965, then served as a hostess on Dream Girl of ’67, executive produced by Chuck Barris.

After The Swimmer, Landgard appeared in Land Raiders (1969), starring Telly Savalas, George Maharis and Arlene Dahl; in the 1971 ABC telefilm The Deadly Dream, starring Lloyd Bridges and Janet Leigh; and in Moonchild (1972), starring Victor Buono, before she left acting.
danny burstein
2023-11-12 16:37:05 UTC
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Janet Landgard, who accompanied Burt Lancaster on a portion of his bizarre=
tour of backyard swimming pools in the acclaimed 1968 drama The Swimmer, h=
as died. She was 75.
[snip]

Not to be confused with this wonderful woman who was
quite a fixture for a couple of years in NYC television:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Langhart
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A Friend
2023-11-12 17:01:40 UTC
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Post by Dug
Janet Landgard, who accompanied Burt Lancaster on a portion of his bizarre
tour of backyard swimming pools in the acclaimed 1968 drama The Swimmer, has
died. She was 75.
Landgard died this week after a very brief bout with brain cancer, actor Paul
Petersen told The Hollywood Reporter.
I can't quite remember what the groundbreaking thing about "The
Swimmer" was, but I think it might have been the first U.S. film to be
shot entirely on location. I can't find the reference right now.
radioacti...@gmail.com
2023-11-13 03:46:55 UTC
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I'd bet against "The Swimmer" being the first on-location American shoot, AF; McQueen's "The Blob" seems to be a counter-example, I would think, even though they never iIDed it as suburban Pittsburgh. (Though that final, morphing-into-question-mark scene over Antarctic I suppose would disqualify it.)

Meanwhile, I'm glad they used actual Westport, Connecticut pools for "The Swimmer". But even if they shot it all in Esther Williams's pool on the MGM backlot in Culver City, it STILL would have been a profoundly dumb plot in a strange, inexplicable film. (Having the author of the source New Yorker short story didn't help a whit on this witless flick. I was hoping a seriously-territorial Westport neighbor would have gone after Ned the Swimmer with a shotgun as soon as he emerged from his latest dip.

BRYAN STYBLE/Florida

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