This gag postcard of a hearse has been listed on EBay. Bidding starts at $19.95.
Queen of the Dead – dateline July 2, 2012
• Don Grady, the hottest of My Three Sons, died on June 27; he was 68. Grady started on The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, and racked up an impressive résumé before being cast as Robbie Douglas on My Three Sons (1960-71), on which he aged from kid to dad of his own triplets. But Grady’s big love was music: he was a drummer for a rock band, and after leaving acting he became a composer for movies and TV shows (The Phil Donahue Show, Switch, Good Neighbor, The Burning Sands). The Modern editor Ron Sklar calls him “a really, really good guy.” Grady told Sklar last year that My Three Sons “was a wonderful experience, in the sense that I learned that fame is not everything . . . I needed to do something that satisfied me and was fulfilling. And for me, that was music.”
• As someone who loves—and writes about—old movies, I was sad to read of the death (at 45, from breast cancer, on June 17) of Nancy Mysel, a preservationist with the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Mysel particularly loved noirs, and supervised the restoration of such classics (and not-so-classics) as The Night of the Hunter, Sleep My Love, The Prowler, Cry Danger, Strangers in the Night and Cloak and Dagger. She also worked on four Dorothy Arzner films. “Nancy was a skilled and versatile preservationist and her loss has been, and will continue to be, profoundly felt by many on both a personal and professional level,” said UCLA’s Jan-Christopher Horak.
• Another fascinating profile from the Telegraph, this one of Nicky Browne (who died at 70, on June 11). The lovely, groovy swinger hit London just when it began to swing, in the early ’60s, and at 20 she married Tara Browne, heir to the Guinness fortune. In 1966 Tara Browne “blew his mind out in a car,” as The Beatles wrote about him—“he didn’t notice that the lights had changed” (oh, and he was on LSD at the time). There followed some bitter custody and inheritance battles with the Guinness mother-in-law, the redoubtable dowager Oonagh, and poor Nicky wound up moving to Spain and trying her hand at acting. But in the ’60s she had been, in the words of the Telegraph, “a hippie-babe par excellence.” At the opening of the London disco Sibylla’s in 1966, “the glittering guest list that included all four Beatles, three of the Stones, David Bailey, Michael Caine and Mary Quant, was headed by ‘the Hon Tara Browne and Nicky.’”
• I loved Doris Singleton (who died on June 26 at 92)—she played Lucy Ricardo’s rich-bitch friend Carolyn Appleby (“Oh, Leew-cy, can Little Ricky come to Stevie’s party?”). A big-band singer and radio actress, Singleton appeared on countless TV shows from the 1950s-80s, including several with her friend Lucille Ball. Looking shockingly fabulous earlier this year, she said her favorite Lucy episode was probably the Harpo Marx one, in which Lucy convinces the near-sighted Carolyn that she is pals with the Marx Brother. She also recalled that Charles Bronson, on 1966 episode of The FBI, did not know how to fake a punch, and decked her. In a lengthy recent interview she had lovely things to say about most of her costars, but you will want to know that she royally bitched out Fred MacMurray, Loretta Young and Cara Williams. “Very few people are terrible,” she said, “but when they are, they really stand out.”