Eve Golden: Queen of the Dead

Lasalle Hearse

Photo: 1940 La Salle hearse for sale on EBay. Bidding starts at $8,500.

Queen of the Dead—dateline October 17, 2011 

•  Another cast member from I, Claudius (known to my friends as I, Clavdivs, or I, Clamdip) is gone: George Baker, who played a memorably creepy Emperor Tiberius. Baker started his career as a stalwart leading man (he was in the running for the role of James Bond), but he eventually settled into a satisfying character career. Baker spent the rest of his life working steadily on stage, screen and TV, his biggest audience probably coming with his role as West Country police inspector Wexford in a series of TV mystery movies.

 •  Remember “lady authors?” Gertrude Atherton, Elinor Glyn, the great Olive Higgins Prouty, Katherine Brush, Kathleen Winsor? Who wrote so many great mid-century novels full of three-dimensional characters doing unadventurous everyday things that supposedly didn’t interest big, tough men? One of the last, Mildred Savage, died on Oct. 7, at 92. Of her three novels, Parrish (1958) is best-known: “a tale of a teenager struggling into manhood in the vast tobacco fields of the Connecticut River Valley” (thank you, New York Times). It was made into a Troy Donahue film, which was also Claudette Colbert’s big-screen swan song.

 •  Most of us remember Diane Cilento (who died on Oct. 6 at 78) as the hot-to-trot gamekeeper’s daughter in Tom Jones. But she had a breathtaking stage screen and TV career (and a marriage to the breathtaking Sean Connery, from 1962-73). She appeared frequently onstage (a 1956 Tony nomination for Broadway’s Tiger at the Gates) and on TV (notably the series Rogues’ Gallery, Tycoon and Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left). Her other films included the delightful fantasy Meet Mr. Lucifer, Passing Stranger, Passage Home, The Woman for Joe, I Thank a Fool, The Agony and the Ecstasy, Hombre, and The Wicker Man. Cilento said in 2000 that she returned to the stage after making a hit in films because “it’s a different discipline. I really didn’t like to get up terribly early in the morning and rush around acting all day . . .  you wait for the lighting for about five hours it seems like, and then you do about three minutes acting. That’s not how I wanted to conduct my career.”

 •  Frank Kameny, who filed the first gay Civil Rights suit in the Supreme Court, died on Oct. 11, age 86. Kameny was fired from the Army’s Map Service in 1957 for being gay, and fought it: openly gay in an era where that was de trop, “He was a stubborn and impatient person, and that was the recipe for his success,” said David Catania, a member of the District of Columbia Council. “He was never going to be content with second-class citizenship.” Sadly, but not surprisingly, Kameny lost that 1957 case, but he lived long enough to become an icon and role model.

—Eve Golden

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Eve Golden, Film, Found on EBay, Hollywood, Obituaries, Queen of the Dead, Stage, Television and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Eve Golden: Queen of the Dead

  1. “Gee, that old LaSalle ran great…” Love the images of classic hearses. Keep ’em coming — except to collect me, of course.


Leave a Reply. Note: Your IP is logged with your comment so a fake name and email address are useless.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s