Monday, August 29, 2011

The Suave Ones

Characters like this pop up into my head when I think about the classic howcatchem, Columbo. I watched a pilot, Murder by the Book, some weeks ago, and this actor, Jack Cassidy played the evil one.

He has a great look, and probably would have become even better known had he lived longer. Such actors age well.

After researching a bit, mainly just through wiki, I found that both he, and the lead actress of this one episode, came to bizarre ends in real life. He became quite eccentric, displaying unhinged behavior before being incinerated in a fire, his corpse identified by a family crest signet ring.

This detail is gruesome and somehow reads as if it should be in a crime film or book.
 His colleague Barbara Colby, a decade junior at death, died even more freakishly. In fact, her murder is still unsolved. Where is Columbo when you need him?

The "Ethel Mermin" headline ads some  surrealism to the newspaper clipping below, which might lie in a file at the LAPD. I imagine a rumpled detective blowing dust off it,  cock-eyed, grunting.

More curiosity piles on when I recognize the face of Jack Cassidy's son, Shaun. A lightbulb of recognition turns on. I remember him from high school days. His mug was commonly cradled by girls who read heartthrob magazines.  I wonder if they still read these? Probably not. 
He's still alive, no tragedy furthering the strangeness. Other than the transitory nature of teen celebrity.
30 years from now another mug who smiles to young girls, Justin Beaver, or whatever he's called, will probably be a fairly obscure character.

No comments:

Post a Comment