Happy Halloween. Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! was on one of the HBO channels this morning. I had to take a break from job hunting to see killer Martians get killed by the singing of country music yodeler, Slim Whitman. It's a guilty pleasure favorite of mine.
Sylvia Sidney did movies, stage, TV, and TV commercials. She got an Oscar nomination. She was an expert at needlepoint and wrote best-selling books about it. She smoked and she had arthritis. She was one of the first veteran actors to star in a TV production dealing with the AIDS crisis. In 1985's An Early Frost, she played the compassionate relative whose gay grandson is stricken with the fatal disease. Sidney won a Golden Globe for her work. Aidan Quinn, Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzarra co-starred.
The other thing that I really, really love about Mars Attacks! is that the black people not only kick some evil alien ass and become heroes...they survive up to the closing credits.
One more thing: Also early in my broadcast career, I was scheduled to do a TV interview with Slim Whitman when he added Milwaukee to his tour in the early 1980s. I worked for Milwaukee's ABC affiliate then. The way Sylvia Sidney felt about Hitchcock? I felt that same way about Slim Whitman. So did my cameraman. One of the rudest celebrities I'd ever met. So, when I first saw that the sound of his voice could agonize and explode the heads of Martians, I could not stop laughing. Love me some Mars Attacks!