Archive for the “WASHED-UPdate” Category
Brian Bonsall, the cute little kid from the sitcom "Family Ties", was arrested for investigation of assault. According to police, he hit a friend with a broken stool during an altercation at an apartment complex outside Boulder, Colorado. Allegedly, he claims he was drinking and doesn't remember what happened.
Bonsall has a prior assault conviction from a 2007 assault on his girlfriend that resulted in probation.
Here's a picture of him as a cute little tyke (a highlight from the Family Ties: The Fifth Season DVD set):
And here's a copy of the booking photo from his recent arrest:
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(This is the January 15, 1997 issue of "The WASHED-UPdate", originally run at The Internet Movie Database and Bulmash.com - It has not been updated, but friends and old fans have asked me to put the archives back online for entertainment value for years, so I thought I'd do it here at my blog. Please note that many links may be dead or in need of repair... they're 10 years old or older.)
Mosh With M*A*S*H - Part III
Archived Issue from: January 15, 1997
Well folks, this is the final installment in the M*A*S*H series. After many letters as to who I should put in that fourth slot, Colonel Flagg and Dr. Sydney Freedman were pretty much neck and neck. Nurse Kelly moved into third, beating out Rizzo and Igor, but it was still a very distant third. If you're really interested in finding out more about her, click here for her IMDb profile.
Those of you who caught me on the Harris in the Morning show might have heard me mention a page where a certain celeb's head turns to follow your mouse. Yup, if you go to Entertainment Tonight's web site, "The Dennis Miller Sell-Out Head" is right on the front page, and after seeing it, I just had to make this public appeal to Dennis: "After you did that voice-over for a Pizza Hut commercial, I guess we should have suspected that the pod-people had taken your brain. Is it true or are you just so blinded by greed that you can't see you're consorting with Satan? It's Entertainment Tonight!! These are the people who made John Tesh a star! And now they're in league with Bill Gates! They're evil, Dennis. Evil!"
If you've got Shockwave installed, you can go turn Dennis' severed head at et.msn.com.
And now to the fun and requested links of the week.
FUN LINK: Every once in a while, I'll talk about how I had a crush on one of the female stars I'm profiling. Though she was a little young for me, many of the male readers have consistently admitted to having a crush on Alyssa Milano. Since I cannot deny that she has grown into a gorgeous woman, I thought I'd make her officially endorsed fan page, www.alyssa.com, the fun link of the week.
REQUESTED LINK: Early in TWU's history, one of the first award sites to recognize its coolness was the Hollywood Site of the Week. In fact, they made an exception for TWU since HSotW concentrates mainly on older Hollywood type stuff. So if you want to find links to some cool stuff about James Dean, Fatty Arbuckle, etc, check this site out.
And a quick administrative notice...
First, for a while now, I've been promising some people who wrote in that I'd get to a "Sexy Ladies of Sci-Fi" issue. I'm planning that for February, but let's face it, there are readers (both male and female) who prefer men. In all fairness, I should do a sexy guys issue as well.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, I prefer women. I could pick the guys for that issue by guesswork, but I'd rather profile some guys that people actually find sexy. If you'd like to suggest a sexy sci-fi guy, drop a note to [e-mail address no longer exists] and voice your opinion. On the other hand, I've received more than enough suggestions for the sexy ladies issue and it's already been cast.
And now let's get to our final M*O*S*H with M*A*S*H...
Our first profilee gets the WASHED-UPdate(tm) "Richard Jewell" award for 1996. As I was researching Harry "Col. Sherman Potter" Morgan, finding information on the allegations that he beat his wife was about as easy as could be. From news reports to jokes regarding his arrest, there was more than I needed. Of course, finding information on the final outcome was next to impossible. It became a matter of pride as an ersatz member of the media to find just one archived story dealing with the outcome of this case, hoping that there was a shred of ethics among the journalists with whom I'm loosely associated by virtue of writing this column. I did more digging and consulted more sources on this one item than I have done to get the info for entire profiles on some of the celebs I've had here. Even as I was writing this column, I was still trying to think of resources I hadn't tapped and making quick hunting excursions. I ended up delaying this column by hours and still found nothing. At least nothing in the press.
So, though I usually don't get into this kind of personal stuff, I am disgusted enough with the media to do it this time.
In July of last year, police were called out to the Morgan home after Barbara Morgan suffered some injuries in what was then deemed a domestic abuse situation. According to a later interview, the 81 year old Harry Morgan admitted that sometimes he and his 70 year old wife drank too much and would fight. In this instance they "tussled" and she fell, but he claimed he did not hit her. He was arrested, released on bail, plead not guilty, and a date was set for a trial. And that's all the major media wrote. Where did I get the info I wanted? I went to the horse's mouth, the fans on alt.tv.mash, and searched through the newsgroup archives. And there it was, from August, that the charges had been dropped. So to all the media outlets who ceased reporting on the case when it ceased to be juicy, to those who spent little or no time on clearing a name they spent much more time on smearing, here's a big WASHED-UPdateTM raspberry to you.
But let's get away from Harry's home and into our own. Of course, we can not ignore that he came into our living rooms in a 1987 episode of "Murder, She Wrote," but when and how did he come into it during the 90's? Well, his most regular appearances were in the Incident series of TV movies. "The Incident" (1990), "Against Her Will: An Incident In Baltimore" (1992), and "Incident In A Small Town" (1994) all put Harry in the role of Judge Stoddard Bell and brought him back into our living rooms. But he dropped in for visits much more often in guest roles. In the last couple of years you might have caught him doing a guest voice on "The Simpsons," or doing guest shots on "Grace Under Fire" and "Third Rock From The Sun." For you movie history buffs, you can also catch him being interviewed in last year's documentary "Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick," which profiled the career of famed director William Wellman. And, just because there are SO many "Babylon 5" fans on the net, I'll make this 80's concession... In the late 80's, he appeared in an episode of "The New Twilight Zone" which just happened to be co-written by J. Michael Straczynski.
Perhaps the most active of this week's profilees was Jamie Farr. But first, last week I did say I had a Jamie Farr golf story. Now that I think about it, it sounded much better in my head than it does on paper. Trust me, it's a lot more boring than I thought. It's definitely more boring than the fact that in December of 1995 all men wearing dresses got into a Houston Aeros hockey game for free when Jamie was hosting M*A*S*H night.
Oh yeah, Jamie's been all over the place. Just last summer he and Jim Lang got to take turns subbing for Bob Eubanks on occasion as the host of "The $25,000 Game Show," which was going on at the Opryland, U.S.A. theme park in Nashville. Then in the fall, he was touring with a production of "The Will Rogers Follies." He came in as a last-minute substitution for William Katt in the role of Will's father. And this comes as no surprise. Though Jamie claims he is an awful singer, he's done his share of musical theater. In fact, he was even on Broadway, replacing Nathan Lane in a revival of "Guys and Dolls" when Nathan left to shoot "The Bird Cage." But the burning question on his role in WRF is "who played Will?" Well, it was our favorite Hollywood squaremeister himself, John Davidson. John Davidson and Jamie Farr? Yeah, I can see the family resemblance.
Where hasn't Jamie been? There's an annual golf tournament named for him. He's toured to promote his autobiography, "Just Farr Fun," doing interviews and book signings all over North America. He's read books for both "Storytime" and "Reading Rainbow" on PBS. He's been in commercials for the Old Navy chain of stores. He was in a commercial for the fair on a recent episode of "Men Behaving Badly" (which later prompted the line "Damn that Jamie Farr"). He's done audio books, dinner theater, and awards shows. In fact, my favorite of his appearances was back in 1995 when he appeared on the tongue-in-cheek awards show, "TV's All-Time Favorites," which also featured guest shots by Bozo the Clown, Gary Coleman, and Al Molinaro among others.
And where's he going to be in 1997? Touring some more with former M*A*S*H co-star, William "Father Mulcahy" Christopher, in a production of "The Odd Couple." You can check last week's issue for a few of the stops it'll be making.
And then there was Klinger's wife, Soon-Lee Klinger, played by Rosalind Chao, a late arrival to the M*A*S*H cast. It's sort of interesting to wonder if this set a pattern of interracial marriages for her in series TV, because she came back in the 90's as Keiko O'Brien (Keiko Ishikawa before the wedding) on both "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," married to an Irishman. Add in her role in 1993's "The Joy Luck Club," and her role in 1990's "Deception," and you see a disturbing pattern. She's played Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and even Vietnamese characters. It seems, according to Hollywood's casting directors, that one Asian is as good as another. I know, it's been going on for decades, I shouldn't be complaining since I'm a white male and I'm thus responsible for every evil in the world anyway (or so I was taught in my "multi-cultural" coursework in college), and I can't fault Rosalind for it because she needs to work, but I still think it's sort of cheesy.
Maybe Rosalind does too. She was involved in the Asian Pacific American voter registration campaign last year, shooting a PSA for it and attending a fundraiser in Los Angeles. But then there's the cliche stuff like her appearance as the host of Activision's "Shanghai: Great Moments" CD-ROM.
If you've been looking for her elsewhere, you might have caught her on screen in "Love Affair" (1994), "North" (1994), Web of Deception (1993), "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" (1992), "Denial" (1991), or "Thousand Pieces of Gold" (1990). She's had her share of TV movies and miniseries too. In fact she was in a Canadian TV movie, "Special Report: Journey To Mars," just last year. And if that wasn't enough, you might have caught her in guest shots on "Chicago Hope," "Under Suspicion," and even the great bottom of the TV barrell, "Murder, She Wrote," all in 1995.
But now we get away from my choices and into the folks you voted for, Allan "Dr. Sydney Freedman" Arbus, and Ed "Colonel Flagg" Winter.
Creeping up on his 79th birthday next month, Allan seems to have toned things down, though he still keeps active. He was in two plays in Los Angeles in 1995; Samuel Beckett's "Endgame" and Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming," both at the Matrix Theatre on Melrose. He also had roles in the movies "Josh and S.A.M." (1993 - a stinker even I couldn't sit through long enough to catch him) and "Too Much Sun" (1991). You might have caught him in a guest role on "Mad About You" in 1994, or more recently on "Weekly World News TV," as reported by reader Brian Barker.
Ed Winter has been much more active, and it seems true to the Colonel Flagg persona as well. Those few of us who actually made it a point to catch episodes of "Herman's Head" on Fox will definitely remember him as Herman's psychotic boss, Mr. Crawford. And, though it's 80's, he cannot be forgotten as the crooked politician in "Porky's II: The Next Day."
If you've been looking for him lately, you may have caught him on USA Network's "Weird Science" (which is becoming quite a has-been magnet itself) in May of last year, or on the toupee episode of "Seinfeld" in 1995. You might also have caught him on "Saved By The Bell: The College Years" (the series I blame for driving Elizabeth Berkley to do "Showgirls") in 1993, "Blossom" in 1992, and yes, "Murder, She Wrote" in 1991.
And as we go to the big board for the Autograph Price Popularity Scale, we find only Jamie Farr hitting at the two sites I check regularly. His signature on a 3x5 card comes in at a whopping $5, 50% less than He By Whom All Others Are Measured, Joe Piscopo, and his signed and mounted photo is going for $40, putting him $5 ahead of Loni Anderson and Scott Baio, but $5 behind Don Knotts.
COMING NEXT WEEK: Have you ever quoted Mojo Nixon and said "I wanna be stuffin' Martha's muffin"? Come back next week when I'll be hunting for the muffin lady herself, Martha Quinn, and a few of the other original MTV VJ's.
(This is the January 8, 1997 issue of "The WASHED-UPdate", originally run at The Internet Movie Database and Bulmash.com - It has not been updated, but friends and old fans have asked me to put the archives back online for entertainment value for years, so I thought I'd do it here at my blog. Please note that many links may be dead or in need of repair... they're 10 years old or older.)
Mosh With M*A*S*H - Part II
Archived Issue from: January 8, 1997
Welcome to Part II of the WASHED-UPdate's tribute to M*A*S*H. If you missed Part I, you can always find it in the WASHED-UPdateTM archives (or if you never want to miss an issue again, you can always click here for info on how to get a free e-mail subscription). And remember, that fourth slot for Part III is still open. Dr. Sydney Freedman and Colonel Flagg are leading the pack with Sgt. Rizzo running a distant third. If you want to reinforce one of these or plead your case for another character, drop me a line at [address no longer exists] by Friday, January 10.
As for the fun and requested links... The fun link this week is the Clint Eastwood Page. One of the best designed fan pages out there, plus chock full of STUFF. And the requested link... well, let's just call it the blatant self-promotion link this week... is Internet Underground. Read their online articles, use their online chat, and find out more about their January issue (print edition only) which just happens to contain an article on how to hunt has-beens online (by me, of course) and a profile on the Internet Movie Database.
And speaking of blatant self-promotion, if you're in the Washington D.C. Metro area, listen to Arrow 94.7 FM on Tuesday, January 14, when I'll be talking has-beens with morning show host, Paul Harris.
So, anyway, I guess I should stop talking about me and start talking about the celebs. Okay, I will.
First thing I want to do is make a correction. In last week's issue, I wrote about Loretta Swit touring with the one-woman-play, "Shirley Valentine," and I had referenced it to the character from the movie of the same name. I got lots of mail on this one, because before it was a movie, "Shirley Valentine" was a play.
I vaguely knew about a play, but the secretary who maintains the filing cabinets in my mind doesn't open up every drawer all the time. What can I say? It's my mind, the federal government has no jurisdiction there, so I hired her for her looks. Yet many people were more than happy to correct her mistake.
Second thing I want to do is talk about David Ogden "Major Charles Winchester" Stiers who, lucky for us M*A*S*H fans, had his role in the "Charlie's Angels" pilot cut when the show went to its series run, freeing him up to join the 4077th a bit later. I want to talk about him because I'm hoping someone can answer a question for me...
Who has he been sleeping with at Disney? I'm serious. If you look at his movie projects, six of the eight films he has done since 1994 have had Disney involved. Now, to be fair, two have been Woody Allen films (1995's "Mighty Aphrodite" and the new musical, "Everyone Says I Love You") and he did do prior work with Woody (1992's "Shadows And Fog") before Woody hooked up with the Disney subsidiary, Miramax. But the other four... "Pocahontas," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Iron Will," and "Bad Company"... All products of Disney or Disney subsidiaries. I guess you could trace it back to them being happy with his performance as Cogsworth and the Narrator in "Beauty & The Beast," but I just don't know if that's enough to explain it.
Now this is not to say that David has been faithful. Nooo... He's cheated on Disney. He was in "Steal Big, Steal Little" with Andy Garcia in 1995, and he has a role in the upcoming Rodney Dangerfield release, "Meet Wally Sparks," as well as another voice role in the movie, "Napoleon," which is the story of a Golden Retriever puppy, lost in the Australian outback.
Actually, he's really been hitting it heavy on the voice work. Three Tom Clancy audio books, the audio version of Colleen McCullough's "First Man In Rome," Virgin Interactive's "Toonstruck" CD-ROM, "Empire of The Air" (a radio drama with Ed Asner), and Nova's three-part "Odyssey of Life" miniseries on PBS. He was even in "Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America - Volume II," the long-awaited sequel to what is arguably one of the best comedy albums of all time.
But it doesn't end there. He's been doing guest shots on shows like "Cybill," and TV movies like his recently filmed one with Patty Duke, "To Face Her Past"... Do you know that he's even had over 100 appearances as an orchestra conductor, not in movies but in real life? In fact he's a regular guest conductor at the Newport Performing Arts Center in Oregon. You'll even be able to catch him conducting a program of Mendelssohn in April of this year. Heck, it wasn't for his three appearances on "Murder, She Wrote" (including the final episode), I'd say he was doing everything right.
But speaking of "Murder, She Wrote," let's move on to David's predecessor in the Swamp, Larry "Major Frank Burns" Linville, a man who's been married more times (5) than he's been on MSW (3). As opposed to David, his career has gone in a much different direction. From the low of being in "The Misery Brothers," a straight-to-tape film with Paula Barbieri in 1995 to the high of taking over Jim Dale's role in "Travels With My Aunt" on Broadway that same year. In fact, his movies don't do too well. "Angel's Tide," a movie made on the hefty budget of $500,000 and which was being represented by Golden Rock Entertainment at last year's AFM has yet to appear anywhere I've seen. In fact a call to Golden Rock resulted in a recorded message saying the phone number had been disconnected and there was no forwarding number.
And theater hasn't been that good to him either. Though the Broadway role was good news, I also received mail from a reader who is an actor and who has been in a few dinner theater productions with Larry. Now, though I ridicule it, dinner theater is reasonably respectable... when it's a step up toward stardom. When you're a young, struggling actor, it's a paying job and a credit for that resume you're trying to build. When you're a former star of a top-rated series, it's a big step down. Basically, you've accepted that people won't come see you in a play unless you feed them.
Yet still, I shouldn't say his career has been that bad. I shouldn't, but I'd be lying. Go through his filmography and you've never heard of most of the movies. "Fatal Pursuit" (1994) is probably the most respectable. "No Dessert Dad, Til You Mow The Lawn" (1994) and "West From North Goes South" (1993) both co-starred major WASHED-UPdate candidates, like Robert Hays (most of you remember him from "Airplane!," but I still remember him from "Angie"), Tina Louise (you know... Ginger), Phyllis Diller, and Richard Moll. With "Body Waves" (1992), you just have to read the IMDb plot summary, and with "Rock And Roll High School Forever" (1990), well, there's no topping the original. The only decent movie of the batch was Paul Rodriguez's "A Million To Juan" in 1994.
In terms of TV guest appearances, he's been spotted on "Night Court" and "Dream On" (in an episode that also guest starred Ja'net Dubois from "Good Times") in 1991, and "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" and "Nurses" in '93. But still, the character of Frank Burns keeps at least one positive image in mind. That's probably why the National Association of Broadcasters inducted him and some fellow "M*A*S*H" co-stars into the NAB TV Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the annual convention in April of 1996.
And who should be there to be inducted along with Larry (besides Loretta Swit)? Gary "Radar O'Reilly" Burghoff, our only profilee this week who wasn't on MSW. Does this failure to descend into TV hell make Gary the coolest of our profilees this week? Well, maybe... if you don't count his role in 1992's (or 1994's -- sources conflicted on the actual date) "Small Kill," where he played a cross-dressing murderous psychopath. Click on the name of the movie to go to an unbiased review.
But since then, he's been concentrating his time on art, something he got into when he was a judge in a duck stamp competition (oooh, hip reference to "Fargo" in that somewhere). Since then, he's become a fair hand at painting. In July of '96, he had a showing of his work in Toledo, Ohio. Jamie Farr even dropped by since he happened to be in town for a golf tournament (I've got a Jamie Farr golf story for you next week). And in November of 1996, his work was part of a celebrity art auction for the Rainforest Action Network.
On TV, he's done a guest shot on "Burke's Law" in 1995, and he's done a few documentaries called "Through The Eyes of [blank] with Gary Burghoff" for PBS. The blank is filled in with whomever is being profiled.
Yet Gary isn't the only one spending quality time with Jamie Farr. Nope, Jamie and William "Father Mulcahy" Christopher have been touring in a production of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple." I'll leave it up to you to guess who plays Felix Unger, but if you want to see for yourself, the tour continues in 1997. You'll find them in such places as the State Theatre in Easton, PA in March, and the McCain Auditorium at Kansas State University in April.
William has been doing a bit of regional theater in fact. If you were up in the Mississauga section of Peel, Ontario last spring, you might have caught him in a 2+ month run in "Lend Me A Tenor" at Stage West. That's probably why reader Jay Lewis in Canada reported catching him on "Entertainment Desk," which he described as an Entertainment Tonight'esque show. He also popped up, or so I hear, on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," a Tonight Show'esque show, and of course there was that after "After M*A*S*H" appearance on MSW in 1985. If you want a fun reference to him, check out the list of people who have a first name for a last name.
And on the Autograph Price Popularity Scale, only William Christopher hits, coming in at Signit! with an asking price of $25 for his signed and mounted photo, putting him in the league of Gary Coleman and Connie Stevens. But hey, he does beat veteran Chicago Cubs announcer, Harry Carey, by $5.
Coming Next Week: Moshing With M*A*S*H - The Final Chapter. Col. Potter, Klinger, Klinger's wife, and a player to be named later. And, to hold you over until then, here's one more M*A*S*H-related link for your surfing pleasure.
(This is the January 1, 1997 issue of "The WASHED-UPdate", originally run at The Internet Movie Database and Bulmash.com - It has not been updated, but friends and old fans have asked me to put the archives back online for entertainment value for years, so I thought I'd do it here at my blog. Please note that many links may be dead or in need of repair... they're 10 years old or older.)
Mosh With M*A*S*H - Part I
Archived Issue from: January 1, 1997
Hey... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! And now that's out of the way...
"M*A*S*H," having been one of the longest-running and most popular sitcoms on TV, has so many people to cover. If I left someone out or skimmed over someone, I wouldn't hear the end of it. But at the same time, the first ever WASHED-UPdate(tm) was one paragraph and now they're huge. I am trying to keep these columns under 3,000 words. So, to to make y'all hapy, I'm covering 12 people from the series and splitting this into a three-parter. The three parts will be...
Week 1: Hawkeye, BJ, Trapper John, and Hot Lips
Week 2: Frank Burns, Charles Winchester, Radar, Father Mulcahy
Week 3: Sherman Potter, Max Klinger, Soon-Lee Klinger
This way I can give enough major characters enough attention to satisfy most readers while keeping the weekly columns shorter than a university level term paper.
Who's the missing person in week three? It's up to you. Since McLean Stevenson died in February of '96 and I don't like to speak ill of the dead, I've left a spot open for a reader's choice. Drop your suggestion to [this address no longer exists].
Now, let's look at our fun and requested links for the week...
FUN: What happened to Karolyn Grimes, better known as Zuzu (remember Zuzu's petals) in "It's a Wonderful Life"? She's put out an IAWL cookbook. Recently Bob Andelman, better known as Mr. Media, caught up with her and interviewed her for his weekly column. Every week you can rely on Mr. Media to give you an interesting interview, fun news bits, and some cool site reviews. You can hit his site at www.mrmedia.com.
REQUESTED: Did you know that when they were trying to film the feeding of a maggot to a crow in "The Shawshank Redemption" that the ASPCA protested that it was cruel to the maggot? They actually had to find a maggot that had died of natural causes before they could film the scene. You'll find odd bits of info like this in IMDb's Trivia Browser which lets you look up facts on many of your favorite films. And if you know some trivia that's not in there, you can add it.
And now to week 1 of our three-part M*A*S*H tribute...
I was torn when I began writing this as to which of our four stars I should profile first: the most active, the most inactive, the most socially conscious, or the most ridiculous. But after six months of writing this column, I think I know my readers, so let's go with the most ridiculous.
That title this week would have to go to Loretta "Hot Lips Houlihan" Swit. Besides being definitely less sexy than the "real" Hot Lips (Sally Kellerman - from the movie), she also seems to be the most paranoid. Among her many projects, she has been touring on and off with a one-woman stage show called "Shirley Valentine," based on the character of the same name from the movie of the same name. In 1995, when performing it in Fullerton, California (better known to many Southern Californians as "somewhere in Orange County; isn't it near Disneyland?"), the Los Angeles Times requested an interview.
The reporter involved was told that Loretta had been feeling "abused by the press" and was sent a release to sign before being allowed to schedule the interview. In the release, he had to agree not to ask any questions on certain topics. The extensive list of topics included, among other things: M*A*S*H, her height, weight, hair color, measurements, her home life, and her love life (past, present, or future). As well, he had to promise not to refer to her as "Hot Lips" in the article, and had to keep the interview to 15-20 minutes since she was very tired from performing (as the release said) "five to eight nights a week." He didn't sign it and didn't get the interview.
Apparently that did not sit well with the Los Angeles Times. In a more recent article, they profiled a store by the name of Star Wares, where you can buy wardrobe and costume items purportedly worn by celebs in TV and movie appearances. Among the stats they listed were the number of Loretta Swit's undergarments on the rack. By the way, the number was four and the average price was $5.
And what about her other live performances? You remember last week, with Gary Sandy starring in the "Will Rogers Follies" at the Westbury Music Fair in April of '96? Well, the show that ran for the week prior was a revival of "Mame" with Loretta. She was then supposed to go on a national tour with the show, but July found her in the show "Song of Singapore," in which she'd appeared in February, and according to reports has a Hindu character in it that caused at least one man in Pittsburgh to become offended and file a protest. In August, she was at "Shirley Valentine" again, doing two shows in Hawaii. Then it was off to Prague in September for a book signing to help promote a Czech-language book about "M*A*S*H" which is very popular there. And, like Eddie Mekka, she's listed as one of the noted luminaries who have graced the stage at the Mayfield Inn dinner theater in Edmonton, Alberta.
In terms of screen appearances in the 90's, you might have caught her in a couple of infomercials, such as the one for "Lasting Kiss Lipstick" which was produced by Tony Hoffman. If the producer's name rings a bell, it is because he also produced the infamous O.J. Simpson interview video... the one for which O.J. was reportedly paid $3 million up front. You might have caught her in the TV movies "Hell Hath No Fury" and "A Killer Among Friends" (in '91 and '92 respectively), in a guest role as a voice on "Batman, The Animated Series" in 92, or in a guest shot on "Burke's Law" in 1995. Her role as host of "Those Amazing Animals" continues in re-runs on cable and it seems to have helped her secure gigs in "Animals Are The Funniest People," a special co-hosted by Dick Clark and the ever-successful Byron Allen, a number of videos for the National Audubon Society, and a series of commercials for 1-800-VET-EXAM. One thing I couldn't get a date on (the problem with research at this time of year is that everyone is on vacation) was the movie "A Matter of Principle," produced by WCVB in Massachusetts, but I believe it was in the 90's. And one thing that was in the early 80's, but is worth noting, she was the original Cagney in the original "Cagney and Lacey" TV movie, but was replaced with Meg Foster when the series started, and then Sharon Gless came in a few episodes later to take over the role for good.
Where will she pop-up next? Look for small theaters in the outlying areas of your city. She'll probably hit there with one of her stage things if she hasn't already. But don't expect many interviews in the local paper.
And now the tie-in... to Mike "B.J. Hunnicut" Farrell. Like Loretta, he too has done voice work for a Warner Brothers animated series. In fact, he and his wife, Shelley Fabares (of the ABC series, "Coach"), play the roles of Ma and Pa Kent in the new "Superman" animated series.
Other TV and film roles have included "The Killers Within" in 1995, a "Hart to Hart" reunion movie in '94, "Silent Motive" and "The Whereabouts of Jenny" in 1991, and "The Price of The Bride" in 1990. He has also been in a number of documentary videos including "Cholesterol: The Killer Within," which most recently aired on public television in Kentucky during September '96, and "Children At Risk: Ritual Abuse In America," which was about actual case histories of children abused by their parents during Satanic cult rituals and is available through catalogs.
It was his research into ritual abuse that got him involved with the Cult Awareness Network (which was recently purchased out of bankruptcy and re-opened with an altered agenda by a member of the Church of Scientology, the organization that was instrumental in forcing it into bankruptcy in the first place). According to some anti-Scientology FAQ's on the web, Mike's involvement led to him being a victim of a long-running pattern of harrassment by members of the Church of Scientology, which has led to Mike saying "Hubbard was crazy" when he answers any phone calls coming into his home after midnight.
But Mike's association with the Cult Awareness Network was minor compared to his huge commitment to a number of causes, most often speaking out on capital punishment and human rights abuses in the United States. In late 1995 he was noted as part of Johnnie Cochran's committee to free Geronimo Pratt. In January of 1996, he held a three-hour Virtual Vigil on AOL to protest the execution of John Albert Taylor in Utah. He then showed up outside the gates of San Quentin in February as part of the crowd protesting the execution of confessed serial killer William Bonin. And throughout the year he has been referred to in many articles regarding the growing campaign to get a new trial for Mumia-Abu-Jamal, an African-American journalist who has been sentenced to death for the killing of a police officer, but whom supporters say was framed and whom Amnesty International has called a political prisoner. In fact, Mike is the co-chair of the Western Regional branch of Human Rights Watch and has received recognition for his various efforts in the form of awards from the Writer's Guild of America and the Hollywood Women's Political Committee.
Let us now move on to a lighter subject. Did you know that in 1995, Alan "B.F. 'Hawkeye' Pierce" Alda told a group of schoolchildren that he purposefully flunked a pre-med course in college to avoid becoming a doctor?
Did you also know that Alan Alda can sing? He did it on Broadway as a young actor and the critics can't seem to stop talking about him doing it fairly well in the new movie, "Everyone Says I Love You," which is Alan's third major role in a Woody Allen film. The film which was released in Los Angeles and New York for one week in December (so it could qualify for the Academy Awards) will open in national release in late January. In the various reviews I read, the critics were split. Some loved it (mainly those in New York who seem to think Woody Allen is God) and others hated it (like Entertainment Weekly's Owen Glieberman). The only real agreement among the majority of critics was that after this movie Julia Roberts should never be allowed to sing again.
But Alan must be getting used to being in movies that only some critics like, such as "Flirting With Disaster," and also films that just about everyone seems to dislike, such as "Canadian Bacon." Yet he did receive critical kudos for his role in the 1996 TV adaptation of the Neil Simon play, "Jake's Women," in which Alda also starred on Broadway and in Los Angeles. In fact, Simon refused to adapt the play for TV until he was assured that Alan Alda would star in the TV version.
TV continues to pursue Alan. Also in '96, Hollywood was all abuzz about Steven Bochco wooing Alan to replace the outgoing Daniel Benzali on "Murder One." An agreement could not be reached and Bochco finally settled on Anthony LaPaglia, an actor who first came to my attention with his role as Stevie D. in 1990's "Betsy's Wedding," a movie which happened to be written by, directed by, and co-starred Alan Alda. But here's one more interesting connection. Alan will also have a part in the upcoming Wesley Snipes film, "Murder at 1600," in which Daniel Benzali plays the role of... a lawyer.
Alda has really become the archetype for the sensitive male. In various articles and interviews I saw everything from Frank, a gentle giant at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, being called "the Alan Alda of the gorilla world" to musician Doug Stone being called "the Alan Alda of country music." But since everyone else was busy being Alan Alda, he decided to take on some decidedly uncharacteristic roles in the 90's. He was nominated for an Emmy for his unflattering portrayal of Robert Gallo in 1993's "And The Band Played On," and many men who have believed that he and Phil Donahue ruined their lives probably took vicarious pleasure from watching his maniacal character in 1992's "Whispers In The Dark" get whacked in the head with a crowbar.
If you're looking for Alan, you can catch him on TV during the same week in January that "Everyone Says I Love You" gets released. He'll be appearing in his fourth season as the host of "Scientific American Frontiers" in an episode entitled "Pieces of Mind" which will air on PBS January 22nd (check your local listings for air times). And if you need a dose of him RIGHT NOW, you can always jump over to the KCRW web site to listen in Real Audio to his performance in the National Public Radio series "Jewish Short Stories From Eastern Europe & Beyond." Of course, you should have a good 28.8 kbps connection if you want to do this. Even with a recent release of the Real Audio Player, the 14.4 kbps stream (because I can rarely connect to my ISP at better than 21.6) sounded to me like I was sitting in my car, parked under a bridge, listening to an AM radio with a broken antenna.
And as we move on to our last and relatively least active star of this issue, we'll tie him to Alda with a host role. Wayne "Trapper John" Rogers can be found lately co-hosting the "Hollywood Report" on cable's American Movie Classics channel. Picking up the gig as a monthly thing in 1995, this season AMC has decided to go weekly with it. And if you want to run out to the multiplex to see him, he can be found in the new film "Ghosts of Mississippi."
Thank goodness he has current employment too, because he'd never make it as a professional golfer. He has been said to have a 25 handicap, and this jives perfectly with his participation in the Trashmasters Invitational Golf Tournament, held in Aspen, Colorado, in August of this year. The Trashmasters, unlike many other tournaments, rewards players for bad play, or more-to-the-point "making the best of a bad situation." During the tournament, players deliberately tried to land in sand traps, water hazards, and even bounce shots off of trees.
He also didn't make it as a restaurant owner... to an extent. Though it was open for over 8 years, in 1994 Wayne closed the Hollywood location of his Columbia Bar & Grill. And while the report of its closing at that time did make sure to mention that the Pasadena location was remaining open, a recent call to directory assistance for its phone number resulted in my being told that there was no listing.
On the other hand, he has made it as a "Murder, She Wrote" guest star. Breaking the previous WASHED-UPdate record of four appearances, held by Larry Wilcox (better known as Officer Jon Baker from "CHiPs"), Wayne appeared on MSW five times between 1993 and 1995. I'll leave the final judgement of which is worse up to you, noting that Larry played four different characters in his four appearances while Wayne played the same one, Charlie Garrett, in all of his five. To his credit, though, his appearance on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" in 1994 does sort of make up for some of it.
Beyond that, there's not much else in the 90's but a couple of movies: "The Goodbye Bird" in '93 and "Miracle Landing" in '90. So I guess I ought to get to the Autograph Price Popularity Scale. Wayne didn't hit, and neither did Loretta Swit (I guess she only signs autographs in Czechoslovakia), yet at Autographics, Mike Farrell came in with a signed 3x5 card at $6 (40% below He By Whom All Others Are Measured - Joe Piscopo), but you can also buy a signed 3x5 plus a color photo for $11. And our winner this week, setting a new actor record (though since he's not really a has-been, it sort of doesn't count) is Alan Alda, whose mounted and signed color photo at Signit! is going for 15 times the cost of a piece of Loretta Swit's underwear, coming in at a whopping $75.
COMING NEXT WEEK: Winchester, Radar, Frank Burns, and Father Mulcahy as we continue to Mosh With M*A*S*H! - And until then, here's a choice M*A*S*H link to hold you over.