Friday, October 13, 2006


Ken Takakura

Charles Laughton

Jim Reeves

William Conrad

Lee Marvin

Dick Miller

Ernest Borgnine

Luis Guzman

Paul Robeson

Don Zimmer


Anonymous said...

I'm much more in awe of meeting musicians than movie people -- maybe because I've been around movie people for so long, and encountered them all the time -- on the street, and in hundreds of interviews -- when I lived and worked in Los Angeles.

But last year, as I was walking from my hotel at the Toronto Film Festival, with the setting sun in my eyes, I saw the silhouette of a familiar presence. It wasn't until we'd passed each other on Bloor Street that I realized it was one of MY favorite faces: Luis Guzman!!! I wish I'd shook his hand. I'm so glad there are people out there (and up there on the screen) like him. For some reason it's so much more exciting to encounter Luis Guzman or Liev Schreiber or Sarah Polley or Lou Jacobi or Jane Lynch than big marquee movie stars.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I think I'd go all in a puddle if I ever saw Jane Lynch walking down the street!

One of the reasons I love posting these galleries occasionally is to remind myself of how much more interested I am in these actors and actresses who have distinguished themselves in some way other than the way they look. Clearly, a lot of the women I highlight are strikingly beautiful, but there's always something underneath there that I respond to as well. And it comes out very clearly, I thijnk, in their faces, which is why I love to look at them.

As for the men, some might say I'm avoiding the beefcake, although I don't see how it gets any beefier than Cary Grant or Ken Takakura. I just find myself gravitating, especially in male actors, to those lived-in faces, the ones that wouldn't be allowed within 100 yards of a WB network TV show. I can't really explain the inclusion of Don Zimmer, other than I love his spirit, and anybody his age who can take an on-field throw-down from Pedro Martinez during a game and live to tell the tale is okay by me!

Jeff Duncanson said...

Actually, I thought Zim was an inspired choice. He's one of the last of a dying breed of baseball men, in a line that goes back to guys like Pepper Martin and Eddie Stanky. Guys for whom the game was life itself. Baseball will always be a great game, but when there aren't anymore Zims left, it will be a bit less so.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Agreed, Jeff. And don't you think it's kind of odd that the Yankees haven't done so well since he left their bench? He ain't pretty, but it always cheers me up to see that mug and listen to him talk baseball.

Paul C. said...

Talk about your rogue's gallery. You've included here two of my all-time faves, Laughton and Marvin, but the rest are nothing to sneeze at either. What I love most about distinctive character-actor faces is that they're too exaggerated in some way or other to ever be at the height of Hollywood fashion, which conversely means that they never go out of fashion. Though some producers might prefer to imagine a world populated entirely by walkin' talkin' Barbie and Ken dolls, the truth is that without the Guzmans and the Borgnines, no one will recognize the worlds they see onscreen.

As for Laughton, it's hard to imagine an actor who was more consistently enjoyable to watch. I saw DeMille's mostly forgettable SIGN OF THE CROSS for the first time last night, and for all the lavishly-rendered debauchery on display, the movie only really felt sinful when Laughton's Nero was onscreen. The closest present-day equivalent I can think of to Laughton is John Hurt.

Anonymous said...

Interesting you should mention John "Elephant Man" Hurt in connection to Charles Laughton, Paul C. Laughton famously referred to his own visage as looking "like an elephant's behind."