The death of former child actor Jackie Cooper ( not to be confused with the , somewhat less fortunate as an adult and , infamously , ripped off by his parents Jackie Coogan ) inspires me to start a " Celebrity Deaths - That , Um , Don't Have The Most Obvious Connectuions To Our Beloved Genre , As Those Folks Will Tend To Get A Solo Thread , Admittedly..." omnibus thread .

  Directly , Cooper played Perry White in the Salkind/Reeve series of Superman movies , and , as per Wikipedia , about the last thing he did in the directing of episodic TV series that occupied much of his later working years were episodes of the Salkind Superboy series...

  Cooper also starred in the CBS series Hennessy ( Probably the subject of a couple Dell FOUR COLOR COMICS issues anyway , wasn't it ????????? ) , enthused over by our Cmdr. Benson , and another B&W-era series , The People's Choice .

  In pre-TV days movies with ____ ____ made them something of a team

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EDNA WRIGHT and RONALD BELL (Khalis Bayyan), seperately, were members of groups that climbed the R&B and Pop charts during the 70s, and the 80s for Ronald. EDNA was the lead singer of Honey Cone, Ronald a founding member of Kool and The Gang (Ronald's brother, Robert, is " Kook ? Edna was the sister of Darlene Love.). Frankly, I wonder if Ronald's given age of 68 reflect a a bit of shaving of his age over the years.  that would make him 18 or 19 when KATG signed their first record contract. Possible but a bit implausible (Edna was 75)? Kook's biggest hit, " Celebration ", was variously reported in obits as being inspired for its co-author Ronald by a Koran reading or a Bible reading.

Diana Rigg, Mrs Peel and Mrs Bond, has died. I kept expecting someone to post that.

I picked this commentary because it is closer to our interests:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/10/opinions/diana-rigg-worried-id-get-h...

After the death of New York newspaper writer and novelist PETE HAMILL a few weeks back, one of his former employers, the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, reprinted some vintage pieces by him from his stints with them over the years - including a 1977 piece sparked by the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie's use of the Daily News's building as the Daily Planet! I can't link.

Diana Rigg slipped through the cracks for me. I read about it when I wasn't near a computer, and forgot by the time I was.

For years, decades really, whenever I mentioned The Avengers, I meant the comic book. But if anybody had a reaction it was to make a remark about the British TV show. And, of course, how awesome Diana Rigg was. I agreed, of course, but it seemed like nobody knew about the comic book Avengers. Now any mention of The Avengers, and the talk turns to Robert Downey Jr. Funny how things change.

The show was a bit of an oddity to me, in that it seemed sui generis. Sure, it had some James Bond in its DNA. But the dapper Brit and the mysteriously widowed martial arts expert seemed ill-suited to the spy game (or whatever they were supposed to be), or even to be partners. And martial arts at the time wasn't big in the West. (Except for karate, which was the go-to in Man from U.N.C.L.E. and such-like, and was still considered sort of exotic.) And they seemed to have no predecessors in fiction, or at least the fiction I was familiar with. Also, the dry humor and British reserve was a huge tonal shift from American shows, which were bombastic by comparison. So the Li'l Capn watched, but didn't often understand, what he was seeing -- I didn't have any context for it. If anybody has any back story on the creation of The Avengers, I'm all ears.

I enjoyed it nonetheless, especially because of Diana Rigg. Mrs. Peel was quite an enigma. I didn't see every show -- it was hit or miss on the local public station -- so maybe they explained how and when she got widowed. So that was a mystery to me, and there didn't seem to be any romantic connection between Steed and Peel (unless it was subtle enough that 10-year-old me wouldn't catch it, which is possible). In fact, Steed seemed old enough to be her father. (Although that could just be the way he dressed and acted.) Who was this lady? And how did she learn those awesome fighting skills?

Nevertheless, Rigg inhabited the role and made it magnetic. Maybe it was just she that was magnetic. Anyway, the show came alive when she was on-screen, even with that British reserve. And it wasn't that she was pretty and sexy (which she was). She brought that same magnetic presence to Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones.

Sadly, that was her last role. Adios Mrs. Peel. You will always be needed.

She also turned up in a Doctor Who episode during Matt Smith's run that was set in 1890's Yorkshire, in which she played a sort of ur-Bond villain.  I remember her saying in an interview that  it was the only role she'd had up to that point where she got to use her real accent.

I've seen a scattering of Avengers episodes over the years. I'm not sure if they called her a widow, but in Diana Rigg's last episode her (missing?) husband shows up and she leaves with him. He is not close to the camera and mainly in silhouette, appearing to be a dead ringer for Steed, down to the classic car and bowler hat.



Captain Comics said:

Diana Rigg slipped through the cracks for me. I read about it when I wasn't near a computer, and forgot by the time I was.

For years, decades really, whenever I mentioned The Avengers, I meant the comic book. But if anybody had a reaction it was to make a remark about the British TV show. And, of course, how awesome Diana Rigg was. I agreed, of course, but it seemed like nobody knew about the comic book Avengers. Now any mention of The Avengers, and the talk turns to Robert Downey Jr. Funny how things change.

The show was a bit of an oddity to me, in that it seemed sui generis. Sure, it had some James Bond in its DNA. But the dapper Brit and the mysteriously widowed martial arts expert seemed ill-suited to the spy game (or whatever they were supposed to be), or even to be partners. And martial arts at the time wasn't big in the West. (Except for karate, which was the go-to in Man from U.N.C.L.E. and such-like, and was still considered sort of exotic.) And they seemed to have no predecessors in fiction, or at least the fiction I was familiar with. Also, the dry humor and British reserve was a huge tonal shift from American shows, which were bombastic by comparison. So the Li'l Capn watched, but didn't often understand, what he was seeing -- I didn't have any context for it. If anybody has any back story on the creation of The Avengers, I'm all ears.

I enjoyed it nonetheless, especially because of Diana Rigg. Mrs. Peel was quite an enigma. I didn't see every show -- it was hit or miss on the local public station -- so maybe they explained how and when she got widowed. So that was a mystery to me, and there didn't seem to be any romantic connection between Steed and Peel (unless it was subtle enough that 10-year-old me wouldn't catch it, which is possible). In fact, Steed seemed old enough to be her father. (Although that could just be the way he dressed and acted.) Who was this lady? And how did she learn those awesome fighting skills?

Nevertheless, Rigg inhabited the role and made it magnetic. Maybe it was just she that was magnetic. Anyway, the show came alive when she was on-screen, even with that British reserve. And it wasn't that she was pretty and sexy (which she was). She brought that same magnetic presence to Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones.

Sadly, that was her last role. Adios Mrs. Peel. You will always be needed.

..." Public " station? Did The Avengers show in Memphis in the 60s on a station of the network now known as PBS? (Then called NET) I thought it was an ABC series in America originally.

I think The Avengers was on WHBQ, 13, the ABC affiliate in Memphis.

image from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/7797794/the-courier-news/

Captain Comics said:

. . . [T]here didn't seem to be any romantic connection between Steed and Peel (unless it was subtle enough that 10-year-old me wouldn't catch it, which is possible). 

The Avengers seasons with John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and Emma Peel (Diana Rigg)---October, 1965 through October, 1967---constitute the best handling of the "Does He Love Her?"/"Does She Love Him?"/"Are They Doing It?" questions that I've ever seen on television.

The first inclination is to say that The Avengers addressed these questions between Steed and Mrs. Peel coyly.  But that's still a bit too strong.  When these kinds of questions about the male and female leads are handled coyly, that means that the producers include certain lines or scenes which may, or may not, indicate the nature of the leads' relationship---but they're included with the intentiion of playing to the audience's interest in the matter.  That way, the next day at the water cooler, the fans can ask each other "Did you catch that scene?  I think it means this . . . "

But, with Steed and Mrs. Peel, the producers didn't go that route.  They didn't drop hints, meaning them to be hints.  They just displayed Steed and Peel and left it up to the audience to determine for themselves not just if the two had a romantic relationship, but even if the show intended for them to have a romantic relationship.

Steed and Mrs. Peel had the run of each other's homes, and they were often shown socialising with each other at one of their homes.  But there was never any innuendo.  Both characters were always fully dressed.  If Steed was enjoying breakfast at Mrs. Peel's flat, it conveyed nothing more suggestive than if they had been doing a Kellogg's Corn Flakes commercial.

And while both would discover things about the other over the course of the show that he, or she, didn't know, there was never a sense that they were keeping their private lives private from each other, they way we do with our co-workers.  It was just that whatever Steed told Mrs. Peel about, say, his military service, had just not yet come up before.

As I noted, sometimes Steed and Mrs. Peel shared a meal together, but they never seen going on a date.  However, sometimes, the final fade-out would depict them sharing a bottle of champagne or some other bit of closeness that seemed a bit more intimate than what you'd do with one of your friends.

And, no matter how dire the situation, how near the threat of death, how casual the social event, John Steed always addressed his female partner as "Mrs. Peel"  Always.  But did that mean there was a certain formal distance between them, or was it just Steed's resolute Edwardianism?

In short, there was never a moment when Steed and Mrs. Peel were shown as crossing a line between "Two people who worked closely together and trusted and liked each other" (for example, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin from The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) to "Aha!  They're having a romance!"  And, as I mentioned, the producers didn't even drop in a scene intended to tantalise the viewers into thinking they might.

From what I saw of the show, it never addressed the questions of "Does she love him?" or "Are they doing it?", but it did answer the question of how Steed felt about her.  At least, for me, and then, only once.

When Diana Rigg chose to leave the series, a transitional scene was set at the end of the episode "The Forget-Me-Knot" (first aired 25 September 1968).  It takes place in Steed's flat, where early on, the viewers are privy to a newspaper article reporting that air ace Peter Peel, who had been presumed dead after his plane disappeared over the Amazon jungle three years earlier, had been found alive. "Wife Emma Waits."

Mrs. Peel shows up to bid her farewells.  She and Steed have a brief exchange of dialogue which, again typical of the way their relationship had been handled on the show, could have been endearments between two people in love, or simply the good-byes between two people who had shared so many adventures together.

But then, as Mrs. Peel prepares to leave, Steed looks at her with a longful expression and says to her softly, "Emma . . . thanks." 

Realising that this is the first time he's ever called her by her first name, she responds with a tender smile before leaving.

It was still indefinite how deep her feelings were for Steed, but it was evident to me that Steed was in love with her.  Of course, your interpretation may vary.



Emerkeith Davyjack said:

...Okay , what pastime was that ?????????

  Mebbe I confused you with that Ethel Merman joke ( Ernest and Ethel were married - For , like , one month . - in the Sixties , and , after their hurried divorce , refused to discuss their marriage . ) - What was Ernie's " pastime " ?????????

Kirk G said:

He's also known most recently for another pasttime...

ClarkKent_DC said:

We should have had a thread for Ernest Borgnine, if for no other reason than his well-remembered work on McHale's Navy, discussed at length here, in the thread "Military Sitcoms".

...Seriously, what was the " pastime " of Ernest Borgnine referred to here?

PAMELA HUTCHINSO died, a member of vocal group the Emotions. Much like Ronald Bell, her age given, 61, suggests that she was not an original Emotion but joined later on - The writing I read was unclear as to whether she was an Emotion during their 70s period of their largest pop hits..  HELEN REDDY had many pop hits indeed, and hosted TV shows in the 70s.

  MAC DAVIS scored the same, and many Country hits too, and waa successful too as a songwriter for other artists.

...Pamela HUTCHINSON. Hutchinson.

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