Friday, May 31, 2013
Posted by Clements Valorie at 9:34 AM
Franco Nero had played the title figure in 1975's The Legend of Valentino (above, with Suzanne Pleshette in the inset), it all really began to take hold in 1980 with a three-part series called Moviola, which consisted of separate telefilms, each one depicting an iconic star during one or more turning point(s) in her career. The movies, aired one per night over the course of three days, were based on a 1979 book by the same name that Garson Kanin wrote. First of the three was one based on Marilyn Monroe called This Year's Blonde. It starred a little-known actress of limited experience named Constance Forslund in the pivotal starring role, with support from Lloyd Bridges as her agent, and character actors Norman Fell, Vic Tayback, Michael Lerner and John Marley on board as well.
Forslund suffered the ignominy one year later of playing a fake Ginger in The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island since Tina Louise had steered clear of all such reunions, though she continued to work here and there, most recently on a British television series called Ave 43.
Anderson would remain with WKRP until 1982 and then embark on a series of movies with and marriage to Burt Reynolds. In 1991, she played another tragic blonde movie figure, Thelma Todd, in White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd.
Costarring with her were James Brolin, Piper Laurie (as West's mother) and Roddy McDowall. This one was careful to rename some of the real folks or otherwise sidestep issues in order to avoid any unwelcome lawsuits.
Kelly's parents were played by Lloyd Bridges and Diane Ladd.
Lynda Carter as Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess. Carter's part-Mexican heritage likely helped lead to her casting in the part, though it was hardly spot on. She did wear dark (and reportedly quite painful) glass contact lenses over those gorgeous blue eyes in order to help put the illusion over a little better.
Flynn's own autobiography, which was simultaneously scandalous and cleaned-up when he dictated it to a ghost writer shortly before his death.
Olivia de Havilland. (Unrequited in that they never married or made any sort of go of it despite costarring in many classic films together.)
This one was Emmy nominated for its hair-styling and art direction and like most of the films in this post, is rarely broadcast today.
Joyce Van Patten, Jon Cypher, John Pleshette and Tim Robbins (as Joseph Cotten!) also appeared. The film was punctuated with catty comments between the two poison-penned writers and was a decent hit in the ratings.