According to The Hollywood Reporter, and thirty years after serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild, classic TV legend and multi-Emmy-and-other-award-winning Ed Asner has won a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as part of the Membership First slate.
Asner, 85, and best known for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and its spin-off, Lou Grant, received the third-highest number of votes of 44 candidates for the national board from Los Angeles region members after fellow classic TV icons SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard (of The White Shadow) and Patricia Richardson (Home Improvement). During his time in office as SAG prez, Asner was criticized for making political statements about America’s involvement in El Salvador, which even he believed may have led to CBS axing Lou Grant.
Speaking of Lou Grant, this one-hour drama series was the first such show to be spun from a half-comedy (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), just as Dirty Sally (starring Jeannette Nolan) was the first half-hour comedy (western or otherwise) to be born from a one-hour drama (western, or otherwise) in the guise of Gunsmoke (starring James Arness).
Laverne & Shirley star Cindy Williams also had a birthday celebration this week – and the cake was shaped and colored as the cover of her book Shirley, I Jest, one of the finest celebrity biographies ever written, composed a perfect combination of dignity and truth.
Deadline.com reports that Charlie’s Angels icon Cheryl Ladd will portray Katherine Heigl’s mother in the big-screener, Unforgettable – the directorial debut of producer Denise Di Novi.
It’s pertinent to note that Ladd’s TV debut was a memorable 1974 segment of Happy Days, while her recent credits include Ray Donovan, Anger Management and NCIS, and she will next be seen in FX’s new American Crime: The People vs. O.J. Simpson. Ladd, of course, deserves the work, as does every living TV or cinema legend, none of whom should ever have to audition again.
This past week’s saw the passing two beloved actresses: Melody Patterson, best known for TV’s F-Troop, at only 66-years-of-age; and Yvonne Craig, who played Batgirl on ABC’s classic 1960s series, Batman.
What many do not know is that the character of Batgirl was created specifically for this legendary show, and Craig was not only the first to portray the high-kicking character (a.k.a. the mild-mannered librarian Barbara Gordon), but the first actress to play a female superhero on television (years before Lynda Carter brought Wonder Woman – and the mild-manner Diana Prince to the small screen).
The opening credits sequence from Marcus Welby, M.D. or Medical Center? You pick.
Peace to lovers of all things classic.