Wednesday, August 2, 2017

To Absent Friends - Sam Shepard and Jeanne Moreau

Melancholy Happy Trails today to two pretty big names.

Sam Shepard

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and actor Sam Shepard died this week at the age of 73, a victim of ALS.

Shepard made a name for himself as a playwright, penning dozens of plays that became hits.  His play "Buried Child" won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in  1979 and was later produced locally at the Pittsburgh Public Theater.  His 1980 play, "True West", was also produced by the PPT in 2013, and I did have the privilege of seeing that one.

Shepard later forged a career as an actor and has sixty-eight acting credits listed in IMDB.  It is an actor that Shepard is probably far better known to the general public.  He appeared in such major motion pictures as "Baby Boom", "Steel Magnolias", and "The Pelican Brief", but he is best known for playing pioneer test pilot Chuck Yeager in the terrific 1983 movie, "The Right Stuff".

Shepard with Chuck Yeager
on the set of
"The Right Stuff"


Jeanne Moreau

Death also claimed leading French actress Jeanne Moreau this week at the age of 89.  If you read her obituaries, you will read that she was perhaps the leading actress of French "New Wave Cinema" in the 1960's and 1970's.  I won't even pretend to know what exactly comprised French New Wave Cinema, but hey, it sounds good.  I also cannot say that I am at all familiar with any of Miss Moreau's work but for one.

Back in my show biz career when I was an usher at the Forum Theatre in Squirrel Hill when I was in high school, the Forum did show "The Bride Wore Black", a 1968 movie directed by Francois Truffaut and starring Jeanne Moreau.  It was some sort of Hitchcock-type noir thriller.  I cannot recall much about it, except for one scene in which Miss Moreau appeared topless.

It's a pretty tame scene by today's standards, but to a seventeen year old kid at the time, it was pretty hot stuff.  Hey, I still remember it, and thank  you, Google Images, for having a screen shot of that particular scene.

Do you suppose that I can find "The Bride Wore Black" on  Amazon Prime?

RIP Sam Shepard and Jeanne Moreau

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