Saturday, January 13, 2007

R.I.P. Yvonne DeCarlo

Though many remember her only from The Munsters, this is the Yvonne DeCarlo of the 1940s--a World War II pin-up girl. She was a glamorous actress in not very good movies when I became aware of her as a child in the 1950s. Probably what got my attention was her musical name.
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R.I.P. Tillie Olsen

Her book of linked short stories, Tell Me A Riddle, is an American classic. In his book, The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination, Robert Coles writes in great detail about how these stories touched so many of his students of all backgrounds, particularly women. Olsen's nonfiction book, Silences, dealt with her own inability to write as well as barriers to other writers who couldn't complete or publish their work, which include censorship and self-censorship. This book became especially valued by women writers. Olsen finally did publish some of the work that had caused her so much trouble, as Yonnodio: From the Thirties. She died on New Year's day in Oakland, CA, a couple of weeks shy of her 95th birthday.
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R.I.P. Carlo Ponti

Ponti produced classic Italian films, such as Fellini's La Strada, and later produced other international classics such as Blow-Up, Dr. Zhivago and The Verdict. His divorce to marry to the young starlet he discovered, Sophia Loren, was a 1950s scandal. But they had the last laugh. Ponti died this week at the age of 94, still married to Loren.
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