Wednesday, May 25, 2005
The second of the current "it always happens in threes" to pass away...
Howard Morris, another character actor I met at the "Stars Of The Zone" convention, died Saturday of heart problems. The link on his name goes to a site he created for fans of his "Ernest T. Bass" character on "The Andy Griffifth Show" (the link under the convention name goes to a site that talks about that.... natch!). Mostly I remember him for his other insane characters (he always had this manic energy... come to think of it, he would've made a good "Riddler", too) on "Your Show Of Shows", especially in the parody sketch of "This Is Your Life", where he played an uncle of Sid's who's so overjoyed to see him, he won't let go of him after the first hug. He manages to climb all over him during the sketch, at one point hanging upside-down on Caesar's back. And, all the while, crying tears of joy at seeing his nephew.
If you ever see the dvd collection (I think it's called "The Sid Caesar Collection"), Morris marvelled at how Caesar just told him to go for broke and do whatever he wanted. There's a great twinkle in his eye as Morris tells the story.
And he was very nice when I met him at the convention. A lot of the actors turned me down (and they were all nice about it, don't get me wrong) when I asked them for an interview, but he gave me a phone number to get in touch with his representatives.
It was my experience that the older, past-their-popularity celebrities were the classier ones I met in LA while I was there. And, yes, it probably had to do with that they didn't have as much to lose, but it was still much appreciated.