Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Three Memories and More

We've lost three more actors from Hollywood's past this previous week - Dean Jones, Judy Carne, and Martin Milner. They may have been minor celebrities on the totem pole of such things, but each held specific memories for me.

Dean Jones was an actor and name for me that was inextricably attached to Disney. His name might as well have meant Disney when it came to live-action Disney movies. He was the good guy, the straight guy. He was the star of such films as That Darn Cat, The Love Bug, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, The Million Dollar Duck, and Monkeys, Go Home - all of which has some specific memory for me. You can hear me talk more about Dean Jones on the latest episode of The Make Mine Magic Podcast.

Judy Carne, though probably nowadays more remembered for her failed marriage to Burt Reynolds than being the "Sock It To Me" girl on "Laugh-In," also holds memories. She was two firsts for me. I remember asking my mother why Carne talked funny and she explained about accents. Judy Carne also represented my first experience with TV catchphrases as I recalled kids saying "sock it to me" all the time in kindergarten although I don't think any of us knew what it meant.

I was too young for "Route 66" (or "Dragnet" for that matter), but Martin Milner left a huge impression on me as Officer Pete Malloy on "Adam-12" created by Jack Webb. Malloy was cop, role model, and friend, and I remember watching it in syndication every weeknight with my father, while learning the police ten code so we would know what was going on on his police scanner. I also remember watching the end credits every time because my father kidded that one of these days the guy with the hammer would get tired and miss. A year or so ago I watched the whole run of "Adam-12" on MeTV and gained a new respect for the series as there was much more going on than my child's mind could grasp.

 As I said, these three weren't big stars but they sure left an impression on me. Dean Jones, Judy Carne, and Martin Milner will be missed, and will live on in rerun and video.

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