Friday, March 15, 2013

Macdonald Carey centenary

While TCM is honoring George Brent on his birthday today, I should point out that it's also the birth anniversary of Macdonald Carey (1913-1994). One of Carey's first films was Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt, which I blogged about back in February 2008 when TCM had the broadcast contract to those Hitchcock movies for which the rights are held by Universal. Carey plays one of the policemen who come to Santa Rosa to investigate Joseph Cotten; along the way, Carey fals in love with Teresa Wright.

In fact, Carey didn't make all that many movies. I've recommended several others before, and for the most part they're inferior movies. Let's Make It Legal showed up earlier this month on the Fox Movie Channel, and will be getting another airing late in April. I thought Blue Denim aired recently, but FMC's search doesn't indicate that it will be showing any time soon. And I had completely forgotten about Carey in These Are the Damned, which is a flawed but very interesting movie.

Carey spent the larger portion of his career doing television. He did a lot of guest perforamces on all sorts of TV shows, but his most famous role would probbaly be on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. For decades, Carey provided the voiceover about the days of our lives being "like sands through an hourglass". I suppose soap opera work was nice if you could get it, since it at least provided a steady paycheck, as we'll learn tomorrow night when TCM shows Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie.

So, I suppose it should be unsurprising that there are several Hollywood stars who later in life did soap opera work. In addition to Carey, there's Constance Ford from A Summer Place, who went on to do Another World for many years. Ruth Warrick achieved fame by playing Orson Welles' first wife in Citizen Kane, and then went on to possibly even more fame by spending the last 34 years of her life on All My Children. British actress Anna Lee has a small role as George Sanders' wife in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and for over 30 years played on General Hospital. And then there are the famous people who did prime time soaps. I knew Barbara Bel Geddes from Dallas long before I knew she was in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. Ditto Jane Wyman on Falcon Crest as opposed to her Oscar-winning role in Johnny Belinda.

Perhaps Douglas Sirk shouldn't have retired from Hollywood after Imitation of Life. He could have enjoyed a long career directing TV soap operas.

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