TCM Remembers 2010

Every passing year brings the sad loss of prominent and often beloved figures in movie history.

2010 was no different, of course, and, among those lost, there were talented men and women whose careers began in the Cladrite era: Gloria Stuart, Tony Curtis, Patricia Neal, “Baby” Marie Osborne, Lena Horne, Doris Eaton and others.

As they do every year, the good folks at Turner Classic Movies have put together a video tribute to those departed movie professionals who touched our lives during their time with us. It’s nicely done, and well worth a look.

image-Kathryn Grayson

TCM remembers Ms. Horne

Beginning at 8 p.m. tonight, Turner Classic Movies pays tribute to the great Lena Horne by airing a trio of her pictures. Here’s the line-up:

8:00 p.m. — The Duke Is Tops (1938)
A producer’s romance with his star ends when the latter is offered a better job in New York. Cast: Ralph Cooper, Lena Horne, Lawrence Criner. Dir: William Nolte. BW-73 mins

9:30 p.m. — Cabin in the Sky (1943)
God and Satan battle for the soul of a wounded gambler. Cast: Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Ethel Waters, Lena Horne. Dir: Vincente Minnelli. BW-99 mins

11:15 p.m. — Panama Hattie (1942)
A nightclub owner in Panama takes on Nazi spies. Cast: Ann Sothern, Red Skelton, Lena Horne. Dir: Norman Z. McLeod. BW-80 mins

Remembering Ms. Horne

We want to pause to remember the great Lena Horne, who passed away at 92 yesterday.

She was an immense talent and a pioneer in Hollywood, helping to smooth the way for so many talented African-American actors and musicians who followed her. If she were just beginning her career today, she’d no doubt be an ever bigger star than she was.

And man, what a looker!

I met her briefly many years ago. She was appearing at a video trade show I was crashing, promoting, if I recall it correctly, the video of her very successful one-woman show The Lady and Her Music. I stood in line to get her to sign a poster from the show for my parents, who framed it and proudly displayed it for many years (Dad may still have it hanging to this day). Ms. Horne was very gracious in dealing with a nervous young admirer, and I’ll always remember that encounter with fondness.

“How Long Has This Been Going On?” — Lena Horne