Monday, September 13, 2010
So long, old friend--Kevin McCarthy
There are a number of Kevin McCarthy obituaries on the net today the best being the NY Times one which you can find here. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/movies/13mccarthy.html?src=ISMR_HP_LO_MST_FB
I've written before about our friendship with Kevin and I do mean "our." He was much taken with Carol and they had long talks when I was gone. Kevin was an old school gentleman and a very kind man. In the sixteen or seventeen years of our friendship I only heard him say something unkind about one person, a famous agent he'd encountered during the war. He knew everybody and everything. He'd absorbed a world of knowledge and wisdom in his seventy year acting career.
As he always said, he loved to work. When he was in his late eighties he had a recurring role on a CBS series that shot in Chicago. One day he flew out to see us. He had a lot more energy than I did.
Late in the game he got interested in the business of going to conventions to sign autographed photographs. He was a wry but never condescending observer of all that went on there. I think that as his health began to fail the conventions gave him a physical and spiritual boost. He was after all the star of the science fiction picture voted again and again one of the ten best of all time and was treated accordingly.
I last talked to him maybe a month and a half ago. He was confused part of the time and I could tell it was difficult for him to speak. When he laughed he was the old Kevin. When I described our conversation to Carol she was sad and said maybe we'd never hear from him again. As we didn't.
So long, old friend. Your made our lives singularly better with your charm, your wit and your very agreeable take on life and all its foibles.
Kevin and I did a book about his life and Invasion of The Body Snatchers. I can't be impartial but I will say that I'm proud of this book and and proud of the reviews we got. As I said a fair amount of the book is Kevin being interviewed about his career--his early days with Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift starting the early version of The Actors' Studio are especially interesting--and then many well-known writers looking at Invasion of The Body Snatchers from various angles. There's even a a sort of grudge match here between producer and director of a later version of the movie. You can order it from Stark House.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers: A Tribute
Edited by Kevin McCarthy & Ed Gorman
Features essays by Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Jon L. Breen, Tom Piccirilli & more, plus interviews with Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Philip Kaufman, Robert H. Solo, Abel Ferrara, Stuart Gordon and W. D. Richter. Completely revised from the original 1999 edition and includes many photos from the first two films.