Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Rickman-Rachel Corrie Connection

Makes one want to weep....

By Grabthar's Hammer.... he was a Saint.

"Alan Rickman, 69; brought dynamic menace to roles" by Adam Bernstein Washington Post   January 15, 2016

WASHINGTON —The cause was cancer, and the death was confirmed by Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief of the London Guardian, with whom Mr. Rickman collaborated on the play ‘‘My Name is Rachel Corrie,’’ about the young American activist who was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003.

Mr. Rickman was quietly committed to arts education, philanthropy, and political activism. He was a patron of a research foundation that helps those with cancer and facial disfigurements and of an organization that aids artists reduced to poverty.

His political engagement led him to direct ‘‘My Name Is Rachel Corrie,’’ a show he compiled with journalist Viner from the writings and e-mails of the activist Corrie, who was killed while protesting the Israeli occupation.

(Blog editor can only take so much. He not only chokes up here, but feels shame that years have gone by without me recognizing her sacrifice. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday that I blogged about her and then my search tells me otherwise)

The show was warmly received in London in 2005, but its New York production was ‘‘postponed’’ out of concerns over possible boycotts and protests from those who viewed it as ‘‘anti-Israeli agit-prop.’’

As opposed to pro-Israeli agit-prop.


Yeah, that's them! 

This other guy was a bit of a turkey, but in a good and kind-hearted way:

"Pat Harrington Jr., 86; comic relief in ‘One Day’" by Adam Bernstein Washington Post  January 08, 2016

WASHINGTON — Pat Harrington Jr., an actor and comedian who portrayed the farcically macho building superintendent Dwayne Schneider in ‘‘One Day at a Time,’’ a sitcom that explored sexism, harassment, and other tribulations through the lens of a divorced working woman and her two teenage daughters, died Wednesday at 86.

His daughter Tresa wrote in November that he had Alzheimer’s disease and was in rapidly declining health.

It was ‘‘One Day at a Time’’ that made Mr. Harrington a household name during its protracted prime-time run.

The star was Bonnie Franklin, playing an independent-minded divorced woman in Indianapolis who struggled to raise two willful daughters (played by Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli). Set against the second wave of feminism, the show explored previously taboo sitcom subjects such as divorce, rape, teenage pregnancy, and menopause.

Franklin’s Ann Romano was both sensible and exasperated as she juggled a career, her home life, and come-ons from men such as Mr. Harrington’s Schneider, a seedy building custodian who told her, ‘‘The ladies in this building don’t call me ‘super’ for nothing.’’

Rendered by Mr. Harrington, Schneider was less a threatening wolf than a clueless chauvinist. Fancying himself a ladies’ man, he sported a Clark Gable-inspired pencil mustache and swaggered about with his tool belt around his waist and a cigarette pack tucked in the sleeve of his white T-shirt.

As the character was conceived, Schneider was a married man and an unrepentant adulterer who used fake maintenance problems to enter women’s apartments. Mr. Harrington, however, doubted that such an unpleasant type would fit in a show filled with far more likable people.

On Mr. Harrington’s insistence, Schneider was recast as a bachelor with a comically grandiose sense of his appeal to the opposite sex. ‘‘At first, Schneider was pretty much a lecher,’’ he told People magazine. ‘‘I made sure that got changed to ‘amorous.’ It bespeaks a certain respect for women.’’

Over the years, Schneider surrendered his pursuit of Romano and became a surrogate father figure to her daughters. In the show’s final year, Mr. Harrington won an Emmy Award for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series.

In recent years, he popped up as a guest on TV shows such as ‘‘Curb Your Enthusiasm.’’ But in a varied career, he made his peace with being associated with a single sitcom, emphasizing that it had brought him steady work in a notoriously unsteady profession.