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Messages - Gothick

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946
Calendar Events / Announcements '17 I / Re: Memories of Thayer David
« on: March 09, 2017, 08:36:14 PM »
Here's a reminiscence Thayer David's nephew, Jonathan Vincent, posted a couple of years ago of Valerie French, Thayer's wife.  (Note: Jonathan calls Thayer "David" because that was actually his given name--David Thayer Hersey.)

Jonathan (Vincent) recalls Thayer's wife, Valerie French:
"She was a B movie vixen. English. Lovely. We spoke the same language.
She died around 1991 of leukemia. She was blonde and busty. Really pretty, but also classy. I loved chatting with her. She'd keep me up all night. Val wore a blonde wig when I knew her. I don't know what her real hair color was. She also wore a corset and a stylized bra. Despite the fact that she was English, she was very easy going and not overly proper. She was funny and sassy. I really liked her. She was more outgoing than David. She liked to entertain and do tea with me. I'm half British so of course I like people who do tea time. We did tea a lot in the sun parlor. Very lovely person, Val."

Best, G.

947
Interesting. I've always wanted to see this film Dennis did with Agnes Moorehead in the early 1970s.  I think it was called DEAR DEAD DELILAH.  I did find some clips on youtube but the last I heard, the movie had only ever been released on VHS (if that--might have been grey market VHS).

G.

948
Calendar Events / Announcements '17 I / Re: Memories of Thayer David
« on: March 08, 2017, 12:21:56 AM »
I think the occasion was Thayer's marriage to Valerie French, which happened in 1969.

G.

949
Calendar Events / Announcements '17 I / Re: Memories of Thayer David
« on: March 07, 2017, 10:40:12 PM »
Thayer David was interviewed for one of the soap mags.  I think it was late 1969 or 1970.  I do have the article in my collection.

MB, message me privately if you want me to mail you a photocopy, or I guess I could attempt to scan.  I'm still incredibly obtuse when it comes to scanning anything.

Best,  G.

950
Calendar Events / Announcements '17 I / Memories of Thayer David
« on: March 06, 2017, 10:17:54 PM »
Fans, last Saturday was Thayer David's birthday, and his nephew Jonathan posted these memories on the Thayer David fan club Facebook page.  I thought those who don't do Facebook might enjoy reading this because it is such a vivid portrait of an actor many of us just adore.

Best, G.

From Jonathan Vincent on Thayer David:

I think of all his roles, he liked playing Professor Stokes the most. It was the character that was closest to his real personality (he was my uncle). The mid-Atlantic/British accent was real and he didn't stray from it. A product of the time, and the theater. He also liked playing the villains. It's too bad he died before Nero Wolfe got past the pilot stage. It was picked up... by ABC if I recall. He was really happy about it, and he was going to remarry his ex wife, Valerie French. As it is now, so was it in the 60s and 70s that even many famous actors used to have to work very hard to piece a life together. Most of his time outside of DS, he was from play to play or character parts in films. It took a toll on him. He was a big guy, and liked rich savory things, like a pipe, red wine, and hearty food. He died peacefully in his NYC apartment in an armchair, while reading a book. His home was museum-like. Mostly Victorian portraits, canes, and gothic furniture. I've enjoyed hearing his fans express satisfaction that he really was very much like his screen persona. In fact, he often ad libbed or rewrote his dialog on DS for accuracy, and because those were a lot of lines to memorize over night. He liked to talk, but was often lost in thought, as well. When he was at our family home in Massachusetts, he liked to unwind in relative solitude in his room. It was usually after he came off a project, and he was tired. After a few days, he'd emerge for Sunday dinner and fascinate all of us with his stories. Like many of his DS cast mates, he was shy and social all at once. After wrapping on Fridays, the cast would go to a club, maybe the Gramercy Park, I can't remember. I think people would go there to see the cast, often still in costume. They used to be famous for being stuck in their roles, drinking Manhattans and talking in those mid-Atlantic accents. It is a somewhat sobering experience for me to realize I'm barely any younger than he was when he passed away. He always seemed timeless to me. I suppose in a way he is, on film and video, and in my mind. I'd sell my right hand to have an hour long conversation with him, now.

951
Current Talk '17 I / Re: Laura: Out of Time...or TOO Much??
« on: March 05, 2017, 08:40:51 PM »
William Mann, who was once a DS fanfic writer and went on to become a professional author of books about film actors of the past, wrote a Laura backstory tale that I think was published in Dale Clark's INSIDE THE OLD HOUSE sometime in the 1990s. 

Mann's speculation, which cleverly attempts to make sense of the confused material presented in Laura's two storylines, posits that Laura at one time--in her original mortal life--made a pact with the ancient Egypt sun-god Ra.  (Laura might have had a father who was involved, a Dr. Murdoch maybe?  I can't recall now and I have no idea where my copy of that zine is.)  Laura's pact was that she would die by fire and be allowed to live again and go on, lifetime after lifetime, but her part of the bargain was that she had to offer up her own child or children in the flames of her own second hecatomb.

The Laura and David painting in 1967 does imply that David would have become immortal as well had Laura's plan succeeded.  But the spirit of David Collins who speaks at Dr Guthrie's 1967 seance fairly conclusively--and horribly--refutes that idea.

Both the 1967 and 1897 storylines pretty much revolve around the premise that Laura's return has a time expiration date.  It's possible that she expects to rise yet again from her own ashes once she has been successful in coaxing her own progeny into the flames.  In the 1967 scenario, her life energy is supported by what must have been a sacred fire that was kept burning in the fireplace in the cottage.  In 1897, they revisit this idea in a different and interesting form.  In 1897, they particularly wrote it so that Laura's lifeforce began to wane once her "time" approached.   The whole thing about Ra wasn't part of the original 1967 story at all, as far as I could see.  But you could say it is implied by Laura's "soliloquy" (which Actress Diana Millay felt should be memorized and recited by every schoolchild--I really don't understand why, but she seems to have felt it was the most beautiful piece of writing she ever had the fortunate to communicate).

The original 1966-67 Laura storyline is perhaps the most chilling DS ever filmed.  Really exceptional work on the part of everyone involved.

G.

952
Fans, this Tuesday, March 7. TCM will broadcast the 1964 film NIGHT OF THE IGUANA starring our very own Grayson Hall, at 8 p.m.

This was Grayson's favorite of the few films she made.  Amazingly, in an all-star cast involving Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, and Deborah Kerr, she was the only participant nominated for an Academy Award.  (She lost to Lila Kedrova in ZORBA THE GREEK.)

Grayson is in the first post-title credits scene!!

Best,  G.


953
Current Talk '17 I / Re: "Filthy" DS Topic
« on: February 26, 2017, 07:48:47 AM »
Hi Gerard, I don't remember any of the dialogue in the 1795 episode you mention (unlike most other fans, 1795 isn't one of my favorite storylines and I've probably only seen that particular episode once).  But I do remember with crystalline clarity Nicholas Blair exulting over Maggie Evans when she was offered upon the Black Altar:  "Let the legions of the Damned... salute you!"  I'm guessing that line was allowed because the sense in which the word was used was somehow... theological?

Censorship is fascinating.  It's also worth noting that it wasn't until 1970 and Leviathan that a couple was shown in bed together--Carolyn and Jeb's doomed night in that motel.  And it wasn't until 1971 and the PT 1841 storyline that an unmarried couple were shown, if only by implication, sharing a bed with the scene where Bramwell has his way with Catherine. 

Also worth noting that DS may have pioneered the 1980s and 1990s phenomenon of the shirtless soap hunks with Don Briscoe, Joel Crothers, and I need hardly add, David Selby.

Best,  G.

954
Current Talk '17 I / Re: HAPPY HOLIDAYS + DSFMS
« on: February 23, 2017, 04:49:58 PM »
Xmas is mentioned, at least indirectly, during an early Leviathan episode, from December of '69.  I think it was the last time any mundane holiday was mentioned on the show.

G.

956
Also, I noted one of those little moments that puzzles me whenever I watch hoDS (last time was several years ago now)--when Barnabas and Jeff meet at the party and Maggie asks if they know one another and there's a tense moment before Jeff acknowledges that they have met.  I can't recall if that happened as part of the Nancy Hodiak episode or something else.  I think it is explained in the Ross book but it was the 70s back when I last laid eyes on that... no doubt this will all be cleared up in the current thread MB is doing on the film.

G.

957
I wonder if this means the DVDs are being discontinued?  I had better grab them...

I did watch some of hoDS and the color is so gorgeous.  It was lovely to see Grayson.

My ISP just doesn't do streaming well.  Stop and go, stop and go.  It did allow me to study various details.  I got to the bal masque sequence and wondered again who played "John," who is asked to meet Jeff in the scene where Barn makes his first move with Maggette.

G.

958
Current Talk '17 I / Re: Exteriors
« on: February 11, 2017, 05:07:51 AM »
I'd personally call Seaview Terrace Queen Anne with some French features, but let's face it, the house is a complete hodgepodge architecturally.  Of course that just makes me love it all the more.

I'd forgotten Stokes's remarks about the Old House.  Maybe an excuse to revisit the early Stokes episodes...

Best, G.

959
Current Talk '17 I / Re: Exteriors
« on: February 10, 2017, 03:01:14 PM »
Also, it is worth noting that Dan Curtis started planning a flashback storyline that would reveal how Barnabas became a vampire as early as August of 1967.  It is documented in some letters that Jonathan Frid sent to his mother that somehow wound up being owned and distributed by a fan.  I don't know at what point DC decided that the flashback story would be set in the 1790s.  I've always wondered if the backdating happened simply because a costume rental company had stuff available for the 18th century, but nothing on hand for the 1830s era. An odd thing is that the last big flashback story they did was set in 1840 which was pretty close to the original period for Barnabas, Josette and the others.  As you'll have noticed, Josette originally had a different name--not du Pres.

G.

960
Current Talk '17 I / Re: Exteriors
« on: February 10, 2017, 02:41:27 PM »
Hi Patti,

This is a cool article on the history of Seaview Terrace. The existing structure combines two houses.  One house was originally built in Washington DC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seaview_Terrace

I think there is a web article somewhere on the Spratt House as well.  Ruins reportedly are still visible on the site.  It is somewhere away from the main grounds I think.

Yeah, here's one page for that house:

http://www.hudsonvalleyruins.org/yasinsac/spratt/spratt.html

In the original DS backstory, Barnabas, Josette and Jeremiah were all living at Collinwood in the 1830s.  For some reason the date 1837 sticks in my head for when Barnabas originally became a vampire.  I don't know why.  It might have been mentioned in an episode.  The style of Collinwood does not fit at all the period of the 1830s, but I think the style of the Old House does.

Best, G.

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