“As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster.”—Henry Hill, Goodfellas, September 19, 1990.
Happy birthday to Ward Bond, born in Benkelman, Nebraska, April 9, 1903. One of the great character actors and a pillar of John Ford’s ensemble, Ward spent most of his career (more than 200 films) portraying cops and cowboys. He played football at USC with teammate John Wayne (still Marion Morrison then)—what are the odds?
For most, he’s probably best known as Bert the cop in Frank Capra’s holiday crowd-pleaser It’s a Wonderful Life. He also had small roles in Gone With the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, Dead End, and Bringing up Baby.”
My favorites are the Ford films (he did 25 of them), and he’s solid as Tom Polhaus in The Maltese Falcon.
Bond in the “chew” shot from the creme de la creme, The Searchers.
Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts
Birthday greetings to Sir Alec Guinness, born in London’s Paddington vicinity, April 2, 1914. I like him best in the David Lean films, and he brought a touch of class as Kenobi, and, of course, the man was born to play Smiley.
Guinness wrote a few memoirs, very charming and worth breezing through.
March 26, 1959: Raymond Chandler goes for the big sleep, dying at age 70.
He didn’t invent the hardboiled PI, but nobody had done it better since.
March 26, 1920: F. Scott Fitzgerald catapults into the American literary scene with the Scribner’s publication of his first novel, This Side of Paradise (the book started life as The Romantic Egoist, but was revised after failing to sell).
He was 25 years old and working on cars for money.