The Last Time I Looked: (Stories, Real and Unreal) -

July 21, 2013

Age, that is older age, is a subject we circle cautiously, (often because of hip or knee replacements.)  But, hey what care I?  I’m a golden oldie and Damn proud of it, and many of my friends are swell seniors too. But we have children, grandchildren, colleagues, dental assistants, doctor’s receptionists of all ages. Ergo; my observations and interests are from a varied group, just tilting towards a certain ….oh..let’s say, ripe place. (Who talks like this?)        
What subject you murmur? Why is the TCM movie channel such a big part of so many of my pal’s lives? And why IS Robert Osborne almost supplanting Hugh Jackman in our fantasies? (almost)

FILM NOIR ET BLANC! STORIES WITH PLOTS! (say, what?) BOY ALWAYS GETS GIRL AND VICE VERSA! GLAMOUR! We often remember with whom we saw those flicks and where. And in my case sometimes I’m even in them.

A few months ago my phone rang off the hook (at least 2 calls and a wrong number) to let me know one of the classic films I starred in was on “our” station.

Another treat was an early Hitchcock movie called SABOTAGE. It’s a wonderful film, known mostly to aficionados. It stars Sylvia Sidney among others, and it turned memory lane into a major freeway.  (I’ve lost all sense of acceptable descriptive phrases. Yet on I go.)

I do urge you to Google Ms. Sidney - she was so beautiful. An actress with a unique style.
Well, years ago I was in a revival of Moss Hart’s play LIGHT UP THE SKY.

It was a fine production with Ms. Sidney, the mysterious sexy Gloria Grahame, and a first rate cast. Sylvia and I shared a teeny dressing room, and the first time we actually used it to do the first dress rehearsal, Sylvia stared at me, and in her whisky soaked voice said “For a little girl, you sure have a big ass!” (Confession, I quoted that line in a blog two years ago, it still tickles me.) We gave a cast party at our house and we rented SABOTAGE as a surprise. We watched a much older Sylvia look at herself as a young, fragile beauty whose huge eyes were staggeringly compelling.

Sylvia Sidney in FURY 1936

It was not sad, because those eyes were exactly the same in this still delicate looking, but tough old broad whose talent deepened all the time.
Some years later Sylvia played my mother and Melanie Mayron my daughter, in some wonderful episodes of the groundbreaking TV show THIRTYSOMETHING.

Melanie Mayron, PN, Sylvia Sidney,1989.


Now I do Netflix until my eyeballs start twirling like in the old cartoons. I do On Demand on demand, I stream, I tube you tube, we all tube. I’m starting to listen to podcasts. I’m invited to A-list screenings, I even go to movie theaters and pay for my three hundred dollar senior ticket…..but...but……I know that when I get to heaven I’ll have TCM and Robert Osborne. And I’ll be content.

Due to important work (botox, restylane, lipo etc.) this blog will be bi-weekly. You’ll know when we’re back on schedule by my new FB profile photo. See you in two weeks.

Add comment
TCM is such a major and important part of our culture, i.e. entire evenings of silent movies, the recent multi-part history of film, and so-on-and-so-forth. I shudder to contemplate what the world would be like without it. I choose to believe that there will always be a TCM (and a Trader Joe's).
11:47pm 10/16/2013
Bill Reed
Phyllis I have known Bob Osborne for many years and he is the real deal, a great guy! He helped form TCM! Do you ever come to LA? be well, Ken
9:20pm 09/04/2013
Ken Kramer
Phyllis you know how I love your have an EFRON touch! Going to spend 2 weeks with Kaye B. in Santa Fe...would love to see you when I return in mid August...x0 S
2:36pm 08/01/2013
Sandy Stewart
What a JOY! Love it! More PLEASE.
7:38am 07/30/2013
John Handy, Stage Manager
I love this, it, and YOU.
Just wonderful.
You social networking goddess you!
Christine Pedi
12:40am 07/30/2013
Christine Pedi
I remember everything. PS 17 etc.
5:56pm 07/29/2013
Dick Amdur
So delightful. I am going to watch them all and also love TMC. Hats off to Phyllis for always writing something so fun and interesting. Vicki
3:31pm 07/29/2013
Vicki. Gold levi
Yes, botox my best friend
12:15pm 07/29/2013
It was nice to hear the name Sylvia Sydney. I always liked her, I was lucky enough years ago to be a big fan of Auntie Mame when it was on Broadway, and saw two wonderful replacements One being Greer Garson and the other Sylvia. Phyllis I would love it someday if you would cover your experiences with Follies at Lincoln Center and PaperMill.
12:05pm 07/29/2013
Douglas Meny
I wish Robert Osborne would ask you to join him for an hour of reminiscing! Yours is the funniest, most resonant blog in the blogosphere, dear Phyllis. Bobxx
12:02pm 07/29/2013
Robert Pounder
Will miss my FIX of PN! Smile! I am..
11:33am 07/27/2013
You'll always be the girl who was a shoo-in in a barely legal towel at the St. James theater!
4:03pm 07/23/2013
Bob Deutsch
yes, i'm quite thankful for robert AND ted turner. i hate to think what the vista would look like without tt having bought what he bought.
9:10pm 07/22/2013
Can't wait.
4:41pm 07/22/2013
Ron Barron