has been picked to receive the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award January 25, 2009. Having already garnered two Tonys, three Emmys and the National Medal of Arts, this is the latest in a long magnificently deserved line of accolades.
There's infinitely more to be said in saluting this titanic talent
(and, ala Olivier we suspect, if you haven't seen him on stage - which we only, alas, did once on Broadway in "Master Harold ... and the Boys" with Danny Glover in 1982 - you really haven't experienced his power at all)
but we'll belay that impetuous impulse for the nonce
and yield the admiring floor so others can have their say.
So hop to it.
Instead of trying to keep up with this Jones, we'll simply spearhead the honorable guard in anchoring appreciation of him.
Wholeheartedly agree with all your comments about Mr. Jones. He adds class to any project in which he's a participant, and he's left many deep, impressionable marks, some of them important and meaningful, some of them pop culturish and resonating, and some of them just sweet and silly (anybody remember his wacky little part in THE LAST REMAKE OF BEAU GESTE? He was sort of doing a black Terry-Thomas, if you can imagine. )
His name was Calvin Lockhart and, for one brief shining moment of a decade (the 1970s) his comet soared across the Hollywood star system with his incredible good looks allied with acting acumen every inch the equal of anyone else available. Tho he began his stage career in England (for instance, as Aaron in “Titus Andronicus”)
He first garnered screen attention
for the scene in which his sublimated sex appeal leaves an entire restaurant full of female birds practically salivating to get next to (or with) him.
Lotus Land then beckoned not long after with
but it wasn't until
shrewedly cast him as the sleekly slippery con artist Rev. Deke O’Malley
that Mr. Lockhart’s cinematic flame really started to burn. This led to his first impressive starring role in
opposite one of our favorite actresses, the marvelous Janet MacLachlan.
Now, since this was the mid-70s, that tricky trade-off phenomenon called the blackploitation film was also at its treacherous apex
The addictive temptations of Hollywood have afflicted, infected and sabotaged many a vulnerable persona (to say nothing of thoroughly torpodeoing their career), so Mr. Lockhart was hardly the first - and damn sure won’t be the last - individual unable to resist and subsequently succumbs to its siren allure. It eventually took
stabilizing stature to finally command enough respect that Mr. Lockhart’s best attributes were showcased to exemplary effect, first with
[ It’s YouTube tyme again. Mr. Poitier arranged a smashing entrance set-up befitting his young star (7 minutes and 45 seconds into Uptown Saturday Night 1974 full pt8/11 and culminating in Uptown Saturday Night 1974 full pt9/11). ]
However, if you REALLY wanna catch Mr. Lockhart in all his matinee-idol, acting glory (also modeling clothes like he was born to the satorial role), watch his blistering scene with
Not only does writer Richard Wesley author a dynamite one-on-one match between the old and new generation of rival gangsters embodied by Mr. Amos and Mr. Lockhart's incisive portrayals (a helluva missed opportunity ‘cause there was an entire fascinating film that could’ve been built around just their intense interplay) but it’s far and away the juicest and most dramatically compelling sequence Mr. Poitier ever directed.
The Bahamian-born Mr. Lockhart died in Nassau on March 29, 2007 due to stroke complications. Still, he leaves a legacy of attention-demanding performances that put to shame most of the vapid, temper-tantrum throwing "cute" critters who’re all the ridiculous rage these talent-challenged days - most of ‘em don’t even deserve to be mentioned in the same arena alongside the illuminating subject of this offering.
so astutely and authoritatively put it:
"Calvin had wonderful range as an actor. He really had such enormous promise. I don't know why he was not more utilized because he was so good. As a matter of fact, he had movie-star qualities.
He was a very handsome man, his impact on the screen was striking, and his work was highly praised."...
Very rarely do you get a talented thesp with authentic acting acumen plus being blessed with an exceptionally handsome visage to boot, but the fates certainly gave our current subject just such an overflow of riches. He first came to wide public notice opposite the future Sonny Corleone in
[By the Little-Known Historical Bye Department:
Guess who was originally cast as Gale Sayers?
However, whilst playing basketball one weekend with Rosey Grier and others, Mr. Gossett injured his leg and hadda bow out. Still, he’s unrepentant in admiring what his replacement did with the opportunity. ]
In 1969, we caught the pre-Broadway Philadelphia engagement of
in which he impressively portrayed the slain civil-rights icon, up to and including a fiery interpretation of the play’s title that was almost as memorable as the original.
However, it was with the above film he REALLY penetrated the public’s consciousness and was tagged with the “Black Clark Gable” handle.
If you think the latter’s appearance in that film set female hearts a’flutter, you ain’t seen or heard NUTHIN’ unless you witnessed the atomic swoons and outcry of the women in the audience when our subject appeared in this flick – it’s enuff to make whatever your permanent pigmentation acquire a serious green texture.
His cinematic reunion
was nothing short of an unmitigated mess (tho his characteristic charisma remained intact). However, he bounced back with full-fledged success in
There then followed a number of tee-vee appearances,
before another noteworthy (and dashing) big-screen occasion
followed by other less-auspicious enterprises.
Still, he’s been a figure not to be underestimated in his range, charm, gifts and those gol-durned glamorous looks (yeah, we’re right jealous – wanna make somethin’ of it?!)
And Gable is nowhere NEAR his equal where acting’s concerned, either, so taketh thateth …
Neo, I recently plowed through the first season of ROOM 222, and you're absolutely right - Haynes provides a sober, intelligent anchor to a show that easily could have become saccharine and self-righteous.
Incidentally, the transfers are AWFUL. I suspect the negatives must be lost. Or the company that released it on DVD was too cheap to remaster the show...
Sidney is high on my list of favs. Mostly because of his enormous likability factor. I just use any excuse to post about Julie. Earlier in this thread I saw a mention of Brock Peters, who I thought was just superb opposite Julie Harris in Driving Miss Daisy! I loved that show so much, I still haven't seen the film.