Daily Archives: May 5, 2011

…and we lost Marian Mercer, too.

Marian Mercer with Jerry Orbach

Tony winning actress Marian Mercer died at age 75. Known for playing in a supporting role opposite the late Jerry Orbach in Promises, Promises, she also co-starred with Sammy Davis, Jr., in Stop theWorld I Want to Get Off.

Mercer was a regular on The Dom DeLuise Show, The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, The Sandy Duncan Show, The Andy Williams Show, and the sitcom It’s a Living where she played the humorless restaurant hostess, Nancy Beebe. She also had recurring roles on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, its sequel, Forever Fernwood, St. Elsewhere, and Empty Nest. She made guest appearances on such shows as Love, American Style, Archie Bunker’s Place, Mama’s Family, Benson, The Golden Girls, Murder, She Wrote, Touched by an Angel, and Suddenly Susan, among many others.

She died of Alzheimer’s Disease on April 27, 2011, in Newbury Park, California.

What does Pakistan use Lobbyists for?

Asif Ali Zardari.

Asif Al Zardari opens his wallet.

According to Reuters, they use them to deny that anyone in the Pakistani government knew that bin Laden was hiding near the Capital for close to six years in the biggest house in the neighborhood:

WASHINGTON (Reuters/Tim Reid) – Pakistan‘s Washington lobbyists have launched an intense campaign on Capitol Hill to counter accusations that Islamabad was complicit in giving refuge to Osama bin Laden.

Alarmed by lawmakers’ demands to cut off billions of dollars of U.S. aid after bin Laden was found living in a Pakistani safe house for six years, President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered a full-court press to quell mounting accusations that it helped the al Qaeda leader avoid capture.

Mark Siegel, a partner in the Washington lobbying firm of Locke Lord Strategies — which is paid $75,000 a month by the Pakistani government — told Reuters on Thursday he had spoken twice to Zardari since U.S. special forces killed bin Laden on Sunday, and “countless” times to the Pakistani ambassador in Washington.

“They are certainly concerned,” Siegel said, adding that suggestions the Pakistani government knew about bin Laden’s whereabouts was nothing more than speculation.

Wow. $75,000 a month to put out press releases.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy isn’t buying it, however. He told Vermont Public Radio:

“It’s impossible for them not to have some idea he was there.

Mark Siegel, referring to claims by the Afghan government that Pakistan must have known bin Laden’s whereabouts, said:

“Must have known doesn’t mean knew.”


I haven’t directed any theatre pieces since February of 2009…

… and I’m starting to get very depressed about it. I’m worried that I’ll lose my perspective and be unable to pull off the kinds of productions that I’ve done for  close to 45 years.

I offered ideas to two different community theatres last fall, but neither responded with an opportunity. Maybe it’s me… I wish I knew, then I could fix it.

I have a list an arm long of shows I want to direct before I give up the ghost:

The Fantasticks, Occupant (Edward Albee), I Can Get It For You Wholesale (a musical that is never done anymore), my friend Charlie Leipart’s musical Thorstein Veblen‘s Theory of the Leisure Class (I’ve wanted to do this one for years and I’ve kept in touch with Charlie Hoping it will come off someday. It was done last year in California under a new title. A while ago, while I was living in Laurel, Md., I came very close to doing it), Ionesco‘s Rhinoceros (another one of my old favorites and one that you don’t see much.)

That’s only some of them.

Anybody in the Eastern Panhandle region looking for a well-reviewed and experienced director?

Jackie Cooper dies at 88…

Goodbye to Jackie Cooper, one of the favorite actors of my childhood and early adult years. From the “Our Gang” comedies, through years of motion pictures, early television comedy and up through films like “Superman” where he was seen as Perry White, Cooper gaver us decades of talent.

One particular memory I have was being in the live studio audience at age 12 for a TV comedy he was doing from NYC… yes those were the days without videotape… the days of “live television.”

Cooper was also known for the fact that at age 9 he became the youngest Oscar nominee for best actor (a record that he still holds), in “Skippy” (1931).

Here’s Jackie in the 50s TV serial “The People’s Choice”:

Goodbye, Jackie Cooper… I remember you fondly.