Sunday, March 22, 2015

Gregory Walcott, 87

From top to bottom, Every Which Way But Loose, Midway, probably Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Bonanza and Mr Roberts.

He had a pretty good career going and a long list of credits in TV and movies when he agreed to appear in Plan 9 From Outer Space. He was a member of the church that was putting up the money for it and he did it for them. He was the best actor Ed Wood Jr ever worked with. He made monkeys out of Tom Keene and Lyle Talbot.

Gregory Walcott has died at age 87.

He was in some pretty good movies---Mr Roberts, Norma Rae, Prime Cut, Joe Kidd, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Eiger Sanction. Published a memoir,  Hollywood Adventures: The Gregory Walcott Story.

I don't know how he felt about getting so much recognition for his role in Plan 9. It didn't seem to hurt his career and he seems to have led a better life than most of us in any case. He was the one person involved in the movie who was clearly too good for it. (The late Joanna Lee became a successful television writer, but as an actress, she fit in as Tanna.)

He said he saw no hint of genius in Ed Wood which I'm sure is true. I'm not sure how much genius is required anyway, and I don't know if that makes Wood's life more tragic or less. Failure is failure, genius or not.

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