A bad week for Hollywood

Actually, I’d say it’s a bad week for everybody. Legends Milton Berle, Dudley Moore, and Billy Wilder all checked out, leaving behind a really amazing body of work. Moore (b. 1935), widely known for comedies like 10, Foul Play, and Arthur, was actually a concert pianist prior to all that. If you’ve never seen the original version of Bedazzled, which he wrote with Peter Cook, it’s well worth your time. He was a bit young to go, I’d say, but he’s been very ill for a long tiime.

Both Wilder and Berle were in their 90s, but even so I think we could have all enjoyed a few more bits from them. Berle (b. 1908), a.k.a. Mr. Television, is one of the reasons that new medium succeeded so well. He was one of the original TV stars, and literally spent his life onscreen — his first credit is from 1914.

Wilder (b. 1906) left an even more significant mark on the world of film. It was Wilder who gave us Double Indemnity (“hey, isn’t that the dad from My Three Sons?”), The Lost Weekend (a film on the horrors of drink even grander than Leaving Las Vegas), Sunset Blvd., Stalag 17, (the original) Sabrina, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment — and many more. Wilder’s body of work includes several of the AFI’s top 100 American Films. He was nominated for 21 Oscars, and won 7 (including the Thalberg Award). Few can hope to match this kind of cinematic resume.|*|

Comments are closed.