..you know, one of those fragments of the daily rag you glance at in preparing the cushion that will insulate your pooch's solid and (some) liquid offering from the concrete of the patio. (Heretofore, in the War Planner household that meant the Los Anglees Slimes or the Orange County Ragister. Not so now, as our residence has become a pulp-free zone.) Anyway, a pic catches your eye and you discover that some personality you adore (or despise) has shuffled off their mortal coil and joined the bleeding choir eternal.
This is NOT the case with Pamela Reed. She is, insofar as I know, as alive and kicking as she was back in the 80s when I first came to adore her.
So now, there are supermodels and the skinny, bulbous-breasted, ratted-hair skanks that seem to always make the news because they are either going into or getting out of (1) drug rehab, (2) abusive relationships, (3) the county lockup, or (4) all three of the above. We are treated to their mindless, abrasive prattle, over-exposed tits, butt, and skinny legs, and adolescent bleating about war, peace, animal fur, world hunger, and global warming.
And the puerile-minded of those among us sit at home, eating this vacuous offal up in large helpings between 24-hour marathons of American Idol and Sexy Housewives of Milpitas, California.
Pamela Reed came to me (or, I should say, my attention) as Kurt Russel's wife in the Robin Williams vehicle, The Best of Times. She had a passable figure (who cares) and one of those faces that bespeaks of the date you got fixed up with and, at first sight, was a disappointment. Then, as the night wore on, you came to realize that sweet face fronted a great mind, lively wit and -- no, really -- a good personality.
Somehow, you knew you would end up going steady with her, marrying her, and you and she would be staring back at 30 years of marriage, three kids who were (1) a doctor, (2) a college professor, and (3) a Major in the U.S. Air Force who flew C-130s in Desert Storm and now instructs at the Air Force Academy. (Hey, it's my fantasy; go write your own blog.) And you would be as comfortable with her now as you were over that very first beer in The Oar House in Santa Ana 35 years ago.
She was great in every role I saw her in and, I must admit, my favorite was her portrayal of Belle Starr in Walter Hill's The Long Riders. She had that 80's sultry look. The type of woman you wouldn't mind ponying up $15 for (or, if you were lucky, she'd discount her rate by $2.50) after long weeks on dusty trails or punching cattle. Whatever.
So after a grand and glorious career, you'd think this woman would be shot through-and-through with Hollywood, imbued with the glam of the industry and all that.
Apparently, not so.
I mean you gotta love a woman whose IMDB trivia is so bereft of affectation as to defy belief. While there are many notable actors on that site that load up their brag sheets with such truckloads of manure that the aroma is enough to drive you away, clearly Pam is not one of them:
Won a Cable Ace Award as Best Actress for the HBO series "Tanner '88" (1988).
Received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington.
Earned a Drama Desk Award for the off-Broadway play "Getting Out" and an Obie award for 'sustained excellence in performance in theater.'
Helped raise money for a local fire station.
She and her husband adopted both of their children, Reed and Lily.
Had hip surgery in 1999.
Her engagement ring got stolen on the set of a movie, so she had to replace it.
Had a fire in her basement in 2001.
"In twenty years of being in Hollywood, this is what I've learned; If I want my hair to look good, I bend over and brush it - then I leave my house."
Where Are They Now
(December 2004) Resides in Hancock Park, California with husband and kids.
Had a fire in her basement after raising money for a local fire department? One hopes she got a good response. Otherwise, I cannot imagine such a rock-solidly plain and unaffected collection of remembrances; so plan as to be appealing. And, her quote about her Hollywood career life lessons amounting to nothing more than ONE hair grooming technique. That's my kind of woman, salt of the earth and all that.
So, there's Rule Five Friday and countless gorgeous pin-ups made available for the male psyche out there. But give me the good, plain, simple, kind, sweet, unaffected ladies any day!
Pam, don't ever change! I love you just the way you are: for all of the simple goodness you represent.
..it's sorta the way I feel about Mrs War Planner, by the way.