Last week in Marsha Marsha Marsha Part 2, I ended the piece saying, “Until tomorrow then…NanuNanu, wait that’s not Marshian, that’s Orkan! What? Never mind….” It was an attempt at levity as well as a high five to my favorite childhood television show, Mork & Mindy. I could not imagine that one week later I’d be explaining the reference or saying goodbye to “Mork” Robin Williams.
To admit shock would be an understatement, I was in complete denial. Not just in denial that he was dead, but that Williams had taken his own life, well that just couldn’t be.
It must be explained that I did not grow up in the United States, and therefore picked up on pop-culture later than my brethren. Mork & Mindy was a popular sitcom than ran in the United States from 1978-1982 on ABC (the American Broadcasting Company.) I don’t recall watching in the States before being an adult. I do recall the delight I found watching it in Berlin. I remember thinking Boulder, CO must be an awesome place to live. Why else would an alien from Ork live there? Can you imagine my father’s confusion as to why I chose to go there first instead of New York? Boulder is a sleepy ski town and shall we say not very brown. I had to go there because that’s where Mork lived with Mindy. Mork was funny and far more interesting than any alien on Star Trek, although not more interesting than any character on Star Wars.
I could identify with Mork, an alien that came to Earth and was trying to learn American culture. I could identify because I was an American but I wasn’t, not really. I was German and I didn’t fit in anywhere. I didn’t get the jokes on American television and I wasn’t really German either, but I got Mork, I rooted for Mork! No one was happier than me when he and Mindy got married and had a kid (who was actually an old man played by Jonathan Winters) that had “Benjamin Button” syndrome. Mork’s best friend was Exidor, a guy who wore a Greco-Roman toga, combat boots and a crown of leaves. He often referred to himself as “The Messiah,” and heard the voice of God. He was obviously mentally disturbed but he was also hilarious, even Mork thought Exidor was out there but remained his friend just the same. It was awesome and because of this television show I didn’t feel so weird…
Like all great stories, that was just the beginning for Robin who started as a stand up comic. He would gone on to be a movie star, appearing in such drama films as “Good Morning, Vietnam” “The Fisher King,” and “Good Will Hunting,” for which he won the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role. He will also be remembered as the voice of the Genie in “Aladdin,” “Batty,” in Fern Gully (a Hodge family favorite) as well as “Happy Feet.” Williams played a robot turned man in the hit “Bicentennial Man,” but his crowning achievement may be the run he had with Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal dubbed “Comic Relief” where the comics did stand up to raise money for the homeless. As an adult, I enjoyed watching Williams play the villain in “Insomnia” and “One Hour Photo” and he had recently returned to broadcast television with “The Crazy Ones,” which aired the past season on CBS.
Sadly, Robin McLaurin Williams lost his battle with depression and took his on life Monday. Out of respect for his family, PMA has elected to not go into the details surrounding his death. He leaves behind 3 devastated children, a wife, friends and millions of fans and he will sorely missed. He was 63 years of age
Twenty four hours later, the world would learn that it had lost movie star Lauren Bacall. Bacall (born Betty Joan Perske) was real Hollywood Royalty. In a world were you seem to be able to be a star simply because you are on television (reality TV) or because you have no problem performing colitis and fellatio for the world to see (Kim Kardashian,) Bacall was one of the last great talents from the “Golden Years” of motion pictures. Bacall was married to the late great Humphrey Bogart, his losing his battle with cancer left her a widow at 32 years of age. Bacall is know for one famous line… “…You know how to whistle don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.” It’s from the movie To Have and Have Not, a film costarring husband Humphrey Bogart. Believe it or not, that was risque back in 1944. Although she lived a long life (just one month and four days shy of her 90th birthday) her loss will be felt in Hollywood. Bacall was still working. We’ve had the voice, Whitney Houston, Bacall was “The Look,” and what a looker she was. Funny story about “The Look:” During the screen test Bacall was nervous.To minimize her quivering, she pressed her chin against her chest and to face the camera, tilted her eyes upward. This effect became known as “The Look”, Bacall’s trademark because it exuded a sexy confidence, something Bacall readily admits was an act.
Bacall died Tuesday of a massive stroke, she leaves behind 3 grown children, hundreds of friends, and millions of fans worldwide. She will be missed. She was 89.
Photo Credit: Pictures of Mork and Mindy are courtesy of Disney Mrs. Doubtfire courtesy of 20th Century Fox Oscar picture is from the Motion Picture association and property of the Academy. Lauren Bacall young picture courtesy of MGM (Metro Golden Mayer). Older picture taken by Bert Stevenson for people magazine. Signature used from Wikipedia.
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TK’s Bio: Terrence Kyrell Hodge I was born 9/13/79, in what was then W. Berlin Germany, to Qualise and Lieutenant Tyrone Hodge of the United States Marine Corps. He lived in London England and graduated from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 2000 with BA in English and Political Science. Terrence writes about any and everything. Terrence is planning a series of novels that are works of “faction” part factual (nonfiction) and partly fictional. He plans to bring a dual vision of American and European observation and opinions to PMA. He will bring blunt honesty with a sense of comedy. He says “I will write wherever I’m needed as I am NOT a one trick pony.”