Friday, January 08, 2010

Happy 87th to Larry Storch

America's Greatest Living Actor, Larry Storch, turns 87 years young today! Still going strong nearly 65 years into his show business career, after over 250 imdb credits, he's still doing occasional standup today and has a documentary and autobiography on the way.

A little birthday salute with illustrations is in order, wouldn't you think?

At right, yours truly meeting the legend himself backstage at Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas, TX after the August 6, 2000 performance of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. Yes, Marilu Henner played Annie and was also backstage, but I didn't get a picture with her. Come on, folks, I know she's great too, but there are priorities! Besides, the man himself hadn't hit the Dallas stage in a decade at the time: his last trip through had been with ARSENIC AND OLD LACE during the late 1980's.

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN was Storch's first Broadway and national stage production of the century, but far from his last: he also co-starred in SOME LIKE IT HOT (national, at left) in 2003 and SLY FOX (Broadway) in 2004. The latter role was an astounding 46 years after Larry's first co-starring role on the Great White Way, 1958's WHO WAS THAT LADY?

Man, were those people at Harrah's lucky or what? The two greatest actors who ever lived, Storch and Forrest Tucker at the height of their TV fame doing a live performance with F TROOP co-star Ken Berry in April 1967. No doubt the gambling came to a sudden halt for an hour every night.

Not just a comedian, but also rather smooth with the ladies too, as evidenced by no fewer than 5 appearances on LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE and 3 on THE LOVE BOAT. He was also a particular favorite on FANTASY ISLAND, and played a ladies' man who had Archie Bunker worrying about his own fading virility in a memorable 1973 episode of ALL IN THE FAMILY. Yes, folks, "Storch" and "Macking" were synonymous on TV during the freewheeling Me Decade.

So, let us all gather around and toast one of the all time greats on the happy occasion of his 87th birthday! Happy Birthday Mr. Storch, and we're all looking forward to that autobiography and documentary film ("Who Sez I'm Dead?" is the title).   

Larry's MySpace has a lot of cool video links and the latest news on a true American legend.

But it is missing Larry's appearance in THE ARISTOCRATS (2005), which I can't resist closing our tribute with.  Don't watch it at work though--there's a reason it isn't on the family friendly MySpace page.