Mickey Rooney. 340 movies and TV shows, and eight wives. The little man lived BIG.
Harold Ramis. He wrote Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack, Stripes and Ghostbusters. Every single best comedy of the 80s. And then the 90s came and he wrote Groundhog Day.
Eli Wallach. 169 movies and TV shows. One wife – for 65 years.
Elaine Stritch. I blogged about her here.
James Garner. So cool, he almost out-cooled Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. And if you can stomach Mel Gibson, see James steal Maverick.
Robin Williams. I have to re-post the story my friend Jamie told me: “Robin used to bring his cars in to my dad’s old repair shop. My dad said he was the funniest guy ever and equally cool. He brought everybody lunch when he came in to the joint.”
Joan Rivers. Powerful scene in the documentary about her: in the middle of doing her act at a casino in Wisconsin, Joan makes a Helen Keller joke (again, she is so not funny), and an uptight redneck in the audience goes nuts because he has a deaf son. Joan blasts him, and as the dude storms out she tells him her mother was deaf, and reminds him that we need to laugh or we’ll go crazy.
Richard Attenborough. Also a standout guy in The Great Escape. Maybe most well-known for his role in Jurassic Park, but don’t forget he directed Chaplin, Gandhi and one of my dad’s favorites: A Bridge Too Far.
Jan Hooks. Current “Saturday Night Live” cast member Aidy Bryant on Jan Hooks, who was so good at playing it straight: “I feel like that’s such a skill, particularly at SNL, because you’re already juggling so many weird things that you wouldn’t juggle in a normal television show. You’re thinking about cards and all these different things like, okay, I know this is being shot on this camera, so I need to turn this way. And then it’s a quick cut to that one, and I need to turn the other way. There’s so much technical stuff, but whenever I watch Jan, I’m like, wow, she is full-throttle comfortable performing. It seems like she’s not even thinking for a moment about any of that stuff. On this show, 80 percent of what we do is figuring out just how to do it. You just see her performing 100 percent and never think, Oh, I caught her looking at a card, or I caught her – anything. You never see that with her, ever.”
Don Pardo. The average “SNL” cast member spends 3.7 years on the show. Don was the announcer until he was 95.