TCM spends a night remembering talents who recently left us

Alicia Malone hosts tribute to a quartet of distinctive performers

Among the many ways Turner Classic Movies honors the film community is to memorialize talents who passed during the year that’s ending.

It does so with an “In Memoriam” featurette that plays frequently between the channel’s attractions throughout December. However, it also dedicates a full night to the work of several recently departed artists, which it does again as TCM’s Alicia Malone hosts an evening of four such movies Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Included: Julie Adams as a potential victim of the “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954); David Hedison – then known as Al Hedison – as a scientist whose experiment makes him “The Fly” (1958); Broadway legend Carol Channing in one of her very few films, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (1967); and Rutger Hauer as a wealthy man’s son-in-law, and possible killer, in  “Eureka” (1984).

“We get to celebrate the careers of people who may not have made headlines, but they contributed to cinematic history,” the pleasant Malone reasons. “And I feel like I say this every year, but it seems like we lost a lot of (significant) people this year, and it’s nice to have a chance to say goodbye some of them.”

Malone believes Adams “deserves way more credit than she gets, particularly in this film (‘Black Lagoon’) where she’s the only woman in this group of geologists, and has to walk the line of also being in a bathing suit while searching for this gill-man.” With “The Fly,” Malone notes Hedison “took this role that many people didn’t want to do, because it involved having your head under a cloth for most of the movie, but he was able to bring so much to that performance.”

Channing, notes Malone, “seemed to keep missing out on the screen adaptations of the stage productions she was in. She didn’t have a whole lot of film roles, but she made the most of them.” And Hauer, per Malone, “is someone different from the villains you might think of him as” in his “Eureka” part. “I just think it shows different sides of him that audiences might not have seen.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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