Thursday, May 8, 2008

Image du Jour

Let's enjoy thinking, for a moment and since we've already talked about one Mabel today, about Mabel Albertson. Her career stretched from a bit part in 1928 to a TV movie (from a Dorothy Parker short story, and with Cloris Leachman!) in 1975.

My favorite of her gallery of eccentrics, termagents, and harridans, however, has got to be the serenely oblivous Mrs. Van Hoskins, resplendent in hot pants, in 1972's What's Up, Doc?, gamely being tripped up by bumbling spies and generally holding her own against la Streisand and Madeline Kahn (fun fact: it was Kahn's debut film, and Albertson's last).

She was of course a TV staple, both as a regular (fondly remembered as Phyllis "Frank, I have a sick headache" Stephens on Bewitched) and a welcome guest (does anybody remember a series called "Accidental Family"?).

Earlier, her films, at least from their titles, seem to have been all over the place, from (and here's one for the opera queens ) playing Mary Garden in So This is Love, the Grace Moore story, to turning up in Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki.

She even managed to keep a straight face while having to lip-synch a line of Yves Montand singing "Come Back to Me" in another Streisand vehicle, On a Clear Day, which God knows is more than I could do.

1 comment:

  1. She was actor Jack Albertson's sister, incidentally. Another role I loved her in was as Mrs. Sprague, the ultra-controlling mother of Howard Sprague in a few later episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show."