Friday, July 25, 2008

Her Name is ... Yolande

You do remember Yolande Bavan, don't you? I know you do, because I'm quite sure that in your various misspent youths, you must have seen the very wonderful film Parting Glances.

I know I did, dozens of times, hoping someday to live in New York and have those lives, those fabulous apartments, and especially those friends. Yolande was Betty, the wise, eccentric, heartbreakingly lovely lady who counsels Michael, puts up with Cecil, and has the best house of all.

So I was thinking of Parting Glances and of Betty the other day, and I'm happy to report that Yolande Bavan seems to be doing quite well. Her website is a little sparse, but perhaps she's just busy.

She's certainly had an interesting career; she was a friend of Billie Holiday:

And she replaced Annie Ross in the group that was, for a while, Lambert, Hendricks and Bavan:

(to my eye, this looks like an outtake from A Mighty Wind, no?)

Last fall, she joined other members of the Parting Glances cast to celebrate the film's restoration. Along with Kathy Kinney, she seems to have sailed through the years as well as or better than any of the film's male principals.

It's deeply depressing to think that a movie made while I was in college already needs restoration, but it's good to know that it's been done.

To some people, Parting Glances may be the first AIDS-themed feature, or the start of mainstreaming gays in independent pictures, or Steve Buscemi's first showy part, or even the movie with that broad from Drew Carey - but to me it will always be the dream that led me to Manhattan, and to friendships with my very own Bettys and Michaels and Roberts and Joans.

Hail Yolande!


  1. Oh, we're on the same wavelength...for some reason, "Parting Glances" popped into my head for no good reason the other night. I was in a taxi, and out of the blue, I thought of the "faggot" taxi scene from PG. Strange. Anyway...WOW. Ms. Bavan apparently drank deeply from the Fountain of Youth. If you showed me those Holiday and Hendricks, Lambert & Bavan photos without any knowledge of her involvement in "Parting Glances," I'd assume she was either dead or about 113. God bless her!

  2. I'm not sure she's not about 113, but yeah, I'll definitely have what she's having!

  3. I simply *must* find those Lamberts, Hendricks & Bavan albums now, too. LOVE me some Annie Ross, so if this chick was good enough to replace her...