Friday, June 19, 2015

A Warrior Woman, A SPECTRE Agent and A Continental Charmer….Day 170 of Bond 365

Virginia Hey
Born this day in 1952
Rubavitch in The Living Daylights

Blond beauty Virginia Hey was originally from New South Wales, Australia. As a lean, tall woman, it is no surprise that she had a successful modeling career. She made her film debut in the Mel Gibson vehicle Mad Max 2: Road Warrior in which Hey was cast as ‘Warrior Woman.’ From there, she went on to work on a number of tv series and films. She is probably best known for her role on the sci-fi show Farscape in which she was Pa’u Zotoh Zhaar and Dr. Jane Komenski from 1999 through 2002. In addition, she lent her voice for her television show character in the video game Farscape: The Game (2002).  In 2000, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films nominated Hey in the category of Best Genre TV Supporting Actress for her work on Farscape.

I met Hey at one of the Hollywood Collector’s Shows back in 2010 or 2011. At that time, Hey talked about her new line of perfumes and candles that she had designed, from the scent to package. Every bit of her product line conveyed a sense of exquisite elegance. I bought a bottle and a candle and they are wonderful, as was Hey.

Teru Shimada
Passed away this day 1998
Mr. Osato in You Only Live Twice

As I was looking up Teru Shimada, I recognized his face immediately from many popular television shows over the years. Shimada was born in Mito, Japan and began his acting career in an uncredited role as ‘Japanese Dignitary’ in The Washington Masquerade (1932) when the “talkies” were still considered a new cinematic innovation.

Although Shimada had been living in the US since the early 1930s, during World War II he was interned at the Poston War Relocation Center located on the border of Arizona and California.

Shimada spent his first two decades in film before venturing into guest appearances on the small screen in 1956 for the show, Cavalcade of America. Thereafter, he balanced television and film appearances throughout the rest of his career. His last role was on The Six Million Dollar Man in which he played Shige Ishikawa in the 1975 episode ‘The Wolf Boy.’

 Louis Jourdan
Born this day in 1921
Kamal Khan in Octopussy

It seems just like it was yesterday that we heard of Louis Jourdan’s passing on February 14 (see entry here) at the age of 93. Jourdan was born Louis Robert Gendre in Marseille, France. He gained his education in France, Britain and Turkey, which probably accounts in part for his refined and cultured demeanor he is often associated with on screen.

Jourdan was cast in his first role in Le corsaire (1939) on the eve of World War II. He practiced his English on tourists that would stay at the hotels, such as the Cannes Grand Hotel, that his father managed. However, during the war the Gestapo arrested his father and resulted in Jourdan and his brothers, director Pierre Jourdan and assistant director Robert Gendre, to join the French Resistance. To make matters worse for Jourdan, he refused to act in National Socialist propaganda films, so he acting career was halted.

Things turned around for Jourdan after the war. Producer David O. Selznick invited him to Hollywood to appear as Andre Latour in the Gregory Peck and Charles Laughton film, The Paradine Case (1947). Jourdan stayed in the US and continued to work in Hollywood. In the 1950s, he expanded into international productions and in 1958 he starred in Gigi with Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier. I think it may have been the first movie I saw of his and I was enamored with his charm, grace and exceptional good looks. Unfortunately, it was probably roles such as this one led him eventually to say of himself that he “was the French cliché” because he had been typecast into roles as a continental charmer and French lover. 

From the 1960s through to the early 1990s, Jourdan made guest appearances in tv shows and continued to star in films. His last role was in the film Year of the Comet (1992) alongside Penelope Ann Miller and Tim Daly. I am rather surprised that for the length of his career, he has only 87 acting credits.

Jourdan has been honored with two Stars on the Walk of Fame back in 1960. The stars honor Jourdan for: Television, located at 6445 Hollywood Blvd and Recording, located at 6153 Hollywood Blvd. I will have to visit his stars one of these days when I'm up in Los Angeles. 

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