Glazer: Scribe Salutes Tony Scott, Phyllis Diller, Departed Hollywood Icons

Tony Scott directed my good friend TJ Miller in Unstoppable just over a year ago… 

It starred Denzel Washington and Chris Pine. It would be Scott’s last work. He took his own life two days ago. Jumped off a bridge in California. He had a terrible illness that he would not survive, so he decided to end it all, an action director to the very end.

We also lost Phyllis Diller who died in her sleep at age 95 – a life well lived.

Tony and his brother Ridley, may have been the two best action directors of our time. Tony had monster hits like Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop ll, Crimson Tide, True Romance, Man On Fire and Enemy of The State.

I always enjoyed watching True Romance, one of my favorite thrillers, an underrated picture that launched the career of  James Gandolfini, best known as Tony Soprano of the HBO smash hit THE SOPRANOS.

It’s getting a little closer to home for us Baby Boomers. All of our entertainment heroes are checking out. I still have a hard time thinking about Paul Newman and Jack Lemmon being gone.

I met Lemmon a few times in LA and he seemed to be a fun-loving and kind man. I was at a Beverly Hills restaurant, midday standing at the bar reading a script I was working on and Jack Lemmon was next to me. We were the only ones in the room. I pulled out a cigarette, had no lighter, checked my pockets and Mister Lemmon leaned in and lit my Marlboro (you could smoke in restaurants in the 80’s).

He asked what I was working on and we spoke.  He gave me some advice and well, I was so flattered that he gave me his time. A legend helping a 27 year old newbie in Hollywood.

It stays with you.

When we see these household names die, it is a constant reminder of how short and precious our lives truly are. A reminder to try to enjoy each day and not get so down on ourselves for not always reaching our goals.

Nobody does it all.

I look at these two very different stars and see their careers and lives reduced to a few articles online or in the papers and a mention or two on talk shows….then poof, they’re gone. And sadly pretty much forgotten. All that hard work, the rare people who made it big…bigger than life itself at times. Even these giant’s time comes to a sad end with death.

We’re all on that same bus.

I used to think their body of work would live long after they were gone…the Cagney‘s, the Edward G.Robinson‘s, the Clark Gable‘s, the Paul Newman‘s – but now I’m not so sure. Most young people have never heard of any of these famous stars.

People under 30 don’t know their movies, which only play on TMC (thank you Ted Turner).

Yes, some of the not too old ones land on HBO or CINEMAX sometimes, but less and less.

So in time they may totally vanish. Kinda like trying to catch a radio station that plays THE BYRDS or old DAVE CLARK FIVE. Or even THE BEATLES.

They’re all gone and on the way to being forgotten.

We live in the time it’s only hot for a few days.

The fame game is just for the moment and doesn’t usually last long anymore. Not too many careers will end up as long or as successful as people like Tony Scott or Phyllis Diller.

We have entered the era of button pushing, iPhones, meaningless nonsense on websites, text your ass off, no live calls and people are more and more reduced to being in a cube working on that next APP.

The adventure of life is now smaller and harder to find.

The computer generation has taken it all away.

“You’re just getting old and don’t get it Craig. Computers are wonderful.”

Really? I’m not so sure about that.

As for me, well, I’m glad I lived in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. That seems like the best of this past century. Seeing these accomplished men and women pass reminds me of that.

I was lucky to have lived in a time when adventure was still available. I’m sure it’s still out there, just harder and harder to find.

Tony and Phyllis you will both now join that growing list of true Hollywood Icons who are no more.

I for one will miss you all.

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27 Responses to Glazer: Scribe Salutes Tony Scott, Phyllis Diller, Departed Hollywood Icons

  1. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Wow. Down to repeating the pieces of his blogs within itself.

  2. chuck says:

    Me ‘n Drexl Spivey think it is “white boy day” Glaze. Killer article.

    The scene in the trailer with Dennis Hopper and Chris Walken is one of the best, if not the best bit Hollywood ever produced.

    “I’ll take that Chesterfield now.” That line follows Walkin’s Sicilian sililoquy, delivered with such cool, slow, staccato malevolence, that it would creep out your unborn children.

    Your take on computers in conjuction with movies is interesting. I think what you’re trying to say is computers, like computer generated special effects are great in the movies, but with no writers, no plot, no heart, the effort falls flat.

    Great article Glaze.

    • Craig Glazer says:

      Thanks Chuck…glad you relate…yes computers have taken so much away from film and music, in fact all entertainment….soon TV, film and music will all just be on some sort of website…on your phone and computer at home, likely few if any movie theaters or radio with any real new music, in fact now there is little new music on radio…I think radio may outlive movie houses…us needing to hear something in the car with a human touch like local news,weather, sports, government…it won’t be pretty….so no I am not a fan, yet I also am being forced to do a web show with the cartoon sereis…on stanfords…so there you go..wanted it on tv sereis…

    • Lance the Intern says:

      Maybe Glazer can confirm — I’ve always heard that the Walken/Hopper trailer scene in “True Romance” was actually unscripted …..

      • Craig Glazer says:

        Like many ‘great scenes’ thats likely, I heard that on this picture and many others…scripts are ‘road maps’ for the most part…especially when it comes to speaking parts…big stars often change those lines to suit themselves…I don’t know for sure on this picture…I have seen it like 30 times, always find something new in the movie…sadly them make few of these anymore…as Chuck pointed out..its all special effects, bathroom humor and chase and shoot for the most part..hard to get a real movie made, Hollywood fears there is too small of an audience out there for those…I disagree but it is tougher with the young market so inexperienced in life and adventures…they are much more limited with the ‘facebook’ age going on and getting worse

  3. Bella says:

    It’s Lemmon.

  4. mark smith says:

    Can you imagine them making a Glengarry Glen Ross or Cool Hand Luke today? Movies that are all about dialogue, no special effects.’ What passes for actors today couldnt carry a movie like those based on their acting chops and screen presence. Who knows, maybe in 20 years when movies are holograms in your living room, some old guy will bemoan the loss of the good old days when they made epic films like Transformers with great actors like Shia Lebeouf……..but I doubt it.

  5. tiad says:

    “…(you could smoke in restaurants in the 80′s)”

    Wow, grandpa, life sure was different back then!

    • Craig Glazer says:

      yeah its been forever since they outlawed it…like what five years…and just last year we had a smoking permit…yeah that was forever ago, huh….I like it when a guy younger, if you are, has one weapon…you are older….I didn’t hear that til I turned 50 plus cause I look so damn good, still do, but it was a way younger guys like maybe you would defend seeing me with hotter girls then they had or would ever have…me when I was like early 20’s and I’d see that rare older guy that was 40,50 maybe pull up looking cool, dressed well, in shape with a babe, I’d think, “MAN ONE DAY WHEN I GET OLDER I’LL BE COOL LIKE THAT GUY” so you see that’s how to look at it….I sure didn’t look at Paul Newman or any of those household name stars as ‘grandpa’ I thought wow those men did what guys like you can only dream of doing…you never even get a smell of it…if you live a minute one day you will enter your middle life and then some…for your sake maybe you will be 10% of the man I am now or was…let alone these guys.

  6. Orphan of the Road says:

    Not to hijack the thread but the crew of Full Throttle Saloon has just checked into The Admiral Motel on Independence Avenue.

    Nothing but the best for Dare’s buddies, eh Craig?

    We are born terminal, only the rocks live forever.

    • mark smith says:

      They had to put em somewhere since the Rochester closed down. Jeeze, you’d think they could have sprung for at least a motel 6.

      • Craig Glazer says:

        I’m sure they will all be in a very nice hotel…these guys have more money than YOU! I’m also sure it will be a sold out venue. Just saying…why the hate? I thought you loved rock!

        • Orphan of the Road says:

          Craig, you couldn’t give them a “NO DIVE” list?

          No hate, just a WTF, must be a story there. But you have to admit it is funny. Did ya party down with them or was this all the hired help could afford?

          Wilson & I would have shared a spot under-the-bridge rather than that joint. I’m thinking who ever is booking for the crew is about to be fired. (HINT: DO NOT Google “closest motel to venue” and expect anything good to come of those places.

          The photo is priceless.

    • smartman says:

      Close to whores and drugs. Sounds about right.

    • Serious music lover says:

      Isnt that a 4 bar hotel?

  7. paulwilsonkc says:

    Tony Scott, not sick at all when he jumped. Wonder what he was thinking? He knew there would be an autopsy…

    From the UK Examiner:

    The British-born film-maker, 68, reportedly had the illness when he leapt from a bridge in Los Angeles on Sunday.

    But his wife Donna, mother of his 12-year-old twin sons, has told investigators that the US media accounts were “absolutely false”. She said that Scott, whose films also included Crimson Tide and True Romance, was healthy and clear of anearlier bout of cancer.

      • Craig Glazer says:

        Yes I heard he in the end was not ill, I got that from media early reports…that latter changed…who knows why? They thought Junior Seau, former NFL great, was suffereing from some brain issues…turns out he wasn’t so why shoot yourself in the chest with a shotgun..

        usually these are financial or romantic issues…wife left, girl left, money left…90% of the time, or as we were first told, medical problems, lastly mental problems created by the above…

        • mike says:

          Some people have issues with depression with no logical cause for it. Don Harmann had it all yet still could not beat his depression. From what I understand, some psychological conditions such as bipolar disorder have stages of depression. Some very creative and sucessful people have been bipolar as they can do amazing things when they are in their manic stage only to get depressed later.

  8. Rick Nichols says:

    She was always a riot, a real thriller,
    And who could ever forget her crazy hair?
    So may you R.I.P., Miss Phyllis Diller,
    While we search for reruns still on the air.

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