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Mame actor Leonard Stone dies at 87


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Leonard Stone, who appeared as the stage manager in Mame ("ILL FATED! ILL FATED!!!") and had recuring roles in dozens of TV series including Alice, Quincy, and Desilu productions -- but is probably best known today as Sam Beauregard in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory -- has died at 87:

 

http://www.tmz.com/2011/11/03/willy-wonka-leonard-stone-violet-dead-dies/

 

 

"Remember -- with Sam B. it's a guarantee! :D "

 

"11 o'clock call tomorrow! Replacement for the Moon Lady....Sorry, Moon Lady."

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Leonard Stone, who appeared as the stage manager in Mame ("ILL FATED! ILL FATED!!!") and had recuring roles in dozens of TV series including Alice, Quincy, and Desilu productions -- but is probably best known today as Sam Beauregard in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory -- has died at 87:

 

http://www.tmz.com/2...olet-dead-dies/

 

 

"Remember -- with Sam B. it's a guarantee! :D "

 

"11 o'clock call tomorrow! Replacement for the Moon Lady....Sorry, Moon Lady."

Wow ....must have been one of the last survivors, huh? Sad.

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Wow ....must have been one of the last survivors, huh? Sad.

 

 

The sad thing about Mr. Stone's passing is that I had YET TO COME ACROSS his name, for my listing of 'alives'; I feel sad about that; but, THANKS to this wonderful forum, I now have him in my births and deaths, as well as the body of the chronology!!!! THANKS to all of you.

 

Regards, Joyce

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What about that Kirby kid (Patrick)? Is he gone too?

 

I don't think anyone knows. He seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. Others from the Mame cast still with us include:

 

Jane Connell (Agnes Gooch)

 

Bruce Davison (Old Patrick)

 

Doria Cook (Gloria Upson)

 

Patrick Labyorteaux (Peter)

 

Anyone know what Pegeen is up to these days?

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I don't think anyone knows. He seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. Others from the Mame cast still with us include:

 

Jane Connell (Agnes Gooch)

 

Bruce Davison (Old Patrick)

 

Doria Cook (Gloria Upson)

 

Patrick Labyorteaux (Peter)

 

Anyone know what Pegeen is up to these days?

Doria Cook is still around????? So nice to hear. I always watch anything Bruce is in, he's so great, didn't he get an Oscar nod for Longtime Companion? And i've seen Patrick on JAG, he still has the same LOOK he had as little Peter. I thought somebody mentionned Jane was still working, loved HER!

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Doria Cook is still around?????

 

Yes, and married to Craig T. Nelson so she is often seen at his side at various industry events.

 

I thought somebody mentionned Jane was still working, loved HER!

 

Jane is essentially retired now. I don't think she has appeared in anything since taking over for Kathleen Freeman upon her death in the Broadway version of The Full Monty.

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Here is a 2004 interview with Jane where she talks about retiring:

 

From KenLudwig.com

 

Born to Clown - An Interview With Jane Connell, Ludwig's Favorite Actress

 

Born to clown

Character actress a veteran comedian of TV, film, Broadway

By EVERETT EVANS

November 1, 2004

Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

 

"I was born a character person," Jane Connell declares.

 

"I was always eccentric, never a conventional beauty. I grew up in the Depression, the youngest of four kids. I wanted to make people laugh, because making my family laugh helped us forget our concerns. And I found that I could do it."

 

Connell has been making people laugh ever since, via TV appearances, occasional films and more than a dozen notable Broadway shows. With her droll manner and flair for the comic gesture, inflection and facial expression, she specializes in odd ducks -- most famously in the 1966 hit Mame, originating the role of mousy nanny Agnes Gooch.

 

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre describes her as "a tiny woman with a giant, squeaking voice" and "a favorite supporting player on Broadway for more than 40 years." She's upholding that tradition in the Alley Theatre's world premiere comedy, Leading Ladies. Connell plays Florence, a rich old woman, purportedly dying yet perpetually rallying, duped by two actors masquerading as her long-lost nieces.

 

Playwright Ken Ludwig created the role for Connell; it's her fifth time in one of his shows. Besides romping through his backstage farces Lend Me a Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo, she played the hero's bossy mom in the hit musical Crazy for You and the Widow Douglas in the short-lived Tom Sawyer.

 

Born and raised in Berkeley, Calif., Jane Sperry Bennett met actor Gordon Connell when he played piano for a college melodrama. They wed in 1948, gained early experience on radio and toured in stock. When their Straw Hat Revue did well at summer theaters in the Northeast, they decided to brave New York. Connell made her New York debut in the hit 1955 off-Broadway staging of The Threepenny Opera. Her Broadway bow came the next year in New Faces of 1956, introducing the sardonic paean April in Fairbanks ("I'll never leave it... alive") and sharing a dressing room with fellow "new face" Maggie Smith

 

She played wacky Princess Winnifred in the London premiere of Once Upon a Mattress. "I was absolutely thrilled to get that role," Connell says. "Gordon was doing Julius Monk's Upstairs at the Downstairs, so our daughters (then 2 and 7) came to London with me." Her daughters, both musicians, live in New York.

 

Her big break came in Mame, for which Broadway's top composer of the '60s, Jerry Herman, crafted a big comic solo (Gooch's Song) especially for her.

 

"We knew the show would be a smash. Jerry's songs, Gene Saks' direction. It had strokes of genius, like Jerry saying, 'I don't want to open with a big number, I want just these two sad little figures adrift in New York.'" So Connell as Gooch launched the brassy musical with, of all things, a hymn ("St. Bridget, deliver us to Beekman Place") as she led orphaned Patrick in search of his Auntie Mame.

 

Connell and family spent most of the 1970s in Hollywood. Her TV work included a half-dozen turns on Bewitched in such typically Connell roles as Queen Victoria and Mother Goose. "But I always found (TV work) a bit nerve-wracking. I kept thinking how things should be done. I don't like feeling rushed. After 10 years, we felt lonesome for New York and we moved back."

 

...

 

Another artist's passing colored Connell's triumphantly funny turn in The Full Monty. She assumed the role of feisty accompanist Jeannette in 2001 when its originator, Kathleen Freeman, became ill with cancer. After Freeman's death, Connell played it for a year on Broadway, then toured for more than a year. Showgoers convulsed by her gravel-voiced sarcasm when the show played here last year likely had no inkling of the backstage shadows.

"I loved the character," Connell says. "But there was too much emotion wrapped up in Kathleen's death to fully enjoy it. I liked Kathleen so much and she was so great in it. Eventually, I could lose myself in the show. But the situation affected my feelings about it."

 

Connell, who turned 79 Wednesday, notes one advantage of maturity.

 

"When I was young, I was always playing old women. In Threepenny, I wasn't 30 yet but I played the over-50 Mrs. Peachum. At the opening night party, after I'd taken off my makeup, Helen Hayes said to her husband Charles MacArthur, 'Come over here and see Jane, who's playing Mrs. Peachum. She's not even 50!'

 

"In those days, I put so many lines in my face. I don't have to put them in any more. "

Connell has every expectation that Ladies will go to Broadway. "Ken wants it to. And the Helen Hayes (Theatre), which will be perfect for it, is going to be free in January."

 

She also says this will be her last stage role. "I don't want to have to try to memorize anything else. I'm not interested in another role. I want to take time off and take care of my other responsibilities. So this will be it. I can do this role till I actually croak."

 

A lot more of the interview -- and photos! -- at the source: http://www.kenludwig.com/interviews/born_to_clown_an_interview_with_jane_connell_ludwigs_favorit.php

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Yes, and married to Craig T. Nelson so she is often seen at his side at various industry events.

 

OMG, never noticed her sitting beside him anywhere, will look for her now.

 

Jane is essentially retired now. I don't think she has appeared in anything since taking over for Kathleen Freeman upon her death in the Broadway version of The Full Monty.

Oh yeah, MONTY, that's where i last heard about her.

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Here is a 2004 interview with Jane where she talks about retiring:

 

From KenLudwig.com

 

 

 

A lot more of the interview -- and photos! -- at the source: http://www.kenludwig.com/interviews/born_to_clown_an_interview_with_jane_connell_ludwigs_favorit.php

OMG, i DO remember her as Queen Victoria on Bewitched!!!!!

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Mame's James E. Brodhead (the floorwalker) is still alive and was interviewed for the Lucy Calls th President DVD.

 

 

Here's what I have for James Brodhead:

 

 

 

January 30:

 

James E. Brodhead, Lucille Ball guest, (“Here's Lucy”) “The Big Game”, and “Lucy and Joan Rivers Do Jury Duty”, 1973; with Lucille, as Floorwalker, Mame, 1974; as well as with Lucille, Working with Lucy” A Conversation with James E. Brodhead, video documentary short, 2010, is born this date in 1932.

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