Friday, May 29, 2009

R.I.P, Jane Randolph

I saw the notice of actress Jane Randolph’s passing at the age of 93 at Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings yesterday and meant to comment on it but became preoccupied working on other things. You should go ahead and read her post, however—Laura mentions a couple of interesting tidbits about Randolph's career, including the fact that she served as a skating model for the icy pond sequence in the 1942 Disney film classic Bambi.

Around Rancho Yesteryear, Randolph is renowned for several films, notably Cat People (1942) and The Curse of the Cat People (1944)—and also has a goodly-sized part in the last of Universal’s serials, The Mysterious Mr. M (1946), which I reviewed here back in those halcyon Salon Blog days. (I think I’m one of the few people who actually likes Mr. M.) She also appeared in two of the films in RKO’s Falcon series: she makes a brief appearance at the end of The Falcon's Brother (1942), the film that featured the transition of the lead character from George Sanders to brother Tom Conway, and then plays the female lead in The Falcon Strikes Back (1943), the first official Conway-as-Falcon film (RKO did this as a gimmick in a few of the early Falcons before dropping the idea altogether).

But I would remiss if I forgot to single out the one performance of Randolph’s that will live on as long as there’s a DVD player in good working condition at Castle Yesteryear: she’s insurance investigator Joan Raymond in the comedy classic Bud Abbott & Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). TDOY readers are well aware that this film is a staple of the yearly Halloween film festival held in these hallowed halls, come rain or come shine.

R.I.P, Jane. You will be missed.

1 comment:

Tony Kay said...

Thanks so much for the heads-up here: Randolph's passing got no attention from most mainstream sources. I'll always love her turn in Cat People: She subverts her plucky regular-gal appeal with a streak of jealous animosity that bubbles just 'neath the surface (like so many of the movie's salient elements).