Bill Crider, a.k.a. “Death’s Maitre’d,” reports on his weblog on the passing of actress Dorothy Provine at the age of 75 after a bout with emphysema. (Ditto Mark Evanier and Toby “The Once and Future Ruler of Toobworld” O’Brien.) Provine, a sexy and vivacious actress-comedienne who was truly one of Hollywood’s most underrated talents, appeared in scores of television series and films—most notably the 1963 all-star comedy extravaganza It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963).
Dottie’s best-known silver screen roles include the titular turns in The Bonnie Parker Story (1957) and The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959), opposite Lou Costello. I’ve always had a soft spot for her performance in Who's Minding the Mint? (1967), a woefully underrated “caper” comedy directed by voice actor Howard Morris and featuring an incredible cast of comedy greats that includes Milton Berle, Victor Buono, Bob Denver and Joey Bishop. Her last film role was in another TDOY guilty pleasure, the 1968 Walt Disney romp Never a Dull Moment with Dick Van Dyke and Edward G. Robinson (she also co-starred in another Disney favorite, That Darn Cat! ).
Dorothy was also a major presence in two briefly popular television series produced by Warner Brothers in the 1950s/1960s—she played “Rocky Shaw” opposite Roger Moore in The Alaskans (1959-60) and was then cast as “Pinky Pinkham” in The Roaring 20’s (1960-62). Other television series graced by Provine’s participation include Lawman, The Real McCoys, Wagon Train, The Texan, Colt .45, Sugarfoot, Bronco, Hawaiian Eye and 77 Sunset Strip.
R.I.P, Miss Provine. You’ll be sorely missed.