The Sound of the Crowd

I’ve heard of the rule of threes, but this is ridiculous*

And now Dan O’Herlihy is dead. I’m part of the generation that, as the Guardian’s obituary notes, came to know the actor’s work in the ’80s through his appearances in several genre films.

Some of these films were good (Robocop), some were bad (Halloween III: Season of the Witch), and some sort of in-between: The Last Starfighter was great fun when I was 12 or 13, but I saw it again recently and the special f/x have not held up. O’Herilhy’s performance, behind makeup as the lizard-like alien Grig was still charming, however, and remains for me one of the great “mask” performances.

He was also in the original Fail-Safe and, in his last role, made a brief but strong appearance as Joseph Kennedy in HBO’s Rat-Pack TV movie. This required him to embody the only man in the country if not the world who could intimidate Frank Sinatra (as played by Ray Liotta) and bring him to heel. He made me belive it.

So thanks for some fun times, Mr. O’Herlihy.

*And in case any of you are keeping track, no, I have nothing to say about Sandra Dee apart from Grease jokes you can think up on your own and noting she was Bobby Darin’s first wife.

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