RIP: June Allyson, Syd Barrett
June Allyson, who died yesterday at age 88, had a long career that spanned some 65 years in film and television, so it’s a shame that most younger viewers know her only from the Depends ads she did in her later years. She was a reliable leading lady (often married on screen to Jimmy Stewart, Van Johnson, or real-life husband Dick Powell), wholesome but never saccharine. She was a faithful keeper of the flame for MGM long after the studio’s musical heyday was over, but only a handful of the films she made for them are on DVD. Her best work was surely her starring role as Jo in 1949’s Little Women, but you can also enjoy her rendition of the ballad ”Just Imagine” in 1947’s Good News or her ”Cleopatra” bit in 1946’s Till The Clouds Roll By. (Her performance in the 1949 baseball biopic The Stratton Story hits video on Aug. 15.) USA Today has a nice overview of her career here.
Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett (pictured), whose death at age 60 was announced today, also long outlived the youthful achievements that made him famous, but we never saw him grow old, since he spent 35 years as pop’s most notorious recluse, living in his mother’s basement. Barrett’s mental collapse and disappearance from public view were always shrouded in mystery, though his former band touched on them throughout 1975’s Wish You Were Here, particularly on the suite ”Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” Still, a listen to his psychedelic vaudeville tracks — most of Pink Floyd’s 1967 debut, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and his two 1970 solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett — reveals music that sounds as fresh and strange as ever. Again, USA Today steps up to the plate with this set of Barrett links. NME has a solid bio here.
addCredit(“Syd Barrett: Adrian Boot / RetnaUK”)