Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Get Ready to Forget the "Match Game" Star! #2: Elaine Joyce
This opening shot (from a Match Game '75) is synonymous with how I remember first seeing her back in the '70s; she's one of the few celebrities who looked good in this stylized... uh, "bowl cut" hairdo. (Bad example: Robbie Rist.)
The original choice for emcee was Larry Blyden, previously the last host of What's My Line? (the syndicated version). He taped the pilot for ABC (a formality as the Mark Goodson and Bill Todman production was a shoo-in) in late May of '75. Shortly after, he would die in a car accident while on vacation in Morocco, about three weeks before the production resumed. Rather than delay the program's premiere (for a period of mourning), they selected Bobby as a last moment replacement. A pall was cast over the set during Showoffs' run; Bobby didn't altogether click with viewers, too, and the show only ran six months after its June 30th bow.
J. D. Salinger (yes, the author of Catcher in the Rye); after a period of correspondence, a secret relationship followed. While this odd pairing went on, Elaine married John Levoff, a TV producer, with whom she had a son, Michael. (She had a daughter, Taylor, with Bobby.) Beyond a May '82 newspaper report that Salinger was spotted in Jacksonville, FL, to see a play Elaine was in, their affair lasted quietly through the latter '80s, and her second marriage crumbled in due course.
Neil Simon (The Odd Couple and... [shudder] ...The Odd Couple II movie), and they are together to the present day. They've even collaborated together, as illustrated by this poster of a show she did in 2007. Considering her connections to Salinger and Simon, the evidence strongly suggests Elaine is anything but the intellectual lightweight she sometimes portrayed in some of her many film and TV roles. (This is not implying Bobby Van was an idiot, too; his only bad judgement call seems to have been participating in the awful musical remake of Lost Horizon in 1973!)
"I never shared [my dressing room] with Elaine Joyce. I was never crazy about her."
"I used to sit in the 'dummy' seat... Elaine Joyce sat there a lot."
In closing, how do you respond to Brett's remarks, Elaine?
Keeping it trivial....
Fang Shih-yu, Shaolin ______.