Rose Marie & Michael Feinstein attend Academy’s Johnny Mercer Tribute
On Nov. 5, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented a tribute to lyricist/songwriter Johnny Mercer at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The evening was hosted by singer/pianist Michael Feinstein.
Johnny Mercer (born Nov. 18, 1909, in Savannah, Georgia; died June 25, 1976, in Los Angeles) is credited for the lyrics of more than 1,700 songs, including the following Oscar winners:
- “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” from George Sidney’s The Harvey Girls (1946).
Music: Harry Warren.
Cast: Judy Garland. John Hodiak. Angela Lansbury. Ray Bolger. Preston Foster. Virginia O’Brien.
- “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening” from Here Comes the Groom (1951).
Music: Hoagy Carmichael.
Cast: Bing Crosby. Jane Wyman. Alexis Smith. Franchot Tone. Robert Keith. H.B. Warner.
- “Moon River” from Blake Edwards’ Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).
Music: Henry Mancini.
Cast: Audrey Hepburn. George Peppard. Patricia Neal. Buddy Ebsen.
- “Days of Wine and Roses” from Blake Edwards’ Days of Wine and Roses (1962).
Music: Henry Mancini.
Cast: Jack Lemmon. Lee Remick. Charles Bickford.
Rose Marie movies
Although best known for her countless television appearances, including recurring roles in My Sister Eileen, The Doris Day Show, Hannibal, and The Dick Van Dyke Show – the last one earned her three Emmy nominations in the early 1960s – Rose Marie could also be spotted on the big screen in about a dozen films (including shorts). These were mostly minor fare, beginning in 1932 – when she was billed as (the singing) Baby Rose Marie.
Here are a couple of titles:
- Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966).
Director: Bernard Girard.
Cast: James Coburn. Camilla Sparv. Aldo Ray. Robert Webber. Rose Marie. Uncredited: Harrison Ford. Vic Tayback.
- Top Banana (1954).
Director: Alfred E. Green.
Cast: Phil Silvers. Rose Marie. Danny Scholl. Judy Lynn. Jack Albertson.
The former Baby Rose Marie also provided the voice of, gasp!, Norman Bates’ mother in Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho. (Shades of Mercedes McCambridge providing the voice of the devil-possessed Linda Blair in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist.) Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, and Julianne Moore starred in the old Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, and Vera Miles roles.
Michael Feinstein movies
Michael Feinstein has been featured in cameos as himself in a trio of motion pictures, notably Paul Bartel’s Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989), starring Jacqueline Bisset and Ray Sharkey.
On television, Michael Feinstein could be spotted in about half a dozen productions, including a bit part as a pianist in John Erman’s TV movie The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1987), starring Ann-Margret, Claudette Colbert, and Stephen Collins; and in a guest role in the series The Closer, with Tom Selleck, Edward Asner, and Penelope Ann Miller.
His most recent Grammy nomination was for the 2009 album The Sinatra Project. Previous albums include Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which also earned him a Grammy nod; Remember: Michael Feinstein Sings Irving Berlin; and Michael & George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin. On TV he produced and presented the 2003 PBS special The Great American Songbook.
Next, following a faux public spat, Michael Feinstein and Barry Humphries – as Dame Edna Everage – will be joining forces in the Broadway show All About Me, to be directed by Jerry Zaks and written by Christopher Durang.
Rose Marie and Michael Feinstein photo: Greg Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.
Barry Humphries a.k.a. Dame Edna movies
Best known as his female alter ego, Dame Edna Everage (a precursor to Dustin Hoffman’s Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie), the Australian-born Barry Humphries (on Feb. 17, 1934, in Melbourne) has been featured in a couple of dozen movies in the last four decades.
Titles (sometimes billed as Dame Edna Everage) include his film debut in Stanley Donen’s Bedazzled (1967), as the deadly sin Envy opposite Peter Cook and Dudley Moore; Michael Schultz’s flop musical Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), featuring The Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, etc.; and Douglas McGrath’s Nicholas Nickleby (2002), in a dual role as Mrs. Crummles and Mr. Leadville opposite Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, and Romola Garai.
Barry Humphries and Rose Marie photo: Greg Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.
Marilyn Bergman and Alan Bergman Oscar wins
Songwriters Marilyn Bergman and husband Alan Bergman have been nominated for 16 Academy Awards, winning three times:
- Best Original Song for “The Windmills of Your Mind” from Norman Jewison’s The Thomas Crown Affair (1968).
Music: Michel Legrand.
- Best Original Song for “The Way We Were” from Sydney Pollack’s The Way We Were (1973).
Music: Marvin Hamlisch.
- Best Original Song Score / Best Adaptation Score for Barbra Streisand’s Yentl (1983).
Music: Michel Legrand.
Marilyn Bergman and Alan Bergman photo: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.
TV actress Doris Roberts’ movies
Also present at the Academy’s Johnny Mercer Tribute was veteran actress Doris Roberts (born Nov. 4, 1925, in St. Louis, Missouri).
Among Roberts’ nearly 40 film credits, mostly in small roles, are Leonard Kastle’s The Honeymoon Killers (1970), with Tony Lo Bianco and Shirley Stoler; Mark Rydell’s The Rose (1979), with Bette Midler and Alan Bates; and Beeban Kidron’s Used People (1992), with Shirley MacLaine and Marcello Mastroianni.
On television since 1951, Doris Roberts made her mark in the crime series Remington Steele, starring Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan, and the comedy series Everybody Loves Raymond, starring Ray Romano.
The former earned Roberts an Emmy nomination as Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. The latter earned her four Primetime Emmys as Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, in addition to three other nominations.
Doris Roberts received another Emmy – back in 1983 – as a guest actress in the “Cora and Arnie” episode of the series St. Elsewhere.
Doris Roberts photo: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.) website.