Web Dreamtime
SiteSearch Google

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Requiem for a Top Cat - Arnold Stang 1918-2009

via The New York Times: "Arnold Stang, a character actor whose bespectacled, owlish face and nasal urban twang gave him a singular and recognizable persona, whether on radio or television, in the movies or in advertisements, or even in cartoons, died on Sunday in Newton, Mass. He was 91 and lived in Needham, Mass."

Which means he was living about 45 miles from me.  I wish I had known that.  I would have tried to have visited, and perhaps even interview, Mr. Stang if I knew he was that close.  Missed opportunity.

Among his other accomplishments, Arnold Stang was the voice of Top Cat, whose best friends got to call him T.C. "providing it was with dignity," as the theme song goes. And that's the Theme Time Radio Hour connection, if you're wondering. 

If you're around my age, you knew Stang from a variety of appearances, as the classic 96 lb. weakling on television shows and commercials and even paired with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the latter's first movie, "Hercules in New York."  You may also know Stang from his great comedic turn in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. According to Mark Evanier, "...Arnold was one of the few participants in that film to suffer an injury. At the hotel where the cast was staying, he slipped by the swimming pool and broke his wrist. The cast is well-concealed during the famous scene where he, Marvin Kaplan and Jonathan Winters destroy a gas station."

He will be missed.  Image above courtesy of Dreamtime pal "astang55," aka Carol, whose screen name always makes me smile.  The original was a gif animation, which got lost in translation.  Carol also passes on this wonderful Arnold Stang Flicker set, a very nice memorial to his memory.