Thursday, July 13, 2006


Red Buttons (1919-2006)

Boy, this is not a good week for celebrities. Now, Oscar winner Red Buttons (for Sayonara) has passed away at 87. The actor-comedian had a long career from stage, screen and television, particularly memorable for his appearances on Dean Martin's TV roasts where he did his routine about people "who never got a dinner." Here are some highlights from his long career:

Sayonara (1957): Buttons won a supporting actor Oscar as a doomed soldier in love with a Japanese woman during World War II.

Hatari (1962): He was along for the ride as John Wayne and Howard Hawks teamed on this African adventure.

The Longest Day (1962): He was one of the many in the incredibly large cast of the incredibly long war film.

They Shoot Horses, Don't They (1969): For me, Buttons was much more memorable in his turn as marathon dance contestant Sailor than he was in his Oscar-winning role.

The Poseidon Adventure (1972): I hope that the two unnecessary remakes of this disaster classic didn't lead to his demise.

Pete's Dragon (1977): He was one of Shelley Winters' less-than-reliable henchmen in this Disney outing.

He also appeared on numerous episodes of televison series including Roseanne as her mother's boyfriend, ER and the requisite stopping place for older performers: Fantasy Island and The Love Boat.

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"Pockets" was more than just along for the ride in Harari!, he was an integral part of the story. Red Buttons will be missed.
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