Monday, January 21, 2008

Suzanne Pleshette


Sadly, we lost Suzanne Pleshette yesterday, who died from complications following a battle with lung cancer. This follows the death only about a year ago of her husband, comedian Tom Poston, whom she'd married late in life, after both had been widowed by previous spouses. I ran this caricature once before in celebration of Bob Newhart's birthday, as "The Bob Newhart Show" remains one of my alltime favourite sitcoms. Now, hearing about Suzanne Pleshette's death at 70, I find it hard to believe that it's been over 30 years since that show was originally on the air.

For many of my generation, Suzanne Pleshette represented the type of woman we associate with entertainment of the 60's and 70's. She was attractive and sophisticated, and always a class act. In addition to the years she played Emily Hartley on "The Bob Newhart Show", I remember her as a familiar presence in some of the Disney films of my youth, including "Blackbeard's Ghost", "The Ugly Dachshund", and "The Shaggy D.A.", all of which teamed her up with Disney regular, Dean Jones, with whom she had a natural onscreen chemistry. She also costarred alongside one of my very favourite actors, James Garner, in "Support Your Local Gunfighter". With the advent of DVD, many of the TV shows I loved when I was young have been released in the last few years, enabling me to bask in the warm glow of nostalgia. Again, Suzanne Pleshette turns up in guest roles on some of these series. She played opposite Eddie Albert in a first season episode of "Columbo", and she was in the very first episode of "Wild Wild West", starting the trend that show would become famous for - having a different gorgeous woman in every show opposite Robert Conrad, much like the tradition of the Bond girls.

After hearing of Suzanne's passing yesterday, I watched an episode of "The Bob Newhart Show" in tribute to her. She and Bob were just so great together and I miss the classiness of that era of TV. Goodnight, sweet Suzanne...

(Please also see Jim Hill's site for another look back at Suzanne's career, with an emphasis on her films for Disney)

10 comments:

Weirdo said...

It is sad to hear about Suzanne Pleshette. I've heard from my dad that she was an incredible talent. I should check out the DVD's of "The Bob Newhart Show". By the way, I love your caricatures. They have a lot of life and personality in them. I say put those in a cartoon of your own.

Craig Zablo said...

Well said. She will be missed.

Bitter Animator said...

The older I get, the more people die.

She was very talented and truly beautiful. Your drawing of Bob Newhart is hilarious - it's absolutely spot-on!

David Nethery said...

Oh, my gosh ! I hadn't heard until I read your blog entry.

Susanne was so lovely, such a beautiful woman , but also a wonderful comedian .

I just watched her last night in an episode of Columbo on DVD.

She was wonderful as the Witch and her twin sister in Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" (the English language version) .

Dan said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!! PETE!!!!!!!! HERE I AM AGAIN!!!!!!!THIS IS OFFICIALLYYYYYY ANOUNCED BEING INVADED BY DAN NOW!!! HOHOHOHO~~~~~~
gezzzz...this world is so TINY! how did u know i invaded Animation Nation??? its sooo freaky how you know it so fast!!!
there r sooo many good artists there, I am like a little tiny tin at the bottom of the mountain and admiring all the good sights up there! yes, im working on some of my own animation projects, and it will make my portfolio looks much stronger, I will let you know when I put them online! and, THANK YOU TONS for your encouragement!! u made me wanna cry!
PETE I LOVE YOU FOREVER!!!

Dan said...

er...sorry...i just found out I left a not very formal comment on a mamorial article...next time i will make sure I read the artical before I put comment behind it...

Suzanne Pleshette, a talented beautiful woman, She will be missed....

Pete Emslie said...

Dan, you're one wacky little Chinese gal. :)

Don't worry about it. Fact is, two of the last three topics have been memorial pieces, so there hasn't been much opportunity to cut loose on here. I got a chuckle out of seeing you turn up on Animation Nation, so I left the comment on your site. I hope you are able to get some leads on AN - it never hurts to network.

Dan said...

networking........=_=|||as much as i want to be good at it, it aint easy...we r animators, we r all nice and shy kids....(well, dont laugh becoz i said im shy, ok?)
im trying...trying......................HOW DID U DO IT???!!!

Terry Elliott said...

Great Pleshette cartoon, but you forgot to mention her role in Hitchcock's "The Birds". Stunning!!! Not to mention "Support Your Local Gunfighter". What a beauty, indeed. And talented. Quite the contrast to the likes of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Again, great post. Good job!

Jim Hopkins said...
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