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REMEMBERING BETTY WHITE

Pure Gold!  That’s Betty! The Golden-est of the The Golden Girls.  A comedic miracle!  The sweetest, funniest, most delightfully charming ladies of her generation and many to follow.
I had the great joy, honor, and privilege to work with her some years ago in an episode of Hot In Cleveland. Truly a genius in her sexually playful innuendoes, her impeccable timing and delivery, the nurturing warmth of her smile and her infectious laugh.  The passion and the love she bestowed on, and shared with, others, whether they be members of the cast or crew, was a mirror and a reflection of her love and devotion to her work.  She was a consummate professional, and an inspiration to the many millions of her fans who adored her, as I did and do.
God Bless you and thank you, dear Betty, for sharing your indelible gifts with all of us.  Our thoughts and prayers with you and your family.  You have blessed us with your life and work, and we are so grateful.  Your spirit will always find us smiling in our hearts.
Stacy Keach

Remembering Ed Asner

He was a creative force, both as an actor and as a citizen of the world.  He was passionate about his work, and he was forever dedicated to the well-being of his fellow actors.
He made us laugh, and he embodied the essence of ‘the original curmudgeon’, that essence wonderfully depicted in Disney’s UP, playing the cranky widower, Carl.  
Ed loved the theater, and he gave us the pleasure of numerous stage appearances, in my opinion, none more satisfying than his performance in G.B. Shaw’s Man and Superman. 
 As a co-founding member of LA Theater Works, his performance as Sinclair Lewis’ Babbitt can only be described as inspired.  
One auspicious evening in 2017, Ed surprised me onstage at the Saban Theater, during a Terence McNally fund-raiser for the Skylight Theater. He took my head in his hands and kissed me right on the lips. The audience was as shocked as I was, but they loved it, and it remains a cherished memory of a lingering cigar aftertaste.
The legacy of Ed Asner will forever be a shining beacon of inspiration for actors who love their craft, and who aspire to improve and enhance their talents by accepting the challenges of great roles in the live theater, together with acting before the camera.
The entire Keach family extend our deepest sympathies to the Asner family, and, thank you, Ed, for sharing your indomitable presence and your extraordinary gifts with all of us.  May God’s Blessings be with you, always. -Stacy Keach

Remembering Norman Lloyd

It was my great privilege meeting Norman Lloyd in 1973, when he was the Executive Producer for KCET’s Hollywood Television Theater.  He wanted me to play Napoleon Bonaparte in a production of G.B. Shaw’s Man of Destiny, in exchange for which he offered me the opportunity to direct Arthur Miller’s Incident At Vichy.  I was thrilled and excited to accept his offer, and when I arrived at the KCET studios to meet him, he was just getting out of his car in full tennis attire.
“I’ll be with you a minute, Stace.  Take a seat in my office.  I need a quick shower, then we’ll talk.”
Norman was an avid tennis player, and I have no doubt that his longevity at 106 was at least partially due to his physical stamina, as he continued to play the game well into his 90’s.
He joined me in his office eating a blueberry muffin.
“In order to make you look small as Napoleon, we’re going to oversize all the furniture, you’ll love it,” Norman chuckled.
He possessed a boundless energy, a great sense of humor, and I loved hearing the stories of his working with Orson Welles and the days of the Mercury Theater.  And in fact, his relationship with John Houseman provided me with the opportunity, the following year, to direct Mr. Houseman and Andy Griffith in a production of Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters In Search of An Author. 
A few years ago, I had the great honor of sitting down with Norman for an interview about that production and working together.  I will always be indebted to him for giving me the opportunity to direct.
I will always remember him saying, “One of the most important things in life is tradition.  Innovation is often carved from history. We must always cherish the past.”
Thank you, Norman for your talent, your wisdom, and your indominable spirit.
We will cherish your memory and your inspiration, always.
Stacy Keach

Remembering Christopher Plummer

One of the greatest actors of his generation, Christopher Plummer was one of my heroes, an endless source of inspiration, especially when it came to playing the classics.  We first met in 1974, at Shepparton Studios in London, working on the film, Conduct Unbecoming. I had fastidiously followed his career prior to that, and I was so excited to be working with him.  He knew that I loved classical theater, and Chris would regale me with stories of his amazing theatrical triumphs.  I especially recall him telling me about his time playing Oedipus The King. 

“Orson Welles enacted my blind Tiresias as if he were Othello, Macbeth and Charles Foster Kane rolled into one. How spoiled could a young Oedipus get?”

A master storyteller, an elegant gentleman, and a genius at interpretation, Christopher Plummer will always be remembered for this enduring charm, his boundless energy, and his extraordinary versatility. Thank you, Christopher for sharing your inimitable talent with all of us.

‘Good night, sweet Prince…and may flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.’  -Stacy Keach