On the Nightstand
October 21, 2010
I don't usually read mysteries, and as stated in a recent blog, I don't have a consuming passion for genealogy as some of the Blue Ridge staff members do. But I love moviess, so, the book on my nightstand is Quinlan's Character Stars, a fat and totally fun volume that briefly describes the careers of 1200 character actors. The book includes a photograph of each actor, a list of all the movies in which they appeared, describes the actor's claim to fame (motherly, fatherly, squirrelly, snarly, sneaky, two-faced or long-suffering), and a notation regarding the cause of their death. It includes information about living actors too, so it's not totally depressing. I actually bought a copy of Quinlan's because the Blue Ridge copy of the book is in our reference collection--you can't take it home. Please feel free to look at it in the branch. We have some comfortable chairs not far from its shelf! The call number is REF 791.430922 Q44QC 3rd edition.
If you love trivia, it’s the book for you. Did you know Frank Morgan (The Wizard of Oz) had an actor brother, Ralph Morgan? Did you know that Barry Fitzgerald (Going My Way) and his brother, Arthur Shields, were both supporting actors in The Quiet Man? And not all the character actors listed were featured in old movies, but new ones too. They are character actors, not male or female leads.
If your computer is on your nightstand, then the Internet Movie Database is your Quinlan’s. If you're not familiar with imdb.com, you can search the name of any performer, musical composer, movie title or even a character's name, and bring up the details of the movie: usually a synopsis, a summary, a list of the cast and characters, the opening day of the film--all sort of details! This website is actually 20 years old, and is tons of fun as you jump from star to star, movie to movie, and enjoy the photographs and movie stills as you go! It does include information submitted by its viewers, and I'm not always sure that content is correct. But as I said, it's always fun!
If imdb.com fits on your nightstand, more power to you! You may just awaken in the wee hours to a different kind of light left burning.
Blue Ridge Branch