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June 8th, 2005:

RIP, Anne Bancroft

Actress Anne Bancroft, known best for her iconic role as Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate”, has died at the age of 73.

Not only did the actress seduce Broadway, movie and TV audiences in roles ranging from the aging ballerina in 1977’s The Turning Point to Israeli prime minister Golda Meir on stage in 1977’s Golda.

But the five-time Oscar nominee, who won a best-actress Academy Award for re-creating her stage performance as Helen Keller’s teacher Annie Sullivan in 1962’s The Miracle Worker, also managed to hang on to her handful of a husband, funnyman filmmaker Mel Brooks, for more than 40 years.

The couple, who met on Perry Como’s TV show in 1961, were one of Hollywood’s oddest yet most devoted pairings. He was the Borscht Belt spoofer who took comedy to delightful new lows in the bawdy Western satire Blazing Saddles. She was the Bronx-born daughter of Italian parents who won two Tonys (for 1958’s Two for the Seesaw and 1960’s The Miracle Worker).

“He makes me laugh a lot,” she said, explaining their attraction to the New York Daily News in 2000. “I get excited when I hear his key in the door. It’s like, ‘Ooh! The party’s going to start.’ ”

Bancroft was a great actress who will be long remembered. What really caught my eye in this obituary was this bit at the end:

Brooks, who is working on the film version of his hit Broadway musical version of The Producers — a project that was her idea — so revered his spouse that he always referred to her by both her names.

Making a movie out of “The Producers”! Who’d have ever thought of that?

Anyway. Here’s Roger Ebert’s eulogy. Rest in peace, Anne Bancroft.


My view on breastfeeding in public is pretty much the same as Hope‘s. If the sight of a woman feeding her baby makes you uncomfortable, then look somewhere else. Babies operate on their own schedule. When they need to eat, they need to eat. I’m sorry, but any problem you have with that is your own.

And if you think that the woman should take the baby to a bathroom before commencing, well, I invite you to eat your next meal in a public restroom. Sound appetizing? If not, then you understand why most nursing mothers (and their husbands, boyfriends, or partners) don’t consider it to be a viable option.

Let’s hear it for Canadian drugs!

Chris Bell has a question for Governor Perry: When are you going to get around to signing SB410, which would enable and assist Texans to buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada? You’d think providing that kind of relief for Texans would be a priority, but apparently not for Rick Perry.

UPDATE: In the Pink says it with a picture.

More like this, please

You know how I’ve been agitating lately for Democrats, in particular State Reps, to talk about school finance and their alternative plan? This is the sort of thing I have in mind. Thank you, Rep. Garnet Coleman!

(And on a personal note, thank you to Tom Kirkendall for lunch and the loan of the laptop. The lack-of-connectivity withdrawals are going away nicely now.)

Courage for Congress, continued

Karl-T gives a thumbs-up to the idea of John Courage re-challenging Lamar Smith in CD21. He also reprints an email from Courage outlining his reasons for considering the rematch, and his plan for proceeding. Check it out.

I should mention that I’ve heard of another potential contender in this district. I don’t know where he stands on this (this was secondhand information), so I don’t think I’m at liberty to say who it is. Sorry! I just wanted to note that CD22 isn’t the only district that’s generating Democratic interest for the next cycle.

Hardberger wins in a close one

Got a minute at a borrowed computer, so now’s a good time to note that Phil Hardberger is the newly elected Mayor of San Antonio.

Retired Judge Phil Hardberger, a City Hall outsider with a storied past but no municipal government experience, clung to an ever-shrinking lead over foe Julián Castro on Tuesday and ended the night with a victory in one of the tightest mayoral races in recent history.

In unofficial returns, Hardberger outdistanced Castro by about 3,800 votes out of about 130,000 cast.

That was about 15,000 more than the votes cast in the May 7 regular election.


“It is the beginning of a new day for San Antonio and there are so many things that we can do,” said a jubilant Hardberger, donned in a double-breasted suit and addressing a large crowd of supporters at his Sunset Station election party just after midnight and right after receiving Castro’s concession call.

“We have to stop the deconstruction and start the construction, and we’ll start that right now,” he said. “We will make a great, great San Antonio.”

Castro, whose loss signals the end of his City Council career — at least for the moment — ran a strong grass-roots campaign but in the end couldn’t overcome Hardberger’s support, money and votes.

“Tonight we need to stand united behind Judge Hardberger as he becomes mayor, united as a city, united behind a common vision for progress, for economic development and growth, for neighborhoods that everybody can be proud to live in,” Castro said at his campaign headquarters, flanked by his twin brother, Joaquin, and dozens of supporters.

“This just wasn’t our time, but it will be someday,” said Castro, 30, who is the outgoing District 7 city councilman.

As I said before, I don’t think this is more than a bump on the road for Julian Castro. He’ll have to find something good to do for the next couple of years, and he’ll have to demonstrate that he’s gained some age-earned wisdom the next time he appears, but neither of those should be at all difficult to do. And who knows, he may well already be the frontrunner to replace Mayor Hardberger in 2009.

Here’s reaction from The Jeffersonian and Matt. The Red State liveblogged it to the wire. Get some rest now, y’all.