Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Daily WiLL - Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - RIP Paul Mazursky 1930 - 2014

Multi-talented Paul Mazursky died yesterday at Cedars-Sinai in LA at age 84.  If you're of a certain age you know him for the fantastic 70's films Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Harry and Tonto, and Next Stop Greenwich Village, all films he wrote and directed, and all with a huge cultural impact on society.

In the 80's he directed Bette Midler and Nick Nolte in Down and Out in Beverly Hills which was huge at the time.  Another statement movie that resonated far beyond it's comedic exteriors.  He followed that up with Moon Over Parador which I still quote to this day: "You're a funny guy." - Raul Julia to Richard Dreyfuss.  Interesting trivia - that line is in the Addams Family pinball machine when you tilt the table it plays Julia's voice.  

I knew who he was when I got a chance to see 2 Days in the Valley at a premiere at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art Summer 1996.  In that film he plays a suicidal former TV producer who ends up saving the day at the end, and he's wonderful in that role.  Ever since then I kept my eye out for this wonderful artist.

I'd see him in person every once in awhile at the world famous Farmer's Market in Los Angeles.  He's got his picture on the wall up there, and he'd always be holding court with several other older ladies and gentlemen.  One day when I had Kaylee with me I decided to talk to the man, and found him to be warm and charming.  He loved my daughter too.

When the most recent version of The Tempest adapted by Julie Taymor was released I asked him if he had seen it, because he had directed the fantastic 1982 version which introduced the world to Molly Ringwald.  He hadn't, but he was going to see it.  I noted that the costumes were then on display at the then-new Landmark Theater at the Westside Pavilion and were very detailed and intense.  

He was cool.  Beyond cool.  This morning he's gone.  The world is a little less bright.  Dammit.

EDIT: Ms. Ringwald Tweeted:  38m
I just found out that the man who gave me my first part in a film has died. Paul Mazursky, you were my first and favorite. I'll miss you.


  1. The world is a much smaller place now.

  2. Indeed, we've lost way too many of my personal heroes lately. Pete Seeger, Lou Reed and Levon Helm all hit me pretty hard recently.