Because we didn't mention his birthday a couple of days ago, some of you might have thought that we've abandoned James Franco, our own East Village Afternoon's Sexiest Man of 2010, just because he acted a little weird at the Oscars. Hey, what are we, fickle? Well, sometimes, but no, we were busy thinking about other important news items, like Zsa Zsa's nine husbands. Anyway, Happy 33rd James, and don't worry, just because you flopped big-time at hosting the Oscars doesn't mean you won't one day be up there holding one in your hands as Best Actor.
Maybe Franco's Oscar win will come with his next movie, "The Broken Tower", in which he plays gay American poet Hart Crane, who committed suicide at age 32. Part of the movie's story will focus on Crane's love affair with Danish merchant marine Emil Opffer. Works for us.
In other Hollywood leading man news, we were saddened to hear of the death of Michael Sarrazin at age 70 of cancer. Back in the late 1960's and early 70's, there was a handful of lanky, dreamy-looking leading men who bridged the gap between the traditional Hollywood "macho man" and the new hippie-era, "sensitive man". Sarrazin, with his long hair, full lips and doe eyes, yet "strong silent" persona, was the perfect epitome of that particular era. Along with Sarrazin, Edward Albert and Michael York were other actors who represented this "new man" of Hollwood.
Sarrazin had a handful of key roles, yet never managed to achieve "A-List" status as an actor, and although he continued to work as an actor for the rest of his life, as the 1970's came to a close, so did Sarrazin's career as a leading man. Sarrazin's greatest role was in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?", (1969), with Jane Fonda, which won one Oscar and was nominated for eight others, but he's probably best remembered for playing Barbra Streisand's husband in the comedy, "For Pete's Sake", (1974). We liked his 1975 movie, "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud", a weird horror movie which was attempting to ride the coattails of the blockbuster, "The Exorcist."
(michael sarrazin with jane fonda in "they shoot horses, don't they?")