Sunday, July 31, 2011

...And hello from Crystal Rose

...And I am Crystal Rose, using purple as my signature color.

My first introduction to Simon Oakland was an episode of Get Smart called "The Day Smart Turned Chicken."  Simon played an unnamed cowboy who seemed to have a knack of appearing and disappearing so flawlessly that he would've made a magician jealous.  This episode has always been one of my favorites, and I knew that it had something to do with this cowboy.  At the time, I had no idea as to who this cowboy's actor was, only that I enjoyed seeing him.

It was Ladybug who got me intrigued in Kolchak: the Night Stalker after she had discovered it for herself, and it was directly because of Simon that I decided to watch it; Ladybug knew I had liked "The Day Smart Turned Chicken," so she had informed me that Tony Vincenzo would be a familiar face.  And when I did start watching Kolchak, I was immediately drawn to Tony; there was something about that long-suffering editor that earned not only my pity, but my adoration, as well.  And it got to the point that, as awesome as the title character Kolchak was, Tony ended up becoming my favorite character.

Like Ladybug, I was amazed by the variety of roles that Simon could play with such authenticity, case in point being the birdlike Empyrian from the "Second Chance" episode of The Outer Limits; Simon gave the Empyrian noticeable avian quirks that I--having studied zoology for years--couldn't help but notice.  And it was also his voice that intrigued me, and how he was able to shape his voice to a particular role, from Tony Vincenzo's endearing Brooklyn accent to the Empyrian's curt monologues to the touch of a drawl present in the voices of the numerous Western genre characters he played, you could believe any of Simon's roles by merely hearing them.

I, like Ladybug, also have a fondness for Simon's tough-but-soft characters like Tony and General Moore, but I am still surprisingly intrigued by some of the other complex characters Simon has played, such as the half-mad William Poole from "The Thunder Man" episode of Bonanza.  And I always appreciate the comedic roles that Simon plays, such as the aforementioned cowboy or Nick, from Follow That Dream.

I also welcome everyone to this blog, where I, too, intend to log musings and thoughts on Simon and his characters.  Thanks for checking our blog out!

~Crystal Rose

Hello from the Ladybug

Hello, I am Lucky Ladybug. Both Crystal Rose and I will be using this account, so to differentiate between us we will use different colors of text in our posts. I will always use blue.

I suggested we start by telling a bit about what we like about Simon Oakland. These reasons will be expounded on in the various musings we will be posting, but here are my feelings, version 1.0, the condensed edition.

My first encounter with Simon Oakland was, I believe, in an episode of Perry Mason called The Case of the Frantic Flyer. He played a rather bad fellow, but there was still something that I liked. I can’t say whether it was the character himself or if it was the actor shining through. This was many years before I even knew who Simon Oakland was or could recognize him offhand. But I am certain of one thing: I was very aware that he was quite handsome.

Over the years I encountered him in several roles without recalling his name. Finally, upon discovering Kolchak: The Night Stalker, I kept hold of Simon’s name and looked up his other credits. His cantankerous yet loyal character Tony Vincenzo quickly got into my heart.

What I love most about Simon Oakland is that he could take any role, any good or bad person at all, and make that role his own. The characters come alive and feel real. And who can forget his wide range of expressions? Simon had an amazing talent for visually capturing every emotion possible, many of them right in the same episode or movie.

My favorite character type of his is the tough, gruff, old softie. Many of his good guys fit into this type in varying degrees, including Tony Vincenzo, General Moore, and Captain Bennet.

I welcome you to this blog and hope you will enjoy the read. I plan to muse on many of Simon’s characters in specific, as well as random interesting things I’ve observed.

~Lucky Ladybug