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Thread: Sandy Dennis

  1. #1
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    Sandy Dennis

    Didn't see a thread for her, and I adored her.

    Dennis made her television debut in 1956 in The Guiding Light and her film debut in Splendor in the Grass (1961). However, she was more committed to following a career in the theater. She won consecutive Tony Awards for her performances in A Thousand Clowns and Any Wednesday and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Honey, the alcoholic wife of George Segal, in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). She followed this with well-received performances in Up the Down Staircase (1967), The Fox (1967), Sweet November (1968) and The Out-of-Towners (1970).
    An advocate of method acting, Dennis was often described as neurotic and mannered in her performances; her signature style included running words together and oddly stopping and starting sentences, suddenly going up and down octaves as she spoke, and fluttering her hands. Walter Kerr famously remarked that she treated sentences as "weak, injured things" that needed to be slowly helped "across the street." Nonetheless, William Goldman, in his book The Season, referred to her as a quintessential "critics' darling" who got rave reviews no matter how unusual her acting and questionable her choice of material. Kerr said the following during Dennis' stint in Any Wednesday: "Let me tell you about Sandy Dennis. There should be one in every home."
    Her last significant film role was in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982).

    Personal life

    Dennis lived for many years with jazz great Gerry Mulligan until they split up in 1976. Although Mulligan often referred to Dennis as his second wife, Dennis later revealed that they had never married. She also lived with actor Eric Roberts from 1980 to 1985.
    Dennis died from ovarian cancer in Westport, Connecticut, aged 54.

  2. #2
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    I totally forgot that she died/ Thanks for posting this.=)

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    She loved cats & had a good sized family of felines.
    I always loved film critic PAULINE KAEL'S assessment of SANDY DENNIS:

    "DENNIS has taken post nasal drip and turned it into a career !"


    SANDY DENNIS in the mid 60s


    SANDY DENNIS in later life

  4. #4
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    She was perfect in the Out of Towners, she held her own to Jack Lemmon, not a small feat.

    Member since 10/10/07

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxxx View Post
    She was perfect in the Out of Towners, she held her own to Jack Lemmon, not a small feat.
    so true Jaxxx, I agree
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9at0OwYJgE

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    One of my great favorites! I was lucky to have seen her in a show in New York "The Supporting Cast"- she was so nice to the fans after the show at the stage door- I told her that I, too, am a cat lover- and one afternoon before my vacation was over, I was out touring the city and outside the theatre Sandy and other performers were there with cats they were trying to adopt- something with the local Humane Society- I walked over and Sandy remembered me from the night I first saw her and she told me my cat needed a playmate- I couldn't take one as I was flying out the next day- I truly think at that time of her life she was more into her love of cats than she was her occasional acting -somewhere in a box I have a clipping from a Playbill that shows Sandy with adoptable cats on a Broadway sidewalk-
    Sandy Dennis, to me, was one of the finest actresses of our generation!
    Here are some pix- her last home in Conn, her memorial and a pic of her Oscar
    http://www.sandydennis.org/
    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...e=gr&GRid=2622
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Sandy Dennis was awesome! I love the "never mix, never worry" vomit scene in Virgina Wolf. One of my fav films. She definitely earned that Oscar.
    Either this wallpaper goes or I do. ~~Oscar Wilde's purported dying words

    I did not get my SpahettiOs. I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this. ~~ Grasso, Thomas J. - 1995 death row inmate on his last meal

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    I remember that dreadful lesbian movie she did, "The Fox". But what do you expect, it was the 60's!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aries65 View Post
    I remember that dreadful lesbian movie she did, "The Fox". But what do you expect, it was the 60's!
    Dreadful it sure was.

    On a silmilar note, have you ( or anybody else on this board for that matter ) ever seen the flick The Killing of Sister George? I have been told in the past that George was actually banned in my neck of the woods.
    The only other film I can think of that faced a similar fate was that gay flick from Spain that came out a few years back Bearcub. Even Netfliks and Blockbuster ran into a problem as I recall over the first 5 minutes of the movie which featured a very graphic nude sex scene.

    Going back to The Fox with Sandy Dennis. Funny story about that movie. Lucille Ball and Gary Norton for some reason thought it was a Disney film (or at least a family friendly flick ) and showed it to Lucie & Desi Jr.

    The first lesbian scene Lucy screams "turn it off damnit !!" Then Lucie says "..oh mother...we have already seen it 5 times ...get real !!".
    Forget where I heard this story from.

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    Has anyone ever seen her in "Come Back To The Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean"?? Also starring Karen Black and Cher? Caught it by accident once, and it was a real head turner. Didn't really know of Sandy Dennis until I saw that movie, but never forgot her afterward.

    Happened to catch "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?" sometime later, and thought..."Hey...there's that girl from that Cher movie!" Quite a tallent, and I must say such a shame she is no longer with us.

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    I liked her in the Out of Towners. I enjoyed that movie.

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    loved her in Up the Down Staircase. Ovarian cancer's a bitch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugger57 View Post
    Has anyone ever seen her in "Come Back To The Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean"?? Also starring Karen Black and Cher? Caught it by accident once, and it was a real head turner. Didn't really know of Sandy Dennis until I saw that movie, but never forgot her afterward.
    I just saw that one recently. It's actually pretty good. At first I thought I'd be bored to tears since it all takes place in a little country store the entire movie, but all the characters in the movie - Cher, Kathy Bates, Sandy Dennis and all the others made it a really interesting movie.

    It's not out on DVD - by the way. You can buy it on video, but on eBay for $10 - if you are lucky.

    I got a DVD-R of it off of a certain website (where I get a lot of hard to find movies - not on DVD!).

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    Actually, many of Sandy's movies aren't on DVD...WHY ??? She is one of my all-time favorites..."Up the Down Staircase" FINALLY came out a couple of weeks ago and I watched it twice. LOVE love love that movie, and hadn't seen it since I was a little kid.
    But what about, as others have pointed out, "The Fox," "Come Back to the 5 & Dime...", and another long-forgotten flick, "That Cold Day in the Park"??

    DVDs, PLEASE !!!



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    She was in a horror movie called Parents. She played a school counselor who tried to help a little boy who lived with his parents (Dennis Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt) who lived the typical 50's middle class life style. With a big secret. They were cannibals!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne30 View Post
    She was in a horror movie called Parents. She played a school counselor who tried to help a little boy who lived with his parents (Dennis Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt) who lived the typical 50's middle class life style. With a big secret. They were cannibals!
    That was actually Randy Quaid in the movie.

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    Gerry Mulligan left actress Judy Holliday for Dennis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aries65 View Post
    That was actually Randy Quaid in the movie.
    Oops! You're right Aries. Thanks.

  19. #19
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    I really liked Sandy Dennis. She was a great actress. I remember seeing her in THE FOUR SEASONS too. For some reason I always liked that movie even though it wasn't her greatest one.


    She was a cat lover too? That makes me love her even more. What a great person she must've been. Why do the good ones always die off???


    RIP Sandy.

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    I liked her as well. I didn't realize she died of cancer. Thanks for posting this.

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    Don't know if it's available, but the original version of "Sweet November", with Sandy and Anthony Newley is a terrific film. Forget that crappy remake with Keanu Reeves, the original is well worth seeing.

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    One of my favorite movies of all time is "The Four Seasons". I got it for Christmas. The music is great and has a great cast. I think it's a classic not much seen.

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    I could not remember the name Sandy Dennis but after seeing the picture then I remembered. Thank you for posting this, I did not realize she had died.
    At my age I do what Mark Twain did. I get my daily paper, look at the obituaries page and if I'm not there I carry on as usual."
    Patrick Moore.

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    A real original. Nutty. Forgot she was with Eric Roberts. I love The Out of Towners.











  25. #25
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    She originally didn't want to do Any Wednesday because Gene Hackman was cast in the play and she thought he was ugly and didn't wish to appear with him. She later changed her mind and became a big fan of his and knew he was truly a good actor.
    "There is a land of the living and a land of the dead - and the bridge is love" ~ Thorndon Wilder ~

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    And, if she had married Eric Roberts she would have been the sister in law of Julia Roberts.
    "There is a land of the living and a land of the dead - and the bridge is love" ~ Thorndon Wilder ~

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy J. View Post
    Dreadful it sure was.

    On a silmilar note, have you ( or anybody else on this board for that matter ) ever seen the flick The Killing of Sister George? I have been told in the past that George was actually banned in my neck of the woods.
    The only other film I can think of that faced a similar fate was that gay flick from Spain that came out a few years back Bearcub. Even Netfliks and Blockbuster ran into a problem as I recall over the first 5 minutes of the movie which featured a very graphic nude sex scene.

    Going back to The Fox with Sandy Dennis. Funny story about that movie. Lucille Ball and Gary Norton for some reason thought it was a Disney film (or at least a family friendly flick ) and showed it to Lucie & Desi Jr.

    The first lesbian scene Lucy screams "turn it off damnit !!" Then Lucie says "..oh mother...we have already seen it 5 times ...get real !!".
    Forget where I heard this story from.
    I've seen The Killing of Sister George -- it's really, uh, ick. Just really creepy and disturbing -- but then I'm a straight female; maybe a lesbian would have another take on it.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugger57 View Post
    Has anyone ever seen her in "Come Back To The Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean"?? Also starring Karen Black and Cher? Caught it by accident once, and it was a real head turner. Didn't really know of Sandy Dennis until I saw that movie, but never forgot her afterward.

    Happened to catch "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?" sometime later, and thought..."Hey...there's that girl from that Cher movie!" Quite a tallent, and I must say such a shame she is no longer with us.
    I happened to see that movie a few months ago! ( "Come Back To The Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean!)
    I wasn't sure that the young slim women in the movie was Kathy Bates!
    She looked so different back then.

  29. #29
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    No one so far has mentioned this but wasn't Sandy Dennis gay?
    That is what I have read and heard?
    Maybe she was bisexual?
    I never knew she was with Eric Roberts?

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    Sandy Dennis was super beautiful in "Up the Down Staircase"!

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    Whenever I think of The Out of Towners, I instantly hear Sandy's voice: "OH MY GOD, WE'RE....."

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    Up the Down Staircase - I remember that movie from my childhood. Wasn't the actress who played Rhoda's sister (and voice of Marge Simpson) in this movie too?
    In memory of a wonderful actor who left us way too soon - William Holden 1918-1981.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eata ema View Post
    One of my favorite movies of all time is "The Four Seasons". I got it for Christmas. The music is great and has a great cast. I think it's a classic not much seen.
    That was the movie I was trying to remember! Thanks eata ema!

    She was an amazing actress. Again, gone too soon.
    'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life.
    Try to make ends meet, you're a slave to the money then you die.

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    Hey all,

    One of Sandy's lesser known films, Sweet November, is running on Turner Classic Movies tomorrow at 4pm Eastern. If you've not seen it, it's much sweeter and funnier than the Keanu Reeves/Charlize Theron remake, and I highly recommend it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Overtaxed View Post
    Whenever I think of The Out of Towners, I instantly hear Sandy's voice: "OH MY GOD, WE'RE....."

    I love that movie. Both of them are so funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Connor View Post
    I love that movie. Both of them are so funny.
    Same here! The remake couldn't touch it.
    .

    La di da, la di da, la la.

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    She was a great actress who had a unique style of her own. Loved her in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" and "Four Seasons" (both films had incredible casts). Love to get a hold of "Up the Down Staircase". I haven't seen that film in about 30 years!
    Cindy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nvr_Sk_to_Tll View Post
    Hey all,

    One of Sandy's lesser known films, Sweet November, is running on Turner Classic Movies tomorrow at 4pm Eastern. If you've not seen it, it's much sweeter and funnier than the Keanu Reeves/Charlize Theron remake, and I highly recommend it.
    Thanks for letting me know. I was wondering when that was showing on TCM but couldn't jog my memory..and I remember her from Four Seasons too...wow..didn't realize she had passed away..

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nvr_Sk_to_Tll View Post
    Hey all,

    One of Sandy's lesser known films, Sweet November, is running on Turner Classic Movies tomorrow at 4pm Eastern. If you've not seen it, it's much sweeter and funnier than the Keanu Reeves/Charlize Theron remake, and I highly recommend it.

    Thanks for the reminder..... love this movie!
    I find no comfort in this world

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    Do any of you know about Christopher Dennis, Confessions of a Superhero documentary? He is a Superman impersonater on Hollywood Blvd, and he claims to be her son.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mxwe View Post
    Do any of you know about Christopher Dennis, Confessions of a Superhero documentary? He is a Superman impersonater on Hollywood Blvd, and he claims to be her son.
    I know people who've corresponded with this guy. Most people would claim to be the child of a really big-name star, so I suppose it's nice to see Sandy getting some recognition, although the guy is, from my understanding, the third greatest nutbag-frootloop in the world and rude to boot...

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Connor View Post
    A real original. Nutty. Forgot she was with Eric Roberts. I love The Out of Towners.









    OMG!
    Can you imagine how her house must've smelled?
    Are those her ashes, or it it empty because they used her ashes for kitty litter?
    Visit my blog to read my memoir "Monster In The Closet".
    I welcome your coments and input.

    http://mymemoirmonsterinthecloset.blogspot.com/

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    OMG!
    Can you imagine how her house must've smelled?
    Are those her ashes, or it it empty because they used her ashes for kitty litter?
    I bet her house didn't smell. She was a fanatic at housekeeping. She loved housework.

    Jerry Lewis did not like Method Acting. He cited Sandy Dennis. He didn't feel she was good at her craft because of the Stanislavsky method. He said he could see her acting rather than getting interested in the character.

    What was that movie where she's fitted for a diaphram and has never had sex? She picks up a guy. He doesn't want to stay wth her and she stabs him in the stomach. I saw this once in the movies, and never saw or heard of it again.

    jigsaw
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  44. #44
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    [quote=Jigsaw;1055844]I bet her house didn't smell. She was a fanatic at housekeeping. She loved housework.

    Jerry Lewis did not like Method Acting. He cited Sandy Dennis. He didn't feel she was good at her craft because of the Stanislavsky method. He said he could see her acting rather than getting interested in the character.

    What was that movie where she's fitted for a diaphram and has never had sex? She picks up a guy. He doesn't want to stay wth her and she stabs him in the stomach. I saw this once in the movies, and never saw or heard of it again.

    Is it "That Cold Day In The Park"? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065086/

    youtube clips - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-_RJA6QU7I and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTKe6...eature=related

    VCNJ~
    Last edited by VeuveClicquotNJ; 07-13-2010 at 06:27 PM.

  45. #45
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    I can't believe Eric Roberts lived with HER?
    Visit my blog to read my memoir "Monster In The Closet".
    I welcome your coments and input.

    http://mymemoirmonsterinthecloset.blogspot.com/

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by buzzzx View Post
    Personal life

    Dennis lived for many years with jazz great Gerry Mulligan until they split up in 1976. Although Mulligan often referred to Dennis as his second wife, Dennis later revealed that they had never married. She also lived with actor Eric Roberts from 1980 to 1985.
    Dennis died from ovarian cancer in Westport, Connecticut, aged 54.
    Apparently, she was seeing this guy who was Judy Holliday's boyfriend. Judy was terminally ill with breast cancer and her boyfriend was seeing another woman. How classy.

  47. #47
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    I have read this thread and apparently there are a lot of Sandy Dennis fans here. Don't want to offend, but I had a really hard time watching her performances. I found her REALLY irritating. I tried watching "The Out-of-Towners" not long ago and turned it off, which is really odd because I am a huge Jack Lemmon fan.

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