Walter Mencken 11:31 a.m., Feb. 1
Dept. of Final Bows: Jonathan Winters and Orson Welles
Let's inaugurate this consideration of final film roles with a couple of gentlemen who would undoubtedly have appreciated the absurdity involved, shall we?
I mean, Jonathan Winters was never what you'd call a Hollywood star, but by gum, he helped to give us The Loved One!
So it was with a curious mix of pain and pleasure that I learned that Mr. Winters final appearance came as...the voice of Papa Smurf in The Smurfs 2.
It's a fate that almost - almost, mind you - rivals that of Orson Welles, who famously, finally lent his famous voice to the planet-sized(!) Transformer Unicron in the animated Transformers movie.
Of course, I'm not the first to make note of this tendency for greats to show up in animation on their last stop before the grave. Jimmy Stewart in American Tale 2: Fievel Goes West!
And given Winters' legendary status as a comedian, I suppose we ought to close out this installment with George Carlin in Happily N'Ever After. Sigh. (Good grief - is that Wallace Shawn as the pig?)