Do You Know Him?

I confess, when I heard about Michael Jackson's untimely death last week, I thought, as I usually did whenever I saw a picture of him, of how different his life might have been had he not started tinkering with his looks, and that led me to think about another celebrity who came out of Gary, Indiana. This man had a nose that could have stood some repair work, being both oversized to begin with and broken a couple of times. He left Gary and became one of the busiest character actors in the business and years later was the star of one of the longest-running advertising campaigns, a commercial for American Express in which he began with the question, "Do you know me?" (an appropriate opening for a man whose face was well known even if his name wasn't.

His not-exactly-handsome looks didn't keep him from finding personal happiness as well as professional. He married, had two kids and in what may well be a Hollywood record, stayed married to the same woman for 70 years.

The man from Gary whom I thought about last week, the man who kept his original nose and from all indications had a very happy life, was named Karl Malden. He died today of natural causes at the ripe old age of 97.

I guess some things are pre-ordained, but still I can't help thinking about how things might have been for Michael without all the alterations to his looks.
I'm signing off until next week. I'll be celebrating my birthday tomorrow (which is about 5 minutes from now) and preparing for weekend guests on Friday. Enjoy your Fourth, and for God's sake be careful with those fireworks!


DonnaD said...

Have a happy birthday Bettye and a terrific holiday!

bettye griffin said...

Thanks so much, Donna! It was a great birthday and a wonderful weekend as well.

shelia said...

Bettye, happy belated birthday.
I loved me some Michael Jackson. I hated that he had all of that plastic surgery. If I would have met him, I would have told him that he was fine just the way he was. Why mess with perfection? When I think of Michael--I think of the old Michael from the Off the Wall--Thriller days. I didn't care for his looks after the plastic surgery--but it never stopped me from loving the man.

bettye griffin said...

I agree, have always respected Michael's talent, even if I couldn't bear to look at him in recent years. My favorite is Off The Wall. There was Michael, 21 years old and looking so handsome, on the verge of superstardom. I guess with the first nose job he'd had by the time he did Thriller he looked all right from a physical standpoint, but I felt like something more had changed (and I'm one of the few people I know who didn't buy that album and was never all that crazy about it.)

Thanks for posting!