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Alba Iulia
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Recognizing the actors is a generational exercise Staff columnists

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Many actors are familiar to young and old. We only know them for several reasons.

When people my age think of the “Avengers”, John Steed and Mrs. Peel come to mind. For young people, “The Avengers” include Iron Man and Captain America.

When I hear about George Martin, I think of the guy who produced the Beatles. For trendy young people, he is the creator of “Game of Thrones”.

For those who remember the 20th century, James Garner is the fascinating actor of “The Rockford Files” and “Maverick”. For children, he is the old man in “The Notebook”.

The spectators of “Dragnet” were pierced by a hammer that struck a sheet of metal, the trademark of a Mark VII production. Today, young people know more about Thor’s mystical hammer.

While I associate Martin Kove with “Cagney and Lacey”, many people know him as a Cobra Kai instructor in “The Karate Kid”.

If you are old, Keith Richards is a member of the Rolling Stones. The best chance for a teenager to recognize him is “Pirates of the Caribbean”, where he played Jack Sparrow’s father.

For me, Orson Bean was a witty talk show host and a regular game show. More contemporary people remember him as the old man on “Dr. Quinn, medicine woman.”

We know Pat Carroll from a million old TV series. Many young people recognize her voice as Ursula the witch of the sea in “The little mermaid”.

I will always think of Peter Falk as Columbo. For my children, it is the man who reads his grandson in “The Princess Bride”.

Sam Elliott has been around for so long in “Mannix”, “Lancer” and “Gunsmoke”. But for today’s viewers, it’s the old grizzled “A Star is Born” and “The Ranch”.

I don’t have to tell people who Tom Selleck is. If you are under 40, woo Monica on “Friends”.

Instead of being a talented comedian and director, Albert Brooks is Marlin’s voice in “Finding Nemo”.

Ed Asner is rightly loved for playing Lou Grant. Teenagers know him as the voice of old Carl Fredricksen in “Up”.

Young adults know Randy Newman as the guy who made the music for “Toy Story”. And Elton John is the guy from “The Lion King”.

Don Rickles isn’t the famous insult comic. It is the voice of Mr. Potato Head in “Toy Story”.

I remember Bruce Lee for playing Kato on “Green Hornet”. Since his death, however, he has become a certifiable legend.

When the name of Gene Wilder is mentioned, I think of his comedies with Richard Pryor. Many people, however, know him from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.

After fading for a while, some people overheat later in life.

I remember Jessica Walter as a guest star on numerous cop shows in the 60s and 70s. It is now known for “Archer” and “Development stopped”.

Some of us know Jessica Lange as a great movie star from the 70s. The most attuned people see it in “American Horror Story”.

I watched Stiller and Meara, going up to the “Ed Sullivan Show”. Now Jerry Stiller is the boyfriend of “Seinfeld”.

My wife and I know many British actors, such as Timothy Spall, Richard Griffiths and David Tennant, from watching “Masterpiece”. For younger viewers, they are familiar with the “Harry Potter” movies.

Likewise, Diana Rigg is not Emma Peel: she is the old woman in “Game of Thrones”.

Angela Lansbury, Robby Benson, Jo Anne Worley, David Ogden Stiers and Jerry Orbach? They are rumors about “Beauty and the Beast”.

In my mind, Phil Harris is an old ringleader and radio star. Those who grew up in animated films know him as Baloo the Bear in “The Jungle Book”.

Many people associate Martin Sheen with “The West Wing”. To me, he was the guy from “The Execution of Private Slovik”.

Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney? They are the programmers of “Night at the Museum”.

In front of Jeff Conaway, Christopher Lloyd and Danny DeVito, people my age think of “Taxi”.

To today’s youth, they are Kenickie from “Grease”, Doc Brown from “Back to the Future” and Frank Reynolds from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.

We think of the golden age of television as completely different eras.

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