John Belushi and Gilda Radner, circa 1975. No, they're not lovers, just two friends clowning around in a make-up (not make-out) room at NBC's Manhattan broadcast center. They first met a few years earlier when Belushi, a member of Chicago's famed Second City Theater, took a trip to Canada to check out the comedy troupe's Toronto branch, where Gilda (originally from Michigan) was then performing. Soon after, Belushi moved to New York City and the National Lampoon Radio Hour, then secured a job there for Gilda as well. The two eventually ended up as members of the inaugural cast of a late night sketch comedy show called Saturday Night (Live was added during the second season) where both shot to stardom. As it turned out, a short-lived stardom. Short-lived period. Belushi died from a lethal combination of cocaine and heroin in 1982 (he would have turned 70 this year), a death that had Reagan-era moralists wagging their fingers about the drift away from traditional values. Gilda's eventual fate was much less seamy, and in no way an affront to the sensibilities of decent, hardworking Americans. Unfortunately, it was also much more drawn out, and ultimately much more dismaying, not just for her personally but for any decent, hardworking American who would prefer to have their sensibility affronted than deal with the sad fact that sometimes an early demise is just an early demise and not a comeuppance for bad behavior. Gilda lost her three-year battle against an apparently vice-free from of ovarian cancer in 1989 (this coming June she would have been 73.) As brief as their lives and careers were, neither one has yet slipped into obscurity. Had they lived, might they have worked together again? I'd like to think so. After all, as different as their deaths were, when alive they had relatively similar acting styles. But what could they have acted in? Let me take another look at the photo at the top of this post.
Hmm. A remake of Tarzan and His Mate perhaps? With the possibility of numerous sequels.