Charles Bickford and Jennifer Jones

During the research for my new book Jennifer Jones : The Life and Films to be published by McFarland & Co. Spring 2011 I came across a sad connection between Jennifer Jones and Charles Bickford who was working on The Virginian at the time. Jones viewed Bickford as a close friend having worked with him on The Song of Bernadette and Duel in the Sun. When news of his death reached Jones on November 9, 1967 she took an overdose shortly afterwards and came with seconds of death. I tell the full story in my book.

Book details (from my publisher’s website) :

The distinguished film career of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Jones (1919-2009) is thoroughly chronicled from her faltering start as Phylis Isley (her real name) at Republic Studios in 1939, to her re-invention as a major star by producer David O. Selznick, the actress’ second husband. Each of her 24 films–among them The Song of Bernadette, Since You Went Away, Duel in the Sun, Portrait of Jennie, Madame Bovary and Love Is a Many Splendored Thing–is discussed in depth.

Robert Osborne, host of the Turner Classic Movies cable channel, affectionately recalls his interview with Jennifer Jones in the Foreword. The actress’ biography, radio appearances and unrealized projects are also covered, along with previously undocumented details of her limited stage career, including a 1966 revival of Clifford Odets’ The Country Girl.

Pre-Order from McFarland & Co. Inc. Publishers

I am also accepting pre-orders for autographed copies at pgreen21@verizon

You can follow the latest information regarding the release of my latest book at my Jennifer Jones blog.

The Men From Shiloh : The Virginian Season 9 Missing From Encore Westerns

I originally posted this November 15, 2009 little knowing one year later Encore Westerns would disappoint fans by excluding it from their broadcasts of The Virginian. To exclude the final season is selling the fans short. For those who missed my post first time around or who haven’t located it in my archives here it is again. I’m only sorry loyal fans aren’t able to watch this season on Encore Westerns and judge the merits of the season for themselves..

Was the choice of ditching Percy Faith’s distinctive theme and the familiar ride-in sequence in favor of Ennio Morriconne’s Spaghetti Western influenced theme and tinted images a mistake?  It’s a matter of opinion.  I like the new theme and graphics but feel they belong to a spin-off show and not the 9th season.  The departure is too radical and feels alien to the original concept of The Virginian TV series.

The definite mistake was Trampas’ new outfit and his mustache.  And a dry stoical ‘batman’ replacing any female regular at Shiloh Ranch.

The new format never had time to grow on audiences before the cancellation of The Men From Shiloh in 1971.  An era was at an end.