Friday, August 29, 2014

Blame The Dowager!

'Everyone goes down the aisle with half the story hidden.'

So... why am I devoting an entire day's posts to actor Timothy Bottoms? Well we can blame The Dowager Countess of Grantham.  My love of Downton Abbey has had me  seeking out more of Maggie Smith's projects. Last winter I caught a few of her older movies including California Suite, The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, and even the 'difficult to get through' Clash Of The Titans. As gifted as Smith is as an actress, I am not sure, (with the possible exception of her stage work) there has been a better fit of actress with character than her portrayal of Violet Crawley. One of the other movies I was lucky to catch on TCM was the 1973 flick Love And Pain And The Whole Damned Thing. Although a little 'long winded' at times, I think this was one of my favorites of the Smith flicks that I caught.

One of things I loved so much about the movie, was not just Smith, but the adorable fresh faced actor Timothy Bottoms.  Bottoms played the teenager who meets, then falls in love with, the much older and emotional repressed Smith, while travelling through Spain. I instantly began crushing over Bottoms, and it was his performance that stuck with me. Bottoms was barely 20 during the filming and although I was knew of him, but was not really familiar with his work or career. I made a note, and a desktop folder, to save any images of Bottoms to use for a birthday post when the 30th of August rolled around this year. Well, dipping into the folder last week, the amount of images runneth over....

After Whole Damned Thing, between TCM, AMC, Amazon and e-bay, I have caught about a half dozen of Bottom's films the last few months, mostly his early work in film. I watched and enjoyed Roller Coaster, Pound Of Flesh, The Paper Chase, The White Dawn, the 1981 mini-series East Of Eden and arguably Bottom's most well known role in 1971's The Last Picture Show.

I have written over the years on FH, about many actors whom I have been surprised have not become bigger stars. Bottoms has moved to the top of that list. Since his film debut in 1971, Bottoms has appeared in close to 120 films, television movies and tv guest spots. Bottoms did not just appear, but in the 1970's in particular, he took leading roles in many big films co-starring along side some of the movies biggest stars. Bottoms has continue to work steadily since the 70's, moving back and forth between television projects and feature films through much of the eighties and nineties and beyond. In 2014, Bottoms appears in two films, Sweet Surrender and the soon to be released The Men's Group.

I am not exactly sure why Bottoms did not join the ranks of other Hollywood stars who have gained greater fame.  His skill and acting resume is certainly on par with many whose names are more familiar. Could be he that although he has had the projects, he has not had the opportunity to shine as some others had. Bottoms was, and is a great looking guy, it was that face of his that first had me wanting to find out more. He may not have that 'edgy' look some others actors do, he is more an everyman, although he was convincingly psycho in Roller Coaster. Regardless of the reason, I thank the Dowager for introducing me to his work and with 119 projects on his resume, I look forward to spending many more hours with Mr. Bottoms in the future.

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