Tuesday, October 7, 2014

He had a certain dignity. A certain bearing.

As the Mysterious Baron Samedi...
You have to be a certain age to appreciate he who was Geoffrey Holder. A tall imposing figure of a man, he sprang into existence in the greater cultural conscious as Baron Samedi in the classic James Bond film "Live and Let Die". He is actually the first movie henchman to not be killed, predating the legendary character Jaws by almost four years. I was mystified watching as the credits rolled and his very much alive figure straddled the front of the train that carried a triumphant Bond sped into the night...after Bond had supposedly killed him. Twice. 

Or if you're a bit younger you might remember him as the libertine art director in Eddie Murphy's also now classic opus to love "Boomerang." Holder's distinctive deep baritone voice, his interpretation of the words on paper to create the character of Nelson. The man in a few screen moments managed to portray an odd, educated yet wickedly perverse person, whom you knew you wanted to hang out with just ONE time so you could say you did it. Think about all the other characters in the film, wouldn't Nelson have been someone to follow into the night for drinks...just to see what would happen?
Geoffrey Holder - Actor.

But in reality he was a actor. A stage actor. Live theater. No retakes, just talent. Winner of Tonys. Revolutionary is how people have referred to him. And most of us were just amazed by the little we did see. Imagine had we been privy to it all. Mr. Holder, I wish there had been an opportunity to see more of your magic. But thanks just the same, for I am grateful for what I did receive. 

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