Danny Lockin

danny lockin

I was watching “Hello, Dolly!” on TCM the other night (yes, I know, I’m gayer than Christmas at Bloomingdale’s) and thinking about the cast. A number of the co-stars never really broke through. I vaguely remember that E. J. Peaker, who plays Minnie Fay in the movie, had a short-lived TV show with Bobby Morse in the 1960s. Michael Crawford did okay for himself too, mostly on stage.

But what about the cute little blond fellow who played Barnaby Tucker? I couldn’t place him. So I looked him up in IMDB. Aha. Danny Lockin. Professional dancer –

Who was horribly murdered in 1977, only about ten years after making the movie.

I recently wrote about how we like to dwell of stories of cruelty and violence and horror, and especially when they happen to celebrities.

But why?

I have a personal theory that celebrities – music, movies, TV – are our modern pantheon, our gods and demigods. We are fascinated by them, and we attribute all kinds of qualities to them. They have mana. A celebrity on the Graham Norton Show recently talked about people passing out when they met him; they simply couldn’t handle being close to someone they knew from television or the movies. Another guest agreed. Apparently it happens all the time.

And, just as with mythology and folklore, we like to hear and retell stories about celebrities.

When I was a kid, the two biggest Hollywood stories were the Eddie Fisher / Debbie Reynolds / Elizabeth Taylor triangle (Eddie and Debbie were married, and then that tramp Elizabeth broke them up!), and Elizabeth’s on-again / off-again relationship with Richard Burton. You see? Just like Greek mythology: the gods and demigods philander and cheat and scheme, and there’s always a moral at the end of the story.

And we do love it when they die spectacularly: Carole Lombard in a plane crash, George Sanders by his own hand, Sal Mineo stabbed to death.

And poor cute little Danny Lockin too.

But I don’t love it.

I am terribly terribly sorry about it.


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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