Jul 13, 2010

Ethel Merman: A Showstopping, Ripsnorting Swan Song

I recently re-watched Airplane (1980), and I was stunned to see Ethel Merman in a brief cameo. I couldn't believe that I had forgotten this hilarious moment. I checked out her filmography later, and realized that this was Merman's last movie role. What a great way to go! Singing your most famous song with gusto while getting a laugh in an enormously successful comedy. Good work Ethel!

(Too bad this didn't happen for more classic actresses who worked past the studio age. Can you imagine an exit like this for Joan Crawford, Bette Davis or Veronica Lake?)

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