Saturday, July 2, 2016


Dearest Vanya,

I'm watching The Pallisers for the third time. Susan Hampshire reminds me so much of you.

Susan Hampshire

Vanya Franck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Vanya may refer to:
  • Uncle Vanya, a tragicomedy by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov
  • Vanya (Ваня), a unisex diminutive of the Russian, Bulgarian and other Slavic given name Ivan, meaning "God is gracious" or "Gracious gift of God". It is the Russian, Bulgarian and other Slavic form of John. An alternative spelling of the name is Vanja. In the Scandinavian countries and in Bulgaria it is a female given name, and in Serbia and Croatia it is a unisex name.[citation needed]
  • An Elf of the Vanyar in the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Codename for the Tsar Bomba, a powerful nuclear weapon
  • Vanya in Sanskrit means 'Ideal Daughter'
  • Vanya in Russian means 'God is Gracious' or 'Gracious Gift of God'

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Still missing you my dear friend

Dear Vanya, I think about you often. Sometimes I see somebody who reminds me of you, their haircut or posture, their lithe silhouette. I miss you still, a lot, my dear friend.

There are so many things to talk with you about! The coming elections, Brexit, events in the news. I want to sit with you in your marvelously decorated living room, that you painted all by yourself and hear you talk about the time you went to university and studied with Maslow, just be with you again.

Looking you up online tonight I see you were in Alfie with Terence Stamp in 1964

Vanya Franck and Terence Stamp in the stage production Alfie!

On the IMDB also in 

Improper Channels

Improper ChannelsNurse on Telephone

You played Margaret Lord in

Alaska Repertory Theatre
 Anchorage/Fairbanks, Alaska
 The Philadelphia Story
Philip Barry
 Third Production of the Eighth Season  Dec. 22, 1983 to Jan. 13, 1984 

©David Predeger 

You were listed on the Tony Awards site as one of the people who died in 2012/2013 in good company with actors and actresses you would have been pleased to be listed among. 

Richard Adler
Paul Ainsley
John Aman
Christine Anderson
Patty Andrews
Allan Arbus
R.G. Armstrong
Victor Arnold
David Atkinson
Conrad Bain
Shirley Ballard
Billy Barnes
Daniel Barton
Ralph Beaumont
David Berk
Eddie Bert
Lois Bewley
Herbert Blau
Ernest Borgnine
Louis Botto
Beverley Bozeman
Richard Briers
Jacqueline Brookes
Brian Brownlee
Betty Ann Busch
Helena Carroll
Janet Carroll
Dorothy Carter
Rudy Challenger
Marianne Challis
William Chapman
Shirley Chester
Sybil Christopher
David Connell
Harold "Stumpy" Cromer
Sam Crothers
Edward Crotty
Leslie B. Cutler
Hal David
Audrey Dearden
Henry Denker
Phyllis Diller
Jacquelyn Dubois
Victor Duntiere
Charles Durning
Burt Edwards
Nora Ephron
Patrick Farrelly
Doris Faye
Peter Flint
Steve Forrset
Manheim Fox
Vanya Franck

Bonnie Franklin
Frederick Franklin
Robin Gibb
Virginia Gibson
Ben Gillespie
Kevin Gray
Michael Gray
Martha Greenhouse
Andy Griffith
Richard Griffiths
James Grout
Larry Hagman
Marvin Hamlisch
Arthur Hammer
William Hanley
Paul Harris
Al Freeman Jr.
Sherman Hemsley
Susan Hight
Celeste Holm
Howard Honig
Edgar "Buddy" Freitag
Jonathan Frid
Luigi Gasparinetti
John Horn
Scott Hunter
George Ives
Charles Jaffe
Barney Johnston
Fay Kanin
John Kerr
Jerome Kilty
Marketa Kimbrell
Archer King
Larry L. King
Jack Klugman
Garrett Lewis
Karl Light
George Lindsey
Mort Lindsey
Ralph Linn
Susan Luckey
Morgan MacKay
Lori March
Albert Marre
Sid Marshall
Joel Marston
Matt Mattox
James McGill
Patricia Medina
Roy Miller
Kathi Moss
Leonard A. Mulhern
Lou Myers
Michael O'Hare
Lupe Ontiveros
George Ormiston
Milo O'Shea
Martin Pakledinaz
Larry Payton
John R. Powers
Phil Ramone
Martin Richards
Jack Richardson
Fred Ridgeway
Joan Roberts
Steve Roland
Marty Ross
Frederick Neumann
Frank Savino
Barbara Newman
John Newton
Melva Niles
Patricia Northrop
William Nuss
Jeremy Nussbaum
Ravi Shankar
Gloria Hope Sher
Lee Silver
Frank O'Brien
Mike O'Carroll
Mark O'Donnell
Gretchen Oehler
Carrie Smith
Victor Spinetti
Joan Stein
Arthur Storch
Ian Stuart
Anne Sullivan
Donna Summer
Willy Switkes
Maria Tallchief
Beatrice Terry
Phyllis Thaxter
Susan Tyrrell
Porter Van Zandt
Gore Vidal
Simon Ward
Evelyn Ward
Fran Warren
Andy Williams
William Windom
Eugene V. Wolsk
Jean Sincere Zambello
Your official obit in the Toronto Star


  • "Vanya, my memories of our dear friendship will last as long..."
    - Judith Roberts

FRANCK, Vanya - Died April 28, 2012; born Montreal 1928. Actor, writer, director, teacher, designer, counsellor. Performed at the Crest Theatre and at Stratford in the 1960s. Broadway credits include Alfie, Conduct Unbecoming : other notable theatre roles Alma Summer and Smoke, Masha The Seagull, Margaret A Man for All Seasons : movies include The Other Side of Midnight, Consensus . She was a member of Jean Erdman's Theater of the Open Eye Company and Artist in Residence at Brandeis University for 3 years. She wrote a play, Spectrum of One, and an epic poem To Kill a Tiger (2011 Pathways Publishing). Formerly married to Charles Jarrott, she was predeceased by her brother Kerle Palin: survived by her sister Esther; nieces Elaine, Vivian, Jennifer; nephews Ted, Wood; special friends Dora, Dan, Savannah, John, Yusef and Elizabeth Shepherd. Her credo: "Creating beauty is never a waste of time"
Published in the Toronto Star on May 5, 2012
- See more at: 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The entry I wrote for Vanya that was never published

The entry I wrote for the Guest book, that the guest book admin refuses to publish there.
Whoever it is could drop me an email, tell me what I'm doing wrong, if anything. It just feels like a slammed door on this end and having not been told about Vanya's death for 4 months, it feels like additional ill will.

I'm hurt and frustrated that the Guest book admin, who I assume is Elizabeth, refuses to publish my entry. As the days have passed and the shock of learning about Vanya's death has worn off, I realize my thoughts are too raw, too personal, not the typical Hallmark version of what people write there. I guess I have to edit the raw bits and try again.

------------The raw version:
Vanya, my dear friend, I only just heard about your death weeks ago. I'm deeply sad you've gone. I miss you and love you and will remember you with great tenderness the rest of my life. I made a blog about you here with pictures and memories. I know you weren't sentimental but I am and I want a place to put my thoughts about you.

Where are you, I need to come downstairs, walk up the steps to your apartment door in the adjacent building, sit in your apartment over tea and complain to you about this! I miss you terribly Vanya. It was so terrible when you knew Alzheimer's had taken hold of your brain. How you fought it until you were 80 and it took control! What strength of spirit you had! I hated grieving for you then, seeing you slowly drift away my dear friend of 25 years.

I want to come visit you now, we could talk to two in the morning about everything, as usual, wandering from topic to topic, about your red setter or you showing me how Becky finds her biscuits in the cushions or places you hide them, your could show me your latest furniture find in NYC garbage that you've transformed into a work of art, like that great flattened birdcage on your wall. 

We could talk about interviews on Charlie Rose, talks by Joseph Campbell, about myths, about your writing, about your mother or my mother, about our neighbors, about family dysfunction, about regrets, about Angel, who I loathed even though I never met him and you were furious at me for loathing, about that Stephen Hawkins documentary on the origins of the universe that changed your life and made you feel God for the first time in many years, not in a religious way or Christian way but in a cosmic resonance way. Or you could brag about your latest find at the Salvation army, a leather jacket you transformed by restitching it and dyeing in your claw foot bathtub in the kitchen.

We could eat some of your marvelous food. I could tell you that you could write a great book of recipes, the cool ideas you always cooked up in all sorts of ways, which you never thought were a big deal but I thought were amazing. You're deeply a part of my life dearest Vanya and you always will be. I do hope that you are enjoying a marvelous cosmic resonance now.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thinking about Vanya's brother, Kerle tonight

Came across this profoundly moving eulogy, written by Vanya's niece, Vivian, about her dear father, Kerle, who was Vanya's brother. So beautifully written, full of love, respect and deeply uplifting. It brought tears to my eyes.

Looking at the photographs, there is one of a newspaper clipping about Kerle's internment in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

It mentions the family address at that time. I wanted to see where Vanya's family lived then, during World War II. 

There's an image on Google maps of 4481 Avenue Madison
Montréal, QC H4B 2V1, Canada

Vanya had told me many times about her brother being a prisoner of war, the terrible impact it had on the family for years, as everybody didn't know if he would be found, a kind of holding their breath in dread for year after year. I think she felt insignificant and helpless all those years. She was 14 when he was captured in far off Java, 17 years old when he was freed and came home again. Much of their relationship as brother and sister was taken away by that experience, separated by war, fear, disappearance, time and distance. I think it left Vanya somewhat paralyzed in her feelings, unable to grieve, sort of on hold when it came to losing somebody.

His disappearance definitely traumatized her. Of course it was in a much different way than the harsh reality of Kerle's being a prisoner of war, the life and death reality he faced. Her trauma was internal, no obvious wounds she could talk about or show anybody. But the fear of losing her brother, of not knowing, all those years, the dread, it hurt her deeply and left deep scars.

Strange to know Vanya's brother only from her point of view, not having met him in person. I wish I had met him. I spent 20 years of my life hearing stories off and on about Kerle. An odd mosaic hologram that, knowing about him through his sister's memories and thoughts. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vanya's ex-husband, Charles Jarrott

Charles' marriage to Rosemary Palin (1st wife)
CATEGORY: PortraitATTACHED TO: Charles B Jarrott (1927-2011)
Vanya at her wedding to Charles Jarrott
Charles Jarrott (16 June 1927 – 4 March 2011)[1] was a British film and television director. He was best known for costume dramas he directed for producer Hal B. Wallis, among them Anne of the Thousand Days, which earned him a Golden Globe for Best Director in 1970.
Jarrott died on 4 March 2011 from prostate cancer.

Born: 16-Jun-1927
Birthplace: London, England
Died: 4-Mar-2011
Location of death: Los Angeles, CA
Cause of death: Cancer - Prostate
Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Film Director

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Anne of the Thousand Days

Wife: Rosemary Palin (m. 5-May-1949, div. 7-May-1957)
Wife: Katharine Blake (actress, m. 11-Jul-1959, div. 7-May-1982, d. 1-Mar-1991)
Wife: Suzanne Bledsoe (m. 13-Sep-1992, d. 26-Sep-2003)

    Golden Globe 1970 for Anne of the Thousand Days
    Risk Factors: Prostate Cancer

Charles Jarrott obituary

British-born director known for Anne of the Thousand Days and Mary, Queen of Scots
Charles Jarrott
Charles Jarrott started his career on Armchair Theatre and The Wednesday Play. Photograph: Ronald Grant
The film and television director Charles Jarrott, who has died of cancer aged 83, began his career during a golden period of British TV drama, working on Armchair Theatre and The Wednesday Play in the 1960s alongside writers and directors such as Ken Loach, Dennis Potter and David Mercer. Both series were presided over by the Canadian producer Sydney Newman, who encouraged original work – what he called "agitational contemporaneity" – and had an astonishing impact. But in 1969 Jarrott's career took a different turn when he left for Hollywood, thereby increasing his income a hundredfold, while having to contend with far less adventurous material. His best films were his first, two Elizabethan costume dramas, Anne of the Thousand Days and Mary, Queen of Scots, enlivened by the Oscar-nominated performances of Richard Burton (Henry VIII), Geneviève Bujold (Anne Boleyn) and Vanessa Redgrave (Mary Stuart); Jarrott himself won a Golden Globe for his direction of the former.
Born in London, Jarrott was brought up in glamorous surroundings. His father, also Charles Jarrott, was one of Britain's greatest racing drivers. Jarrott Sr's mottos were that it was better "to race clean and lose, than to win by foul driving" and "finish at all costs". His son inherited much of his morality and determination, and a taste for show business from his mother, who was a musical-comedy performer. 
After begging his recently widowed mother to allow him to join the Royal Navy during the second world war, Jarrott served in the far east while still a teenager. After being demobbed, he joined the Nottingham Repertory Theatre as actor, stage manager and director. In 1953, he moved to Canada, where he directed his first TV play for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, on which Newman was supervising producer.
When Jarrott returned to Britain in 1960, Newman, who had joined ABC Television, invited him to join his team of young directors. Some of Jarrott's contemporaries were directors Philip Saville, Ted Kotcheff, and Alvin Rakoff, and writers Donald Churchill, Clive Exton, Alun Owen, Allan Prior and Hugh Leonard. Few of them made successful transitions to the big screen nor did much better or more interesting work than they did during this period.
Four years later, when Newman moved to the BBC, Jarrott joined him. Among the first teleplays he directed was The Young Elizabeth (1964), starring his South-African born wife Katharine Blake as Mary Tudor, a foretaste of his feature-film debut. Among his directing triumphs at the BBC were two plays by Harold Pinter, Tea Party (1965) and The Basement (1967); The Wesker Trilogy (1966); a couple of Irish-set plays by Leonard; and The Snow Ball (1966), adapted by his wife from the Brigid Brophy novel.
From 1959 to 1969, Jarrott was mostly occupied with directing a breathtaking range of plays for Armchair Theatre. There were fantasies – notably The Rose Affair (1961), Owen's take on Beauty and the Beast; social dramas, such as Athol Fugard's The Blood Knot (1963); classics, including Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1961) with Jeremy Brett in the title role, and comedies. One of his final television assignments before Hollywood called was The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1968), shot in Canada, with Jack Palance in the dual role.
All this remarkable work brought him to the attention of the producer Hal B Wallis, who invited Jarrott to direct Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), the success of which led to Mary, Queen of Scots (1971). Jarrott then embarked on Lost Horizon (1973), an expensive ($7m-plus), interminable (150 minutes), musical version of James Hilton's novel about Shangri-La. Actually, Jarrott did the best he could against the dire songs, the calamitous choreography and the kitschy sets. The mega-flop ruined the career of the producer Ross Hunter, but only slightly dented Jarrott's. 
Away from the purgatory of Shangri-La, Jarrott's next film was The Dove (1974), the name of a 23ft sloop on which 16-year-old Robin Lee Graham (Joseph Bottoms) sailed for five years on a solo voyage around the world in 1965. Photographed on location by Sven Nykvist, it was a sea-blue movie with most of the footage being of Bottoms, weathering tropical storms and being swept overboard, only interrupted by a soppy love story on the Fiji islands. Soppy, too, was The Other Side of Midnight (1977), based on a bestselling novel by Sidney Sheldon. An over-the-top melodrama, it covered the second world war and its aftermath in three hours.
Jarrott, who had settled in Los Angeles, was taken up by Walt Disney Productions for several films including The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980) and Condorman (1981), neither of which added to his reputation. His subsequent work on American television could not have been more dissimilar from his days at ITV and BBC. There were biopics such as Ike (1986), on Eisenhower; I Would Be Called John: Pope John XXIII (1987); Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story (1987); and The Woman He Loved (1988), on Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson, and soaps based on blockbuster novels by Judith Krantz (Till We Meet Again, 1989), Danielle Steel (Changes, 1991) and Jackie Collins (Lady Boss, 1992).
Jarrott's last feature, Turn of Faith (2002), co-produced by and starring former boxer Ray Mancini, was a minor mobster thriller. Jarrott, who was married three times, leaves no survivors.
• Charles Jarrott, film and television director, born 16 June 1927; died 4 March 2011

Charles Jarrott

Charles Jarrott, 83, Director of Period Movies, Dies