Monday, January 2, 2012

Catherine Burns

Barbara Hershey, Richard Thomas and Bruce Davidson are all good actors and stars in their own right. However, it was little known Catherine Burns who in 1969 out shined them all as the shy, straight-laced friend, Rhoda in the disturbing coming-of-age film Last Summer, which earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.

This was followed by another good film with Richard Thomas, Red Sky at Morning, and a slew of television guest appearances, which were usually above the material she was given.


In the mid 1980's it appears that Catherine Burns dropped out of the acting profession and turned her attention to writing. She is the author of a children's book, The Winter Bird.

Who knows why so many talented actors walk away from their careers and what circumstances lead up to their decision. It's good to know that the work of Catherine Burns is out there for all to find. And when you do, you're in for a real treat.

11 comments:

  1. Catherine Burns was great in Red Sky at Morning.
    Her performance has always allured me... the girl next door to spend your life with.

    Saw her years later at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in Our Town (Mrs. Webb?).

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  2. Rewatching Red Sky And She Is Marvelous. What A Shame We've Not Seen More Of Her.

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  3. I have been In Love with Catherine since Red Sky at Morning in 1971! Great actress!

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  4. I just saw Catherine today for the first time in a Waltons episode. I found her very compelling to watch, such sensitive eyes. I've spent the last hour trying to figure out why she left acting. She was superb, and I only saw her on a TV show. Hope your life is going well, Catherine.

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  5. I don't care if she's 70 years old nowadays. I would dearly love to see her in something new again. Probably still as cute as the Dickens. We didn't get enough of this marvelous talent before.

    Catherine Burns, please, please come back!

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  6. Red Sky not on Netflix. How can one see this movie?

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    1. I've been a fan of "Red Sky at Morning" since I read Richard Bradford's novel in the late '60s. The novel is as good as the movie, and a little easier to find.

      However, I've never been able to find a legal, commercial quality copy of the movie. It was supposedly released on VHS tape in the '80s, but if it was I've never found it on eBay, etc. There are some make-on-demand suppliers who burn CD-ROM copies of questionable legality and variable quality (one copy I got still had the Robert Osborne's lead-in from TCM attached). And yes, TCM does still run it once every couple of years.

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  7. Red Sky not on Netflix. How can one see this movie?

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  8. I got the biggest crush on Catherine Burns after seeing her in LAST SUMMER in 1969 while I was in the Air Force stationed in the Aleutian Islands. Then RED SKY AT MORNING came along. Then...Catherine! Where did you go?! Anyway, the latter film, RED SKY AT MORNING, is on DVD and can be found on eBay or Amazon.

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  9. Cathy and I were classmates at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts from 1965-1967. She was a good friend and one of the most talented actors I have known. I lost touch with her a long time ago which I deeply regret. I had the joy of doing scene work with her when we were both young and hopeful.

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    1. Her performance in Last Summer haunts me to this day.

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