Monday, October 8, 2012

Cliff Gorman

They say that timing is everything and that couldn't be more true than in the career of Cliff Gorman. He was a huge Broadway star, but when they made a film of his hit stage show, Lenny, Hollywood decided to go with a better known actor named Dustin Hoffman, instead of the man that originated the role.

Hoffman is great in this film about Lenny Bruce, but chances are, Cliff Gorman would have been just as good, if not better had he been given the chance. Instead, we just have to live with the "what if's" and wonder what wonderful roles this very talented actor might have had because of that movie.

Instead, Cliff Gorman spent the majority of his career in forgettable made-for-television movies, like Terror on Track 9 and The Forget-Me-Not Murders. And although he did a lot of television work, it was his film roles that gave us a glimpse into how good he must have been on the Broadway stage.

Cliff Gorman is no longer with us, but one can check out his work in The Boys in the Band, An Unmarried Woman and Night of the Juggler to see this overlooked talent in his prime. And if you're really curious as to how he might have been in the movie, Lenny,  you can see him in a small role as a Lenny Bruce type character in Bob Fosse's All That Jazz.

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