Monday, January 09, 2006

Patrick Cranshaw, Old School's Blue, Dies at 86

If you have to go out, it's best to go out fighting with a couple of naked and oiled up coeds in your face, right?

There was Blue, the oldest and scrappiest codger of a frat pledge you could ever meet, heading out into the KY jelly wrestling ring, an Animal House (in this case, Old School) worthy audience of cacophonous drunken fools screaming him on in earnest.

Frank the Tank, played by Will Ferrell, asked Blue if he was ready and the old Navy man said, "Just ring the f***in' bell, you pansy."

Now Patrick Cranshaw, who played Blue, as well as a kaleidoscope of roles, in an acting career that spanned six decades, is dead of natural causes at the age of 86.

A remarkable career it was, too, with roles in a myriad of films and television shows that are cultural landmarks on the pop culture scene. Indeed, a festival featuring Patrick Cranshaw offerings would be great fun and great entertainment both.

For example, the following could be easily whipped up:

Day One
Iconic Moments: Popular Culture Rears Its Counter-Culture Head
* Bonnie and Clyde
* Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band

Day Two
Cutting Edge Mid-'90s Cinema
* Ed Wood
* The Hudsucker Proxy

You could have a Really Bad Comedies Night too (Air Bud: Spikes Back anyone?) but that would tarnish the man's legacy. The final night, the Big Night, would feature Old School, a film that you have to love even if you detest lowbrow comedy (just ask my wife!).

And when Will Ferrell utters the now famous line, "You're my boy, Blue!" we will all heartily agree.

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