Something for Thursday (Geoffrey Lewis edition)

I see that actor Geoffrey Lewis has died. He was a very common character actor when I was a kid, and I saw him in a lot of stuff, most memorably his turn as Orville, best friend of Clint Eastwood’s Philo Beddoe in Every Which Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can. I know, they’re “bad” movies, but while you can often return to things you loved as a kid and see their faults laid bare, not so for me with these two movies, as ridiculous as they are. (And boy howdy, are they.) But those aren’t the only movies in which Lewis turned up; as I noted, he was in a lot of stuff. One memorable turn was as the town sheriff in the Mel Gibson teacher movie The Man Without A Face. In that film, it would have been easy to have the sheriff be wholly on the side of the townsfolk who eventually turn on the reclusive, disfigured teacher with a questionable past, and there are times when he definitely leans that way, but Lewis plays the sheriff as a man who seems to wearily know what’s really happening but is simply unable (or not entirely willing) to stop it, or at least try to stand in its way.

Lewis was also active in an odd storytelling-music group called Celestial Navigations. I’m sure I’ve featured this here before, but it’s really a fun bit of spoken-word art, and other Celestial Navigations performances with Geoffrey Lewis are well-worth tracking down.

I ain’t makin’ a move, I ain’t sayin’ a word — until somebody pays me!

Thanks for all the great work, Geoffrey Lewis!

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