Saturday, August 25, 2012

The "Should I Talk to Him?" Moment

In early 2007 I had gone to see a play with George Grizzard in it.

He was one of my favorite actors when I was a kid, mesmerizing as John Adams in The Adams Chronicles as well as the lead in one of my favorite hourlong Twilight Zone episodes, In His Image. Although he was primarily a theater actor, originating the role of Nick in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, he invariably showed up in many, many 60s, 70s and 80s TV shows, always lending even the silliest show great integrity and presence.

After the play in 2007, I saw him smoking a cigarette outside the theater and had one of those, "Should I talk to him?" moments.

I decided, "Yes!"

So I gingerly approached. At first he was a bit standoffish, but when I told him what I knew of his work, even quoting lines he'd no doubt long since forgotten, he smiled and said, "You know, I'm really glad you came to talk to me. That was very nice to hear."

He died a few months later.