Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mark's Favorite Music - Rodrigo

JP Remembering

My long term friend, lover and life partner died of a heart attack recently and my days are filled with our memories.

The steps I take in my day to day are now without him, something that was 41 years strong. We were able to spend the last eight years together, because even with our shift in our day to day, we were always closest to each other.

In the words of Bobby Darin:

Somewhere beyond the sea
somewhere waiting for me
my lover stands on golden sands
and watches the ships that go sailin'

Good-bye old friend, see you on the other side,


Friday, January 29, 2010

Mark's Keepsakes

From the bulletin board

Birthday card from niece Hayley (both sides)

at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

Poster from one of his plays with the 1/2 Measures Troupe

Condolences from Julliard about his Mom.

Obit for his father.


Birth Certificate

(all from JP Denyer)

In the flow

I have always thought it was a great picture of him. I don't know if he ever knew I had it. from Shelly (Crane) Bruehl

From George Goldie Plays

These are from the last stage performances by Mark in original plays written by a local play writer, George Goldie. Full web photo album here. (from Thomas Hannon)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

From Cousin Jean

Dear Marky,

I’m recalling New York in June, when my family came to visit your family before we set sail on the SS United States heading for England. Your mom fixed us an Italian dinner with crusty, buttery garlic bread. My mother never used garlic and bought only Pepperidge Farm bread. I wore a black and white dress with black belt and flats. I was 13, and you were younger, though you seemed older. You had a case filled with stage makeup your dad had bought you and you said you put on faces and assumed a voice and made up characters. We talked about how big New York was, you were very proud to be a New Yorker living across the street form Central Park. I argued that New York wasn’t as big as Chicago because New York had four towns in one, Manhattan being your town. You got so frustrated with me, and I knew I was being a jerk, but I wanted to win the argument. I went to the bathroom and saw a cockroach scoot across the tiny black and white tiles, the first I’d ever seen. It was huge. I told you about it, and you said, “Oh, yeah. We get those a lot.” Like that. I was really freaked, and you were nonchalant.

When I saw you next you were in high school in Van Nuys, practicing your guitar and playing in a band. You eventually switched to classical guitar, and you sounded so good. Your mom wanted to talk about things with you, but you said she didn’t understand you, and you just wanted her to back off. I talked to her and explained how you just wanted some privacy, and that seemed to calm her down. She was really worried about losing her connection with you. I didn’t know it then, but it’s pretty normal for a young man to need his mom less and less and want to be with his dad more and more. You did. You and your dad were going on summer vacation to San Francisco and your mom and John were coming later. You sat up front with your dad while he drove the Volvo along highway one all the way up the coast. I was in the back seat watching the ocean and the sky and we stopped and took pictures. You were pretty content, sitting and talking with your dad.

I visited you and your mom many times after that at 5445 Sunnyslope. But the time that stands out was when the Olympics came to LA. I brought my three kids and you showed me I could rent a car cheap at Rent a Wreck. We went to Universal Studios and later I drove your mom and my kids to the Berea Tar Pits. I wanted to take her out to dinner, but she wouldn’t let me. She said I needed to save my money. We came home and she made us butter pasta and tiny shrimp with steamed broccoli.

We weren’t very good company because we were going through a divorce. You hung around the house anyway and showed Carley and Jesse your Beta movie collection. We swam in the pool a lot and collected lemons off the ground. You helped Jesse figure where to roller blade without getting lost and generally were a brother to me. I took pictures of you next to your father’s rose bushes in front of your house with Carley and Jesse.

I remember more but this little bit has helped me. Thanks for the memories, Mark.

Cousin Jean Robbins
Seneca South Carolina

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The early 70's

This photo of him as Toby Belch in “Twelfth Night” at LA Valley College certainly seems appropriate foreshadowing of his “tech averse” lifestyle to which someone has already alluded.

I especially like the image of him playing his guitar. Seems fitting that he might have enjoyed playing his own requiem. (from David Read)

From Dread

It is with great sadness that I learned of the untimely passing of my (almost) lifelong friend. I last talked to Mark in December and he actually sounded pretty good. No short term memory, but we talked a bit about the old days and there were glimmers of the old “Marky” who we all knew and loved.

Mark and his entire family had a profound influence on me as a teenager struggling to find my way. So many things that I still cherish to this day like theatre and Shakespeare, film and classical music, which I have passed on to my children, all began with or were nurtured by Mark. Even as a young man, his epic memory was somewhat daunting as he rattled off information about composers and directors at light speed. His knowledge of film making was what made our youthful 8mm art film endeavors possible as we attempted our own re-telling of the Faust legend.

How strange that Mark died on a day when I was in New York City. It was in December of 1982, that I visited NYC for the first time with Mark and his family.

I will miss his great sense of humor, caustic wit and strong political beliefs. I will never forget the first time I saw him shoot a suction-cup-headed dart at the TV when a news commentator or public official had said something that didn’t jive with Mark’s point of view.

This may be the first of a couple of offerings to this memorial endeavor as I continue to cull from my nearly 30 years of photos I took of Mark. I will look for those that may reveal something special about the man who meant so much to us.

And so it is….and to paraphrase a bit….

“Alas, poor Marky ! I knew him well. A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. Where be your gibes now? your
gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?” (with apologies to Wm. Shakespeare)

He will be missed, but I shall remain thankful for that best of him which he shared and passed on to all of us.
“Parting is such sweet sorrow……”


(that funny nickname that Mark coined for me in High School while coming up with our own unique stage names for various drama festivals. Somehow “D.Randolph Read” was distilled to “Dread” along the way.)(David Read)

He ought to be in pictures...

He is on celluloid forever.
Click here for Mark's work listed at IMDB.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The World's a Stage...

Country Wife

Hamlet (Mark on left with Jon Voight)

3 Sisters (all from William J Taylor)

Mark's Reel

From JP's Stash

(Above) Drawn by a fellow who he met around his 50th birthday, yes from county prison in down town Los Angeles, CountyJail. The signature credit is for the artist is Vroom.

Truly nice picture of him and his Mom.

Herb, holding Mark at two weeks, notice the signature square head.

Jean, holding Mark at what looks like 3-5, again notice the signature square head.

A poem he really liked with this particular photo and always had it posted where he could look at it. They are two unrelated images that he liked together. (JP)

From Hyam

Mark, Myself and Dan Rosen (Dan’s in front). Dan was a very close friend (and fellow rock-concert addict) of Mark’s and mine all through high school. He even played rhythm guitar in the first band that Mark and I were in together, back in 1967. This photo was taken in August of 1980, during the only time Mark and I visited with Dan since we all left high school.

Mark and his first wife, Julie, taken on their wedding day, June 21, 1975

Hyam, Ken Brown and Mark, joined by Ken’s then-girlfriend Debbie Thilo. Ken was a good friend of ours during that time, whose whereabouts are unknown to me. (Hyam Sosnow)


Hyam Sosnow (left), Ken Brown (center) and Mark giving the one-finger salute (my mom took the photo – she always was “one of the guys”) after dropping a friend off for a flight at L.A. International Airport early in 1969. This is essential Mark. Hyam Sosnow
Mark and I had been very close friends ever since junior high school (I played in bands with him all through junior high and high school). Like everyone who knew Mark I was shocked and saddened by the news of his passing. He had called me only a couple of weeks before and we had a very good conversation – our last, as it turned out. He hasn’t been out of my thoughts since Jennifer gave me the news last week. Hyam Sosnow.

Early sightings

Far left: JP and Mark. Blue ring: Mark at Milleken Junior High.

Dashing lad in High School. (from JP Denyer)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I am taking some time, I watched the golden globes and bid my adieus to one of their fallen comrades as I thought about Mark all evening long chortling in the background about these awards and award ceremonies in general. I hope he is happy reading his newspaper, sipping his coffee, trying to figure this all out. (from JP Denyer)