I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that my wife has a thing for the late Wally Cox. I’m not sure how well known he is in the modern world, but he was the top left square on the old Hollywood Squares, the voice of Underdog, and a good friend of Marlon Brando’s.
I get the impression that Beth likes nerdy, mild-mannered guys, although I understand Cox was actually a lot more athletic than his typical roles made him appear. I get the impression that he suffered from depression, and he died at the age of forty-eight.
While they’re all out of print now, Cox wrote four books, all in fairly different styles. I’d already read his autobiographical book My Life As a Small Boy, and Beth recently loaned me Ralph Makes Good, a parody of the Horatio Alger American rags-to-riches tales. The main character is a charming but naive “young boy of forty” (not quite as absurd nowadays as at the time it was written, I’m sure) who leaves his mother’s farm to conquer the big city. The writing style was kind of snarky, and the story as a whole humorous while maintaining a high level of charm.