19 August 2016

EFSP's Dazzling Dozen: From the Small to the Big Screen

There are many examples of film stars who became TV stars. Think Joan Collins in Dynasty (1981–1989) or more recently Gérard Dépardieu in Marseille (2016), the first French original production for Netflix. The other way around, the jump seems to be more difficult. So today at EFSP 12 postcards of dazzling TV stars who transferred successfully to the big screen.

Clint Eastwood in Rawhide (1959–1966)
British postcard by D. Constance Ltd, London, no. 106. Photo: Reisfeld / Ufa. Publicity still for the TV series Rawhide (1959–1966).

Before he rose to fame as the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone's classic Spaghetti Westerns Per un pugno di dollari/A Fistful of Dollars (1964), Per qualche dollaro in più/For a Few Dollars More (1965), and Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo/The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Clint Eastwood (1930) was a TV star as Rowdy Yates in the Western series Rawhide (1959–1966).

Roger Moore as Ivanhoe
Belgian postcard by S. Best (SB), Antwerpen. Photo: still for Ivanhoe (1958-1959).

Roger Moore (1927) will always be remembered as the guy who replaced Sean Connery in the James Bond series, but he was also our favourite Ivanhoe, Saint and Persuader on TV.

Patrick McGoohan
Spanish postcard by Oscar Color, Hospitalet (Barcelona), no. 612.

Though born in America, Irish actor Patrick McGoohan (1928-2009) rose to become the number-one British TV star in the 1950s to 1960s era. In 1959, he was named Best TV Actor of the Year in Britain. Shortly thereafter, he was chosen for the starring role in Secret Agent/Danger Man (1960), which proved to be an immense success for three years and allowed the British to break into the burgeoning American television market for the first time. McGoohan starred in, directed, produced, and wrote many of the episodes of the TV series The Prisoner (1967) about the efforts of a secret agent, who resigned early in his career, to clear his name. His aim was to escape from a fancifully beautiful but psychologically brutal prison for people who know too much. The series was as popular as it was surreal and allegorical and its mysterious final episode caused such an uproar that McGoohan was to desert England for more than 20 years to seek relative anonymity in Hollywood, where he appeared in films like Escape from Alcatraz (1979), Scanners (1981) and Braveheart (1995).

The Flying Nun
Dutch postcard, no. 24.

Before she won two Oscars, Sally Field starred as the 90-pound novice Sister Bertrille, whose large headgear, enables her to fly in any stiff breeze in The Flying Nun (1967-1970), a sweet American TV series about the misadventures of Bertrille and her convent San Tanco in Puerto Rico.

The Avengers, Diana Rigg
French postcard by Universal Collections, 2002. Photo: Canal+ Image UK Ltd.

Diana Rigg (1938) played Emma Peel in The Avengers (1961-1969), a delicious, quirky Spy-Fi television series set in cold war Britain. In one hour episodes, The Avengers focused on the adventures of eccentric, suave British agent John Steed (Patrick Macnee) working for the 'Ministry' and his investigative partner Emma Peel, who combined self-assuredness with superior fighting skills, intelligence, and a contemporary fashion sense. Later Diana Rigg played the bride of James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and starred in many other films.

Dora van der Groen (1927-2015)
Belgian postcard by Best, Antwerpen, no 34. Photo: Humo. Publicity still for the TV series Wij, heren van Zichem/We, gentlemen from Zichem (Maurits Balfoort, 1969).

Belgian actress and theatre director Dora van der Groen (1927-2015) played Melanie in the Belgian TV series Wij, heren van Zichem/We, gentlemen from Zichem (1969), which was very popular at the time in the Lowlands. Later she starred with Kees Brusse in the Dutch film classic Dokter Pulder zaait papavers/Doctor Pulder Sows Poppies (1975) and appeared in more than 120 films and television shows till 2003.

Rutger Hauer in Floris (1969)
Dutch collectors card, no. 19, 1970. Photo: Gerard Soeteman. Publicity still for the TV series Floris (1969).

Floris (1969) was the start of the successful careers of director Paul Verhoeven, scriptwriter Gerard Soeteman and of course Rutger Hauer. Hauer played the exiled knight Floris van Rosemondt in this Dutch TV series full of intrigues, mysteries and adventures.

Marthe Keller and Louis Velle in La Demoiselle d'Avignon (1972)
French postcard by Editions Atlas, Evreux, no. 6441 904. Photo: publicity still for the TV series La demoiselle d'Avignon/The lady of Avignon (1972).

Beautiful Swiss actress Marthe Keller (1945) appeared in several French, Italian and German films but she became a star when she played a beautiful princess in the TV series La demoiselle d'Avignon/The lady of Avignon (Michel Wyn, 1972). She then seemed to make it big in Hollywood with an award winning role in Marathon Man (1976) and a much-publicised affair with Al Pacino. But the failure of Fedora (1978) halted a major international film career. She continued to act in European productions, and since 1999 she has a new career as an opera director.

Michel Strogoff, Raimund Harmstorf
Vintage postcard. Photo: publicity still for the TV series Michael Strogoff: Der Kurier des Zaren/Michel Strogoff (1975).

German actor Raimund Harmstorf (1939-1998) became famous as the protagonist of the German TV mini series Der Seewolf/The Sea-Wolf (1971), based on Jack London's classic novel. Later on, he starred successfully in another German TV series Michael Strogoff: Der Kurier des Zaren/Michel Strogoff (1975), based on Jules Verne's adventure novel. Harmstorf was unforgettable as the handsome hero with a secret mission in an old Russia threatened by Cossacks and frozen rivers, wearing woolly hats and serious faces. Both series were sold to many countries. Harmstorf then became a star of the Eurowestern but his life ended as a tragedy.

Til Schweiger
German postcard. Photo: Volker Corell.

Handsome actor, director, and producer Til Schweiger (1963) first appeared onscreen in the popular German TV series Lindenstraße (1989-1992). Since then, no other German actor has drawn more people to the cinemas.

Katja Schuurman
Dutch postcard in the GTST-verzamelkaarten series by RTL4, no. 10. Photo: Govert de Roos. Publicity still for Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST (1994-1999).

Sexy and exotic Katja Schuurman (1975) was - as Jessica Harmsen in the daily TV series Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST (1994-1999) - one of the first soap stars of the Netherlands. She showed durability as a TV host and as an actress in many TV series and films.

Rowan Atkinson
Dutch postcard by Interstat, Amsterdam. Photo: Polygram / CPL.

Funny English actor and screenwriter Rowan Atkinson (1955) is best known for his much-loved historical sitcom Blackadder (1983-1989) and for the series around the clumsy, face-pulling Mr. Bean (1990-1995). The black-haired, bug-eyed, and weak-chinned comedian had also success in the cinema with Bean (1997), the sequel Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007) and with his James Bond parody Johnny English (2003).

This is a post for Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.

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