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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 17, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta 20 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, February 17, 1975 Bain was loser I THREE OF ACTOR CONRAD BAIN'S MANY EXPRESSIONS DURING INTERVIEW Colin Shaw photo Actor still prefers theatre, despite TV success Actor Conrad Bain has grown rather fond of his television self, Arthur Har- mon, over the past three years, but he can't manage to fall in love with Hollywood. In a candid interview while in Lethbridge for the Western Canadian Lottery presen- tation, Mr. Bain said he'd en- joy like having a man like Arthur for a real life neighbor. But he added, "the whole Hollywood thing is less than fascinating to He was set on an acting career even as a youth. He became active in drama while attending Western Canada High School in Calgary. Mr. Bain credits Dr. Betty Mitchell for giving him the instruction and encourage- ment which started him on the road to Broadway. "I thought I was Orson Welles in those he laughs, recalling his involve- ment in acting, writing and directing a play a few years later, when stationed in Calgary with the army. He worked to found the Workshop 14 troupe, which later became Theatre Calgary. "I don't view directing as a great departure from he says. "It's all part of the creative thing. "I've been very he says of his career. "Televi- sion was coming in about the time I graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and I did a lot of TV work right away, as well as theatre." Prefers theatre Despite the undisputed success of Maude and the growing appreciation for his gradual development of Arthur's character from ultra conservative nay sayer to a more rounded human being with redeeming qualities, Mr. Bain confesses he prefers the theatre to any other acting medium. "It's a selfish motive, I he explains, "but not to recognize it as such would be dishonest. I prefer theatre because it's the only medium where the actor has full control of his performance. In a two hour play, he can get in- side the character and get the audience directly involved." "In films not that I'm the creativity of 'movies or their value as an art form the actor has the least control over his performance. Films are really a director's medium. "Television is better es- pecially the way we do it, in front of a live audience but the time span is limiting, it foreshortens what can be done. We're often frustrated on Maude I'm not saying it in a complaining way because we have to curtail development of a situation to fit the half hour. And it's very 'difficult to write for television and sustain action in a brief period good writers are crucial to our success." Introspective and sensitive, Bain obviously has trouble grappling with the New York vs Hollywood feelings. He's a man in conflict over the two venues of his career. He en- joys certain aspects of West Coast life, honestly acknowledges he earns a nice living there but still his heart will probably always stay in New York, with the theatres on and off Broadway. Although he and his wife are considering giving up the apartment they rent in Manhattan (for practical economic reasons "All this real estate is a millstone around our says Bain) and live in Hollywood full time, the actor isn't sold on the idea. "In he laments, "they want to turn actors into celebrities. I don't know what a celebrity is, but an actor can't be just a per- son, he's got to be a per- sonality. Company town And Conrad Bain isn't about to go on a talk show and utter inanities, just so he can be a much in demand character about town. He's got a theory about Hollywood, to explain the celluloid of it all, which often becomes artificiality. "Hollywood's always been a company he says. "And when you realize that, and realize motion picture boards of directors have had a great deal to say about what is good taste and what is accep- table, it explains a lot of things." Bain is the first to admit there "are a lot of creative i people in 'tinsel town'. "But it's too un co ordinated, too scattered for Don't get the wrong idea though. He isn't doing Maude on suffrance, waiting out his five year contract. "I see a great opportunity he says of his role as Arthur. "A challenge that's exciting and rewarding. "The challenge is taking a set and unsympathetic character and finding out other things about his per- sonality. Then making him a total human being, with good and bad sides, to see if the can't identify with him, come to like him and maybe even forgive his sins." His fans would say he has done that and more. Although Bain appears to have none of Arthur's ascerbit streak he is genuinely con- siderate one can't help but wonder how much alike he and the opinionated doctor ac- tually might be. Arthur's grown Conrad Bain is accustomed to such questions. "I can't really answer simply. Crea- tion of any character is highly subjective since an actor has only himself as the instrument. Maude's characters were based on a general idea at the beginning. Then we Norman Lear, the actors all contributed to the writers' development of the character. So Arthur as we now see him is the result of many Mr. Bain admits he wonders himself how long he'll be con- tent to be locked into a demanding television schedule and the role of Arthur. "Once, I'd have said three years was the limit now, I'm not so sure." "Again, it comes back to the he says. "If we have new scripts all the time that open up another area of a character's background, look into a new part of his mind, tell us something new about him, then the possibilities of the show are as infinite as humanity is interesting." Bain admits the show has repeated some themes, such as women's lib get me wrong, it's a valid and meaningful he doesn't think the series has a hackneyed sameness each week. "I think we're still ex- panding the people in the And if you've suspected Arthur has mellowed since his television appearance, you're right that's all part of Bain's concept of humanizing, rather than stereotyping, his character. "It hit us one day, when we were rehearsing a big confrontation scene between Maude and he recalls. "Norman Lear suddenly said, 'hey, I just realized this kind of yelling wouldn't be going on all the time if it wasn't between two people who liked each other, deep down.' of thistle war when a 'farmer ,9 I By LYNNE VAN LUVEN Herald Family Editor The scenario is wildly improbable suitable for a situation comedy. Budding Actor Conrad Bain, sweating and broil- ing under a relentless Southern Alberta sun, toils doggedly in a potato patch. His head gritty but un- bowed, he attacks the baked, cracked soil with a pick. He hacks with a well worn hoe at'a six foot (and still thriving) thistle. He hunts in vain for his verdant plants. He stops, mops his sun burned brow and wearily surveys his rented eight acres. Things are not going at all-as his father promised. His crops are not thriving, Mother Nature is not co operating and he's not enjoying one minute of it. All is naught. All of which goes to prove that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. And maybe that a comedy pilot from such a scenario would have a limited lifespan. Conrad Bain the Conrad Bain, respected Broadway actor, better known to television viewers as Maude's arch conservative neighbor, Arthur Harmon actually did wage such an ill fated bat- tle with agriculture thirty odd years ago. Right here in Lethbridge, on a miserable plot of soil in the vicinity where the Sportsplex now stands. His wife of 29 years, Monica, whom he was then courting, recalls receiving tortured descriptions of his woes in "letters edged in Mrs. Bain, a painter, was raised in Vancouver. The couple has three children Ian, 24; Mark, 22 and Jennifer, 19 none of whom are interested in an acting career. In an interview on the weekend, Mr. Bain chuckl- ed wryly as he remembered his once only foray into farming. "It was a disaster, an unmitigated he says, throwing up his hands in remembered horror. "A miserable experience. I was stuck with a thistle patch, it was a terrible growing year and I had no equipment just a rake, hoe and a pick. "I did a terrible job of irrigating the potatoes and flooded the whole patch. Then, the earth dried and the sun baked it hard as rock. So there I was, chipp- ing away with my pick Not that the slender, urbane actor is a frustrated farmer. "Heaven is his response to any suggestion of a career in agriculture. At the time of the farming fiasco, he was "between He thought he'd been re- jected by the army and was looking for a quick way to make enough money to get him to New York and into acting school. His father suggested farming. "From the country himself, he should have known nobody gets rich snorts Mr. Bain. "I was going recalls the actor. "The whole operation was falling apart." Then, mer- cifully, he received word the army did want his ser- vices after all. "It he says with some of that droll wit we glimpse in Arthur, "with some relief that I joined the infantry." He has but one regret: "I should have bought instead of he remarked Friday evening, upon seeing the multi million dollar Sportsplex hunkered just about where his thistles once bloomed. Born in Lethbridge, Mr. Bain doesn't really regard himself as a bona fide native son. "We were a somewhat nomadic he says. "I spent a few of my pre school years here before we moved to Weyburn. Then we returned and I took Grades one and two at Woodman School (next to old Central Then we moved to Champion where my father opened a grocery store and went broke in short order." Continued on Page 25 First women assigned THE BETTER HALF By Barnes to peacekeeping duties OTTAWA (CP) The first two women assigned to UN peacekeeping duties in the Middle East with the Canadian Forces have been named by the defence department. Capt. Violet Connor, 37, of Kingston, Ont., and Sgt. Mary Timoney, 50, of Dartmouth, N.S., leave Feb. 27 to join the United Nations Emergency Force in Ismailia, Egypt, for a six- month tour of duty. They are to make preparations for the arrival of other women beginning in March, a department spokesman said Friday. About 50 women are expected to join the men in the force by August. They will be from such trades as teletype op- erator, medical assistant, administrative clerk and nurse. JOE DUNCAN of JOSEPH HAIR STYLES 922-5 Avenue North (Next to the Traffic Circle) Phone 328-7366 for PERMANENT WAVING recommends: NATURAL STYLING Brand new body wave lasting 6-8 weeks. PERFECT COMB OUT For young or old with healthy normal hair. NATURAL HONEY An excellent Perm with lasting results. OUR UNI PERM Our specialty recommended for every hair type. Like a natural curl with no dryness. ACT I Pre-conditioned perm with natural curly hair in mind. Makes natural curl obey and can actually condition and loosen tight frizzy curls. ALL ABOVE INCLUDE HAIRCUT, SHAMPOO ft SET. "OUR STYLISTS" ROSE ANNE SZIGLI, MAXINE JANZEN, MARY LYNN VAN HELL, FAY SAUFERT, MARY ANNE BROUWER (Saturday Receptionist GLORIA MUTTON. Appointments not necessary! _______ Phone 328-7366 New officers Tom has been elected 1975 pre- sident of the Lethbridge Shrine Club: Other new officers include Gordon MacKenzie, vice-pre- sident; Ouke Simpson, secretary; Maurice Lloyd is past president. Direct- ors are Bert Eccles, Dave Glen, Arnie Hougan and Harry Hudson. Community calendar "This recipe was given by Mrs. Feeney now that Mr.Feeney has passed on she has no further use for it." Meals on Wheels Society elects 1975 executive The regular monthly meeting of the Ladies' Aux- iliary to the Lethbridge Minor Hockey Association, schedul- ed for Wednesday, has been cancelled and will be held Feb. 26 at Adams Ice Centre at 8 p.m. The Lethbridge Chapter of the Sweet Adelines meets Wednesday evenings in the church basement at 420 12th St. S. from 8 to p.m. Women interested in singing four part harmony are in- vited to attend. The regular meeting of the Aileen Walker Unit of Southminster United Church will be held at the home of The Lethbridge Society for Meals on Wheels has elected Helen Morgan to serve as president for the 1975 term. Other members elected at the society's annual meeting include May Bradley, first vice president; Islay Arnold, second vice president; Elaine Frouws, treasurer; and Wyn Dufty, secretary. Past president is Norali Hawn. Directors include Edith Cooler, Jean Robin, Rosalind Kirkham, Molly Wilson, 'Lois Ogden, Mrs. F. G. Sander- cock, Muriel Barrow, Doris Hedenstrom, Mabel Steen and Isobel Wright. Committee head is Liz Hall. Members of the Advisory board are Dr. A. A. Byrne, Bill Kergan, L. C. Halmrast, Helen McLenaghan, Rev. Kay Hurlburt, Tomoe Hironaka, Tom Hudson and Kitch Wilson. RAINBOW HALL -1401 5 Ave. N. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11 P.M. JACKPOT IN 55 NUMBERS end 1 Jin GAMES DOUBLED IN 7 NUMBERS OR LESS Free Carte Carte end Qamee, 25e per Curd, S Card! Doer No CMMrtn under U Yeera CANADA WINTER GAMES CHILD CARE SERVICE At The 604 8th St. i LET THE "Y" TAKE CARE OF THE CHILDREN While you enjoy The Games! Phone 327-2284 Lydia Doenz, 808 16th St. S., Tuesday at 8 p.m. The Chinook Pensioners and Senior Citizens will meet Wednesday at p.m. in the Pemmican Club Rooms please note change of meeting place for- this month only. Transportation will be arrang- ed as usual; lunch and bingo will follow the business meeting. New members welcome. PUBLIC BINQO .18 GAMES BLACKOUT (PUyedUnlilWon) LETHBRIDGE ELKS LODGE ROOM (Uptuira) EVERY THURS.-fli.ii. BINGO MON..FEB. 17 JACKPOT in 53 Numbers >1 Gold CardiPir IS Dww Prln-FrM Card. Regular Canto 2M or 5 for 19th SI. md eih Ave. "A" N. No Children undor U Hlomd A.N.4A.F. Veterans Club-Unit 34 PUBLIC BINGO EVERY TUESDAY It 8P.M. NEW ANAF HALL Mvnbvra Imnvd GuMtt IB Hw JACKPOT M IMMfS If MS RNTMliNI Mt MMNT PW WMI Mi VM. Consolation Jackpot'SCO 16 Games All Binges Doubled on Green Card. No Children under 18 years o! age, WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT Friday and 21 and a "VARIETY MEN" For Members and their Invited Guest ;