Page 14 - March 2018 Senior Scene Magazine
P. 14

Senior Scene® | March Issue
Tinseltown Talks
by Nick  omas
Marlyn Mason, more than an ‘Elvis Girl’
Beginning in 1960 and for some three decades thereafter, Marlyn Mason appeared in almost one hundred televi- sion series, earning the unof cial title of TV “Guest Star Queen.” While her  lm roles were far fewer, fans of Elvis Presley movies remember the actress as Elvis’s vivacious co-star in his next-to-last  lm, 1969’s “The Trouble with Girls.” Howev- er, Marlyn left Hollywood – literally – in the early 1990s.
“When my Hollywood career came to a halt I moved to Oregon,” said Mason from her home in Medford. But she didn’t retire from acting complete- ly. Taking advantage of the lush, natural settings and charming towns for location shooting as well as regional talent, Ma- son has written, starred in, or produced several dramatic Oregon-based short  lms over the past decade.
“I wrote a screenplay about a lone- ly woman who’s an aging, nude artist’s model (‘Model Rules,’ 2008),” she said. “The only way she can get attention and ful ll her fantasies is to pose nude
for artists. It’s kind of a sad piece but there is humor in it.”
A local  lmmaker, Ray Robison, directed the  lm which won best ac- tress or best screenplay awards for Mason at several  lm festivals around the country. In 2010, the duo teamed up again for “The Bag,” a very per- sonal account of Mason’s mother’s decision to end her life and which featured Hollywood veteran actors Richard Erdman and Peggy Stewart playing Mason’s parents.
“It’s a rather grim topic, but the actors bring a natural humor to the piece,” said Mason. “I wanted to make a non-political, non-religious comment on the mere fact that some elderly people simply want to go to sleep and not wake up. My mom was one of those people. She was 92 and deserved the right to die the way she wanted.”
In 2013, Mason headed back to California brie y to  lm her romantic drama “The Right Regrets,” directed by veteran TV director Ralph Senen- sky. “He was turning 90 and came out of a 26-year retirement to direct this love story I did with Maxwell Caul-  eld. It’s beautifully photographed and looks like a mini-feature. Ralph has the special touch that translates magni cently onto the screen.”
Last summer, Mason also re- turned to feature  lms with the release of the thriller “Besetment” (see www.barbedwire lms.com). “It’s very creepy, and I’m very creepy in it!” she said, laughing. “The director, Brad Douglas, wrote the role for me and I had a wonderful, fun 20 days  lming.”
While her early Hollywood days remain fond but distant memories now, they are ones she is often asked to share at  lm conventions, especial- ly in connection with Elvis. “I just got invited to Quebec for the annual Elvis show in October.”
Mason was one of the numerous actresses (‘Elvis Girls’) to appear in Presley’s 31 feature  lms, but was
not a fan of Elvis or his music when they began  lming “The Trouble with Girls.” In fact, she was prepared for
MASON continued on page 19
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