Jane Fonda, according to a story posted on the Hollywood Reporter website and other sources, is reportedly going to portray Nancy Reagan in an upcoming film titled "The Butler."
To be directed by Lee Daniels, "The Butler" is "a biopic of Eugene Allen, a butler who served in the White House from 1952 to 1986," states the Hollywood Reporter post.
That's not the part that surprised (amazed or befuddled is more like it) me the most. It dawned on me -- and it's clearly stated in the online post -- that Jane Fonda will be playing the First Lady of the United States. That's the phrase that got to me.
Let me put it another way. I can clearly state that Nancy Reagan never made an obscene gesture directly at me. Fonda, on the other hand (slight pun intended), not so much.
It was more than a while back. The early 1970s, to be semi-exact. I was working as a news reporter/cameraman/weekend anchorman at KTVT-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth. I was assigned to cover a speech by Fonda to students at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Let's just say Ms. Fonda, a k a "Hanoi Jane," who had recently returned from North Vietnam (where she posed for pictures on top of a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun), didn't take kindly to some intrusive TV reporter shining a light in her face for the evening news.
So Jane Fonda shot yours truly the bird.
The crowd, in full-blown protest frenzy by that time, roared its approval.
Yeah! Jane Fonda was sticking it to The Man.
Except it wasn't The Man.
It was just me, a guy who appreciated Fonda's recent daring Academy Award-winning performance in "Klute" (1971) and a guy who was -- and is -- a great admirer of Fonda's legendary late actor father, Henry.
Four decades have passed since what I have always secretly thought of as the "Fickle Finger of Fonda" incident on that stage in Arlington.
Take it from The Man, though, Jane Fonda just ain't gonna work as the First Lady.
At least not from this aisle seat.
The blending of movies and memories in presentations of lighthearted lecture and film clips is turning out to be quite the winning combination. So if your group, club or retirement facility is looking for some energetic, enlightening entertainment, check out the list of Movie Memories presentations to the left of this column and book your event now.
In the mood for some stand-up comedy? We've got that too. Call 972-599-2150.
Thank you, thank you, thank you
And, just a quick "thank you" to those of you signed up for our Movie Memories day trip to Waxahachie on April 21. At some point, Mitzi Werther, who heads up the trip-sponsor Emeritus Plus 50 program over at Richland College, got to do a variation of a line from "Jaws" and say, "We're gonna need a bigger bus."
Mitzi secured one, so we're all set. In fact, if you're interested in the trip, there may be a few seats still available on the larger bus. Click this link for details.
(Jane Fonda photo courtesy: www.jimbio.com)