Category Archives: Characters

Goodnight Commander. Joanne Linville, 1928-2021 (Gallery)

Sad to report that today, another star has fallen from the Trek Galaxy. The amazing Joanne Linville peacefully passed away on Sunday, June 20 in California. She was 93.

Although she had many acting roles, she was cherished as the first female Romulan Commander ever seen in the Trek universe, in the classic The Enterprise Incident. From the first time I ever saw that episode, The Romulan Commander became one of my most favorite characters in TOS. Her coolness and manner even rivaled Spock; the object and ultimate betrayer of her affections.

The Enterprise Incident itself was not a perfect episode, but definitely one of the better highlights of the weaker final season. Joanne’s character was a strong, cool, and (naturally) commanding character, and she flew with it. I loved her from the moment she scoffs at Kirk when he says he is honored to meet her. She sealed her character’s personality in that quick moment; the Romulan Commander takes no crap from anyone, regardless of rank!

Linville’s chemistry with Nimoy was on point too. You can see her passion growing in her eyes every time she stares at him, and in the sultry, if firm, tone in her voice. Even though we knew Spock was only ‘flirting’ with the Commander under orders, you couldn’t deny the ‘feelings’ of the characters throughout the episode. Especially in the end where Spock expresses his hope to her that they exchanged something more permanent than fleeting military secrets.

Did you know that in the original script, Spock was supposed to ‘rain kisses’ all over the Commander’s shoulder? Although I’m sure that visual would be enjoyable, DC Fontana and Nimoy both found it quite illogical for Spock’s character to slobber all over her, so it was thankfully changed. She was cool, He was cool, and he initiates intimacy with some stroking hand-play that somehow comes off even sexier than any nibbling might have been. (Not NOW, TAL!!)

Another tidbit about Linville’s character was that although we never hear The Commander’s name in the original episode, The Romulan Commander name was revealed in Trek Fiction as Liviana Charvanek She was also known as Di’on Charvon, Thea, and Nevesa! How rare and beautiful indeed! It suits her!

Linville studied her craft well, and like Nimoy, taught acting. She started an acting conservatory with with her teacher Stella Adler, and she co-wrote the book Seven Steps to an Acting Craft. with John Deck. She performed in over 80 TV and movie appearances, and although never a regular in a series, she was unforgettable. She is survived by her former husband Mark Rydell, Children Amy and Christopher Rydell, who are both also actors. Amy even reprised her mother’s iconic role in the Star Trek Continues series Finale “To Boldly Go, Part II) (an astonishing resemblance!) She will be greatly missed but never forgotten. My deepest sympathy and comfort to her family. ❤

Goodnight Charvanek, may you rest among the stars. I hope Spock has some blue Vulcan ale for you.

Nichelle’s Beautiful Documentary “Woman in Motion”

I just watched this last night, and it brought me such joy (and a few tears too).

Nichelle’s story is so remarkable, and there is so much more to her than the Uhura we all love. With her determination SHE was the key to blast open the doors to NASA and the space program to women and minorities; something that is totally (and thankfully) taken for granted today.

With recent and archived interviews, we learn of Nichelle’s journey from a young dancer and singer who performed with Duke Ellington, to actress and icon through Star Trek and through her greatest achievements in integrating NASA and promoting women and encouraging young people to truly employ their talents and truly reach for the stars.

Watching this, I felt I really knew Nichelle for the first time. I just wanted to hug her and say ‘Thank You!’. She is an inspiration for us all to achieve our dreams and make a difference in the world. Woman in Motion will touch your heart and mind with a message of hope. We need this now. This was released in 2019 and is now streaming on Paramount Plus.

Nichelle, thank you for ‘Flying us to the moon’. We love you. ❤

Who Wore it Best?

Wink, Wink!

Gorgeous Andra Day at the Oscars in Vera Wang, and Lt. Palamas ala Apollo!

William Ware Theiss proves again that he was ahead of his time! Ah, Youth!

Speculations about Gary Seven, Isis, Dr. Who, and the “Assignment” that never was.

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Hi Everyone,

Imagine at TV series where there’s a mysterious alien traveling through time and space with a often silly companion and a little magic wand that helps him get through tough situations. No, not Doctor Who, although…

I’m thinking of Assignment: Earth, the would-be TV series born of the Star Trek episode of the same name. I think it might have had a chance in the spy-crazy era of the late 60’s. And with the cold war still raging at the time, Gary Seven and his cat Isis would have made a fun entry into TV land. Unfortunately, it wasn’t picked up, and we are only left with the one hour where Spock and Kirk are made to look really silly as Gary Seven embodies a cool only equaled by Spock.

That hat Spock? Seriously? But nice suits.

The more I looked into the brief world of Gary Seven, the more I see homage to (or copyright of?) Dr. Who. Consider after all, he can travel anywhere through time and he has his own little version of a ‘sonic screwdriver’. And if he and Miss Lincoln are to have “…interesting experiences” together, Hmm, I think I’m beginning to see where the inspiration came from…

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Seven with his own ‘sonic screwdriver’.

From what we’ve seen, Gary is a lot like The Doctor. He seems to be awfully intelligent about well, everything, he is often sent on missions to fix events in time (boy could we use him now), and using the convenient ‘screwdriver’ that is often the determinant between escape or capture. We never see the ship he travels in, but it is assumed that his ‘assignments’ take him all over the galaxy through different eras. He’s a Time Lord.

Miss Lincoln (Teri Garr) had promise and deserved better!

Miss Roberta Lincoln would make a good companion. She’s young, quirky, a bit daft, but determined to make a statement (“We want to know if we’ll be alive when we’re 30!”) I think of the series were picked up at the time, I hope she would evolve into a stronger female character, yet in reality, if it was picked up the 60’s she’s probably remain more comic relief, at least until the advent of the Women’s Movement. Now if it was made today, I’m pretty sure she’d be more like a combination The Doctor’s companions; I’m thinking Donna Noble, Clara Oswald and a little Martha Jones, and she’d be much more interesting. Unfortunately we have little insight into Roberta left. Teri Garr, who played Roberta, noted in her memoir: *

“I played Roberta Lincoln, a dippy secretary in a pink and orange costume in a very short skirt. Had the spin-off succeeded, I would have continued on as an earthling agent, working to preserve humanity. In a very short skirt.”

Then there’s Gary Seven’s cat, Isis. Of course we found out at the very end that Isis was actually a shape-shifter; she briefly appeared as a human sex-kitten lounging on Seven’s couch, much to a flummoxed Roberta Lincoln’s instant jealousy. Isis wears cat ears and purrs in her human form! Yet Gary depends on her greatly, and acknowledges her advice. Maybe she’s Gary’s River Song (The 11th Doctor’s wife).

April Tatro as the real Isis

No doubt Isis’ little trick was meant as a teaser to entice the would-be buyer of this pilot-within-a-Star Trek-episode to want more. So is Isis a woman in a cat’s body or a cat in a woman’s body? The world may never know…

As a bonus, I’ve always loved how Spock was instantly ‘strangely attracted’ to Isis. It’s fun to see the real chemistry between Nimoy and the cat in the Briefing Room. The cat sits and purrs contentedly in his arms, eyes slowly opening and closing. Cats know a good person. Although speaking from a character’s point of view, I wonder if Isis was subtly mind-melding with Spock, or giving off pheromones, or at least good vibes? How else to explain Spock’s urge to cuddle? But then, he had the same, if embarrassed reaction to Tribbles! It was a cute touch.

Hello Kitty. Spock and Isis.

So I wonder, why wasn’t Assignment: Earth picked up as a series? Was it too expensive, too far fetched? Would it have continued to connect with the original Star Trek series? Well…

Turns out Assignment Earth did find a way to continue after it’s ill-fated pilot. Comic book writer and artist John Byrne did write a 5 volume sequel to Assignment Earth – in glorious graphic novel style! The issues cover 5 years, starting 3 months from the date Enterprise left Gary and Roberta to figure their fate. Each issue presents a year later. These came out a while back, but you can find all 5 in digital versions on Comixology.

Of course, since Gary Seven is part of the Star Trek universe, maybe he could turn up on Picard? Or sequel-mad CBS All Access could reconsider that little pilot, updated for the times. I could see Mahershala Ali or Adam Driver or as Seven.

How did you feel about Assignment: Earth and Gary Seven? Please let me know in the comments!

*Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood. by Teri Garr.

Handsome Jim Kirk (Big Gallery)

For All you Kirkites or Jimbos out there (or whatever Kirk fans call themselves). Some images of Jim looking charming, adorable, hot, or just mighty dandy. Nice to see a friendly face to release those happy endorphins! 🙂 (Love those olive green eyes!) Bless you Bill! Stay Well Everyone ❤ love Therese

(Another BeatleTrek) Captain Kirk’s Comely Starfleet Brand…

Hi Everyone,

Here’s an idea I’ve had for a LONG time and I finally got it to come to fruition.  As I’m sure many of you have seen, in the past I have made many silly collages which combine the two best pop culture phenomenons of the 1960’s; Star Trek and The Beatles!  You can see my previous ‘Beatle Trek’s’ here.

Anyway, for ages I wanted to recreate the famous Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band except make it with memorable Star Trek Characters. As the centerpiece,  Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty replace  the Fab Four, and I poured over many pictures to find just the right character to fill in for all the originals (and a few more) for this cover.

You’ll note that the Klingons replace the waxworks figures of The Beatles, Mohammed Ali’s robed boxer is replaced with robed Lord Garth from Whom Gods Destroy, glamorous Droxine and Carolyn Palamas take over for Marlene Dietrich and Diana Dors.  I’ve added many other characters in positions close to the originals: notice Miranda Jones’ hand behind Kirk, just as Issy Bonn’s hand was behind Paul McCartney’s head in the original!   I also have many more women in this version than the Pepper album.  But as The Beatles chose their favorite heroes for their album, I chose my favorite characters for this.  And of course you will find our dear Celeste Yarnall (Martha Landon in The Apple)  in the mix.  Although she sadly passed before she could see it, her widower, Nazim assured me she would have enjoyed it. Indeed, I have always found creativity a balm for sorrow, and I recommend creating something yourself, anything with your heart and hands, to help you at your sad times.

You’ll notice that most of these characters are not crew members, as I did a massive collage of as many Enterprise members as I could in the past.  I also intentionally posted some characters in black and white instead of color, like on the original.  If you look closely, you’ll see Alexander from Plato’s Stepchildren in Shirley Temple’s place and Balok from The Corbomite Maneuver flopped out like the doll in Rolling Stones sweater too! I even used Star Trek plants to replace the flora of the original. And be sure to look out for 4 hidden Spocks (as well as the main one in the center)!

If you can’t identify all the characters, I created a numbered key for the poster below.   Enjoy, and please let me know what you think!  Thanks, Therese ❤

     Key to Characters in“Captain Jim Kirk’s Comely Starfleet Brand

  1. Ruk (Ted Cassidy) in What are Little Girls Made Of?
  2. Khan Noonian Singh (Ricardo Montalban) in Space Seed
  3. Kara (Tanya Lemani) in Wolf in the Fold
  4. T’Pring (Arlene Martel) in Amok Time
  5. Zarabeth (Mariette Hartley) in All Our Yesterdays
  6. Bela Oxmyx (Anthony Caruso) in A Piece of the Action
  7. “Koik” (William Shatner) in A Piece of the Action
  8. The Prosecutor (Kermit Murdock) in All Our Yesterdays
  9. The Keeper (Meg Wylie) in The Cage
  10. Marta (Yvonne Craig) in Whom Gods Destroy
  11. Harcort (‘Harry’) Fenton Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) in Mudd’s Women
  12. Yeoman Martha Landon (Celeste Yarnall) in The Apple
  13. Commissioner Bele (Frank Gorshin) in Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
  14. Ayelborne (John Abbott) in Errand of Mercy
  15. Dr. Thomas Leighton (William Sargent) in The Conscience of the King
  16. Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols)
  17. Street Girl #1 (Dianne Thorne) in A Piece of the Action
  18. T’Pau (Celia Lovsky) in Amok Time
  19. Kissy Spock (Leonard Nimoy)
  20. Evil Sulu (George Takei) in Mirror, Mirror
  21. Ambassador Petri (Jay Robinson) in Elaan of Troyius
  22. Leila Kalomi (Jill Ireland) in This Side of Paradise
  23. Serious Spock (Leonard Nimoy)
  24. Jojo Kracko (Vic Tayback) in A Piece of the Action
  25. Number One (Majel Barrett) in The Cage
  26. Blasted Crewman in Arena
  27. Cyrano Jones (Stanley Adams) in The Trouble with Tribbles
  28. Mr. Atoz (Ian Wolfe) in All Our Yesterdays
  29. Sylvia (Antoinette Bower) in Catspaw
  30. Vina (Susan Oliver) in The Cage
  31. Zabo (Steven Marlo) in A Piece of the Action
  32. Miranda Jones (Diana Muldaur) in Is There in Truth No Beauty?
  33. Miranda Jones’ Vulcan Salute (Diana Muldaur) in Is There in Truth No Beauty?
  34. Kalo (Lee Delano) in A Piece of the Action
  35. The First Fop (Ed Bakey) in All Our Yesterdays
  36. Surak (Barry Atwater) in The Savage Curtain
  37. Andrea (Sherry Jackson) in What are Little Girls Made Of?
  38. Lenore Karidian (Barbara Anderson) in The Conscience of the King
  39. Joe Tormolen (Stewart Moss) in The Naked Time
  40. Alice  Series #3 (Alyce Andrece) in I, Mudd
  41. Stella Series #1 (Kay Elliot) in I, Mudd
  42. Alice Series #99 (Rhae Andrece) in I, Mudd
  43. Adam (Charles Napier) in The Way to Eden
  44. Sargent (Lincoln Demyan) in Assignment: Earth
  45. Trefayne (David Hillary Hughes) in Errand Of Mercy
  46. Claymore (Peter Brocco) in Errand Of Mercy
  47. Nils Barris (William Schallert) in The Trouble with Tribbles
  48. Flavius Maximus (Rhodes Reason) in Bread and Circuses
  49. The Romulan Commander (Joanna Linville) in The Enterprise Incident
  50. Vulcan Executioner (Russ Peek) in Amok Time
  51. Sister Edith Keeler (Joan Collins) in The City on the Edge of Forever
  52. General Trelane, Retired (William Campbell) in The Squire of Gothos
  53. Elaan (France Nuyen) in Elaan of Troyius
  54. Lord Garth ( Steve Inhat) in Whom Gods Destroy
  55. Korax (Michael Pataki) in The Trouble with Tribbles
  56. Captain Koloth (William Campbell) in The Trouble with Tribbles
  57. Commander Kor(John Colicos) in Errand Of Mercy
  58. Captain Kang (Michael Ansara) in The Day of the Dove
  59. Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) in Operation: Annihilate!
  60. Commander Montgomery Scott (James Doohan) ) in Operation: Annihilate!
  61. Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) in Operation: Annihilate!
  62. First Officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy) in Operation: Annihilate!
  63. Mary (Pamelyn Ferdin) in And the Children Shall Lead
  64. Droxine ( Diana Ewing) in The Cloud Minders
  65. Balok’s Puppet (voiced by Ted Cassidy) in What are Little Girls Made Of?
  66. Lt. Carolyn Palamas (Leslie Parrish) in Who Mourns for Adonais?
  67. The Bartender (Guy Raymond) in The Trouble with Tribbles
  68. Evil Spock (Leonard Nimoy) in Mirror, Mirror
  69. Alexander (Michael Dunn) in Plato’s Stepchildren
  70. The Real Balok (Clint Howard) in The Corbomite Maneuver
  71. Magda (Susan Denberg) in Mudd’s Women
  72. Captain Kirk’s Aztec Fertility God
  73. Mr. Spock’s Vulcan Harp
  74. Mr. Sulu’s Beauregard and other plants from The Man Trap
  75. White and Brown Tribbles from The Trouble with Tribbles
  76. Mercury Bust from Space Seed and Mirror, Mirror
  77. Captain Kirk’s Golden Box from his quarters
  78. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) on monitor from The Corbomite Maneuver
  79. Ruth Bonaventure (Maggie Thrett) in Mudd’s Women
  80. Grey Tribbles from The Trouble with Tribbles
  81. Starfleet Delta formed in gold carnations
  82. Deadly Flower from The Apple
  83. The USS Enterprise in golden carnations
  84. The Spores from This Side of Paradise
  85. Eve McHuron (Karen Steele) from Mudd’s Women
  86. Sayana’s Headdress from The Apple
  87. The Horta’s Eggs from The Devil in the Dark

 

Star Trek on the Runway??

I was browsing one of my favorite sites yesterday (Tom and Lorenzo), and came across a colorful collection for Fall 2018 by Italian designer Moschino.   The  collection clearly was influenced by the bright stylings of the Mod era 1960s with a lot of Jackie Kennedy in full Technicolor and clearly other pop references.

What’s this got to do with Star Trek?  Well, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, than one of Moschino’s designers must be a Trekkie.  How else can you explain the mint green spangled gown that would either make the late William Ware Theiss proud OR have him suing for stealing his design?

Look closely, and you can see the gown was clearly influenced by Mudd’s Women. The spangled mint green fabric and upper bodice with diagonal slash is clearly Ruth Bonaventure’s gown.  And the bottom half of the gown clearly borrows from Eve McHuron’s pink gown with its diamond-shaped slashes across the hips and thighs.

Left: A model sashays down the runway in a Trek-inspired gown in the Moschino Fall 2018 Collection. Right: Eve and Ruth in the originals by William Ware Theiss in Star Trek’s “Mudd’s Women”

Now I admit, Mudd’s Women is not one of my most favorite episode of TOS, (and I’ll do a write up on it eventually) but I’m both happy and a little bummed to see Theiss’ influence a good 52 years after the original airing.   Happy that the costume design still resonate a half century later, bummed because this isn’t even trying to be original, but a clear mash-up of the two original gowns.  Well, I hope the Theiss estate gets a chunk of the profit!

You can see the whole collection here.

Battle of the Star Trek Dolls!

Okay, so it isn’t really a battle, but it’s definitely a siren call to the hearts of Trekkies everywhere; lifelike Star Trek dolls that celebrate the series’ 50th anniversary. From Mattel to Matchbox, every toy dealer wants a piece of the anniversary cake!

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Mattel’s 50th Anniversary Star Trek Set

Just this week it Mattel released pictures of its new line of commemorative Star Trek Barbies dolls: A trio featuring Kirk, Spock, and Uhura. I’m happy to see Uhura in the mix, but the first question popping up all over is “Where’s McCoy and Scotty?” And I agree, but I’d amend that to “Where’s Everyone Else?”91XPmarjAzL._SL1500_.0

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Now I confess, for a while there, I was a Barbie collector (I still have a dozen or so unboxed, sleeping peacefully in a storage bin). But I’ve seen other movie and TV-based Barbie collections over the years; Twilight, Mad Men, Hunger Games,  and often the company has created more than 3 characters from each franchise.  I just hope they’ll consider adding McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, Chapel and Rand too!

At $35 each, these Mattel ones are not top-of-the-line, but they do have beautiful facial recreations of Bill, Leonard, and Nichelle.   I love that they included Uhura’s classic green hoop earrings and her distinct eye makeup.   I only wish they gave her seamless bendable knees, as they do in regular Barbie dolls.  I think she would have looked more realistic with the wonderful curvy body mold of the new dolls coming out. The Kirk doll has Bill’s intense stare, and Spock is a handsome recreation of young Nimoy (right down to his eye- shadow)

Of course this isn’t the first time Mattel has aimed itself at Trek fans — back in 1996, they produced a cute Star Trek Barbie and Ken.  Barbie’s high ponytail with a braid  was a direct rip-off of Yeoman Martha Landon from The Apple,  (unfortunately, Celeste Yarnall didn’t receive a cent). Ken was the standard Ken, but with a ready Kirk grin. The box featured a backdrop still of K& S on the bridge, making it perfect for display.

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Therese’s son Matt as a toddler playing with his Star Trek Ken. (2002)

Mattel gambled (and lost) a bundle in overproducing the Anniversary set; they must have presumed that they’d make a fortune off of rabid fans, but it didn’t come to pass, and you can still find quite a few on secondary markets.  It’s a cute set, I actually had one, and let my boys play with them when they were youngsters.

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The Mattel Vina Barbie, exclusively sold at the San Diego Comic Con.

Not to be outdone– the San Diego Comic Con has two retro Trek dolls to die for.  The first is another from Mattel, but only exclusive to Comic Con attendees.  😦  It’s a fully articulated Vina from The Cage! ($50) It’s more a green Orion than Susan Oliver, but it’s a joy to see; especially the recreation of the lizard dress.

 

 

Then from (Mattel’s) Hot Wheels, there’s a diorama of Nimoy dressed as Spock, leaning against his beloved ’64 Buick Rivera. It’s the 3D version of this iconic photograph.  These are both fabulous!

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Spock Wheels Hot Wheels! Another Exclusive from SDCC

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For even higher-end merchandise, there’s two companies with dazzling, and remarkably realistic figures.  There are figures of Kirk and  Spock from Quantum Mechanix.  These beauties will set you back @ $180 each, but if you’re die-hard enough for incredible likenesses, this is for you. The figures are thoroughly articulated with all the accoutrements of phaser, communicator, and tricorder. One surprising aspect of the costuming is that includes the rarely seen light brown phaser belt that hung under the uniforms in season 1!  Truly remarkable, heck, they even have 5 0’clock shadow!

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It even appears that the insignias are sewn on!

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Not to be outdone, but the next set is my favorite of all– from the Mezco One: Twelve Collective comes the ultimate and truly most astonishing Trek figures I’ve ever seen!  There are three figures so far, Kirk, Spock, and Sulu, and I do believe there are more to come. They each have great accessories and a stand with the Trek delta patch on them, and Sulu even gets a sword!  But the best part is that they have interchangeable hands and heads! (two facial expressions each).   The likenesses are so lovingly rendered it’s like they’ve walked right off the screen!  Kirk’s face has both serious and gentle Kirk-smirk expressions, Sulu has a serious helm expression and a true Sulu smile, and Spock’s has a cool demeanor or his ultimate arched eyebrow! Spock also has mind-meld hands, communicator/phaser hands, and of course the Vulcan Salute)  Can’t wait to see what they’d do with McCoy, Uhura, and the rest…  (Spock and Sulu are out now, Kirk in July) Mezco One 12 Collective Star Trek Spock action figure 2 Mezco One 12 Collective Star Trek Spock action figure 6 Mezco One 12 Collective Star Trek Sulu action figureMZ76161lg

Mezco has also made a masterful limited edition replica of Spock as he appeared in The Cage. The details are meticulous as always, right down to the shorter haircut, away-team jacket, and vintage phaser.  Just gorgeous.

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All I can say after seeing these is that one is never too old to play with dolls!

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A Little Chekov Love

Going through some publicity and promo shots — Let’s have a little love for Walter Koenig (Chekov) — the ‘Davy Jones’ of TOS!   I love the last one with the fan and fan magazine against the Mission: Impossible backdrop (Both series filmed on the same lot).  What a fine young man! keonig_chekov01

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My Weekly Spock: Full of Grace

With the news that dear Grace Lee Whitney passed away on May 1st, it seemed only logical to have some pictures of Leonard and Grace here.   Rest in Peace to two wonderful souls. ❤ (I’ll post a full tribute to Grace soon) I love the last one on the movie set.

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