Saturday, February 04, 2006

On Feeling Stupid


The late Chris Penn and Mom on the set of Reservoir Dogs

I have a confession to make. Something that makes me feel dumb to the bone...

As you may know, actor Chris Penn, brother of actor/activist Sean Penn and musician Michael Penn, died recently. I hadn't heard anything about the cause of his death, so I began to snoop around a bit on the web to see if any new information had leaked out.

While skipping from site to site, learning details of his passing, I happened to notice that his mother is Eileen Ryan. My brain skipped an odd beat, as if I found myself to be the one guy in the whole world to just find out that Michael, Sean and Chris Penn's mom was Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies.

I ran around for more than a couple of minutes trying to verify this astonishing nugget of insider information. Finding another page of biographical information on Penn that listed his mother as "Eileen Ryan, actress" made my head whiz even more. How could I have NEVER HEARD THIS BEFORE? Where the hell had I been hiding my head? It reminded me of a conversation with a friend in the past few months during which he learned that Randy Rhoads, Ozzy Osbourne's famed guitar hero, had died... 22 years earlier.

I finally looked up Eileen Ryan at IMDB and saw that she was still alive and working. "Something's fishy here," I thought to myself. So I hit IMDB again, this time for the cast credits of The Beverly Hillbillies.

At that moment I was made to feel as dumb as Ed Gein's shoebox full of dead, salted vulvas.

Granny was portrayed by IRENE Ryan. Not Eileen Ryan.

Shit.

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