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October 8, 2013

From the McDowell Journal: Jack and Susan Casting

Ryan O’Neal as Jack Beaumont? To tell you the truth, it would have been a bit of a stretch. True, his splendidly goofy work in “What’s Up, Doc?” had demonstrated that he could handle the kind of screwball comedy to which the “Jack and Susan” trilogy is a giddy homage. But one of the few things we really know about Jack Beaumont, one of the few things that is always true, from one book in the series to another, is that he is 27 years old. And in 1986, when there was buzz about a “Jack and Susan” TV-miniseries, to star O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett, he was 45 years old and she was 39.

Of course, they were two spectacularly gorgeous middle-aged people, and hardly fit for the geezer brigade. But in my mind, Jack is played by the young Alan Alda and Susan Bright – like Jack, eternally 27 years old – by Mary-Louise Parker.

If nothing else, O’Neal and Fawcett are just a little too gilded for the roles, too tanned and Californian. Jack and Susan, in whatever decade they’re living, are entirely East Coast.



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