RIP Suzanne Pleshette. Angie Dickinson, you’re our only remaining hope!

Suzanne Pleshette

Feast your eyes on this glorious Youtube and wonder no more at whether or not Bob married above himself: oh, he did, baby, he did! This is a clip of a classic catfight showdown of the very iciest type in good olde timey Hollywood style; duck and cover, boys! We blondes have to stick together, but just this once I’m calling it for the brunette; Suzanne Pleshette really knew how to take it up a life-threatening, eyebrow-arching notch. The men in this case are as incidental and interchangeable as chess piece Disney Princes, those vacuous, photogenic losers.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, inspired, I suppose or no, I actually know for a fact, by VF’s piece on Angie Dickinson, and today by the sad death of the original MILF, Suzanne Pleshette (okay, maybe second to Anne Bancroft’s Mrs Robinson, but there can’t be many straight Gen-X males who didn’t have a thing for the divinely sensible and sexy Emily Hartley).

Now, I’m a chick. Been one for years, actually. So I’m used to it. But there’s more to it than meets the eye: when you think about it, women as diverse as Princess Diana and Paris Hilton have managed to become some kind of arche- or at least stereotype. And it pays to type well, not fast or you can get stuck as your 7-year-old self’s idea of a cool chick, which explains the whole Madonna wannabe situation. So when you’re a little girl and you want to grow up to be a woman, what, exactly, do you have in mind? Britney Spears? Madonna? Marie Curie? Isabel Allende? Amanda Lepore? You’ve got to choose your icons carefully, if you don’t want to end up dated by nothing more than your accessories and identified by nothing more than the labels your mother sewed into your underwear.

I picked Pepper.

Angie Dickinson Police Woman

It wasn’t until the seventies… that Dickinson met her pop-culture destiny, playing Sargeant Suzanne “Pepper” Anderson on Police Woman. Pepper was a lot of firsts: the first woman to have men report to her, the first unmarried female officer, the first to display self-doubt and, occasionally, a weakness for Jack Daniels. While she was doing all that, she also carved out a new look for the powerful woman—briskly beautiful in minimal makeup, blond hair permanently tousled from running down perps, her white Bianca Jagger–esque pantsuit adding to her unconscious swagger. Take that, Sydney Bristow.

She was also the first officially-sanctioned over-forty hottie, Dickinson being a young slip of 43 at the series’ start. I’m 44 now, and when I realized that my idol Pepper Anderson was my age, bells rang, the clouds parted, and angels sang the greatest hits of Burt Bacharach.

But only the ones Angie likes.

Angie Fucking Dickinson

“It’s a pleasure to meet a lady who’s a gentleman.”
Frank Sinatra

Unlisted but indelibly a part of this pantheon are Catherine Deneuve and the fictional, yet nonetheless iconic, Catwoman and Emma Peel, about whom I’ve written elsewhere and will link up once I find it.

Am I forgetting anyone?

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48 thoughts on “RIP Suzanne Pleshette. Angie Dickinson, you’re our only remaining hope!

  1. Not easily done. Have you read her writing? She’s not half bad, actually.

    But I always, ALWAYS wanted to be Pepper. I even have a large collection of hoop earrings.

  2. Does anyone rmember when Suzanne Pleshette played the mother of the lead character on a 90’s sitcom called “The Single Guy”?

    In one plot line her TV son accidently stabbed her in the stomach which as played for comic effect(?) over several episodes.

    Only Suzanne could pull that off.

  3. I agree totally with you – Suzanne, Angie, and Dianna Rigg rule! But then, I also thought Kate Jackson was the hottest Angel, nay, the only relevant Angel caught forever between two Angie wannabees….

  4. I agree about Kate Jackson; she was the Angel with brains!

    I don’t remember that sitcom, but Suzanne Pleshette could pull off just about anything. Remember her in The Birds? She was never an ingenue.

  5. Yes, suicide by sleeping pills it appears. At Mary-Kate Olsen’s apartment. They say he’d been struggling to get sober for months and this could be the old booze-barbiturates accidental overdose, or, because he as also depressed, could be suicide. It’s all on . A talented man, with a lovely child and a great career. We can never know what’s going on in someone else’s mind, though, and sometimes the inside looks a lot darker than the outside.

  6. Noice YouTube video. I love a subtle catfight.
    Angie’s youth blew me away.
    And yeah, RIP Suzanne . . . a beautiful woman and great actress, IMHO.

  7. Christie Brinkley.
    Blond super model. The ultimate California girl. Million dollar smile. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.

    I need a few minutes alone.
    I’ll be back.

  8. Latest wife? I did not even know he had remarried.

    Thank God you are here Rain I would not know a thing about celebs if you were not you are my cultural go to.

  9. Pick up the latest Vanity Fair, the one with Indy and the Junior Himbo on the cover, and she’s in it, giving an in-depth interview about what kind of shampoo she uses.

    I am currently doing my paid gossip blogging post for the day. Want to know what was in Heath’s system when he died and who he slept with last? I’m your go-to girl.

    No wonder my boss called this a soul-killing job.

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  11. Emma Peel – I always wanted to be her. The original one, Diana Rigg. Classy, cool, knew how to fight and toss off
    one-liners at the same time.

    Now fictionally, my idol is Anita Blake, Vampire Executioner. Jeez, she is tough!

  12. Bad news: Emma Peel is fictional, too.

    I don’t know if it’s MK’s apartment, but apparently the masseuse who found him called MK before 911. Why?

    Max, you need to get over it. VF’s not so preppy anymore, and it has Seb “Hotness” Junger!

  13. I dunno Rain. I am probably never going to recover from the Hollywood issue. They hunted up a bathing suit pic for the at the time one seriously powerful female exec at the time Lansing. The pic of “The Writers” was a bunch of middle aged paunchy white guys cavorting with cigars and scotch — no women, no ethnics, no one less than twenty pounds over weight. And every actress was shown in lingerie. Interestingly, every male exec was wearing a suit and every male actor was wearing more than a g-string. And the only woman they did show in real clothes was Gale Anne Hurd, who they couldn’t find a photo of in a bathing suit or they would have used it for damn sure.

    I do not get over all that very fast. [Clearly since that issue came out over ten years ago.]

  14. Sebastian Junger? Yum indeed!

    Clearly we have the same taste in men, Raincoaster. Max and I, on the other hand, have clearly different taste. We could go out together manhunting. But you and me? Fuhgetaboutit!

  15. That’s true. I’d forgotten about the Hollywood lingerie issue. But you’re wrong: Gwyneth didn’t wear lingerie, she refused and was pictured in a silver-blue ballgown. I guess her ribs weren’t pretty?

  16. You’ll love this, Rain….yet another connection between you and I.

    As you know, I’ve been out of town all week, but just before I left, they officially announced Curlin as “horse of the year. ” What’s this got to do with Angie Dickinson, you ask?

    Guess who the award presenter was?

    Angie Dickinson!

    Only you and I could have a Curlin/Angie Dickinson connection to discuss. I’m sure this isn’t lost upon you. I’m also sure you’ll appreciate that this post was my first destination after coming home and blogging myself. :)

  17. We do not have that different taste in men I just do not go for your body builders and you are unimpressed by the funny Scotsmen, other than that we tend to land in the same place.

  18. I somehow missed this post before. (My life has been a bit hectic.) And somehow, I totally missed the boat on Police Woman. So, did Pepper kick some ass?

    Me, I’ve always wanted to be Emma Peel. (Well, at least since I found her on late-night TV when I was 14 or 15.)

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  20. May 13, 2010

    Mr. Steve McQueen,
    Paramount Pictures Corporation,
    Home Entertainment Department,
    5555 Melrose Avenue,
    Hollywood , California,
    AMERICA 90038.

    Mr. Alexander Simon,
    Writer and Clairvoyant,
    Sir William Place,
    Apartment #305’c’,
    8820 – 85 Street,
    Edmonton, Alberta,
    CANADA T6C 3C2.

    Call: (780) 466-9719

    Dear Mr. McQueen:

    After reviewing the stunning Film “Nevada Smith;” I have written a brief introduction on a Sequel called:

    Five Star Draw!

    In this true account starting in Austin; nine hombres; all clean and mighty; run a saloon store from Austin here; the rebel is gambling, illegal.! By the end of the summer in 1911; all of Edmonton here is a clean saloon; prior; some ‘tainting’ of wine and sud is detected; and convicted are assembly; as presented in The Edmonton Bullit; in the February 9 Tabloid; and should be listed with the garnered halls of the Smithsonian in the Provincial where I wish I could work full time as a Custodian of Archive and filing of sensitive material, and “hush” is heaven for me.! In this Paramount Academy Award winner of nine, I predict awards for Best Direction, Acting, Drama, Design, Leading Male, Female Top, Sound-Track®, and Editing; this scene of criminal investigation is account as per my Dream®Travel; here I see 10 great males; including nine women from blue blood to burgundy; and how the story works is as follows:


    I thank ever interested person thrilled with assembling this part filmed 120-minute chronicle; the film style I require is similar to Mr. Sam Peckinpah; the film velour is “sandy red;” with a ‘triple’ lenses of brilliant blue and amber in the beginning.! I’ll, add, more in time, with interest to arise!
    Please feel free to E-mail. And best of pay to the great (and Canada+world, Enthusiasts) U.S.A.!!!


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    Time is as pen ing a new Montreal morning;
    and if I find time with my dog;
    And find time writing for being a leader of a great Nation;

    I read comic books and wish I was a Superman!!

    While, I read and collect commix and see snow flakes building;
    I smile as my mother finds a nice drink;
    Of Chocolate to warm me and my doggie!!

    We build a nice Igloo warm and interesting;
    While Hockey Stars win the NHL;
    and we read comic books laughing!!

    As my only Paw drives in home;
    I kid as a am; stating mum is happy;
    and Christmas is near and I wish I was at work with Paw and doggie Dan.

    The Next day is Christmas Eve and no more School;
    We smile as nice teachers allow us home early and find more comic books we need!!

    At the day of Christmas with a warm fireplace we and my doggie sleep together racing time in dream … and finding to be a Superman is

  23. Dear White House!!

    I remain unemployed and have Human all my pay for my Holy Baptised and Holy Confirmed family!! I realized America needs Canadian monetary and my best humble answer is to self fund!!

    Canada is too free on helping foreigners!! Except on time of War!! And America needs the same help Warfare!!

    Help as example when Hungary was revolting USA Promised by a game show enthusiast ED Sulivan; to raid support via USA and mother mine who died in pain and bought a ticket rare and land in Canada and reported contribute to take down of Communists; met her first husband my murdered Dad!!

    Sodden me a favour there I will not send a damn Canadian cent to USA for real loyal WE!!!

    If Americans are so interested in the Canadian Dollar why not reverse the Stars-White-Blue with the RED Block and Whtie!!

    Do not tamper with any massive suggestion!!

    I thank you humbly as a true Roman Catholic!!

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