Thursday, March 19, 2009

Provine returned to the "wild west"

This really isn’t so much South Dakota history as it is South Dakota trivia.

While doing a bit of research on the now-defunct print version of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper, I happened across an old photo of a damsel cheering for the University of Washington in a 1954 football game against the Oregon State “Ducks.” She was identified only as “Dotty” Provine.

Provine is not your everyday surname in Seattle – or in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where one-time actress “Dorothy” Provine was born. After checking further, I became convinced that the cheering Miss Provine at UW was the same attractive blonde as the gal from Deadwood who went on to have a fairly successful career in motion pictures and television. Her TV credits included a lead in the 1960 series “The Roaring ‘20s.”

For me, her most memorable performance was in the Blake Edwards film “The Great Race,” a segment of which is offered below. It not only refreshed my memory about Dorothy Provine, it was a reminder of what a fun movie this was. The 1965 musical (Henry Mancini) comedy starred – among others – Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Keenan Wynn, Denver Pyle, Peter Falk, Larry Storch, and – my favorite – Jack Lemmon as the irrepressible Dr. Fate. Dorothy Provine is featured here as Lily Olay.

Somehow, I can imagine Dorothy Provine singing in a Deadwood dance hall similar to what's seen here (without the smoking, of course!)