And no, I don’t mean the icky steroid-stuffed comedian, either.The little orange-haired puppet star of the movie Lilli has been missing for many years, and the mission was finding him, hopefully in time for the Santa Monica Puppetry Festival in October of 2008. I cannot find any information on if he was found or not:
Based on the story by Paul Gallico, Lili (1953) stars Leslie Caron as the title character, a 16-year-old waif who runs off to join a carnival. Embittered, crippled puppeteer Mel Ferrer treats Lili with contempt; only by speaking through his puppets is Ferrer able to express his genuine love for the girl.Here is one of the most enchanting puppet-and-person moments onscreen ever, snagged from the blog of my friend Smits.
The puppetry in this film was performed by the late, great George Latshaw, to whom I will dedicate an entire entry a little later.
Caron, Latshaw and Carrot Top
This video shows with whom some of the puppet stars from Lilli reside today, with my old puppeteer friend Alan Cook! (he looks so young here–I’m not sure what year it is!)