Who are these Very Sissy Men?

Throughout the history of motion pictures and television, and continuing to this day, there is a certain type of man who is neither the strong man nor the everyman, but the type of man for whom the sight of a pretty woman brings to mind the thought; “Where’d she get those shoes?” This man is the Sissy Man. No more is he assigned to the land of supporting players as the best friend or unctuous authority figure, in this blog, he is put up front and center where he belongs. You will see a number at the bottom of every Very Sissy Man. This is our very own “Sissy scale.” We rate the selected “Sissies,” from zero to ten. (Zero being John Wayne, a Sissy Man only because he walked sprightly in his spurs; and ten being a man who undoubtedly continues to live the life of a sissy long after the camera has stopped rolling-- think Liberace.) In addition to the Sissy rating, each entry contains a brief, humorous biography, along with a picture that conveys the very essence of the actor’s sissiness. Enjoy!

Sir Evelyn De La Fontaine, Esq.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Very Sissy Man: Charles Nelson Reilly

Charles Nelson Reilly

January 13, 1931 - May 25, 2007

                  Charles Nelson Reilly, with his unique throaty, chortle and large framed glasses, often sported a scarf fashionably knotted around his neck. Were he and Paul Lynde separated at birth? Both made names for themselves on Broadway in Bye, Bye, Birdie, Reilly as Dick Van Dyke s understudy. (Reilly also won a Tony for his part in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.) From there it was continued popularity on a variety of television shows (including a co-starring stint on The Ghost & Mrs. Muir). Finally, also like Lynde, in the ‘70s and ‘80s he became a popular (and the longest-running) guest on a game show, in this case The Match Game. Unlike Lynde, he wasn’t bitter about it. “When I die, it’s going to read, ‘Game Show Fixture Passes Away’. Nothing about the theater, or Tony Awards, or Emmys. But it doesn’t bother me.”
         Reilly also directed and taught theater, and performed an autobiographical one-man show. But in the biggest difference between he and Paul Lynde, Reilly was actually enjoying himself, onscreen and off. “The thing that’s funny is that everyone thinks I m dead.” It must have been that personality which made him a guest on the Tonight Show 95 times.


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