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American Cuties On The Continent
bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
12 March 2009
Watching Les Girls a couple of days ago put me in mind of a short lived
series that seemed to have borrowed liberally from that Gene Kelly film
in the creation. The series is Harry's Girls and like Les Girls it
starred three shapely young ladies Susan Silo, Denise Nickerson, and
Diahn Willliams. They are the girls and their problems and the morale
of the troupe at large are of concern to Harry, played by Larry Blyden.
Take a look at the continental cast list of Harry's Girls. Appearing in
some of the episodes are such players as Dennis Price and Claude
Dauphin whom you would not be normally seeing except on the small
screen. The series only ran for 16 episodes and the expense of shooting
in Europe outran the ratings. Sadly the show did not catch on. A pity
because I do remember the wonderful location photography of the series.
I also remember Larry Blyden who never quite made it on the big screen
or the small. He did many guest starring roles on television, but was
mainly noted for his stage work. It was on stage that I saw him in 1957
playing Sammmy Fong in Flower Drum Song, the first Broadway show I ever
He was a funny guy, the fast talking thoroughly Americanized Chinese
person who is being brought back to the old country traditions by an
arranged marriage with Miyoshi Umeki. Some of that same persona was
present in his Harry Burns in Harry's Girls.
Blyden and the shapely female trio were going to Europe to preserve an
old vaudeville act. Vaudeville had died in the USA some time ago, but
in Europe where it's Music Hall, Variety Hall, etc. it was still going
in 1963. The only venue for Silo, Williams, and Nickerson would have
been Las Vegas in 1963. Blyden too might have been a lounge act, but he
preferred what he knew.
I'm sorry the series never developed a following. And this review is
dedicated to a very fine entertainer Larry Blyden who gave me my first
night of Broadway entertainment.
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