Most moviegoers will remember him as Pygar from Barbarella, but to dedicated film geeks, John Phillip Law, who passed away at the age of seventy on Tuesday, will always (deep, deep down) be the unstoppable super-thief, Diabolik.
Back in December, it had been hoped that Law would participate in a Q&A for Danger: Diabolik during Edgar Wright’s crazed commandeering of the New Beverly. Though Joe Dante was a more-than-acceptable fill-in, I regretted not being able to hear Law hold forth on collaborating with Mario Bava, co-starring alongside Lee Van Cleef (in Giulio Petroni’s solid spaghetti western, Death Rides a Horse) and surviving two of the most infamous Hollywood disasters of the second half of the twentieth century (Otto Preminger’s Skidoo and Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie). Given Law’s reputation as a willing raconteur, I figured there would be another time. Alas.
Tim Lucas has posted a heartfelt farewell to his Video WatchBlog; it’s essential reading if you a) only knew Law as a random Hollywood hunk and b) want to know where to start with his entertaining and varied career. Someone seriously needs to get Blood Delirium out on DVD.