Tuesday, September 14, 2010


RIP to Kevin McCarthy, departed four years shy of a century old. His career lasted more than 60 years & included scores of movies, among them A Gathering of Eagles, The Best Man, The Misfits & Death of a Salesman—for which he received an Oscar nomination—countless TV appearances & around 20 Broadway productions. But he’s most remembered by far as the half-crazed hero of Don Siegel’s 1956 paranoid classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, wildly trying to warn disinterested passersby of the subtle alien invasion in the film’s climactic minutes: “They’re already here! You’re next! You’re next!

McCarthy was one of the first celebrities I ever interviewed, back in he early ‘80s, when his successful touring production of Give ‘em Hell, Harry! headed for Erie. Poor guy—I can still remember the barely-concealed weariness with which he dutifully answered the geeky Body Snatchers questions I asked him after a few perfunctory queries about the show he was actually doing. I think I gained a little ground with him later, when I asked him about starring in Happy Birthday, Wanda June on Broadway, & about his friendship with Kurt Vonnegut.

In his long later years, McCarthy became a familiar character actor in films ranging from The Howling to The Distinguished Gentleman. Let me just say—Kevin McCarthy became the old guy I wish I could become: silver-haired & craggy, rascally & curmudgeonly yet still lovable.


  1. Invasion, by DAVID TRINIDAD

    Kevin McCarthy knows what is happening.
    Unwittingly, he's discovered something odd:
    Aliens are posing as human beings.

    One by one, all the townspeople are changing.
    It happens right after they give you a pod.
    Kevin McCarthy knows what is happening.

    While you sleep, the pod duplicates your body.
    Crackling, your flesh shrivels into a lifeless wad.
    Aliens are posing as human beings.

    When you wake up, you don't have any feelings.
    You look perfectly normal, but you're a fraud.
    Kevin McCarthy knows what is happening.

    Frantically, he runs through the streets screaming
    "Run for your life! They're here! They're here! Oh my God!
    Aliens are posing as human beings!"

    He knows he can't take speed and drink coffee
    forever. Eventually he'll start to nod.
    Kevin McCarthy knows what is happening:
    Aliens are posing as human beings.

  2. This is awesome--who is David Trinindad? Oddly, years ago I tried to write a sonnet about "Body Snatchers," but couldn't get it to work out. This is terrific. Thanx1

  3. He's a New York-based poet. This poem is from his book "Answer Song," which was published by Serpent's Tail around the same time they did "The Book of Man." I hung out with him when he was in London to promote it.