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Allan Arbus, R.I.P.

Allan Arbus hangs from a cross in Greaser's Palace

The Underground Film Journal was sad to hear about the recent passing of actor Allan Arbus, who died on April 19. He was 95 years old.

While Arbus will probably mostly be remembered for his recurring character, psychiatrist Dr. Sydney Freedman, on the TV show M*A*S*H, his one feature-film starring role was in the underground comedy Greaser’s Palace, directed by Robert Downey Sr.

In Greaser’s Palace, Arbus starred as Jessy, a reincarnated Jesus Christ who parachutes into the Old West wearing a zoot suit and entertaining the local rubes with the “boogie on his fingers and the hubba hubba in his soul.” The actor also previously appeared in Downey Sr.’s send-up of the advertising industry, Putney Swope.

Here’s a little walking on water magic by Arbus in Greaser’s Palace:


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