Friends, I’m here today with sad news. Mark Blum has passed away today, after suffering complications from the coronavirus.
Sharon Waxman informed me of this very very hard news today I’m so deeply sad for his family and for his fans. he was a wonderful actor and a very good and kind man. May you Rest In Peace and power mark. God bless you. https://t.co/r0QUGEYwVK— Rosanna Arquette🌎✌🏼 (@RoArquette) March 26, 2020
As you probably know, Blum was the no-good-cheating-cad of a husband in Desperately Seeking Susan, which is a damn classic.
Sure, you might remember it as a Madonna movie (and it definitely is) but Blum’s role in that movie is memorable, almost 35 years later—and it didn’t have to be. That was all his doing.
I really love this movie, and we need to take a moment to give props to Blum and what he managed to do with his role in it. See, Blum’s part as Gary Glass was a thankless one. He was there to demonstrate how un-perfect he was for his wife, the bored and lonely Roberta so that the audience understood why she’d end up in bed with a young (and dreamy) Aiden Quinn by the end of it. Naturally, it involved being a self-absorbed cheater who didn’t pay attention to Roberta, and took everything she did for him for granted.
The philandering husband role is one we all know in these movies, and honestly, you don’t have to really do anything with it. You can just let him be an ass, and the movie is totally fine as a result. Blum didn’t do that though—sure, his character was an ass, but he was also inexplicably likable and funny. What’s rare in these movies, which Blum managed effortlessly, was to give a hint of the man he used to be—the one that made his wife fall in love with him in the first place. Granted, he’s wrong for her (especially with Aiden Quinn waiting in the wings) but you see how she could have made that mistake in the first place.
That’s largely in part to how Blum approached the character, his natural ability, and the overwhelming chemistry the cast had with each other overall.
If you haven’t done a rewatch lately, Desperately Seeking Susan is well worth your time, if only to see how Blum handled his thankless task so well.
Well, that, and to watch him awkwardly dance with Madonna. This movie is a classic for a reason, people.
Header Image Source: Orion Pictures