In a letter to me, Theadora Van Runkle described Bernadette Peters as “adorable,” and it’s hard to think of a better adjective. This drawing doesn’t do that adorableness justice, although it does suggest failed attempts at sophistication—something that rings true to the character of Marie.
Theadora really brought the world of The Jerk its charm, opting for a subtle absurdity that syncs well with the movie’s childlike tone. Who can forget that raggedy bathrobe? She dressed Peters again for 1981’s Heartbeeps, an Andy Kaufman film about robot domestics on the lam.
Tomorrow: Dolly Parton as Miss Mona Stangley!