Mad Men Mad Men

This week's column is dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Ida Blankenship, Don Draper's hilariously cantankerous executive secretary on Mad Men who died at her desk, "like she lived, surrounded by the people she answers phones for," according to Roger Sterling's snarky instant eulogy. Her former swain/boss Bert Cooper saw a bigger, more admiring picture: "She was born in 1898 in a barn, she died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper. She's an astronaut." Also, according to Roger's apparently unpublishable memoirs, a one-time "queen of perversions." Randee Heller's spot-on performance of this old-school gatekeeper, a relic of a time before feminism was on anyone's radar, is one of the more indelible achievements of Mad Men's terrific fourth season. Let's give her the last word, for now:

"It's a business of sadists and masochists, and you know which one you are."

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