“Forgotten Hollywood”- Johnny Depp Shocks Disney Patrons

April 28th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`The Happiest Place on Earth got even more magical, thanks to Johnny Depp.  On Wednesday, the actor decided to make a last-minute visit to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

“`Instead of exploring the food, parades, and other attractions inside the theme park, Johnny decided to head straight over to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Fully dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow,  the actor shocked a number of riders as they rode in their respective boats.

“`In videos captured on Twitter, Johnny repeated lines from the movie, while also interacting with park-goers. And, all the screams heard by folks in line; Disney fans freaking out over their surprise star sighting. Depp also chatted with the crowd outside.

“`The spontaneous moment came as excitement builds for the fifth and latest installment of the franchise… Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The film hits theaters on May 29th, 2017.

==================================

“`Two-time Tony Award-winner James Earl Jones is getting a third — this time for Lifetime Achievement.  He will receive it on June 11th at the Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall.

JAMES EARL JONES

“`Jones, the voice of Darth Vader and Mufasa from Disney’s The Lion King, has previously won for The Great White Hope and Fences. His Broadway credits also include On Golden Pond, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Driving Miss Daisy, The Best Man, The Iceman Cometh, You Can’t Take It with You, OthelloThe Night of the Iguana, and The Gin Game.

Until next time>                                “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Fine Director is Gone…

April 27th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Jonathan Demme was a filmmaker, producer, and screenwriter, best known for his work on Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia. Other films include Melvin and Howard, Swing Shift, Married to the Mob, and the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.

“`Demme began his career in feature movies, collaborating with exploitation cinema producer, Roger Corman.  After Swing Shift, Demme stepped back from Hollywood to make the Talking Heads concert movie, Stop Making SenseHe briefly worked in television, directing episodes of Saturday Night Live, Columbo, and American Playhouse.

“`For decades, Demme was known for his dramatic close-ups. This was a style that was acknowledged by his peers, when he earned an Oscar for Silence of the Lambs. Paul Thomas Anderson has paid homage to Jonathan, and he cited him as an influential person in his career. Other directors, such as Wes Anderson and Alexander Payne, have copied his close-up style in their own productions.         JONATHAN DEMME —>

“`He was a member of the steering committee of the Friends of the Apollo Theater in Oberlin, Ohio, along with Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. In 2013, he returned to Oberlin, as part of an alumni reunion during the class of 2013 graduation ceremony,  and received the award for Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts. Demme was also on the board of directors at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY. In addition to his duties, he curated and hosted the monthly series, called Rarely Seen Cinema.

“`Jonathan Demme was 73.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- La La Los Angeles…

April 26th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Los Angeles mayor proclaimed on Tuesday:  La La Land Day – as acrobats suspended by ropes, dancing their way across the outside walls of City Hall.  Mayor Eric Garcetti proclaimed the honor for the musical that claimed six Academy Awards in February, and put a spotlight on city locales with elaborate choreographed numbers.

“`Garcetti played the piano, while a band played a medley of songs from the film, including City of Stars. He also honored the movie’s Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle, composer Justin Hurwitz, and producers of the film. The City of Angels is a clear backdrop to the plot of realized Hollywood dreams by a engaging couple.

“`La La Land festivities extends to Long Beach, where the Blind Donkey has obtained a full-size Seb’s neon sign. It was the fictional jazz spot named after Ryan Gosling’s character in the flick. Plus, vintage lamp posts will be installed this weekend at Hermosa Beach Pier in South Bay, where Ryan danced and sang in one memorable scene of the musical.

“`The motion picture received a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, and was briefly tagged as the Best Picture winner, before the actual champ, Moonlight, was correctly announced.

“` The elaborate event coincided with its cinematic release on DVD and Blu-ray.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Career Super-Highway…

April 24th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`When you read my resume, or even, my LinkedIn page, you’ll notice a little success as an Award-Winning Scribe, Hollywood Historian, Television HostVoice Actor, Adjunct Faculty (at Southern California Community Colleges)… oh, and BROADCASTER.

“`One can appreciate the origin of my radio broadcasting career; when plucked from UCLA in 1980 by Art Laboe, and was hired at KRLA 1110 AM. Over these many decades, I’ve worked side-by-side  with familiar names as Humble Harve, Charlie Tuna, Real Don Steele, Dave Hull, Huggy Boy, Johnny Hayes; and later, J.J. Johnson, Craig Powers, Big Ron O’Brian, Bill Handel, Shawn Parr, Greg Mack, Sylvia Aimerito, Cliff Winston, and too many others to name.

“`With my voice previously heard at top Southern California radio stations:  KBIG 104.3 FM, KKBT 92.3 FM, KDAY 1580 AM, and KFI 640 AM, I am delighted to make public my latest broadcast venture.

   

“`Currently, I’m delivering at a CBS affiliate: The legendary KNX 1070 AM. My assignment is Weekend Traffic Reporter;  and the air shift is afternoons, during the 12p – 6p time slot, each  Sunday (most weekends).

“`The chance to work at the radio station with such a revered history is a unique opportunity. Plus, I share the microphone with longtime friends, including local legends:  Peter Demetriou, Denise Fondo, Maggie McKay, Barbara Brooks, Randy Kerdoon,  Jim Rondeau, and Phil Hulett.

“`If you reside in broadcast area, I invite you to listen and enjoy the iconic KNX 1070 AM  With more traffic reports, more often !!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Not So Happy Days…

April 23rd, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Erin Moran was a child star, who played Joanie Cunningham in the shows Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi.  Debuting when nostalgia for the 1950s was in fashion, Happy Days was set in Milwaukee, and was a long-running hit.  Ron Howard and Henry Winkler were the sitcom’s popular co-stars. The smiling, freckle-faced Erin Moran (right) also became bankable.

“`She had years of acting experience when cast in 1974 as the kid sister to Richie Cunningham, played by Howard. Erin literally grew up on the series.

“`Prior to her best-known work, Erin appeared on the big-screen opposite Debbie Reynolds in How Sweet It Is;  and television in  Daktari, My Three Sons, Family Affair, Gunsmoke, and The Don Rickles Show. Her recent roles included guest-starring in Diagnosis Murder, The Love Boat, The Waltons, and Murder She Wrote. However, Moran never reached the success of Happy Days;  and was often in the news for her personal and financial struggles; reportedly homeless at times.

“`Moran and her Happy Days co-stars, Marion Ross, Anson Williams, Don Most, and the estate of Tom Bosley (who died in 2010),  filed a $10 million breach-of-contract lawsuit. It claimed that cast members hadn’t been paid for merchandising revenues owed under their previous contracts. The cash  was generated from show-related items, such as comic books, scrapbooks, t-shirts, games, trading cards, lunch boxes, dolls, toy cars, greeting cards, magnets, and DVDs where the cast members’ images appeared on the box covers.  The actors eventually settled the suit in 2012, with each receiving payments of $65,000.

HAPPY DAYS CAST

“`Erin Moran was just 56.

Until next time…                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Longest Running Show in England…

April 22nd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The longest running stage play is Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap in London, with its world premiere on October 6th, 1952. However, Queen Elizabeth II is Britain’s oldest and longest-reigning monarch, having become the official figure-head on February 6th, 1952. She’s also the world’s longest-reigning living monarch, since the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, last year. Yes, the reign of The Queen is longer than the stage play!

QUEEN ELIZABETH II

“`England marked the Queen’s 91st birthday on Friday with a number of gun salutes. She enjoyed her day with a visit to the races. Elizabeth II, who owns and breeds thoroughbred horses, was seen chatting with jockeys at Newbury Race Course, not far from Windsor Castle. She visited the race course with daughter Princess Anne, and sat in the royal box.

“`There were also official celebrations in London, where a troop of the Royal Horse Artillery rode horse-and-gun carriages past Buckingham Palace before staging a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park at noon. Outside the palace, a band of guardsmen in scarlet tunics and bearskin hats played Happy Birthday during the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

“`And, at the centuries-old Tower of London, there was a second salute with 62 guns.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The De Niro Degree…

April 21st, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Robert De Niro is among 6 performers scheduled to receive an honorary degree at  Brown University’s commencement exercises. The Ivy League school announced that the Oscar-winning actor is being celebrated for an intensity he brings to each performance.  De Niro will receive a  Doctor of Fine Arts degree during the school’s May 28th ceremonies.

“`De Niro has been nominated seven times for an  Academy Award, and won twice, in 1975 for The Godfather: Part II; and in 1981 for Raging Bull. He’s also the annual host of the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan.  ROBERT DE NIRO –>

“`Brown University doesn’t extend invitations to traditional keynote speaker to Spring commencement exercises, instead reserving the honor for members of the graduating class.

“`Congratulations to the intense actor!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Star Wars Villa Concept…

April 19th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`When Star Wars Land opens at Disney World in 2019, it promises to be a total immersive experience.  Disney has expressed additional interest in building a hotel resort inside Disney World,  likely located in Star Wars Land, which would be designed to look like you’re staying on a Starship.

“`Concept art includes a lobby, guest rooms, and other areas of a resort that definitely has the feel of familiar ships seen in Star Wars’ films. The two-night, all-inclusive package would cost $900 to $1,000 per person, including a two-day story set in the Star Wars universe; personal interaction with characters; live performers throughout the Starship; and, an ability to engage in the tale by going through extensive flight training, ship exploration, lightsaber training, and secret assignments (on the Starship and throughout Star Wars Land).

“`Your stay would also include buffet breakfasts, lunches, and evening dining, exclusive park admission to Star Wars Land, and Starship amenities, such as a pool area and water garden, fitness area, onboard Cantina, and — wait for it — robotic droid butlers.

“`This looks like it’s in the idea phase, but, it’s just another example of how ambitious Disney World is being in its execution of Star Wars Land.

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“`My Forgotten Hollywood cable podcast that visually streams each episode on TherapyCable is available in audio form. PlayerFM is the site that carries the audio podcast version. Here is the link to the site:

   

https://player.fm/series/forgotten-hollywood#

“`Click on the link and enjoy:

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims Clifton James

April 18th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Clifton James had a knack for playing sheriffs on screen, with memorable performances in Silver Streak; and, in two James Bond movies: The Man with the Golden Gun and Live and Let Die.  He also had a notable role, playing Charles Comiskey, in the baseball flick, Eight Men Out.

“`In the 1930s, James got work with the Civilian Conservation Corps, and then entered World War II in 1942 as a soldier with the Army in the South Pacific, receiving two Purple Hearts, Bronze Star, and a Silver Star.

“`A graduate of the Actor’s Studio,  James was cast in popular films, including Will Penny, Experiment in Terror, David and Lisa, Cool Hand Luke, The Reivers, The Last Detail, The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, Superman II, The Untouchables, and The Bonfire of the Vanities  (OK…. the latter film was not popular). On television, Clifton had a recurring part on Lewis & Clark.  He also guest-starred in a few episodes of  The A-Team, appeared on Gunsmoke, and the daytime soap opera, All My Children.

“`A wonderful character actor, Clifton James (above) was 96.

=============================================

“`Every year, hundreds of thousands of people make the trek up to the Hollywood Sign. But, one of its most popular access routes is about to be closed to the public.

“`The most-traversed street to the Hollywood Sign was up a road in Beachwood;  much to the chagrin of neighboring residents. After years of strife between residents, tourists, and City Hall,  the Beachwood path will be shut down, this month. That decision comes as the result of a court battle between the city and commercial stable that leases land.

“`Now, there’s a $100,000 plan to evaluate a different trail to the Hollywood Sign; one that goes through Griffith Park. So, what’s next for the fate of the Hollywood Sign, and the people that travel to Los Angeles to see it?

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Chock Full of Chaplins…

April 17th, 2017

Manny P. hee… 

“`Hundreds of Charlie Chaplin fans,  dressed as his Tramp character,  gathered at the silent film star’s former home in Switzerland,  marking his 128th birthday. Chaplin’s World Museum, which opened a year ago,  featured 662 folks sporting the star’s distinctive bowler hat and cane at the Manoir de Ban in Corsier-sur-Vevey, above Lake Geneva. This is considered a world record.

“`In its initial year, Chaplin’s World By Grévin has hosted visitors from all over the world. Folks from 75 nations have visited Chaplin’s final home,  and the Hollywood-style studio located in the grounds of the estate. The Museum has already welcomed close to 300,000 guests. And, the word-of-mouth of the experience has been universally positive.

“`The Manoir de Ban is where Chaplin lived his last 25 years; raised his children, wrote music, movie scripts, and contemplated his legacy, far from the glare of the Hollywood spotlight.

   

“`Charlie Chaplin died in 1977.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Two New Nashville Museums…

April 16th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Two new attractions opening this month in Nashville  will give fans a chance to get closer to favorite country music icons. The legendary vocalist Patsy Cline gets an overdue honor with a museum a few blocks from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  Plus, Madame Tussauds opens a new music-focused attraction near the Grand Ole Opry House, featuring lifelike figurines of  Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, and many more.

“`The Patsy Cline Museum unveils details about the singer, whose life and career was cut short, when she perished in a plane crash in 1963.  It is a vast collection of items related to Cline, who was one of the first country artists to crossover to become an iconic torch singer. The public has not seen letters written by Cline, or photos and other artifacts in 50 years.

“`Just in time for Spring and Summer, another attraction brings a new tourist draw to the city that has been featured in lists of top United States destinations for travelers. The attraction is the 7th Madame Tussauds in the nation; the only one entirely focused on musicians. It isn’t just limited to country; but, includes figures from pop, jazz, folk, rock, and soul music.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Jackie Robinson in Marble…

April 15th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`He was the first black man to play in baseball’s Major Leagues, ending six decades of racial segregation, and a first-ballot Hall of Famer.  Fittingly, Jackie Robinson will be the first player to be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium.  It will be unveiled later today, on the 70th anniversary of his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

“`Two years ago, on  Jackie Robinson Day, owner and chairman Mark Walter suggested that a sculpture belonged at Dodger Stadium of the six-time All-Star second baseman, who starred when the team was in Brooklyn.

“`The 77-inch tall bronze statue depicts Robinson as a rookie, in 1947, sliding into home plate,  a nod to aggressive base running. It weighs 700 pounds,  and it is secured with a steel rod.  On the statue’s granite base are three quotes, chosen by Jackie’s family, including his wife Rachel’s favorite:  A life isn’t important, except in the impact it has on other lives. Placed in the left field reserve plaza,  the statue has sweeping views of Downtown, Los Angeles in one direction, and Elysian Park in the other.

“`Now 94, Rachel Robinson is traveling from the East Coast to attend the unveiling, along with her daughter Sharon and son David.  Also invited, are members of Jackie’s extended family, many from his late brother Mack’s side,  who reside in nearby Pasadena. That’s where the Georgia-born Jackie grew up, and became a four-sport star in football, basketball, baseball, and track at John Muir High.  He also played at  Pasadena City College, before heading to UCLA.

“`Iconic names in Dodgers’ history will be on hand:  Pitching greats, Sandy Koufax and Don Newcombe, who were Robinson’s teammates when the Dodgers won the 1955 World Series; retired broadcaster Vin Scully; and Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda. Also, Frank Robinson, a Hall of Fame player, and the first black to manage in the Majors;  Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson; and team president and CEO Stan Kasten. The first 40,000 fans at Saturday’s game against Arizona receive a replica of the statue.

“`Robinson’s statue at the ballpark is his eighth, most of any American athlete.  Since 2004, baseball has honored Robinson’s barrier-breaking career every April; the one day players on every team wears his retired No. 42 jersey.

“`What a great day to be a fan of the Dodgers!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- In Remembrance of Ella…

April 14th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has put on display a rarely-seen photograph of iconic jazz singer, Ella Fitzgerald; fondly nicknamed First Lady of Song.  This portrait is currently on view, ahead of the 100th anniversary of her birth. Ella died in 1996, and would have marked her 100th birthday on April 25th.

“`Represenatives of the gallery chose the photograph of Fitzgerald in performance flanked by Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, and Milt Jackson (right). It was taken in 1947 by William Gottlieb, who learned to shoot a camera to take pictures to accompany his  weekly music column for the Washington Post.  Ella was actually in the audience to hear her boyfriend, Ray Brown,  perform with his group. But, as expected,  everybody wanted to hear Ella croon. Once she held the mic, Gottlieb got into position to take  his pic. His photos of musicians of the 1930s and 1940s are generally considered vibrant visual records of jazz’s Golden Age.

“`Fitzgerald topped DownBeat Magazine’s annual readers’ poll as the Best Female Vocalist for 17 consecutive years (1953–1970). She was a teen when she won an amateur contest at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater. This led to a chance to sing with Chick Webb’s orchestra in 1935. Fitzgerald soon secured her standing as the leading swing-era performer, and scored a hit with A-Tisket, A-Tasket in 1938. After Webb’s passing in 1939, she led his orchestra for three years, before moving to a successful solo career.  With a voice spanning three octaves, and a great knack for improvisational scat singing,  she developed a wide-ranging repertoire encompassing multi genres of music.  Ella’s long and fruitful association with jazz impresario Norman Granz resulted in a legendary series of songbook recordings that marked Fitzgerald: One of the great interpreters of American popular music.

“`The striking photo  was given to the museum as a gift from Lisa Ruthel and Anup Mahurkar; and Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation has helped make it possible for this portrait to be on view in honor of Ella at 100: The Centennial Celebration. It’s the first time the photograph has been displayed at the museum.

“`It will be on view through May 14th in the Celebrate exhibit of the first-floor north gallery.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Death of a Cinematographer…

April 13th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Michael Ballhaus was an award-winning cinematographer.  Part of Hollywood royalty, he was the nephew of the German stage and film  actor Carl Balhaus, who co-starred in The Blue Angel and M.

“`Ballhaus was influenced by director Max Ophüls, and he appeared as an extra in Ophüls last film Lola Montes. He came to prominence with his performances in 16 films for Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

“`After settling in the United States, Ballhaus worked on great motion pictures, including The Color of Money, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New YorkGoodfellas and The Departed for Martin Scorsese; Sleepers for Barry Levinson; and Dracula for Francis Ford Coppola. Other films include Postcards from the EdgeOutbreak, The Glass Menagerie, Quiz ShowWhat About Bob, The Mambo Kings, Air Force One, Dirty Rotten ScoundrelsWorking Girl, and The Legend of Bagger Vance.

“`Ballhaus was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, for Broadcast News, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and Gangs of New York. But, he never won. He did earn a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Goodfellas.

“`His son, Florian, is also a cinematographer, who worked on The Devil Wears Prada, and Flightplan.

“`Michael Ballhaus was 81.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Character Actors on TCM…

April 12th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History and  Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History  are part of my award-winning literary series  that shares America’s story through the eyes of character actors of Hollywood’s Studio Era. There are 36 supporting players who make up the various chapters in my books. I’ve just finished penning a third paperback in the series that includes 21 more players who lend their support to major cinematic stars. It is due out in the near future.

   

“`In April, Turner Classic Movies pays tribute to the fine folks who appear below the title of great cinema. I would like to think my literary work has influenced this long overdue homage. A few of my subjects are featured throughout the month, such as S. Z. Sakall, Frank Morgan, Beulah Bondi, Charles Coburn, William Bendix, Thomas Mitchell, Marjorie Main, Thelma Ritter, Ward Bond, and Walter Brennan. TCM also showcases actors in my upcoming work, including Edward Everett Horton, Charles Bickford, and Edward Arnold.

     

“`Each Tuesday and Thursday in April, watch and enjoy 32 of the best comedians, dramatists, and scene stealers, TCM has had the pleasure of bringing you in a particular month.

Until next time>                               “never forget”