“Forgotten Hollywood”- CBS Radio Legacy…

November 17th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`CBS Radio was a radio broadcasting company and radio network operator, until today. The entire radio network was sold to Entercom Communications, making the national family of CBS stations is now part of the second-largest radio company in the United States. They own  235 radio stations across 48 media markets.

“`CBS Radio leaves a 90-year legacy of broadcasting excellence that should continue after the merger. The network debuted on September 27th, 1927 with a live orchestra broadcast, and later provided 10 hours of programming per week; mostly symphonic music and opera.

   

“`When William Paley took over the network, its name became the Columbia Broadcasting System. He changed the programming from high-brow music to a mainstream taste; signing Paul Whiteman’s Band, and a young crooner named Bing Crosby.  Vaudeville entertainers and comedians were added to the programming block, including Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, and Fred Allen. Announcer Ted Husing was utilized to broadcast sporting events.

“`The March of Time was an innovative CBS radio program that dramatized and recreated the important weekly news events, and sponsored by Time Magazine. As war loomed over Europe, the reports of H.V. Kaltenborn, Edward R. Murrow, William Shirer, Robert Trout, Eric Sevareid, and many others, were heard daily in America’s living rooms. These were also the years CBS acquired many of its flagship owned & operated stations, such as KMOX, WBBM, KCBS, and KNX.

   

“`Arthur Godfrey was a morning disc jockey at CBS station WSJV in Washington in 1945, when tapped to cover the network broadcast of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s funeral procession. Arthur’s eyewitness account garnered national attention; CBS awarded Godfrey a morning network program. His show of unscripted interviews and music was a network radio staple until 1972.

“`When the television age dawned, its network and stations catapulted it into a giant multi-media corporation. But, CBS’s roots and heritage have always been in radio.

“`I’m proud to have been hired by CBS affiliate  KNX 10-70 News Radio. And, I’m ready to embark on a new journey with Entercom. Plus, my radio career continues to shine bright.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Goodbye To the Dame of Dish…

November 13th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Liz Smith was a syndicated gossip columnist for over a quarter-century. It was one of the most widely read in the world. Her own celebrity status gave her an insider’s access, rather than relying largely on tips, press releases, or publicists. Whether reporting on entertainers, politicians, or power brokers, the Dame of Dish never bothered with rumors.

“`Born Mary Elizabeth Smith in Fort Worth, Texas, she was the daughter of devout Baptist mother and an eccentric father. As a young girl, Liz fell in love with the silver screen, since movies were one of the few things her mother did not consider a sin.

“`Smith earned her journalism degree from Hardin-Simmons University, and headed off for New York. For nearly 30 years, she bounced from job to job:  Publicist for singer Kaye Ballard; assistant to Mike Wallace, and Candid Camera’s creator Allen Funt; and ghostwriter for Igor Cassini’s gossip column.

“`Smith wrote for nine New York newspapers,  and dozens of magazines, including  Sports Illustrated. But, it was a stint writing for Cosmopolitan that proved felicitous. Establishing herself as the authority on Liz Taylor and Richard Burton,  Liz Smith attracted the attention of the New York Daily News, which led to penning a daily column in 1976. LIZ SMITH ->

“`The Texas native endeared herself to many celebrities, and she scored major scoops: Donald and Ivana Trump’s divorce; the first child of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow;  the pregnancy of Madonna; and the death of Nora Ephron. Her scoops were always upbeat and on-point.

“`Smith helped usher in the era of celebrity journalism on television by joining WNBC-TV for three nights a week commentary. A decade later, she jumped to Fox; and she then appeared for the cable channel, E! Entertainment Television. During that time, Smith migrated from the Daily News to the rival New York Post, and finally, to Newsday; and ultimately earning a salary well into six figures. Meanwhile, her column was syndicated, nationwide, and it drew millions of readers.

“`Smith also hosted endless charity fund-raisers. She raised millions of dollars for Literacy Volunteers; and for Women’s Action Alliance, promoting full equality for women.

“`The vivacious Liz Smith was 94.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- What A Character Blogathon…

November 12th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`In mid-December, I’m thrilled to be participating in the What a Character Blogathon.  This is the sixth year since its inception; but, my initial involvement. It’s a superb opportunity to showcase memorable supporting players, who co-starred in motion pictures during Hollywood’s Golden Age.  Expect talented bloggers to chat about the character actors I am thrilled to have highlighted in my  Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.

“`I don’t want give up too much information at this point. But, I can tell you… My assignment is the fabulous Woody Strode. Look for an insightful blog on his career and life. He was rich in talent, and an actor of the highest caliber.

“`I look forward to this fine undertaking, and I shall take the utmost care in what I offer to the readers of www.forgottenhollywood.com, and beyond. The administrators of the Blogathon include Outspoken and Freckled, Once Upon a Screen, and Paula’s Cinema Club.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Visit to Hollywood Heritage Museum

November 11th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`On December 2nd, I will make my annual pilgrimage to the Hollywood Heritage Museum  for their Afternoon with the Authors. There will be plenty of opportunities to pick up gifts, and avoid the holiday crowds between 12p-4p. Here are the details:

“`Stop by and pick up autographed copies of my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. The Hollywood Heritage Museum is right across the street from the Hollywood Bowl.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Go Lightly on Breakfast…

November 10th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`The New York-based Tiffany & Co. jewelry chain has opened a restaurant at its flagship Fifth Avenue locale in Manhattan, and the menu includes breakfast. The retail outlet is the setting for Audrey Hepburn’s classic 1961 motion picture  Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It only took 56 years to build.

                      AUDREY HEPBURN

“`Tiffany’s Blue Box Café has opened its doors. The $29 breakfast pastiche includes avocado toast and a buttermilk waffle. Lunch meals are available for $39; and shoppers can be seated for tea and finger sandwiches for $49. The Blue Box Café is tucked on the fourth floor, part of a renovated space that showcases luxury home living and accessories collections.

“`The cafe chairs and dishes display the company’s signature blue hue. Having breakfast at Tiffany’s isn’t just a big screen fantasy. Perhaps, overhead on speakers:  Moon River?

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of John Hillerman…

November 9th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`John Hillerman was an actor, best known for his role as Higgins on Magnum P.I. that aired from 1980–1988. For his performance, he earned five Golden Globe nominations, winning in 1981, and four Emmy nods, winning in 1987. Hillerman retired from acting in 1999.

“`In 1953, Hillerman joined the United States Air Force, working in maintenance in a B-36 wing of the Strategic Air Command. During his years of military service, John worked with various theatrical groups. After his discharge, he traveled to New York City to study at the American Theatre Wing. In 1957, he began his career in professional theater.

“`Hillerman had over 100 leading roles on stage. He worked in live performances in a variety of venues before making his motion picture debut in 1970.

“`He film credits include They Call Me Mr. Tibbs, The Last Picture Show, What’s Up Doc, Paper Moon, Blazing Saddles, A Day of the Locust, High Plains Drifter and Chinatown. On the small screen, John guest-starred in  Mannix, Wonder WomanMaudeHawaii 5-0One Day at a TimeLittle House on the Prairie, Lou GrantEllery QueenHart to Hart, Murder She Wrote, KojakSoap, and The Love Boat.

“`John Hillerman was 84.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Reshuffling Deck Chairs on the Titanic

November 8th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Associated Press is reporting stunning news in the world of Hollywood cinema:

“`In an unprecedented move, Kevin Spacey is being cut from Ridley Scott’s latest finished production, All the Money in the World, and replaced by Christopher Plummer, just one month before it hits theaters. Plummer will assume the role of J. Paul Getty. The re-shoot includes the expected participation of its co-stars, Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams.

          KEVIN SPACEY                      CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER

“`The film was set to have a world premiere at AFI Fest in Los Angeles on November 16th, but was dropped earlier this week amid sexual harassment allegations involving Spacey. He was recently fired from House of Cards; and dropped by his talent agency and publicist.

“`All the Money in the World was primed for an awards season-release from distributor Sony Pictures Entertainment and its advertising campaign, which prominently features Spacey. Scott, known as an efficient director, plans on keeping a Christmas release date.

“`Back in 1937, Jean Harlow unexpectedly died before completing her scenes on the motion picture, Saratoga.  MGM movie mogul Louis B. Mayer utilized a double to conclude filming. The actor was shot from behind, with her face not shown. In 1944, Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne convinced Mayer to halt production of A Guy Named Joe for six months so that Van Johnson could recover from an auto accident.  Five years later, Louis Calhern replaced Frank Morgan, weeks into the shooting of Annie Get Your Gun, after he had a fatal heart attack.

      

“`My historical perspective:  Once principal photography is completed, actors simply aren’t fired and replaced. Allegations swirling around Kevin Spacey upsets the very foundation of Hollywood, and its reference as a dream factory, for the foreseeable future.

“`Scott’s plan caught Sony by surprise; but, the studio is supporting the switch. Bulletins as they break…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Cinematic Thomas Guide…

November 7th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Cinemaps:  An Atlas of 35 Great Movies is from Quirk Books. This beautifully rendered atlas is an essential reference for anybody who loves modern art and great motion pictures.

“`Esteemed artisan  Andrew DeGraff crafted hand-painted maps of seminal movies, such as King KongNorth by NorthwestJawsGhostbusters,  The Princess BrideRaiders of the Lost Ark, FargoPulp Fiction, The Shining, and The Breakfast Club. Each of the routes of major characters are charted in meticulous cartographic detail.

“`Andrew DeGraff is a freelance illustrator and artist living and working in Maine. Andrew was born in Albany, New York. In 2001, he graduated from Pratt Institute’s Communications Design program. His clients include  Visa,  Sports Illustrated, Kellogg’s, New York Times, and GAP Kids. His gallery work has been shown in New York, Chicago, Calgary, Honolulu, Philadelphia, Albany, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Quezon City in the Philippines. DeGraff (right) sketches unique points-of-view. 

“`Each map is presented in an 11-by-14-inch format, with key details enlarged for closer inspection; and is accompanied by illuminating essays by movie critic A.D. Jameson, who provides written commentary about the unique geographies from each flick.

NORTH BY NORTHWEST

“`My personal favorite is the trek made in the Alfred Hitchcock 1959 classic motion picture.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Constant Gardener…

November 4th, 2017

Manny P… 

“`A simple-minded rube, who gleans what he knows of the world from television, becomes a lightening rod within political circles with access to the White House. NO, I am not referring to current administrations. I am writing about the next-to-last production made by Peter Sellers… Being There. This 1979 movie is worth a visit, because of a poignant relevance in today’s sovereign climate.

“`Directed by Hal Ashby, he displays similar acuity as in his previous work, Harold and Maude.  Being There is political satire; hilarious and subtle. The supporting cast is formidable, including Jack Warden, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, and Richard Dysart. This script is smart; based on the novel by Polish-born scribe, Jerzy Kosinski.

“`During filming, to remain in character, Sellers refused most interviews, and kept his distance from the other actors. His performance was universally lauded by critics, and it’s considered to be the crowning triumph of Sellers’s remarkable career.  Though, he lost an Academy Award to Dustin Hoffman, Peter did receive a New York Film Critics Circle AwardGolden Globe, and a BAFTA. Douglas earned a second Oscar in his distinguished career for his performance (the first was in 1963 for his role in HUD).

“`The premise of the production is on target:  A naive gardener unwittingly becomes a much sought-after political pundit; and, a commentator on the vagaries of our modern free society. Television, as a medium that deals almost exclusively in image and surface, remains an easy avenue; through which, an individual could advance so meteorically to celebrity. An audience that embraces his fame actually believe this character can literally walk on water. Ultimately, his followers surmise the small screen has inaugurated artificial displays of divinity; a Gospel celebrating faux-patriotism. Additionally, Russians contribute to this whirlwind of government ascension.

“`Per chance… Does any of this sound familiar?

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Mr. Cavett Goes To Washington…

November 3rd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Dick Cavett is donating over 2,000 episodes of his television talk show to the Library of Congress. The donation announced by the Library includes episodes of  The Dick Cavett Show from his 35 years as host during the 1960s to 1980s.

“`The shows feature more than 5,000 guests. Cavett had a unique reputation as sophisticated counter-programming to more mainstream late night fare and for attracting an eclectic mix of guests. Among the interviews featured: Orson Welles, Janis Joplin, Groucho Marx, Muhammad Ali and Jimi Hendrix. Other episodes include the televised confrontation between writers, Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer;  and a 1971 episode with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in their candid conversation about the ongoing relationship they had with The Beatles (that was deteriorating at the time).

“`Cavett might have a place in television history anyway given that his resume also included writing for late night icons – Jack Parr and Johnny Carson. His own shows appeared on ABC, CBS, USA, CNBC, HBO, and PBS.  Some of Cavett’s more interesting interviews were aired recently on Turner Classic Movies.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- BBC Runs A Fowl with Hitch…

November 2nd, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`The BBC is producing a television update of director Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. The classic thriller is being re-imagined for the small screen, in a weekly series from  Harry Potter producer David Heyman’s Heyday Television. It’s a new contemporary drama for next year.

“`Tippi Hedren won’t be reportedly involved  with this latest incarnation. In fact, the series will apparently bear a closer resemblance to the 1952 Daphne du Maurier novel. So, instead of 1960s California, it will be post-World War II-era Cornwall.  By the end of this story, it becomes clear all of Great Britain is under aerial assault. This scary tale is thought to be a metaphor for air attacks on London by the Nazis; in particular, The Blitz.

“`While it is still early in the process, the script is being written by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, who previously adapted the story in 2009 for the stage. The Birds television adaptation has no announced release date. However, expect the series to take flight next season.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Robbie the Robot Up For Auction…

November 1st, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Originally designed for MGM’s outer space epic Forbidden Planet, Robby the Robot ranks among the single most iconic props in science fiction history, and arguably, cinema’s most famous robot. Bonhams Auction House is presenting Robby for the very first time.

“`Robby was built at MGM for $100,000 – a gigantic sum for a science fiction prop in those days.  Robby ran on five 12 volt DC motors, which were originally World War II military surplus. Actor / stuntman Frankie Carpenter, and former kid star Frankie Darro, wore the Robby costume in the film. The bulk suit weighs 120 pounds that Carpenter and Darro had to wear using a flying harness just like the one worn by the Flying Monkeys in The Wizard of Oz.

“`Since Robby is, in many ways, the movie’s star, he was present at the Los Angeles premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. During the film’s original release, the robot was sent around the country on a promotional tour.

“`Robby also co-starred in The Invisible Boy; and appeared in many television programs, including Lost in SpaceThe Addams Family, and The Twilight Zone. After restoration, Robby occasionally was in flicks such as Gremlins; and it made appearances at screenings, conventions, and other events, including the 2016 Turner Classic Movies Film Festival.

“`Robby was also recently honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in its special retrospective of Forbidden Planet. He remained on display at the Academy for two months.

“`Now, Robbie can be yours. Make your bid on November 21st.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Dem Bums…

October 29th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Prior to their move to Los Angeles, the Dodgers were the daffy team that played at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.  They were active in the Major Leagues from 1884 until 1957, winning only one World Series in 1955. The signing of Jackie Robinson in 1947 to play in Brooklyn secured the team’s influential legacy.

“`After the so-called wilderness decades of the 1920s and 1930s, the Dodgers were rebuilt into a contending club; first by general manager Larry MacPhail, and then, by the legendary Branch Rickey.  They finally won NL pennants in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, and 1953, only to lose to the New York Yankees in all five of the subsequent World Series. The Spring ritual that provided hope, followed by immense disappointment, became an annual theme to their long-suffering fans. Wait ’til next year was the unofficial Dodgers slogan.

   

“`To add insult to injury… In 1951, Brooklyn led the National League by a prodigious 13½ games in mid-August over their arch rivals, the Giants.  However, they caught the Boys of Summer,  which forced a three-game playoff. It came down to the final contest. Brooklyn seemed poised to secure the pennant, holding a 4–2 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning. Bobby Thomson would crush a stunning three-run walk-off homer from the Dodgers Ralph Branca to secure the NL Championship for New York. To this day, Thomson’s home run is known as the Shot Heard ‘Round the World.

“`One final indignity… The year after Dem Bums clinched it all, Yankees pitcher Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history, and the only post-season no-hitter for the next 54 years. The Dodgers lost in seven games in 1956.

“`The Dodgers remained in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn for just one more season, before they ventured to the West Coast. Ebbets Field was one of several historic Major League ballparks demolished in the 1960s. Today, apartment housing replaces the famed ballbark.

“`After moving to California, the Dodgers have played in 19 World Series; nine in Brooklyn, and ten in Los Angeles. Currently, the Dodgers are searching for their seventh World Series championship. They are tied 2-2 against the Houston Astros, a team that has never won a World Series; competing in only their second Fall Classic.

“`Like historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, I root for the Dodgers. I’ve waited almost thirty years for their next World Series victory.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Skinny on Fats Domino…

October 25th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Fats Domino was the piano-playing prodigy, whose lightning-fast fingers crafted a fractious sound, blending rock with rhythm-and-blues. He gained fame with his 1955 hit Ain’t That a Shame, and his rock-n-roll version of Blueberry Hill. Fats record sales were only surpassed by Elvis Presley. He had 37 Top 40 hits; however, not one topped the charts. Chubby Checker’s name is a tribute to Antoine Domino’s stage moniker.  FATS DOMINO –>

“`According to his biography, New Orleans bandleader Billy Diamond evaluated Domino and nicknamed him Fats,  because he reminded him of renowned pianist, Fats Waller. Domino, a Louisiana native, learned to play piano from his brother-in-law. A primary collaborator as he rose to fame was Dave Bartholomew, who co-wrote and produced many of his songs.

“`He found much success with a string of tunes in the late 1950s and early 1960s, such as  Blue MondayI’m Walkin, I’m In Love Again, and Walking to New Orleans. With his recognizable voice and cherubic face, Domino was a familiar sight on the silver screen. Fats was a frequent guest on American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show; and he made appearances in films, including  Shake Rattle and Rock!  and The Girl Can’t Help It. He made a cameo appearance in the movie Any Which Way You Can in 1979.

“`Fats was one of the initial artists inducted into Rock n Roll’s Hall of Fame in 1986. After  Hurricane Katrina damaged his house,  President George W. Bush made a special visit to his home. Many of his personal artifacts that he received from the music industry were replaced by Capitol Records, which owns the Imperial Records’ catalogue.

“`An undisputed pioneer of popular music, Antoine Fats Domino Jr. was 89.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Television Stalwart Has Died…

October 24th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Robert Guillaume was a star in stage musicals and a winner of Emmy Awards for his portrayal of the sharp-tongued butler in the television sitcoms,  Soap and Benson. Among his achievements was portraying  Nathan Detroit in the first all-black cast of  Guys and Dolls, earning a Tony Awards nomination in 1977. He became the first African-American to sing the title role of  The Phantom of the Opera in a Los Angeles-based production, and was the voice of Rafiki in the film version of The Lion King.

“`After serving as an apprentice at theaters in Aspen and Cleveland, he toured with Broadway shows Finian’s Rainbow, Golden Boy, Porgy and Bess;  and began appearing on sitcoms, such as The Jeffersons and Sanford and Son. He guest-starred in Marcus Welby M.D., A Different WorldAll in the Family, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; and he co-starred in the television mini-series, North and South.

“`Robert Guillaume (above) was among the first celebrities to appear at HIV fundraisers. His son Jacques died of complications from AIDS in 1990.  In 1999, Bob suffered a minor stroke. Guillaume would resume his career and became a new spokesman for the American Stroke Association. He also made appearance for the American Heart Association.

“`Guillaume won a Grammy in 1995 when a read-aloud version of The Lion King, which he narrated, was cited for Best Spoken Word. He as also earned four NAACP Image Awards.

“`Robert Guillaume was 89.

Until next time>                               “never forget”