“Forgotten Hollywood”- National Film Registry Classic Adds…

December 18th, 2014

Manny P. here…DownArgentineWay1

   Among the 25 cinematic additions within the Library of Congress National Film Registry are classics from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The 2014 class includes:

~ Down Argentine Way (1940) – Betty Grable’s first starring role in a Technicolor musical happened only because Alice Faye had an attack of appendicitis, but Grable took advantage of the situation and made herself as important to 20th Century Fox as Faye. Released a year before America entered World War II, this film and others starring Grable established her as the pinup queen. Carmen Miranda made her American film debut, and the Nicholas Brothers’ unparalleled dance routines dazzle.

The_Power_and_the_Glory_poster~ The Power and the Glory (1933) – Preston Sturges’ first original screenplay, it’s a haunting tragedy in sharp contrast to the comedies of the 1940s that established him as one of America’s foremost directors. Compared favorably to novels by Henry James and Joseph Conrad for its extensive mix of narration with dramatic action (Fox Studios coined the word narratage to publicize the innovative technique), The Power and the Glory introduced a non-chronological structure to mainstream motion pictures that later influenced the production of Citizen Kane. Spencer Tracy’s performance was one of the fullest characterizations ever achieved on screen.

~ Rio Bravo (1959) – As the legend goes, this Western directed by Howard Hawks was produced as a riposte to Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon. John Wayne stars and is supported by Walter Brennan, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson. Angie Dickinson is the love interest, and Claude Akins, Ward Bond, and Pedro Gonzalez are also featured. A smart Western where gunplay is matched by wordplay, Rio Bravo is a terrific ensemble piece and it’s director Hawks’ last great film.

Ruggles_of_red_gap~ Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) – Charles Laughton is known for such serious roles as Nero, King Henry VIII, and Captain Bligh. He took on comedy in this tale of an English manservant won in a poker game by Charlie Ruggles, a member of Red Gap, part of Washington’s social elite. Aided by ZaSu Pitts and Roland Young, Laughton really shows his acting range. It didn’t hurt that Leo McCarey, who had just worked with W.C. Fields, was in the director’s chair. McCarey, who could pull heartstrings or touch funny bones with equal skill, started his long directorial career working with such comedic icons as Laurel & Hardy, and he created several beloved American films.

~ State Fair (1933) – For director Henry King to create a film that celebrated an institution as beloved as the State Fair, it required the presence of a cherished and steadfast star; in this case, America’s favorite cowboy Will Rogers. The humorist found a superlative vehicle for his homespun persona in this small town slice-of-life setting. He is assisted by Janet Gaynor, Lew Ayres, and Sally Eilers.

220px-Houseofwax1~ The Gang’s All Here (1943) – Although not remembered as well today as those put out by MGM, 20th Century-Fox’s big Technicolor musicals stand up well in comparison. Alice Faye was Fox’s #1 musical star. Carmen Miranda and her outrageous costume is highlighted in the legendary musical number The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat. Busby Berkeley, who had completed stints choreographing musicals at MGM and at Warner Bros., directed this gem.

~ House of Wax (1953) – A remake of 1933’s Mystery of the Wax Museum, the House of Wax expanded upon the earlier horror tale of a mad sculptor who encases his victims’ corpses in wax. It was produced by Warner Bros., and is considered the first full-length 3-D color film ever produced by a major film studio. Along with its technical innovations, House of Wax also solidified Vincent Price’s new role as a master of the macabre. Phyllis Kirk, Frank Lovejoy, and Carolyn Jones complete the cast.

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   Other added celluloid include… Saving Private Ryan,  Little Big ManRosemary’s Baby, Ferris Bueller’s Day OffThe Big Lebowski, and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- When Hollywood and History Collide..

December 17th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   The premise of the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series is that Hollywood history and American history intersect in what I metaphorically call Hollywood-and-Vine moments. The year 2014 will be remembered for its holiday season as Sony Pictures pulled the plug on a film release due to cyber and personal threats on our freedom to make satirical comment, and even, to simply attend a movie with your family on Christmas. The cyber threats were quite real, laying waste to Sony Pictures Entertainment as they were internet hacked. First-run movies and employee’s private emails were illegally distributed to the public. The implied 9-11 style security threats on movie theaters remains conjecture as of this writing.

   Under the threat of terrorist attacks and with the nation’s largest multiplex chains pulling the film from its screens, Sony Pictures took the unprecedented step of pulling the December 25th release of The Interview. Sony cancelled the motion picture release in light of the decision by the majority of exhibitors not to show the film. AMC Entertainment, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark Theatres — the three top theater chains in North America — announced they were postponing any showings of the comedy about a television host tasked by the CIA to assassinate North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. The cancellation, announced Wednesday, was a startling blow to the Hollywood studio shaken by leaks and intimidation over the last several weeks by an anonymous group calling itself Guardians of Peace.

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   Sony Pictures, which distributes much of Columbia Pictures classic film library, had acquired Lorimar Studios, previously on the MGM lot in Culver City. Many in the industry saw this brazen movie lot acquisition as an expansive purchase, like vultures picking at the dead bones of a formally mighty creature. With recent e-mail revelations from the moguls who run Sony regarding negative personal opinions about President Obama and actors, such as Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio, little capital sympathy exists from insiders in Hollywood.

   Yet, the bigger picture is clear. Sony’s announcement was met with widespread distress across Hollywood and throughout many other realms that followed on what amounted to one of the most significant hacking attacks on a corporation. With a modest budget of $40 million, The Interview was predicted to earn around $30 million in its opening weekend. Should the film not be released theatrically, Sony would also lose tens of millions in marketing costs already incurred. The Asian market had previously cancelled the release of the flick, another massive monetary blow to the movie studio.

The_Great_Dictator   Duck_Soup   Dr__Strangelove_poster

   Cinematic political satire has a long and rich tradition. French and Italian filmmakers have never shied away from such drama. Duck Soup, The Great Dictator, To Be or Not To Be, Dr. Strangelove, and Fail Safe are noteworthy examples of classic cinema that has tackled the notion about rogue-countries-doing-unsettling-things-against-an-oppressed-people.

   Our freedoms have been compromised in a startling way. Newt Gingrich tweeted:  America had lost its first battle in the war of cyber terrorism. A former senior national security official in the George W. Bush administration commented that Sony made the wrong decision. SAG Award nominee Steve Carell called it:  A sad day for creative expression. Jimmy Kimmel also surmised:  (Sony’s decision) validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent. These are not over-statements, in my estimation.

Kim_Jong-un_sketch  The truth… America’s long running military conflict remains in tact. The Korean War began in 1950, and it never really concluded. It has been seen as both a civil war and a proxy conflict in the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. While not directly committing forces, Soviets have provided strategic planning, weapons, and material aid to North Korean and Chinese armies. The United States keeps a military presence in the area as an effort to uphold the armistice between South and North Korea.

   In the final analysis, the ultimate power of making movies remains viable on all levels of global culture and society. Let’s hope this art-form will always be a courageous way of individual expression. The Sony Pictures decision to buckle from bully threats should be the exception, not the rule.   KIM JONG-UN —–>

   I hope I never fear the opportunity to express my opinion over this or any other controversial issue.

   Just sayin’

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- What a Way to Start 2015…

December 16th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Here’s a flyer for a special nationwide screening of The Wizard of Oz, courtesy of Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events:

Wizard of Oz screening

   What a great way to start the new year! Cut and paste the link below to obtain your tickets:

http://www.fathomevents.com/event/the-wizard-of-oz-75th-anniversary

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Dealt the Final Hand…

December 14th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Former Topps Company executive Sy Berger, regarded as the father of the modern baseball card died early Sunday at his home in Rockville Center, NY. Berger personally signed players to baseball card contracts throughout the next few decades.

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   A Bucknell graduate, Berger went to work for Topps before it produced baseball cards. He served in World War II, then became part of a small team that took on Bowman Gum by signing players to appear on the company’s oversized 1952 Topps set, which was designed on Berger’s kitchen table. Using scissors and cardboard at his kitchen table, Berger played around with ideas for trading cards until he struck upon a design that endured for decades: a card with team logos and simulated player autographs on the front and bios and stats on the back.

   Sy Berger was 91.

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beverly bremers   Over the weekend, I attended the OC/LA MCA-I Holiday Party. Southern California media professionals engaged in an evening of fellowship, entertainment, and even karaoke. During the gift exchange and raffle portion of the festivities, my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series were given away. The winner of my literary works was songstress Beverly Bremers.

   Beverly’s career is notable. She performed on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour on her thirteenth birthday. Bremers joined the musical Hair early in its Broadway run. In 1970, she was an original cast member of The Me Nobody Knows, winning an Obie for her performance. Beverly is best known for recording the 1972 Top 20 hit single Don’t Say You Don’t Remember.

   Currently, Beverly Bremers is also a well-respected vocal coach… and a proud owner of the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Guest on Circle of Insight…

December 12th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   I’ve been invited to be a guest on the Circle of Insight program on the Therapy Cable network. The web television show is hosted by the esteemed Carlos Vasquez, a former congressional candidate for the US House of Representatives. I’ll be waxing nostalgic about Hollywood’s Golden Age and its psychological impact on American society and culture, the Great Depression, the Allied fight during World War II, and the subsequent rise of the Baby Boomer generation. The internet podcast explores psychology in a myriad of topics such as economics, politics, religion, and more. My three-part interview can be viewed on or after 12/23 on therapycable.com. As stated by Carlos Vasquez on his LinkedIn website:

circle of insight   TCLogo

Founded in 2013, Circle of Insight is a research and educational institution – a think tank-whose mission is to explore the tough issues and questions and to create, develop, and distribute content that will stimulate, encourage, and facilitate serious discussion in the hope of better understanding and advancement.

The Circle’s staff pursues this mission by performing timely, accurate research on relevant and pertinent issues and providing discussions with leading experts in their field.

The guests are comprised of doctors, lawyers, politicians, scientists, and experts in their field. We believe a multidisciplinary approach is essential in finding rational, comprehensive and practical solutions.

Cut-and-paste the link below for the latest program:

http://therapycable.com/circle-of-insight-the-origin-of-isil.html

   Carlos Vasquez is a financial planner specializing in retirement and behavioral finance (the psychology of investment decisions). He examines the unconscious patterns that create our views and behaviors towards money, risk, and decision making. Also, Vasquez is a Doctoral Candidate in Psychology.

   Here’s the complete lowdown about Therapy Cable:

therapyCableBrochure

   Just in time for the holidays, I invite you to tune in!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Walt Disney’s Private Club…

December 9th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Due to winning a Halloween contest, my wife Laurie won an opportunity to visit to Club 33, Walt Disney’s corporate meeting place in the heart of New Orleans Square at Disneyland. On Monday, Mark and Maxime Thomas (Laurie’s brother and brother-in-law) and joined my wife for lunch at this exclusive spot. We enjoyed a sumptuous meal, talented carolers, and a visit from Terri Jo Slater, a good friend of ours, who is also an 30-year employee at the Happiest Place on Earth. We were celebrating Laurie’s and my recent birthdays; and Maxime’s recent accolade as one of Belgium’s most influential citizens for 2014, quite an accomplishment!

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MANNY        LAURIE                 CLUB 33              MAXIME        MARK

    When Walt Disney was working with various corporate promoters for his attractions at the 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair, he noted the various VIP Lounges provided as an accommodation for the corporate elite. This gave him the idea that culminated in Club 33.The many stories regarding the origin of the name, two stories are the most prominent. The first and official explanation states:  Club 33 gets its name solely from its address of 33 Royal Street in New Orleans Square. A second and less well known story speculates the name honors there being 33 corporate sponsors at Disneyland in 1966-1967 when the club was being built and opened. There is a 14-year waiting list for new memberships!

   Once at the dining level, guests can view antique furniture pieces collected by Lillian Disney. The walls are adorned, in part, with butterflies pinned under glass and hand-painted animation cels from the original Fantasia film. There is a fully functional glass telephone booth just off the elevator that was used in The Happiest Millionaire and an ornate walnut table with white marble top that was used in Mary Poppins. A harpsichord features a Renaissance-style art piece that was hand-painted by Disney artists. Elton John and Paul McCartney have each played this instrument.

   The only place that allows alcohol in the theme park, the overall experience was quite a perk earned by Laurie Pacheco…

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ken weatherwax   Ken Weatherwax was best known as Pugsley on The Addams Family television series. The young actor came from a theatrical family. His aunt was Ruby Keeler, memorable for her role in 42nd Street. In addition, Ken was the nephew of Rudd Weatherwax, the trainer for Lassie. Charles Addams, writer for The Addams Family, helped select Ken for the role of Pugsley. Charles felt that Ken was perfect for the part because he possessed a maniacal smile and a very strange personality. Dismissing acting as a career, Weatherwax found himself more comfortable behind-the-scenes as a grip for television shows for more than a decade, including stints on The A-Team and Full House.

   Survived by Gomez (John Astin) and Wednesday Addams (Lisa Loring), Ken Weatherwax (above) was 59.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Frank Capra For the Holidays…

December 8th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Frank Capra’s American Dreams is an eight-film retrospective that began last night, and runs into the new year, at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, CA. No director was better able to put on screen the hopes and wishes of the common man, and the perils of confronting corporatism and political graft.

aero_marquee   Frank_Capra_in_Mr__Smith_Goes_to_Washington_(trailer)

   Born in Sicily, Frank Capra emigrated at the beginning of the twentieth century. His difficult ocean voyage to America and his lower-class childhood in East Los Angeles left indelible marks on the future filmmaker. As ambitious as he was poor, Capra became the first in his family to work his way through college. When opportunity knocked, he answered; bluffing his way into a movie studio job. Working with Mack Sennett and Harry Langdon, he established a track record for silent comedy, and that success continued into the sound era at Columbia Pictures.

   With 1934’s It Happened One Night, Capra hit the jackpot: The screwball classic was the first to sweep the top Oscar categories, taking home Best Picture, Screenplay, Actor, Actress, and Director awards (his first of three). Though Capra never abandoned comedy – he helmed such hilarious features as You Can’t Tale It with You and Arsenic and Old Lace – he increasingly used his cachet to explore serious themes, including politics (Meet John Doe, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington ) and business (It’s a Wonderful Life). Through it all, Frank Capra offered a vision of America where people were basically good and problems had solutions – a vision whose allure remains strong decades later.

   The series also includes The Bitter Tea of General Yen, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, and Lost Horizon. Three screenings of It’s a Wonderful Life are included in the schedule of the Holiday Spirit series. Actors such as Jack Carson, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, Alan Hale Sr., Gloria Grahame, Thomas Mitchell, James Gleason, Walter Brennan, Lionel Barrymore, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Beulah Bondi, and Ward Bond are stars in my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. In my next work, due out in 2015, the stories of Edward Everett Horton and Edward Arnold and will be featured. All of these supporting players worked with Frank Capra.

   The Aero Theatre is located at 1328 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Afternoon with The Authors #3…

December 5th, 2014

Manny P. here…

Hollywood Heritage poster

Forgotten Hollywood cover   FINALfrontcover-sonofforgottenhol

   Come by and pick up copies of the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series… The Hollywood Heritage Museum is on Highland Ave., across the street from the Hollywood Bowl.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A TCM Holiday Chestnut…

December 4th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events is hitting the theatres this weekend to provide a classic cinema double-bill. What makes these wonderful holiday chestnuts so delightful are character actors in the films, several of which are featured in my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.

TCM Theatre screening

   Christmas in Connecticut co-stars Sydney Greenstreet and S. Z. Sakall, both who have chapters in Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. In the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol, two of it’s supporting players are featured in my upcoming paperback (yet untitled) in the series… Gene Lockhart and Leo G. Carroll.

      Casablanca,_Sydney_Greenstreet S_Z_Sakall_in_Whiplash_trailer Leo_G_Carroll_in_The_Bad_and_the_Beautiful_trailer Gene_Lockhart_in_Bridal_Suite_trailer

   Click on the link to find a theatre close to you to enjoy these wonderful motion pictures:

http://www.fathomevents.com/event/tcm-holiday-classic-double-feature

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Danish Pastry…

December 2nd, 2014

Manny P. here…640px-Solvang_California1

   I spent this past weekend in Solvang, CA to celebrate my wife Laurie’s 50th birthday. A Danish hamlet in the heart of Central California, and northeast of Santa Barbara, it’s one of the special communities that make up the Santa Ynez Valley. There is a copy of the famous Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen, as well as, a bust of famed writer of fables… Hans Christian Andersen. We visited Nordic-style souvenir shops, and tasted wine from Paso Robles.

   In 1947, following a feature article in the Saturday Evening Post, tourists began to flock to the town. As a result of the 2004 film Sideways, which was set in the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley, the number of wine-related businesses in Solvang have increased appreciably. A noted resident is the daughter of Alfred Hitchcock. Patricia was a fine supporting actress of the 1950s, notably co-starring in the director’s cinematic classic, Strangers on a Train.

   During the holidays, Solvang is a quaint stop to put you in the mood for Christmas…

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   Chaucer’s Bookshop is a lively literary store in Santa Barbara. It’s now the newest location to carry my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. Though they decided to carry my work on Cyber Monday, my visit to this popular spot reminded me that the feel and smell of an actual book is part of the fun of reading. Since becoming an author, I have always supported the foundational idea of the independent book store.

   Chaucer’s Bookshop is located 3321 State St. in the heart of this seaside community.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Puppet Master is Gone…

November 29th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Bob Baker was a puppeteer whose marionettes have entertained thousands of children and adults worldwide for more than 70 years. The Bob Baker Marionettes have performed around the globe (even on Navy ships and submarines), with an inventory of three thousand puppets.

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   Baker (above) trained with several different Los Angeles-based companies before giving his first professional performance for director Mervyn Leroy. While attending Hollywood High School, he began manufacturing toy marionettes that sold both in Europe and the United States. After graduation he became an apprentice at the George Pal Animation Studios.

   His puppetry was featured in the 1944 Bluebeard, A Star is Born, G.I. Blues, Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. His work also appeared on television in Bewitched, Star Trek, and Land of the GiantsBaker was also instrumental in championing union membership for puppeteers. As a result, Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA now recognize puppeteers as actors with a special skill.

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   The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, founded by Baker and Alton Wood in 1963, is the oldest children’s theater company in Los Angeles. In June 2009, the theater was designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. The company has no plans to stop presenting shows. The theater is currently performing its holiday production of The Nutcracker through early 2015, and has two road companies plus a solo traveling show.

   Bob Baker was 90.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- TCM and Disney are Teaming Up…

November 28th, 2014

Manny P. here…

Adco-master180    Turner Classic Movies is joining with two divisions of the Walt Disney Company for an agreement that underlines how media giants are increasingly collaborating on content-marketing efforts. TCM will help the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division make changes to the Great Movie Ride, a long-running attraction at the Hollywood Studios section of Disney World in Orlando, Florida. In return, TCM will receive Presented by on-site credits at the attraction on posters, banners, display windows, marquees, and the like, which will also display the TCM logo.

   The changes for the Disney World ride are scheduled to be introduced in the first quarter of 2015. Among the new elements will be a video featuring Robert Osborne, the host who has been the face of TCM since the channel began operations in 1994; he will identify himself as from Turner Classic Movies.

   In the other part of the deal, Walt Disney Studios will provide TCM with vintage movies, cartoons, documentaries, and episodes of several television programs, such as  Disneyland and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color for an evening of family programs on the channel called Treasures from the Disney Vault.

   It will be offered by TCM roughly four to five times a year. The initial block of Disney programming is scheduled to run from 8p on December 21st through 5:15a on December 22nd. Among the nine scheduled items from the Disney archives are Santa’s Workshop, a 1932 cartoon; The Disneyland Story, in which Walt Disney himself describes in 1954 plans for the park named Disneyland that he opened in Anaheim, CA, the following year; Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier; and The Vanishing Prairie, a nature documentary.

   Someone needs to cue Tinker Bell

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Giving Thanks to Frank Yablans…

November 27th, 2014

Manny P. here…frank yablans

   Frank Yablans, a former president of Paramount Pictures in the 1970s who oversaw the release of several groundbreaking movies, has died. He was president when the studio reeled out such well-known hits as The Godfather, Chinatown, Paper Moon, and Murder on the Orient Express. He later went on to work as chief operating officer at MGM / United Artists, and co-wrote the script and produced Mommie Dearest, a biopic about movie star Joan Crawford.

   Yablans first employers in the film business included Warner Brothers, The Walt Disney Company, and Filmways. Following his presidency at Paramount, Frank became an independent producer, working primarily through Paramount and 20th Century Fox. He was executive producer of such films as Congo, Silver Streak, and The Other Side of Midnight.

    In 2003, Yablans founded Promenade Pictures, a production company committed to family-friendly entertainment, with their most ambitious project — Epic Stories of the Bible series of CGI-animated features.

   Frank Yablans was 79.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- UCLA Honors Jackie Robinson…

November 26th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   UCLA will retire number 42 across all of its sports in honor of Jackie Robinson. This was announced by UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero. The university is my alma mater.

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   All three UCLA student-athletes who currently wear number 42, senior women’s soccer defender Ally Courtnall, sophomore women’s softball utility player Jelly Felix, and freshman football linebacker Kenny Young will each be able to finish out their Bruin career donning the iconic number.

   With UCLA football players wearing number 42 on their helmets and Robinson’s iconic number 42 painted onto the Rose Bowl field, UCLA made the announcement during the break between the first and second quarters of its annual crosstown rivalry football game. In conjunction with UCLA, the City of Pasadena and the Rose Bowl Operating Committee, the Rose Bowl subsequently unveiled Jackie Robinson’s iconic number near the east scoreboard and will make it a permanent fixture in the historic stadium this offseason.

   Additionally, UCLA will also permanently display Robinson’s iconic number 42 inside each of its athletic competition venues. The retirement of Robinson’s number 42 follows UCLA’s announcement of a series of 22 athletic and recreation facilities across campus that will be named the Jackie Robinson Athletics and Recreation Complex. Campus recognition of the complex will be an in-ground number 42 at each entry point to UCLA’s training centers, competition sites, fields, and stadiums as a reminder of Robinson’s courage in the face of adversity.

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   The UCLA Library carries Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. This is an accurate Hollywood-and-Vine metaphoric moment in time.

   Seventy-five years ago, Jackie Robinson claimed a place at UCLA. From 1939 to 1941, he starred in four sports. In football, Robinson played both offense and defense, returned punts, caught and threw passes, kicked extra points and in the process, earned honorable mention All-American accolades. In basketball, he twice led the Pacific Coast Conference in scoring. In track, he won the NCAA championship in the broad jump. And in baseball, he began his legendary journey as a highly-regarded shortstop for the Bruins.

   Six years later, Jackie Robinson claimed a place in history. Wearing number 42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, on April 15, 1947, Robinson shattered the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Despite enduring racial abuse, jeers of fans and fellow players, death threats, and profound harassment, he endured it all with grace and dignity – not to mention exceptional play – earning Rookie of the Year honors and a National League Most Valuable Player award; in addition to helping the Dodgers win the 1955 World Series. A career .311 hitter, Robinson played in six World Series, six consecutive All-Star games, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, during his first year of eligibility.

   Fighting tirelessly for civil rights and integration in professional sports after his time on the diamond, Robinson best summed up his own legacy with a typically understated yet poignant quote – A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Courageous Sum of Money…

November 25th, 2014

Manny P. here…The_Wizard_of_Oz_Bert_Lahr_1939

   Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion costume from the classic film The Wizard of Oz has fetched more than $3 million at an auction in New York City. The big feline outfit had been authenticated as the one Lahr wore in the 1939 MGM film. A face is a sculpted likeness of the star, who died in 1967.

   It sold at a transaction of Hollywood items at Bonhams Auction House on Monday. A spokesperson for costume owner James Comisar says a secondary costume used in the film was sold at auction in recent years for close to $1 million. Comisar has a trove of television memorabilia from shows including I Love Lucy and Lost. He has said he plans to use money from the Cowardly Lion costume sale to exhibit his collection.

   The Turner Classic Movies co-sponsored event also included the sale of a test dress and pinafore worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy, Garland’s evening gown from Easter Parade, and upright piano / letters of transit from Casablanca.         BERT LAHR

   letters of transit

   This is the second year TCM has partnered with Bonhams.

Until next time>                               “never forget”