“Forgotten Hollywood”- Orson Welles’ Last Hurrah…

October 30th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Orson Welles’ last production may finally be nearing a release after decades as one of cinema’s most storied unfinished creations. A Los Angeles-based production company, Royal Road Entertainment, has agreed to buy the rights to Welles’ largely unseen The Other Side of the Wind. Producers are planning to unveil the film in time for the centennial anniversary of Welles’ birth on May 6th, and to promote its distribution at American Film Market in Santa Monica, CA, next month.

   The semi-autobiographical story is about a movie director, played by John Huston, feuding with Hollywood over an ambitious film. Welles supplied his own Oscar statuette, won for Citizen Kane, for his main character to brandish on film. The supporting cast also included Lilli Palmer, Susan Strasberg, and Dennis Hopper. Huston had a small acting career, notably co-starring in Chinatown.

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THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND with ORSON WELLES (far right)

   The origins of the script date back to a tense encounter in 1937 between Ernest Hemingway and a young Welles. The main character’s life has echoes in Hemingway’s: his father’s suicide, the day of his death, and his love of Spain. Orson began shooting the movie in 1971 and spent the rest of his life editing it, before dying in 1985.

   Endless legal battles among the rights holders, including Welles’s daughter, kept the 1,083 reels of negatives inside a warehouse in a gritty suburb of Paris despite numerous efforts to complete the motion picture. Director Peter Bogdanovich, who appears in the film, will help finish editing the rough footage, which includes a 45-minute edited print. It’s part of a pledge he once made to Welles in the 1970s.

   Bulletins as they break…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Mickey’s Fantasia Hat Going Poof!

October 29th, 2014

Manny P. here…

sorcerershat2   The great big Sorcerer’s Hat that has greeted guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando since 2001 will soon be taken down. This iconic tribute to Fantasia was built to honor Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney, and the animator’s adult life collaboration with Tinsel Town.

   Guests have either loved the hat or hated it over the past 13 years. Some say the much-maligned giant blue hat took away from the section of the park dedicated to the Golden Age of Hollywood of the 1930s and 1940s. The hat also blocked the view of the Chinese Theater as guests walked down Hollywood Boulevard.

GOLDEN-AGE of Hollywood

   There have been rumors of the hat’s demise swirling in recent weeks after the big blue Sorcerer’s Hat was glaringly missing from new park maps. And, Disney confirmed the news the 122-foot tall hat would be gone in early 2015. Construction walls are expected to go up soon – likely in early January.

   This isn’t the only major change coming to the Studios. It was also announced that The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow is closing, and the Studio Backlot Tour closed last month. There is no word on what, if anything, will replace The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, or if the Sorcerer’s Hat will find a new home somewhere else in the park.

   Cue The Sorcerer’s Apprentice… and bring in the brooms.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Genesis of an Alamo Exhibit…

October 28th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   British pop star Phil Collins handed over his vast collection of artifacts related to the Battle of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution to the state of Texas. Collins was in San Antonio to donate what’s considered the world’s largest private collection of Alamo artifacts. It includes a fringed leather pouch and a gun used by Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie’s legendary knife, and letters from garrison commander William Barrett Travis.

 300px-The_Alamo_1960_poster  The 1980s pop artist and Genesis singer-drummer has joked that he spent all the money he made from music on artifacts related to the 1836 battle in which 1,500 Mexican troops laid siege to 200 Texans. Collins, who’s a Grammy and Academy Award winner, donated a collection of more than 200 items for display. Five crates full of artifacts were unloaded from a truck.
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   The collection was given to Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, the state steward of the Alamo, who is pushing for a new historical center that would house Collins’ collection. Patterson said it will likely take at least five years to raise the millions of dollars needed to design and build a center to house and display the collection. The location of the center will be decided in two weeks, and will likely charge admission. The 4.2-acre Alamo grounds are free to the public.
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   John Wayne is one of many filmmakers that brought this story to the screen. The film also starred Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Frankie Avalon, and Chill Wills.
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   How nice to remember…
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Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Rare African American Film To Shine!

October 27th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   A rare, untitled 1913 silent film is the subject of a new exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 100 Years In Post-Production: Resurrecting A Lost Landmark of Black Film History tells the story behind the production.

   The piece of celluloid features Bert Williams, one of the era’s famed entertainers, and the first Broadway star. He performed in blackface on stage, and did the same in films. But, this romantic comedy contains a large cast of black actors.

   The movie was never produced in its time; its seven reels of negatives were locked away by the Biograph Film Studio. The Museum of Modern Art claimed the reels in 1938 as part of its founding film collections. The negatives were inside a cache of almost 900 film canisters donated by Biograph when it closed and donated its vaults, and MOMA made the first print from the film in 1976.

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BERT WILLIAMS (seated on desk)

   The museum gave the orphan movie a working title — Bert Williams: Lime Kiln Field Day — for the exhibit and November screening, when it will be shown as part of the museum’s annual festival of film preservation. The name is taken from one of the sources for the film’s narrative, a stage routine based on a fictional Afro social club, called the Lime Kiln Club.

   The black characters are shown in scenes of play and leisure — rare for motion pictures of the time. It’s a stunning contrast to the depictions of greedy and violent stereotypes shown two years later in Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith’s controversial cinematic masterpiece.

   MOMA curator Ron Magliozzi says the theater conventions of the day required one performer in a black musical to don blackface, while the rest of the cast could perform without makeup. This film follows the convention of the time, with Williams wearing blackface. His performance is comic, but not buffoonish; he is a romantic lead and he gets the girl at the end of the picture. Magliozzi hopes the flick will now be liberated. He hopes its future will include film festivals and come out as a DVD.

   The exhibit runs through March 2015.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims Two Icons…

October 21st, 2014

Manny P. here…

   A couple of cultural icons have died. Here are the details: JFKbradlee5

~ Ben Bradlee was the raspy-voiced editor who invigorated The Washington Post. He got an early break as a journalist thanks to his friendship with one president, John F. Kennedy, and became famous for his role in toppling another, Richard Nixon, in the Watergate scandal. As managing editor, and later, as executive editor, Bradlee engineered the Post’s reinvention, bringing in a cast of talented journalists, and setting editorial standards that brought the paper new respect.                             BEN BRADLEE ———>

   Ben landed his first job at the Post in 1948. He happened to be riding a trolley car past Blair House in 1950 when Puerto Rican extremists opened fire on the presidential guest house while Harry Truman was staying there. Bradlee turned it into a page-one eyewitness story.

   He happened to buy a home in Georgetown in 1957, a few months before Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife moved in across the street; the beginning of an intimate friendship and a proximity to power that burnished his credentials as a journalist, and brought him rare insights into government. His access to Kennedy continued through JFK’s presidency, bringing Bradlee influential scoops.

   He was one of the few to know the identity early on of the celebrated Watergate source dubbed Deep Throat, revealed publicly in 2005 to be FBI official Mark Felt. Actor Jason Robards turned Bradlee into a box-office hit with his Oscar-winning portrayal of the editor in the 1976 movie All the President’s Men, which recounted the unraveling of Watergate under the reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

   In November 2013, Bradlee received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, who saluted the newspaper man for bringing an intensity and dedication to journalism.

   Ben Bradlee was 93.

Oscar_de_la_Renta_by_foto_di_matti~ Oscar de la Renta was a fashion designer who dressed first ladies, socialites, and movie stars for more than four decades. The late 1960s and early 1970s were a defining moment in fashion as New York-based designers carved out a look of their own that was finally taken seriously by Europeans. De la Renta and his peers, including the late Bill Blass, Halston, and Geoffrey Beene, defined American style.

   He became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers who dressed Jacqueline Kennedy. Other wives of chief executives who have donned a de la Renta include Hilary Clinton, Laura Bush, and most recently, Michelle Obama.   OSCAR DE LA RENTA —>

   Penelope Cruz and Sandra Bullock have often worn his feminine and opulent gowns. One actress who appeared in a de la Renta creation at this year’s Oscars was Jennifer Garner. His clothes were woven into episodes of Sex and the City. Weeks ago, the most famous bride in the world, Amal Alamuddin, wore a custom, off-the-shoulder, de la Renta gown to wed George Clooney in Venice.

   Oscar de la Renta was 82.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Chronicle of Classic Film Noir…

October 20th, 2014

Manny P. here…Double_indemnity_screenshot_10

   Billy & Ray tells the incredible true story of how Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler wrote the screenplay for Double Indemnity, invented film noir, and nearly killed each other in the process. Set in Hollywood in the 1940s, it’s the hilarious journey through the war of creativity between two brilliant writers who battled each other, to create a motion picture classic.

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   Directed by Garry Marshall, he’s a veteran producer, director, and writer of film, television, and the stage. After graduating from Northwestern University’s Medil School of Journalism, he went on to create some of television’s most beloved situation comedies, including Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, and The Odd Couple. And, Marshall has always been passionate about live theater.

   In the show, the unlikely partners initially fight over every word as they attempt to make a sumptuous screenplay out of a trashy James M. Cain novel that Paramount Pictures has procured. Casual references to real Hollywood movie stars of the era lend added spice to the conversations.

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    Turning an explicit pulp novel into a classically suggestive film was no mean feat. This tense dramatization of the writers’ edgy partnership is so revealing you’ll probably want to stream the movie, which stars Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, and Edward G. Robinson, to revisit the innovative ways Wilder and Chandler got around puritanical censors.

   This is a taut production that should soon head to Broadway.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Forrest Gump is Turning Twenty…

October 19th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   In honor of Forrest Gump’s birthday, I’m moderating a screening of the Best Picture of 1994 at the South Pasadena Public Library on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7p. The epic romantic-drama is based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom. The motion picture was directed by Robert Zemeckis, and starred Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, and Sally Field.

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TOM HANKS as FORREST GUMP

   My Forgotten Hollywood Book Series ties Hollywood history with Americana in a Ken Burns-style. Forrest Gump is a similar cinematic triumph that includes the modern history of a generation known as baby-boomers in a neat package on screen as a fable of immense proportions that I refer to as a metaphoric Hollywood-and-Vine moment. During this magical evening, I’ll be autographing copies of my paperbacks.

    John Travolta was the original choice to play the title role, and he admits that declining the opportunity was a mistake. Bill Murray was also considered for the role. The author envisioned John Goodman playing Gump.

   The screenplay for a movie sequel was written in 2001. It is based on the original novel’s sequel, Gump and Co. that was written by Groom in 1995. The script begins with Forrest sitting on a bus bench waiting for his son to return from school. After the September 11 attacks, Zemeckis, and Hanks decided the story was no longer relevant. By the way, during the course of the second novel, Gump meets Tom Hanks, attends a release of the original flick, goes on The David Letterman Show, and attends the 1995 Academy Awards. This promised to be quite a wacky movie experience.

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   The South Pasadena Public Library Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro St., in South Pasadena, CA. Bring your box of chocolates… or popcorn… and enjoy this family-friendly event.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Notorious Liar in US History Dies…

October 15th, 2014

Manny P. here… Obit Greenglass

   David Greenglass, who served ten years in prison for his role in the most explosive atomic spying case of the Cold War, and gave testimony that sent his brother-in-law and sister, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, to the electric chair in 1953, has passed on. Greenglass, who admitted decades later that he lied on the stand about his own sister, died in New York City on July 1st, according to Rosenbergs’ sons.  DAVID GREENGLASS –>

   After his release from prison in 1960, Greenglass lived under an assumed name in Queens. The Rosenbergs were convicted in 1951 of conspiring to steal secrets about the atomic bomb for the Soviet Union, and were executed at New York’s Sing Sing Prison, insisting to the very end that they were innocent.

   Greenglass, indicted as a co-conspirator, testified he had given the Rosenbergs data obtained through his wartime job as an Army machinist at Los Alamos, headquarters of the project to build the atomic bomb. He told of seeing his sister transcribing the information on a typewriter at the Rosenbergs’ New York apartment in 1945. The testimony proved crucial in convicting Ethel and her husband.

   In 2001, Greenglass was quoted in the book The Brother by New York Times reporter Sam Roberts as saying he had not actually seen Ethel typing and knew of it only from his wife. For the prosecution, however, the typewriter was as good as a smoking gun. For his part, Greenglass said he lied to assure leniency for himself and to keep his wife out of prison, so she could care for their two children.

   It’s a story that has Hollywood written all over it. The scoundrel, David Greenglass, was 92.

Until next time>                               “never forget

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bacall Items Up for Auction…

October 14th, 2014

Manny P. here… Lauren_Bacall_-_YankArmyWeekly

   Lauren Bacall’s art jewelry, and furniture will be auctioned in New York. Her estate is selling hundreds of items that had filled her three homes. Bonhams Auction House estimates they will bring $3 million.

   Two Henry Moore sculptures will be offered during its Impressionist and modern art sale in November. Bacall was a big fan of Moore’s work. Six more of his sculptures will be sold in March. Also, work from Pablo Picasso, David Hockney, Joan Miro, James Audubon, Alexander Calder, and others will be up for sale.

   Ms Bacall also had a large collection of African Art, an interest that developed while her late husband Humphrey Bogart was filming The African Queen. These priceless pieces once decorated her homes in Los Angeles, Long Island, Amagansett, and the famed Dakota apartment building in Manhattan.

   This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors.

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Hollywood Show logo   This next weekend will be a busy time in the Forgotten Hollywood journey. In addition to visiting Van Nuys High School (my alma mater) for its 100th birthday on October 18th, I’ll spend the day, October 19th – Sunday, at the Hollywood Show at the Westin Los Angeles Airport. Among the celebrities who will be signing autographs, friends of the Forgotten Hollywood franchise of books, radio show, and documentary currently in production:  Margaret O’Brien, Susan Olsen, and Erik Estrada. I’ll be there autographing copies of my paperbacks from 11a – 4p. The Westin Los Angeles is located at 5400 Century Blvd., near LAX.

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      MANNY PACHECO  ERIK ESTRADA  MANNY PACHECO  MARGARET O’BRIEN

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Career Honors for Robert Redford…

October 13th, 2014

Manny P. here… robert redford

   Actor and director Robert Redford is to receive a lifetime achievement award from New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Centre. The 77-year-old’s highlights will be celebrated at a gala in the city next April.             ROBERT REDFORD —–>

   Recent Chaplin Award recipients include Barbra Streisand and Nicole Kidman. The career honor is given to the movie industry’s most noted talents, and has also lauded Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, and Charlie Chaplin, after whom the award is named. He was the first recipient in 1972, while last year’s winner was director Rob Reiner.

   Lesli Klainberg, the film society’s executive director, said that Redford’s contribution as an actor has been significant, but also pinpointed his work as founder of the Sundance Film Festival.

   Redford starred in All is Lost in 2013, which was shown at the New York Film Festival. His performance was greeted with a standing ovation at its Cannes Film Festival premiere last year. The filmmaker will also be honored with a Career Achievement Award by the International Documentary Association. In April 2014, Time Magazine included Redford in its annual TIME 100 as one of the Most Influential People in the World, calling him the Godfather of Indie Film.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Radio Network Grows…

October 11th, 2014

Manny P. here… 2004

   The Forgotten Hollywood radio program is expanding its network. Shortly, you can hear this amazing trip through Hollywood’s Golden Age on More Music… More Variety… 90.1 FM KBPK.

   The Southern California station can be found on the campus of Fullerton College. Streamed all over the world, this mostly student-run radio facility can be  heard in, and around, the cities of Buena Park, Anaheim, Cypress, La Palma, and of course, Fullerton. If you live outside the broadcast area, you can hear the program by utilizing the link below:                                                        MANNY PACHECO

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                                                          http://livestream2.bigrradio.com/kbpk

   Forgotten Hollywood will air weekly each Sunday at 9p. We are thrilled to include this wonderful Adult Contemporary formatted station to our family.

~  ~  ~

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   Of course, you can still hear the program each Saturday at 3p on 1510 AM and 1450 AM on the Financial News and Talk Network, part of Astor Broadcasting. The broadcast area is Orange County, the Inland Empire, and North San Diego County.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Great Lady of Theatre is Gone…

October 7th, 2014

Manny P. here… 415px-Marian_Seldes

   A Tony-winner and premier actress of the live stage has died. Marian Seldes was a Broadway, film, radio, and television star, whose career spanned six decades. She was elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1995.  MARIAN SELDES —>

   Seldes made her theatre debut in 1948 in a production of Medea. She went on to an illustrious career in which she earned five Tony Awards nominations, winning her first time out in 1967 for A Delicate Balance. She also starred in Equus, and in every one of the 1,809 Broadway performances of Ira Levin’s production of Deathtrap, a feat that earned her a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records as most durable actress. The performer was the fitting recipient of Tony’s 2010 Antoinette Perry Lifetime Achievement Award.

   She began acting on the small screen in 1952 in a Hallmark Hall of Fame production that marked the first of many guest star roles in episodic television. She appeared in Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Have Gun Will Travel, The Rifleman, Murphy BrownNurse Jackie, Sex and the City, Cosby, and Frasier.  Between 1974 and 1982, she appeared in 179 episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater. In motion pictures, she appeared in The Greatest Story Ever Told, Affliction, and Mona Lisa Smile.

   Seldes was a member of the drama faculty of the Juilliard School from 1967 to 1991. Her students included Christopher Reeve, Robin Williams, Kelsey Grammer, Kevin Kline, William Hurt, and Patti LuPone. In 2002, Marian Seldes began teaching at Fordham University, Lincoln Center.

   She was married to screenwriter / playwright Garson Kanin from 1990 until his death. In December 2008, for their annual birthday celebration, The Noel Coward Society invited her as the guest celebrity to lay flowers in front of Coward’s statue at New York’s Gershwin Theatre, thereby commemorating the 109th birthday of Sir Noel.

   A total class act, Marian Seldes was 86.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Van Nuys High Celebrates 100…

October 6th, 2014

Manny P. here…

VNHS_-_100_Year_Logo   My alma mater is celebrating its centennial. Van Nuys High School, in the San Fernando Valley, is a school with notable grads from Hollywood’s Golden Age, and other fields of endeavor. The event takes place on the weekend of October 17th.

   Among the festivities include a Homecoming Game that will blast music popular with each graduating class; a Homecoming Parade; an Alumni Event on the Quad;  and a Homecoming Dance. I plan on being their for a portion of the weekend. The dignitaries will include former students, teachers, and administrators.

   Famous cinematic folks who have graced the classrooms — Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Natalie Wood, Robert Redford, Stacy Keach (Nebraska), and Kim Darby (True Grit). Television alumni — Ed Begley Jr. (St. Elsewhere), Tony Dow (Leave it to Beaver), Steven Kanaly (Dallas), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Third Rock from the Sun), Jamie Rose (Falcon Crest), and Vincent Van Patten, who graduated in the same year as yours truly.  Other famous names — Don Drysdale, Bob Waterfield, Paula Abdul, Julie Brown, Vicky Jenson, and fellow radio personalities, Peter Demetriou, Chuck Cecil, and Scott Mason. Fast Times at Ridgemont High is one of the many movies filmed at VNHS over the decades.

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MARILYN MONROE  JANE RUSSELL          ROBERT REDFORD       NATALIE WOOD

   I’ll be there for the Alumni Event on October 18th with copies of my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series to autograph. Activities such as an open house, car show, and pancake breakfast. You gotta love colloquial festivities!

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   IF YOU ARE A FORMER STUDENT, TEACHER, OR ADMINISTRATOR… It will be great way to reminisce. Van Nuys High School is located at 6563 Cedros Ave. in Van Nuys. Stop on by! 

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Carol Burnett Gets Harvey Award…

October 3rd, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Comedian Carol Burnett was honored by a Pennsylvania museum dedicated to actor Jimmy Stewart, who she became smitten with as a toddler during a trip to the movies with her grandmother in San Antonio, Texas. She received the museum’s Harvey Award at an annual fundraiser for the James M. Stewart Museum Foundation, based in the star’s Pennsylvania hometown of Indiana, about 45 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

   Burnett grew up intending to be a writer, but switched to drama at UCLA and moved to New York, landing a role in 1955 as the ventriloquist dummy’s girlfriend on The Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney Show (Mahoney was voiced by Winchell). Her career took off with critical acclaim for her work in Once Upon a Mattress on Broadway, and as a regular on The Garry Moore Show, a variety program, and both in 1959.

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CAROL BURNETT                                                 JAMES STEWART

   She got to meet Stewart — sort of — during a visit to his set of The FBI Story in 1958. A director at Warner Brothers had asked to meet with her about a project, and she was to meet him for lunch. She learned he was directing Stewart’s movie, and lost her composure when she was introduced to him. A few years later actor George Kennedy, a mutual friend, introduced Burnett to Stewart more formally and she would keep a place for him in her heart as she’d become as famous for her television show as he had been for his many films. Burnett has called Stewart her idol. She shared this with her audience on the final episode of The Carol Burnett Show on March 29th, 1978, ending an 11-year run on CBS. Stewart then made a surprise appearance.

    Past winners have included actors Janet Leigh, Shirley Jones, Ernest Borgnine, and Rich Little, the impressionist known for his stammering imitation of Stewart. The award is named for the 1950 film in which Stewart’s character befriends an invisible rabbit.

   Pull your ear, Carol, and say goodnight

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Gable / Lombard PS Estate for Sale…

October 2nd, 2014

Manny P. here…

   The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the former estate of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in the historic Old Las Palmas area of Palm Springs is for sale at $2.195 million. The seller is film producer Joel Douglas, brother of Michael Douglas, and the son of Kirk Douglas. Built in 1925, the gated Spanish Colonial sits on more than a half-acre of grounds with a tree-lined circular drive, a pool house and swimming pool and a detached guesthouse and garage. Mature trees and lawn complete the grounds.

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   The restored pink-stucco house has a den / office, four bedrooms, six bathrooms, family and living room fireplaces, and 3,301 square feet of living space. Period details include decorative wrought-iron work, vaulted beamed ceilings and colorful tile accents. The property is offered furnished, and includes a pool table custom made for Kirk Douglas, who turns 98 in December.

   Joel Douglas has worked on such films as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Romancing the Stone, and It Runs in the Family, which starred his father and brother. Comic actress Lombard, who died in a 1942 plane crash at 33, appeared in several movies with Gable, including No Man of Her Own, and In Name Only.

   Gregg Fletcher and Dean Sipe of Fletcher Sipe Group/HOM Sotheby’s International Realty are the listing agents.

Until next time>                               “never forget”