“Forgotten Hollywood”- Spielberg’s Mom is Gone…

February 22nd, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Leah Adler was the witty mom of three-time Oscar-winning director, Steven Spielberg. A former concert pianist, she was, most recently, co-owner of the kosher restaurant, The Milky Way, in Los Angeles. She was also known around Hollywood for her sharp wit that Leah used on many red carpets, and at her restaurant, according to patrons.        LEAH ADLER —->

“`Adler was born in Cincinnati, where she learned to play piano, and eventually went on to study at the city’s Music Conservatory, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati. Leah married electrical engineer Arnold Spielberg in 1945, and they had four children. The family resided in New Jersey before moving to Phoenix. Her son Steven first experimented with a video camera in the desert community.  They moved to Northern California in 1964. After she divorced Arnold, the family headed to Scottsdale. Leah would marry Bernie Adler, three years later.

“`While living in Arizona, she frequently performed piano solos, and also owned an art gallery. The couple eventually joined Adler’s son in Los Angeles, where they presided over their kosher restaurant in one of the city’s oldest Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.

“`Leah Adler was 97.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Death of a Film Critic…

February 20th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Richard Schickel was the prolific critic, and best known for his four-decade tenure as a movie reviewer at Time Magazine. In addition to authoring more than three dozen books and biographies about actors, directors, and musicians, he also directed a number of documentaries for television.

“`Schickel (right)  attended the University Of Wisconsin–Madison on a journalism scholarship, before moving to Los Angeles in his early 20s. In 1964, he was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship; and the next year, he began writing his reviews for the weekly Life Magazine. After Life folded in 1972, Schickel moved to Time, where he remained until 2010. Richard’s long career as a weekly film reviewer ended with a brief stint on the website, Truthdig.

“`Despite his longtime association with one of the county’s most famous magazines, Schickel was arguably best remembered for documentaries on filmmakers; segments that he directed for PBS, and other networks; and his popular bio’s about Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Lena Horne, James Cagney, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Woody Allen,  Elia Kazan, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, and Walt Disney. His most acclaimed work was D.W. Griffith: An American Life.

“`A devotee of Hollywood’s classic studio era and the maverick directors of the 1970s, Schickel positioned himself as a critic who chronicled the changes to a more rebellious screen era of the 1960s and 1970s. He estimated that he had seen over 22,000 motion pictures, beginning with Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He loved Citizen Kane, but felt The Maltese Falcon was cramped and staticBonnie and Clyde was a game-changer that he championed.

“`Late in life, Richard would often lecture at University of Southern California’s School of Film and Television and Yale University. Schickel was my personal go-to biographer for info that I compliled for my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.

“`Richard Schickel was 84.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Silent Film Posters on Display…

February 19th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The Birth Motion Pictures:  An Illustrated History of Silent Cinema, 1910-1929 is an exhibition of rare art posters on display at the Brea Art Gallery through April 14th.

“`This retrospective exhibition provides a rare look into the world’s largest compilation of silent movie posters (plus memorabilia), and features works from the private collection of Brea, CA entrepreneur Dwight Manley. Showcasing never-before-displayed movie posters; an actual silent Oscar; original posters from Brea’s centennial year (1917);  Academy Awards film posters; and related memorabilia, this show is quite comprehensive. Silent movies will be screened in the Gallery throughout the exhibition.

“`The exhibit kicked off with a free red-carpet, black-tie optional, gallery reception that premiered this one-of-a-kind exhibition, as part of Brea’s Centennial celebration, last Saturday 6p-10p, with cocktails, live music, and featured films.

“`The City of Brea Gallery is located in the Brea Civic & Cultural Center, 1 Civic Center Circle, Plaza Level.  Gallery hours during the exhibition are Wednesday to Sunday, 12p to 5p.  They are not open Monday, Tuesday, and holidays. Admission is $3, and Brea residents are free.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Monopoly Drops Thimble…

February 18th, 2017

Manny P. here

“`The classic Monopoly playing piece — thimble — is being dropped from the newest updated version of the board game. It lost out to pieces such as the Scottie dog, the car, and a hat in a worldwide public vote over which tokens to save.

“`The thimble has been a steady staple of Monopoly boards, worldwide, since the game was launched back in 1935. This is the second time a piece has been removed from play following public consultation. The iron made way for a cat back in 2013.

“`The remaining pieces, including the battleship and a boot, all trace their roots back to The Great Depression. Thimbles are used to prevent pricking a thumb with a sharp needle while sewing.

“`Along with voting out the thimble, members of the public were offered the choice of which new playing piece to introduce. The winner of the poll will be announced next month. Among the choices:  A hashtag, an emoji, a flip-flop, and a rubber duck.

“`Games featuring the new piece will be available in August, 2017. In the meantime, let’s take a moment to remember our dear-departed friend — the thimble.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Peacock is 90…

February 17th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`NBC is ringing in its 90th birthday with something special. To honor their anniversary, the network will air a three-hour prime-time special on Sunday, February 19th at 8p.

“`Five-time Emmy-winner Kelsey Grammer, who starred on NBC’s Cheers and Frasier (as Dr. Frasier Crane), will host: The Paley Center Salutes NBC’s 90th Anniversary.

“`During the three-hour Sunday evening telecast, the network will take a look at its series (including dramas, sitcoms, late night, and variety shows); newly recorded interviews with talent, including Ted Danson, Tina Fey, Debra Messing, Amy Poehler, Noah Wyle, Rob Lowe, Blake Shelton, William Shatner, and Jennifer Lopez; and its Emmy winners (including The West Wing, ER, Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, Friends, The Office, and 30 Rock).

“`Founded in 1926 by RCA, NBC is one of our country’s cultural legacies.  Memorable clips from The Tonight Show, Today, Meet the Press, The Wiz Live!, and more, will also be featured on the special.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Angela Loses Her Brother…

February 16th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Bruce Lansbury  was a younger brother of famed star of the stage and screen, Angela Lansbury. His career in Hollywood spanned over 30 years, from the 1960s to the 1990s, and included work on a number of popular television series. He had a twin named Edgar. The younger male siblings may not have been as immediately recognizable as their sister, but, they became successful in the entertainment industry. Bruce spent his career behind the television camera. Edgar worked on Broadway.

“`In 1966, Michael Garrison, creator of The Wild Wild West, fell in his home and died from his injuries. TheWestern was heading into its second season. Lansbury stepped in, producing 69 episodes. He also produced 38 episodes of Mission: Impossible.

“`Lansbury also acted as the Vice President of Creative Affairs for Paramount Television, a supervising role that gave him oversight on sitcoms as The Brady Bunch, The Odd Couple, and Happy Days. He created the underrated series The Magician, which featured Bill Bixby. Bruce also produced episodes of Wonder Woman, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and Knight Rider.

“`Throughout the 1990s, Bruce collaborated with Angela on Murder She Wrote, as a writer and supervising producer on the mystery series.

“`Bruce Lansbury was 87.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Ritchie Valens to Receive Honor…

February 15th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`California Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra  has introduced a bill to name a portion of Interstate 5 after the San Fernando Valley native son and music legend… Ritchie Valens. ACR 23 calls for a portion of the I-5 freeway, between the Hollywood  and Ronald Reagan freeways, to be renamed in honor of the late rocker: The Ritchie Valens Memorial Highway. He’s best remembered for singing La Bamba, We Belong Together, Donna, and Come On Let’s Go.

“`While Valens went to Pacoima High School, he became   a recording artist in 1958. He performed at the American Legion Hall in Pacoima, which led to a contract. He would appear on American Bandstand; and his hit records sold more than a million copies.

“`Valens died at the age of 17 on February 3rd, 1959,  in a plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly and J.P. The Big Bopper Richardson. He became the subject of the 1987 feature film, La Bamba. Lou Diamond Phillips played the teen idol. His music has inspired generations of Chicano artists in the local community, and throughout the world.

“`The Ritchie Valens family has expressed their total appreciation for the proposed legislation. Bocanegra is the Democratic Majority Whip in the California State Assembly.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- TCM Film Fest Almost Here…

February 13th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Turner Classic Movies will kick off the 8th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival on Thursday, April 6th with a 50th Anniversary screening of the Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger classic, In the Heat of the Night.

“`Poitier, who will attend the screening, broke stereotypes and new ground when he starred in this five time Academy Award winner. Producer Walter Mirisch, director Norman Jewison, actress Lee Grant,  and composer Quincy Jones will be on hand to discuss the motion picture; considered a landmark.

“`The festival, set to take place April 6th – April 9th in Hollywood, will also include tributes to the following industry legends:

  • Lee Grant will receive her own tribute after a screening of her debut film Detective Story, The Landlord, and a conversation at Club TCM
  • Director Peter Bogdanovich will be honored with screenings of The Last Picture Show and What’s Up Doc?as well as a conversation at Club TCM
  • Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher will be remembered with screenings of Singin in the Rain and Postcards from the Edge with family members, Todd Fisher and Billie Lourd, hosting extended conversations at both screenings

“`This year’s festival will include a multitude of special anniversary films, poolside screenings, and talent appearances including:

  • Mel Brooks will be presenting a 40th Anniversary screening of his Alfred Hitchcock spoof High Anxiety
  • Screenwriter Buck Henry introduces a 50th Anniversary world premiere restoration from Rialto Pictures of the seminal classic The Graduate
  • A second world premiere restoration screening:  Saturday Night Fever (Paramount Pictures), including a brief chat with director John Badham and actress Donna Pescow
  • 75th Anniversary presentation of the Oscar-winning classic Casablanca
  • An Opening Night-poolside screening of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel  

“`TCM is pleased to announce the return of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures as an official festival partner, as well as the co-host of opening night screening and party. Returning as the Festival’s exclusive founding partner, Delta Air Lines will serve as the official airline of the TCM Classic Film Festival. Plus, Citi returns as the official card of the TCM Classic Film Festival; and Bonhams is also an official sponsor.

“`TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz will serve as official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival, with TCM’s Tiffany Vazquez introducing various events.

“`And, I’m planning to be there, too!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Downton Abbey Reunions…

February 10th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Downton Abbey co-stars, Michelle Dockery (Mary Crawley) and Laura Carmichael (Edith Crawley) {right}, enjoyed quite a magical reunion at the happiest places on earth Disneyland! The British actors posed with the dapper Goofy outside of the Sleeping Beauty Castle at the Anaheim, California theme park, earlier in the day.

“`Last month, the Downton cast, including Dockery, Lesley Nicol, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, and Elizabeth McGovern arrived together, and greeted fans on the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Also, a recent meetup included 30 for dinner.

CAST OF DOWNTON ABBEY

“`While Carmichael is open about friendships she has forged from the program, she won’t be drawn into discussions about whether she’s dating her Downton co-star Michael Fox. The pair were first linked in January. Though, she mentioned in an interview that she has a boyfriend, Laura declined to name him.

“`The best news is a possible televised reunion episode. PBS would bring this program event to rabid fans of Downton Abbey.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Meeting Bonnie Churchill…

February 9th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Today was a special day! I had the pleasure of speaking to the Signal Hill Rotary Club of Long Beach. One of the Rotarians happened to be a relation to longtime columnist and commentator for the National News Syndicate, Bonnie Churchill. She informed me Ms. Churchill was staying at a local senior facility;  and the next thing you know, I was off to meet the noted broadcaster. She is also related to Sir Winston Churchill.

“`A child actress, Churchill appeared in the 1938 movie, Give Me a Sailor. She co-starred in the Paramount Pictures production with Bob Hope, Betty Grable, and Martha Raye. Bonnie also appeared as herself on television in an episode of Here’s Hollywood in 1960.

   

                                                                BONNIE CHURCHILL

“`Together, with sister Reba, they became columnists. Her syndicated radio broadcasts have served as an inspiration to my career. For that, I am most grateful.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Just in Time for Easter…

February 6th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Playboy Bunnies, with rabbit tails, corsets, and ears, will soon be back in business in New York City. Three decades after the original Playboy Club closed in Manhattan, a victim of changing American tastes and views on women, a new venue will debut later this year, blocks from Times Square.

“`The club on West 42nd St. will be one of the chic spots in the world. It will have a lounge, restaurant, game room, and of course.. Bunnies  with new outfits. Other Playboy clubs are already operating in London, the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi,  and several locations in India.  Plus, another is set to open in Shanghai. It will be in the Cachet Boutique New York Hotel, replacing a gay-themed Out Hotel that closed last year.

“`Playboy founder Hugh Hefner (left)  opened the first club in Chicago in 1960. He quickly expanded the operation to 30 clubs around the world. A chance to leer at Bunnies was not the only attraction. Clubs also featured musicians and other entertainers. New York’s venue opened on E 59th St., between 5th and Madison Ave. in 1962. The following year, feminist Gloria Steinem worked as an undercover Bunny, and wrote an expose for Show Magazine entitled A Bunny’s Tale. Among her revelations: Pay was lousy, male customers propositioned the female staff, and she was told to get a gynecological exam, and take a test for venereal disease, before she was hired.

“`The original clubs remained popular and lucrative for decades, before faltering in the 1980s. Bunnies Go From Risque to Passe, read a Los Angeles Times headline in 1986, the year the SoCal club closed, as did the New York locale. The original clubs were all defunct by 1991.

“`Changing mores have altered Playboy Magazine, too, lately. The magazine, still sold in 23 nations, no longer allows full nudity in the United States edition; favoring instead, articles and related images. Cooper Hefner, 25-year-old son of 90-year-old Hugh, is now its chief officer.

“`Some industry experts say there may also be marketing appeal among millennials, and fans of Mad Men, the television show set in the Manhattan.  The new luxury hotel will provide 107 rooms. This is a partnership between Playboy Enterprises, Cachet Hospitality Group, and Merchants Hospitality.

“` If the club opens as scheduled, it will be in a city that began the year with thousands of women taking to the streets to protest the presidency of Donald Trump; partly, because of remarks he made that were perceived as chauvinistic. It’s expected to open later this year.

“`Hold that thought…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Crown Remains in Steady Hands..

February 5th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Queen Elizabeth II is poised for a historic milestone, an unprecedented 65 years on the throne. But, Buckingham Palace says Britain’s longest-serving monarch plans on spending Monday’s ceremonies away from the spotlight, in somber contemplation of her late father.

“`Official commemorations of Elizabeth’s Sapphire Jubilee are expected to feature ceremonial cannon fusillades at a central London park, and at the Tower of London; plus a cavalry parade of military horses pulling World War I-era artillery pieces.                            QUEEN ELIZABETH II —>

“`The 90-year-old monarch is staying 110 miles to the north, at their Sandringham House estate in Norfolk, where her father, King George VI (left), died of lung cancer at age 56 in 1952, after a 15-year reign. His passing is chronicled in the acclaimed Netflix series, The Crown. Recently, The King’s Speech was the Oscar-winning movie that featured his ascent to the throne.

“`Elizabeth surpassed Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest-serving monarch in 2015.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Val Kilmer as Mark Twain…

February 3rd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Val Kilmer will appear in person to introduce the screening of his one-man play about Mark Twain Citizen Twain, playing to sold-out houses at several performing arts venues in Los Angeles. And now, the writer, actor, and director is on hand to present special film screenings of the play.

“`A master of reinvention, Kilmer transforms himself in a comedic and moving performance that is both contemporary and reflective. This piece is based on the life of Samuel Clemens, and of course, his writings as Mark Twain. From thoughts on politics (including his infamous disdain for the United States Congress),  to his family, and his faith, Twain spins a series of yarns with his timeless satire and incomparable wit.

“`Val’s breakout screen performance was in Top Gun with Tom Cruise. Other roles included as Doc Holliday in TombstoneSimon Templar in The Saint; the title character in Batman Forever; Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s The Doors; and Michael Mann’s Heat, featuring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.

“`Mr. Kilmer will introduce the 90-minute movie, and conduct a question and answer period with the audience, following the screening. VIP ticket holders will have the chance to meet, chat, and take photos with Val after the Q&A.

“`Upcoming screenings are scheduled at Landmark Regent in Los Angeles on February 9th; Oxnard Levity Live on February 13th; Pasadena’s Laemmle Playhouse on February 16th; and Long Beach City College / Liberal Arts Auditorium (Bldg J) on February 24th and 25th.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- TCM 31 Days of Oscar A to Z…

February 1st, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`31 Days of Oscar is a programming franchise airing each Oscar season on Turner Classic Movies cable networks during the month of each Academy Awards. The criteria for cinema  screening on TCM  during the fest is that a motion picture be either a previous Oscar winner or nominee. Films that screen are ones TCM holds the broadcast rights. However, most come from the classic MGM or Warner Bros. vaults.

“`This year, the cable network is presenting celluloid in alphabetical order; from A to Z. It is a fascinating schedule that provides the kind of programming the TCM audience is salivating for.

“`Just on Day 1 (today),  I am enjoying such guilty pleasures as Annie Hall, All About Eve,  The Adventures of Robin Hood, Around the World in 80 Days, An American in Paris, and The Asphalt Jungle. What a lineup!

“`For the complete schedule, cut-and-paste the link below:

http://31days.tcm.com/

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Grace Kelly Home Re-Opens to Public

January 31st, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Prince Albert of Monaco has announced that the childhood home of his late mother, Princess Grace Kelly, is re-opening to the public in 2018. The Philadelphia property he bought last year for $754,000 will house regional offices for the Princess Grace Foundation and an extension of Monaco’s Princess Grace Irish Library. It will also be made available for public events, once it’s renovated.

“`Since the home sits in a residential neighborhood, it won’t be exclusively a museum. Prince Albert visited the locale in October.

                                                     GRACE KELLY

“`The home was built in 1935 by Kelly’s father, John B. Kelly. He was a three-time Olympics Gold Medal-winning rower in the 1920s. Grace Kelly accepted her proposal of marriage from Prince Rainier III in 1955 at her home. She won an Oscar for her role in The Country Girl.

“`Now, it will be a repository for the legendary actress-turned-princess.

Until next time>                               “never forget”