“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hammerin’ Hank Celebrates 80 Years!

February 9th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   At a private party celebrating his birthday, friends, former teammates, and luminaries paid tribute to Henry Aaron, who turned 80 on Wednesday. His tribute continued, when he spoke as part of the Living Portrait Series at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In addition, a painting of the baseball great, done by Ross Rossin of Atlanta, will be unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery.

HankAaronHallofFamePlaque   At a ceremony overlooking the White House, Attorney General Eric Holder motioned toward a window and paid Aaron a huge compliment, saying President Obama’s path was made easier. Former slugger Reggie Jackson compared Henry to Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Frank Robinson spoke of the thrill of entering the Baseball Hall of Fame with Hank in 1982. Other speakers included Hall of Famers Jim Rice, Rickey Henderson and Ozzie Smith, who grew up in Aaron’s hometown of Mobile, Alabama. Former teammate Robin Yount said he was his mother’s second-favorite player — behind Aaron! Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, spoke of his friendship with Henry, which dates back to ’58. Selig also talked of his long overdue acceptance in a career often overshadowed by Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays. As the event came to a close, Aaron and his wife of 40 years beamed as the crowd sang Happy Birthday.

   Forty years ago, Henry Aaron surpassed the hallowed record of Babe Ruth on his way to 755 career home runs, while combating racism with a quiet dignity. After Hank’s retirement from the Major Leagues, his legacy has continued to grow…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Paying Last Respects for Hoffman…

February 8th, 2014

Manny P. here…hoffman

   If there is any indication on the impact Philip Seymour Hoffman had on the film industry, it was shown through a series of memorial services these past few days. Industry leaders were omni-present at a wake and private funeral, which included actors, directors, and news anchors.

   On Thursday evening, the wake was held at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, which has orchestrated funerals for celebrities such as Jacqueline Onassis and James Cagney. Among the mourners was Amy Adams, who co-starred with Hoffman in the films Doubt and The Master. Other notables in attendance included Joaquin Phoenix, Cate Blanchett, and Diane Sawyer.   PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN —>

   An intimate funeral was held on Friday at Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. Paying their final respects were Adams, Blanchett, Sawyer, Phoenix, Meryl Streep, Ellen Burstyn, Marisa Tomei, Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Mary Louise Parker, Brian Dennehey, John Slattery, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, Jerry Stiller, Ethan Hawke, and directors Spike Lee and Mike Nichols. Many of those who were in attendance had professional stage and screen ties to Hoffman.

   The coffin holding Philip Seymour Hoffman’s body was brought out by pallbearers and put in a hearse as family and guests began to stream out. Police officers didn’t allow anyone to linger on the block outside the church, and the media was penned in an area far from the mourners.

   A larger memorial service is being planned for later this month.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood” GetTV is Now On the Air…

February 7th, 2014

Manny P. here…getTV-logo-large

   getTV is a new network bringing classic films you love to your living room. Enjoy the glamour of old Hollywood with legendary actors and award-winning films playing all day and night.

   ritawhen stories were epic

475px-Jack_Lemmon_-_1968   getTV continues to expand. Simply check with your cable provider, or your television guide for local availability. They’re currently in many markets around the nation. Cities including the new channel: Atlanta, Austin, Fresno, Houston, Bakersfield, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Orlando, Tucson, Phoenix, New York, Raleigh, Miami, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Tampa, Sacramento, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Washington DC.

<—Jack Lemmon is the current Star of the Month. getTV is featuring some of his early work that were staples of the Studio Era. His motion pictures are airing during prime time on Thursday’s in February.

   Sony Pictures Television launched their new digital programming service on February 3rd; real competition to well established Turner Classic Movies. For additional info about getTV, click on the link below:

http://get.tv/

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   Ann Carter was a popular child star in the 1940s. She’s best known for her starring role as Amy Reed in the film The Curse of the Cat People; and also acted alongside stars, such as Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Fredric March, Bing Crosby, William Bendix, and Barbara Stanwyck, among others.

   Before contracting polio, which virtually ended her Hollywood career, she appeared in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Commandos Strike at Dawn, I Married a Witch, The Two Mrs. Carroll’s, The Boy with the Green HairThe Virginian, Blondie Hits the Jackpot. and The Fabulous Dorsey’s. Ann also did Lux Radio Theater programs, from the age of eleven, including playing Cary Grant’s daughter in a radio adaptation of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. In 2007, she participated in Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, a documentary on the producer behind The Curse of the Cat People.       ANN CARTER —–>

   Ann Carter was 77.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Authorized Disneyland Locale Shoot!

February 6th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   The crew of Tomorrowland, a 2014-15 production starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, is spending the day at Disneyland, with filming in front of It’s a Small World:

Tomorrowland

  • Filming today, with clean up work on Friday and Saturday 
  • It’s a Small World is scheduled to reopen on February 8th
  • Mickey and the Magical Map will be dark
  • The Disneyland Railroad will not operate
  • Small World Mall (the parade route between It’s a Small World and the Matterhorn) will be closed. Access to Toontown will be the same walkway used during parades
  • Pumbaa Parking Lot will be closed to cast members to allow production trucks to park
  • Light set dressing of the It’s a Small World exterior to make it better resemble 1964
  • Don’t expect to catch a glimpse of Tomorrowland star George Clooney. There may be some actors on hand, but he won’t be one of them
  • The walkway that will be open has extremely limited views onto the parade route. Expect every step to be taken to keep people from getting a good look at the set (don’t make a special trip just to see it)

It's a small world   When It’s a Small World debuted at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, the exterior appeared very different than it does today at Disneyland. The now famous golden spires and Mary Blair inspired architecture facade didn’t appear as the entrance. The exterior canals were also covered with numerous angled coverings, much like the ones being installed for the filming of Tomorrowland.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Charlie Chaplin Novel Available!

February 5th, 2014

Manny P. here…

limelight 2   An unknown novel by Charlie Chaplin — the only fictional book the comic ever wrote — is public for the first time. Footlights, unveiled in London, was written by Chaplin in 1948, and later adapted into his film Limelight. The motion picture is the only time he and Buster Keaton appeared on screen together. The novella (written when he was almost sixty) emerged from a dark periods in Chaplin’s life. An avowed pacifist, Charles was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee. His reputation was further damaged by a lawsuit from an actress who claimed he had fathered her child.

   The book was published in English by Cineteca di Bologna, the Italian film restoration institute which has been working with biographer David Robinson on reconstructing drafts found in the Chaplin archives. He broke out of the deprivation of his childhood to discover his unique gifts as an entertainer. As an adolescent, Charlie began working in music halls in Soho, before eventually becoming an actor with a theatre troupe. According to Robinson, the relationship between a drunken clown and desperate ballerina in Footlights was likely inspired by Chaplin’s 1916 meeting with legendary Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky.

   The Cinetaca describes Chaplin’s vivid, idiosyncratic writing style moves freely from colloquial to moments of rich imagery. And, the literary work is illustrated with previously unpublished documents and photographs from the Chaplin archives, as well as pictures of the theatrical world of his youth, and images from the author’s private collection. The publication is the first time the Chaplin family has allowed previously unpublished material to appear in print.

   To celebrate Chaplin first screen appearance as the Little Tramp on February 7th, 1914, Cineteca will re-distribute his 1925 classic The Gold Rush in cinemas across Italy this month.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead!

February 2nd, 2014

Manny P. here…

   One of the great character actors of our times has died of an apparent drug overdose. His versatility was unmatched over the last twenty years with highly memorable roles in support of top actors of our day. His fine efforts would be the kind of celluloid memories welcomed in the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series had he performed them decades earlier. If Philip Seymour Hoffman’s name appeared in the credits, Laurie and I usually went to see the film.

philip seymour hoffman   Hoffman began his acting career in 1991, and he gradually gained recognition for his supporting performances in a series of notable motion pictures, such as Scent of a Woman, Twister, The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patch Adams, Magnolia, and Cold Mountain. Recently, he lent his talents to The Ides of March, Moneyball, The Savages, Mission Impossible IIIHunger Games series of movies, and more. The cinematic community recognized his work with touted Oscar nominations in Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, and The Master; and he received a coveted Academy Award for his career-defining performance in Capote.                   PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN —————->

   Emmy and Tony nods were assured, as Hoffman was comfortable on television and in live theater .On Broadway, Hoffman starred in the 2000 revival of True West and the 2003 revival of Long Day’s Journey into Night. In 2012, Hoffman starred as Willy Loman in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, prompting the New York Times critic to conclude: Mr. Hoffman is one of the finest actors of his generation. Just weeks ago, Showtime announced Philip would star in Happyish, a new comedy series.

   In my blogs, I’m not one to sensationalize these types of reports. That said, Hoffman’s body was discovered in his bathroom by a friend who made the 911 call. Law enforcement officials found the star with a syringe in his arm. Glassine envelopes containing what is believed to be heroin were by his slumped body. The items are being tested. He has spoken candidly over the years about past struggles with drug addiction. After 23 years sober, he admitted in interviews last year to falling off the wagon and developing a heroin problem that led to a stint at a rehabilitation facility.

   The prolific Philip Seymour Hoffman struggled with private demons. He was 46.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Schell Joins Passing Parade…

February 1st, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Austrian-born actor Maximilian Schell, a fugitive from the Nazis, who became a Hollywood fav and won an Oscar for his role as a defense attorney in Judgment at Nuremberg, has died. He was also a writer, director, and producer of motion pictures. His sister was the celebrated actress Maria Schell.

   After his family fled to Zurich, Maximilian grew up hating Adolf Hitler, and entered the film industry in Europe as a way to show his contempt for Nazi Germany. He made his Hollywood debut in the World War II film, The Young Lions, which starred Marlon Brando, Dean Martin, Montgomery Clift, Hope Lange, and Barbara Rush.

486px-Maximilian_Schell_-_1961-jn   In 1959, Maximilian was cast in a live television production of Judgment at Nuremberg (a fictionalized re-creation of the Nuremberg War Trials)on Playhouse 90. His effort in the small screen drama was considered so good, he and Werner Klemperer were the only members of the original program chosen to play the same parts in the 1961 classic. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor, which was the first win for a German-speaking actor since World War II. He credited advice from his co-star Spencer Tracy, and his sister Maria, for delivering such an authentic and ferocious performance. Schell also attended a 50th anniversary tribute of his Oscar win held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences where he spoke about a lasting impact of the production.    MAXIMILIAN SCHELL –>

   During his career, as one of the few German-language stars working in English-language films, he was top billed in a number of Nazi-era themed films, including The Man in the Glass Booth (an Academy Award nod for Best Actor), The Odessa File, A Bridge Too Far, and Julia. For the latter, Schell was again nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role. To avoid being typecast, he also played more diverse characters in a number of motion pictures. He played a thief in Topkapi; a Venezuelan leader in Simón Bolívar; a ship captain in Krakatoa, East of Java; and a mad scientist in the science fiction cult classic The Black Hole. Schell received a Golden Globe as Lenin alongside Robert Duvall in the 1992 HBO miniseries Stalin.

   Perhaps Schell’s most significant film as a director was his 1984 documentary on Marlene Dietrich, Marlene, which was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar. Dietrich allowed herself to be recorded but refused to be filmed, bringing out the most in Schell’s talent to penetrate images and uncover reality. In the documentary My Sister Maria, he offered his loving relationship with his sibling, who died in 2005.

   Austrian Cabinet minister Josef Ostermayer described Maximilian Schell as one of the greatest actors in the German-speaking world. Conductor Leonard Bernstein once claimed that Schell was a remarkably good pianist. He was often a guest professor at USC, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago.

   His inspired performance in Judgment at Nuremberg made me fall in love with cinema at a young age, and remains one of my personal favorite motion pictures of all time. The dynamic Maximilian Schell was 83.

Until next time>                               “never forget”