“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Moment of Documentary Support!

May 31st, 2014

Manny P. here… John Kobara

   We are still receiving monetary support for our production of the Forgotten Hollywood Documentary Pilot. Here are the latest details:

~ JOHN E. KOBARA ($200) – A dear friend from my UCLA past. John was the Community Services Commissioner for two years. I was his Asst. Commissioner while attending the Westwood university in the late 1970s.

   Currently, John is a remarkable social entrepreneur. He’s Executive Vice President and COO of California Community Foundation. Founded in 1915, CCF is a leading philanthropic organizations in Los Angeles County, managing more than $1 billion in assets. Each year, it gives out more than $150 million in grants to invest in the future of our local communities. The foundation partners with individual donors, and supports nonprofit organizations to address diverse and dynamic needs of our communities. The expertise and commitment of CCF enables individuals, families and organizations to fulfill their charitable goals and dreams. To learn more, visit the foundation’s web site at calfund.org.

   Kobara is also an active board member of Walden University. In the recent past, he was the President and CEO of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles. This is one person immersed in the spirit of giving back to the community!

   I’m proud to call him my friend…

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   The FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD Documentary Pilot shares the seldom-discussed story of Lionel Barrymore’s desire to carry on with his career after a diagnosis of advanced arthritis.

Forgotten Hollywood Documentary Logo - new   13 lionel barrymore drawing

   Barrymore’s decision influenced the pioneering government fight to eradicate polio through the March of Dimes campaign. He also motivated President Franklin Roosevelt and Helen Keller to carry on their personal and professional battles against disability. Their paths shaped our nation’s way we perceive folks with crippling disease; and forever changed Hollywood’s notion of the handicapped. It’s a gripping story that continues to resonate with my readers of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- See You in Cudahy!

May 30th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   I’ll be participating at this year’s inaugural Cudahy Book & Literacy Fair, May 31st, Saturday from 12p – 3p. I’ll be on the ADULT STAGE at 12:45 talking about the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series and conducting a book signing after my chat. My good friend, award-winning author Reyna Grande, is expected to attend.

Book-Fair-English-Flyer

   The residents of Cudahy supported my radio work on KRLA back in the 1980s and 1990s. I hope to see you at this family-friendly event!

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   Joan Lorring was an actress who received an Oscar nod for her performance in The Corn is Green. The film starred Bette Davis. Born in Hong Kong in 1926, Lorring fled the island nation in 1939 with her mother following the Japanese invasion. They settled in San Francisco where she started working in radio before going on to a career as a stage, screen, and television performer.

456px-Joan_Lorring_1946   Her exotic look earned her roles in Song of Russia, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and Good Sam. She supported Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet in The Verdict and Three Strangers. Joan Lorring —> appeared on Broadway in Come Back, Little Sheba. Her small screen career included guest stints Goodyear Television Playhouse, on five episodes of Robert Montgomery PresentsThe Love Boat, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and a recurring part on Ryan’s Hope. She was also in The Star Wagon, a 1966 PBS production starring Orson Bean, and included Dustin Hoffman in the cast; and a 1956 television version of The Corn Is Green, in which she repeated her Academy Award nominated role.

   Joan Lorring was 88.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Royals Remember Operation Overlord

May 29th, 2014

Manny P. here…queen-elizabeth-prince-philip-3

The royal couple won’t let their golden years keep them away from a grand overseas commemoration: the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Elizabeth II and Prince Philip (right) have stopped traveling abroad — a reluctant concession to their advanced years — but next week, they intend to be in Normandy for ceremonies to honor soldiers who sacrificed their lives to liberate Europe from the Nazis.

The perils of World War II directly shaped the lives of Elizabeth and Philip. The anniversary is so heartfelt that the royal couple is preparing to cross the English Channel once more, this time on a Eurostar train through the Channel Tunnel that Elizabeth helped inaugurate 20 years ago. They will bring younger royals as well, including Prince Charles, heir to the throne, and Prince William, second in line. The Queen and Philip are well aware that this is the last time a reasonable number of veterans will be able to attend. So, it’s very important to both.

queen-elizabeth-ii-prince-philip-daily-mail   The Queen was a teenager during the war. As a princess, she contributed by joining the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, where she served as a driver and mechanic. Philip was on active duty in the Royal Navy. Elizabeth plans to attend a remembrance service, meet personally with veterans, and take part in the ceremony at Sword Beach, one of the landing spots where British Allied forces faced fire from entrenched German troops and tanks.

   French officials have described the monarch as a super guest of honor — a nod both to her longevity and to Britain’s vital role in the D-Day invasion that liberated France. After the solemn events in Normandy, the Queen and Philip will be given a state banquet on Friday night at the Elysee Palace, and hosted by French President Francois Hollande.

   A decade ago, my wife Laurie and I visited Normandy, including Omaha Beach,  Pointe du Hoc, and the Allied cemetery. It was a somber but revealing excursion. Photos that we took appear in my book, Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History.

————————————————————— lee chamberlin

   Lee Chamberlin was a television pioneer. She was an original cast member of The Electric Company on PBS, along with Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, and others. During the 1970s and 1980s, Chamberlin appeared in many popular television shows such as Lou Grant, The White Shadow, Diff’rent Strokes, NYPD Blue, Roots: The Next Generation, Moesha, and Touched By an Angel. From 1983-1995, she was a regular on the ABC soap All My Children.                                           LEE CHAMBERLIN ———–>

   She co-starred with Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier in two of the more popular film comedies of the 1970s, Uptown Saturday Night and Let’s Do It Again. Both of these comedies were popular with black audiences who sought out more positive African American representation in the media. Lee also played Cordelia in the Shakespeare in the Park production of King Lear alongside James Earl Jones and Paul Sorvino.

   In 2010, Chamberlin founded the Playwrights’ Inn Project in France. This production company developed works of diverse American playwrights, including persons-of-color and women, traditionally under-served in the play development process.

   Lee Chamberlin was 76.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Provincial Reading List…

May 28th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   For decades, British students have grown up reading the American classics: To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and The Crucible. Now, if students want to read those books, it will be on their own time. Harper Lee, John Steinbeck and Arthur Miller are out — perhaps replaced by the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and George Eliot.

190px-To_Kill_a_Mockingbird   Cruciblecover   Mice_men_movieposter

   British Education Secretary Michael Gove decided the English literature list for a national exam needs to be more provincial, so he’s swapping American texts in the curriculum for British ones. The new books have not yet been announced, but Secretary Gove’s changes have prompted an outcry.

   Many authors and academics note a number of the thematic parallels between the Education Department’s actions and the themes of the books getting the ax. The Crucible uses the Salem Witch Hunts as a metaphor for McCarthyism. To Kill A Mockingbird teaches lessons about tolerance and diversity.

   In a statement, the UK Department of Education insist no books have been banned. The statement also notes the curriculum sets out minimum requirements and that teachers are free to add any additional texts to the syllabus. The changes, first reported in the Sunday Times, focus specifically on a standardized test known as the General Certificate of Secondary Education. The new GSCE syllabus for English Lit is scheduled to be published this week.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bunny Yeager is Missing…

May 27th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Bunny Yeager was a photographer, model, swimsuit designer, and author whose vision directed the pin-up aesthetic, and changed the way America approached sensuality during the explosive cultural shift of the 1950s and 1960s. Yeager is best known for controversial images of Bettie Page she created that caused a national stir.

Ursula_Andress_in_Dr__No   Born in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, Yeager became one of the most photographed models in Miami. After retiring from modeling, she began her career behind the camera. When Page retired, Bunny remained a successful photographer. In the 1950s, Mrs. Yeager appeared on What’s My Line, stumping the panel. She took well-known images of Ursula Andress –> on the beach in the 1962 James Bond film, Dr. No, and discovered many other notable models. In 1968, she played the role of a Swedish masseuse opposite Frank Sinatra in Lady in Cement.

BYandBettieandCheetahs300k

                                    BUNNY YEAGER         BETTIE PAGE

   But, her photos of Bettie Page in a leopard-print bathing suit standing next to a real cheetah are still well-known today. Her iconic images of Page were published in Playboy Magazine at the beginning of 1955 and brought overnight fame to both photographer and model. The publication of Yeager’s centerfold photo of Page in Playboy launched her still photographic career, and began a lifelong friendship with Hugh Hefner.

   Yeager was played by Sarah Paulson in the 2005 film The Notorious Bettie Page. Her career returned to the spotlight in 2010 when the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh held an exhibition of her work. There was also an exhibition in Miami in 2013. She was also featured on a CNN story about the 60th anniversary of the bikini. In her studio, Yeager kept a stash of photos no one had seen in cabinets. They will be included in a new book she was finishing, scheduled for publication in September, celebrating the 60th anniversary of her first photo shoots with Page.

   Bunny Yeager was 85.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Creator of G.I. Joe Has Died…

May 26th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   On this Memorial Day, it’s only fitting we remember the memory of the man who created the G.I. Joe. Donald Levine, the Hasbro executive is credited as developing the world’s first action figure. The innovator, who served in the Army in Korea, said he got the idea for the moveable figure as a way to honor veterans.

GIJoe_OriginalLineup   Levine shepherded the toy through design and its creation as Hasbro’s head of research development. His team came up with an 11½-inch articulated figure with 21 moving parts, and since company employees included many military veterans, it was decided to outfit the toy in official uniforms of the Army, Navy, Marines, and the Air Force, with such accessories as guns, helmets, and vehicles. G.I. Joe hit the toy shelves in time for the 1964 Christmas season, and soon became a big seller at $4 apiece.

   It remained popular until the late 1960s, as opposition to Vietnam intensified and parents shied away from military-related toys. Hasbro countered in 1970 by introducing Adventure Team G.I. Joe’s that played down the military connection. Into the 1970s, G.I. Joe’s featured lifelike hair, and were outfitted with scuba gear.

   Over the decades, G.I. Joe has spawned comic books, several cartoons, two movies starring Channing Tatum, a G.I. Joe Collector’s Club, and its annual convention — GIJoeCon — held in Dallas in April.

   Donald Levene was 86.

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   Herb Jeffries was a jazz singer, who starred as a singing cowboy in several all-black Western films, in which he sang his own compositions. In addition to starring in the film, he sang and performed his own stunts as cowboy Bob Blake. His popular solo hits When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano and Basin Street Blues were released after he’d served in World War II.

   He began working with Erskine Tate and his Vendome Orchestra when he moved to Chicago from Detroit at the urging of Louis Armstrong. His big break came during the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair A Century of Progress Exposition singing with the Earl Hines Orchestra on national broadcasts live from the Grand Terrace Cafe. Jeffries then recorded with Duke Ellington from 1940 to 1942. His version of Flamingo with Ellington was a best seller in its day. He was replaced in the Ellington band by Al Hibbler.

herbj7   Jeffries was of Sicilian, Irish, and Ethiopian decent. As a singing cowboy in low-budget films, he became known as the Bronze Buckaroo by his fans. Race movies played in theaters catering to African-American audiences. He also starred with Angie Dickinson in Calypso Joe. Herb had guest roles in television programs, including Hawaii 5-0 and The Virginian. For his fine career in  cinema and the small screen, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame in 2004.

   Herb Jeffries (above) was 100.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hepburn Home Still a Bargain…

May 25th, 2014

Manny P. here… hepburn home

   The former secluded compound of Hollywood leading lady nonpareil Katharine Hepburn has fallen a long way from its June, 2011 ask of $28M. Even at a diminished relisted price of $14.8M, it would still set a record for the town of Old Saybrook, Conn. Or so the listing agent tells the Wall Street Journal. Current owner Frank Sciame decided to split up the initial acreage he had trouble selling, which he bought from Hepburn’s estate in 2004 for $6M. Initially, chez Hepburn was offered with two adjacent parcels of land totaling 3.6 acres.

   The 8,368-square-foot, six-bedroom home had been in Hepburn’s family for decades, and was her primary residence until her death in 2003. In 1938, a hurricane lifted the Hepburn’s previous home on the same location right off its foundation, with she and her family narrowly escaping. When the home was first hoisted onto the market, there was some concern over whether spending millions on such a low-lying, vulnerable property, despite the installed breakwaters. Hepburn seemed happy enough with it; according to the WSJ, in her 1996 memoir Me, she referred to its locale, in the Old Saybrook enclave of Fenwick, as a paradise.

   It sounds like it’ll soon have a new neighbor in the form of the 3,000-square-foot house Sciame plans to build on one of the other lots.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Stars Galore in Howard Hughes Bio…

May 24th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Thanks to Tim Keenan of Creative Media for information on a new Howard Hughes bio-pic, expected to be Warren Beatty’s final on-screen role. He is also expected to direct and produce the motion picture. Alec Baldwin became the latest star reported to have joined the cast, which includes Martin Sheen and Beatty’s wife, Annette Bening.

460px-Warren_Beatty_-_1975   455px-Howard_Hughes

WARREN BEATTY                   HOWARD HUGHES  

   The $27m romantic drama, which began filming in February and will be released next year, is a lifelong ambition to produce for the 77-year old actor. It focuses on the latter years of the eccentric billionaire, following Martin Scorsese’s 2004 portrayal of Howard Hughes’s early life in The Aviator. Beatty, who has long held a reputation for perfectionism, and one of the most difficult men to work with in Hollywood, is well known for moving at a glacial pace. He first began auditioning actors in 2007, seven years before production began. His new film is easily his longest planned project yet.

   Warren signed a contract with Warner Brothers in the mid-1970s to do his Hughes before Heaven Can Wait, the hugely successful 1978 comedy that garnered nine Oscar nods. He eventually reconsidered, and opted for Dick Tracy instead. And, Beatty first began working on Reds in the mid-1960s, before completing the film in 1981. His Academy Award-winning epic centered around US journalist John Reed and the Russian Revolution, which he produced, wrote, starred, and directed.

   If Warren Beatty strikes gold with his final effort, he might be favorably compared to his contemporaries, Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford, still acting and directing.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Map to the Stars, circa 1937…

May 23rd, 2014

Manny P. here…

   This map of Hollywood Starland, which was advertised as a moviegraph, was sold to film-crazy fans in the late 1930s. During the Depression, people went to the movies at a amazingly high rate, as the industry adapted to prevailing financial conditions by offering all kinds of cheap rates, sweepstakes, and giveaways. Movie magazines like Photoplay let fans into the lives of the stars, and a map like this one was designed to cater to the desire to know all about where the stars live, work, and play.

StarMap1937_jpg_CROP_original-original

   The faces of favorite actors decorate the border of the map, and the interior is full of little figures playing golf, beach volleyball, polo, and tennis. Starland, from the point of view of the fans, looked like an endless round of fun and games. Viewers pouring over the map could try to match the stars’ faces to the cartoons.

   The map is vague about the locations of stars’ houses, giving only a general sense of their neighborhoods (Marlene Dietrich lived in Beverly Hills) and a likeness of their facades, without offering street names. Other maps from the time didn’t skimp on this information, so the choice to remain figurative must have been deliberate. The map may have been intended as a tourist souvenir rather than a literal guide to star-gazing.

   The original version of the map rests in the Library of Congress for the classic movie lover to enjoy!

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godzilla cartoon

   One of those Hollywood-and-Vine moments where cinema and real life intersect. I love satire.

   Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Fireworks at L&H Convention!

May 22nd, 2014

Manny P. here…

   I’ve been invited to attend the 19th International Sons of the Desert Convention taking place on the week leading up to Independence Day. This world-wide tribute to Laurel and Hardy is annually the largest gathering of folks who are fans of Golden Age cinema generally, and of the comedy team in particular.

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   I’ll be spending the 4th of July at the Dealer’s Room in the Mezzanine Level of the Loews Hollywood Hotel. This is the exact location I spend Labor Day Weekend for the CINECON Film Festival. Based on my previous association with folks who attend local Tents of the Sons of the Desert, this should be a fun event. The demographic makeup of the attendees are exactly the kind of people who will enjoy copies of my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.

   I expect to spend all day (10a – 6p) at this exciting confab autographing my paperbacks! For more info about the 19th International Sons of the Desert Convention, click on the link below:

http://www.laurelandhardywood.com/

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   Sophia Loren is still as glamorous as ever. The 79-year-old actress wowed throngs of crowds with her beauty and sophistication this week at Cannes.

   She is the guest of honor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and delivered a masterclass in addition to attending events. The actress wore a sparkling, champagne-colored gown to the Tuesday screening.

   Loren won an Oscar for her dramatic role in Two Women in 1961.        SOPHIA LOREN

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Museum of London Honors Sleuth…

May 21st, 2014

Manny P. here…

   The Museum of London is turning its magnifying glass on the most famous detective who never lived — Sherlock Holmes. The museum announced an exhibition devoted to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Victorian sleuth, featuring everything from hand-written manuscripts to the overcoat worn by Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series Sherlock. It’s the first time the museum has built an exhibit around a fictional character. But, Holmes is one of those rare creations who long outlived his creator, and captured the public imagination for more than a century.

sherlock   The Free Library of Philadelphia has loaned pages from Edgar Allan Poe’s handwritten manuscript for the 1841 story The Murders in the Rue Morgue. It’s often considered the first modern detective yarn and was a childhood favorite of Conan Doyle. There is also an oil portrait of Conan Doyle, painted in 1897 by Sidney Paget, whose illustrations for the original stories in Strand Magazine, which created the lean, hawkish Holmes of popular imagination. Pat Hardy, the curator of paintings, prints, and drawings, notes the moustache-sporting Conan Doyle looked distinctly like Dr. Watson.

385px-Basil_Rathbone_Sherlock_Holmes   The artifacts will be set alongside paintings, prints and photographs of late 19th-century London, including the evocative, but little-known, illustrations of American artist Joseph Pennell, on loan from the Library of Congress. The images — like the stories — evoke a vast, polluted metropolis of foggy streets and horse-drawn hansom cabs.

   The exhibition — which opens October 17th and runs to April 12th — examines the character’s origins, in stories by doctor-turned-writer Conan Doyle, and his evolution through a myriad of stage and screen adaptations, including top-notch performances by BASIL RATHBONE -> The character actor has his own chapter in Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. His role as the sleuth kept his image alive through Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Iconic Cinematographer Has Passed…

May 20th, 2014

Manny P. here… gordon willis

   Gordon Willis was the director of photography that defined the cinematic look of the 1970s. His work was groundbreaking in its use of low-light photography and underexposed film. He was best known for his work on Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather series, as well as Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. International Cinematographers Guild conducted a survey in 2003, placing Willis among the ten most influential cinematographers in history.        GORDON WILLIS ——>

   Nicknamed the Prince of Darkness, Willis captured America’s urban paranoia in his three films with Alan J. Pakula: Klute, The Parallax View, and All the President’s Men. His Deep-Throat shots in the latter movie added to the tense atmosphere of the scenes. Willis created the trope of warm ambers to denote a nostalgic past. This strategy could define the frailties of a movie character or a city’s gritty persona. Motion pictures, such as The Verdict and The Conversation, adapted his filming style of capturing the magic hour before twilight, when the sun is low, creating a golden glow.

Manhattan   Gordon Willis worked with Hal Ashby on The Landlord, James Bridges on The Paper Chase, and Herbert Ross on Pennies From Heaven. His most frequent collaborator was Woody Allen. Other productions he photographed include Manhattan, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Interiors, Stardust Memories, and Broadway Danny Rose.

   During a remarkable run from 1971 to 1977, films he worked on won 19 Oscars and were nominated for 39 Academy Awards, winning 19 times, including three awards for Best Picture. The fact that Willis didn’t receive a single nomination from this period has been ascribed that his work was ahead of its time. Willis was later nominated twice, once for his inventive recreation of 1920s photography in Woody Allen’s Zelig, and for The Godfather Part III. In 2009, at the inaugural Governors Awards, they chose Willis as the recipient of the Academy Honorary Award for his life’s work.

   A native of New York City, he was the son of a Warner Brothers makeup man. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War, making training films.

   Gordon Willis was 82.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Looking for Documentary Investors!

May 19th, 2014

Manny P. here…

Forgotten Hollywood Documentary Logo - new

Triumph over Disability — Lionel Barrymore’s Pioneering Story

13 lionel barrymore drawingWe present the seldom-shared story of Lionel Barrymore, and his desire to carry on with his career, despite being diagnosed in 1937 with advanced degenerative arthritis. His decision influenced the strategy in our government’s pioneering fight to eradicate polio through the March of Dimes Campaign. Barrymore also inspired President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Helen Keller to continue their personal and professional battles against disability and disease. Their paths shaped our national agenda of how we accept folks with crippling handicaps; and it positively altered Hollywood’s uniform perception of the disabled.

 

 A compelling tale from the award-winning Forgotten Hollywood Book Series

 Before Daniel Day Lewis starred in My Left Foot and Cliff Robertson in Charly; prior to Helen Keller’s chronicled life in The Miracle Worker, and Jane Wyman’s performance in Johnny Belinda; and a decade before double amputee Harold Russell was memorably cast as a disabled World War II serviceman returning home in The Best Years of Our Lives… there was Lionel Barrymore. A member of Hollywood royalty, Mr. Barrymore spent his final seventeen years at MGM on crutches, or in a wheelchair. His affliction was rarely referenced in screenplays, and the public accepted each fine performance. What emerged is a dignified litany of celluloid roles in You Can’t Take it with You, A Guy Named Joe, Duel in the Sun, Test Pilot, Key Largo, It’s a Wonderful Life, and the Dr. Kildare series of films.

At the same moment in time, President Roosevelt was hiding his own handicap from the electorate due to polio (infantile paralysis) for fear of losing confidence of the nation. Society eventually addressed the subject of disability; beginning with the FDR’s implementation of the March of Dimes campaign. His inspired decision of reaching out to Hollywood has roots in the cinematic resolve of Lionel Barrymore.

48. Margaret O'BrienOn-screen interviews include Oscar-winning child star Margaret O’Brien —->  who appeared in Meet Me in St. Louis and Little Women; and Scott Essman, a Universal Studios publicist of classic monster films, and an author and educator in the field of cinematic history, mass media, and filmmaking.

 

 If you would like to invest in the FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD DOCUMENTARY PILOT: contact executive producer Manny Pacheco at raideoman1@earthlink.net

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Neiman’s Baseball Art Hits Home Run!

May 18th, 2014

Manny P. here… marilyn monroe baseball

   A collection of original baseball art created by celebrated sports artist LeRoy Neiman has sold for nearly $500,000 at auction. Heritage Auctions says the top-selling ball depicted artwork of Marilyn Monroe and was signed by Joe DiMaggio, her second husband. What makes it rare is that DiMaggio, who was briefly married to the actress, famously refused to sign anything related to her. It sold for $95,600.

   Among the other highlights was an autographed 1995 work of Mickey Mantle swinging a bat. A baseball illustrating Bobby Thomson’s shot heard round the world sold for $26,680. Thomson’s homer off Ralph Branca of the Brooklyn Dodgers clinched the 1951 National League pennant for the New York Giants.

   Neiman was the official painter of five separate Olympiads, and one of the contributing artists at Playboy Magazine for many years. LeRoy used colored magic markers for many of the balls, drawing some at games. Altogether, the online sale that ended early Saturday fetched a total of $491,748.

   Leroy Neiman died in 2012.

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   Jerry Vale (right), the beloved crooner known for his high-tenor voice and romantic songs in the 1950s and early 1960s, has died. His rendition of Volare, Innamorata, and Al Di La became classic Italian-American songs. He also appeared in GoodFellas, Casino and the cable series The Sopranos. Vale was a friend of fellow Italian-American crooner Frank Sinatra, and he was an honorary pallbearer at Sinatra’s funeral on May 20th, 1998.

   Jerry Vale was 83.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Brits Go Digital…

May 16th, 2014

Manny P. here…

Oliver_Twist_1916   Hundreds of the British Library’s most valuable literary resources, from the Bronte sisters’ earliest writings, to an early draft of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, have been posted online. The library’s new site, features digital versions of 1,200 handwritten manuscripts, diaries, letters, and fascinating artifacts from Romantic and Victorian scribes, including William Wordsworth, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen.

   Among the highlights is a miniature book containing an 1826 short story illustrated by Charlotte Bronte. The book is Charlotte’s earliest known effort at writing. Other items include a lock of Percy Shelley’s hair; and notes belonging to Austen detailing other folk’s opinions of her writing, such as one peer describing Pride and Prejudice as downright nonsense.

   The collection also features original documents from the time the authors lived in — such as newspaper clippings and an 1838 theater playbill for Oliver Twist — to bring the period to life for readers.

   All said, this fascinating collection is jolly good!

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   Pauline Wagner was a contract actress with MGM in the 1930s and 1940s. She made her debut in King of Jazz in 1930. Other film roles included Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Lady Killers. Her biggest role was actually as Fay Wray’s understudy in King Kong. She can be seen on the ledge of the Empire State Building at the end of the motion picture. Pauline danced with Fred Astaire, flirted with James Cagney, blew a date with Cary Grant, and learned how to knit from Joan Crawford. Her career ended in 1941.

   Pauline Wagner (right) was 103.

Until next time>                               “never forget”