“Forgotten Hollywood”- Some Like it Hot! With Lemmon…

June 9th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   The Los Angeles Times is reporting the son of Jack Lemmon is honoring his father with a one-man play that shares amazing stories about the life-and-times of the iconic actor. Chris Lemmon published a book, A Twist of Lemmon, about their relationship in 2006. The book tour was well received, so he came up with the idea of a performance piece based on the stories in the memoir about the beloved two-time Oscar winner (Mister Roberts, Save the Tiger), who starred in such classics as Some Like It Hot and The Apartment.

   A friend, director Joel Zwick, introduced Lemmon to Hershey Felder. He has had success creating and starring in such one-man biographical shows with music as George Gershwin Alone, which Zwick directed. After Felder met with Lemmon and attended a performance of his show, the two began to collaborate on transforming what was essentially a cabaret act into a play. Jack Lemmon Returns, which Felder wrote and directed, premiered last month in Chicago. On Wednesday, it opens at the Laguna Beach Playhouse, where it will play through June 22nd. (The show will also visit Los Angeles Broad Stage in January).

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CHRIS LEMMON

   Music is an important element in Jack Lemmon Returns, with George and Ira Gershwin’s Our Love is Here to Stay the thematic tune in the piece. Another song Lemmon loves to perform is ‘S Wonderful, because the standard evokes a special evening Lemmon spent at his father’s bachelor pad up in the hills. The party involved Shirley MacLaine, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, and so on. The moment is recreated in the production.

   Two years after Chris Lemmon (who has a strong resemblance to his father) was born, his dad and his mother, actress Cynthia Stone, divorced. Jack Lemmon married actress Felicia Farr in 1962, and his half sister Courtney Lemmon was born in 1966. After the divorce, his father spent quality time with Chris — they fished, golfed, and shared a lasting love of music.

   It’s magic time… as Jack Lemmon would use to say before each scene.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Classic Cinema Doll Collection…

June 8th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Mattel is issuing lifelike Barbie dolls to honor Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and other classic films. The former two motion pictures are celebrating their 75th anniversary in a variety of marketing ways.

gone with the wind dolls

   Here are the details of the Gone with the Wind figures: Rhett Butler is in a gentleman’s suit and red ascot. Scarlett O’Hara is provided with two different outfits; one in her crimson birthday gown, like she wore in the scene when she visits the home of Melanie and Ashley Wilkes. The other is the white prayer dress with red bows and sash, similar to one Mammy  dressed her in.

   These dolls are part of the Mattel collector series. Previously, my wife Laurie bought the Doris Day / Rock Hudson Pillow Talk Barbie’s to add to her doll collection that also includes Mrs. Beasley from the television show Family Affair and The Grinch.

   Barbie dolls are a registered trademark of Mattel

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   Another fine supporting actress of note had died. Martha Hyer is best remembered as a love interest of Frank Sinatra in Vincente Minnelli’s Some Came Running, for which she received an Oscar nomination.

Martha_Hyer_in_Battle_Hymn_trailer   Adept at playing girl-next-door types in comedy and drama, she appeared in important films, including Sabrina, Houseboat, The Carpetbaggers, and The Sons of Katie Elder; to froth, such as Abbott and Costello Goes to Mars, Francis In the Navy, The Delicate Delinquent, Night of the Grizzly, Bikini Beach, and The Happening.

   At one time, movie moguls considered her the best replacement for Grace Kelly, who had just retired after marrying Rainier III, Prince of Monaco. Hyer was considered for the Janet Leigh role of the doomed Marion Crane in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho.

   She had guest-starring roles on television in The Lone Ranger, Rawhide, and McCloud. She married producer Hal B. Wallis in 1966, and the couple remained together until his death in 1986.

   Martha Hyer was 89.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- AFI Honors Career of Jane Fonda…

June 7th, 2014

Manny P. here…

477px-Jane_Fonda_-_publicity   The American Film Institute’s celebration of Jane Fonda was like a who’s who of Hollywood women. Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, Lily Tomlin, Cameron Diaz, and Sally Field were among the actresses saluting the 76-year-old Oscar winner, who accepted AFI’s 42nd Life Achievement Award Thursday in Hollywood.

   Jeff Daniels sang a song with the refrain abs, butt and thighs, and Wanda Sykes, in a Barbarella costume, was carried on stage by a man dressed as a winged angel. Michael Douglas, Eva Longoria, and Peter Fonda also spoke at the ceremony, where his sister and honoree urged guests to remain curious.     JANE FONDA ——>

   Part of a verifiable family dynasty, Jane Fonda has won two Academy Awards, an Emmy, and seven Golden Globes. Her roles include Klute, Barefoot in the Park, Cat Ballou, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, Julia, Coming Home, and On Golden Pond (with her father Henry Fonda).

   My blog was honored at a recent Los Angeles Press Club event in which the iconic actress was the Guest of Honor.

   The AFI private ceremony at the Dolby Theatre will air as a special on June 14th on TNT.

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Mona_Freeman_in_That_Brennan_Girl<-Mona Freeman was a popular young actress of the 1940s and 1950s. Her screen credits include National Velvet, That Brennan GirlThe Heiress, Junior Miss, Black Beauty, and Angel Face. Freeman was a model while in high school, and after becoming the first Miss Subways of the New York City transit system. She eventually signed a movie contract with Howard Hughes. Her contract was later sold to Paramount Pictures.

0908_msee_hisory   On television, Freeman appeared in several episodes of The Red Skelton Hour, Perry MasonWagon TrainPlayhouse 90, The United States Steel Hour, and Maverick. Mona toured with Edward G. Robinson in a 1958 stage production of the Paddy Chayefsky play, Middle of the Night. Freeman also was a painter; her most widely viewed work, a portrait of kindly, bespectacled candy matriarch Mary See, hangs in See’s Candies shops across the US, and has been displayed for decades.

   Mona Freeman was 87.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Friar’s Club Legend… Jerry Lewis!

June 6th, 2014

Manny P. here… SiriusXM+Town+Hall+Jerry+Lewis+Hosted+Maria+z4_1d3ucTcrl

   After nearly 70 years in show business, Jerry Lewis (right) continues to do standup and serve as leader of the storied Friars Club. He just hosted a lavish dinner at the venerable comedy institution to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his film The Nutty Professor. He’s also set to perform a show in Las Vegas next month, and has two fall concerts planned for Los Angeles. Lewis makes several trips a year from his Las Vegas home to the private comedy club in New York City, where he serves as Abbot.

   As Abbot, Lewis offers guidance to up-and-comers. One tip… Appreciate your fans. He has come under fire in recent years for his bias against female comics, and can be cantankerous and unpredictable in interviews and on stage. However, his abiding love of connecting through comedy is clear. He feels the magic when he talks to fans after the show.

   Since the Friars Club’s inception in 1904, the members have always lavished praise upon their entertainment peers through elegant dinners consisting of engaging testimonials. An opportunity for the Friars to show appreciation to their brethren in the arts and humanities, they select a guest of honor and invite their friends and celebrity fans to honor them in an evening of splendor.

   From George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin down through the years, the greats have shared this esteemed accolade: Jack Benny, George Jessel, Dean Martin, Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Carol Burnett, Walter Cronkite, Kirk Douglas, Neil Simon, Barbara Walters, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Tom Cruise, and Larry King, among others have been saluted by their fellow Friars.

   Such legends as Humphrey Bogart, Milton Berle, Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball, Sid Caesar, and Jerry Lewis have also been skewered in Celebrity Roasts, along with high profile celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Chevy Chase, Richard Pryor, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Kelsey Grammer, Hugh Hefner, Donald Trump, Matt Lauer, Quentin Tarantino, and Betty White. It’s the official motto: We always Roast the ones we love! that has endeared these honorees to the Friars.

SiriusXM+Town+Hall+Jerry+Lewis+3ATbWf5LAo1l   Jerry Lewis has been the club’s Abbot since 2006. Comic Alan King held the post previously, after Frank Sinatra’s 20-year tenure. Lewis oversees the annual roasts and helps with fundraising, continuing the philanthropic tradition he began with the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association over 60 years ago. The comedian’s abrupt departure as the national chairman of the organization and face of its Labor Day telethon still hasn’t been explained, and he refuses to talk about it. Despite the drama, leading the Friars Club is an honor steeped in tradition that carries a noble entertainment legacy.

   One thing is for sure, Jerry Lewis is still a living-legend.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Science of Buying a Book…

June 5th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   With all due respect to eBooks, there is something special about the feel or (dare I say) the smell of a book. Like buying a new car, a paperback or hard cover copy of your work is special. I turn to my high school Biology teacher, Mr. Holdridge, for a scientific explanation…

Van Nuys HighTitle

aroma of books

   That said, Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is available on your Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or any of your eReaders, or Apple iPad.

   Class is dismissed!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- On the Waterfront is Sixty…

June 3rd, 2014

Manny P. here…

   A special 60th anniversary screening of On the Waterfront, the movie starring Marlon Brando (in his award- winning role), Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Karl Malden, and Oscar-winner Eva Marie Saint. The event is made possible by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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   The production’s impact was intensified by Budd Schulberg’s Academy Award-winning script, which features one of cinema’s most-loved speeches (I could have been a contender); Leonard Bernstein’s potent score, his only composed solely for film; and the Oscar-winning efforts of cinematographer Boris Kaufman and art director Richard Day. Based on Malcolm Johnson’s multi-part New York Sun exposé, which won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1949, Elia Kazan’s work was shot on both sides of the Hudson River and bears the director’s signature Group Theatre intensity.

   Saint will stop by to chat about the iconic flick. Her 60-year motion picture career includes collaborations with directors Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, and Fred Zinnemann. She had memorable performances in Raintree County, North by Northwest, Exodus. Saint will appear to reminisce about working with Brando and Kazan during the making of this American classic.

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   On the Waterfront will screen at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in the Bing Theatre, 5905 Wilshire Blvd. this Friday, June 6th at 7:30p. It’s $5 general admission; $3 for Academy members, LACMA Film Club members, and students with a valid ID.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Television Stalwarts are Gone…

June 2nd, 2014

Manny P. here… 464px-Ann_B__Davis_1973

   Ann B. Davis was a lovably feisty character actress, who is best remembered as Schultzy on The Bob Cummings Show, for which she twice won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series; and as Alice Nelson, the housekeeper in The Brady Bunch. She also appeared as a musical judge on ABC’s Jukebox Jury; and as a physical education teacher at a private girls’ academy in NBC sitcom The John Forsythe Show.                      ANN B. DAVIS —–>

   She got her big break while doing a cabaret act in Los Angeles, singing and telling jokes. Despite a small film career, which included parts in Pepe, All Hands on Deck, and Lover Come Back, her strength was guest starring appearances on television. Davis had roles on Lux Video TheatreTennessee Ernie Ford Variety Hour, Rawhide, Love American Style, and The Love Boat. Ann was also featured in commercials for Minute Rice. In her later years, she was a spokeswoman for Shake ‘n Bake, and in spots for Swiffer. In 1993, Davis joined a touring cast of Crazy for You, a musical featuring Standards by George and Ira Gershwin. She also toured with the USO to entertain US troops in Korea and elsewhere.

   Producer Sherwood Schwartz’s The Brady Bunch debuted in 1969 and aired for five years. But, it has lived on in reruns and sequels. Her character was so popular on The Brady Bunch, that she also returned when a variety hour was created in the late 1970s, and a series of television movies were produced in the 1980s. In 1994, Davis published a cookbook, Alice’s Brady Bunch Cookbook, with Brady Bunch inspired recipes. The book also includes recipes from cast members. In 2007, The Brady Bunch was awarded the TV Land Pop Culture Award on the 5th annual TV Land Awards. Davis and other cast members accepted the award, and she received a standing ovation.

   Ann B. Davis was 88.

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marilyn-beck-dead<—MARILYN BECK was the syndicated Hollywood columnist who rose to prominence, and was influenced by predecessors, such as Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons. Beck’s Hollywood column appeared in the New York Times Special Features in 1972 as she reported on the doings of stars the likes of Elvis Presley, Natalie Wood, Robert Redford, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda, Marlon Brando, and Richard Burton. Marilyn became affiliated with Tribune Media Services in 1980. She finally headquartered for 30 years from her home in Beverly Hills, where she interviewed stars in her column and for television.

   Beck appeared on programs including Nightline, and shows hosted by Barbara Walters, Dinah Shore, Mike Douglas, and Merv Griffin, and logging on-air chats with such celebrities as Farrah Fawcett, Harrison Ford, Lucille Ball, Michael Landon, George Burns, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Christopher Reeve, and Luciano Pavarotti.

   Beck authored Marilyn Beck’s Hollywood, a 1972 hard-cover book about the industry; also the 1988 Berkeley novel about Hollywood, Only Make Believe. She won honors from the Los Angeles City CouncilSouthern California Motion Picture Council, and ICG Publicists Guild of America.

   Marilyn Beck was 85.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Big Mac is Latest Notable Reader…

June 1st, 2014

Manny P. here…Manny Pacheco and Ronald McDonald

  Today, at the inaugural Cudahy Book and Literacy Fair, I met one the most iconic television personalities in history… A star so big, there isn’t anyone in this great nation who doesn’t know this giant of the small screen. I’m talking about Mr…

~ RONALD McDONALD ~

   Now, I can claim the famous clown as the latest owner of the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.

   He’s a clown character used as the primary mascot of the McDonald’s fast-food restaurant chain. In television commercials, the clown inhabits a fantasy world called McDonald-land, and has adventures with his friends Mayor McCheeseHamburglar, and Grimace. Many folks work full-time making appearances in the Ronald McDonald costume, visiting children in hospitals, and attending regular events. There are also Ronald McDonald Houses, where parents can stay overnight when visiting sick children in nearby chronic care facilities.

Originalronaldmcdonald   The origin of Ronald McDonald involves Willard Scott (left), who went on to become NBC’s Today Show weatherman. He claims to have performed as the Hamburger-Happy Clown in 1963 on three separate television spots. These were the first three small screen ads featuring the character.

   At any particular time, there are dozens to hundreds of actors retained by McDonald’s to appear as Ronald McDonald in restaurants and events. However, the company uses only one actor to play the character in national television commercials. The company trains performers to portray Ronald using identical mannerisms and costume, to contribute to an illusion they are one character. Ronald McDonald is second only to Santa Claus in terms of recognition. According to one survey, 96% of all US schoolchildren recognize Ronald.

   Various forms of the name — Ronald McDonald — as well as costume clown face persona, etc. are registered trademarks of McDonald’s.

Until next time>                               “never forget”