“Forgotten Hollywood”- Death of a Brit…

January 31st, 2016

Manny P. here…web-frank-finlay-rex

   Frank Finlay (right) was an English theatre, film, and television actor. In a wide-ranging career across stage and screen, he starred and is best known for his part as Porthos in the Three Musketeers films of the 1970s, alongside Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain, and Michael York. Plus, it was in his supporting role to Laurence Olivier in Othello back in 1965, for which he was nominated for an Oscar. His training was at the prestigious Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts in London.

   Finlay appeared in memorable movies, including The Longest Day, Inspector Clouseau, The Wild Geese, Murder by Decree, and The Pianist. His fine turns as Sancho Panza in The Adventures of Don Quixote and Voltaire in Candide, both BBC television plays of the month, however, led to two BAFTA awards. At the Chichester Festival Theatre over the years, he’s appeared in Hamlet, Hobson’s Choice, Amadeus, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Crucible.

   Finlay was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year’s Honours of 1984, though he was never eventually knighted. Queen Elizabeth II made the official presentation in February.

   Frank Finlay was 89.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Vin Scully Might Get His Own Street…

January 28th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Los Angeles City Council member Gil Cedillo has just introduced a motion that would rename a short stretch of Elysian Park Avenue to honor Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. The two blocks from Sunset Boulevard to Stadium Way lead to Dodger Stadium. If approved, they would be renamed Vin Scully Avenue.

VinScullyPstcd_sm   Scully (right) has been with the Dodgers since their Brooklyn days. His 66 seasons with the team is the longest any broadcaster has been with one outfit in professional sports history. During his career, he has called three perfect games and eighteen no hitters. He described the record breaking homers hit by Hank Aaron, and later, Barry Bonds; and also broadcast the shot heard round the world in 1951 that sent the New York Giants into the World Series. In fact, Vin has been at the helm behind his microphone than many of the fans have been alive, an amazing accomplishment. Council member Cedillo recognized Scully’s longevity in his motion this week.

    Scully received the Ford Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. Thirteen years later, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. On September 5th, 2014, Bud Selig presented him with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award. He was the 14th recipient, and (after Rachel Robinson) second non-player to receive the award, which was created to recognize accomplishments and contributions of historical significance to the game of baseball. Since 2001, the press box at Dodger Stadium has been named for Scully.

   The time might be right for this latest tribute, since it may be Scully’s last year of broadcasting. If the motion is approved by the rest of the City Council, the city’s engineer will begin the process of changing the name of the street. A similar idea was suggested by the mayor a few years back. In the past, Scully has said he would prefer that a street be renamed after Walter O’Malley, who brought the team to Los Angeles, or his son Peter. Expected to show their support: former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda, former baseball stars Steve Garvey, Orel Hershiser, Maury Wills, and Eric Karros, new Dodger manager Dave Roberts, and 17 active players, including pitcher Clayton Kershaw and outfielder Yasiel Puig

   Here’s hoping that the City Council has the gumption to pass this appropriate resolution.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Saying Goodbye to Fish…

January 26th, 2016

Manny P. here…  Abe_Vigoda_Fish_Barney_Miller_1977

   Abe Vigoda, whose leathery, sunken-eyed face made him ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s television series Barney Miller, and a subsequent spinoff; and as the doomed Mafia soldier in The Godfather. Vigoda played Sal Tessio, an old friend of Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) who hopes to take over the family after Vito’s death by killing his son Michael Corleone (Al Pacino).

   Born in New York City, Vigoda attended the Theater School of Dramatic Arts at Carnegie Hall. In the 1950s, he appeared as straight man for the Jimmy Durante and Ed Wynn television comedies. He guest-starred in the daytime soap opera Dark Shadows, Mannix, Hawaii 5-0The Rockford Files, The Bionic Woman, Law & Order, and Wings.  ABE VIGODA –>

abe vigoda marathon   For 30 years, he worked in the theater, acting in dozens of plays as diverse characters such as John of Gaunt in Richard II (his favorite role); and as Abe Lincoln in Tough to Get Help. His resemblance to Boris Karloff led to his casting in the 1986 New York revival of Arsenic and Old Lace, portraying the role Karloff originated on stage in the 1940s. He remained a popular character actor in films, including Cannonball Run II, Look Who’s Talking, Joe Versus the Volcano, and North.

   For decades, there has been a running joke about the demise of Abe Vigoda, which began with an erroneous report in People Magazine back in 1981. He found the gag to be great fun, spoofing the idea in commercials and on Late Night with David Letterman. A website was set up to remind readers Vigoda was still alive.

   Antenna TV will honor his memory this weekend with episodes of Barney Miller. The marathon will begin mid-Saturday.

   The durable Abe Vigoda was 94.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Radio Drama…

January 25th, 2016

Manny P. here…

internal_page_dicktracy   A lawsuit claims the late creator of such legendary radio dramas as Dick Tracy and The Adventures of the Thin Man was duped into putting the bulk of his $100 million fortune into a charitable trust controlled solely by his longtime lawyer. Himan Brown, a radio producer who died in New York City in 2010 at the age of 99, instead wanted it to go to an organization he founded to promote radio theater, according to court papers.

   The lawsuit was filed by Radio Drama Network, Inc., a private foundation started by Brown in 1984 to foster his love and appreciation for the radio serials that popularized the airwaves in the 1930s and 1940s. Several members of his family serve on its board of directors.

himan-brown-1974   Himan Brown (right) produced more than 30,000 radio shows in a career that spanned from the 1930s into the 1980s. He studied law at Brooklyn College, but he never practiced, instead using his education to secure radio rights to Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon, and the Thin Man. Other notable Brown productions included Inner Sanctum Mysteries, Bulldog Drummond, Grand Central Station, and the CBS Radio Mystery Theater. He worked with actors, such as Gregory Peck, Orson Welles, Frank Sinatra, Boris Karloff, Edward G. Robinson, Helen Hayes, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, among others.

   During World War II, Brown worked with the Writer’s War Board to produce patriotic serials to aid the war effort. In the 1950s, he bought Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players Studios. Through his non-profit educational foundation, Brown produced They Were Giants, radio programs dramatizing the lives of such literary figures as Walt Whitman and H.G. Wells.

himan bown   Ron Simon, curator of television and radio at the Paley Center for Media, calls Himan Brown one of radio’s great storytellers. He was well-known for using sound effects such as a creaking door and a steam engine to enthrall listeners during Radio’s Golden Age. A member of the Radio Hall of Fame, Brown received the American Broadcast Pioneer and the Peabody Award.

   A vast fortune is at stake. Who knows which party will win in the lawsuit now being contested in Manhattan surrogate’s court. Maybe, The Shadow knows… 

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Broadway Adrift in Snow…

January 24th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Snowstorm Jonas has hit the Great White Way. As a result of the ban on travel in New York, the suspension of public transportation by government authorities, and additional safety precautions implemented due to the severe weather, all Broadway matinee and evening performances on January 23rd were cancelled. Disney Theatrical Productions was the first to cancel, announcing that Aladdin and The Lion King would be closed as snow and wind smashed through Times Square.

new-york-city-snowstorm-times-square-hercules-january-2014-1-29

   Broadway.com customers with tickets to cancelled performances will be contacted with information on refunds or exchanges. If you have tickets in hand, they need to be returned to Broadway.com customer service at the following address: 729 7th Ave., 6th Floor, NY, NY 10019. Shows are currently expected to run as scheduled on January 24th. If you purchased tickets through Broadway.com and are unable to attend today’s performance, call 1-800-BROADWAY. Dozens of shows have agreed to extend a two-for-one tickets deal to make up for lost business after Saturday’s cancellations. Broadway Week, currently in effect, will now run to February. 7th.

broadway   The following productions offered exchanges for their shows on January 24th: Beautiful, AladdinAn American in Paris, Avenue Q, AllegianceA View From the Bridge, Chicago, Clever Little Lies, China Doll, Curious Incident, Fiddler on the Roof, Fun HomeFinding Neverland, Jersey Boys, Hamilton, King Charles III, Kinky Boots, Les Miserables, Our Mother’s Brief Affair, Matilda, On Your Feet, School of Rock, MiseryTrip of Love, Something Rotten, Shear MadnessTappin’ through Life, Spring Awakening, The Book of Mormon, The Color PurpleThe King and I, The Gazillion Bubble ShowThe Lion KingThe Phantom of the Operaand Wicked.

   A Rita Moreno appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center was canceled; and Bruce Springsteen postponed this evening’s concert at Madison Square Garden; also suspended were performances at the New York Philharmonic, The Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art were closed for the day. Additionally, weekend movie-going was affected up and down the East Coast by Winter Storm Jonas, which forced theater closures in Washington D.C. and New York, and caused hundreds of theaters to suspend showings. Studio executives said the storm had a major effect on business.

   The storm didn’t stop the inaugural three-day BroadwayCon — sort of like a ComicCon for thespians — at a midtown hotel. Some 5,000 theater fans were geeking out on shows and celebrities. And, there was a live audience that braved the weather conditions to enjoy an episode of Saturday Night Live, as they adroitly lampooned the politics of the week and Oscars’ controversy. More than 45 million people, meanwhile, stayed home and watched a video on Facebook of one of the Smithsonian National Zoo’s four pandas frolicking in the snow.

   The last time Broadway took a big weather hit was Superstorm Sandy in 2012. It darkened Broadway for four days, and cost more than $8.5 million in lost revenue.

   Now sing with me:  Oh, the weather outside is frightful…

Until next time>                               “never forget

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The NRA Might Have Hated Wyatt Earp

January 23rd, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Based on a number of screenplays written during Hollywood’s Golden Age, the issue of gun rights was addressed in Westerns, including Dodge City in 1939 and Winchester ’73 in 1950. In both instances, Wyatt Earp (Will Geer) and a Wyatt Earp-type character (Errol Flynn) took the bold step of disarming its ranchers and cowboys while traveling down the town’s Main Street in specific scenes.

Dodge_City_1939_Poster   Winchester_73_-_1950-_Poster

   The political implication of this reference is fascinating, which by all accounts actually happened while Earp as sheriff dispatched dregs of the West during the nineteenth century. Conservatives such as James Stewart, Ann Sheridan, Bruce Cabot, Guinn Big Boy Williams, and Ward Bond didn’t appear to mind the suggestion of the reality-based plot-line. This was quite a dichotomy.

   Could any law enforcement of the Old West have carried out the aforementioned duty had the National Rifle Association gun lobby tried to impose its will? Further, what were screenwriters trying to accomplish by citing this historical incident; and might an NRA-style organization intervened during the Studio Era? These are worthwhile questions. 

  I can surmise the current NRA leadership might interfere and advocate for the characters portrayed based on their rights under the Second Amendment in remakes of these motion pictures. Today’s politicians should dispense the same kind of courage Wyatt Earp had, in response to the frequent urban terrorism that has taken place throughout cities, such as Texas, Colorado, Maryland, Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona, and California, among others. Plus, lobby groups, in general, should simply stay out of the decision-making process in Hollywood.

   Now, can someone help me off my soapbox.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- My 2016 SAG Ballot…

January 22nd, 2016

Manny P. here…

   For the seventh straight year, here’s my ballot for this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. I thought 2015 was a remarkable year for cinema. And, several folks and movies in most of the categories should be considered for the specific awards. Let me explain:


   Manny Pacheco Tin Type   generic_sagawardslogo_noyear_horitzonal_copy

   OUTSTANDING MALE:  Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)

All of the critical buzz is for Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant. He will probably win a career award for a solid performance (my actual second favorite of the year). But, Michael Fassbender was quite mesmerizing in the little-seen Steve Jobs. Aaron Sorkin has a knack for writing great scripts (remember The Social Network). Bryan Cranston, Eddie Redmayne, and Johnny Depp received well-deserved mentions; it’s just not their year to hold a statuette.

   OUTSTANDING FEMALE:  Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

For me, this is the closest race! Saoirse Ronan and Brie Larson are really the class of this year’s tough field. And, my opinion might not change if Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander would have been appropriately placed in the Outstanding Female category, since their roles were starring parts. Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren are quite good, but round out this list. I choose Ronan edging Larson only because Saoirse carried Brooklyn by herself, while Brie shared wonderful screen time with Jacob Tremblay in Room. I didn’t enjoy Sarah Silverman’s performance, truth be told.

   OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING MALE:  Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)

With all do respect, Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), and Sylvester Stallone (Creed) should have received nominations, as they did for this year’s Oscars. Stallone is the well-deserved critical darling; however, my slightly favorite performance this year was delivered by Ruffalo. That said, Mark Rylance is really good in an understated role. He literally steals the movie from Tom Hanks. I also loved Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation. Jacob Tremblay might be a sentimental choice for certain SAG voters. Michael Shannon was a standout. Steve Carell is really great in The Big Short, and should have gotten the nod instead of Christian Bale, if the wind was blowing in that direction.

   OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING FEMALE:  Rooney Mara (Carol)

As I just mentioned, Rooney Mara in Carol and Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl are starring roles. It’s a crime the movie studios campaigned for their placement in this category. Kudos to the Golden Globes, which got it right. That said, Mara is the heart-and-soul of Carol. Kate Winslet blends into each characterization, which makes her one of the great actors of any year. This year, she does not disappoint in Steve Jobs. Based on screen time, Rooney Mara very slightly edges out Kate Winslett. Helen Mirren was essentially more fun to watch in Woman in Gold than in Trumbo. Finally, in my estimation, Alicia Vikander attempted to upstage Eddie Redmayne, really overacting in every scene. I wasn’t impressed.

   OUTSTANDING CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE:  Spotlight

Spotlight is an understated workmanlike motion picture. This story is told so well, and the ensemble delivers. Particularly impressive are Mark Ruffalo, Stanley Tucci, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Bryan D’arcy James, and Liev Schreiber. With regards to the rest of the nominees: Beasts of No Nation is a top-notch Netflix production; however, only two stars dominate and the supporting cast have very brief roles. The Big Short is impressive, but the script, direction, and editing really dictate this smart comedy. Trumbo provides traditional storytelling; while Straight Outta Compton is a well-acted, vignette-oriented production.

~ 2015 Top 10 Movies:  1. Spotlight  2. Carol  3. Steve Jobs  4. Beasts of No Nation  5. Brooklyn  6. Bridge of Spies  7. The Big Short  8The Martian  9. Woman in Gold  10. Room / The Revenant (tie)

   The SAG Awards will air on January 30th on TNT and TBS. Carol Burnett will appropriately receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. And, we’ll see how I do this year…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hello Bette…

January 21st, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Stage and screen star Bette Midler has announced that she will play Dolly Gallagher Levi in a Broadway revival of the blockbuster 1964 musical, Hello DollyFour-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks has been tapped as the director, and Tony-winner Warren Carlyle will choreograph the production, which will begin Broadway previews March 13th, 2017, and open April 20th at a theater to be announced.

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                  BETTE MIDLER

carolchanningstageactress   The title role, one of the greatest leading lady roles in musical theatre, was written for Ethel Merman, but ultimately originated by Carol Channing (right), who won the Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical, and also starred in the most recent Broadway revival of the musical in 1995. During its original run the role was played by Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Phyllis Diller, Pearl Bailey, and at last, Merman. Barbra Streisand starred in the film version.

   Produced by Scott Rudin, the show was originally written by Michael Stewart, based on The Matchmaker by Thorton Wilder. It won a then-record 11 Tony Awards in 1964, including Best Musical, and ran 2,844 performances, making it briefly the longest-running musical in Broadway history.

   No other casting was announced. Tickets won’t go on sale until a theater is selected.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- John Wayne’s Family Endorses Trump

January 20th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   It was a simpler time. No, not Hollywood’s Golden Age; I’m talking about the frontier of the nineteenth century. John Wayne and his entourage wanted you to believe this premise. With the help of director John Ford, and his stable of filmmakers, which included Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond, John Agar, Victor McLaglen, Noah Berry Jr., and others, the Old West became the backdrop of conservative values, validating the concepts of homesteading, a search for gold, the coast-to-coast travel by rail, the use of barb wire to section off property, trails of Native American tears, and the eventual Anglo colonization of the United States.

John Wayne   Don’t misunderstand. I’m a huge fan of StagecoachRed River, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio Bravo, True Grit, and The Shootist. John Wayne’s (right) movies are works of inspirational fiction. He and his cronies represented, and continue to represent, a certain kind of American infallibility. Wayne’s characters were so certain they were right that audiences believed them, too. And on screen, he didn’t waste time using his trademark laconic drawl to dress down his enemies, and then, shoot them dead with ruthless efficiency. Of course, critics of The Duke have surmised:

He’s like the racist grandpa that we nevertheless acknowledge; he’s the embarrassing tear in your eye when you root for America in the Olympics; or he’s the proud viewer of a Chevy truck commercial

   Unfortunately, somewhere along the way in his career, Wayne drank the kool-aid of artificial patriotism. This lead to his naming names from the very real Hollywood community to members of the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, as part of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. Many directors, actors, screenplay writers, and others lost their opportunity to work for perhaps decades, and maybe, for the entirety of their career. The reasoning for the unsolicited attack… A prior or current affiliation with the American Communist Party, and a fear of continued communist infiltration into the movie industry. This dangerous philosophical call-to-action had an folksy elitist feel at its core.

   His apparent contempt only endeared him to audiences who found his lack of pretension both comforting and inspiring. Wayne maintained his unassailable image of immovability for an unprecedented career as a star and political activist: He campaigned tirelessly for Republicans for over four decades. The American legacy of John Wayne was cemented as the Berlin wall came down; an airport was named in his honor; and a museum in Winterset, Iowa celebrating his career is now a popular tourist destination.

trump   Donald Trump is currently attempting to tap into this masculine brand of Americana when he accepted an endorsement in Winterset from John Wayne’s kin. The obvious strategy by the Republican candidate is to cement the support  of primarily white men, aged 69 or older, with a high school diploma or less – a slice of electorate that has already shown a considerable affinity for the Teflon Don. Wayne has an undeniable cinematic cool – the kind of uniform appeal Trump has employed to woo voters since the summer.

   Trump, it appears, is vying to restore the frontier-style justice version of America which Wayne’s films often portrayed; the only trouble: It was always make-believe. I remind my readers of this essential fact. Remember this when you enter a polling booth to vote.

   And, sorry for burying the lead…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Laurel & Hardy Movie Sounds Enticing

January 19th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   I have exciting news. Steve Coogan will play Stan Laurel and John C. Reilly will portray Oliver Hardy in BBC Films’ Stan & Ollie, a biopic centering on the final 1953 UK tour of the famed comedy duo. The story centers on the world’s favorite comedy double act, who set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. Diminished by age and with their golden era as the kings of Hollywood comedy now behind them, they face an uncertain future.

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STEVE COOGAN        STAN LAUREL           JOHN C. REILLY        OLIVER HARDY

   The tour becomes a hit, but Laurel & Hardy can’t quite shake the spectre of Stan and Ollie’s past; coupled with Oliver’s failing health, start to threaten their precious partnership. A portrait of their creative marriage begins to unfold as the duo, aware that they may be approaching their swan song, try to rediscover just how much they mean to each other.

Laurel & Hardy   To be directed by Jon S. Baird, the screenplay for the Laurel & Hardy biopic has been written Jeff Pope, the Oscar-nominated writer of PhilomenaBBC Films developed the feature alongside Faye Ward’s Fable Pictures and Jeff Pope’s Sonesta Films.

   This production I promise to monitor.

———————————————————— glenn frey

   Glenn Frey was part of the quartet, The Eagles, arguably one of the most successful pop bands in the rock-era (along with The Doobie Brothers). His voice was melodic on New Kid in Town, Take it Easy, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Tequila Sunrise, Heartache Tonight, and Already Gone. Frey (right) co-wrote some of their biggest hits, including The Best of My Love, One of These NightsHotel California, and Desperado.

   During his solo career, he was tied to motion picture and television soundtracks: Beverly Hills Cop, and Miami Vice. He also had roles in Jerry Maguire, and on the small screen, Miami Vice, Wiseguy, Nash Bridges, and Arli$$. A documentary, History of the Eagles, premiered at the Sundance Festival in 2013. The Heat is On, You Belong to the City, Smuggler’s Blues, The One You Love, and I Found Somebody were his biggest solo hits.

   The band, primarily made up of Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit, was to have been honored at the Kennedy Center last month. However, the appearance was postponed because of Frey’s health problems.

The mercurial Glenn Frey was 67.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- KCET / Doc Martin Event in Photos…

January 18th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   KCETLink Media Group President & CEO Michael Riley was clear at a recent event held at the residence of the British Consul General in Southern California: There is a strong Public Television commitment to local programming and quality productions that are imported from all over the world. One thing is quite evident; there remains a strong relationship between KCET and British television. With the unabashed popularity of Downton Abbey and Doc Martin, among others, this is indeed great news for fans of smart and intelligent programs on television.

doc martin party favors   riley ross mcneice

                                                        MICHAEL RILEY  MARION ROSS  IAN McNEICE

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 docmartin_avatar  Season 7 of Doc Martin premiered on January 14th. One of its stars, Ian McNeice (Bert Large), assured party-goers their will be a Season 8, which will start production early in 2017. McNeice also invited viewers of the program to England to enjoy the creative process that goes into the making of Doc Martin! By the way, at KCET.org/DocMartin, you can watch behind-the-scenes video shorts, enjoy episode recaps, and reacquaint yourself with the quirky cast of characters that makes up the residents of the sleepy Cornish village of Portwenn.

   Among the attendees included actress Marion Ross, best known for her role as the mother of Richie Cunningham in Happy Days; Cinecon’s Maureen Solomon; stand-up comic Linda Gacsko; and Val Zavala, KCET’s vice president of news and public affairs, and anchor of the network’s SoCal Connected. Zavala was the executive producer of the hugely popular Things That Aren’t Here Anymore documentary series that was hosted by the late Ralph Story back in the 1990s.

Manny and Ian   Manny and Marion Ross

      MANNY PACHECO with IAN McNEICE         MARION ROSS    MAUREEN SOLOMON

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The event was thrown in conjunction with BAFTA, Pleasant Holidays, and Beverly Hilton Hotel, part of a partnership with KCET and their on-going fundraising drive for public television. KCET remains the nation’s largest independent public television station, and a nonprofit 501(c3) organization.

  kcet50_1 SoCal Connecfed

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   I join KCET in urging you to savor a great program; Thursday’s at 8p in Southern California: Doc Martin!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Buried Treasure…

January 17th, 2016

Manny P. here…

SAG - AFTRA   When Carol Burnett appears January 30th at the SAG Awards to accept the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award, somebody from SAG should be waiting backstage to hand her a check. She and dozens of other stars expected to attend the guild’s annual awards show are owed unclaimed residuals that were paid by productions to SAG-AFTRA.

   Burnett is not the only recipient of the guild’s highest honor who have unclaimed SAG residuals coming to them. Kirk Douglas, who received the award in 1999, is owed money, and so are heirs of former SAG Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Ricardo Mantalban, Leon Ames, Martha Raye, Frank Sinatra, Danny Kaye, Ossie Davis, Stan Laurel, Edgar Bergen, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Pidgeon, and Charles Durning. The union is holding these funds for these actor’s families to claim.

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SAG Logo

   Eddie Redmayne, nominated this year for The Danish Girl – and who won SAG’s Best Actor award last year for The Theory Of Everything – is owed unclaimed SAG residuals for past projects, and so are Johnny Depp, who this year is nominated for Black Massand Nicole Kidman, who is nominated for Grace Of Monaco. Maggie Smith, for Downton Abbey, has money waiting for previous work, as do nominees Game Of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage; Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell; Louis C.K., for Louie; and Ray Liotta received his accolade for Texas Rising. More than 20 members of ensemble casts nominated this year also have residuals coming to them that were paid in good faith to the union by the film companies, but are just sitting there.

   Actually, you don’t have to be an A-List star to be owed what amounts to buried treasure. More than 2,000 people named John who have money coming to them; more than 1,500 Roberts and Michaels; more than 1,300 Davids, 500 Marys; and more than 300 Susans and Jennifers. If it is unclaimed for some reason, the checks are deposited into a custodial fund where the cash is held until they identify/locate the proper payee. There are a number of reasons why that process may be difficult and can take some time – even when the potential recipients are well-known. Here is the link if you are a dues-paying member to check:

http://www.sagaftra.org/search-unclaimed-residuals

   There are 12 Mannys; but, I’m not owed residuals. Shucks!

—————————————————————an american in paris

   French actress Leslie Caron spent this past week in New York, and she made a stop on Broadway to enjoy the latest production of An American in Paris. The 1951 movie that won the Oscar for Best Picture made Caron an instant star. She skyrocketed to fame, appearing in such hit musicals as Lili, Daddy Long Legs, and Gigi, which also won a Best Picture statuette in 1958.

   Caron got a standing ovation and flowers after being brought onstage. During a 45-minute meeting, she recalled long hours dancing on concrete during the An American in Paris filming.

   The latest stage production recently marked the show’s 300th performance, and won four Tony Awards. I plan to be in the audience in March with my sister.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- BAFTA to Honour Sidney Poitier…

January 16th, 2016

Manny P. here…

  The British Academy of Film and Television Arts will honour Sir Sidney Poitier with the Fellowship at the EE British Academy Film Awards on February 14th. He joins such previous recipients: Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Sean Connery, Stanley Kubrick, Judi Dench, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Martin Scorsese, and Helen Mirren.

   Poitier began his acting career on Broadway in the 1940s before transitioning to motion pictures with No Way Out. Among his other cinematic credits: A Raisin in the Sun, Blackboard Jungle, Porgy and Bess, The Defiant Ones, Lilies of the Field. A Patch of BlueTo Sir With LoveIn the Heat of the NightGuess Who’s Coming To Dinner, and Sneakers. He has also directed nine features, including Buck and the Preacher, the classic Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder comedy, Stir Crazy, and Uptown Saturday Night.

   Sir Sidney Poitier’s award-winning career features six BAFTA nominations, including one BAFTA win, and a Britannia Award for Lifetime Contribution to International Film. In 2002, he was awarded an honorary Oscar, and has also been nominated for seven Golden Globes, winning once; and he was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1982.

sidney-poitier-be-honored-bafta-fellowship_240x340_13   As well as pushing the boundaries of his craft on screen, Poitier played an active role in the American civil rights campaign, and served as Ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan and UNESCO from 1997 to 2007. In 1974, Queen Elizabeth II conferred a Knighthood on Poitier; and in 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of the US, by President Obama.

   The BAFTA Awards take place at the Royal Opera House. Stephen Fry will return to host this year’s ceremony.

   Sidney Poitier (right) remains a living inspiration to theater audiences, everywhere.

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danhaggerty-720x405<– Dan Haggerty was the burly actor best known as Grizzly Adams on television. The character evolved from his role in the feature film, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams. He also appeared in Muscle Beach  Party, with Elvis Presley in Girl Happy, and in the iconic Easy Rider. Dan guest-starred on the small screen in Tarzan, CHiPS, The Love Boat, Charlie’s Angels, and the reality television program, American Pickers.

   Dan Haggerty was 74

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Prolific Character Actor is Dead…

January 15th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Alan Rickman was a classically trained stage star and reliable screen villain for decades. He’s best known for his work on Die Hard and the Harry Potter series of epic films. He was also memorable in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

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   Trained at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Rickman’s screen roles were remarkably varied. His movies include Sense and Sensibility, Truly Madly Deeply, Quigley Down UnderGalaxy Quest, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon of Fleet Street. He won a BAFTA for his role in Robin Hood. Rickman is due to appear in two yet-to-be-released films: Eye in the Sky, with Helen Mirren; and the animated Alice Through the Looking Glass.

   He also spent plenty of time on the stage. He was the lead, Vicomte de Valmont, in the 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. When it moved to Broadway in 1987, Rickman received both a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award nod for his performance. Other stage roles include support in A View from a Bridge, Romeo and Juliet, Noel Coward’s Private Lives, and Antony and Cleopatra. On television, he received a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.

Alan_Rickman_January_2011   Though he played mean-spirited parts through much of his career, Rickman showed his charity while acting as honorary president of the International Performers’ Aid Trust, an organization that alleviates poverty in some of the world’s toughest conditions. Most of his peers found the British actor to be gracious and kind. Particularly saddened by the news of his passing were author J.K.Rowling and actress Emma Thompson.

   The immensely talented Alan Rickman (right) was 69.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Great 1906 Quake Claims Last Victim

January 14th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   When the Great Earthquake and Fire hit San Francisco in 1906, 3-month-old William Del Monte’s family fled the city on a horse-drawn cart. Del Monte was the last known survivor of the 7.8-magnitude quake and fires that killed some 3,000 people and leveled much of the city.

   Of course, Del Monte didn’t remember much about his family’s dramatic escape. His mother bundled him up when the shaking stopped and ran out to the street. His dad commandeered a rig, which they rode down to the waterfront as flames licked at them from all sides. After the earthquake struck on April 18, 1906, fires erupted and raged for almost four days, burning more than 28,000 structures and leveling more than three-quarters of the city.

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                                                                  WILLIAM DEL MONTE

   An MGM production was made way back in 1935 that chronicled the days leading up to the destructive event. San Francisco starred Clark Gable, Jeanette McDonald, and Spencer Tracy. The movie was lauded for its great special effects. Del Monte outlived each of the stars by 50 years.

   After being forced out of his home in North Beach after the 1906 Great Earthquake as an infant, Del Monte ultimately witnessed the city’s rise from the ashes more than a century ago, seeing it rebuilt. He became actively involved in annual earthquake commemoration events. This year, San Francisco’s mayor says the city will dedicate the event to him.

   The San Fran native embraced the changes in technology that he saw in his life — from gas lamps and horses and buggies all the way through the development of electricity and jet travel to computers. Del Monte worked as a stock market trader almost until the day he died.

   William Del Monte died of natural causes at a retirement home north of San Francisco. He was 109, just 11 days shy of his 110th birthday.

Until next time>                               “never forget”