“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bob Elliott 1/2 Legendary Radio Team

February 4th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Bob Elliott was half of the enduring television and radio comedy team Bob and Ray. Their career spanned five decades. The duo’s format was typically to satirize the medium in which they were performing, such as conducting interviews, with off-the-wall dialogue presented in a generally deadpan style as though it was a serious broadcast. Along with Steve Allen, they pioneered the man-on-the-street comedy routine on television. Bob was also the father of actor-comedian Chris Elliott.

Bobandray   Bob and Ray’s long partnership began at Boston radio station WHDH in 1946, when Ray Goulding, after delivering the news on Elliott’s music program, began to stick around to swap anecdotes with the host. The pair moved to television in 1951 with the Bob and Ray Show. Unlike Sid Caesar and Milton Berle, they did not attract a mass audience. However, their low-key approach, once described as outrageously innocuous by the New York Times, had a devoted following. The small-screen show, which additionally featured Cloris Leachman and Audrey Meadows, ended in 1953.

Bobrayplaybill (1)   The team won a prestigious Peabody Award in 1956. In New York City, Elliott and Goulding continued to thrive. Bob and Ray hosted a Mark Goodson-Bill Todman game show. They also appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen television shows, and won a regular spot on NBC’s Today Show. In 1971, Bob and Ray lent their voices to the children’s television program The Electric Company. The team appeared on Trapper John M.D. and Happy Days; and also were guests on Johnny Carson’s and David Letterman’s late night talk shows throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Bob Elliott also worked solo occasionally during the team’s prolific run, appearing in Cold Turkey and Author Authorand in a few television movies.

   In their last incarnation, the pair were heard on National Public Radio, which ended in 1987. They also appeared on Broadway, and released record albums and books of their iconic comedy sketches. Bob and Ray were inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. Many of their shows are available for listening at the Paley Center for Media.

   Following Goulding’s death in 1990, Elliott remained active as a solo performer, appearing regularly throughout the ’90s on television and occasionally in films. He played Bob Newhart’s father on the series Newhart, and his own son Chris’ father on Get a Life. He also appeared in the films Quick Change and Cabin Boy.

   Bob Elliott was 92.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Honor for Olivia de Havilland…

February 3rd, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Veteran actress Olivia de Havilland was the focus for her achievements in Hollywood at Britain’s Oldie of the Year Awards in London. The star, who at 99 years old is the oldest living Oscar winner, was unable to travel from her home in France to collect the Oldie of the Year trophy. However, she recorded a video message to be played at the annual ceremony, which is held by editors of satirical magazine The Oldie.

   Olivia shared her award with 101-year-old former barrister and member of the House of Lords, Jeremy Hutchinson. Previous winners have included Sir Roger Bannister (2015) and the Queen Mother (2001).

Olivia de Havilland

OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND

   She earned the first of five Academy Awards nominations for her role as Melanie Hamilton in Gone with the Wind, and de Havilland won Oscars for Best Actress in To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949). Her cinematic career spanned 53 years, and is considered part of Hollywood royalty. Olivia’s younger sister was Oscar-winning actress Joan Fontaine, who died in 2013.

   The tongue-in-cheek award is given out annually by The Oldie, set up by former Private Eye editor Richard Ingrams to take an irreverent stand against ageism. It’s great to see Olivia de Havilland share in the fun. She will be 100 in July

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Second Book Milestone…

February 2nd, 2016

Manny P. here..

FINALfrontcover-sonofforgottenhol   Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History has reached over 1400 in sales; an achievement that compliments the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series, NOW approaching 4800 units sold. This latest milestone is because of recent purchases from the membership of local chapters of the Chino, Moreno Valley, and Lawndale Rotary Clubs.

Logo-NT1400-75th-111115-04   Rotary-Wheel-3d-150x150

   The numbers are sure to rise with February stops in Cypress (my home town) at the Chamber of Commerce and Public Library (on the day of the Oscars ceremony); and a March trip to the East Coast to visit library branches in the Bronx and Manhattan to share my Forgotten Hollywood journey. This will be part of ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival. By the way, the main branch of the New York Public Library carries Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History as a reference copy, a real tribute to my work.

   

Cypress COC logo   Cypress Public Library

reel-web-logo   nypl_logo

   The next 60 days should be quite an adventure. Time to enjoy the ride.

   Thank you for allowing me to indulge in a written example of self-congratulatory expression. Now, back to more great Hollywood Golden Age-related stories…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Never Having to Say You’re Sorry…

February 1st, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Actors Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal are returning to Harvard University more than 45 years after the release of their 1970 classic Love Story. The duo, now in their 70s, will be reflecting on their careers Monday afternoon in a conversation moderated by arts journalist Alicia Anstead. Over the years, the Crimson Key Society, a student association, has sponsored showings of Love Story during orientation to each incoming class of freshmen since the late 1970s.

Love_Story_(1970_film)   The plot involved a wealthy Harvard student who marries a less wealthy student over his parents’ objections. Cinema legend Ray Milland, John Marley, and Tommy Lee Jones (in his film debut) co-starred. The movie was based on a novel by Erich Segal, and directed by Arthur Hiller. It was a personal favorite of President Richard Nixon.

   The motion picture was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning one for Best Original Score. Andy Williams had a major vocal hit with the main theme, entitled Where Do I Begin. It won an additional five Golden Globes, including Best Picture (Drama), Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress in a Drama. The film spawned a trove of imitations, parodies, and homages in countless scripts, having re-energized melodrama on the silver screen, as well as helping to set the template for the modern chick flick.

   The actors are expected to drive to Harvard in an antique MG convertible, similar to the one featured in Love Story. The 74-year-old O’Neal has noted that cancer, like in the movie, has played a big part in his real life, including his own battle with leukemia. Both have admitted they had a crush on each other during filming on Harvard’s campus, and had not seen the movie in years.

   MacGraw and O’Neal are currently co-starring in a national tour of Love Letters, which is about a man and a woman who maintain contact over 50 years through notes, cards, and letters. The play begins a one-week engagement at Boston’s Citi Shubert Theatre Tuesday.

Until next time>                               “never forget”