“Forgotten Hollywood”- SAG To Honor Morgan Freeman…

August 22nd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Morgan Freeman will receive the SAG Life Achievement Award at the next Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony gala. The actors union announced that Freeman (right) will accept its highest honor, January 21st, 2018.

“`The 80-year-old Freeman  has already been given statuettes for his body of work from the American Film Institute and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, among many other acting accolades. He has been nominated five times for an  Academy Award, and won for his performance in 2004 for Million Dollar Baby.

“`Morgan’s voice is among the most recognizable in media. He’s narrated many documentaries and lent his talent to the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

“`Previous SAG Life Achievement Award recipients include James Earl Jones, Elizabeth Taylor, Sidney Poitier, Betty White, George Burns, and Carol Burnett.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering a Comedic Pioneer…

August 20th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`In the wake of the passing of comedian and social activist Dick Gregory, a legend of the stage and screen has died.  Admittedly, an acquired taste, Jerry Lewis was a major star for seven decades.  He trail-blazed a path in early television;  along with Dean Martin, they inherited the comedy duo-mantle made popular by the movie antics of Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello; he raised money for his kids to end Muscular Dystophy; and he had a memorable cinematic career. His son Gary was a pop singer and his group, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, had a string of hits in 1965-1966.

“`Jerry Lewis’ (above) career spanned a colorful history of show business throughout the 20th Century, beginning with his parents’ vaudeville act when he was just 5 years of age. At 20, his pairing with Martin made them international stars.  Martin and Lewis delighted audiences with their stage antics, and on television on  The Colgate Comedy Hour.  Newspaper columnists, Walter Winchell and Ed Sullivan, raved over the sexy singer and the berserk clown. Hollywood producer Hal Wallis saw them at New York’s Copacabana, and signed them to a film contract. Together, they appeared in supporting roles in  My Friend Irma and  My Friend Irma Goes West. Both would eventually star in a series of light comedies throughout the mid-1950s.

“`Martin grew tired of playing the straight man, and the dizzying pace of their work. He began openly sparring with Lewis on stage. In 1956, the team dissolved. They remained apart for 20 years; until Frank Sinatra brought them together, as part of a surprise appearance, during one of Jerry’s live telethons in 1976.

“`After the team split up, Lewis went on to star in The Bellboy, Cinderfella, The Disorderly Orderly, and The Nutty Professor, was featured in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, and appeared as himself in Billy Crystal’s  Mr. Saturday Night. Retaining complete control of his own productions,  he pioneered the playback device that is still used in cinema to this day. In the 1990s, he scored a stage hit as the devil in a Broadway revival of Damn Yankees.

“`Lewis was the face of the  Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day telethon,  joking and reminiscing, and introducing guests, sharing stories about ailing children, and concluding with his personal anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone. From the 1960s, his telethons raised $1.5 billion, including over $60 million in 2009. He stepped down as official host in 2011.  He did remain as chairman of the association he joined some 60 years before. Jerry’s MDA fundraising efforts earned him the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2009 Oscars.

“`France embraced the humor of Jerry Lewis. The French government awarded the comedian a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1983, and Commander of Arts and Letters the following year.  He also had his detractors. However, they never affected Lewis’ outlook on comedy. He remained true to his brand of humor.

“`He influenced scores of comedians, including Jim Carrey, and many of the television stars of Saturday Night Live. In Las Vegas, a message honoring the comedian is being featured on a marquee at Caesars Palace, where Lewis was once a headliner, and also hosted telethons. In Los Angeles, fans gathered at Lewis’ two Hollywood Walk of Fame stars; one for television and one for film.

“`Larger-than-life, Jerry Lewis was 91.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Big Ben Theory…

August 14th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`A fixture of London landscape and soundscape, Big Ben, is falling silent for four years. The bell will cease its regular tolling, while extensive repairs are made to the famous clock tower looming over the Palace of Westminster, home to the British Parliament.  However, they will review plans to silence Big Ben during repairs, after politicians criticized a lengthy muting of the beloved bell.

“`The massive bell will mark its last hour at noon on August 21st; and then, will pause for four years while the Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben, is restored.  Quieting Big Ben’s mighty bongs will help preserve the hearing of workers involved in the project. An updated restoration of the Parliament buildings is likely to begin in the early 2020s.

“`The Great Bell has chimed nearly every hour for the past 157 years. It’s had previous breaks in service for maintenance and conservation in 2007, 1983-1985, and 1976. The 13.7-ton bell, forged in the 1850s, is accompanied by chimes that ring out every quarter hour.  The clock has a Victorian-era mechanism that triggers the bell and chimes. Its four faces are expected to get refurbished.  The clock will keep time with the help of an electric motor, while its mechanism is being repaired.

“`The bongs of Big Ben became associated with Britain, around the world during wartime BBC news broadcasts. It’s still heard live each day on radio through a microphone in the belfry. The BBC will use a recording during the renovation works.

“`Big Ben will still bong for annual national events, such as New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of Joe Bologna…

August 13th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Joseph Bologna was a gruff actor, known for his roles in comedies. He is best remembered for his performance as his Sid Caesar-based character opposite Peter O’Toole in My Favorite Year.

“` A Brooklyn native, Joseph studied art history at Brown University. After serving a tour of duty in the United States Marine Corps., Joe produced and directed Manhattan-based television commercials.

“`Bologna’s breakthrough movie, Lovers and Other Strangers, was written with his wife, Renée Taylor. In 1971, the couple again collaborated in Made For Each Other. Joe’s other performances included Honor Thy Father, Transylvania 6-5000, Blame It On Rio, and The Woman In Red. On television, he appeared in Married… With Children, L.A. Law, Murder She Wrote, The Nanny, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

“`Earlier this year, Bologna received the Night of 100 Stars Oscar Gala Lifetime Achievement Award from Richard Lewis and his peers to celebrate his 60-year career, and for his efforts to help save the Motion Picture Home Hospital in 2012.

“`Joseph Bologna (above) was 82.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Tombstone Revisited…

August 12th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Val Kilmer is visiting Tombstone for a weekend event to celebrate the life and times of Doc Holliday, the legendary gunslinger,  whom the actor famously played in the movie, set in the Old West town.  Val will participate in a number of activities at Doc Holli-Days, such as riding inside a horse-drawn stagecoach while serving as Grand Marshal in a parade. He’ll also meet with fans and attend a birthday party for Holliday, who was born on August 14th.

“`Tombstone was a bustling mining town that became synonymous with the Gun Fight at the O.K. Corral, involving Holliday and Wyatt Earp. The mines were closed, years ago. However, the locale, near the United States-Mexico border, remains a popular destination for tourists.

“`The Arizona town saw a surge in popularity after the 1993 film Tombstone, starring Kilmer, Kurt Russell, and Sam Elliot. It was filmed at various locations in Arizona; but, not in Tombstone. Val visited the town during the production of the movie; but, has not been back since.

“`Gunfight re-enactments are the event’s big draw.  Kilmer won’t participate in them. Many of the Doc Holli-Days activities are sold out, generating concern about crowd sizes.  This is one of several weekend celebrations that  Tombstone holds throughout the year, including Wyatt Earp Days and Helldorado Days.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Goodbye To the Rhinestone Cowboy

August 8th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Glen Campbell was a country singer with crossover tunes that include Gentle on My Mind,  By the Time I Get to PhoenixWichita Lineman, Galveston, and Rhinestone Cowboy. His biggest hits in the late 1960s were songs written by Jimmy Webb. He also hosted a prime time variety television show.

GLEN CAMPBELL

“`Campbell was among a wave of country stars, such as Johnny Cash, Roy Clark, and Kenny Rogers. His musical career dated back to the early years of rock ‘n roll. Glen toured with The Champs, when the group included two singers who formed the popular 1970s duo Seals and Crofts. He was part of the house band for the ABC program Shindig!, and was a member of Phil Spector’s  Wrecking Crew studio band that played on hits by The Ronettes, Bobby Darin, The Righteous Brothers, Jan and Dean, Rick Nelson, and The Crystals. Glen played guitar on Frank Sinatra’s Strangers In the Night, The Monkees’ I’m a Believer, and Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas. For a short time, he was a touring member of The Beach Boys.

“`Campbell  co-starred opposite John Wayne, Kim Darby, and Robert Duvall in True Grit. His performance of the title song received an Academy Award nomination.

“`He twice won Album of the Year awards from the Academy of Country Music; and he was voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Seven years later, he received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement.

“`Glen Campbell was 81.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Godzilla Dies For Real…

August 7th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Before CGI came along, actors in costumes were tasked with bringing massive monsters to life. And, nobody is more synonymous with Godzilla than Haruo Nakajima, an icon in his own right.

                HARUO NAKAJIMA

“`Nakajima was a stunt actor in samurai films, when he was approached to take on the role of the Japanese creature that became the symbol of the nuclear era. Haruo created the character and went to a zoo to examine how elephants and bears moved. He thought it was important to show the pathos of the creature, which smashed everything in its way.

“`The Japanese actor played the monster for 12 consecutive films beginning with the original Godzilla in 1954. Nakajima also appeared in costume in Godzilla Raids AgainMothra vs. GodzillaKing Kong vs. GodzillaGhidorah:  The Three-Headed MonsterInvasion of the Astro-Monster, Godzilla vs. the Sea MonsterDestroy All MonstersAll Monsters AttackGodzilla vs. Hedorah, Son of Godzilla, and Godzilla vs. Gigan.

“`Haruo also played creatures in Frankenstein vs. Baragon, The War of the Gargantuas, Mothra and King Kong Escapes. Nakajima retired from suit acting in 1972. He continued to be a guest at festivals and events while living in a Tokyo suburb.

“`The legendary Haruo Nakajima was 88.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Boys Town Minding the Mint…

August 1st, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Founded on December 12th, 1917,  Boys Town has grown from a single home for displaced children, to a nationally recognized leader, with over 2 million children and families benefiting from Boys Town programs.  With operations in 15 locations across the United States, Boys Town is dedicated to offering a variety of care and services to under-served communities across America.

“`Celebrating 100 years of service, the United States Mint proudly presents — Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coins — honoring their history and success through their life–changing programs. Limited to 15,000 units;  each set includes the $5 proof gold coin, proof silver dollar, and the proof clad half dollar.

“`MGM honored the work of Father Flanagan with two motion pictures, which starred Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney. Tracy won a Oscar in 1938 for his performance in Boys Town. A sequel was made in 1941 called Men of Boys Town.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sam Shephard Has Died…

July 31st, 2017

Manny P here… 

“` Sam Shepard was a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, an Oscar-nominated actor, and a celebrated author, whose plays chronicled the explosive fault lines of family, and masculinity in America’s West.  His Western drawl and laconic presence made him a reluctant film star.

“`The taciturn Shepard, who grew up on a California ranch, was a person of few words; however, he produced 44 plays, numerous books, memoirs, and short stories.  One of the iconic influential playwrights of any generation:  A plain-spoken poet of the modern frontier; both, lyrical and rugged.

“`He appeared in dozens of movies — many of them Westerns — including Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, Steel Magnolias, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert FordThe Pelican Brief and Black Hawk Down. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as pilot Chuck Yeager in 1983’s The Right Stuff.

“`Shepard was best remembered for his influential plays, and his prominent role in the off-Broadway movement. His 1979 work, Buried Child, won a  Pulitzer for Drama. Two other plays — True West and Fool for Love — each nominated for a Pulitzer, as well, and are often revived. His early plays were fiery, surreal verbal assaults; while providing American theater a frenzied direction that compares favorably to the tumultuous 1960s. A drummer, Shepard found his own rhythm in his writings. Sam’s collection, Seven Plays, includes his best plays, such as Buried Child and The Tooth of Crime, and was dedicated to his dad.

“`Sam met Academy Award-winning actress Jessica Lange while on the set of Frances. They were together for nearly 30 years; separating in 2009.

“`Sam Shepard was 73.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Rare Italian Casablanca Poster Sold…

July 30th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“` A truly special promo piece, the 1946 Casablanca poster (Italian 4 Fogli with Luigi Marinati artwork)  has sold for $478,000 in Dallas at a public auction of vintage movie posters. It is the only known surviving Italian issue poster.

“`Heritage Auctions estimates the price tied the record of the payment for any film poster at a public auction. This 1946 Italian poster measures 55.5 inches x 78.25 inches. The current buyer chose to stay anonymous. It was owned by a collector living in London.

“`The price equals the record amount paid in 2014 of a poster for London After Midnight, a 1927 silent movie, starring Lon Chaney. Other posters auctioned this weekend included works promoting  Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein,  Metropolis, Cavalcade, Morocco, and The Day the Earth Stood Still.

====================================

“`Ohio authorities have reported that a gold replica of the historic lunar space module has been taken from the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. Several copies of the excursion module, created by Cartier, were given to astronauts – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins – shortly after the 1969 historic space mission in Paris. Armstrong was the initial human to step onto the moon’s surface.

“`Police say the value of the replica cannot be determined. The FBI and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are investigating the theft.

“`Armstrong died in 2012 at the age of 82.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims Imagineer…

July 29th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Marty Sklar was a right-hand person of Walt Disney,  and central figure in the  development and expansion of company theme parks around the world. His footprint includes the original Disneyland in Southern California in 1955, to the Shanghai Disney Resort, last year, and was revered by employees as a living link to the founder.

“`Sklar was still a college student at UCLA when he was hired to create The Disneyland News for the original park, and became a full-time Disney employee the following year. For the next 54 years, he led the development and expansion of the company’s parks, and was among the first to have a Disney title of  Imagineer when he became the company’s chief creative leader for theme parks.

“`Sklar scripted speeches for Walt, along with design and marketing materials for the parks, and a film showing Disney’s vision for Walt Disney World and Epcot in Florida before they were built. He was a low-key and unimposing figure who condensed Walt Disney’s ideas into widely circulated creed called Mickey’s Ten Commandments. He had a hand in the design of memorable Magic Kingdom attractions such as The Enchanted Tiki Room, It’s a Small World, and Space Mountain. When the company re-imagined Disneyland’s Tomorrowland in 1998, he explained the company’s constant intent to forge forward.

“`Sklar retired in 2009, but was still a frequent presence and ambassador at Disney events, including the company’s D23 Expo earlier this month.

“`Marty Sklar (above) was 83.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Spielberg Documentary on HBO…

July 28th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Documentary filmmaker Susan Lacy has spent over 30 hours interviewing the finest filmmaker of our generation for Spielberg, which premieres on October 7th on HBO. Lacy expected  4 interviews with the traditionally private Steven Spielberg; but, they ended up meeting 17 times. Lacy created and produced  American Masters on PBS for decades.

“`Lacy also met with Spielberg’s parents and sister,  as well as, scores of collaborators,  including Matt Damon, Daniel Day-Lewis, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Tom Cruise, and Martin Scorsese. The most compelling item about Spielberg to his colleagues is his knowledge and enthusiasm for the medium.  His movies often pay homage to classic filmmakers he has admired, such as William Wyler and John Ford.

“`For example, the decision to make Schindler’s List, his personal story of The Holocaust, didn’t come out of any kind of focus group. It was something he simply needed to produce. Spielberg won his first director Oscar for the 1994 film; also named Best Picture.

“`His least favorite film he made… Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. His biggest flop… 1941. And finally, Steven has given his approval after viewing the new documentary.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Voice Legend is Gone…

July 27th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`June Foray was an iconic voice actor, who was best known as the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel, Lucifer from Disney’s Cinderella, and Cindy Lou Who, among others. Her career encompassed radio, theatrical shorts, features, television, recorded albums  (particularly with Stan Freberg), video games, talking toys, and other media. She was often compared to her male counterpart, Mel Blanc.

“`Foray starred in her own radio series, Lady Make Believe, in the late 1930s. She became a popular voice actress, with regular appearances on coast-to-coast network programs, including Lux Radio Theater and The Jimmy Durante Show. During the 1940s, she began film work, including a few roles in live action productions; but mostly doing voiceovers for animation. She worked for Walt Disney, Walter Lantz, Chuck Jones, and Hanna-Barbera.

“`By the time television became popular, June Foray played a variety of characters on The Flinstones,  The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, and Tom and Jerry. After Mattel hired June to voice the popular Chatty Cathy, Rod Serling cast her as Talking Tina in a teriffic episode of The Twilight Zone. A role she regrettably lost — Betty Rubble on The Flinstones, which went to Bea Benaderet.

“`For Jay Ward, Foray performed nearly every female character in the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, including Natasha; and in  Fractured Flickers. June was also memorable as Ursula in the George of the Jungle cartoon program. Her voice appeared in the movie, Jaws.

“`She is credited with coming up with the notion of the Annie Awards in 1972, having noted that there had been no awards to celebrate the field of animation.  In 1988, she was awarded the  Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award. Her most lasting legacy might be a tireless campaign to get the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to include an Oscar category for Best Animated Feature, which they finally did in 2011.

“`In 2012, June finally received her first Emmy nomination, and actually won in the category of Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program  for her performance as  Mrs. Cauldron on The Garfield Show; becoming at age 94, the oldest entertainer to be nominated for, and to win, a television statuette.  In 2013, Foray was honored with a Governors Award at the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

“`The legendary June Foray was 99.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sinatra Spouse Has Died…

July 26th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Barbara Sinatra was the fourth wife of legendary singer Frank Sinatra, and a prominent children’s advocate and philanthropist who raised millions to help abused youngsters. She met Francis Albert through her second husband,  Zeppo Marx; the youngest of The Marx Brothers. Barbara’s interest with Sinatra date back to her teenage years in Wichita,  when she heard him croon on the radio.                         FRANK / BARBARA SINATRA —>

“`A former model and Las Vegas showgirl, Barbara Sinatra was a prominent Palm Springs socialite,  before she wed  Ole Blue Eyes in 1976; he was 60, and she was 49.  They remained married for 22 years, until his passing at 82 in 1998. It was a most enduring union for both.  Sinatra had previously been wed to Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow.

 

“`With her husband’s support, she founded the nonprofit center in 1986 near Palm Springs, to provide therapy, and other support, to young victims of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. The Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center is located in Rancho Mirage, within the Eisenhower Medical Center campus, next to the Betty Ford Center. The couple played a prominent role at the children’s center. She remained active, until recently; raising capital, and dropping by to make sure all children were provided for. To date, almost 20,000 kids have been treated at the center.

“`Barbara Sinatra was 90.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Mad About the Pink…

July 25th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`I had the chance to visit Jackie Goldberg, aka the Pink Lady, recently. She is an 84-years young advocate for the causes, such as veteran’s affairs and support for age-related issues. Her work includes the creation of Senior Star Power, which highlights 60+ performers, who have appeared on screen and television. Jackie’s pals include Margaret O’Brien and George Chakiris.

“`Through the Celebrating Act 2 network, we were able to visit Jackie and she gave us a complete tour of her kitschy Pink Lady home. I also conducted a taped interview. We learn that she is an actor, author, motivational speaker, and tireless supporter of her causes.

“`Her mantra is Get up, get out, and get a life; and It ain’t over until I say it’s over!

Until next time>                              “never forget”