“Forgotten Hollywood”- Golden Day For Marsha Hunt…

October 16th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Another actor of Hollywood’s Golden Age has reached a rare milestone. Marsha Hunt is turning 100 on Tuesday. She joins Olivia de Havilland and Kirk Douglas with their recent celebrations.

“`Her career was spent at Paramount Pictures and MGM. She had noted performances in  Pride and Prejudice, Blossoms in the Dust, Panama Hattie,  The Human Comedy, and  Smash-Up the Story of a Woman. Marsha did a screen test to portray  Melanie in Gone with the Windand almost got the part before de Havilland was chosen.   MARSHA HUNT –>

“`Hunt had joined a number of filmmakers,  including John Huston, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Danny Kaye to protest the actions of the House Un-American Activities Committee. She was blacklisted by Hollywood film studio executives in the 1950s during the McCarthy Era. She was named a potential Communist sympathizer (along with 151 other actors, writers, and directors) in the anti-Communist publication — Red Channels. During this time, Hunt worked on stage.

“`In her later years, Hunt became active in progressive causes, such as ending global poverty, supporting same-sex marriage, raising the awareness of climate change, and promoting peace in Third World countries. As mayor of Sherman Oaks, she raised funds for the creation of Rose Cottage, a day care shelter for homeless children; and served for years on the Advisory Board of Directors for the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center,  a large non-profit that advocates for adults and children affected by homelessness and mental illness.

“`On a personal note, I am pleased to have met Ms. Hunt on several occasions. I found her to be delightful, and very down-to-earth, considering her screen-legend status.

“`Happy birthday to the unwavering Marsha Hunt.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Trail Honors Man in Black…

October 15th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`The California city of Folsom has completed a second section of its  Johnny Cash Trail that pays tribute to the country music icon, and his 1968 album, At Folsom Prison. Cash’s daughter Cindy Cash gave an emotional speech as she cut the ribbon at this weekend’s event,  which included a festival, fun runs, and community bike ride.                               JOHNNY CASH –>

“`The initial section of  2.5-mile trail opened three years ago. The second phase completes a bike section of the trail,  which traverses prison property, and links to other trails in the area. The Sacramento Bee reports that Folsom still plans to install large pieces of art that will tell Johnny Cash’s story. His career was recently chronicled in the 2005 movie, Walk the Line. It starred Joaquin Phoenix as the Man in Black.

“`Cindy Cash choked up as she spoke of her father’s humble nature, and how honored he would have been by the event.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Good Grief…

October 12th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The home of  Peanuts creator Charles Schulz burned to the ground in this week’s deadly Northern California wildfires. Thankfully, his widow escaped the blaze. Schulz built the West Coast split-level home in the 1970s, and the cartoonist lived there until his death in 2000.

                    CHARLES M. SCHULZ     SNOOPY

“`Schulz usually worked at an outside studio,  and most original artwork and memorabilia are at the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, which escaped the flames.  Jean Schulz is the current president of the board of directors, created two years after the cartoonist’s passing.

“`Schulz had long ties to Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. The Santa Rosa airport is officially named the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport, and features bronze sculptures of the Peanuts characters. Its logo is Snoopy flying on top of his doghouse; the Sopwith Camel.

“`Fires in the Northern California wine country have killed at least 40 people, since they began on Sunday, and wiped out thousands of homes and structures, including wineries, resorts, and whole neighborhoods. Prayers to the victims and the first-responders affected by the blaze.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Golden Age of Teleplay…

October 10th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Bob Schiller was a comedic writer, whose credits reach back to television’s infancy, including I Love Lucy; and later, Maude, All in the Family, and The Carol Burnett Show. He began penning for the small screen in 1950; and three years later, he formed a partnership with Bob Weiskopf, with whom he collaborated for nearly a half-century.

“`They successfully collaborated for sitcoms such as The Jimmy Durante ShowDecember Bride,  The Bob Cummings ShowMake Room For Daddy, and The Ann Sothern Show. Their partnership continued through the 1960s and 1970s with such programs as Lucille Ball’s follow-up comedy, The Lucy Show, The Red Skelton Hour, Flip Wilson’s variety show, Flip, and Archie Bunker’s Place. They shared two Emmy Awards over their collaborative career.

“`Raised in Los Angeles, Schiller attended UCLA, where he wrote a humorous column for the school newspaper. He was drafted into the Army in 1940, and produced variety shows for the troops. After the war, Schiller took a job with Rogers & Cowan public relations agency.

“`His initial work after teaming up with Weiskopf was a radio script for Our Miss Brooks. Schiller additionally wrote for classic radio, including Abbott and Costello,  Duffy’s Tavern,  The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and The Mel Blanc Show.

“`Schiller and Weiskopf were honored with a pair of Peabody Awards, a Golden Globe, and  Writers Guild of America Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Achievement.                          BOB SCHILLER —>

“`Bob Schiller was 98.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Dracula With a Live Score…

October 7th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`On Halloween weekend, see the 1931 horror classic, Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi on the big screen,  accompanied by a live performance of the film’s hypnotic instrumental score by legendary composer and pianist Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet.

“`Considered to be one of the most influential composers ever to work in movies, Glass has reinvented the relationship between music and moving image. Rather than simply providing music as an accompaniment to an otherwise finished production,  Philip considers music an essential narrative force,  and he has worked as a true collaborator with directors, including Martin Scorcese,  Peter Weir, and Stephen Daldry, among many others; conceptualizing the score from initial stages of the film, and then, sharing in the editing process. The composer saw the potential of his scores to be played live in concert. These events are a synthesis of music concert and movie screening; the merge creates an intense performance experience. Glass has also brought a new life to vintage cinematic classics, reinventing these legendary films for a new live context.

“`Glass composed the intense and sweeping Dracula score for the Kronos Quartet, when he was asked by Universal to create a score for this early talkie. Appearing together live along with an original horror classic shown in its entirety, Glass and Kronos perform a concert with one of the most atmospheric scores Philip Glass has ever written.

“`The screenings are scheduled for October 28th at 7:30p; and October 29th at 2p.  This is a co-presentation of Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Court Disability Ruling…

October 6th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Federal disability law require movie theaters to provide specialized interpreters for patrons who are deaf and blind, based on a ruling made by an appeals court. The Philadelphia-based 3rd United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Cinemark, the nation’s third-largest movie chain, in a case involving a Pennsylvania man who wanted to see the 2014 film, Gone Girl, and asked a Cinemark theater in Pittsburgh to supply a tactile interpreter. The theater denied his request.

“`The plaintiff, Paul McGann, is a cinema enthusiast who interprets  American Sign Language through touch. He uses the method of tactile interpretation, which involves placing his hands over the hands of an interpreter,  who use sign language to describe a film’s action, dialogue, and even, audience reaction. The Federal Appeals Court have ruled that tactile interpretation is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires that public accommodations furnish auxiliary aids and services to patrons with vision, hearing, and speech disabilities.

“`Cinemark can still argue that providing the interpreters might present an undue burden, an exception to the disability law that takes into account the cost of the accommodation,  and the business’ ability to pay for it.  The Appeals Court remanded the case back to a federal judge to consider that argument.

“`McGann requires the services of two interpreters. This service costs a few hundred dollars per showing. The movie chain also has said that before McGann, it’s never before received a request for a tactile interpreter.  The Plano, Texas-based chain is evaluating all legal options.  The United States Department of Justice filed documents in support of McGann.

“`Cinemark earned $257 million in 2016. Bulletins as they break…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bye Bye to Bozo…

October 5th, 2017

Manny P. here…  

“`Lots of actors have played Bozo the Clown at television stations across America. One of those actors, who played Bozo in Arkansas in the 1970s and 1980s, has died.  Gary Weir entertained kids in KATV’s studio while clad in a trademark red nose and red hair for 25 years. Bozo’s Big Top combined interaction and games with children in the audience.

“`The  Bozo show was the most successful children’s program in Little Rock television history, with an audience waiting list of more than four years. On the program, Gary coined the phrase: Rootie kazootie, Wowie kazowie; Old Bozo is your best pal.

“`Born in Russellville, Weir first made his name as a disc jockey in North Little Rock before entering television as an announcer at  KATV.  He most recently worked as a horse racing handicapper in Hot Springs.

“`Gary Weir was 75.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Visit to Studio City…

October 3rd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The Forgotten Hollywood journey is taking me to Studio City. Here are the details:

“`If you live close by, I hope you will join me!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Seal the Deal…

October 1st, 2017

Manny P here… 

“`Monty Hall was the television game show host whose long-running  Let’s Make a Deal showcased contestants in goofy costumes and mystery prizes behind doors and curtains. The daily show, which he co-created, debuted as a daytime show on NBC in 1963, and became a small screen staple; moving to ABC in 1968.  Over the next four decades, it also aired in prime time and in syndication.                MONTY HALL —>

“`Born in Manitoba, Canada, Hall initially tested his skills on radio. After moving to Manhattan,  and then to Los Angeles, he began working on a number of shows.  Hall hosted Keep TalkingCowboy Theater and Video Village. He also was hired to host the popular  Twenty-One and Strike It Rich. During the 1959–1960 season,  he became a sports analyst for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League.

“`Let’s Make a Deal’s roots could be traced from The Auctioneer, a game show Hall hosted in Toronto in the 1950s. He joined writer-producer Stefan Hatos to create Let’s Make a Deal, knowing that his experience with audience interaction would be an instant hit on television.

“`Hall was one of only three game show hosts on both Hollywood’s and  Canada’s Walks of Fame; the others being Alex Trebek and Howie Mandel. Monty spent much of his post-Deal days involved in philanthropic work.  He was always going to various telethons, and helped raise close to a billion dollars for charity in his lifetime. Hall was repeatedly honored for his charitable effort. Wards at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia were named in his honor. Monty was the 2005 recipient of a Ralph Edwards Service Award from Game Show Congress in recognition of all his charity work.

“`The genial Monty Hall, who never turned down signing an autograph, was 96.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Goodbye to Anne Jeffreys…

September 28th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Anne Jeffreys was an actress and an opera star,  best known as Marion Kerby in the 1950s television adaptation of Topper. Jeffreys co-starred with Leo G Carroll and her husband, Robert Sterling. More recently, she spent over two decades playing Amanda Barrington on General Hospital. Jeffreys appeared in over 350 episodes of the soap opera from 1984 until 2004.

“`The blonde beauty with a soprano voice began her stage career in 1940 with the New York City OperaFord Symphony, and the Los Angeles Opera Company  singing in La Boheme and Madame Butterfly. She was cast in opera, light opera, and musicals; and played the lead in a touring company of Kiss Me Kate. Jeffreys replaced Patricia Morison, the original Kate in the Broadway production. During the show’s New York run, she met Sterling, who was also starring in a New York show.  Jeffreys also toured in musical productions, such as Camelot, Bells Are Ringing, Kismet, Pal Joey, The King and I, The Sound of Music, and Follies.

“`Jeffreys made her cinematic debut at MGM in 1942 in I Married an Angel, which marked the final pairing of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. She appeared with John Wayne in Flying Tigers; Frank Sinatra in Step Lively; and made  B westerns.  She made two films in the 1940s as Tess Trueheart, girlfriend of sleuth Dick Tracy.

“`Jeffreys stayed busy on television, guest-starring on Wagon Train, Bonanza, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Love American StyleBattlestar Galactica, Falcon Crest, Vega$Fantasy Island, L.A. Law, and Baywatch.

“`The vivacious Anne Jeffreys was 94

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims a Playboy…

September 27th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Playboy founder Hugh M. Hefner was an unabashed hedonist, who revved up the sexual revolution in the 1950s, and built a multi-media empire of clubs, mansions, and television; and symbolized by women wearing bunny costumes. Hef was also an ardent supporter of classic films, American Standards, and popular culture.  Hugh M. Hefner and Playboy remained brand names worldwide.   HUGH M. HEFNER –>

“`Hefner was born in Chicago on April 9th, 1926 to devout Methodist parents. As a toddler, he began publishing a neighborhood newspaper, which he sold for a penny a copy. He spent time writing and drawing cartoons; and in middle school he began reading Esquire, a magazine of innuendo Hefner wanted Playboy to emulate. He and co-founder Eldon Sellers launched their magazine from Hefner’s kitchen in Chicago. The first issue was undated, because Hef doubted there would be a second.

“`Hefner would help slip sex out of the confines of brown wrappers, and into our mainstream conversation.  In 1953, states could legally ban contraceptives; and when the word pregnant was not allowed on I Love Lucy, Hefner published the first issue of Playboy, featuring nude photographs of Marilyn Monroe, and an editorial promise of humor, spice, and sophistication. Playboy became forbidden fruit for teens, and a bible for men with time and money, primed for the magazine’s prescribed nights of dim lights, hard drinks, soft jazz, and hidden desires. Within a year, circulation neared 200,000. After five years, it topped one million.

“`Hugh was a strong advocate of the First Amendment, Civil Rights, and reproductive issues. Censorship was inevitable. Playboy was outlawed in China, India, Saudi Arabia, and Ireland. For years, 7-Eleven stores did not sell the magazine. Retail outlets that sold Playboy made sure to stock it on a higher shelf.

“`Plus, the magazine contained more than centerfolds. Playboy serialized Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451;  and later, published fiction by John Updike, Doris Lessing, and Vladimir Nabokov.  It also featured candid interviews; from Fidel Castro, Frank Sinatra, and Marlon Brando, to presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, who confided in his article, he committed adultery in his heart. John Lennon spoke to Playboy in 1980, before he was murdered.

“`By the 1970s, the magazine had over seven million readers, and inspired raunchy imitations, such as Penthouse and Hustler. The internet reduced circulation to under three million by the 21st Century.

“`Hefner ran Playboy from elaborate mansions,  and became a flamboyant symbol of the lifestyle he espoused. For decades, he was the pipe-smoking, silk-pajama-wearing center of a constant party, with celebrities and Playboy models. Drew Barrymore, Farrah Fawcett and Linda Evans are among those who posed for the cover of the magazine.

“`Hefner was host of a television show, Playboy After Dark; and in 1960, opened a string of clubs around the world, where waitresses wore revealing costumes with bunny ears and fluffy white bunny tails. Playboy’s venues influenced culture, giving breaks to such entertainers as George Carlin, Rich Little, Mark Russell, Dick Gregory, and Redd Foxx.  Some bunnies became celebrities, including singer Deborah Harry and model Lauren Hutton, both of whom had fond memories of their time at  Playboy. One bunny was a journalist. Feminist Gloria Steinem got hired in the early 1960s, and turned her brief employment into an article for Show magazine that described the clubs as pleasure havens for men. She surmised that bunnies tended to be poorly educated, overworked, and underpaid. The last of the clubs closed in 1988.

“`An advocate for the arts,  Hef lent his name, and donated time and money to a pet project established by Michael Feinstein:  The Great American Songbook Foundation. Hugh appeared with Feinstein on PBS in a documentary promoting their collaborative effort. At the mansion, Hefner frequently screened classic movies including his favorite, Casablanca. USC currently houses the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive, comprising of over 70,000 motion picture negatives, prints, magnetic sound elements, and moving image materials in digital formats.

“`On a personal note, I visited the Playboy Mansion in 1987 to do a live radio broadcast that helped raise money for the John Tracy Clinic.  Joining me that day was actor, and fellow high school classmate, Vince Van Patten. I met Hefner, and he was in his familiar robe and slippers. He was also a complete gentleman.

“`Though he married numerous times, Hef advocated the Playboy lifestyle for his adult life. Hugh M. Hefner died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by his current flock. He was 91.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Milestone For Art Laboe…

September 26th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Art Laboe is my personal broadcast mentor, and a radio legend who has reached a special milestone. He has been playing recorded music for over 72 years, and that’s now a certified world record. Guinness Book of World Records is recognizing Art for hosting the longest weekly on-air career.

“`This was celebrated by 14 radio stations airing his syndicated show, including KDAY in Los Angeles, KOKO in Fresno, KMRJ in Palm Springs, KXEW in Tucson, and KOAS in Las Vegas. His program also can be heard online. Columnist Walter Winchell coined the term disc jockey to describe Martin Block, the host of WNEW Make Believe Ballroom in New York in 1935.

“`The previous Guinness world record-holder for most years on the  radio was Herbert The Cool Gent Kent, who was an air personality in Chicago from 1944 until his passing, last October 22nd, 2016 at age 88. But, Art holds definitive proof he spent more time on-the-air. His SAG-AFTRA  card shows he became a member in 1943; back when the union was just the American Federation of Radio Artists.

“`Laboe got his initial on-air job during World War II at  KSAN-AM in San Francisco while serving in the Navy.  He studied radio technology, and had already received a first-class FCC license. The Navy assigned Laboe as a radio engineer with  Pan Am,  which was sending military payloads from the Bay Area to Hawaii. That job enabled Laboe to live off-base. He used his free evenings to work at KSAN from 9p to 12a, until the Navy sent him to Florida in 1944.               ART LABOE –>

“`Laboe has a slew of other honors. His recorded voice is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with other famous disc jockeys. He is also along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.

“`Art’s legacy in radio history:  The term oldies but goodies, which he used to describe his compilation albums of 1950s and 1960s music; and for creation of on-air dedications from radio listeners.

“`Congratulations to my dearest friend… my inspiration… the actual reason for my career in broadcasting… The one-and-only Art Laboe!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Supreme Court Precedent…

September 24th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`When the National Anthem is played… I always proudly stand with my hand to my heart. And, I always will. I respect the American Flag, and military troops who gave their lives for this country during war and disaster.

“`That said…

`

“`This decision holding that the  Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (you know… the amendment before a cherished Second Amendment) protected students from being forced to salute the American Flag in schools.  The Supreme Court’s 6 – 3 decision delivered by Justice Robert H. Jackson is remembered for its forceful defense of free speech and constitutional rights beyond a reach of majorities and officials.

A uniquely American concept… It’s called a Legal Precedent

“`Can we move on from this artificial argument. It distracts all of us from real-world issues, including a North Korean leader who is lobbing missiles ever closer across the Pacific; and a humanitarian crises in Puerto Rico.

“`Just sayin’…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Leonard Bernstein at 100…

September 23rd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The Leonard Bernstein Office in New York has announced it will celebrate the career of the late cultural icon, Leonard Bernstein, over a two-year global celebration that will feature more than 1,000 events on 6 different continents. The Leonard Bernstein at 100 celebration will kick off at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

“`Events will take place throughout the United States, and in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Rome, Budapest,  Warsaw, Japan, China, India, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and Israel. His musicals will also be revived throughout the world, including international tours; with two different productions of  West Side Story, and productions of Wonderful Town (which was the basis for the cinematic On the Town) in Germany and Austria.

LEONARD BERNSTEIN

“`Following the launch of Leonard Bernstein at 100 in D.C., the New York Philharmonic will present its own centennial celebration in October. The Philadelphia Orchestra will also perform his Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront and  Symphonic Dances from West Side Story at Carnegie Hall.

“`Exhibitions are planned in multiple cities, including the previously announced event at the Grammy Museum in D.C.  that will feature over 150 photographs, correspondence, scores, costumes, personal items, and cinema, as well as multi-media presentations and interactive displays. Following the Kennedy Center, this exhibition will move on to venues in Chicago, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Portland, and Tulsa. Additionally, the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philly will open Leonard Bernstein:  The Power of Music.

“`There are plenty of opportunities to celebrate this great composer of the 20th Century.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Super Cut…

September 21st, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Back when director’s cuts of cinema were never released for public consumption, a Richard Donner Superman production was uniquely re-distributed for broadcast on television. It was February, 1982, and ABC aired a two-evening special of Superman:  The Movie; the never-before-seen version of the original theatrical flick  (nearly 40 minutes longer). It would re-air on KCOP-13 in 1994.

“`The three-hour version gave viewers extended views of Krypton before its destruction, extra time in Smallville, and more of John Williams’ memorable soundtrack; plus, a definitive look of Christopher Reeves in action as the Man of Steel.  Since ABC’s broadcast, some of the footage included in the extended director’s cut has been added into other releases of Superman:  The Movie as deleted scenes.  However, the 188-minute version that aired in 1982 has never been officially released.

“`Until now… Decades after its premiere on the small screen, this particular cut is finally being released on Blu-rayWarner Brothers’ Archive Collection has unveiled plans for a brand-new re-master of the extended cut as part of a two-movie collection that will also include Donner’s definitive director’s cut of the film from 2000.  It also includes special features, such as screen tests and documentaries spotlighting the development of a memorable superhero franchise.

“`No release date for the collection has been confirmed.

Until next time>                               “never forget”