“Forgotten Hollywood”- Harry Dean Stanton’s Stellar Career…

September 16th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Harry Dean Stanton was a gaunt character actor with a perfect deadpan delivery.  He was also a prolific performer that shined in memorable productions. He appeared in more than 200 films and television shows in a career dating back to the 1950s. His friends included Jack Nicholson, Kris Kristofferson, Rob Lowe, and Emilio Estevez. Nicholson often paid subtle homage to Stanton in many of his motion pictures.                  HARRY DEAN STANTON —>

“`Stanton was a Kentucky native who became immersed in cinema after watching Humphrey Bogart flicks at a local theater.  After serving in the Navy during World War II, he spent three years at the University of Kentucky, and appeared in several plays. Determined to make it in Hollywood, he picked tobacco to earn money to travel West. Three years at the Pasadena Playhouse prepared him for television and movies.

“`Known for taking any available part, including roles in little-seen work, Stanton eventually was hired by Martin Scorsese, John Huston, David Lynch, and Alfred Hitchcock. Never a star, he was always recognizable in even the smallest appearance. His litany of work include The Wrong Man, Pork Chop Hill, How the West Was Won, In the Heat of the Night, Cool Hand Luke, Kelly’s Heroes, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Farewell My LovelyAlien, The Godfather Part II, DillingerThe Missouri Breaks, Private Benjamin, Repo Man, The Last Temptation of ChristPretty in Pink  (my personal favorite performance), The Green Mile, and A Civil Action.

“`A staple during Television’s Golden Age, he appeared eight times on Gunsmoke, and in Inner Sanctum, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Zane Grey Theater, Bat Masterson, The Rifleman, Walt Disney Presents, Laramie, Have Gun Will Travel, The Fugitive, Rawhide,  Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Untouchables, Bonanza, The Big Valley, Daniel Boone, The High Chaparral, The Wild Wild West, The Guns of Will Sonnett, Adam-12The Andy Griffith Show, The Virginian, The Name of the Game, Mannix, Combat!Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, Two and a Half Men, Laverne and Shirley, Petticoat Junction, and Twin Peaks.

“`As an adult, he fronted his own band for years, playing western, Mexican, rock, and pop standards in small venues around the San Fernando Valley. He sang and played guitar and harmonica in impromptu sessions with friends; performed a song in Paris Texas (his only starring role); and once recorded a duet with Bob Dylan.

“`Stanton never married, although he shared a lengthy relationship with actress Rebecca De Mornay. Roger Ebert once observed that no movie with Stanton in a supporting role can be altogether bad… I completely agree.

“`A frequent on-screen schnook, he was always a classy professional in his craft. Harry Dean Stanton was 91.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Holbrook to Retire as Mark Twain…

September 14th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Hal Holbrook, who created his signature one-man show Mark Twain Tonight! in 1954,  announced he’s retiring the role. Holbrook has been portraying the beloved scribe and humorist for six decades, longer than Samuel Clemens actually created the pen name.

“`Over the course of an acclaimed career, Holbrook earned four Emmys  and received an Oscar nod  (Best Supporting Actor) for his performance in Into the Wild in 2007. Hal also won a Tony Award in 1966 for Best Actor in a Play for Mark Twain Tonight! He also earned a 1967 Emmy nomination for the CBS broadcast of his portrayal of Twain.

“`Holbrook, who turned 92 in February, intends to carry on with his screen career, which has continued steadily since the 1950s. He had memorable roles in All the Presidents Men and Lincoln.

“`In a letter, Hal Holbrook wrote:

I plan to keep working in film and television with anyone who will have me.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Death of a Good Fella…

September 13th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Frank Vincent was an actor that portrayed prominent roles, in the HBO series The Sopranos, and in several acclaimed films for director Martin Scorsese — Casino, Goodfellas, and Raging Bull. He also had small parts in two Spike Lee movies in 1989 and 1991 respectively — Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever.

“`As an ensemble player of the drums, trumpet, and piano, Vincent originally aspired to a career in music. But, he turned to acting in 1976, when co-starring in the low-budget gangster film  The Death Collector, along with Joe Pesci,  where they were discovered by Robert De Niro.  He told Scorsese about both Vincent and Pesci. They became part of Scorsese’s players.

“`Another movie for which he appeared include The Pope of Greenwich Village; and on the small screen in  Law and Order, Walker Texas Ranger, Cosby, and NYPD Blue. He would also become a session drummer for such singers as Paul Anka,  Del Shannon, Trini Lopez, and The Belmonts between roles. In 1999, he received an Italian American Entertainer of the Year award.

“`Frank Vincent (above) was 80.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Goodbye to Disney’s Big “X”…

September 11th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Xavier Atencio was an animator behind early Disney feature films, including Pinocchio and Fantasia;  plus an imagineer behind iconic Disneyland rides like the Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. He wrote the lyrics to Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me) and Grim Grinning Ghosts.

“`He served as a photo interpreter in the Army Air Forces reaching the rank of captain in the 2nd Photo Tech Squadron. Stationed in England, he was the member of a troop that analyzed military intelligence aerial surveillance for the Allies.

“` Atencio saw his effort on the big screen in two 1940 productions, when he helped bring Pinocchio to life, and worked on Fantasia; before leaving to serve in World War II. Xavier later designed stop-motion sequences for Disney’s The Parent Trap and Mary Poppins.

“`He contributed to various theme park attractions, writing the script for Adventure Thru Inner Space; and helped design the Railroad’s Primeval World diorama segment. His voice could also be heard on the Submarine Voyage and in The Haunted Mansion.  He retired in 1984, and was named a Disney Legend in 1996.

“`Xavier X Atencio was 98.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Conversations Chronicled…

September 7th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`A new stage play based on long-lost recordings of personal conversations between pop artist Andy Warhol and author Truman Capote will make its world premiere over the weekend. These chats were meant to be chronicled, WARHOLCAPOTE is stitched together from over 80 hours worth of real-life dialogue between the two American icons.

                                  TRUMAN CAPOTE                     ANDY WARHOL

“`Warhol and Capote were close pals, and in the late 1970s, they recorded dozens of hours of conversations that they intended to create a Broadway play. However, they moved on to other projects; the audiotapes were forgotten; and both men died in the 1980s.

“`Award-winning director Rob Roth feels like he’s completed unfinished art. WARHOLCAPOTE premieres Sunday at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It runs through October 13th.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Honorary Oscar For the Donald…

September 6th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced that Donald Sutherland is among the recipients of an honorary Oscar at the 2017 Governors Awards ceremony. The actor has never  received a nomination for a competitive statuette.  The Sutherland family is part of Hollywood royalty that traverses the second half of the 20th Century. His son is Kiefer Sutherland

“`Sutherland appeared in over 140 movies, and many were top productions.  Over his long career, he was cast in horror flicks starring Christopher Lee.  Sutherland transitioned into fine motion pictures, such as The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H, Klute, Kellys Heroes, Start the Revolution without Me, Animal House, a 1970s remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Ordinary People, Backdraft, A Time to Kill, JFKCold Mountain,  Space Cowboys, and The Hunger Games series. The honorary Oscar compliments an Emmy and two Golden Globes he has earned.

“`In 2016, Donald Sutherland (above) was a member of the main competition jury of the Cannes Film Festival.

“`The 9th Annual Governors Awards gala is set for November 11th at the Ray Dolby Ballroom, just upstairs from the Dolby Theatre,  where the 90th Academy Awards will be presented on March 4th, 2018. Congratulations to the versatile Donald Sutherland for this accolade that honors the body of his work.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Everyman of Comedy…

September 1st, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Shelley Berman won gold records and appeared on top television shows in the 1950s and 1960s, delivering wry monologues about the annoyance of everyday life. He was a pioneer of a brand of comedy that helped pave the way for Bob Newhart, Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, and other standup comedians,  who wrote routines around the frustrations of modern living. Mike Nichols and Elaine May were early influences to his career.

“`He made the first of many appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1959. That year, he issued his first album, Inside Shelley Berman. It won a gold record, and received the first-ever Grammy Award for the Spoken Word. Two more albums achieved gold status.

“`Humor was not his first ambition. Berman trained as an actor, with the Goodman School of Drama in his native Chicago, and with prestigious actress Uta Hagen in New York.  Keeping a hectic schedule in nightclubs, Shelley fulfilled his first ambition to be an actor. He initially appeared on Broadway – The Boys Against the Girls in 1959, and A Family Affair  in 1962. He continued on stage in Where’s Charley?Damn Yankees, The Odd CoupleFiddler on the RoofPrisoner of Second Avenue, La Cage aux Folles, and Guys and Dolls.       SHELLEY BERMAN –>

“`His movie debut came in 1964 in the adaptation of Gore Vidal’s political stage drama, The Best Man, starring Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson. Other films include Divorce American Style, Teen Witch, Meet the Fockers, and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.

“`He stayed busy on television, appearing in Rawhide, The Twilight Zone, Peter Gunn, Bewitched, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Walker Texas RangerAdam-12, Friends, Emergency!, Night Court, MacGyver, L. A. Law, The King of Queens, Boston Legal, Grey’s AnatomyCSI: NY, and the latest version of Hawaii Five-0. Shelley appeared as Larry David’s aged father on Curb Your Enthusiasm, a role for which he received a 2008 Emmy Award nomination.

“`He was the first standup comedian to perform at Carnegie Hall. He also taught humor in a Master of Professional Writing program at the University of Southern California, where he was a Lecturer Emeritus.

“`Shelley Berman was 92.

Until next time>                               “never forget”