“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hello Bette…

April 19th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Bette Midler, also known as the Divine Miss M, is returning to the Tony Award-winning revival of  Hello Dolly! on July 17th. It is a six-week run that continues until August 25th.

“`Midler has lured previous co-stars David Hyde Pierce and Gavin Creel. Pierce earned a Tony nomination in the show, and Creel won a Tony.  Tickets for the reunited cast’s final shows goes on sale on April 28th.

“`This iconic role of Dolly Levi marks Midler’s return to the Broadway stage, and previously, she shattered box office records at the Shubert Theatre. She won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Midler stepped into the role last Spring, and she ended her run in mid-January. Bernadette Peters replaced her, and will now leave after the July 15th show.

“`The musical features Put On Your Sunday Clothes, Before the Parade Passes By, and So Long Dearie. It promises a divine score.

“`The national tour of Hello Dolly! kicks off in October at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, starring Tony Award-winner Betty Buckley.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Battle of the Mockingbirds…

April 18th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The creators of the Broadway production of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has filed a counter suit against the executor of the late author’s estate, which is challenging screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s adaptated work. Scott Rudin’s production company, Rudinplay, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan, asking for $10 million from Lee’s estate for threatening to close the production scheduled to open in December, and other unspecified damages.

“`Lee’s estate filed a federal lawsuit in March in Alabama, stating that Sorkin’s script wrongly alters Atticus Finch from Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Rudin is arguing that the estate has made it difficult to secure money needed to finance the pending production.


“`Rudin has insisted the play is faithful to the novel, and he seeks to have the Alabama lawsuit dismissed. Ironically, the heroic depiction of Atticus was first amended in the public eye by the controversial decision to publish Go Set a Watchman, the prequel to the iconic book that was actually released in 2015. Actor Jeff Daniels is set to play Finch in the stage version.

“`Opening night on Broadway hangs in the balance. It remains to be seen if the demise of the latest version will happen. An effort To Kill a Mockingbird… You cannot make this stuff up!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Barbara Bush’s Dignity in Death…

April 17th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Barbara Bush was a snowy-haired First Lady, whose utter lack of pretense and plainspoken manner made her more popular at times than her husband, President George Herbert Walker Bush. She was one of only two First Ladies who had a child elected as a president. The other was Abigail Adams; spouse of John Adams and a mother to John Quincy Adams. The Bush couple were wed on January 6th, 1945, and became the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history, lasting over 73 years.    BARBARA BUSH –>

“`Mrs. Bush was born Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York. She was a distant relative of President Franklin Pierce.  Her father was a publisher of McCall’s and Redbook magazines. After going to Smith College for two years, Barbara married young naval aviator George H.W. Bush. She was 19. Mrs. Bush raised five children; a sixth dying from leukemia when she was three.

“`After World War II, the Bush’s traveled to Texas oil fields to seek their fortune, and raise a family. The elder Bush began his civic journey, and he represented Houston for two terms in Congress in the 1960s and the 1970s. They made almost thirty moves before his election to the White House in 1989. Barbara kept all opinions from the public, while her partner was in office. She deviated with him on two issues; Barbara supported legal abortion, and opposed the sale of assault weapons. Promoting literacy was her passion.

“`In 1990, Mrs. Bush gave the commencement address at the all-women Wellesley College. Some protested her choice, because she was considered prominent through the achievements of her husband. Her address was ranked by a survey of scholars in 1999:  One of the Top 100 speeches of the century.

“`When her husband was defeated by Bill Clinton after the 1992 campaign, the couple’s final move was to Houston; with a summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Eight years later, Mrs. Bush stood with her spouse as their son George W. was sworn in as president. They returned when he won a second term. Unlike Mrs. Bush, Abigail Adams died in 1818, five years before John Quincy Adams was elected chief executive (and six years before his inauguration).

“`Upon retiring, the Bush couple helped raise millions for various charities, and they appeared together at events, such as Houston Astros baseball games. Over the decades, Barbara was a steadfast supporter of her sons in politics. Public schools in the Houston-area are dedicated to both. She definitely maintained 500 of a 1000 points of light in the Bush partnership.

“`President Donald Trump has ordered United States flags to be flown at half-staff. Mrs. Bush will lie in repose from noon to midnight on Friday at  St. Martin’s Episcopal Church for the public wishing to pay their respects. Private funeral services for Barbara Bush are planned for Saturday at the church in Houston, which she and her husband regularly attended, according to the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation website.

“`She will be buried near the Bush Library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station, 100 miles northwest of Houston. Their 3-year-old daughter is also interred at the site.

“`Considered the backbone of a political dynasty and a patriot, Barbara Bush was 92.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims A Couple…

April 16th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Two familiar faces from cinema and television have passed on. Here are the details:

“`Harry Anderson was a comedian best known for playing an off-the-wall judge presiding at a Manhattan court room in the television comedy series Night Court. He played Judge Harry T. Stone, a young jurist who professed his love for singer Mel Torme, actress Jean Harlow, magic tricks, and his collection of art-deco ties. After the show ended, he was cast in the lead role in the CBS sitcom Dave’s World, which was based on the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry.

“`Anderson began his career as a street performer in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Austin, among other cities. He found his way to Saturday Night Live, which led to his recurring role on Cheers. His character on the latter sitcom was most like the affable magician and actor.

“`Harry Anderson was 65


“`R. Lee Ermey was a former Marine who played hard-nosed military types such as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. The Kansas native received a Golden Globe nomination for a memorable performance. His initial film credits were as a helicopter pilot in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now; and in The Boys in Company C as a drill instructor.

“`Ermey claimed over 60 credits in movies and television. He voiced the little green army man Sarge in the  Toy Story series, and Mayor Tilman in Mississippi Burning. He also hosted the History Channel programs, Mail Call and Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey; plus, he was a board member for the National Rifle Association.

“`R. Lee Ermey was 74.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Czech Mate…

April 15th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Milos Forman was a Czech director, whose movies, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, won gobs of Academy Awards, including Best Director. The former, a 1975 production, was based on Ken Kesey’s novel about the misfit who leads mental institution inmates in a revolt against authority. It captured every major statuette at the year’s ceremony; the first since 1934’s It Happened One Night.

“`The orphan of Nazi Holocaust victims, Forman left his homeland after Communist troops invaded in 1968, and crushed the brief time of political and artistic freedom, known as the Prague Spring. He had been in Paris when the agitators stopped the movement, and never bothered to return home. He became a United States citizen in 1975.

“`Of all folks, Jimmy Durante offered the acclaimed Czech director a chance to create abroad. Later, Michael Douglas gave Forman an opportunity, hiring him to direct Cuckoo’s Nest, which Douglas was co-producing. The filmmaker worked meticulously, and spent months overseeing every aspect of production.


“`Milos returned to top form, when he released Amadeus. Based on Peter Shaffer’s play, it portrayed 18th century musical genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as a foul-mouthed man-child, with lesser composer Salieri as his jealous nemesis. It won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.

“`In between, the director created a cinematic version of Hair; and Ragtime, which featured James Cagney’s final screen appearance. After Amadeus, Milos made Valmont, The People vs. Larry Flynt, and The Man on the Moon, which was an Andy Kaufman biopic.

“`Forman received the 5th  Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award in 2006, presented by the Prague Society and Global Panel Foundation. Milos also was given a Doctor of Humane Letters by Columbia University. In his hometown, there is a cinema bearing his name – Kino Miloše Formana (Cinema of Miloš Forman).

“`Citizen of the world, Milos Forman (above) was 86.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Wag the Dog…

April 14th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`spin doctor and a Hollywood producer fabricate a war to distract citizens from a presidential sex scandal.  Something from the pages of today’s headlines?  Actually, I reference a 1997 production that starred Dustin Hoffman, Willie Nelson, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Kirsten Dunst and Woody Harrelson.

“`Directed by Barry Levinson, and nominated for two Oscars, Wag the Dog chronicles the directive of a fictional conflict in Albania, hoping the media will concentrate on this, instead of an  Oval Office transgression involving an unnamed President and an underage girl.  This artificial hostility, complete with a patriotic country theme song and fake footage, is designed to rally the vox populi. The contrived hoax is initially successful, with the President quickly gaining ground in the polls.

“`Critic Roger Ebert would offer this analysis:

The work is a satire that contains just enough realistic ballast to be teasingly plausible; like Dr. Strangelove, it makes you laugh, and then it makes you wonder.

“`Levinson’s movie is at the forefront of our political discourse. Pundits have drawn a number of comparisons between the movie’s plot and recent strikes on Syria airfields as a distraction from ongoing reports of a stormy tryst involving an adult film star, and alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign and election.

“`When cinema and modern history intersect, the Hollywood-and-Vine metaphoric referral is quite appropriate.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- It’s a Small Auction…

April 13th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Throughout the 1960s, Imagineer Rolly Crump brought to life Disney Theme Parks’s most iconic attractions and rides, including It’s a Small World, Enchanted Tiki Room, Adventureland Bazaar, and Haunted Mansion. Later this month, some of his original pieces goes on the block at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California.

“`The most valuable of the 400-plus lots is Crump’s original model for a clock on It’s a Small World, which could sell for $80,000, according to the auction house. The design was mocked up from Disney artist Mary Blair’s original sketch, and the result is now a permanent fixture from the boat ride attraction.

“`Other items up for grabs are Polynesian-style shield Crump sculpted for the  Enchanted Tiki Room; an original devil mock-up from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride; and a Haunted Mansion poster. A ticket for the grand opening of Disneyland in 1955 is expected to sell for as much as $5000; unfortunately, this will not allow the purchaser entry to the park. In addition to pieces created for Disney, the collection also includes Crump’s original artwork.

“`The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump auction is scheduled for April 28th, 2018.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Svengoolie or Bust…

April 12th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Rondo Hatton had a face for horror cinema. Beginning in the 1930s, this former journalist went from film extra to horror movie star. He played a monster in Universal Studios flicks,  House of Horrors and The Brute Man. Over the decade, Hatton earned cult status. Rondo was known for his facial disfigurement, a result of acromegaly; the syndrome caused from a disorder of the pituitary gland. He died in 1946 from the disease.

“`The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards are named in his honor. The trophy is a little gray bust of his head. The Rondos recently gave out this year’s statuettes.  The Shape of Water  was voted Best Movie of 2017, beating Wonder Woman, Blade Runner 2049It, and Get Out. Stranger ThingsSuspiria Blu-ray and Rue Morgue Magazine also received awards.


“`MeTV’s Svengoolie took home the trophy for Favorite Horror Host. It was his seventh time winning the award. Sven beat out runners-up Elvira and Joe Bob Briggs. Honorable mentions in this category included  Dr. Gangrene, Penny Dreadful, Count Gore De Vol, Lord Blood-RahKarlos Borloff, Bone Jangler and Son of Ghoul. Svengoolie received a record number of votes in the category.

“`Over 3,700 ballots were cast via email by the Classic Horror Film Board, the largest survey in the organization’s history.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sad Day For Comedy…

April 11th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Mitzi Shore was the pioneering owner of the Los Angeles-based club The Comedy Store, and one of the most influential persons in stand-up for more than four decades. She arrived at a moment as a huge stand-up boom was erupting with arguably more power to make or break a career of an up-and-coming comedian. Mitzi’s influence matched the impact Johnny Carson had on the genre.

“`A Wisconsin native, Mitzi Saidel took over as owner of the two-year-old club on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip in 1974 after divorcing its co-founder, comedian Sammy Shore. Just about every major comic, including Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Arsenio Hall, Roseanne Barr, Jay Leno, Chris Rock, Kathy Griffin, and Jerry Seinfeld, used the club as a stepping-stone and returned to hone their act after gaining fame. Others include Tim Allen, Louie Anderson, Sam Kinison, Bill Maher,  John Belushi, Richard Belzer, Elaine Boosler, Dennis Miller, David Brenner,  Ray Romano, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Chevy Chase, Louis CK,  Al Franken, Howie Mandel, Sinbad, Rodney Dangerfield, Rosie O’Donnell, Redd Foxx, Ellen DeGeneres, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Keaton, Sarah Silverman, Paul Rodriguez, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Margaret Cho, and The Unknown Comic. Shore provided gigs, advice, guidance, and an onsite clubhouse.

“`Mitzi essentially lived at the club through the 1970s and 1980s, and her four children were regulars, including future MTV sensation and film star, Pauly Shore. She has been in hospice, and legal documents filed acknowledged Mitzi’s affliction with Parkinson’s disease and related neurological problems. Recently, Pauly brought his mother to the club to say so long to many legion of friends and fans.

“`The Comedy Store, which takes pride in being open 365 nights a year, will be closed this evening in her honor.

“`Mitzi Shore (above) was 87

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Man Behind the Camera…

April 10th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Ralph Woolsey was an accomplished cinematographer. He’s best known for the iconic look he developed on Batman’s initial season in 1966. The bright colors, camp costumes, and sharp camera angles were like a combination of Dr. Seuss and German Expressionism films. Batman was comic books come to life. Perhaps, it remains the only superhero television show to capture the look and feel of vintage D.C. Comics.                      RALPH WOOLSEY –>

“`He began his career as a student at the  University of Minnesota, making conservation films for the state and industrials for Bell Aircraft that were used to train United States Air Force personnel during World War II. By 1950, he was teaching cinematography at USC.

“`Woolsey worked on television Westerns, such as Cheyenne and Maverick, for which he received a first Emmy nomination. Other work included 77 Sunset Strip (another Emmy nod), The Name Of The Game and the pilot of It Takes a Thief, in which he garnered a coveted Emmy Award.

         FRANK GORSHIN              ADAM WEST          BURT WARD

“`Working with creator-producer William Dozier and director Robert Butler on  Batman, many of the distinctive scenes from the first season of the pioneering program came from Woolsey’s approach. Ralph played with perspective, shooting Frank Gorshin (as The Riddler) close to the lens. The episode also featured a nifty outdoor building climb with Batman and Robin. Though not a fan of crooked camera angles to film the villains, he came to embrace the technique.

“`Woolsey switched to feature cinema in the 1970s, including work on Little Fauss and Big Halsy, The New Centurions, The Iceman Cometh, Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins, Mother Jugs and Speed, The Great Santini, and Oh God! Book II in 1980.

“`Ralph Woolsey was 104.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- No No Necco…

April 9th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`New England Confectionary Co., the candy maker behind classic treats as Necco Wafers, Sweethearts and Candy Buttons, will close its operations in May if it does not find a buyer. Necco is the oldest candy maker in the United States. Its origination dates back to 1847, when Oliver Chase created the first American candy machine. Chase’s invention gave birth to the Necco Wafer, which became the company’s signature treat.

“`Public opinion on Necco Wafers has been divided. Few liken the taste to chalk or drywall, while others consider them a nostalgic treat. That nostalgia runs deep. Necco product sales spiked by 50% after this news broke that these candies may disappear forever.

“`Consumers and sellers are stockpiling all the Necco candy they can obtain. One customer even offered to trade a 2003 Honda Accord for an online store’s entire stock of wafers. The barter was naturally rejected.

“`If the company cannot find a buyer, hundreds of jobs will be lost. The company is the largest employer in its hometown of Revere, Massachusetts. CEO Michael McGee notified the state and the mayor of Revere in March that this company may have to lay off 395 workers — a majority of its workforce — if the company is not sold to a new owner.

“`Candy fans are using the hashtag SaveNecco on social media to attempt to save the beloved treats. A campaign has previously worked for the return of the Twinkie. Not bad for the chalky drywall-like confection.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Son of the Desert…

April 8th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`A third-generation entertainer, Chuck McCann was the beloved comedian and voice-over actor. He recorded the famous line:  I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. McCann, along with Soupy Sales, Bob Keeshan, and Paul Winchell, were comedy pioneers whose early programming were geared to children. He worked on various kid’s shows, including  Captain KangarooHe also was a cinematic enthusiast and made sure the film library of Laurel and Hardy were offered to generations of viewers.  CHUCK McCANN ->

“`The comedian started his career on local New York television, before eventually branching out into television and film parts. His father also worked for CBS radio. The director noticed young McCann, and offered him a voice-over job at the age of seven. Chuck worked on New York kid programs, including The Puppet Hotel, Let’s Have Fun and The Chuck McCann Show.

“`He appeared on a popular CBS variety program The Garry Moore Show, and began to transition to network television. After moving to Los Angeles, Chuck guest-starred on The Rockford Files, The Bob Newhart ShowKojakBonanza, St. ElsewhereColumbo, One Day At a TimeLittle House On the PrairieDiff’rent StrokesMad About YouStarsky and HutchBoston Legal and the daytime soap opera Santa Barbara. McCann also appeared in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Herbie Rides Again, Foul Play; and a  few of Mel Brooks films, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

“`His persona was used in the hugely popular best-selling record, The First Family, created by Vaughn Meader, which lampooned President Kennedy’s administration. Chuck also lent his voice to animated shows like The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, DuckTalesThe Garfield Show, and  Animaniacs, among others.  The comedian was also well known for a number of ads that aired in the 1970s and 1980s. He was best remembered for his part in a series of Right Guard commercials.

“`His finest legacy may be as a founding member of the Sons of the Desert. According to its constitution:  The Sons of the Desert is an organization with scholarly overtones and heavily social undertones devoted to the loving study of the persons and cinema of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Chuck was also an avid supporter of the Hollywood Heritage Museum, and the film preservation established by Hugh M. Hefner.

“`Chuck McCann was 83.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Shakespeare Conspiracy…

April 7th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The Oxford University Press announced that Christopher Marlowe will be credited as a co-author on a number of  William Shakespeare’s works in the latest edition of the master’s complete works. It’s been a much-debated topic among many researchers, professors, and literary connoisseurs.                                   CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE –>

“`Marlowe was another playwright who penned during the Elizabethan period. Some think his reputation would have trumped Shakespeare if he had lived long enough. He was only 29 when he died. For a time, it was thought that Marlowe was Shakespeare, although the premise has long been dismissed.

“`Now, Marlowe is being credited as a co-author on the first three parts of Henry VI. Since the 18th century, these particular works have been thought to have a different scribe, or at least, a co-author working with Shakespeare. Some have suggested George Peele or Robert Greene; but, Marlowe now seems to be the best fit.

“`This announcement was based on years of research done in a couple of different studies, including an essay written by Gary Taylor of Florida State University, a contributor to the latest Oxford edition of Shakespeare’s works. New tools for analyzing text have added to a confidence in the decision to credit Marlowe.  Many experts believe up to 17 of the master’s plays contain work by other authors.

“`Nobody actually knows whether Marlowe and Shakespeare worked together in person. He may have been hired to write certain scenes, based on his strengths after William wrote the outline. Or, he may have met with Shakespeare to work out the details of the play.

“`Just because Oxford publishes it does not mean there are not any critics of the analysis. Marlowe’s involvement in writing Henry VI remains an assumption; an educated one. And, the  Oxford University Press has previously made other bold statements about unknown authorship. There are plenty of scholars who disagree. The conspiracy continues…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Beatles in Animation…

April 5th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The Beatles Yellow Submarine is returning to movie theaters this summer to mark its 50th anniversary. The film is set to screen on July 8th.

“`For the anniversary screening, Yellow Submarine was restored in 4K digital resolution, though no automated software was used in order to preserve the original, hand-drawn artwork. Instead, photo chemical elements of each frame were restored by hand.  Plus, the famous soundtrack and score were remixed in 5.1 stereo surround sound at Abbey Road Studios.

“`While this story featured The Beatles embarking on a psychedelic Pop-Art odyssey to save the undersea paradise of Pepperlandia, the band did not actually voice themselves. Instead, a quartet of actors played the Fab Four, and The Beatles only appeared in a live-action sequence that closed the film (and, of course, in the soundtrack).

“`Last summer, The Beatles Apple Corporation formed a partnership with Titan Comics to produce a comic book adaptation of Yellow SubmarineMad Magazine editor Bill Morrison was tapped to helm the project, which is expected to arrive later this year.

“`After the production was released in 1968,  it was recognized as a landmark achievement, and revolutionized the genre by integrating the freestyle approach with innovative animation techniques that defined a generation.


“`Susan Anspach was an stage and film actress. She was best known for her roles in movies during the 1970s, such as  Five Easy Pieces, Play It Again Sam, and Blume in Love. Anspach starred in several Broadway muscals, including as the female lead in Hair, and Actor’s Studio play with Al Pacino. She has starred off-Broadway in  A View from the Bridge with Robert Duvall, Jon Voight, and Dustin Hoffman.

“`Susan Anspach (right) was 75.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- House of Horrors…

April 4th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Producer Roger Corman is being sued by his sons over plans to sell his 270-title  New Horizon Pictures film library. The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, also names Corman’s spouse of 48 years and longtime producing partner, plus Shout! Factory and Ace Film, the library’s intended buyers. The transaction was announced on March 15th for an undisclosed price.

“`Roger Martin and Brian Corman claim that their parents have no rights to unload the catalog — which includes The Little Shop of Horrors — because it is property of The Pacific Trust, established in 1978 for the benefit of their four children. The sons learned that the library had a prospective new home through the media.

“`According to the complaint, they are more upset with their mom’s action than their dad’s. As Roger neared his 80th birthday, he decided to give a larger portion of the assets to his children before his death.  Their mother responded by making forceful demands to her husband that he not share personal finances with the kids. The issue was a source of conflict within the family.

“`Corman’s New World Pictures, founded in 1970, was once America’s largest independent motion picture distribution company.  Roger, who turns 92 on Thursday, received an honorary Oscar in 2009.

Until next time>                               “never forget”