“Forgotten Hollywood”- Dick Van Dyke Loves Mary Poppins…

December 21st, 2016

Manny P. here…

“`Dick Van Dyke has agreed to appear in a Mary Poppins update. The cast includes Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Meryl Streep, and Hamilton creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Filming is already underway in London, with the finished production expected to hit theaters in 2018, during the holidays. Mary Poppins Returns is directed by Rob Marshall. Emily Blunt stars as the nanny.

“`Van Dyke is slated to be cast as a banker, and may also sing. Plus, the 91-year-old is slated to dance. The legendary comedian appeared as chimney sweeper Bert in the 1964 original. He has hinted that Julie Andrews may also have a cameo role.

“`According to a Disney spokesperson, this script draws from P.L. Travers popular children’s books series. Poppins is returning 20 years later to re-visit the Banks Family in Depression-era London. New songs will be composed with the blessing of Richard Sherman, who penned some of the original iconic tunes.

“`Dick Van Dyke (right) recently appeared in supporting roles in the Night at the Museum series of films. Recipient of five Emmys, Tony, and a Grammy, Van Dyke was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. He received the Screen Actors Guild’s highest honor:  SAG Life Achievement Award. He has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; and was designated a Disney Legend by the Disney organization.

“`Van Dyke recently revealed he has no plans to retire; good news for his fans.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Marilyn Workout…

December 20th, 2016

Manny P. here…

“`Marilyn Monroe became world-famous for her figure. But, it’s surprising that maintaining an alluring hourglass involved a lot of effort. Before she was cast in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Philippe Halsman photographed her for LIFE Magazine, taking a few candid shots of her daily workout routine. One snapshot of her in a white dress made it onto the cover of the April 7th, 1952 issue, while pictures of Marilyn lifting weights in a terry-cloth bikini top were left on the cutting room floor, and have rarely been seen. At the time of the photo shoot, Marilyn Monroe (below) wasn’t yet a household name.

   

“`The black-and-white photographs depict a very-serious Marilyn performing military presses and squats with a bar; and bench-pressing small weights. She detailed her regimen, later that year, in a September interview with the now-defunct Pageant Magazine. Monroe explained that she spent 10 minutes every morning practicing bust-firming exercises with small weights. But, she maintained she wasn’t a fitness-freak.

      

“`She cracked a smile mid-handstand, and gave a come-hither look after her workout, while relaxing on the floor. The backdrop of her modest apartment on the outskirts of Los Angeles spoke to Marilyn Monroe’s very-real effort in becoming a major motion picture star.

“`Va-Va-Voom!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Holy Villainous Etchings, Batman!

December 19th, 2016

Manny P. here…

“`The actor who portrayed Batman in the 1960s television program is selling paintings he has created of villains from the show at an art gallery in the central Idaho resort town of Ketchum, near where he now lives. The opening night of Criminals on Canvas will be this Wednesday at the Gilman Contemporary Art Gallery, and West is scheduled to attend.

“`Over the last 50 years, West has been busy with art. The actor is now ready to share the fruits of his labor. The gala also features new prints of various characters from the original Batman  series. Plus, the attendees will even have an opportunit to purchase some of the actor’s art that evening. Each piece is a part of a limited edition of 100 prints, and sells for $500.

“`Fans are definitely glad to hear West has not abandoned his Gotham City roots. The actor’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne is part of the campy series that was a popular live-action adaptation of the DC Comics hero. West’s deadpan portrayal of the hero seared the Caped Crusader into the national consciousness as he battled Catwoman, Penguin, Joker, and Riddler. These days, Batman has become a household name. Warner Brothers continues to develop the franchise into films and an animated series.

“`West has kept a good number of his pieces out of circulation; but, the actor says his artwork is absurd, and even satirical. It remains to be seen if it will also be profitable for the artist.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bye Bye to Zsa Zsa…

December 18th, 2016

Manny P. here…

“`Zsa Zsa Gabor was a legendary Hungarian actress and a Hollywood icon, who became a socialite along with her sister Eva. She began her stage career in Vienna, and was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936. She was married nine times, including to George Sanders and hotel magnate Conrad Hilton. Zsa Zsa Gabor —>  emigrated to the United States in 1941, and became a starlet with European style; a witty personality that epitomized exotic glamour… dah-ling.

“`Described by director John Huston as a serviceable actor, she had roles in Moulin Rouge, Lili, Touch of Evil, Road to Hong Kong, and Pepe. On the small screen, Gabor flourished: A frequent guest on The Merv Griffin Show. She was also a panelist on What’s My Line?; and guest-starred on The Red Skelton Show, The Life of Riley, Make Room for Daddy, Burke’s Law, Bonanza, Mr. Ed, F-TroopMy Three SonsRowan & Martin’s Laugh In, Gilligan’s IslandBatmanNight GalleryThe Fresh Prince of Bel-AirThe Love Boat, The Fact of Life, and Hart to Hart. In 1993, This is Your Life televised a tribute to Gabor. Zsa Zsa was humorously memorable as a spokesperson for AAMCO.

“`Ms. Gabor occasionally appeared in theatre. From 1961 to 1970, Zsa Zsa portrayed Elvira in national tours of Blithe Spirit. She made her Broadway debut in Forty Carats. Over the next decade, Gabor nationally toured in Bell Book and Candle, Arsenic and Old Lace (with Eva), and Ninotchka.

“`Zsa Zsa purchased a 8,878-square-foot Hollywood Regency-style home in Bel-Air that once belonged to Elvis Presley, and was originally built by Howard Hughes. She had a long-running feud with German actress Elke Sommer that began in 1984 when both were on Circus of the Stars, and it escalated into a multi-million dollar libel lawsuit by 1993. However, Zsa Zsa lost most of her total fortune in Bernie Madoff-related investments. Last year, her only child died.

“`Zsa Zsa invented a new kind of fame, borne out of multiple marriages, conspicuous wealth, and a jaded wisdom about the glamorous life. The great-aunt of Paris Hilton, and the spiritual matriarch to the Kardashians, Simpsons, and other tabloid faves. Gabor was a hall-of-mirrors celebrity; famous for just being famous.

“`The ubiquitous Zsa Zsa Gabor was 99.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Lincoln Center Events in 2017…

December 16th, 2016

Manny P. here…

“`The Film Society of Lincoln Center has several events lined up that are worth noting for 2017:

~ 26th Annual New York Jewish Film Festival – A fine tribute to comedy  legends – Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder – with a 50th anniversary screening on Thursday, January 19th at 6:15p of Mel Brooks’  The Producers, with a poster exhibition honoring their work. They will be on display in the Furman Gallery of Walter Reade Theater for the duration of this fest; and a video tribute running in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater of film and television clips from some of Mostel and Wilder’s best moments. NYJFF tickets are currently on sale to Film Society and Jewish Museum members; and available to the public on Thursday, December 22nd.

~ 44th Annual Chaplin Award Gala – Honoring the legendary career of two-time Oscar-winner Robert De Niro; a remarkable talent and a legendary actor, who portrayed a few of the most unique characters in film history. The event will be attended by noted presenters, and includes cinematic and interview snipets, culminating in the presentation of the Chaplin Award.

“`The Annual Gala began in 1972, with Charlie Chaplin returning from exile to accept the commendation. Since then, the award has been re-named for Chaplin. Many film industry’s most notable talents have been honored, such as Bette Davis, James Stewart, Laurence Olivier, Billy Wilder, Diane Keaton, Federico Fellini, Robert Altman, Meryl Streep, Martin Scorsese, Tom Hanks, Alfred Hitchcock, Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Sidney Poitier, Michael Douglas, Catherine Deneuve, and last year, Morgan Freeman. The Lincoln Center’s most important fundraising event, this supports the organization’s work to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the art of cinema. The upcoming gala is on May 8th at the David H. Koch Theater.

“`The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting art, and elevating the craft of cinema. The Lincoln Center shines a spotlight on the everlasting, yet, evolving importance of the moving image. This nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Loss of a Welsh Gem…

December 15th, 2016

Manny P. here…

“`Bernard Fox was a Welsh-born film and television actor, best known for bombastic roles on Bewitched and Hogan’s Heroes; and for two cinematic productions based on the most famous ocean liner mishap in history. Fox had memorable turns in A Night to Remember in 1958, and Titanic in 1997. He was sometimes cast when Terry Thomas was unavailable.

“`After his naval service in the Royal Navy during World War II, Bernard  began in earnest a six-decade career; initially in movies. His big screen credits included The Longest Day, The Million Dollar DuckBig Jake, YellowbeardStar!Herbie Goes to Monte CarloThe Mummy, and One of Our Spies is Missing.                             BERNARD FOX  —>

“`Fox prospered on the small screen, mostly in sitcoms; guest-starring in Perry MasonThe Andy Griffith ShowThe Dick Van Dyke Show, The MonkeesF-TroopMcHale’s Navy, I Dream of JeannieThe Man from U.N.C.L.E., Here Comes the Brides, M*A*S*H* and Columbo. He also appeared in Munster Go Home, a film based on the iconic television show.

“`The venerable Bernard Fox was 89.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- LOC National Film Registry 2016

December 14th, 2016

Manny P. here…

“`The Library of Congress has released its annual addition to the National Film Registry for 2016. The 1980s and 1990s are fully represented with the inclusion of The Breakfast Club, The Princess Bride, Thelma & Louise, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Lion King, and Rushmore. These are worthy selections that could have been chosen decades from now. My personal interest lies in classic cinema that made this year’s class. They include:

~ STEAMBOAT BILL JR. (1928) – Buster Keaton was an ingenious craftsman. This flick is remembered for its breath-taking stunts and cyclone finale. After making the movie, the actor made a disastrous move to MGM, which ended his productive career. His fame rests on his array of work from 1920 to 1928 when, with shorts and features, he displayed a seamless mastery of comic technique, editing, superb photoplay, and intricately visual gags.

~ LOST HORIZON (1937) – Frank Capra’s big-budget, romantic fantasy delivered an emotional respite for a public that sought escape from the Great Depression, and yearned for personal utopias. Through literature and celluloid, Shangri-La became a household term. A grandiose adventure, this motion picture stands out for stunning cinematography and extravagant sets; a hallmark of  Hollywood’s Golden Age. Plus, it features the handsome Ronald Colman.

~ BALL OF FIRE (1941) – In this Howard Hawks-directed screwball comedy, Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck really shine, with able support by character actors, which included Dana Andrews, S.Z. Sakall, Henry Travers, Allen Jenkins, and Dan Duryea. It oozes with colorful period slang and boogie-woogie riffs, highlighted by an energetic performance from legendary drummer, Gene Krupa. This production mirrored a mood of a pre-World War II citizenry. The Billy Wilder-Charles Brackett script is kind of a swing-era adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

~ BLACKBOARD JUNGLE (1955) – The landmark motion picture that coincided with the rise in popularity of Elvis Presley and rock n roll. The film titles opened to the strains of Rock Around the Clock. It starred Glenn Ford, and made stars of Sidney Poitier and Vic Morrow. This movie had none of the subtlety of the cinema made by Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and James Dean; but, all of the reality and grit.

~ EAST OF EDEN (1955) – Speaking of Dean, his career exploded for 18 months before his tragic death due to a car accident. He starred in just three pictures, and his first was this brooding drama. Jo Van Fleet garnered an Oscar for her startling performance in support. It was a great year for the actress, as she also co-starred in The Rose Tattoo and I’ll Cry Tomorrow. James Dean received the first of two Oscar nods.

~ THE BIRDS (1963) – It’s the seventh title added to the National Film Registry from the work of director Alfred Hitchcock. This was his followup production after Psycho. Starring Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, and Suzanne Pleshette, this is widely considered the last important movie made by Hitch. Despite its confusing ending, the master of suspense delivers his usual chills. His promotion in theaters for the film are now considered legendary.

~ POINT BLANK (1967) – A neo-noir crime movie directed by John Boorman, it starred Lee Marvin and  Angie Dickinson. This flick was not a box office success in 1967; but, it has since gone on to become a cult classic, eliciting praise from such critics as film historian David Thomson. A forgotten movie that helped usher in the new wave of modern dramas that included Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate.

~ FUNNY GIRL (1968) – The musical autobiography of Fannie Brice earned its star, Barbra Streisand, an Academy Award (she tied with Katharine Hepburn). Upon receiving her statuette, Streisand famously proclaimed — Hello gorgeous! This movie was adapted from the 1964 Broadway production, and it features an infectious score and award-winning numbers, such as Second Hand Rose and People. It was Streisand’s first screen role. Omar Sharif co-starred.

“`The Library of Congress selects 25 movies for preservation, each year, for their vault in Culpeper, Virginia, because of their cultural, historic or artistic importance. This year’s picks bring the total number of films in the Registry to 700. The choices have become increasingly diverse and eclectic since the Registry was created in 1989.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Goodbye to Alan Thicke…

December 13th, 2016

Manny P. here… 

“`Alan Thicke portrayed a likable dad on the popular sitcom Growing Pains, which aired from 1985 until 1992. The show led to a number of television movies. Alan was nominated for three Emmy Awards in the 1970s as a writer for Barry Manilow’s talk show, and later, for a satirical take on this genre, in the variety show America 2-Night. His son is pop singer Robin Thicke.

“`Thicke grew up in Ontario, Canada. He became an amiable Canadian talk show host, before making his name in the United States. Norman Lear hired him to head the writing staff of Fernwood 2-Night. Early in his career, Thicke was the composer of several tunes, including the first theme to Wheel of Fortune, The Facts of Life, and Diff’rent Strokes. ALAN THICKE ->

“`Appearing in a number of minor films, Alan was prolific on the small screen; guest-starring in The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, Married with Children, How I Met Your Mother, 7th Heaven, and seven episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful. In 1988, Alan hosted the Miss USA Pageant and Miss Universe Pageant, replacing in both cases, Bob Barker. The next  year, Dick Clark took over Miss USA, while John Forsythe took over Miss Universe. Thicke co-hosted Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade with Joan Lunden for seven years, when he was succeeded by Regis Philbin.

“`Thicke was a frequent pitchman for ads on Sirius, including for Optima Tax Relief. On stage, he appeared in Chicago. In 2013, Alan was inducted along Canada’s Walk of Fame. He was on the Board of Directors for the Alan Thicke Center, which specialized in the fight and research against diabetes.

“`Alan Thicke was 69.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- In the Splash Zone…

December 12th, 2016

Manny P. here…

“`Months after SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment ended an orca-breeding program amid pressure from animal rights activists, company officials announced they’ll develop in Abu Dhabi a new SeaWorld park without orcas — the first outside the United States. The locale opens in 2022 on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island; a man-made property fast becoming a tourism and entertainment hub that is near the southeast tip of the Arabian peninsula. Willie is now free… and so is  Shamu.

“`The Abu Dhabi location will have a research, animal rescue and rehabilitation center, which will open ahead of the park, and the theme park will focus on educating visitors about ocean conservation, officials said. The two companies had been in talks since 2011 about a park in Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates.

“`SeaWorld decided to terminate its innovative program in March following a season of declining attendance, and pressure from activists after the release of the critically acclaimed Blackfish in 2013. The documentary chronicled the life of Tilikum, an orca that killed a trainer during an Orlando performance in 2010. The film implied killer whales become more aggressive while in captivity. Since the release of this documentary, SeaWorld has undergone a major shakeup, and currently, is in the middle of cost-cutting efforts. The company announced the elimination of 320 jobs across its 12 parks.

“`The Abu Dhabi location will have aquariums. But, it will also use 3-D mapping and virtual-reality technologies that immerse visitors in virtual scientific expeditions and deep-sea dives. The project is to be built and operated by the Abu Dhabi-government-backed developer, and SeaWorld will license its brand and provide expertise in animal care.

“`The project is in the early stages of design, and company officials aren’t releasing details about size, costs, or types of attractions.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- West Coast White Christmas…

December 11th, 2016

Manny P. here…

“`This looks really fun! Visit the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles for a White Christmas Sing-Along. There are two chances to experience this treat on December 23rd.

“`Gather your family and friends for this heartwarming holiday screening of a beloved 1954 musical with lyrics embedded on screen. You’ll enjoy singing along with Snow, Sisters, The Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing, and the all-time favorite, White Christmas. The cinematic classic film features Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, and Dean Jagger.

BING CROSBY  ROSEMARY CLOONEY  DANNY KAYE  VERA-ELLEN

“`Come early for holiday treats, seasonal cocktails, and photo booth fun. No children under 6 years of age will be admitted to this concert. Showtimes are at 3p and 8p. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is at 111 Grand Ave. in the heart of Downtown.

“`It’s sure to become an annual event.

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

<—- JOAN CARROLL was a child actress, best known for her roles in Meet Me in St. Louis and The Bells of St. Mary’s. She co-starred with iconic stars, including Bing Crosby, Ethel Merman, Judy Garland, Ingrid Bergman, Peter Lorre, and Margaret O’Brien.

“`Carroll developed into a flawless songstress and tap dancer at the Fanchon and Marco Dancing School in Hollywood. Her first break  was in the 1940 flick Primrose Path, playing Ginger Rogers’ young sister; and she earned a Critics Award. Later that year, Joan became an initial child star summoned from Hollywood to appear in a leading Broadway role — the Cole Porter musical, Panama Hattie.

“`Carroll evolved into RKO Radio Pictures resident juvenile personality. She decided to walk away from acting in 1945.

“`Joan Carroll was 84.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 100 Candles…

December 9th, 2016

Manny P. here… 

“`With boxing gloves in every table centerpiece, and the Rocky Theme blaring, one of Hollywood’s real legends walked into the Sunset Room at the Beverly Hills Hotel to celebrate his 100th birthday at a gathering of friends and family. Kirk Douglas —->  made a real entrance. Images from his many cinematic credits, such as Spartacus, Lust for Life, Paths of Glory, and others played on a screen behind him.

“`Flanked by Anne, his wife of 62 years, son Michael, daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta-Jones, and his grandkids, Douglas peered out over a crowd of 150 folks, including his Rabbi, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Don Rickles, and other close pals… and smiled. His physician had  promised years ago, if he lived to be 100, Kirk would get to enjoy a glass of premium vodka.

“`Charley King’s Bluebell Events oversaw the afternoon tea, where each table was designated, not by numbers, but by Kirk Douglas’ films. The birthday boy was seated at the Lonely are the Brave table, his favorite role. Michael kicked off the proceedings, saying it isn’t about age, but about what he’s accomplished. Kirk kept his remarks brief, thanking everyone for coming, and marveling at seeing most of his family in the crowd. Zeta-Jones lit twelve candles on his cake, and led the room to sing Happy Birthday with a string quartet accompaniment.

“`Rickles lightened a reverent and respectful mood, quipping to the crowd from his seat that he wanted to go home. He poked fun at Kirk Douglas’ good looks and physique. Katzenberg reflected on the generosity of the Douglas family, who are famous for their charitable giving. Steven Spielberg arrived fashionably late, and on crutches, having recently broken his foot.

“`Kirk Douglas closed the festivities by offering a toast, and downing remnants of his vodka. Here’s to a life well lived!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Godspeed John Glenn…

December 8th, 2016

Manny P. here…

“`John Glenn’s 1962 flight as the first United States astronaut to orbit the Earth made him an all-American icon, and propelled him to a long career in the United States Senate. He was the ultimate survivor of the original Mercury 7 astronauts. Political service enabled him to return to space in the shuttle Discovery at age 77 in 1998; a cosmic victory lap, and he turned it into a teachable moment about growing old. He holds the record as the oldest person in space. Glenn remains a national folk hero:  He was a combat veteran with nerves of steel; public schools, a space center, and the Columbus, Ohio airport were named after him.

“`John Herschel Glenn Jr. (above) had two major career paths that often intersected – flying and politics – and he soared in both. He was a fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, whose plane was riddled with bullets, and flew with baseball great Ted Williams during 149 combat missions. And, as a test pilot, he broke aviation records, and set the transcontinental speed record. The telegenic Marine even won $25,000 on the game show Name That Tune. That was before April 6th, 1959, when his life changed by being chosen as one of the Mercury 7 astronauts.

“`After two suborbital flights by Alan Shepard Jr. and Gus Grissom, Glenn became the initial American to orbit the Earth. At the age of 40, Glenn began his 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds in space. His ride in the cramped Friendship 7 capsule had its very scary moments, however. Sensors showed his heat shield had loosened up after three orbits. Mission Control worried he might burn up during re-entry as temps approached 3,000 degrees. Fortunately, the heat shield held. Glenn often joked that the one peer he ever envied was fellow Ohioan: Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

“`The mission also guided Glenn into politics. He addressed a joint session of Congress, and dined at the White House. He became close with President John F. Kennedy, and a friend and ally of his brother, Robert. They urged him to run for office. Glenn would eventually spend 24 years in the Senate, representing Ohio longer than any senator in the state’s storied history. He became a leading expert on nuclear weaponry, and he was the most dogged advocate of non-proliferation. The senator was the leading supporter of the B-1 Bomber. As chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, Glenn addressed excess waste and fraud in the federal bureaucracy. He announced his retirement in 1997, 35 years to the day after his memorable orbit in space. A rare setback was his failed 1984 presidential run.

“`Shortly before he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, a new generation of Americans was introduced to John Glenn with the cinematic  adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s book, The Right Stuff. He was portrayed as a straight arrow amid a group of rowdy astronauts. Glenn guest-starred in a humorous episode of Frasier, a decade later, playing himself.

“`He spent his later years at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University, which houses an archive of his private papers and photos. Glenn received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, and he was inducted into the U.S Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990. Plus, John was happily married to his bride, Annie, for 73 years.

“`John Glenn will lie in state in Ohio’s Capitol Building before a celebration of life. The public viewing and memorial service at Ohio State’s Mershon Auditorium are planned for late next week. President Obama ordered American flags flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of his internment at federal buildings, and on military ships around the world. He will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

“`The man with the right stuff… John Glenn was 95.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Harold Prince Gets His Due…

December 7th, 2016

Manny P. here… 

“`A musical celebrating the most decorated Tony Award-winner in history is making its Broadway debut next summer. The Manhattan Theatre Club has announced Prince of Broadway, which pays homage to the works of director-producer Harold Prince (right), will be presented at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

“`The production features tunes from shows that earned Harold a record 21 Tony Awards, such as Evita, The Phantom of the Opera, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Sweeney Todd, and Cabaret. Other shows Prince co-produced, produced, or directed on the stage include Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, West Side Story, CompanyA Little Night MusicA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Fiddler on the Roof, and Follies.

      

“`Prince began his career as an assistant stage manager to theatrical producer and director George Abbott. His greatest collaborator has been composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim. In 2006, Harold Prince was awarded a special Tony for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

“`Prince of Broadway debuted in Japan in 2015 with Broadway veterans, including Emily Skinner, Shuler Hensley, Ramin Karimloo, and Tony Yazbeck. This upcoming production is directed by Prince, co-directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, with new songs by Jason Robert Brown, and based on a book by David Thompson.

“`No cast has been revealed.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Another Golden Oldie…

December 5th, 2016

Manny P. here… kirk-douglas

   Kirk Douglas is turning 100 on December 9th. He will be celebrating his milestone birthday this week alongside 200 of his closest friends and family at a party hosted by his son Michael and daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta Jones. And, right by his side, his 97-year-old wife Anne.

   After serving in the Navy in World War II, Kirk got his first audition in 1946, for The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers. Douglas (right) has starred in over 90 films, such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Bad and the Beautiful, and Spartacus. He worked with Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Lana Turner, among others. Douglas also appeared in television and theater over his eight-decade career.

   He also purchased the rights to the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest early in his career, turning it into a 1963 Broadway play. Kirk starred in the production, which ran for just five months and received mixed reviews from critics. After the play closed he tried to find a producer who was interested in making a film version of the novel, but gave up after 10 years and handed over the movie rights to his son Michael. Kirk believed he was too old for the lead role at that point, which instead, went to Jack Nicholson. The film opened in 1975 to universal praise, and it cleaned up at the Academy Awards, taking home five statuettes, including Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture. Kirk, a three-time Oscar nominee, received the Academy’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.

   Gifts will not be necessary, Kirk revealing that he views his birthday as a chance to give back to others, rather than accept presents. For his birthday last year, the couple donated $15 million to Harry’s Haven, an Alzheimer’s treatment facility located just outside Los Angeles, and takes care of patients who previously worked in the motion picture or television industry. Thanks to that donation, the organization was able to expand, adding a two-story building that they named the Kirk Douglas Care Pavilion. He and Anne have stated that almost all of their fortune, reported to be around $80 million, will be given to charities and other organizations upon their deaths.

   The birthday festivities will feature a surprise element, and Kirk admits that he has no idea what to expect.

======================================= van_williams_bruce_lee_green_hornet_1966

   Van Williams was the actor best known for his television role as Britt Reid, and his earlier leading part in the Warner Brothers  detective series Bourbon Street Beat, and sequel, Surfside 6. Williams teamed for one season with the late Bruce Lee (right) in The Green Hornet, on ABC during the 1966–1967 season.

   Williams was discovered in 1957 by producer Mike Todd, right before he died tragically in a plane crash. Van had a busy small screen career, guest starring in The Beverly Hillbillies, The Big ValleyNanny and the ProfessorThe Dick Van Dyke Show, The Streets of San Francisco, and The Rockford Files. He also made three memorable appearances with Lee on Batman, as The Green Hornet and Kato.

   Van retired from acting in 1982, and he became a longtime reserve deputy sheriff in Los Angeles County. He worked at the Malibu substation.

   Van Williams was 82.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Death Takes No Holiday…

December 4th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Several names in the news are part of the passing parade:

   Al Brodax was a television cartoon producer who developed animated versions of The Beatles, culminating in the classic feature Yellow Submarine. He had been an executive producer at King Features Syndicate in the early 1960s, churning out low-budget animated fare like Snuffy Smith, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Popeye, and Barney Google

   Brodax pitched Beatles manager Brian Epstein with the idea of creating a Saturday-morning cartoon series about the Fab Four’s adventures. Although popular with Baby Boomer kids, ABC’s The Beatles was hated by the band members, who loathed the exaggerated Liverpool accents.

beatles

   After A Hard Day’s Night and Help!, the group owed United Artists one more production. The band readily agreed to a proposition: A feature-length animated feature film. The Hungarian-born producer spearheaded the project that became Yellow Submarine, based loosely on the 1966 Beatles hit, and sung by drummer Ringo Starr. Directed by George Dunning and animated by Heinz Edelmann, the psychedelic movie was an instant classic, with its animated Edwardian-styled depictions of John, Paul, George, and Ringo – along with the Blue Meanies – quickly becoming iconic of the era.

   Even The Beatles were won over.

   Al Brodax was 90.

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

4946183-thumb-300xauto-4345575   Billy Chapin (right) was the child actor, best known as the heroic protagonist in The Night of the Hunter. He was personally selected by director Charles Laughton for his ability to provide a hypnotic stare for dramatic purposes. Despite the fact that the film was a critical and commercial failure, the Library of Congress selected the production in 1992 for preservation in the National Film Registry. His sister was Lauren Chapin, the former child actress who co-starred in the classic sitcom Father Knows Best.

   Chapin appeared on Broadway in 1951 in Three Wishes for Jamie, which earned him the New York Drama Critics Award as the most promising young actor of the year. The next year, he shined in a television adaptation of Paul Osborn’s play On Borrowed Time. He also starred in The Kid from Left Field and No Business Like Show Business. His many small screen credits included Leave it to Beaver and Dragnet.

   Billy Chapin, whose career effectively ended in 1959, was 72.

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

jerry_tucker_1936<— Jerry Tucker was a former child actor who appeared in several Our Gang comedies, often as a spoiled rich kid, and co-starred opposite screen luminaries as Shirley Temple, Ginger Rogers, and Laurel and Hardy. Originally signed by Paramount Pictures, he was on loan to MGM when appearing in the Buster Keaton comedy Sidewalks of New York. Tucker was also cast in some of the biggest movies of the 1930s, including Babes in Toyland, San Francisco, Captain January, and Boys Town.

   Never enchanted with Hollywood, and in 1942, Tucker joined the Navy as part of the demolition team aboard the destroyer USS Sigsbee. He was awarded the Purple Heart after suffering a permanent leg injury when a piece of shrapnel was caught in his leg during an attack on his ship during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

   Tucker, whose real name was Jerry Schatz, was 91.

Until next time>                               “never forget”