“Forgotten Hollywood”- Top Hollywood Producer Has Died…

June 12th, 2015

Manny P. here…robertchartoffdw-665x385

   Robert Chartoff was a top motion picture producer. He produced more than thirty movies. He had a knack for taking films about boxing and making them a critical success. Together with Irwin Winkler, he won an Academy Award for Best Picture for the 1976 film Rocky. He received further Oscar consideration in 1981 for co-producing Martin Scorsese’s biopic of boxer Jake La Motta. The Chartoff-Winkler movies garnered 12 wins and 40 nominations.                                ROBERT CHARTOFF —>

   Chartoff had a hand in fine cinema created over the last five decades, including They Shoot Horses Don’t They, The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, The Mechanic, Up the Sandbox, Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, Comes a Horseman, and the entire Rocky series. He employed top actors, such as Sylvester Stallone, Burgess Meredith, Gig Young, Lee Marvin, Keenan Wynn, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, Joe Pesci, Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, Jill Ireland, Robert DeNiro, Elliott Gould, Dennis Quaid, James Caan, Ryan O’Neal, Ed Harris, Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, Jason Robards, Liza Minnelli, Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, and recently, Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange, John Goodman, Harrison Ford, and Helen Mirren.

   Robert Chartoff was 81.


book1   The singing voice of Chiquita Banana animation has died. Monica Lewis began her career as a vocalist with Benny Goodman’s orchestra and went onto record several jazz hits in the 1940s. In 1950, she hit Hollywood, signing an exclusive contract for music and movies with MGM. She had small roles in movies with Mickey Rooney and Red Skelton. Later, she appeared in a number of disaster films, including Earthquake and several of the Airport series of motion pictures. Lewis also guest-starred on a few television shows, such as Ironside, Marcus Welby M.D., Remington Steele, and Falcon Crest.

   Never a second banana, Monica Lewis was 93.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims Two…

June 11th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Two of the greats have died.

Christopher Lee   ron Moody

CHRISTOPHER LEE                           RON MOODY

~   ~   ~

~ Christopher Lee will forever be known as the vampire Count Dracula in a slew of gory, gothic British Hammer horror production thrillers churned out in the 1950s and 1960s that became hugely popular around the world. He also appeared in more than 250 movies, taking on memorable roles such as a James Bond enemy, and the evil Count Dooku in two Star Wars prequels.

   Lee attended Wellington College, an elite boarding school, and joined the Royal Air Force during World War II. Poor eyesight prevented him from becoming a pilot, and he served as an intelligence officer in North Africa and Italy. After the war, he was signed to a contract with Britain’s Rank Studio, and spent the next decade playing minor roles in a series of formulaic pictures. He also appeared briefly in Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet in 1948 along with his future Hammer co-star, Peter Cushing.

    His filmography is quite vast. But, he’s best remembered for roles in Quo Vadis, Moulin Rouge, The Curse of FrankensteinThe Four Musketeers, The Man with the Golden Gun, Airport ’77, Hugo, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

   The versatile Christopher Lee was 93.

~   ~   ~

~ Ron Moody was nominated for an Oscar as the playful Fagin in the Best Picture of 1968… Oliver! He did receive a Golden Globe for his performance. He created the role in the original West End production in 1960, and reprised it in the 1984 Broadway revival, garnering a Tony Award nod for Best Actor in a Musical. He would reprise the role throughout his career, including a command appearance before Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh in 1985.

   Moody was also wonderful in Mel Brooks’ The Twelve Chairs. Others movies he appeared in include Murder Most Foul and A Kid in King Arthur’s Court. On television, he guest-starred in The Avengers, Gunsmoke, and Starsky and Hutch, among others.

   Ron Moody was 91.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- TherapyCable Episode #6 is Live…

June 10th, 2015

Manny P. here…


   Episode #6 of FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD on THERAPYCABLE features guest Jackie Goldberg, (AKA The Pink Lady). This one-woman tour-de-force is the innovative creator of Senior Star Power, Senior Star Search, and a litany of entertainment programs and motivational ideas tailored to the active elderly.


Forgotten Hollywood on Therapy Cable logo   Forgotten Hollywood - Therapy Cable #6

   Senior Star Power engages, inspires, and enriches the lives of seniors through the arts. Its vision is to establish a year-round theatrical performing arts complex that welcomes the entire Hollywood senior community. It’s their goal to offer workshops, performance opportunities, mentoring programs, and master classes; to educate and embrace seniors so they can further develop vital, productive, and creative people. In addition, they are looking to provide a chance for employment to the mature community-at-large.

TCLogo   The interview on THERAPYCABLE CHANNEL is vibrant and positive. Named a hero by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, our beloved Pink Lady is the catalyst of the 501 {c}3 charity group. Goldberg’s commitment to seniors is unyielding. And, her ideas are quite impressive. Among her many supporters: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, actors George Chakiris, Florence Henderson, and Margaret O’Brien.

   Click (or cut-and-paste) to view and enjoy our latest program:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Rare Home Movie of Amelia Earhart…

June 9th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   A rare piece of celluloid is destined for the Library of Congress.

   Preparing to launch her ill-fated attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world, Amelia Earhart brought her personal photographer to a California airport in 1937 to document the journey’s beginning. Several still photographs were taken by Al Bresnik, some likely seen by millions in the years since Earhart’s plane vanished over the Pacific Ocean weeks later. Bresnik’s brother, John, however, made a grainy 3.5-minute home movie almost nobody has seen — until now.


                           AMELIA EARHART

   The film, titled Amelia Earhart’s Last Photo Shoot, is being released by The Paragon Agency publishing house, along with an 80-page book carrying a day-by-day description of Earhart’s journey. The publisher and author believe it is the final film heralding her departure from California on that final journey. A downloadable copy of the piece is being provided to those who buy the book.

   As the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, Earhart was one of the most recognizable celebrities of her time, and plenty of people may have taken her photo during stops on that trip. Dressed in a smart pantsuit rather than her standard flight jacket, she shows people around the plane, climbs on top to pose for still photos and occasionally grins broadly, something she rarely did in her official photos.

   This intimate portrait should continue our multi-generational fascination with the iconic aviator.


   Vincent T. Bugliosi Jr. was an attorney and New York Times bestselling author. During his eight years as a deputy in the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, he successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, which included 21 murder convictions without a single loss.

bugliosi   He’s best known for prosecuting Charles Manson and others accused of the Tate-LaBianca murders of 1969. Although Manson did not physically participate in the murders at actress Sharon Tate’s home, Bugliosi used circumstantial evidence to show that he had orchestrated the killings. This sensational trial captured the horror and imagination of the nation. It sent the star’s husband, director Roman Polanski, into a dark depression. The story was chronicled in the best selling work, Helter Skelter, which was co-written by Bugliosi. It’s the biggest selling true crime book in publishing history with over 7 million copies sold.                   VINCENT BUGLIOSI —>

   After leaving the district attorney’s office, Bugliosi unsuccessfully ran for district attorney. At the time of his passing, he was considered a highly popular author of political non-fiction. He was a three-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award.

    Vince Bugliosi was 80.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- TCM and CNN Visits 70s New York…

June 8th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Turner Classic Movies and CNN are collaborating to celebrate the 70s and The Big Apple. TCM will air great cinema on Tuesday, including Annie Hall, Mean Streets, Going in Style, Dog Day Afternoon, and Shaft.

   And, CNN will continue its series on the 1970s on Thursday at 9p.


   Right on!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Abbott and Costello Meet the Jury…

June 5th, 2015

Manny P. here…

485px-Abbott_and_Costello_circa_1940s   Abbott and Costello’s heirs are suing the producers of a Broadway play in which a character uses sock puppets to perform part of the comedians’ famous Who’s on First routine. The copyright holders sued Hand to God producers, promoters and playwright Robert Askins on Thursday in Manhattan federal court, accusing them of copyright infringement.                                    ABBOTT AND COSTELLO —->

   Hand to God is up for five Tony Awards on Sunday. The play’s lead producer, Kevin McCollum, called the filing on the eve of this weekend’s Tony’s is nothing more than a publicity stunt. He says the other producers welcome the attention.

   The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages claims the play copied the very heart of Who’s on First. It claims the routine was lifted so the play could more easily be promoted as a comedy. Sometimes, courts have tossed out copyright lawsuits when it can be shown that previously used material was used in a new and transformative way. The comedy duo first performed Who’s on First in March 1938 with Lou trying to learn the names of players on a baseball team from Bud.

   Bulletins as they break…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Best Wishes to Nichelle Nichols…

June 4th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Actress Nichelle Nichols has suffered what is considered a mild stroke at her Los Angeles home and was quickly hospitalized. She spent the day undergoing tests to check the severity of the episode.The 82-year-old will begin therapy on Friday

477px-Nichelle_Nichols,_NASA_Recruiter_-_GPN-2004-00017   Nichols began her career as a vocalist with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before turning to acting. Her most famous role is that of communications officer Lieutenant Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise in the popular Star Trek television series, as well as the succeeding motion pictures, where her character was later promoted in Starfleet to the high rank of commander. Her portrayal, one of the first African American female characters on television not cast as a servant, was groundbreaking. Civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. praised her work on the program and asked her to remain when she considered leaving the series. Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison cited Nichols’ role of Lieutenant Uhura as her inspiration for wanting to become an astronaut; and Whoopi Goldberg has also spoken of Nichols’ influence. Whoopi eventually asked to participate in Star Trek: The Next Generation.                     NICHELLE NICHOLS  —>

   She also appeared in the Chicago stock company production of Carmen Jones, and performed in a New York production of Porgy and Bess. On the West Coast, she appeared in The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd. Between acting and singing engagements, she did occasional modeling work. In January 1967, Nichols also was featured on the cover of Ebony magazine.

   After the cancellation of Star Trek, Nichols volunteered her time in a special project with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel for the space agency. The program was a success. Among those recruited were Dr. Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, as well as Dr. Judith Resnik and Dr. Ronald McNair, who both flew successful missions during the Space Shuttle program before their deaths in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986. Recruits also included Charles Bolden, the current NASA administrator. An enthusiastic advocate of space exploration, Nichols has served since the mid-1980s on the Board of Governors of the National Space Society, a nonprofit, educational organization founded by Dr. Wernher von Braun.

   Best wishes to Nichelle Nichols, and a speedy recovery.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Slashing Parade Claims Acting Icon…

May 31st, 2015

Manny P. here…

   A longtime actress, who may have been best know as playing the mother of Jason Voorhees in the first two Friday the 13th film series flicks, has died. Betsy Palmer was also a regular panelist, and the last surviving member of the televised game show I’ve Got a Secret.

   Palmer got her first acting job in 1951 when she joined the cast of a daily soap opera, Miss Susan, which was produced in Philadelphia. She was discovered for this role while attending a party in the apartment of actor Frank Sutton. A life member of The Actors Studio, she appeared in numerous television shows dating to the early 1950s Golden Age of Television. Among them were such classic dramas as Kraft Theatre, Playhouse 90, and Studio One. Later small screen roles included stints in Columbo, Newhart, Knot’s Landing, The Love Boat, and Murder She Wrote. Betsy also had a recurring part in the daytime soap opera in As the World Turns in the 1990s.

220px-Betsy_Palmer_1960   Before her murderous turns in the Friday the 13th series, Palmer was memorable in a number of screen roles in the 1950s. She worked opposite top stars, including Tyrone Power and Maureen O’Hara in The Long Gray Line; Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, and Jack Lemmon in Mr. Roberts; Paul Muni in The Last Angry Man; Joan Crawford in Queen Bee; and again with Fonda and Anthony Perkins in The Tin Star. She ultimately came to embrace her participation in the horror films genre, and appeared in the 2006 documentary Betsy Palmer: A Scream Queen Legend.                    BETSY PALMER —->

   Palmer’s stage work included a tour of South Pacific. She also appeared in several plays on Broadway, such as Same Time Next Year and Cactus Flower. Her final stage credit was in On Golden Pond in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada.

   Betsy Palmer died peacefully of natural causes. She was 88.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Journeyman Actor Has Died…

May 29th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Wally Cassell was a durable character actor during Hollywood’s studio era. He began his cinematic career in 1942, initially appearing in uncredited roles. Today, he is a little-remembered cog in a litany of wonderful films. He was a also a lifelong friend of Mickey Rooney. The popular actor served as the best man at his 1947 wedding. Wally remained married until the day he died.

wally cassell   His movies include Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, National Velvet, The Thin Man Goes HomeThe Story of G.I. JoeThe ClockThe Postman Always Rings Twice, Son of Lassie, Anchor’s Aweigh, Sands of Iwo JimaWhite HeatQuicksand, City That Never Sleeps, and Island in the Sky. Cassell also guest starred in several television series, including The Loretta Young ShowGunsmoke, the 1959 premier episode of The UntouchablesRawhide, and The Beverly Hillbillies.

   He retired from acting in 1964 and became a businessman. One of the oldest remnants from our celluloid past, Wally Cassell was 103.      WALLY CASSELL

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of Anne Meara…

May 25th, 2015

Manny P. here…Anne_Meara_1975

   Actress and comedian Anne Meara, whose comic work with husband Jerry Stiller helped launch a 60-year career in film and television, has died. She was also the mother to comedian Ben Stiller.   ANNE MEARA—>

   The couple performed regularly as Stiller & Meara on The Ed Sullivan Show and other programs in the 1960s, and appeared on other variety programs. They won awards for the television and radio commercials they made together.

   Meara had recurring roles on Rhoda, Archie Bunker’s Place, Alf, Sex and the City, and The King of Queens. Her husband co-starred in the latter series. She was a cast member for seven years on All My Children. Her movies included stints in Lovers and Other Strangers, The Out-of-TownersThe Boys in Brazil, Awakenings, FameZoolander, and recently, Night At the Museum.

   Anne Meara was 85.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Omar Sharif Suffers From Alzheimer’s

May 24th, 2015

Manny P. here…Omar_Sharif_-_Zhivago_-_1965

   I’m sorry to report that legendary actor Omar Sharif is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The star’s son revealed in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo that the 83-year-old actor is struggling with his memory and retired from the industry because of his illness because he could no longer remember his lines. Sharif also confuses the names of his biggest films and has been struggling with the disease for the last three years.

   Sharif, who was born in Alexandria, Egypt, first rose to international fame for his role in 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia co-starring alongside Peter O’Toole. They became life-long friends. His performance earned an Oscar nod and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. Omar later starred in Doctor Zhivago with Julie Christie and Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand. Sharif continued acting until his late 70s.   OMAR SHARIF –>

   At present, he resides mostly in Cairo with his family. As recently as two years ago, a spokesperson for Sharif reportedly dismissed claims that he was struggling with dementia.

   Here’s wishing the fabulous Omar Sharif the very best wishes.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- School Obtains Orson Welles Memoir

May 22nd, 2015

Manny P. here…

   A rough draft of an unpublished Orson Welles memoir has been added to the University of Michigan’s archives on the trailblazing filmmaker, the school says. The Welles material is part of the university’s Screen Arts Mavericks Collection, which also holds the archives of John Sayles and the late Robert Altman. The school already had three donated and two purchased archives of Welles, and may be the most extensive repository of written materials on him.

Orson-Welles-1945   The typewritten memoir, tentatively titled Confessions of a One-Man Band, was among the materials in eight boxes the Ann Arbor school recently purchased from Croatian filmmaker Oja Kodar, who was Welles’ partner and collaborator for 24 years before Welles’ death in 1985 at age 70. Orson clearly intended to publish the autobiographical work, and had placed photographs in envelopes that could be used in a book.     ORSON WELLES —->

   The 80-page typed memoir has thorough handwritten notes and edits. The new Welles material is a rich trove of memorabilia from both his personal and public lives, with letters to his first wife, original scripts, and photos . It includes passages about his parents; his second wife, actress Rita Hayworth; novelist Ernest Hemingway, a friend of Welles; and filmmaker D.W. Griffith.

   Meanwhile, Kodar is to attend the university’s June 7th-9th symposium on Welles, marking the 100th anniversary of his birth. It will include a reading of memoir excerpts, and of Welles’ play Too Much Johnson at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Mannix Owns Book Series…

May 21st, 2015

Manny P. here…

Rotary-Wheel-3d-150x150   Today, I was in the city of Fallbrook, California at a book-signing event with their local chapter of Rotary International. While there, I met a personal friend of Mike Connors, the small screen actor who garnered a Golden Globe for his performance in Mannix. She promised to give my Forgotten Hollywood book-series to this venerable star.

Mike_Connors_Mannix_1968   Connors is a World War II veteran, who played for John Wooden at UCLA on a scholarship. Director William Wellman got him into acting after noticing his expressive face while Connors was playing basketball.

   His early motion picture career included small roles in Island in the Sky and The Ten Commandments. On television, he guest-starred on Perry Mason, Maverick, Wagon Train, and Here’s Lucy. Mannix was produced at Desilu Productions. Lucille Ball pushed for CBS to keep the show on the air after a lackluster first season in the ratings. One of the pioneering items about the program was it featured African American Gail Fisher as his able assistant. The weekly show ran from 1967 – 1975, and it was my favorite detective series of the era.               MIKE CONNORS —->

Forgotten Hollywood cover   FINALfrontcover-sonofforgottenhol

   I’m thrilled that Joe Mannix will now be reading my work.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- New Museum Honors the Duke…

May 20th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Like many rural communities, the Iowa city of Winterset has an idyllic town square, variety stores, and a historic movie theater. But Winterset also has a unique claim to fame: It’s the birthplace of John Wayne, and a new museum opening here is celebrating the late actor’s life, career and local connections.

   Wayne was born Marion Morrison in Winterset in 1907. Although he moved to California at a young age, Winterset has been showcasing his local roots for years. In addition to a new museum, the small wooden house where he was born offers tours, and there’s a large bronze statue of the actor in his signature cowboy hat.


   The new 6,100-square-foot museum officially opens Saturday on the block of his birthplace. The museum displays his film wardrobes, a signed Andy Warhol print of the actor and his customized 1972 Pontiac Grand Safari station wagon. It’s parked inside the gallery, near decorative wooden panels from the closing barroom fight scene of Wayne’s final film, The Shootist. Visitors can also see an ashtray from his yacht, his briefcase, his personal address book — with contact information for Ronald Reagan when he was the California governor — and the eye patch Wayne wore in the movie True Grit.

8470-JW_code_T-shirt   The museum was funded over seven years through grants and private donations, including door-to-door pledges from residents of Winterset, population 5,000. The general $15 ticket to the museum includes a tour of Wayne’s birthplace, which has been restored to  when Wayne lived there. The museum also suggests a trail of spots near and around town linked to Wayne’s family. Organizers are packaging the museum as part of an overall experience to Madison County, where Winterset is located. Nearby are the famous bridges that sparked The Bridges of Madison County novel, movie, and Broadway musical. For more info, visit the site by using the link, below:


   Many of the museum items come from a large private collection, and not everything is on display. That means organizers will change exhibits to keep things fresh for returning visitors. Not all museums about celebs remain successful. The Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pennsylvania, has seen a decrease in attendees and financial support over the years. A museum dedicated to Liberace closed in 2010 near Las Vegas after over 30 years in business.

   A recent Friday included visitors from Florida, Ireland, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. We kinda figure The Duke has staying power… I hope we’re right!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Preservation of Classic Television…

May 19th, 2015

Manny P. here…


   Episode #5 of FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD on THERAPYCABLE features guest Herbie J. Pilato, the individual behind the Classic TV Preservation Society. The purpose of this fine 501{c)3 organization is to educate individuals, community, arts/media, business and academic organizations and institutions on the social significance and positive influence of classic television programming, with specific regard to family values, diversity in the work place, and mutual respect for all folks of every cultural background and heritage, race and creed.


Forgotten Hollywood on Therapy Cable logo   Forgotten Hollywood - Therapy Cable #5

TCLogo   The interview on THERAPYCABLE CHANNEL, Pilato discusses his life work, which includes his effort as an author, motivational speaker, and spokesperson for this fine social and cultural enterprise. His latest literary piece is entitled, Glamour, Gidgets, and the Girls Next Door: Television’s Iconic Women From the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

GlamourGidgetsGirlNextDoor (2)   Herbie and I discuss Television’s Golden Age. Our conversation coincides with the anniversary of the passing of one of Pilato’s subjects twenty years ago… Elizabeth Montgomery, the star of Bewitched. She was also in a memorable episode of The Twilight Zone. The actress was part of Hollywood royalty, Her father was a star during the Studio Era, Robert Montgomery. His cinematic career dabbled in the Fantasy Genre when he starred in Here Comes Mr. Jordan in 1941. The movie also featured several actors in my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series: Claude Rains, James Gleason, and (in my upcoming book) Edward Everett Horton.

   Click (or cut-and-paste) to view and enjoy our latest program:


Until next time>                               “never forget”