“Forgotten Hollywood”- John Wayne’s Family Endorses Trump

January 20th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   It was a simpler time. No, not Hollywood’s Golden Age; I’m talking about the frontier of the nineteenth century. John Wayne and his entourage wanted you to believe this premise. With the help of director John Ford, and his stable of filmmakers, which included Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond, John Agar, Victor McLaglen, Noah Berry Jr., and others, the Old West became the backdrop of conservative values, validating the concepts of homesteading, a search for gold, the coast-to-coast travel by rail, the use of barb wire to section off property, trails of Native American tears, and the eventual Anglo colonization of the United States.

John Wayne   Don’t misunderstand. I’m a huge fan of StagecoachRed River, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio Bravo, True Grit, and The Shootist. John Wayne’s (right) movies are works of inspirational fiction. He and his cronies represented, and continue to represent, a certain kind of American infallibility. Wayne’s characters were so certain they were right that audiences believed them, too. And on screen, he didn’t waste time using his trademark laconic drawl to dress down his enemies, and then, shoot them dead with ruthless efficiency. Of course, critics of The Duke have surmised:

He’s like the racist grandpa that we nevertheless acknowledge; he’s the embarrassing tear in your eye when you root for America in the Olympics; or he’s the proud viewer of a Chevy truck commercial

   Unfortunately, somewhere along the way in his career, Wayne drank the kool-aid of artificial patriotism. This lead to his naming names from the very real Hollywood community to members of the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, as part of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. Many directors, actors, screenplay writers, and others lost their opportunity to work for perhaps decades, and maybe, for the entirety of their career. The reasoning for the unsolicited attack… A prior or current affiliation with the American Communist Party, and a fear of continued communist infiltration into the movie industry. This dangerous philosophical call-to-action had an folksy elitist feel at its core.

   His apparent contempt only endeared him to audiences who found his lack of pretension both comforting and inspiring. Wayne maintained his unassailable image of immovability for an unprecedented career as a star and political activist: He campaigned tirelessly for Republicans for over four decades. The American legacy of John Wayne was cemented as the Berlin wall came down; an airport was named in his honor; and a museum in Winterset, Iowa celebrating his career is now a popular tourist destination.

trump   Donald Trump is currently attempting to tap into this masculine brand of Americana when he accepted an endorsement in Winterset from John Wayne’s kin. The obvious strategy by the Republican candidate is to cement the support  of primarily white men, aged 69 or older, with a high school diploma or less – a slice of electorate that has already shown a considerable affinity for the Teflon Don. Wayne has an undeniable cinematic cool – the kind of uniform appeal Trump has employed to woo voters since the summer.

   Trump, it appears, is vying to restore the frontier-style justice version of America which Wayne’s films often portrayed; the only trouble: It was always make-believe. I remind my readers of this essential fact. Remember this when you enter a polling booth to vote.

   And, sorry for burying the lead…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Laurel & Hardy Movie Sounds Enticing

January 19th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   I have exciting news. Steve Coogan will play Stan Laurel and John C. Reilly will portray Oliver Hardy in BBC Films’ Stan & Ollie, a biopic centering on the final 1953 UK tour of the famed comedy duo. The story centers on the world’s favorite comedy double act, who set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. Diminished by age and with their golden era as the kings of Hollywood comedy now behind them, they face an uncertain future.



   The tour becomes a hit, but Laurel & Hardy can’t quite shake the spectre of Stan and Ollie’s past; coupled with Oliver’s failing health, start to threaten their precious partnership. A portrait of their creative marriage begins to unfold as the duo, aware that they may be approaching their swan song, try to rediscover just how much they mean to each other.

Laurel & Hardy   To be directed by Jon S. Baird, the screenplay for the Laurel & Hardy biopic has been written Jeff Pope, the Oscar-nominated writer of PhilomenaBBC Films developed the feature alongside Faye Ward’s Fable Pictures and Jeff Pope’s Sonesta Films.

   This production I promise to monitor.

———————————————————— glenn frey

   Glenn Frey was part of the quartet, The Eagles, arguably one of the most successful pop bands in the rock-era (along with The Doobie Brothers). His voice was melodic on New Kid in Town, Take it Easy, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Tequila Sunrise, Heartache Tonight, and Already Gone. Frey (right) co-wrote some of their biggest hits, including The Best of My Love, One of These NightsHotel California, and Desperado.

   During his solo career, he was tied to motion picture and television soundtracks: Beverly Hills Cop, and Miami Vice. He also had roles in Jerry Maguire, and on the small screen, Miami Vice, Wiseguy, Nash Bridges, and Arli$$. A documentary, History of the Eagles, premiered at the Sundance Festival in 2013. The Heat is On, You Belong to the City, Smuggler’s Blues, The One You Love, and I Found Somebody were his biggest solo hits.

   The band, primarily made up of Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit, was to have been honored at the Kennedy Center last month. However, the appearance was postponed because of Frey’s health problems.

The mercurial Glenn Frey was 67.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- KCET / Doc Martin Event in Photos…

January 18th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   KCETLink Media Group President & CEO Michael Riley was clear at a recent event held at the residence of the British Consul General in Southern California: There is a strong Public Television commitment to local programming and quality productions that are imported from all over the world. One thing is quite evident; there remains a strong relationship between KCET and British television. With the unabashed popularity of Downton Abbey and Doc Martin, among others, this is indeed great news for fans of smart and intelligent programs on television.

doc martin party favors   riley ross mcneice

                                                        MICHAEL RILEY  MARION ROSS  IAN McNEICE


 docmartin_avatar  Season 7 of Doc Martin premiered on January 14th. One of its stars, Ian McNeice (Bert Large), assured party-goers their will be a Season 8, which will start production early in 2017. McNeice also invited viewers of the program to England to enjoy the creative process that goes into the making of Doc Martin! By the way, at KCET.org/DocMartin, you can watch behind-the-scenes video shorts, enjoy episode recaps, and reacquaint yourself with the quirky cast of characters that makes up the residents of the sleepy Cornish village of Portwenn.

   Among the attendees included actress Marion Ross, best known for her role as the mother of Richie Cunningham in Happy Days; Cinecon’s Maureen Solomon; stand-up comic Linda Gacsko; and Val Zavala, KCET’s vice president of news and public affairs, and anchor of the network’s SoCal Connected. Zavala was the executive producer of the hugely popular Things That Aren’t Here Anymore documentary series that was hosted by the late Ralph Story back in the 1990s.

Manny and Ian   Manny and Marion Ross



The event was thrown in conjunction with BAFTA, Pleasant Holidays, and Beverly Hilton Hotel, part of a partnership with KCET and their on-going fundraising drive for public television. KCET remains the nation’s largest independent public television station, and a nonprofit 501(c3) organization.

  kcet50_1 SoCal Connecfed


   I join KCET in urging you to savor a great program; Thursday’s at 8p in Southern California: Doc Martin!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Buried Treasure…

January 17th, 2016

Manny P. here…

SAG - AFTRA   When Carol Burnett appears January 30th at the SAG Awards to accept the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award, somebody from SAG should be waiting backstage to hand her a check. She and dozens of other stars expected to attend the guild’s annual awards show are owed unclaimed residuals that were paid by productions to SAG-AFTRA.

   Burnett is not the only recipient of the guild’s highest honor who have unclaimed SAG residuals coming to them. Kirk Douglas, who received the award in 1999, is owed money, and so are heirs of former SAG Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Ricardo Mantalban, Leon Ames, Martha Raye, Frank Sinatra, Danny Kaye, Ossie Davis, Stan Laurel, Edgar Bergen, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Pidgeon, and Charles Durning. The union is holding these funds for these actor’s families to claim.


SAG Logo

   Eddie Redmayne, nominated this year for The Danish Girl – and who won SAG’s Best Actor award last year for The Theory Of Everything – is owed unclaimed SAG residuals for past projects, and so are Johnny Depp, who this year is nominated for Black Massand Nicole Kidman, who is nominated for Grace Of Monaco. Maggie Smith, for Downton Abbey, has money waiting for previous work, as do nominees Game Of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage; Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell; Louis C.K., for Louie; and Ray Liotta received his accolade for Texas Rising. More than 20 members of ensemble casts nominated this year also have residuals coming to them that were paid in good faith to the union by the film companies, but are just sitting there.

   Actually, you don’t have to be an A-List star to be owed what amounts to buried treasure. More than 2,000 people named John who have money coming to them; more than 1,500 Roberts and Michaels; more than 1,300 Davids, 500 Marys; and more than 300 Susans and Jennifers. If it is unclaimed for some reason, the checks are deposited into a custodial fund where the cash is held until they identify/locate the proper payee. There are a number of reasons why that process may be difficult and can take some time – even when the potential recipients are well-known. Here is the link if you are a dues-paying member to check:


   There are 12 Mannys; but, I’m not owed residuals. Shucks!

—————————————————————an american in paris

   French actress Leslie Caron spent this past week in New York, and she made a stop on Broadway to enjoy the latest production of An American in Paris. The 1951 movie that won the Oscar for Best Picture made Caron an instant star. She skyrocketed to fame, appearing in such hit musicals as Lili, Daddy Long Legs, and Gigi, which also won a Best Picture statuette in 1958.

   Caron got a standing ovation and flowers after being brought onstage. During a 45-minute meeting, she recalled long hours dancing on concrete during the An American in Paris filming.

   The latest stage production recently marked the show’s 300th performance, and won four Tony Awards. I plan to be in the audience in March with my sister.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- BAFTA to Honour Sidney Poitier…

January 16th, 2016

Manny P. here…

  The British Academy of Film and Television Arts will honour Sir Sidney Poitier with the Fellowship at the EE British Academy Film Awards on February 14th. He joins such previous recipients: Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Sean Connery, Stanley Kubrick, Judi Dench, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Martin Scorsese, and Helen Mirren.

   Poitier began his acting career on Broadway in the 1940s before transitioning to motion pictures with No Way Out. Among his other cinematic credits: A Raisin in the Sun, Blackboard Jungle, Porgy and Bess, The Defiant Ones, Lilies of the Field. A Patch of BlueTo Sir With LoveIn the Heat of the NightGuess Who’s Coming To Dinner, and Sneakers. He has also directed nine features, including Buck and the Preacher, the classic Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder comedy, Stir Crazy, and Uptown Saturday Night.

   Sir Sidney Poitier’s award-winning career features six BAFTA nominations, including one BAFTA win, and a Britannia Award for Lifetime Contribution to International Film. In 2002, he was awarded an honorary Oscar, and has also been nominated for seven Golden Globes, winning once; and he was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1982.

sidney-poitier-be-honored-bafta-fellowship_240x340_13   As well as pushing the boundaries of his craft on screen, Poitier played an active role in the American civil rights campaign, and served as Ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan and UNESCO from 1997 to 2007. In 1974, Queen Elizabeth II conferred a Knighthood on Poitier; and in 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of the US, by President Obama.

   The BAFTA Awards take place at the Royal Opera House. Stephen Fry will return to host this year’s ceremony.

   Sidney Poitier (right) remains a living inspiration to theater audiences, everywhere.


danhaggerty-720x405<– Dan Haggerty was the burly actor best known as Grizzly Adams on television. The character evolved from his role in the feature film, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams. He also appeared in Muscle Beach  Party, with Elvis Presley in Girl Happy, and in the iconic Easy Rider. Dan guest-starred on the small screen in Tarzan, CHiPS, The Love Boat, Charlie’s Angels, and the reality television program, American Pickers.

   Dan Haggerty was 74

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Prolific Character Actor is Dead…

January 15th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Alan Rickman was a classically trained stage star and reliable screen villain for decades. He’s best known for his work on Die Hard and the Harry Potter series of epic films. He was also memorable in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.


   Trained at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Rickman’s screen roles were remarkably varied. His movies include Sense and Sensibility, Truly Madly Deeply, Quigley Down UnderGalaxy Quest, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon of Fleet Street. He won a BAFTA for his role in Robin Hood. Rickman is due to appear in two yet-to-be-released films: Eye in the Sky, with Helen Mirren; and the animated Alice Through the Looking Glass.

   He also spent plenty of time on the stage. He was the lead, Vicomte de Valmont, in the 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. When it moved to Broadway in 1987, Rickman received both a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award nod for his performance. Other stage roles include support in A View from a Bridge, Romeo and Juliet, Noel Coward’s Private Lives, and Antony and Cleopatra. On television, he received a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.

Alan_Rickman_January_2011   Though he played mean-spirited parts through much of his career, Rickman showed his charity while acting as honorary president of the International Performers’ Aid Trust, an organization that alleviates poverty in some of the world’s toughest conditions. Most of his peers found the British actor to be gracious and kind. Particularly saddened by the news of his passing were author J.K.Rowling and actress Emma Thompson.

   The immensely talented Alan Rickman (right) was 69.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Great 1906 Quake Claims Last Victim

January 14th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   When the Great Earthquake and Fire hit San Francisco in 1906, 3-month-old William Del Monte’s family fled the city on a horse-drawn cart. Del Monte was the last known survivor of the 7.8-magnitude quake and fires that killed some 3,000 people and leveled much of the city.

   Of course, Del Monte didn’t remember much about his family’s dramatic escape. His mother bundled him up when the shaking stopped and ran out to the street. His dad commandeered a rig, which they rode down to the waterfront as flames licked at them from all sides. After the earthquake struck on April 18, 1906, fires erupted and raged for almost four days, burning more than 28,000 structures and leveling more than three-quarters of the city.

san fran earthquake   del-monte-bd64f026ffeccb3d0ab16c033b6275bb68198450-s1400-c85

                                                                  WILLIAM DEL MONTE

   An MGM production was made way back in 1935 that chronicled the days leading up to the destructive event. San Francisco starred Clark Gable, Jeanette McDonald, and Spencer Tracy. The movie was lauded for its great special effects. Del Monte outlived each of the stars by 50 years.

   After being forced out of his home in North Beach after the 1906 Great Earthquake as an infant, Del Monte ultimately witnessed the city’s rise from the ashes more than a century ago, seeing it rebuilt. He became actively involved in annual earthquake commemoration events. This year, San Francisco’s mayor says the city will dedicate the event to him.

   The San Fran native embraced the changes in technology that he saw in his life — from gas lamps and horses and buggies all the way through the development of electricity and jet travel to computers. Del Monte worked as a stock market trader almost until the day he died.

   William Del Monte died of natural causes at a retirement home north of San Francisco. He was 109, just 11 days shy of his 110th birthday.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Wanna Buy the Playboy Mansion…

January 13th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   The Playboy Mansion, the legendary Holmby Hills estate where Hugh Hefner has worked and made his home for four decades, is on the market for the nine-figure sum, making it among the priciest residential properties for sale in the United States. As part of any sale, the 89-year-old Hefner will be allowed remain in residence for the remainder of his life.

   Among the major works of architect Arthur R. Kelly, the stone-clad Gothic Tudor-style mansion was built for department store scion Arthur Letts Jr. in 1927. Playboy acquired the estate of more than five acres in 1971 for around $1.1 million. Hef will let it go for $20 million.


   Within nearly 20,000 square feet of interiors are 29 rooms including chef’s and catering kitchens, a game room, a wine cellar, and a screening room with a built-in pipe organ. The master suite occupies parts of two floors. Other amenities include a gymnasium, a tennis court, an orchard, and the infamous swimming pool and swim-in grotto. There’s also a four-bedroom guesthouse.

   And, the mansion is also among a select number of Los Angeles properties to have a zoo license. Grounds feature a menagerie of aviaries and arboretums holding a collection of exotic birds and monkeys. Albino peacocks and other animals roam freely through rolling lawns and various gardens.

   Bunnies will not be part of the sale…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- BAM! Batman at 50…

January 12th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Batman lasted just three years and yielded 120 episodes. However, it created a whole new generation of fans for the crime solving comic book hero, first devised in 1939 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, long before he became a much darker figure in big screen blockbusters (who indeed will return March 25th in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice). The colorful tongue-in-cheek superhero romp, aired twice a week — on Wednesday (with a cliffhanger) and Thursday nights — beginning in 1966, and became a quick sensation, with its campy tone and its catchy theme song.


BURT WARD                                           ADAM WEST

   The television version of Batman debuted January 12th with few expectations. Originally scheduled to join ABC’s lineup for the 1966-1967 season, it was rushed on air because of a hole in the network’s schedule. And, this was even after the show received, at the time, the worst audience test score for an ABC pilot in history. Little did executives realize they were on the cusp of a cultural phenomenon. The show became as big as The Beatles in music, and James Bond in films. The series created an enormous influence on pop culture. There were Batman fan clubs, lunch boxes, a dance craze, bubble gum cards, a motion picture, among other things. When ABC canceled the series in 1968, the Batcave set was demolished. Two weeks later, NBC decided to pick up the series, only to change its mind once executives realized they’d have to foot the bill for another set. By the way, Robin used 352 holy phrases during the course of the series. Holy multiple hosanna!

Batman_villains_The_Penguin_The_Riddler_The_Joker_1967   Series regulars, Neil Hamilton (Commissioner Gordon) and Alan Napier (Alfred), had long careers in cinema before Batman. George Sanders, Cliff Robertson, Eli Wallach, Eartha Kitt, John Astin, Tallulah Bankhead, Otto Preminger, Roddy McDowall, David Wayne, Shelley Winters, Liberace, Bruce Lee, Ethel Merman, and Vincent Price, among others, all guest starred on the show. Plus, Julie Newmar, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, and Frank Gorshin made a number of appearances as Catwoman, Joker, Penguin and Riddler, respectively. In fact, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Wood, and Cary Grant were fans of Batman and wanted to appear on the show. But producers, unfathomably, could not find any roles that fit them. Eventually, Michael Keaton, George Clooney, Val Kilmer, and Christian Bale all took turns as the big black bat, with Ben Affleck in the upcoming production. BURGESS MEREDITH/CESAR ROMERO/FRANK GORSHIN –>

   Batman and Robin, as portrayed by Adam West and Burt Ward, are still strong draws at comic book conventions on the nostalgia circuit. The Dynamic Duo are scheduled to voice the characters in a new, animated 90-minute feature, set to be released sometime in 2016, to mark the series’ 50th anniversary. And, Julie Newmar has even donated her Catwoman costume to the Smithsonian Institute.


   I promise you another blog as early as tomorrow. Same Bat time… Same Bat Channel…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- David Bowie the Actor…

January 11th, 2016

Manny P. here… David Bowie

   A lot will be written over the next week about the legacy of David Bowie. He was unique in the glam rock-era of popular music. And, he was a cultural icon for his approach as a musician and song-stylist. Let me remind you about Bowie’s formidable cinematic legacy. His career has been punctuated by various roles in movie and theater productions, earning acclaim as an actor.                                 DAVID BOWIE —>

   The beginnings of David Bowie’s film career predate his commercial breakthrough as a musician. Studying avant-garde theatre and mime under Lindsay Kemp, he played Cloud in the 1967 theatrical production Pierrot in Turquoise (later made into the 1970 television film The Looking Glass Murders). In the black-and-white two-reeler The Image, he was a ghost who emerges from a troubled artist’s painting to haunt him. The same year, The Virgin Soldiers saw Bowie make a brief appearance as an extra.

   In 1976, he earned acclaim for his first major starring role, portraying Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien from a dying planet, in The Man Who Fell to Earth, directed by Nicolas Roeg. For his performance in the 1976 science fiction flick, he won a Saturn Award.

   Bowie starred in Just a Gigolo, an Anglo-German co-production  as a Prussian officer who, returning from World War I, is discovered by a baroness (Marlene Dietrich) and put into her stable of studs. He starred in The Hunger, a revisionist vampire film, with Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon. Bowie had a cameo in Yellowbeard, a 1983 pirate comedy created by Monty Python; and he had a small part as a hitman in Into the Night. Bowie appeared in Jim Henson’s dark fantasy Labyrinth. He played Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s 1988 epic, The Last Temptation of Christ. He portrayed physicist Nikola Tesla in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige in 2006. The rock star also appeared as himself in Zoolander. He did decline to play the villain in the James Bond film, A View to a Kill.

Elephant man<—David Bowie took the lead in the Broadway production, The Elephant Man, which he performed wearing no stage make-up, and who earned high praise for his expressive performance. He played the part 157 times between 1980 and 1981.

   In 1999, Bowie was made a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. He declined the royal honour of Commander of the British Empire in 2000, and turned down a knighthood in 2003. One year, I went to a terrific concert of his, that one at Dodger Stadium. A favorite television moment of mine: When he joined Bing Crosby on his last Christmas Special in 1977 (and just five weeks before Bing’s passing from a heart attack after a round of golf) singing the medley, Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy. The tune has become a seasonal classic.

bowie crosby

   The innovative performer had just turned 69 on Friday, the day he released his 25th album. But, he continued to influence some of today’s top filmmakers with his groundbreaking approach, including Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman, and director Tim Burton. British astronaut Tim Peake tweeted his profound sadness aboard the International Space Station about David Bowie’s sudden death from cancer.

   To paraphrase: Ground control to Major Tim…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of a Disney Imagineer…

January 10th, 2016

Manny P. here…

armitage   Frank Armitage (right) was the Australian-born illustrator, muralist, and longtime Disney imagineer who also contributed to the eye-popping visuals on Fox Studio’s Fantastic Voyage. The visual effects made good use of Armitage’s expertise in anatomical drawings, and went on to win two Academy Awards for Best Art Direction (Color) and Best Special Effects. He first worked as an animator on Lady and the Tramp, but soon put his training as a muralist to good use, creating background paintings for such films as Sleeping Beauty, Peter PanMary Poppins, and The Jungle Book.

   Born in Melbourne, Australia, Armitage served in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II, after which he attended art school. He soon dropped out and after winning an international art competition, moved to Mexico city where he trained as a muralist under David Alfaro Siqueiros. Moving to Los Angeles in 1952 with less than $100 to his name, he quickly found work at Walt Disney Studios, going on to contribute to a string of animated classics over the next decades.

   Armitage returned to Disney in 1977 when he was hired as an imagineer. In that capacity, he worked on the Wonders of Life Pavilion in Epcot Center, he painted 5,500 square feet of murals for Walt Disney World’s Safari Fare Restaurant, and several of Tokyo DisneySea’s murals, including nine of President Theodore Roosevelt, among many other contributions. Armitage had previously worked on Disney theme parks in the early 1950s, contributing to art at Storybook Land as well as other points around the park.

   Armitage retired from Disney in 1989, after which he studied medicine, and later, acupuncture in China. He continued to paint anatomy and other medical artwork and in 2006, he donated a portion of that work to the Biomedical Visualization Graduate Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

   Frank Armitage was 91.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Jaws Finds a New Shark Tank…

January 9th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Museum has announced that it has accepted into its collection a major gift of the sole surviving full-scale model of the 1975 Jaws shark. Created for display at the Universal Studios Hollywood at the time of the film’s release, the prop remained a popular backdrop for photos until 1990, when it was moved to the yard of Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking of Sun Valley, California, that regularly bought or hauled used vehicles from Universal Studios. With the business slated to close in January 2016, owner Nathan Adlen has made a generous gift of the historic prop to the Academy Museum.

jaws on location   The shark model will join the Museum’s unmatched holdings— including an underwater apparatus and fin used in Jaws and Jaws II— as the largest object to enter the Academy’s collection to date. The monumental fiberglass model is a  final version made from the original mold. It yielded three latex and rubber casts that were used in production. Following the film’s release, the rubber casts deteriorated and were discarded. But, the fourth cast survived.

   The creation of the film’s mechanical shark—which Steven Spielberg named Bruce after his lawyer, Bruce Ramer—was undertaken by art director Joe Alves, who designed a prop with a 25-foot long body, 400-pound head and jaws nearly five feet wide. In 2010, the prop was authenticated by Roy Arbogast, a member of the film’s special effects crew.

   When the Academy Museum opens next year, I wouldn’t get too close to Bruce… especially if he’s hungry!

————————————————— Douglas_Dick_in_Rope_trailer

   Douglas Dick was an actor who appeared in fine films, including Rope, The Accused, The Red Badge of Courage, Flaming Star, CasbahHome of the Brave, and North to Alaska. He made many appearances on television. He guest-starred on Perry Mason a total of seven times. Dick also had roles in 77 Sunset StripSea Hunt, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and Mannix. He eventually retired to become a psychiatrist.

   Douglas Dick (right) was 95.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Loss of a Television Staple…

January 7th, 2016

Manny P. here… One_day_at_a_time_schneider_1976

   Pat Harrington Jr. was an actor and comedian who in the 1950s received attention as a member of Steve Allen’s fabled television comic troupe, but secured lasting fame decades later as Dwayne Schneider, the handyman on the long-running One Day at a Time. The series from prolific producer Norman Lear was a hit, airing on CBS from 1975 to 1984. The role brought him an Emmy  in its final year of production. He also had a recurring part on the Danny Thomas sitcom, Make Room for Daddy.          PAT HARRINGTON JR.  —->

   Harrington Jr. was the son of a song-and-dance man who made his name in vaudeville and on Broadway. Following in his father’s footsteps, he pursued a career in entertainment. Steve Allen added his talent to the likes of Louis Nye, Don Knotts, and Tom Poston. Once Allen was replaced by Jack Paar on The Tonight Show, Harrington Jr. was included in memorable sketches.

   During the 1960s, Pat guest-starred on The Bing Crosby Show, Mr. NovakF TroopThe Man From U.N.C.L.E., McHale’s Navy, Love American Style, and The Love Boat. After his success on One Day at a Time, he was invited to appear on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Murder She WroteThe King of Queens, and Hot in Cleveland. He also had small roles in films, including Easy Come Easy Go starring Elvis Presley, and The Candidate with Robert Redford. Harrington Jr. was additionally a voice actor for various cartoons.

   Pat Harrington Jr. was 85.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Australian Wunderkind is Dead…

January 5th, 2016

Manny P. here…

robert_stigwood1   Robert Stigwood was a highly successful impresario and entertainment entrepreneur. In the 1960s and 1970s, he became one of the most successful figures in the entertainment world through his management of Cream and The Bee Gees; theatrical productions, such as Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar; and movies, including the hugely successful Saturday Night Fever. Stigwood followed this production with another hugely successful film adaptation of one of his stage productions, the rock’n’roll musical Grease. The tandem secured John Travolta from television staple to major motion picture star.  ROBERT STIGWOOD ->

330px-Saturday_night_fever_pg_version_movie_poster   Early in his career, he managed Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, and Blind Faith. Later, he successfully managed Yvonne Elliman and Player on his RSO Records label. Other successful Broadway productions included Evita (winner of the 1980 Tony Award for Best Musical) Pippin, Oh! Calcutta!, and Sweeney Todd. He collaborated on cinematic versions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita; sequels, Staying Alive and Grease 2; as soundtrack producer of Fame and The Empire Strikes Back; and Tommy, Bugsy MaloneSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Gallipoli. He was also executive producer of the Music for UNICEF Concert. His musical savvy also served him well for the flick, Time Square, as he promoted some of the hottest New Wave artists at the time, such as Patti Smith, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, and Roxy Music.

   Stigwood’s legacy as the father of the modern Rock Opera remains in tact. His influence is entrenched in the productions of The Rocky Horror Show and the musical version of Little Shop of Horrors. Along the way, he revived the careers of The Bee Gees and Olivia Newton John, as they became pop culture superstars.

   Robert Stigwood was 81.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Mark Twain Writings Resurfaces…

January 3rd, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Scholars at UC Berkeley have found pieces written by Mark Twain that are 150 years old. Not unfinished, but published stories. Members of the Mark Twain Project of Berkeley found them in the archives of the San Francisco Chronicle that were so old, the newspaper was called the San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle when they were published.


   When Twain was 29, his job included writing a 2,000-word dispatch every day, and then, sending it off by stagecoach for publication in the Territorial Enterprise newspaper in Virginia City, Nevada. He wrote six stories a week to communicate the stories of San Francisco to Virginia City, which were both major mining towns at the time.

   Often times, the discovery of unpublished stories from an author occur after they’ve died. An example of a posthumous novel: The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway that was unfinished, but later published by his estate. On the other hand, the new Mark Twain find were completed published works.

   The Mark Twain Project has discovered 110 of these columns, and a collection of these newly uncovered writings is expected to come out around 2017.

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   Another one of the great cinematographers has died. Hungarian-born Vilmos Zsigmond (right) helped define cinema’s American New Wave in the 1970s through iconic collaborations and a preference for natural light. He first gained renown for his collaboration with Robert Altman on classics McCabe & Mrs. Miller and The Long Goodbye.

   In addition to his work on Michael Cimino’s classic The Deer Hunter, for which he earned an Oscar nomination, Zsigmond also worked with Brian De Palma on a number of films, including Blow Out. Zsigmond’s sole Oscar win was for Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Other films of note: Deliverance, Sugarland Express, Heaven’s Gate, Obsession, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and The Witches of Eastwick.

   In 2003, a survey conducted by the International Cinematographers Guild placed Zsigmond among the ten most influential cinematographers in history. In 2012, along with Yuri Neyman, he co-founded Global Cinematography Institute in Los Angeles with the mission to educate cinematographers, and to preserve and extend the role of cinematographer as the major expert and contributor in the image building process in all current and future variations of the complex mix of artistry and technology.

   Vilmos Zsigmond was 85.

Until next time>                               “never forget”