“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Dark Day…

January 22nd, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`There was a time when young folks of the 1960s would rush home from school to watch (of all things) a soap opera. The program was macabre, filled with vampires, a wolfman, assorted other ghouls and ghosts, and starred one of Hollywood’s Golden Age greats… Joan Bennett. It was called Dark Shadows.

“`The program became popular with the introduction of Barnabas Collins, played by Jonathan Frid. The character who unshackled the monstrous Barnabas was a Dwight Frye-type, named Willie Loomis, portrayed by the late John Karlan.

                                        JOHN KARLAN

“`Karlan began his career when he enrolled in American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Upon graduation, he began working in live television, such as the  Kraft Television Theatre. John also had a role in Naked City. After his five-year stint on Dark Shadow, he guest-starred in The Mod Squad, The MagicianKojak, Police StoryMedical Center, Barnaby Jones, Mannix, The Streets of San Francisco, All in the Family, and Hill Street Blues.

“`During the second phase of his career, Karlan was added to the cast of Cagney and Lacey. This assignment lasted over six years, and he earned an Emmy for his efforts. So memorable was his work, Karlan would reprise his roles on  Cagney and Lacey and Dark Shadows in a number of big screen productions and made-for-TV specials. He also appeared in Mad About You and Murder She Wrote.

“`For the record,  Willie Loomis was one of my five favorite characters on episodic television of the 1960s. The others were Dr. Zachary Smith (Lost in Space), Emma Peel (The Avengers), Tony Newman (The Time Tunnel), and The Riddler (Batman).

“`John Karlan was eighty-six.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Prize for Leonard Maltin…

January 14th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Turner Classic Movies has announced that the 3rd annual Robert Osborne Award, recognizing any individual who has kept the cultural heritage of classic films alive for future generations, will be presented to one of the world’s most respected movie critics and historians… Leonard Maltin (right). His face is well known to lovers of Hollywood.

“`Best known for a widely-used reference Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, as well as his thirty-year run on television’s Entertainment Tonight, Maltin served two terms as the President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry, and was appointed by the Library of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of National Film Preservation Foundation.

“`He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, appears regularly on TCM, and hosts the weekly podcast Maltin on Movies with his daughter Jessie. He was the recipient of awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Telluride Film Festival,   Anthology Film ArchivesAmerican Society of Cinematographers,George Eastman House and San Diego’s Comic-Con International.

“`The initial Robert Osborne Awards were handed out in 2018 to iconic movie maker Martin Scorsese, and 2019 to film preservationist Kevin Brownlow. It will continue to be presented annually at the TCM Classic Film Festival.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- My 2020 SAG Ballot…

January 13th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`This is the annual presentation of my SAG Awards Ballot, highlighting personal selections for cinema-related performances in 2019. In my humble estimation, this was a solid year for film productions. Almost everything I watched, I totally enjoyed. Here are my selections:

   

 OUTSTANDING MALE:  Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

There were a number of amazing male lead performances this year, a far cry from the last two years. Joaquin Phoenix rises from this talented pack, including Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Adam Sandler, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo and Antonio Banderas; all snubbed. Of those chosen, Christian Bale’s was my second selection, Adam Driver was solid, Leo DiCaprio works well with Tarentino. As for Taron Egerton, he is no Rami Malek.  Joker is landmark film making because of the contributions of Phoenix.

   OUTSTANDING FEMALE:  Renee Zellweger  (Judy)

This category remains a two-horse race. It would be easy to pick Cynthia Erivo, clearly a rising star in Hollywood. At the end of the day, Renee Zellweger garners a statuette for her magnetic performance in Judy. That said, the actual production was quite pedestrian.  Renee rises from the ashes like a phoenix (Joaquin?).  I was also impressed with the work of Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron. Saoirse Ronan was clearly snubbed.

  OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING MALE:  Joe Pesci (The Irishman)

Brad Pitt will walk away with The Actor. He is phenomenal opposite DiCaprio. I just personally loved Joe Pesci a bit better. If either wins, I will be satisfied.  Jamie Foxx and Tom Hanks give their dependable best. It is hard to believe that Al Pacino rounds out the field. How does Paul Walter Hauser, the protagonist of Richard Jewell, not get considered? He clearly delivered a Hollywood-defining role.

   OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING FEMALE:  Laura Dern (Marriage Story)

A competitive field, Laura Dern edges out Scarlet Johansson. She portrays a sassy lawyer with amazing green tea and scones. Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman are brassy bombshells; J-LO fades off the block.  Kathy Bates was shut out when the production company submitted her in the lead category by mistake, a real shame.

   OUTSTANDING CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE:  The Irishman

Once again, my favorite cinema of the year had casts largely ignored… Motherless Brooklyn, Richard Jewell, Hidden Gems, Ford vs. Ferrari, and especially,  Marriage Story. How did the latter receive such individual accolades, only to be missing as a collaborative effort. Of the actual nominees, The Irishman slips past Parasite, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Bombshell. I loved Jojo Rabbit because of the individual performance of Johannson and the children.

~ My 2019 Top 10 Fav Motion Pictures:  1. Motherless Brooklyn  2. Richard Jewell    3. Ford vs. Ferrari  4. Just Mercy  5. The Irishman  6. 1917  7. Jojo Rabbit  8. Joker   9. Dark Water  10. Hidden Gems / Marriage Story (tie)

“’The SAG Awards airs on January 19th on TNT and TBS. We will see how I do this year…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Honored in Bronze…

January 10th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Bronze statues depicting famous moments and characters in celluloid from the last century will be placed in Leicester Square in a celebration of London’s film history. The locale was first home to cinema in 1930, with the initial premiere taking place there in 1937. Since then, this square has cemented its place in British cinema history and it regularly plays host to some of the most high-profile events in the United Kingdom’s movie calendar.

“`Laurel and Hardy, Mary Poppins, and Mr. Bean will be among eight figures in the statue trail, which will open next month. Also represented in the square will be Looney Tunes’ Bugs Bunny, Wonder Woman, and Paddington. A statue of Gene Kelly recreating the memorable Singin’ In The Rain dance sequence will also be on display. Concept art shows a statue of Batman stood watching over the square from the roof of the Odeon Luxe.

“`The statues will interact with the square, and designers plan on using walls, benches, and flower beds. A couple of the figures are going to be illuminated at night and accompanied by videos and music.

“`The statues will be unveiled on February 27th.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Buck Smart…

January 8th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Buck Henry was an actor, screenwriter, and director. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award; 1968 for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Graduate, 1979 for Best Director for Heaven Can Wait. Henry’s long career started on television  with work on shows with Steve Allen and Mel Brooks, and on Saturday Night Live. Buck Henry (right) was the face and the written word of comedy for generations.

“`Buck began his journey as a cast member in topical variety shows, most notably, on That Was the Week That Was.  Brooks collaborated with the comedian to develop a sitcom satirizing the James Bond franchise. Get Smart ran for five seasons. Captain Nice was a short-lived but cult classic that was written by Henry. His edgy comedy played well on late night television. Buck would host Saturday Night Live ten times.

“`On the big screen, Henry co-starred in memorable comedies, including The Graduate, Catch-22, The Owl and the Pussycat, Eating Raoul, and Grumpy Old Men. He also received writing credits for the first three mentioned, plus on What’s Up Doc?.

“`A prolific figure in the field of comedy, Buck Henry was eighty-nine.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Holy Hollywoodland…

January 7th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Burt Ward, who played Robin on Batman in the 1960s, is receiving a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday. It will placed right by the actor who played the Caped Crusader, his co-star Adam West.  Bob Kane, who created the Batman comic strip is also in the same vicinity. He was one of the iconic supporting players of Television’s Golden Age.

“`Burt’s career never materialized, typecast as the Boy Wonder since the original run of the television show. He made a few live appearances with West, fully in costume. Burt ended up in dozens of forgettable made-for-television films. Recently, Ward promoted Batman on ME-TV.

“`Lately, Ward has been a front man in efforts to promote animal rescue and adopt. He and his wife appeared in an Animal Planet Adoption Tales episode.

“`Congratulations to the durable Burt Ward (above) !!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Top Forty…

December 31st, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`On December 31, 1979, I began the journey into the world of broadcasting. The week before, I had been interviewed for a position at KRLA 1110 AM. It was odd to be going for a job on Christmas Eve, but this was an opportunity I could not turn down. Keep in mind, I was still attending UCLA.

 

Photo #2 – MANNY PACHECO (far right) with

MIKE WAGNER  JOHNNY HAYES  REAL DON STEELE  CHARLIE TUNA

“`I was hired as the Assistant Promotions Director, and began my employment the day before New Years. It was Art Laboe who believed I could have a lucrative career in the radio industry. His hunch proved correct. On January 1, 1981, I was named the Nighttime Radio Host. I have remained on the air every year since that magical moment in time.

“`With stops at a dozen different stations, I am grateful to have spent my entire broadcasting career in Southern California. My latest venture: Weekend Traffic Anchor at KNX 1070 News Radio, a legendary station in the Los Angeles market.

 

“`The blessings continue and the journey is not over. In the meantime, I have forty years of memories…

“`HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Lee Mendelson Christmas…

December 27th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Lee Mendelson was a producer who changed the face of the holidays when he brought A Charlie Brown Christmas to television in 1965 and wrote the lyrics to its signature song, Christmas Time Is Here. Mendelson headed the team that included Peanuts author Charles Schulz, director Bill Melendez, and pianist and composer Vince Guaraldi.

“`Lee graduated from Stanford University in 1954, served in the Air Force, and worked for his father’s fruit-and-vegetable company before being employed at the Bay Area’s KPIX-TV. In 1963, he started his own production company and made a documentary on San Francisco Giants legend Willie Mays, A Man Named Mays, that became a hit special on NBC.

“`Mendelson’s team was convinced to create the comic strip’s first television special in 1965. Schulz wrote the now-familiar teleplay of a depressed Charlie Brown seeking the meaning of Christmas. Lee hired Guaraldi to provide the music after hearing the jazz artist’s composition Cast Your Fate to the Wind while driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. It became the biggest holiday classic on television. The program won an Emmy and Peabody Award and has played on the small screen annually ever since.

“`Mendelson also took other comic strips from newspapers to animated television, including Garfield, for which he produced a dozen specials. Lee won twelve Emmys in his long career.

“`Lee Mendelson was eighty six.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Other Than White Christmas…

December 21st, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Bing Crosby is best known as a crooner of holiday tunes. His most famous was White Christmas. But upon closer inspection, Bing has garnered more single purchases than Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, Judy Garland, Gene Autry and Alvin and The Chipmunks… combined! White Christmas is the world’s best selling song with an estimated fifty million copies sold.

“`Here is a rundown:

~ I’ll Be Home For Christmas – A Top Ten tune for Bing in 1943, it was originally written to honor our military overseas who longed to be home at Christmas time. This song touched the hearts of Americans, soldiers and civilians alike, in the midst of World War II.

~ Mele Kalikimaka – One of the earliest recordings of this novelty composition was made by Crosby and The Andrews Sisters in 1950. It was written in 1949.

~ Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep –  An Oscar-nominated song from the musical, White Christmas, it is a duet sung by Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. It is a yuletide classic, despite zero references to Christmas in the lyrics. Also featured in the film is the ditty Snow.

~ Do You Hear What I Hear – This is a tune that feels like a twentieth century standard, but it was actually conceived as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crises in 1962. It shares the heartfelt passage of the Nativity of Jesus, as referenced in the Gospel of Matthew.  Initially performed by the Harry Simeone Chorale, it was an instant classic for Bing the following year.

~ Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth –  It was a televised duet performed one month before the passing of Crosby; he is incredibly joined by David Bowie in the performance. The Christmas special aired as a posthumous tribute to Bing. The eventual single became one of Bowie’s best selling in his career, with estimated sales of 400,000 in the United Kingdom.

“`By the way, Crosby did not like White Christmas. It took Fred Astaire to convince Bing to record the Irving Berlin composition originally intended as an offering for Astaire. Go figure…

“`Bing Crosby is the perfect way to usher in the holidays!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- That’s Aiello…

December 13th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Danny Aiello was a blue-collar character actor, who had a long career playing tough guys on the big screen. The pinnacle of his career was an Oscar-nomination for his role in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing.

DANNY AIELLO

“`A child of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, Aiello retained a pugnacity he learned on city streets. After three years in the service, he worked at several factory jobs, and eventually ending up as a baggage man at Greyhound. The ambitious Aiello rose to become president of the transit union.

“`After working as a bouncer at The Improv, he became a nightly regular at Cafe’ Central. This famous night spot was partly owned by Regis Philbin. Soon, a couple of opportunities for acting emerged.

“`Early cinematic work included roles in Bang the Drum Slowly and The Godfather Pt. II, both featuring Robert De Niro. Woody Allen hired him to appear in  Broadway Danny Rose, The Front, The Purple Rose of Cairo, and Radio Days. His signature moment came while co-starring in Moonstruck with Cher. Memorable assignments included The Pick-Up ArtistFort Apache The Bronx, Once Upon a Time in America, Hudson Hawk, and in Harlem Nights. Aiello also played Madonna’s father in the pop icon’s Papa Don’t Preach video.

“`The familiar Danny Aiello was eighty-six.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- LOC National Film Registry 2019…

December 12th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`This year’s selections of the Library of Congress National Film Registry have just been announced. Twenty-five entrants including fairly recent productions:  Amadeus, Platoon, Boys Don’t Cry, Purple Rain, She’s Gotta Have It, Coal Miner’s Daughter, and Zoot Suit. Noted motion pictures from Hollywood’s Golden Age include:

~ GASLIGHT –  Based on a Broadway play, and also staged as Angel Street. Ingrid Bergman won her first Oscar for her spellbinding performance in the lead role. She was ably assisted by Charles Boyer, Joseph Cotten, Dame May Whitty, and in her movie debut,  Angela Lansbury as a cockney maid, and expertly directed by George Cukor.  Gaslighting remains firmly within our cultural lexicon.

   

~ SLEEPING BEAUTY –  This was the last of classic animated fairy-tale adaptations produced by Walt Disney. Along with vivid images, the film introduced audiences to one of Disney’s most enduring villainesses —  Maleficent (voiced by Eleanor Audley). Disney transformed a timeless fable from the original Charles Perrault The Sleeping Beauty of the Wood and The Brothers Grimm Little Briar-Rose.

~ OLD YELLER –  Also produced by Disney, this timeless production was directed by Robert Stevenson, and stars Fess Parker, Dorothy McGuire, and Tommy Kirk. It was adapted from a Fred Gipson novel.  Few cinematic endings have ever proved as emotionally affecting as the conclusion of this melodramatic piece.

“`An unprecedented seven motion pictures directed by women are in the year’s list, the most since the inaugural registry in 1989.  The oldest footage is of immigrants arriving in New York at Ellis Island in 1903, a poignant examination of a still debated policy.  And The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese’s 1978 documentary,  pays tribute to the 1976 farewell concert by The Band, featuring performances by the biggest names in music.

“`Selections heralding diversity dominates this year’s class.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Big Bird Loses His Voice…

December 9th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Caroll Spinney lent his voice to Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for nearly fifty years on Sesame Street. His death came on the same day that the PBS program was honored for lifetime achievement in the arts as a Kennedy Center Honors recipient. CAROLL SPINNEY

“`After Spinney spent four years in the Air Force, he returned to his residence in Massachusetts to work in television. He teamed up with puppeteer Judy Valentine for their own daily series. He later worked on a Boston version of Bozo’s Big Top. After a rotten performance during a puppet fest in Utah, he met Muppet master Jim Henson.

“`Spinney joined the Muppet crew when Sesame Street turned from a popular phenomenon into an American institution. Big Bird became the program’s biggest star, his name and image synonymous with PBS and children’s television. After Henson died in 1990, Caroll went to the funeral dressed in his familiar yellow garb and sang It Isn’t Easy Being Green to honor the voice of Kermit the Frog.

“`Caroll Spinney was eighty-five.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Triple Threat…

December 6th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Ron Leibman appeared in film, theater, and television in a career that spanned six decades. He won his Tony Award for Tony Kushner’s stage production, Angels in America. He portrayed controversial lawyer Roy Cohn. Ron’s wife was actress Jessica Walter.

“`Leibman was a member of the Compass Players in the late 1950s, and he was admitted to The Actors Studio, shortly thereafter. Ron made his motion picture debut in Where’s Poppa in 1970. Other movies include The Hot Rock, Slaughterhouse-Five, Norma Rae, Zorro: The Gay Blade, and Rhinestone.         RON LEIBMAN –>

“`Ron received an Emmy in 1979 as the Lead Actor in Kaz. He also guest-starred in Police Story, Murder She Wrote, Law and Order, The Sopranos, and memorably, in Friends.

“`Ron Leibman was eighty-two.

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

“`Robert Walker Jr was the son of an iconic actor who shared the same moniker, and Academy Award-winning actress, Jennifer Jones. Bob’s step-dads included David O. Selznick and Norton Simon.

“`His movies included Ensign Pulver , Easy Rider, The Happening, and The War Wagon. He was prolific on television, guest starring in Route 66, Naked City, Ben Casey, Combat!, The Big Valley, Dr. KildareThe Time Tunnel, Bonanza, The F. B. I., Charlie’s Angels, The Six Million Dollar Man, Star Trek, and Murder She Wrote.

“`Robert Walker Jr. (above) was seventy-nine.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Leonard Goldberg Dies…

December 5th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Leonard Goldberg was a movie and television producer. He served as the head of programming with ABC, and president of Twentieth Century Fox. He also produced a string of hit television series as a partner with Aaron Spelling.                 LEONARD GOLDBERG –>

“`As a television producer,  Leonard developed the Peabody Award-winning  Brian’s Song and  The Boy in the Plastic Bubble; with the latter helped to launch John Travolta’s film career. Leonard also produced the Emmy-winning Something About Amelia that aired on ABC in 1984. It was one of the highest-rated television films of the year, watched by around sixty to seventy million people.

“`Goldberg’s success on television include Charlie’s Angels, Hart to Hart, The Rookies, Fantasy IslandT. J. Hooker, Starsky and Hutch, and most recently, Blue Bloods. He oversaw the creation of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and the daytime soap opera, Dark Shadows. Plus, he is credited with pioneering the made-for-TV movie format.

“`He supervised the cinematic productions: BigSleeping with the Enemy, WarGames, The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, Die HardBroadcast News, Wall Street, and Working Girl.

“`The producer has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; and in 2007, he was inducted in the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

“`Leonard Goldberg was eighty-five.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Beast of 2020 Fathoms…

December 4th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`2020 will be an epic year in the collaboration of Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events. Together, they bring Big Screen Classics. Here is next year’s lineup:

Until next time>                               “never forget”