“Forgotten Hollywood”- It Takes a Street…

November 12th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Fifty years ago, Carol Burnett appeared on the initial broadcast of a quirky television program that featured a bunch of furry puppets. This first episode aired in the fall of 1969. That show was Sesame Street and a lot of kids were instantly hooked. Big Bird, The Cookie Monster, and  Oscar the Grouch are now part of a year-long celebration of this time-honored program.

“`Sesame Street‘s producers Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett worked with Harvard University developmental psychologist Gerald Lesser to design the show’s pioneering approach to schooling.  Iconic puppeteer Jim Henson supplied the critters. Other kid’s programming included basic programs as Captain Kangaroo and Romper Room. Only Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was teaching simple social skills.

“`The show was designed to help low-income and minority students to prepare for pre-school. The diverse show was set on an urban street with a multicultural cast.  Monsters, humans and animals all resided together peacefully.  Over the decades, Sesame Street became the initial children’s program to feature an individual with Down syndrome. They have had Muppets with HIV, autism, and in foster care, invited youngsters in wheelchairs, and discussed the topics of jailed parents, homelessness, women’s rights and military families. It introduced the bilingual Rosita — the first Latina Muppet. A vegan Muppet is in the works.

“`Some shows have lasted longer — Meet the Press and The Tonight Show among them; but few have had as big a cultural impact. Over six hundred celebrities have appeared on the program. Rubber Duckie and Sing are hit tunes that have actually charted. Not everyone has adored the show; especially those who complain about federal funds going to nonprofits that earn millions on licensing for a variety of items, such as lunch boxes, toys, diapers and most recently, commercials for Farmer’s Insurance.

“`One more item… The man who has given voice and life to Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for five decades is hanging up his large orange legs. At eighty-four, Caroll Spinney has performed the roles since the show’s first episode. His retirement ends an era for this tireless puppeteer.

“`Sesame Street is due to take home a well-deserved Kennedy Center honor for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in December, the first time a television program will receive the award.

“`Here’s to another fifty!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- No Strings Attached…

November 8th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Maria Perego was the individual who created Topo Gigio, a puppet who entertained millions of adults and youngsters. Her great innovation in children’s television was understanding how to animate puppets like Topo Gigio in a convincing way: making them move by people totally dressed in black on a black background.

                        TOPO GIGIO

“`Perego created the puppet for the Italian television station Rai. In 1963, the character’s popularity spread all over the world after being featured on The Ed Sullivan Show. Topo Gigio closed Sullivan’s last program in 1971. The character remains a fixture of Italian pop culture and still performs regularly at festivals in Italy.

“`Maria Perego was ninety five.


“`Happy birthday to Norman Lloyd, who celebrates with 105 candles on his cake. The legendary actor worked with Charlie Chaplin, was a memorable screen villain for Alfred Hitchcock, and co-starred on television’s St. Elsewhere.

“`Mr. Norman Lloyd (right)… Enjoy your special day!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Casting of James Dean…

November 6th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The team behind the independent film Finding Jack have cast a computer-generated James Dean in a co-starring role in their upcoming production. The digital Dean is to be assembled through old footage and photos and voiced by another actor.

“`Adapted from Gareth Crocker’s novel, the production is a live-action movie about the United States military’s abandonment of canine units after the Vietnam War. Rights to Dean’s likeness were acquired by the movie makers and by  Magic City Films through CMG Worldwide. The company represents Dean’s family along with intellectual property rights associated with many other deceased personalities, including Neil Armstrong, Bette Davis, and Burt Reynolds.

“`Digitally manipulated posthumous performances have been inserted into movies. But those have been largely roles the actors already played,  including Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing, who first appeared together in Star Wars, and were featured after their passing in the 2016 spinoff Rogue One.

“`What would James Dean (above) say about the controversy? How about this…

If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live after he’s died, then maybe he was a great man. Immortality is the only true success!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Our Midwest Radio Affiliate…

November 5th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The Forgotten Hollywood Radio Program has added a new affiliate: 89.9 KRPS-FM. Beginning November 16th, you can hear the weekly show every Saturday at 9p (CST). The broadcast coverage includes parts of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.


“`Licensed to Pittsburg State University, KRPS-FM is professionally staffed and the area’s official affiliate for programming from National Public Radio (NPR). Its 100,000 watt signal makes it the most powerful radio station in the region. On any given day, KRPS listeners will hear in-depth news, classical music, lively jazz, and international views from the BBC.

“`The weekly show takes a nostalgic journey back to Hollywood’s Golden Age with tales and audio from memorable films and television.  You will additionally hear music and recordings from legendary actors and crooners. Forgotten Hollywood is based on my award-winning book series.

“`Worldwide, you can stream it live at:  http://station.voscast.com/59f1fe597c9c3/.


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Disturbing Dorian…

October 30th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Wondered what became of the Dorian Gray portrait featured in the 1940s motion picture, it can currently be found on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. It attracts lots of attention, often disturbing museum patrons not expecting to come across such a monstrosity.

“`Ivan Albright designed this lurid portrait for the Oscar-winning MGM movie adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s 1891 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. In Wilde’s macabre tale, Dorian Gray decides to commission a portrait of himself as an attractive young man and later trades his soul for an ever-youthful appearance. As the still-handsome Gray travels an increasingly troubled and evil path; his painted representation rots and decays, revealing the extent of a moral corruption of his own making.

“`Albright’s renown for visualized offerings of terror made him the ideal choice of Albert Lewin, the director of the movie, to paint the horrific image of Gray. Although the movie was filmed in black and white,  Lewin shot the painting in color to represent Gray’s shocking transformation. Actor Hurd Hatfield (above) portrays the tragic figure who bargains with the devil.

“`That painting, along with dozens of others, is on view at the museum as part of an Albright retrospective.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Sun Also Sets…

October 28th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Robert Evans was an actor and a Hollywood producer. He became a Paramount Pictures production chief who backed seminal 1970s movies, including Chinatown, The Godfather, Love Story, and Harold and Maude.

                                     ROBERT EVANS

“`While visiting Los Angeles on business, actress Norma Shearer saw Evans sunbathing by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She asked producers to hire him to portray her late husband, movie mogul Irving Thalberg, in Man of a Thousand Faces, a biography about horror movie star Lon Chaney, and starring James Cagney in the title role. Darryl Zanuck signed Evans to a contract at Twentieth Century Fox and cast him as a bullfighter in The Sun Also Rises.

“`Zanuck eventually offered Evans a three-picture deal as a producer. Paramount Pictures hired him to head production. He quickly converted the studio into the biggest hit machine in Hollywood. From 1966 to 1974, he presided over such moneymakers as Rosemary’s BabyThe Odd Couple, and Goodbye Columbus. Robert optioned  The Godfather before Mario Puzo finished writing it. He supported many directors — Sidney Lumet, Hal Ashby, and Peter Bogdanovich, to name a few.

“`Evans was one of Hollywood’s flamboyant personalities, encapsulating a bygone movie era, when films were green-lit on instinct instead of market research. He was the model for Dustin Hoffman’s Hollywood producer in the 1997 satire Wag the Dog.

“`Robert Evans was eighty-nine.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- I Bid You Welcome…

October 22nd, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is currently under construction in Los Angeles for their expected grand opening sometime in early 2020. They just acquired the actual cape that Bela Lugosi wore in director Tod Browning’s 1931 horror classic, Dracula.

“`Lugosi kept the cape up until the day he died. Bela was buried in a cape that he wore for the Dracula stage production. The artifact is part of the legendary movie items that will comprise their costume collection. It was donated by the actor’s son Bela G. Lugosi.

“`Jack Nicholson’s red jacket from The Shining has also been acquired by the film museum, along with the outfit worn by Kathy Bates in another Stephen King adaptation, Misery.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Verdict in Doubt…

October 21st, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Attorneys have until November to file objections for a proposed decision that will favor the late actress Audrey Hepburn’s eldest son in a a dispute over the authority to control their philanthropic use of her brand and likeness. There has been a lengthy jury trial on whether a charity, Hollywood for Children Inc, was required to get Sean Ferrer’s permission when using the Hepburn likeness for fundraising.

“`This suit alleges Ferrer sought to maintain control, limit, and prohibit the charity from using the Hepburn name and image unless the accused is willing to provide a significant portion of the fundraising proceeds to a separate nonprofit of Ferrer’s choice. Before the charity could seek a jury trial on damages, the judge was tasked with declaring whether Ferrer legally had such control.

“`Ferrer and his half-brother are co-owners of Hepburn’s right of publicity. Their unanimous consent is needed for licensing her likeness and image after March 2103. If the siblings win the case, the verdict will preclude the charity from going forward with the rest of its case.

“`Ironically, in her later years, Audrey Hepburn traveled the world as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF to raise awareness of children in need.

“`And so it goes…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Mr. Maude…

October 18th, 2019

Manny P. here..

“`Bill Macy was best known for his co-starring part as Walter Findlay in the television series, Maude. He was a perfect match as the long-suffering foil to Bea Arthur’s unyielding feminist title character. Maude was the spinoff to the iconic sitcom All in the Family from producers Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin.

BEA ARTHUR                     BILL MACY

“`Before his career as an actor, Macy was a taxi cab driver. His first role was as an understudy to Walter Matthau on Broadway. He eventually was hired in the original cast of the 1969-1972 New York stage production of Oh! Calcutta! that featured fully nude producers. He was in the 1972 movie version of the musical about sexual mores.

“`Macy appeared in funny flicks, such as The Producers, The Jerk, and My Favorite Year. He guest-starred in dozens of television programs, including The Edge of Night, L. A. Law, Chicago Hope, ER, and on several episodes of Seinfeld.

“`Bill Macy was ninety-seven.


“`Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, my initial work in my book series, has surpassed 3,600 hundred in sales. It is great to see my initial paperback continues to sell.  Overall, the entire series has been placed in more than 5,400 hundred hands. It is special to see my sales continue to climb.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Talk of the Town…

October 17th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The city of Plattsburgh unveiled a mural honoring the late actress and Plattsburgh-native, Jean Arthur (below). The new 47×50-foot mural painted on the back of the old Merchant’s National Bank pays tribute to the star.

“`Before hitting the silver screen in the 1930s, the former Gladys Green changed her name to Jean Arthur. It was a name fit for a star. Best know for her iconic screen performances, Arthur was featured in three Frank Capra movies  —  Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can’t Take It with You and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Her Hollywood legacy includes an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. In 1934, she was paid $119,000, which made her one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood.

“`The mural was painted by Brendon Palmer-Angell, another Plattsburgh native who has been successful in the arts. Organizers hope the new homage to Arthur will encourage all dreamers of today to shoot for the stars like their home town icon did in her day.

“`One more thing. Today is Arthur’s birthday. To celebrate organizers are hosting a showing of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington at the Strand Theater in Plattsburgh.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Rita Moreno Leads Parade…

October 16th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Rita Moreno is one of three Grand Marshals at the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on New Years Day. Joining her will be actress Gina Torres and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez. They will also join in the pre-game celebration of the 106th Rose Bowl Game. The theme for the upcoming parade is The Power of Hope.


                                          RITA MORENO

“`Rita calls this selection a dream come true, and added, she was an annual viewer of the festivities. Moreno first burst into the public’s consciousness as Anita in West Side Story, released fifty-eight years ago this week. For her work, she was awarded a Best Supporting Oscar. She currently is set to co-star in a reboot of the classic musical, due out next year.

“`Moreno is famously a member of the elite entertainment industry club known as EGOTs, those performers who have won a GrammyEmmy, Oscar, and Tony award. Her credits span more than six decades, beginning on Broadway at age thirteen.

“`The recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contribution to American culture, Moreno was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W Bush and a National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. In addition to her stage, television, film, and concert accomplishments,  Rita offers her voice to social causes, including racial equality, hunger, early childhood education; and health concerns like breast cancer, heart disease, HIV, and diabetes.

“`Moreno was among the many celebrities to take part in the historic March on Washington on August 28, 1963, and has since been involved with civic, cultural and charitable organizations: Jackie Robinson FoundationNational Endowment for the Arts,  and President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

“`And now, Rita Moreno will be waving to her fans while riding a float in a parade that heralds the beginning of a new year.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Charlie Brown Lawsuit…

October 12th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The copyright owners of the Charlie Brown Christmas theme song are suing Dollywood in federal court for copyright infringement. The East Tennessee theme park, named for country star Dolly Parton, has used the tune without permission in live Christmas performances since 2007. Dollywood denied use of this ditty during last year’s performance, according to court records.


“`The lawsuit claims that Los Angeles-based Lee Mendelson Film Productions licenses the copyright, and they are asking for $150,000 each time the song has been performed. Use of the copyrighted song in a dramatic performance, such as a live show, requires specific rights and permission. According to the suit, Christmas Time is Here was written by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi for the 1965 television special A Charlie Brown Christmas.

“`Dollywood is very aware of the lawsuit, but declined to comment on the pending litigation. Good Grief !!


“`Robert Forster was a prolific character actor who was nominated for an Oscar for Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, and appeared in over one hundred films. Bob began his cinematic career when John Huston cast him in Reflections in a Golden Eye opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.

“`Robert Forster was seventy-eight.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Attack of the Red Planet…

October 11th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The BBC is producing a three-part sci-fi mini-series The War of the Worlds, based on the classic novel by H. G. Wells. The story remains one of the popular and most adapted works of contemporary science fiction.

“`Unlike previous on-screen incarnations, like Steven Spielberg’s 2005 adaptation that took a number of liberties with the original story, or the 1953 flick set in Los Angeles,  this new BBC iteration stays true to the period and setting of the original novel as it’s the first version to be set in the same location as the original novel. It’s the initial version to be set in London during the Edwardian period.

“`The new mini-series will air on BBC One in the UK this fall. However, ITV Studios has distributed the show to a number of additional countries. Details to follow.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Warner Brothers Museum is Open…

October 10th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The historic Warner Cascade Theatre Museum at 11 South Mill Street is where Warner Brothers opened their first theater, the Cascade Picture Palace, on February 2, 1907. The Warner history is extensively documented at the museum located in Pennsylvania.


“`The museum celebrates Warners movie history; silent films, the first talkies, and today’s big screen productions and television shows. Plus, enjoy Looney Toons with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, and the first gangster and wartime training film. Visitors can tour the spacious museum filled with movie memorabilia, sit in plush seats in their small theater, and watch the first flick ever shown there, The Great Train Robbery, which Edwin S. Porter first presented to a New York audience in 1903.

“`At the museum, visitors are welcomed by a mural by Ken Cole of the street as it was in the day, a prime site for photo opportunities. The first theaters were called nickelodeons because it cost a nickel to get in. At the ticket window, a Charlie Chaplin figure ready to take patron’s nickel for the show.  Visitors are immersed in everything from the time before Zorro was the first superhero to today’s Batman and Thor. A part of the ambiance is their concession stand that displays Good ’n Plenty, large Tootsie Rolls and Cracker Jack popcorn.

“`Warner Brothers pledged $150,000 and the state of Pennsylvania matched the grant, and the building was saved. A historical marker also marks the spot.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Diahann Carroll…

October 4th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Diahann Carroll was the Oscar-nominated actor and singer who won critical acclaim as the first African American woman to star in a non-stereotypical role in a television series in Julia. The groundbreaking situation comedy aired from 1968 to 1971.

“`Carroll attended the High School for the Performing Arts. She began her career as a model in a segregated industry; she got much of her work from publications such as black magazine Ebony. An appearance from Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts led to nightclub engagements. She had professional and personal liaisons with Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis Jr., Harry Belafonte, and Sidney Poitier.

“`She co-starred in plays previously considered exclusive territory for white actresses:  Same Time Next Year, Agnes of God, and Sunset Boulevard. Carroll won her Tony portraying a high-fashion American model in Paris who enjoys a romantic encounter with a white novelist in the 1959 Richard Rodgers musical No Strings.

“`Her movie career was sporadic. She began with a secondary role in Carmen Jones in 1954, and five years later, she appeared in Porgy and Bess. Her singing voice was dubbed because it wasn’t considered strong enough for the Gershwin opera. The 1974 film Claudine provided her most memorable role. She would end up being nominated for her Oscar, and she recalled the filming a magical experience.

“`In the 1980s, she joined the long-running prime-time soap opera Dynasty as Dominique Deveraux, the ultra glamorous half-sister of Blake Carrington. Another memorable role was on the small-screen series A Different World. She recently guest-starred on Grey’s Anatomy.

“`Her most celebrated marriage was in 1987 to singer Vic Damone. She was also engaged to David Frost.

“`A trailblazer in every sense of the word, Diahann Carroll was eighty-four.

Until next time>                               “never forget”