“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”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Holiday Pilgrimage…

November 27th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`After a one year hiatus, I will be back at the  Hollywood Heritage annual Afternoon with the Authors event. This is an opportunity for book lovers to mingle with authors of literature about cinema, including my Forgotten Hollywood book series.

“`Each scribe will offer a brief presentation and provide autographed copies of their books. It is an appropriate chance to bargain shop for personalized holiday gifts for friends and family. The Hollywood Heritage Barn is located across the street from the Hollywood Bowl. This special event takes place on Saturday, December 7th from 12p – 4p.

“`Stop on by, and let’s meet!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Michael J. Pollard…

November 23rd, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Michael J. Pollard was an impish actor, who resembled John C. Reilly. Pollard earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod for his performance in the Arthur Penn-directed Bonnie and Clyde. Pollard co-starred with Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, and Estelle Parsons.

“`On stage, Pollard (right)  was offered the role of Hugo Peabody in the Tony-winning 1960 original production of Bye Bye Birdie. In 1963, he was cast in Carl Reiner’s Enter Laughing. Michael also appeared in the screen adaptation in 1967. Other notable cinematic parts include Little Fauss and Big Halsy, House of a 1000 CorpsesTango and Cash, Scrooged, Dirty Little BillyMelvin and HowardDick Tracy, and Roxanne.

“`Pollard guest-starred in hundreds of television programs, most notably, in Lost in Space  (a personal favorite), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Andy Griffith Show, Star Trek, Route 66, The Lucy Show, I Spy, and Gunsmoke. He remained friends with many filmmakers, including Rob Zombie and Angela Cartwright.

“`The boyish actor proved to be an inspiration throughout his career.  Actor Michael Fox added the letter “J” as his middle initial in tribute. And it was Pollard who penned the title of the 1971 Traffic song and album The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys. He was a buddy with the drummer Jim Capaldi.

“`Michael J. Pollard was eighty.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- It’s Time For Dodgers Baseball…

November 19th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`PBS SoCal and KCET are presenting DODGERS STORIES:  6 DECADES IN LA. This new documentary is a nostalgic look at the colorful history of the team. Through archival footage, interviews, and historical photos, the program will explore the rich saga of the team that has been in Los Angeles since 1958.

 

“`Besides conversations with former and current players,  on-camera chats include celebrated sportscasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin, as well as colorful interviews with Dodgers historian Mark Langill, and former council member Rosalind Wyman, who was influential in bringing the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Rather than a chronological history of the team in Los Angeles, the program is divided into themes such as The Stadium, Rivalries, and Trailblazers.

“`The documentary premieres this Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 28th at 7p on PBS SoCal, and will also air at 8:30p on KCET. Following the broadcast, the film will be available exclusively on PBS Passport, the member-supported streaming service.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Stocking Stuffer…

November 18th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Buttons is a just released holiday musical starring Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Robert Redford, and Kate Winslet. The release date of the DVD is December 3, 2019.

“`Buttons is a magical family-friendly fantasy. This tale proves that believing can be the nicest gift of all. Follow the profoundly heartwarming journey of two orphan girls whose only wish is to find a home for Christmas. With a little help from their guardian angels, they discover that miracles really can happen when you have faith.

“`From director Tim Janis, this inspiring movie also features Jane Seymour, Roma Downey, and Abigail Spencer. You may pre-order or receive a digital copy at:  https://paramnt.us/Get.Buttons

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“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/.

“`ENJOY!

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”