“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing Parade Marches On…

July 14th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Maria Cole was part of entertainment royalty. Singing legend Nat King Cole, and their daughter Natalie, had many pop hits to their credit. Maria was also a fine entertainer in her own right during the Big Band era, and beyond.

   Working with the Benny Carter Band, and most notably, as the female vocalist for Count Basie and Duke Ellington Orchestra, Maria Cole also recorded several songs with her husband on Capitol Records. She was a sensation around  the lounge room-circuit in Southern California and New York during the 1950’s. She appeared numerous times on the Ed Sullivan Show. Maria also briefly co-hosted a local daytime television talk show in L.A., Tempo on KHJ Channel 9.

   A first marriage, in 1943 to Tuskegee Airman Spurgeon Ellington, ended with his death during World War II. Nat Cole married her in 1948, and the union lasted until his death of lung cancer in 1965. He had just completed work on Cat Ballou.  MARIA COLE

   After his passing, Maria engaged in charity work, forming the Nat King Cole Generation Hope, Inc. Her children are asking in lieu of flowers, donations be made to their family charity.

   Maria Cole was 89.

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   The son of Darryl F. Zanuck, who was also an award-winning producer of cinema, is dead. Richard D. Zanuck worked for his father at 20th Century Fox, rising to the ranks as chief  mogul. He also headed Warner Brothers, and later formed his own production company, with an office at Universal.

    Much of his work were honored with accolades, including The Sound of Music, Doctor Doolittle, The Sugarland Express, The Sting, Jaws, The  Eiger Sanction, The VerdictDriving Miss DaisyCocoon, Road to Perdition, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. His final production was Dark Shadows,  released earlier this year. He furthered the careers of Steven Speilberg, Tim Burton, Paul Newman, Robert Shaw, and Johnny Depp.    RICHARD ZANUCK

   In 1976, Zanuck announced a much-publicized deal with the estate of novelist Margaret Mitchell to produce a sequel to Gone With the Wind. A book and script were prepared, but the project never materialized on film.

   Zanuck co-produced the 2000 Academy Awards ceremony. The Board of Governors gave the producer the Irving G. Thalberg Award in 1990.

   Richard D. Zanuck was 77.

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   Sylvester Stallone’s son was found deceased; most likely the victim of an accidental overdose of prescription medication. Sage Stallone was an aspiring filmmaker and actor. His uncle was Frank Stallone.

   He appeared in two of his father’s movies: Rocky V and Daylight. Sage also produced a number of short subjects. In 1996, he and film editor Bob Murawski co-founded Grindhouse Releasing, the Los Angeles company dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the exploitation genre of motion pictures. Sage was planning a wedding to his fiancee.        SAGE STALLONE

   Described as devastated and grief-stricken, Sylvester Stallone appeared at Comic-Con on Thursday, the San Diego pop culture festival. He was promoting Expendables 2 with co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s not clear whether Sly remained at the convention, or returned to Los Angeles late Friday evening.

   The Stallone family is asking for privacy while the LAPD conducts an official investigation.

   Sage Stallone was only 36.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Reunion!

July 12th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Last Monday was quite special at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Members of the cast and crew of the iconic It’s a Mad Mad Mad World assembled for a fun panel discussion. The 1963 epic-comedy followed, in it’s fully restored version. It was part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences six-feature The Last 70mm Film Festival, taking place over the last few weeks.

   Moderating the panel, and acting as the Master of Ceremonies, was Billy Crystal. Among the folks in attendance: Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Marvin Kaplin, Barrie Chase, Stan Freberg, and the widow of director Stanley Kramer. Reportedly, Sid Caesar was unable to attend due to health issues. According to Karen Kramer, her husband took on the daunting project; kind of a personal dare after New York Times critic Bosley Crowther suggested he couldn’t make a comedy. Winters made his screen debut in this motion picture; and it was the final movie for Jimmy Durante.

  

   The ten-minute intermission featured the original police calls as played during the initial engagements in the Cinerama Dome piped throughout the theater – even the lobby and restrooms! An added bonus, the screening was preceded by a restored 70mm print of The Miracle of Todd-AO, a 1956 short examining the technological breakthroughs of the high-resolution widescreen process first used in the classic musical Oklahoma! Mickey Rooney  suggested a moment of silence in memory of Ernest Borgnine. This was a poignant reunion!

   On a personal not, let me proudly suggest It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World is the funniest piece of celluloid in the history of American cinema in my humble estimation. Just saying… 

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Peter O’Toole Retires From Acting…

July 11th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Peter O’Toole, the most nominated actor (8) to never win a competitive Oscar in Hollywood history, is retiring from his craft. In 2003, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did honor the star with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He has earned four Golden Globes, a Bafta, and an Emmy award.

   In a classy and eloquent open letter to the press on Tuesday, O’Toole wrote:

   Dear All,
 
   It is time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from films and stage. The heart for it has gone out of me: it won’t come back. My professional acting life, stage and screen, has brought me public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort. It has brought me together with fine people, good companions with whom I’ve shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits. However, it’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay. So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.
 
   Ever, 
   Peter O’Toole  

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Another Book Award For New Work!

July 10th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   In 2010, Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History was an Honorable Mention in the Biography / Autobiography category at the Hollywood Book Festival. Fast forward to 2012. Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History has WON the Biography / Autobiography category! A gala for the entrants will be held at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Saturday, July 21st.

   The competition was fierce, based on the number of entries receiving an  Honorable Mention. Here’s the category list:

BIOGRAPHY / AUTOBIOGRAPHY

WINNER:

Son of Forgotten Hollywood: Forgotten History – Manny Pacheco

RUNNER-UP:

North of Hollywood – Rick Lenz

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Marilyn at Rainbow’s End – Darwin Porter; J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson – Darwin Porter;  Jim Reeves: His Untold Story – Larry Jordan; No Limits: How I Beat the Slots – Deborah Kilday; The Iron Butterfly: Memoir of a Martial Arts Master – Choon-Ok Jade Harmon with Ana Maria Rodriguez; Beamish Boy: A Memoir – Albert Flynn Desilver; The Oxygen Mask Rule – Martha L. Thompson; Firegal… Rising from the Ashes – Gian L. Geldbach-Hall; To Drink the Wild Air – Birgit Soyka; Houston Pretty Enough – Kim Halsey with Charles Lupula; Walkout – Henry C. Woodrum; In The Shadow of the Cross – Charles L. Bailey Jr; Follow the River: Lost in the Mountains of Mexico – Dahlia; Ricardo Breceda / Accidental Artist – Diana Lindsay

   According to their website:

Based in the capital of show business, the Hollywood Book Festival aims to spotlight literature worthy of future consideration by the talent-hungry pipeline of the entertainment industry.

   For a complete listing of the winners in the 2012 Hollywood Book Festival, visit the link:

http://www.hollywoodbookfestival.com/winners2012.htm

   Congratulations to all the entries in this year’s competition.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Life & Times of Ernest Borgnine…

July 9th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Ernest Borgnine is a true Hollywood legend. The burly Italian with a large smile was quite comfortable playing screen  heavies, and a variety of character actors, for over 60 years. And, he got a late start, after spending a decade in the United States Navy.

   He served with distinction on the USS Lamberton (DD-119). His numerous military decorations included the Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal,  Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Defense Service Medal, and a Victory Medal. He was discharged as Gunner’s Mate 1st Class.

   His mother suggested he learn acting after the war. After graduating from the Barter Theatre in Virginia, he landed his first stage part in State of the Union. He was good enough to secure roles on Broadway in The Glass Menagerie and Harvey.

   He had a prolific movie career, appearing in From Here to Eternity, Vera Cruz, Johnny Guitar, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Dirty Dozen, The Flight of the Phoenix, Ice Station Zebra, The Wild Bunch, The Poseidon Adventure, Red, and a small film that turned out to be his signature effort. In all, he shared screen time in over 200 movies.

   Marty was a teleplay that was adapted onto the big screen in 1955. Written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Delbert Mann, it became an international sensation. Borgnine only got the opportunity to star when Rod Steiger accepted the chance to appear in Oklahoma, playing Jud Fry. Ironically, Ernest lost the audition to the versatile Steiger to co-star in the Rogers and Hammerstein-musical.

   A hard-working actor, Ernest Borgnine never shied away from the small screen. He was rewarded in 1962 by given the chance to star in McHale’s Navy. Though it poked fun at his early profession, he treasured the opportunity to don his uniform in a laugh-out-loud satire. His character mirrored the actor’s personality as a jovial prankster. He remained lifelong friends with his co-star Tim Conway. Airwolf was another series he starred in. Borgnine was also memorable in Little House on the Prarie, Magnum P.I., The Love Boat, Walker Texas Ranger, Murder She Wrote, and the final two episodes of ER.

   Beating large-budget films, Marty won an Oscar for the motion picture, Chayefsky, Mann, and Borgnine. It was deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant by the Library of Congress, and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1994.  His later career was interspersed with many well-deserved accolades. He became the oldest actor to be nominated for an Emmy, when he was 92. Last year, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild. He received his statuette at the televised gala.  GRACE KELLY AND ERNEST BORGNINE –>

   His personal life was turbulent. He married five time, including to actress Katy Jurado, and briefly, to Ethel Merman. When the Broadway star wrote about the six week union in her memoirs, the Chapter was maliciously a blank page! Borgnine countered that he mistakenly thought he wed Rosemary Clooney…

   Turner Classic Movies is planning a 24-hour film tribute to the career of this fine actor on July 26th. Also, on Sunday, July 15th, Antenna TV will run a 21-hour marathon of McHale’s Navy. The marathon starts at 7 a.m (ET), and will air 42 episodes of the sitcom.

   The durable cinematic icon, and a real gentleman, Ernest Borgnine was 95.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- 007 Exhibit is Spy Chic…

July 8th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   A new exhibition at London’s Barbican Centre explores the style of James Bond. The collection includes costumes, props, set pieces and design drawings from five decades of 007 films. The show is both a reflection of the remarkable durability of Ian Fleming’s fictional secret agent, and a tribute to the British, European and American craftspeople and designers who have created the look of the quintessentially British icon.

   Clips from the legendary motion pictures are screened throughout the exhibition. Costumes such as tuxes worn by Sean Connery (classic Saville Row) to Roger Moore (by designer Doug Hayward) to Daniel Craig, who is dressed by American Tom Ford highlight the collection of artifacts. More favorites: Bond-Girl gowns, and of course, a neat array of gadgets and props, including a martini glass, minus the shaken-not-stirred beverage.

   Designing 007 runs through September 5th. It will then tour internationally, opening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto in October.

   Cue the John Barry music

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Negro Leagues Museum Recognized!

July 7th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   With Major League Baseball’s annual All-Star Game being held in Kansas City this year, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is receiving plenty of attention this weekend. Located in the same city, efforts are being made so that the African American age of  the sandlot, hardball, and pine tar should never be forgotten.

   The museum was founded in 1990 by a group of former Negro Leagues players, including the late Kansas City Monarchs star Buck O’Neil, who was featured in filmmaker Ken Burns’ PBS documentary Baseball. The museum thrived until O’Neil died in 2006.

   In conjunction with the All-Star Game, the museum has put together two free exhibitions, They Were All Stars and Baseball: America’s Game, which are on display through September 9th. Both highlight elements of an era before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, and all the way through 1959, when the Boston Red Sox became the last team to integrate.

   On Saturday night, Sen. Roy Blount and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II are hosting Buck, BBQ and Baseball, an evening of entertainment and a wicked amateur barbecue contest. The following morning, Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson will participate in a discussion of the game moderated by fellow Hall of Famer Dave Winfield. A reunion of former Negro Leagues players who became MLB All-Stars will follow — seven of the 20 are still alive; Willie Mays, Don Newcombe, Ernie Banks, Monte Irvin, Minnie Minoso and George Altman. Phillies slugger Ryan Howard is hosting an invitation-only fundraiser after Monday night’s Home Run Derby; and an All Star Game watch party is planned for Tuesday at the museum.

   The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will likely experience a significant windfall, financially and in terms of awareness, possibly ensuring its future for years to come. Officials expect to make upwards of $500,000 over the weekend. The museum is located by the American Jazz Museum. The Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association are aggressively promoting these locations as places to enjoy. These are wonderful stops for tourists over the next week.

   For lovers of the Grand Old Game, this is the go-to place, if you can’t travel to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- First Work Receives eBook Accolade!

July 6th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History has been named a Finalist for a Global eBook Award. My first book is available through an eReader, and this marks the 6th time my original work has been presented an important literary accolade.

   Here’s the official category info regarding Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History:

  

Non-Fiction Categories

Entertainment and Performing Arts (Music/Dance/Film) Non-Fiction

  • Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History by Manny Pacheco
  • Hollywood Stories: Short Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! by Stephen Schochet

   The awards ceremony is taking place on August 18th in Santa Barbara at the Downtown University Club. Author, producer, and actor, Marilu Henner will be the opening keynote speaker for the Global eBook Awards. Marilu has appeared in 14 films, including Cannonball Run II and Oscar-winning Titanic. She’s best known for her role as Elaine Nardo on the sitcom Taxi from 1978 to 1983.

   Jim Cox, the publisher of the Midwest Book Review, is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious organization has given the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series two 5-Star Reviews. Bill Frank, a popular talk-show host, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the 2nd Annual event.

   Here’s a link for the complete list of this year’s Finalists:

http://globalebookawards.com/2012-global-ebook-awards-finalists/

   Overall, this marks my 8th official recognition for the Forgotten Hollywood franchise of books, blog, and radio program. I’m blessed by this latest honor.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Fireworks on the Big Screen!

July 5th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   My wife Laurie and I spent our 4th of July at a movie theater, enjoying the boffo classic documentary, That’s Entertainment. Produced by MGM in 1974, this feature was hosted on the backlot by Gene Kelly, Liza Minnelli, James Stewart, Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Bing Crosby, Debbie Reynolds, and Peter Lawford. The motion picture was produced by Jack Haley Jr., son of the star who played the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Henry Mancini wrote the music score.

   A fabulous retrospective, scenes showcased talent from what the studio proclaimed: More stars than there are in the heavens. We enjoyed Esther Williams, June Allyson, Donald O’Connor, Judy Garland, Van Johnson, Ann Miller, Mario Lanza, Lena Horne, and  it goes on-and-on. Archival footage includes Jean Harlow and Cary Grant singing; Joan Crawford and Clark Gable dancing!

   The title of the musical was derived from the movie anthem performed in the 1953 MGM classic, The Band Wagon.  This documentary was their very final production on the studio lot, a sad backdrop. Ironically, this moneymaker (the largest motion picture in a decade for the studio), was raking in dividends at the time MGM was in bankruptcy, and the company started to sell the land, parcel-by-parcel. It was so successful, the production spawned two sequels. In 1977, I went to see a questionable double-bill of That’s Entertainment Pt. II and Jaws. I left the movie theater curiously exhilarated and shocked… lol.

   When I first saw the original That’s Entertainment on the big screen almost forty years ago, I was a senior in high school. It was the very first time I realized Hollywood had a Golden Age. It forever changed my outlook about cinema. Show business could be my career calling. What an inspiration!

   And, so it goes…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Mayberry R. I. P. (Part 2)…

July 4th, 2012

Manny P. here…

   As we pause to celebrate our nation’s birthday, let me remind you, we lost a big heap of cultural pie on Tuesday. Andy Griffith was a larger-than-life actor who frequently underplayed his characters on the big screen and on television. A product of the South,  Andy’s backwoods roots were on display; while living a serene and private life in North Carolina.

   His first success came in a vinyl recording of his hillbilly comedic description of the gridiron. What it Was, Was Football reached the Top 10 on the Hit Parade; extremely rare for a spoken-only recording for the time. Will Rogers would have been proud.

   He became a iconic movie villain in Elia Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd. He starred with Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau, and Lee Remick, but stole the  picture playing Lonesome Rhodes, a Southern drifter who becomes a media sensation. There were hints about an Oscar nomination for the ferociously strong performance. His followup in No Time For Sergeants, playing a hick who is drafted, solidified his rural image. ANDY GRIFFITH / PATRICIA NEAL

   Griffith was in demands by all mediums of entertainment. His first appearance on television had been in 1955 in the one-hour teleplay of No Time for Sergeants on The United States Steel Hour. The actor was allowed to flesh out the role in a full-length Broadway version in 1955. Remaining in New York, he accepted the lead in Destry Rides Again.

   When he returned to the small screen, he perfected his  type as Sheriff Andy Taylor, initially on a 1960 episode of Make Room For Daddy. He developed a savvy relationship with actor / producer Sheldon Leonard. From their cordial collaboration, The Andy Griffith Show was created. Desilu secured the production responsibilities.

   Griffith was involved in the casting process, and he was brilliant in this capacity. The inspired benefactors included Francis Bavier, Howard McNear, Hal Smith, George Lindsey, Howard Morris, and especially, Don Knotts, Jim Nabors, and  Ron Howard. After the pilot was filmed, Andy realized his surrounding cast was so insanely hilarious, he could play a quintessential straight-man. His instincts were right, and television audiences embraced this subtle situation comedy. The program spawned sequels, and evenutally, inspired a couple of reunion telemovies. A Nielsen study revealed the  show was the most popular comedy of the 1960s.

 ANDY GRIFFITH / RON HOWARD 

   Griffith returned to television as the title character in the legal drama Matlock (1986–1995) on NBC and ABC. Both programs are currently in reruns on various cable networks, including TVLand and the Hallmark Channel.

   He was inducted in 1992 into the Academy of Television Arts Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005. Andy won a Grammy, and was a multiple Tony Award nominee. In 2002, an 11-mile stretch of US Highway 52 passing through Mount Airy, North Carolina was officially dedicated as the Andy Griffith Parkway. He was a proud favorite son of the state.

   Andy Griffith was 86.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- In Search of Amelia Earhart…

July 3rd, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Like a grand cinematic screenplay, a $2.2 million expedition is hoping to solve one of America’s most enduring mysteries:  What  happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart when she vanished over the South Pacific, 75 years ago? The dour anniversary of the event has sparked renewed interest in this most cold-case of investigations.

   Here are the facts. Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were flying from New Guinea to Howland Island, when they went missing on July 2nd, 1937 during her bid to become the first female to fly around the world. Amelia’s  demise has fascinated generations of historians, feminists, and aviators.                        AMELIA EARHART

   Today, a group of scientists and salvagers are trekking from Honolulu to the remote island in the Pacific nation of Kiribati in hopes of finding offshore wreckage of Earhart’s Lockheed Electra plane. Their theory is she landed on a reef near the Kiribati atoll of Nikumaroro. Previous visits to the island have recovered artifacts that could have belonged to Earhart and Noonan; and experts say, an October 1937 photo of the island shoreline could include an image of the strut and wheel of a Lockheed Electra landing gear. This latest trip should last about a month, with  ten days of searching and two weeks of traveling between the Pacific islands.

   If the voyage succeeds, it could add to Earhart’s legacy, and could spark state-of-the-art  programs similar to the Titanic documentary specials airing yearly on the History Channel; and even a motion picture starring, say, Cate Blanchett or Kate Winslet. Don’t think a bio-pic script isn’t in the works in Hollywood, I’m guessing.

   Bulletins as they break… We’ll keep you posted on this amazing Hollywood-and-Vine moment.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- NBC News Pioneer is Dead…

July 2nd, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Julian Goodman (right), a former NBC president, has died. He first joined the network in 1945, and worked the nightly news desk. He eventually became executive vice president of NBC News at the time Chet Huntley and David Brinkley were competitors to Walter Cronkite on CBS.

   He was promoted to Network President, and served in that capacity from 1966 – 1974. His influence was immediately felt. Goodman gave Johnny Carson a long-term contract to stay on the Tonight Show; and first broadcast American Football League football games, which led to the eventual creation of a Super Bowl between the leagues.

   His political leanings motivated the Nixon administration to add the television executive to their White House Enemies List. The New York Times confirmed this unfortunate decision in a 1973 article. He retired as NBC’s chairman of the board in 1979.

 JULIAN GOODMAN with PRESIDENTS FORD, JOHNSON, and NIXON  

   Julian Goodman was 90.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Paramount’s Birthday in Photos!

July 1st, 2012

Manny P. here…

   Paramount Pictures is officially 100! The studio has released some knockout photos. As my good friend, Gary Lycan, would say on our Forgotten Hollywood radio program: Here is the back story…

Paramount was born from New York-based businessman Adolph Zukor in 1912. He invested $40,000 in a French film production of Queen Elizabeth, starring stage actress Sarah Bernhardt, in return for distribution rights. Zukor showed the film at New York’s Lyceum Theater on July 12th (despite threats from the motion picture trust ruled by Thomas Edison), and then in roadshow screenings across the country. The 40-minute film – the first backed feature length movie in the United States – was a success.

  

Zukor then formed Famous Players Film Company, and its first production was The Count of Monte Cristo. Through mergers (and later, bankruptcy), Famous Players eventually became Paramount Pictures.

     

             MONKEY BUSINESS              SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS   DOUBLE INDEMNITY

The Hollywood studio, with its iconic gates, created classic films, and featured memorable moments from screen stars. Zukor died in 1976 at the age of 103.

  

                            ROAD TO RIO                                    SUNSET BOULEVARD  

   As Bob Hope famously recited…  Thanks for the memories!

  

                                                               ALFRED HITCHCOCK
Portions of this story were written by CBS News. Photos provided by Paramount Pictures.

Until next time>                               “never forget”