“Forgotten Hollywood”- High Profile Screenwriter is Gone…

November 5th, 2015

Manny P. here… Mathison and Ford

   Melissa Mathison, the screenwriter who crafted magical family films, including E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, has died. The motion picture earned the screenwriter an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay. For over 20 years, she was also married to Harrison Ford. They divorced in 2004.

   Mathison’s initial credited work was in assistant roles on The Godfather: Part II and Apocalypse Now, before she broke out with her script for The Black Stallion. Her words were included in Kick the Can, from the cinematic version of Twilight Zone: The Movie. Melissa often collaborated with producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, and worked with directors like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Frank Oz.    MELISSA MATHISON / HARRISON FORD —>

  220px-E_t_the_extra_terrestrial_ver3   220px-Black_stallion_poster   The_BFG_(Dahl_novel_-_cover_art)

   Mathison met the Dalai Lama in 1990 when she wrote Kundun, and developed a lasting friendship with the spiritual leader. She continued to work as an activist for Tibet freedom and was a member of the board of the International Campaign for Tibet.

   Her final assignment is set for release next year, again working with Spielberg on The BFG, which will be released by The Walt Disney Company. It’s an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s oft-forgotten, yet much celebrated story. The cast will include Bill Hader and Downton Abbey’s Penelope Wilton.

   Melissa Mathison was 65.



   Automotive legend George Barris (above) was known throughout the world as the original King of Kustomizers. His creations are legendary in the world of television and motion pictures, including the original television series Batmobile, Munster Koach, and KITT from Nightrider. His personal collection included the General Lee, Torino Green Hornet, and the Monkee Mobile.

   George Barris was 89.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Snoopy’s Rising Star…

November 4th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Animated beagle Snoopy has been honored with his own Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. He joins fellow cartoon icons, such as Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny, as well as famous dogs Lassie and Rin Tin Tin in receiving the accolade. Snoopy’s star lies next to his creator’s star, Charles M. Schulz.


   The original drawings of Snoopy were inspired by Spike, one of Schulz’s childhood dogs. The pooch first appeared on the October 4th, 1950, two days after the initial strip. On March 16th, 1952, his thoughts were first shown in a thought balloon. Snoopy first appeared upright on his hind legs on January 9th, 1956, when he was shown ice-skating across a frozen lake.

   Snoopy and Charlie Brown were ranked by TV Guide as the 8th greatest cartoon characters of all time, especially after the strip’s Golden Age in the 1960s. Their popularity spawned holiday animated television specials during Halloween and Christmas, and even a Top 10 tune sung by The Royal Guardsmen. You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown was a popular Broadway play that brought the comic strip to life. The characters are currently the official mascots of Knott’s Berry Farm.

Snoopy_wwi_ace_lb   Snoopy often imagines himself as a World War I flying ace that fights the Red Baron, while imagining his doghouse as a Sopwith Camel. He is perhaps best known in his alternate persona, wearing an aviator’s helmet, goggles, and a scarf. To honor the boy and his pet, the Apollo 10 lunar module was named Snoopy; and command module, Charlie Brown. Snoopy also became the official mascot of aerospace safety. The Silver Snoopy Award is a special NASA sterling silver pin with an engraving of Snoopy in a spacesuit helmet. It’s given by an astronaut to someone who works in the space program that has gone above and beyond the call of duty in pursuit of quality and safety. MetLife has employed Snoopy as their corporate mascot since the 1980s. Three huge  airships are owned and operated by the insurance company that provides aerial video coverage of sporting events, and the blimps feature Snoopy as a World War I pilot on their fuselage.

   The pup also looks very cool in sunglasses. His best friend is a little bird named Woodstock. The Peanuts Movie, set for release later this month, was promoted during the ceremony. Snoopy and Woodstock will be on the 20th Century Fox logo.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Glenn Close Ready For Her Close Up..

November 3rd, 2015

Manny P. here…

215px-SunsetBoulevardLogo   Glenn Close is set to reprise her starring role as fictional silent screen diva Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Next year’s run will be her first time on the London stage since she starred in A Streetcar Named Desire at the National Theatre in 2002. Glenn will be at the English National Opera’s Coliseum theater in London’s West End for 43 performances beginning April 1st. Her former co-star Alan Campbell will also reprise Joe Gillis (William Holden to Gloria Swanson in cinema). No further word on casting has been announced.

   The production will be semi-staged, with the opera’s orchestra onstage alongside the cast. Close won a Tony Award in 1995 for the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, based on Billy Wilder’s 1950 film. On a personal note, I had the pleasure of seeing Ms. Close during the West Coast swing of the show. It remains my favorite stage performance. That’s saying a lot, since I’ve seen Lauren Bacall (Applause), Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady), Angela Lansbury (Mame), Charlton Heston (Caine Mutiny Court-Martial), Richard Thomas, George Wendt (Twelve Angry Men), Martin Short, Jason Alexander (The Producers), Van Johnson (The Music Man), Davy Jones (Oliver!), John O’Hurley (Spamalot), among others.

   The 68-year-old star has received six Academy Awards nominations. She has won three Emmys and three Tonys. There is no indication on whether Close will bring the role to the silver screen. In the right hands, she could garner that long elusive Oscar.

glenn close


   Here’s hoping Glenn Close brings her revival across the pond.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Actor and Former Senator is Dead…

November 2nd, 2015

Manny P. here…

Fred_Thompson_-_Sioux_City1   Fred Thompson was a politician, attorney, lobbyist, columnist, actor, and radio host. He was the campaign manager for Republican US Senator Howard Baker’s re-election campaign in 1972, and was minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in its investigation of the scandal. Thompson served in the United States Senate representing Tennessee from 1994 to 2003. As an actor, Fred appeared in a number of movies and television shows, as well as in commercials. In the final months of his Senate term in 2002, he joined the cast of the long-running NBC series Law & Order.

   Thompson’s rise to the Senate was atypical. He had never before held public office, but he overwhelmingly won a 1994 special election for Al Gore’s old Senate seat after connecting with voters. In 1996 he easily won a six-year term. Thompson eventually served as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board at the United States Department of State, was a member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Visiting Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, specializing in national security and intelligence.

   In the 2000 Republican presidential primaries, Fred Thompson backed former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander, who eventually succeeded him in the Senate, two years later. When Alexander dropped out, Thompson endorsed Senator John McCain’s bid and became his national co-chairman. After George W. Bush won the primaries, both McCain and Thompson were considered as potential running mates. In 2007, he made a run for the White House. He garnered 11 delegates before dropping out of the race.

   He advocated political positions that were considered traditionally small government. He opposed Roe v. Wade (though he was not in favor of prosecution of women who had early-term abortions); he didn’t support a Federal ban against gay marriage; he was a proponent of the Second Amendment and unfettered gun-ownership; he believed in heightened border security, while supporting immigration reform that would lead illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship; and he was quite skeptical of human-induced global warming.

fred_thompson__12_07_07__sml   Fred Thompson eased into a prolific acting career in 1985. He specialized in roles in political and legal thrillers, including No Way Out, The Hunt for Red October, Days of Thunder, In the Line of Fire, Die Hard 2, Class Action, and the remakes of Born Yesterday and Cape Fear. On television, he guest-starred in WiseguyChina Beach, Roseanne, Matlock, Sex in the City, and most recently, The Good Wife.

   In 2009, he took over on Westwood One’s east coast noon time slot, hosting the talk radio program The Fred Thompson Show, after Bill O’Reilly ended The Radio Factor. One of his final roles, Thompson became an advertising spokesperson for American Advisors Group, a reverse mortgage lender.

   Traversing American history and Hollywood in a metaphoric Hollywood-and-Vine instance, Fred Thompson was 73.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Peter’s Lorre’s Fall Back Position…

November 1st, 2015

Manny P. here…

Advice from the banjo-eyed great with the funny voice, who shares the first chapter in my second book, Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History:

peter lorre

Until next time>                               “never forget”