“Forgotten Hollywood”- Toyland…

June 30th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`A new eleven-acre land inspired by the animated movie Toy Story opens to the public this weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios just outside Orlando. Tim Allen, the voice of Buzz Lightyear, made a surprise guest appearance at an event celebrating Saturday’s opening.

“`For children of the mid-1990s, Disney’s new Toy Story Land offers an opportunity to visit the imaginary world they grew up in. For their parents, it brings back memories of a magical time of toys and make-believe. The new theme park land offers a whimsical experience from the moment a 20-foot statue of Sheriff Woody welcomes guests as if they are toys in Andy’s backyard.

“`You will find favorite characters — Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Slinky Dog, Mr. Potato Head and the Green Army Patrol — in the brightly colored land, along with two new attractions: Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers. The park provides larger-than-life versions of classic toys and games like Rubik’s Cube, colorful Cootie bugs, Scrabble letters, building blocks, and Tinkertoys.  There are also benches built from Lincoln Logs. Also, dine at Woody’s Lunchbox.

“`The anticipated opening of Toy Story Land is one of the most anticipated events at theme parks this year. And, this continues Disney’s tradition of bringing movies to life.  Last year, Pandora-World of Avatar opened at the Florida theme park. Next year, lands based on Star Wars open at Disney parks in Florida and in California.

“`Toy Story Land is the result of a collaboration between the Disney Imagineers and their storytelling partners at Pixar Animation Studios. To infinity… and beyond !!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Untimely Finale…

June 29th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Much has been documented about the celebrated final movies of James Dean (Giant), Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe (The Misfits), and Peter Finch (Network). Each unexpected death left the public stunned. Here are five supporting players that may be unfamiliar, however, they offer fitting memorable finales in iconic motion pictures:

~ Robert Newton – As the intrepid Inspector Fix in Around the World in Eighty Days, it was the culmination of a fine career that began in England. Other memorable movie roles include Oliver Twist, Treasure Island, Les Miserables, and The High and The Mighty. Yet, as Fix, he embodied the Scotland Yard ethos of bulldog tenacity. Before the opening of Jules Verne’s classic, Newton was dead from a heart attack related to chronic alcoholism. He was just fifty. Eighteen months later, producer Mike Todd was killed in a plane crash. Elizabeth Taylor became his widow.

~ James Millican – He was 44 when he died, however, this actor appeared in over 200 films. He co-starred in many Westerns. His notable parts includes My Favorite Blonde, The Lost Weekend, High Noon and Winchester ’73. He was an honest sheriff in his final performance in The Man From Laramie. Millican was gone three months later.

~ Zazu PittsIt’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World featured a number of comedians in cameos. To date, the only two still with us: Carl Reiner and Barrie Chase. The first performer to succumb was Zazu Pitts. Her career dates back to 1917, and was cast in fine films, such as Ruggles of Red Gap, Life with Father, The Thrill of it All and Francis (a talking mule) series of movies. Her role as a police switchboard operator was priceless in her last screen appearance. The epic comedy was released six months after she passed.

~ Norma Crane – At 42, Crane was given the role of a lifetime as Golde in Fiddler on the Roof. This would be her last. Throughout the production, she suffered from breast cancer. Feeling she would beat the affliction, Norma searched for other work. However, she died two years later in 1973.

~ Conrad Veidt – The celebrated German actor has a chapter in my upcoming literary work, Road to Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. Best known for playing vile Nazi characters, Veidt was most iconic as Major Heinrich Strasser in Casablanca. As the highest paid actor in the cast, all his earnings were earmarked for the Allied fight against the Axis.  He would not live long enough to see the defeat of Hitler after suffering a fatal heart attack on a golf course a mere five months after the celebrated release of Casablanca. Veidt was fifty.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of Harlan Ellison…

June 28th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Harlan Ellison was a prolific writer and his principal genre was speculative fiction. His published works include over 1,700 short stories, essays, novellas, screenplays, teleplays, scripts adapted from comic books, and critical analysis that reviewed literature, film, television, and print media.           HARLAN ELLISON –>

“`Ellison moved to California in 1962, and subsequently, began to sell his work to Hollywood. He wrote the screenplay for The Oscar and this led to lots of assignments for television. His credits include  Route 66The Loretta Young Show, Voyage to the Bottom of the SeaThe Flying Nun, The Outer LimitsBurke’s Law, Star Trek, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. A couple of his literary works were adapted for the screen, A Boy and His Dog and I Robot. Ellison served as creative consultant to the 1980s version of The Twilight Zone and Babylon 5.

“`Over the course of his long career, Ellison was showered with accolades, including several  Hugo Awards. Stephen King has freely admitted that he was influenced by the writings of this influential scribe.

“`The volatile Harlan Ellison was 84.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Martin… Aston Martin…

June 25th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Looks like the legendary Aston Martin driven by James Bond in Goldfinger has been found, more than twenty years after it was stolen from a Florida airport. Its owner, who purchased it in 1986 for $250,000, had it in an airport hangar in Boca Raton.

SEAN CONNERY

“`The 1964 DB5 was equipped with machine guns and tire-bursting blades for Sean Connery’s 007. Art Recovery International, which was contacted by an insurance company to find the DB5, could be on the verge of retrieving the car.

“`Investigators are hoping the vehicle is in tact; shaken not stirred, so to speak.

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

“`Richard Benjamin Harrison, who was also known as  The Old Man, was the patriarch of the Pawn Stars clan. The cable program is the History Channel’s most popular reality show.

“`The Navy vet opened the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas with his son, Rick. Pawn Stars premiered in 2009, and it features the Harrison family interacting with customers who are attempting to sell or pawn artifacts that have historic value.

“`Richard Benjamin Harrison (right) was 77.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Saroo…

June 22nd, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`A child is traumatically separated from his family, and winds up in a foster-family system. Eventually, he is adopted. Two decades later, he embarks on a heartfelt journey to find his actual family. The search is problematic, but it brings a tear to your eye when the reunion occurs. A tale ripped from today’s headlines? Actually, it is the narrative from one of the finest movies from the last decade.

“`Lion is the 2016 production that features fine performances from Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, Rooney Mara,  and the remarkable Sunny Pawar (who portrays the boy… Saroo). The movie was appropriately nominated for six Academy Awards.

“`The motion picture was made on location in Khandwa and Calcutta in India,  and Tasmania and Melbourne in Australia. The plight of this lost youngster who resembles Oliver Twist, and sparse narrative, creates a visually stunning presentation that tugs at your heartstrings, and rings incredibly true, considering recent immigration policies.

“`I have personally watched the film a number of times. This cinematic experience is expert Hollywood (or Bollywood) craftsmanship.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sympathetic Simian…

June 21st, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Koko the gorilla had a remarkable sign-language ability and maternal attachment to pet cats, and helped change the view about animal intelligence and their capacity for empathy. She became a celebrity who played with Robin Williams, Leonardo DiCaprio, Betty White, William Shatner, Sting, and Mr. Rogers.  At her home preserve, Koko (right) was treated like a queen.

“`Koko was taught sign language from an early age, part of a scientific test subject and eventually learned more than 1,000 words, a vocabulary similar to a human toddler. Koko was not the first gorilla to learn sign language, but through books and media appearances, she became famous.

“`Koko appeared in countless documentaries, including a 2015 PBS production, and twice on National Geographic. The simian’s 1978 National Geographic cover featured a photo that the animal had taken of herself in a mirror. Koko watched movies and television, her favorite movies included the Eddie Murphy version of Doctor Doolittle and Free Willy, and favorite television show was Wild Kingdom.

“`Koko was particularly close to Robin Williams. The two held hands and tickled each other in a widely shared video. The gorilla publicly mourned his passing.

“`The tranquil and sensitive Koko was 46.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Boldly Cruise…

June 20th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Star Trek: The Cruise III is a unique Star Trek enterprise. This six-day voyage on the spectacular Norwegian Jade offers you an unprecedented engagement with your favorite stars, as well as being able to enjoy special Star Trek-themed shows, events, parties, and programs. More than a passenger, you will become a member of the crew, and part of the magic and majesty that is Star Trek.

“`Star Trek: The Cruise III provides a week-long voyage full of exciting moments, including performances, comedy shows, and concerts by Star Trek actors.  You will not want to miss the intimate speaking engagements with leading scientists and experts. Cast members include Wil Wheaton, Jonathan Frakes, and Brent SpinerThere is so much to do and see, such as themed parties, nightclubs, casinos, private islands, interactive games, screenings, and much more.

“`Star Trek: The Cruise III  will be setting sail on the beautiful Norwegian Jade, the NCL Jewel Class cruise ship outfitted exclusively for charter programs. You are cordially invited to experience the wonders of sailing on Norwegian Jade. With more than fifteen extraordinary dining options, eleven bars and lounges, an award winning casino, tranquil spa, and spacious garden villas, this ship is special.

   

“`Star Trek: The Cruise III  boldly goes to the Caribbean. The cruise ship leaves from the port of Miami in January of 2019.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Road to El Segundo…

June 19th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Due out this Fall, the anticipated release of my next paperback in the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. The title of this latest entry is in part a homage to the iconic Road films that starred Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour  (right). My new work is entitled Road to Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History.

“`Call it kismet. This weekend, there is a film festival that highlights the performances of Hope, Crosby and Lamour. Old Town Music Hall is a treasured cultural landmark located in El Segundo, right by Los Angeles International Airport.

“`The screen team starred in a series of seven Road Pictures from 1940-1962 for Paramount Pictures. These movies were comedic, adventurous, and romantic. Much of the dialogue was ad-libbed by Crosby and Hope. You can tell they had a blast making these flicks, and decades later, we are still laughing and enjoying the fun.

“`The screenings include Road to Singapore, Road to Morocco, Road to Utopia (personal favorite), and Road to Rio. Every show begins with music played on their historic pipe organ, an audience sing along, and a comedy short. There will be a 15-minute intermission, followed by the feature film.

“`The Old Town Music Hall is located at 140 Richmond Street, El Segundo, CA.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sweet Adeline…

June 18th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`After eight decades of being a male-only organization, Barbershop Harmony Society has announced that women will be allowed to join the a capella singing organization. The organization, which is based in Nashville, Tennessee, announced on their website that membership to the society is open to everyone, effective immediately.

“`But, the statement also says that its local chapters will get to decide how to integrate, or whether to integrate their singing groups, such as keeping male-only choruses, or having female-only choruses or mixed groups.

“`The Barbershop Harmony Society opened to men of color in 1963. In 2009, women were allowed to participate in the organization as associates, but couldn’t join chapters or quartets.

“`Consider this latest decision a profile in courage in its decision-making policy.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Downton Abbey: The Exhibition…

June 15th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

`Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, based on the beloved television show, transports fans to post-Edwardian England,  where the characters and iconic castle comes to life.  You shall be immersed in this fascinating social history, culture, and memorable moments from the program’s six-season run.

“`Do not expect any of the cast to be present; however, many of their original wardrobe is on display. To celebrate Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, The Whitby Hotel and The Pierre has launched a daily Afternoon Tea. Both are conveniently a short walk from the hotel.

“`Viking is the presenting sponsor of Downton Abbey: The ExhibitionThis partnership continues its long history with Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, and the Carnarvon clan.

“`The exhibition is located at 218 West 57th Street, between Broadway and 7th Ave.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Return of Looney Toons…

June 14th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Warner Brothers Animation have announced their plans for a new short-form Looney Tunes set to air in 2019. The intention is to create a thousand minutes of animated shorts each season. It is not totally clear how fans will be able to access the new content, but its distribution will reportedly range across several platforms including broadcast, mobile and digital.

“`The series will feature veteran Looney Tunes voice cast members, including Jeff Bergman, Eric Bauza, and Bob Bergen. There will be more news on the cartoonists they recruit soon. 

“`Looney Tunes initially appeared in 1930 in response to the success of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse cartoons, as well as the high demand for talking pictures at the time. The series made stars of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Sylvester, among others.

   

“`Wait for it…                                                                    That’s All Folks!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Wiseguy Diner Goes Up in Flames…

June 12th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Earlier this week, a historic diner in Queens went up in flames. GoodFellas Diner opened in the early 1960s and was once called Clinton Diner.  It was re-named for the Martin Scorsese cinematic masterpiece following the film’s release.

“`There were two scenes shot at the diner for the movie, both featuring Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta; at a booth, and also in the parking lot at a payphone, where De Niro’s character finds out Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) was killed.

   

                                                                  ROBERT DE NIRO     RAY LIOTTA

“`Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Pierce Brosnan have visited the iconic eatery. The diner has also been featured on television, most memorably in The Good Wife.

“`There were no injuries, and the diner is currently boarded up. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The owners are currently working to re-open the restaurant, though no timeline has been established.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Lunch with the Pink Lady…

June 11th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`I will be spending Wednesday with Jackie Golberg, aka The Pink Lady. She is hosting a new web-based program on LATalkRadio.com called  Pink Lady Presents. Her previous guests include local talent and civic leaders.

“`This hour-long program airs LIVE at 11a, and I shall be chatting about my broadcasting career, and promoting my award-winning Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. I also plan on performing a number from The Music Man.

“`Please plan on tuning in and show your support for a recent KNX 1070 Hero of the Week… Jackie Goldberg!! Here is the link if you would like to view:

http://latalkradio.com/content/pink-061318%20#audio_play

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Founding Father Goes Home…

June 10th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`The blockbuster musical Hamilton is finally traveling to the nation’s capital, and its citizenry is preparing for the visit. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s  historical musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton is starting three months at the Kennedy Center.

“`Ironically,  Hamilton would not spend much of his professional career in Washington. The United States capital was in Philadelphia while he served as the nation’s first treasury secretary; and the federal government didn’t move to Washington until 1800, four years before his death.

“`The myriad museums of modern Washington have been preparing specialized exhibits. The Postal Museum has already launched an exhibit —  Alexander Hamilton: Soldier, Secretary, Icon — and it includes mail, portraits, and postage stamps reflective of his life. A highlight of the exhibit are the two flintlock pistols made of walnut, brass, and gold that were used in the July 11, 1804 duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, resulting Hamilton’s demise. These pistols are on loan from the private collection of JP Morgan Chase and Co.

“`The Library of Congress is unveiling its own Hamilton display, drawing on its collection of more than 12,000 of Hamilton’s papers and documents. Miranda based his musical on a 2004 biography, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, which drew from the same material. Also, there is material chronicling a historic meal between Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.

“`The Library of Congress is supplementing the physical exhibit by making a vast number of Hamilton-related papers accessible online. These include the Reynolds Pamphlet, his 100-page public response to his involvement in the first American political sex scandal.

“`With a song in their heart, the District of Columbia is mad about the boy.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Genuflect…

June 8th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`A 26-foot statue of Marilyn Monroe has been placed in a Stamford, Connecticut park across from a church, which is getting a full view of her back side. It depicts the famous scene from 1955’s The Seven Year Itch where the actress holds down her white dress as air is blowing up from a subway grate.

“`Forever Marilyn is one of 36 the statues by artist Seward Johnson that are on display and on loan in the downtown area through the summer. They are part of the city’s annual Art in Public Spaces program. All the statues except Marilyn are life-size and depict persons doing everyday activities. The back of her statue showing her underwear is clearly visible from the front of the First Congregational Church of Stamford.

“`Organizers argue that there are many nude statues outdoors in Europe — and near churches —  that are accepted by the public. But, it is sure to spark conversation when church members return for Sunday worship and catch a glimpse. One resident has already found it disturbing to see youngsters climbing on the statue’s leg and looking up the skirt. The pastor of the church, however, finds the whole thing artistically odd, and he sees humor over the perceived uproar.

“`The Stamford Downtown Special Services District is hosting the exhibit, with sponsors, including the real estate finance firm UC Funds. For now, the organizers have decided to keep on displaying Marilyn, and not to scratch the Seven Year Itch… statue!

Until next time>                               “never forget”