“Forgotten Hollywood”- Poor Little Rich Girl…

June 17th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Gloria Vanderbilt was an heiress, actress and business woman, who began her iconic life as the poor little rich girl of the Great Depression. She survived multiple marriages, and reigned in the 1970s and 1980s as a designer jeans pioneer. She was a great-great-granddaughter of financier Cornelius Vanderbilt, and mother of  CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper. Husbands included Leopold Stokowski, the celebrated conductor, and Sidney Lumet, the award-winning movie and television director.

                                 ANDERSON COOPER   GLORIA VANDERBILT

“`Gloria inherited her five million dollar trust fund in 1945. With financial independence, she eventually ended up in Hollywood. She dated celebrities, including Errol Flynn, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Howard Hughes. Vanderbilt also acted on stage (The Time of Your Life) and on television (Playhouse 90, Studio One, Kraft Theater, and U. S. Steel Hour). She guest-starred on The Love Boat and appeared on a number of variety programs.

“`She was a fabric designer who became an early enthusiast for designer denim. Vanderbilt partnered with Mohan Murjani and introduced a million dollar advertising campaign in 1978 that turned the Gloria Vanderbilt brand with its signature white swan label into a sensation. She branched out into other areas, including shoes, scarves, table and bed linens and china through her company, Gloria Concepts. In 1988, Vanderbilt joined the designer fragrance market with her signature Glorious.

“`Anderson Cooper is expected to host a documentary on CNN chronicling the life of his iconic mother. It will air during the Summer.

“`A cultural survivor, Gloria Vanderbilt was ninety-five.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Under the Tuscan Sun…

June 16th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Italian director Franco Zeffirelli delighted audiences around the world with romantic vision and distinctive productions, most famously captured in his cinematic Romeo and Juliet. It was his personal goal to make culture accessible to audiences, finding inspiration in William Shakespeare and other literary greats for his movies, and producing opera for the stage and small screen.

“`As a youth, Zeffirelli served with the partisans during World War II. He later acted as an interpreter for British troops. He remained an Anglophile, and was particularly proud when Britain gave him an honorary knighthood in 2004.

“`The lifelong bachelor turned to acting at twenty when he joined an experimental troupe in Florence. After a short-lived acting career, Zeffirelli worked with Luchino Visconti’s theatrical company in Rome, where he showed a flair for dramatic staging techniques in  A Streetcar Named Desire.  He later served as an assistant director under Michelangelo Antonioni and Vittorio De Sica.

“`Zeffirelli directed Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. His other productions included Brother Sun Sister Moon, a remake of The Champ, Endless Love, La Traviata and Tea with Mussolini. But it was Romeo and Juliet that set box-office records in the United States.  The flick is one of the most successful adaptations of Shakespeare ever.

“`His small screen mini-series, Jesus of Nazareth, was a major success and is still shown on television during the Christmas season. In his spare time, Zeffirelli brought opera to the stage working with Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and Maria Callas.

“`Franco Zeffirelli (above) was ninety-six.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Philly’s Best…

June 14th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Lew Klein was a broadcast pioneer, who helped create American Bandstand and launched the careers of Dick Clark and Bob Saget. He also taught and mentored students for over sixty years at Temple University.  In 2017, they re-named College of Media and Communications in his honor.

“`He began working at WFIL-TV, directing Romper Room and co-creating Captain Noah and His Magical Ark, two popular children’s programs in the 1960s that attracted a bigger local audience than Sesame Street. Lew began acting as executive producer of American Bandstand, and later, was a member on the board of Dick Clark Productions. Klein also helped Bob Saget get an internship on The Mike Douglas Show, a daytime talk program.

“`A native of Philadelphia, Klein spent fifteen years producing telecasts for the Phillies, and he helped the careers of players-turned-sportscasters, such as Richie Ashburn and Tim McCarver.

“`Lew Klein was ninety-one.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Sylvia Miles…

June 12th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Sylvia Miles was an actress and a Manhattan socialite whose brief, scene-stealing appearances in Midnight Cowboy and Farewell My Lovely earned her two Academy Award nods. Miles also appeared on stage and on television.                              SYLVIA MILES —>

“`She studied at The Actors Studio, making her name in a series of Off-Broadway roles starting in the 1950s, and moving on to movies in the 1960s.  Sylvia’s career break came when she was cast in the pilot of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Miles was replaced by Rose Marie.

“`Sylvia’s screen roles included Murder Inc., Evil Under the Sun, She-Devil, and the Wall Street series of movies. On television, Miles guest-starred on Miami Vice, One Life to Live, and Sex and the City.

“`Wayland Flowers and his puppet Madame first uttered the widely quoted line, Sylvia Miles and Andy Warhol would attend the opening of an envelope. People Magazine reprinted the quote, and it became urban legend.

“`She had more than fifteen minutes of fame, Sylvia Miles was 94.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Art of the Dance…

June 11th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The National Museum of Dance in Sarasota Springs, New York, has opened its exhibition Art of the Dance: Posters from Hollywood’s Golden Age from the Mike Kaplan Collection. Over one hundred dance cinematic posters from the rare and exceptional collection, which includes both American and international examples, are  mounted in three of the Museum’s galleries.

 

“`Art of the Dance debuted on Fred Astaire’s 120th birthday — May 10, 2019, and includes a special section devoted exclusively to his unparalleled career on the silver screen. In addition to Astaire, many major dance stars from the Twentieth Century are highlighted such as Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Shirley Temple and the Nicholas Brothers. You might also be fascinated in finding actors like John Wayne, James Stewart, and Lucille Ball in dance mode.

“`Movie musicals include 42nd StreetOklahoma, The Red Shoes, and West Side Story.

“`Mike Kaplan has also been recognized in his career, winning awards for his poster campaigns as a marketing strategist for major filmmakers Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, and Hal Ashby.

“`Selections of these posters have been on exhibit at other locations, such as Lincoln Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Art of the Dance at the National Museum of Dance will be the largest display of this collection to date, on view until Spring, 2020.

Until next time…                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- D-Day Plus 75…

June 5th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`It was seventy-five years ago, today, minutes before June 6, 1944, when a global fight for freedom was set forth with a unified coalition against an extreme fascism that was ravaging countries and subjecting its people to tyranny and eventual extermination. The jury was out whether the Allies would succeed. Only the iron will of Winston Churchill, and the resolve of the British people, kept the promise of victory alive despite earlier confrontation generating mixed results. Looking back, Operation Overlord could have gone horribly wrong.

“`Today, veterans of D-Day celebrate this most worthy anniversary as paratroopers jumped out of aircraft, even though they are well into their nineties.  Queen Elizabeth re-visited the spirits of her past to honor the campaign. She knows what the ramifications of defeat might have meant for June 7, 1944 and beyond.

“`In 1962, The Longest Day was made in an effort to recreate the campaign with sets that were incredibly accurate. Omaha, Juno, Sword, Utah and Gold beaches, as well as Pointe du Hoc and Sainte-Mère-Église were vividly brought to life, complete with A-list stars, including Robert Mitchum, Eddie Albert, Henry Fonda, Jeffrey Hunter, and Roddy MacDowell. This flick utilized several Axis and Allied military consultants who actually participated. They offered a relatively accurate recounting of the largest amphibious military assignment in history.

 

“`Steven Spielberg used the Invasion of Normandy as the catalyst for the opening of Saving Private Ryan. Historians have noted that the actual scene was the most believable depiction of the conflict along Omaha beach. Tom Hanks brought all the horrors of war to life.

“`I personally met was Charles Durning (right) a number of years back. He was drafted at age twenty and participated in the Normandy invasion.  I also visited Normandy in 2006, with stops at Omaha, Pointe du Hoc and the adjacent Allied cemetery. It was breathtaking and sober.

“`D-Day… Perhaps the most consequential twenty-four hours of the twentieth century.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- All You Need is Love…

June 4th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Just in time for Father’s Day. Make it the best day ever by giving The Beatles Abbey Road pop-up card to them on their special day. The card is blank, so you don’t need an occasion to brighten someone’s day with this unique expression. Give it to anyone, anytime, just because The Beatles are the best band ever.

“`The pop-up celebrates the eleventh Beatles album of the same name. It recreates the iconic image of the Beatles walking across a street outside the famous  Abbey Road Studios. Once opened, The Beatles emerge:  George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon walking outside of their studio in single formation along Abbey Road.

“`Bring a smile to any Beatles fan with this one-of-a-kind design. It was created in partnership with The Beatles and is one of four officially licensed designs.

Until next time>                               “never forget”