“Forgotten Hollywood”- We Had Faces Then…

February 12th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Newhall in California’s Santa Clarita Valley is launching its inaugural Newhallywood Silent Film Festival this weekend. Watch screenings of over a dozen silent movies, including Mary Pickford’s Little Annie Rooney,  The Mark of Zorro starring Douglas Fairbanks, and film classics: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Wings. Plus, enjoy a showing of Singin in the Rain, and so much more!

Newhallywood Silent Film Festival logo 

“`Visit their Pickford-Fairbanks pop-up exhibition with rarely-seen props, costumes, and other memorabilia. The Natural History Museum will be open for exploration. Visit family-friendly activities in William S. Hart Park and Museum throughout the festival. The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society’s train station will screening two reeler comic gems for audiences of all ages.

“`Two special kick-off events are scheduled for Friday: Bustour Keaton, a tour of Hollywood’s cinematic locations.  The stops include Edendale, where Fatty Arbuckle, Mabel Normand, and Charlie Chaplin made their initial productions in Southern California, and Poverty Row, where Newhall’s hometown hero William S. Hart’s old studio still stands today. You can also enjoy a Valentine’s Day dinner with a screening of Douglas Fairbanks Technicolor feature, The Black Pirate.

“`Among the noted speakers:  Historian / archivist Stan Taffel and William Wellman Jr., an actor and son of an iconic director of Hollywood’s Golden Age. By the way, Bill Wellman Jr. owns a copy of my latest work in the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Dancer Extraordinaire…

February 11th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Paula Kelly was a dancer, singer, and actress in film, television, and theatre. Her choreography was considered innovative for her time.

“`After graduating from the Juilliard School of Music, Paula Kelly –> performed as a soloist with major modern dance companies,  including Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey. She made her Broadway debut in 1964 appearing in Something More! Paula K was particularly sensational in the stage production of Sophisticated Ladies,  sharing the stage with Gregory Hines and Phyllis Hyman.

“`Throughout the 1960s, her dance routines were featured in a number of television specials, and she appeared with Sammy Davis Jr. and Gene Kelly. Paula was a co-choreographer in the BBC production of Peter Pan. At the 41st Academy Awards, she performed a solo dance to the music of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

“`Kelly’s film credits include Sweet Charity, Soylent Green, The Andromeda Strain and Uptown Saturday Night. On the small screen, Paula guest-starred on The Carol Burnett Show, Medical Center, Sanford and Son, The Streets of San Francisco, Kojak, Good Times, Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere and The Golden Girls. She had a recurring part  on Night Court and the daytime soap opera, Santa Barbara.

“`Let us celebrate Black History Month by honoring this multi-talented dynamo. Paula Kelly was seventy-six.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Overnight Stay in Niles…

February 10th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`I spent an splendid weekend in Niles, a suburb of Fremont, CA. It lies just south of Oakland. And it is home to the iconic Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum.  This is the site of a former movie studio that made a star of Broncho Billy Anderson, and gave Charlie Chaplin the chance to develop his tramp character. Pictures taken by my dear friend Cheryl Pater tell the story:

  

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“`We were treated to two reelers and a feature motion picture that starred Rudolph Valentino, Will Rogers,  Harold Lloyd, Charley Chase,  Laurel and Hardy, Snub Pollard,  Thelma Todd, and Our Gang.  Prior to the screenings, several cinematic historians (including yours truly) offered insightful introduction and commentary.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- So Long to Orson…

February 8th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Orson Bean was an actor, comedian, writer, and producer. He was also a long-time panelist on the television game show To Tell the Truth. An admirer of Laurel and Hardy, Bean served as a founding member of The Sons of the Desert, an international organization devoted to the duo’s career.

“`Following military service, he started working in small venues as a magician before transitioning in the early 1950s to stand-up comedy. His career took off when he adopted the stage name Orson Bean. –>

“`His acting career almost ended before it actually begun. He was placed on the Hollywood blacklist for attending Communist Party meetings while dating a member.  Fortunately, live television was desperate for talent in the early era of the small screen and Orson was very available.

“`On Broadway, Bean appeared in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Bean received a Tony nomination for his role on Subways are For Sleeping. He also voiced the title character on the concept album for You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Plus, Orson appeared in several films, including Anatomy of a Murder and Being John Malkovich.

“`In the end, television proved to be most fruitful for Bean. He was Mr. Bevis on a memorable episode of The Twilight Zone, and a regular on Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, Fernwood 2Night, and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Orson also guest-starred Love American Style, The Love Boat, The Facts of Life, Murder She Wrote, and Diagnosis: Murder. Both Jack Paar and Johnny Carson invited him frequently on their versions of The Tonight Show.

“`Orson Bean was ninety-one.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Path of Glory…

February 5th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Kirk Douglas was a physical actor whose stardom was assured the second he appeared on the big screen; a social activist whose defining moment occurred when he singularly took on the blacklisting of screenwriters during the production of Spartacus;  and the patriarch of a family that included an Oscar-winning son and daughter-in-law. He was unique unto himself, a force for change, and symbol of endurance. Plus, he had one hell of a cleft on his chin.

“`He changed his name to Kirk Douglas while at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Beginning in 1941, Douglas won a series of small roles on Broadway, and served briefly in the Navy. He received a major Hollywood break when an old friend from New York, Lauren Bacall, recommended he co-star with Barbara Stanwyck in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. He gained further attention with the film noir Out of the Past and A Letter to Three Wives.

“`The 1950s were kind to Kirk Douglas and his credits read as some of the most revered productions of the decade: Champion (actually filmed and released in 1949), Young Man with a Horn, Detective Story, The Bad and the Beautiful20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Ace in the Hole, Lust For Life, Gunfight at the OK Corral, and Paths of Glory. He started his own film production company in 1955, when many actors still depended on the studios, and directed some of his later movies.

“`In 1960, the actor’s legacy was cemented. Kirk delivered a hit to the Hollywood blacklist when he openly credited former Communist and Oscar winner Dalton Trumbo for his script work on Spartacus. (Earlier, Otto Preminger had announced that Trumbo’s name would appear on the credits for Exodus, but Spartacus debuted first.)

“`During the decade, Kirk appeared in Town without Pity, Lonely are the Brave, The List of Adrian Messenger, Seven Days in May, In Harm’s Way, and The War Wagon. As the studio era ended, Douglas had collaborated with some of Hollywood’s finest directors, such as Vincente Minnelli, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick, and Elia Kazan.  Plus, his most reliable co-star was Burt Lancaster.

“`Kirk Douglas tried for years to make a movie out of Ken Kesey’s cult novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In the 1970s, he gave up and let his son Michael have a go. The younger Douglas produced a classic that starred Jack Nicholson, and it dominated the Oscars, winning for picture, director, actor, actress, and screenplay.

“`Though Douglas never won a competitive Oscar,  the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded him an honorary award in 1996. His other accolades included a Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Lifetime Achievement Award from American Film Institute.

“`After dabbling on television, and writing a few books, Kirk became one of Hollywood’s leading philanthropists. The Douglas Foundation, in which he and Anne Douglas co-founded, has donated millions to a range of non-profits, such as Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Motion Picture and Television Fund. In 2015, this foundation endowed the Kirk Douglas Fellowship; a full-tuition AFI scholarship.

“`Overcoming a stroke and advancing age, Kirk Douglas (right) finally left us after a life well lived. He was 103.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Cue the Organ…

February 3rd, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`A couple of locations on my wish list are about to be checked off this coming weekend. I am attending two long sought-after events as a guest speaker and Hollywood historian. These are amazing organizations that have piqued my interest since my fledgling days as an author back in 2008.  Amazingly, my invite for each event arrived at the same time for the same weekend. And I can attend both!

 

FRIDAY 02/07/2020

“`ROTARY LA5 has long been regarded as a bully pulpit for speakers.  This club was founded in 1909, and is the fifth oldest Rotary club in the world. LA5 is not only one of the oldest clubs in the world, it is also one of the largest.  LA5’s membership of more than three hundred men and women of accomplishment represent a cross-section of the private sector and government in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

“`With a universal message of Service Above Self, LA5 embodies the work and effort of its global membership. With this in mind, their guest speakers have come from all walks of life including politics, business, non-profits, entertainment, education, and sports.  On Friday, I graciously join the pantheon of luncheon speakers that have graced their microphones.

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SATURDAY 02/08/2020 – SUNDAY 02/09/2020

“`My visit to the NILES ESSANAY SILENT FILM MUSEUM in Fremont, CA will be really special. A former West Coast motion picture studio, “Broncho Billy” Anderson and Charlie Chaplin solidified their on screen personas at this iconic silent movie mecca.

   

                              CHARLIE CHAPLIN

“`I will be on hand Saturday evening to introduce two-reelers featuring Harold Lloyd and Will Rogers. The main attraction is the magnificent The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. On Sunday afternoon, their bill of fare are productions by Our Gang, Laurel & Hardy and Charley Chase.

   

                                           WILL ROGERS      HAROLD LLOYD

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“`Over three days, I will be autographing copies of my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. The weekend promises to be remarkable; a decade in the making.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Enterprising Exhibit…

February 2nd, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds is set to appear at the Skirball Center later in 2020 with a visual display of the science fiction franchise’s impact on culture, art, and technology. Originally organized by the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Exploring New Worlds shall feature over a hundred artifacts, set pieces, and props; from communicators and phasers to tribbles, all from the television series, spin-offs, and films.

 

“`Highlights include Captain Kirk’s command chair and navigation console from the original Star Trek; costumes worn by Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols and Patrick Stewart (Spock, Uhura, and Picard);  and models of the U.S.S. EnterpriseU.S.S. ExcelsiorU.S.S. Phoenix, and the Deep Space Nine space station.

 

“`More details about the exhibition (including pricing and programming) to come out in March. Beam me there, Scotty!

Until next time>                               “never forget”