“Forgotten Hollywood”- Connery. Sean Connery!

October 31st, 2020

Manny P. here –

“`The definitive James Bond, Sean Connery carved a wide career as an actor despite being typecast as a suave spy. His body of performances puts him in the pantheon of great movie stars. He won an Oscar for his fine role in  The Untouchables. Connery personally never took himself too seriously, and for this, he was beloved by colleagues and fans, worldwide.  SEAN CONNERY ->

“`Sean Connery was born in 1930, in Edinburgh, Scotland.  He left school during World War II to help support his family. He joined the British navy, but was medically discharged after three years because of stomach ulcers. Back in Edinburgh, he competed in the Mr. Universe contest, coming in third. He considered becoming a pro soccer player, but instead chose acting.

“`He earned his initial break performing to There is Nothing Like a Dame in South Pacific on the London stage before acting in television and “B” movies.  He traveled to Hollywood to co-star in Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People and Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure. His first memorable role was as a soldier who stormed the beaches of Normandy in The Longest Day. His character was quirky and funny, which mirrored his private persona.

“`Then came the audition that changed his life.  American producers Albert Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had bought the film rights to a string of post-World War II spy adventure novels by Ian Fleming. Connery was not their first selection for Dr. No.  They turned to him when they decided they could not afford to hire Cary Grant. The flick was condemned by the Vatican and the Kremlin.  Connery continued as James Bond in From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, ,Thunderball, and Diamonds Are Forever, and often performing his own stunts. He would reprise the Bond role in Never Say Never Again in 1983.

“`Determined to be considered a serious actor, Connery decidedly chose to accept roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie, The Anderson Tapes, Murder On the Orient Express, The Wind and the Lion, The Man Who Would Be King, Robin and Marian, The Hunt For Red OctoberIndiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,  and Finding Forrester.

“`Age only heightened his appeal; he set a celebrity record when at age fifty-nine he was named People magazine’s  Sexiest Man Alive. When receiving his Academy Award, and at peace with James Bond, the actor arrived onstage at the Oscars ceremony and declared:

The name’s Connery. Sean Connery!

“`Connery received numerous honors, including Commander (the same rank as Bond)  of France’s Order of Arts and Literature. The following year, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed him a British Knight, for services to film drama.

“`A commanding screen presence for forty years, Sean Connery (above) was ninety.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- I am Getting My Wings…

October 30th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`EXCITING NEWS HERE!

“`I am thrilled to announce that I have been cast in a national radio play production of It’s a Wonderful Life. The part: Angel Clarence Odbody!

“`This production is being presented by the  Carlisle Regional Performing Arts Center in Pennsylvania. The radio program will be streamed nationwide in conjunction with a Broadway streaming app. It will be presented three times on December 17, 18, and 19.

“` Radio drama has a rich and storied tradition during Hollywood’s Golden Age. It’s a Wonderful Life aired on the Lux Radio Theater program on March 10, 1947, starring James Stewart (left) and Donna Reed in their original roles.

“`Here is the amazing factor in my involvement with this production. I found out about it on Facebook by one of the original co-stars of the 1946 motion picture. Yes, she is still alive! Carolyn Grimes played little Zuzu, the daughter of George and Mary Bailey. It was Zuzu’s petals in the pocket of George that proves he is still alive. I have been friends with Grimes (right) on Facebook for almost a decade. I hope she will be one of the many listeners of the show.

“`Clarence was played by Henry Travers, the remarkable British actor. His movie credits include The Invisible Man, High Sierra, Shadow of a Doubt, Ball of Fire, and Mrs. Miniver; the latter production earning him a well-deserved Best Supporting Actor nomination.

“`What makes this assignment so personally special is that I have penned several chapters in my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series about many of the co-stars that appear in the movie, including Lionel Barrymore (Mr. Potter), Thomas Mitchell (Uncle Billy), Gloria Grahame (Violet Bicks), Ward Bond (Bert the Cop), Beulah Bondi (Ma Bailey) and Carl Alfalfa Switzer. Plus, my literary works can be purchased at the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum in Seneca Falls, New York.

   

“`This winter journey will be relayed back to my Forgotten Hollywood family. I embrace the challenge!

 

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Celebrating Act BOO…

October 29th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Halloween in the age of Covid 19 reminds us that their are plenty of great flicks to watch on October 31st. Universal and Hammer Studios had their monsters. Television programs such as Dark Shadows is a ghoulish pick to binge watch as well.  On the next frightful installment of Celebrating Act 2, Art Kirsch, John Coleman and I discuss what to watch on that Night of the Living Dead

“`Enjoy!

“`P. S. – I VOTED !!  You should too…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Oh Really…

October 27th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`With the Los Angeles Dodgers winning their first World Series in thirty-two years, let me present the best tribute ever recorded to honor the team. Sung by Danny Kaye in 1962, this tune is filled with references of baseball players of the past.

“`Kaye was a huge fan of America’s pastime and he loved the boys of summer. A good friend of Leo Durocher, he often traveled with the team. Kaye and his business partner Lester Smith also led an investment group which was awarded the American League’s thirteenth franchise, which became the Seattle Mariners on February 7, 1976.

“`On a personal note, I was at Game Three of the World Series at Dodger’s Stadium in 1981. They would capture a World Series championship beating the New York Yankees. That year was also an abbreviated season.

“`Congratulations to the Los Angeles Dodgers!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A KLCS Visit…

October 26th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`TONIGHT! on KLCS…

“`I am sincerely honored to pay an on-camera visit with Angela Williamson, a noted Southern California educator, author, documentary filmmaker, and happily, my good friend. She hosts a new show on KLCS (PBS affiliate station); an engaging one-on-one interview program called Everybody.  My upcoming segment airs this Wednesday at 10:30p. Check your local listings for the correct channel. The interview can also be found on www.klcs.org.

“`We will be chatting about my career as a broadcaster, Hollywood historian, and author of the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. We will take a nostalgic look at Hollywood’s Golden Age. I am expecting a lively conversation, indeed!

“`Prior to my visit, I will be involved in an expanded interview with Angela on Facebook Live at 4:30p. This promises to be an engaging warmup act to the main attraction on KLCS.

“`PLease join me on Wednesday, 10:30p on Everybody with Angela Williamson on KLCS. It should be fun.

#EverybodyKLCS   #education   #diversity   #arts   #entertainment   #people

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Champion in Cinema…

October 22nd, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Marge Champion was a dancer and actress. At fourteen, she was hired as a dance model for Walt Disney Studios animated films. Later, she performed as an actress and dancer in movie musicals, and in 1957 had a television show based on song and dance.

“`Marjorie began dancing at an early age as her sister had done. She began dancing as a child under the instruction of her father, Ernest Belcher, a noted Hollywood ballet coach who trained Shirley Temple, Joan Crawford, Betty Grable, Cyd Charisse, and Gwen Verdon.

                               MARGE CHAMPION                 SNOW WHITE

“`She was hired by the Walt Disney Studio as a dance model for their animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  Her movements were copied to enhance the realism of the animated Snow White figure. Marge also posed for figures created in Dumbo, Fantasia, and Pinocchio.

“`Marge married Art Babbitt, an animator at Disney and the creator of Goofy.  They divorced three years later. She wed dancer Gower Champion in 1947. As a dance team, the Champions starred in musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, including MGM’s Till the Clouds Roll By, Show Boat, and Everything I Have is Yours. MGM wanted the couple to remake Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films, but only one, Lovely to Look At, a re-boot of Roberta, was completed.

“`On Broadway, Marge appeared on stage, including a revival of Follies, and later, acted as a choreographer in a number of productions, including the original presentation of Hello Dolly.

“`Marge Champion was 101.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Demise of the Studios…

October 21st, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`I am back on Celebrating Act 2, with Art Kirsch and John Coleman, to discuss how the studio era of Hollywood disappeared.  The conversation is laced with anecdotes about the major stars of Warner Brothers, MGM, Twentieth Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, and others.

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Same Day, Same Year…

October 19th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`With the passing of Helen Reddy and Mac Davis on September 29th, it occurred to me that occasionally,  stars of the stage and screen might cross over the rainbow bridge on the same day. Here are notable examples:

~ JUNE 25, 2009

“`Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett passed away on this day. The King of Pop overshadowed the 1970s media icon when he suddenly died.

                     

MICHAEL JACKSON          FARRAH FAWCETT

“`Jackson died from cardiac arrest. News of his death spread quickly online, causing websites to slow down and crash from user overload, and putting unprecedented strain on services and social media sites including Google, AOL Instant Messenger, Twitter and Wikipedia. Nowadays, Fawcett is remembered for her famous poster. Her death is largely forgotten.

~ January 2, 1963 

“`Dick Powell and Jack Carson were golden age actors who surprisingly died on this day. Both were taken by cancer.

 

DICK POWELL            JACK CARSON

“`Powell developed cancer as a result of his participation in the movie The Conqueror, which was filmed at St. George, Utah, near a site used by the military for nuclear testing. As well as Powell, who directed the film, a third of the actors in the film developed the disease, including John Wayne, Agnes Moorehead, Pedro Armendáriz, and Susan Hayward. On August 26, 1962, while rehearsing the play Critic’s Choice, Carson collapsed and was subsequently diagnosed with stomach cancer. Less than a year later, he was dead.

~ FEBRUARY 3, 1959

“`Musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and  J. P. The Big Bopper Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. The event later became known as The Day the Music Died, after singer-songwriter Don McLean referred to it as such in his 1971 song American Pie.

“`Urban legend suggests that Valens accepted a seat assigned to Waylon Jennings,  who gave up his chance to fly because Valens was ill with a cold. At the time, Jennings was a member of the tour band. Despite the tragedy, fifteen-year-old Bobby Vee replaced Holly at the next stop on the tour in Moorhead, Minnesota. As a result, Vee’s career took off.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Reason I am a Broadcaster…

October 18th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Dave Hull, aka The Hullabalooer, was a radio personality who was voted one of the Top Ten Los Angeles radio disc jockeys of all time.  As a kid, he was my escape each day. He is a reason I chose a career in radio.      DAVE HULL –>

“`Dave started his broadcasting career in  Armed Forces Radio in Casablanca, Morocco and in commercial radio at KGFL in Roswell, New Mexico. He started at KRLA in Pasadena in the summer of 1963 as weekend relief and went full-time in the 9pm-midnight slot by the fall.

“`Hull became close with The Beatles during their 1965 and 1966 American tours. During that time, he taped approximately fourteen interviews with the band. He, along with Bob Eubanks, planned The Beatles’ 1966 concert at Dodgers Stadium.  His work with the band earned him the honorary title of the fifth Beatle.

“`Hull also collaborated with The Beach Boys, the Dave Clark Five, and The Rolling Stones. In December 1965, Hull opened the Hullabaloo club on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. He appeared as a talent contest manager in an October 1966 episode of The Monkees.

“`When he returned to KRLA in 1982, I finally met my influencer at a Christmas parade, and I went to shake his hand. He looked up at me, and said,

Don’t touch me, I’m a stroke victim!

“`Truthfully, Dave was recovering from a minor stroke. He smiled and shook my hand. It was worth the encounter.

“`Dave Hull was eighty-six.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Son of a Gun…

October 17th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`My second of three books has traversed a milestone. Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History reached 1700 books sold. I remain grateful since the Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult to find ways to reach an audience. Amazingly, this sale has a direct tie to Hollywood’s Studio Era.

 

“`Paul Berman is a Cypress Village resident and a neighbor of mine. He is also related to the late film producer, Pandro S. Berman. He was an influential contributor to RKO Studios and MGM during cinema’s Golden Age. Six of his finest movies were nominated for an Academy Award for Best PictureThe Gay Divorcee, Alice Adams, Top Hat, Stage Door, Father of the Bride, and Ivanhoe.

“`While toiling at RKO,  the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musicals were in production during his regime. Katharine Hepburn rose to prominence in The Little Minister and Mary of Scotland, and such classics as Gunga Din and The Hunchback of Notre Dame were completed. Upset when an RKO power-play diminished his authority, Berman left for MGM in 1940.

 

“`While at MGM, he produced Ziegfeld Girl, Dragon Seed, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Three Musketeers, National Velvet, The Long Long Trailer, Blackboard Jungle, Madame BovaryJailhouse Rock, Butterfield 8, Sweet Bird of Youth and A Patch of Blue. Berman was the winner of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1976.

“`By the way, Paul Berman purchased the entire Forgotten Hollywood book series, for which I am grateful.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Queen of Technicolor…

October 16th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Rhonda Fleming was a popular movie star of the 1940s and 1950s and was dubbed the Queen of Technicolor. Late in life, she became a philanthropist and supporter in fights against cancer, homelessness, and child abuse.

“`She began working as a screen actor while attending Beverly Hills High School. Fleming’s well-regarded Hollywood agent Henry Willson went to work for David O. Selznick, who put Rhonda under contract. Fleming had bit parts in Since You Went Away for Selznick and in When Strangers Marry.

“`Her first notable role was in Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound. Rhonda’s next assignment was The Spiral Staircase.  Fleming starred in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Out of the PastThe Eagle and the Hawk, While the City Sleeps, and Gunfight at the O. K. Corral. She played herself in The Patsy. The red-head shared screen time with Robert Mitchum, Bing Crosby, Kirk Douglas, Glenn Ford, Burt Lancaster, Bob Hope, Rock Hudson and Ronald Reagan

“`On the small screen, she guest-starred in  The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Red Skelton Show, three episodes of Wagon Train, The Virginian, MacMillan and Wife, Kung Fu and The Love Boat. In 1957, Fleming made her stage musical debut in Las Vegas at the opening of the Tropicana Hotel’s showroom. Later, she appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in a one-woman concert with compositions from Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

“`Rhonda Fleming (above) was ninety-seven.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Escape From Reality…

October 15th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`The popularity of The Wizard of Oz in 1939 led to a swarm of fantasy flicks over the next decade. These are motion picture gems that captured the notion that better (and sometimes worse) angels live among us. These were lavish 1940s productions with top stars of the day.

     

      

    

“`With Covid 19 a reality… Why not indulge in a little cinematic escapism?

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Actor Speaks…

October 11th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`I am thrilled to share my latest interview on Celebrating Act 2. I join Art Kirsch and John Coleman as we chat about great screenwriters of Hollywood’s Golden Age. This is a popular topic for me, since I have written articles on the subject and conduct classroom lectures as well.

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Yankee Chairman…

October 9th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Whitey Ford was the New Yorker who had the best winning percentage of any pitcher in the twentieth century,  and helped the Yankees become baseball’s perennial champions in the 1950s and 1960s. On the franchise defined by power hitters,  Ford was considered its finest starting pitcher. The wily left-hander excelled in the majors from 1950-1967, all with the Yankees, and teamed with the likes of Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, and Yogi Berra to earn six championships. Mantle was his pal on-and-off the field.

“`The Yankees signed Ford in 1947 and three years later he was called up in midseason. At just 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, Ford was considered a marginal prospect.  But he won nine straight games and nailed down the 1950 World Series sweep of the Phillies by winning the fourth game. After two years away for military service during the Korean War (he remained stateside in the Army), Ford returned to the Yanks in 1953 and, along with Mantle, became their core of the team.

“`Ford was in his mid-20s when he became the ace in manager Casey Stengel’s rotation. He was Stengel’s choice to pitch World Series openers eight times, a record. He won 236 games and lost just 106, a winning percentage of .690. The Fall Classic record book is crowded with his accomplishments, still holding records for World Series games and starts, innings pitched, wins, and strikeouts.

“`He and Mantle remained centerpieces in the Yankees dynasty and were elected together to the Hall of Fame in 1974.  The team retired his No. 16 the month Ford was inducted into the Hall. After his retirement, Ford briefly worked as a broadcaster.

“`Know as the Chairman of the Board, Edward Charles Whitey Ford (above) was ninety-one.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Off Broadway…

October 8th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`The shutdown of Broadway in New York City has been extended. The suspension of performances through May 30, 2021 marks an extended delay before shows will return.

“`Refund info for unused tickets sold during this shutdown period can be obtained at respective box-offices.  Productions are projected to resume over a series of rolling dates beginning June 2021.

“`Broadway performances were suspended on March 12, 2020.  At that time, thirty-one productions were running, including eight new shows in previews. Additionally, eight productions were in rehearsals preparing to open in the spring.

“`Local actors have felt the brunt of this shutdown.

Until next time>                               “never forget”