“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sagebrush Honors…

February 17th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`The 60th Annual Western Heritage Awards will bring together some of Hollywood’s biggest performers in Oklahoma City. Robert Duvall and Kurt Russell will be honored in the Spring by The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

“`Russell and his dad, the late Bing Russell, will be inducted into the prestigious Hall of Great Western Performers during the April 17th – 18th celebration of all things western. Duvall will receive the ceremony’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

                                   ROBERT DUVALL            KURT RUSSELL

“`Duvall starred in Westerns, including True Grit, Lonesome Dove, Open Range, and Joe Kidd. In 1984, he won the Oscar for his starring role in Tender Mercies. Russell co-starred in Tombstone and The Hateful Eight; his father was a regular on Bonanza, and he had a supporting part in The Magnificent Seven.

“`Past Western Heritage honorees will be presenters during the awards ceremony.  Among the notables expected to attend: Actor and producer Barry Corbin; actor Patrick Wayne, son of the legendary John Wayne; actor and producer Bruce Boxleitner; and actor and producer Rex Linn.

“`During the April ceremony, they will also induct cattle ranchers Montford T. Johnson and Bennett Richard Houston into the Hall of Great Westerners. Third-generation rancher John Scott will earn the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award, named in honor of the museum’s founder.

“`Yippy-kay-yay!!

Until next time>                               “never forget” 

“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.

`

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”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Character Actors on Parade…

January 31st, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`I came across this YouTube retrospective of many of the great character actors during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Many of these supporting stars are featured in my  Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.  ENJOY!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Three Times a Charm…

January 30th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Fred Silverman was a television executive and producer. He worked as an executive at all three television networks. Small screens were filled with iconic programming throughout the 1970s and 1980s developed and brought along by Fred Silverman (below right).

“`His first job at CBS was to oversee the network’s daytime programming. In 1970, Silverman was promoted from Vice-President of Program Planning and Development to Vice President of Programs; heading the department at CBS. Fred orchestrated the rural purge of 1971, which eventually eliminated many popular country-oriented shows, such as  Green Acres, Mayberry R. F. D., Hee Haw, and The Beverly Hillbillies from the network’s schedule.

“`What emerged, adult-themed comedies, such as All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and their spin-offs.  Plus, M*A*S*H*, The Waltons, Barnaby Jones, and Kojak. He developed Good Times to directly take on Happy Days.  He also revived The Price is Right and Match Game.

“`When he moved to ABC, he brought back Happy Days from the brink of cancellation, and created Laverne and Shirley. Fred green-lit  The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, The Bionic Woman, Charlie’s Angels, Three’s Company, Eight is Enough and Soap. The respected mini-series Rich Man Poor Man and Roots were developed during Fred Silverman’s watch. Family Feud was created by his team, as well.

“`His tenure at NBC was problematic, but he did offer Diff’rent Strokes, and The Facts of Life; and was instrumental in a future airing of Cheers and St. Elsewhere. Fred also hired host Pat Sajak to oversee Wheel of Fortune.

“`His production company revived a number of classic television programs with actors, who spent most of their time on CBS Perry Mason, Matlock, Diagnosis: Murder and In the Heat of the Night (Raymond Burr, Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke, and Carroll O’Connor).

“`In 1999, Fred Silverman was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. He was eighty-two when he passed.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- All Dolled Up…

January 28th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Mrs. Beasley from the hit television show Family Affair is back as an adorable collectible. The doll celebrates its fiftieth anniversary; an authentic talking reproduction collector-quality vinyl doll,  brought to you from the Ashton-Drake Galleries. On Family Affair, adorable Mrs. Beasley was Buffy’s best friend, and now she can be yours!

“`This collectible doll includes all of the authentic details, from her square glasses to her knowing smile. She even speaks the original beloved eleven phrases voiced by actress Cheryl Ladd to sound like the kindly voice you remember.

“`Mrs. Beasley has a soft baby powder scent. What a wonderful way to relive memories! Strong demand is anticipated for this Family Affair replica, so do not wait. Order now…

“`It’s a fine adult collectible, not intended for children under fourteen.

“`Here is the link if you are interested in purchasing Mrs. Beasley:

https://www.bradfordexchange.com/products/327614001_family-affair-talking-mrs-beasley-doll.html

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Dark Day…

January 22nd, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`There was a time when young folks of the 1960s would rush home from school to watch (of all things) a soap opera. The program was macabre, filled with vampires, a wolfman, assorted other ghouls and ghosts, and starred one of Hollywood’s Golden Age greats… Joan Bennett. It was called Dark Shadows.

“`The program became popular with the introduction of Barnabas Collins, played by Jonathan Frid. The character who unshackled the monstrous Barnabas was a Dwight Frye-type, named Willie Loomis, portrayed by the late John Karlan.

                                        JOHN KARLAN

“`Karlan began his career when he enrolled in American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Upon graduation, he began working in live television, such as the  Kraft Television Theatre. John also had a role in Naked City. After his five-year stint on Dark Shadow, he guest-starred in The Mod Squad, The MagicianKojak, Police StoryMedical Center, Barnaby Jones, Mannix, The Streets of San Francisco, All in the Family, and Hill Street Blues.

“`During the second phase of his career, Karlan was added to the cast of Cagney and Lacey. This assignment lasted over six years, and he earned an Emmy for his efforts. So memorable was his work, Karlan would reprise his roles on  Cagney and Lacey and Dark Shadows in a number of big screen productions and made-for-TV specials. He also appeared in Mad About You and Murder She Wrote.

“`For the record,  Willie Loomis was one of my five favorite characters on episodic television of the 1960s. The others were Dr. Zachary Smith (Lost in Space), Emma Peel (The Avengers), Tony Newman (The Time Tunnel), and The Riddler (Batman).

“`John Karlan was eighty-six.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Prize for Leonard Maltin…

January 14th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Turner Classic Movies has announced that the 3rd annual Robert Osborne Award, recognizing any individual who has kept the cultural heritage of classic films alive for future generations, will be presented to one of the world’s most respected movie critics and historians… Leonard Maltin (right). His face is well known to lovers of Hollywood.

“`Best known for a widely-used reference Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, as well as his thirty-year run on television’s Entertainment Tonight, Maltin served two terms as the President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry, and was appointed by the Library of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of National Film Preservation Foundation.

“`He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, appears regularly on TCM, and hosts the weekly podcast Maltin on Movies with his daughter Jessie. He was the recipient of awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Telluride Film Festival,   Anthology Film ArchivesAmerican Society of Cinematographers,George Eastman House and San Diego’s Comic-Con International.

“`The initial Robert Osborne Awards were handed out in 2018 to iconic movie maker Martin Scorsese, and 2019 to film preservationist Kevin Brownlow. It will continue to be presented annually at the TCM Classic Film Festival.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- My 2020 SAG Ballot…

January 13th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`This is the annual presentation of my SAG Awards Ballot, highlighting personal selections for cinema-related performances in 2019. In my humble estimation, this was a solid year for film productions. Almost everything I watched, I totally enjoyed. Here are my selections:

   

 OUTSTANDING MALE:  Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

There were a number of amazing male lead performances this year, a far cry from the last two years. Joaquin Phoenix rises from this talented pack, including Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Adam Sandler, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo and Antonio Banderas; all snubbed. Of those chosen, Christian Bale’s was my second selection, Adam Driver was solid, Leo DiCaprio works well with Tarentino. As for Taron Egerton, he is no Rami Malek.  Joker is landmark film making because of the contributions of Phoenix.

   OUTSTANDING FEMALE:  Renee Zellweger  (Judy)

This category remains a two-horse race. It would be easy to pick Cynthia Erivo, clearly a rising star in Hollywood. At the end of the day, Renee Zellweger garners a statuette for her magnetic performance in Judy. That said, the actual production was quite pedestrian.  Renee rises from the ashes like a phoenix (Joaquin?).  I was also impressed with the work of Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron. Saoirse Ronan was clearly snubbed.

  OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING MALE:  Joe Pesci (The Irishman)

Brad Pitt will walk away with The Actor. He is phenomenal opposite DiCaprio. I just personally loved Joe Pesci a bit better. If either wins, I will be satisfied.  Jamie Foxx and Tom Hanks give their dependable best. It is hard to believe that Al Pacino rounds out the field. How does Paul Walter Hauser, the protagonist of Richard Jewell, not get considered? He clearly delivered a Hollywood-defining role.

   OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING FEMALE:  Laura Dern (Marriage Story)

A competitive field, Laura Dern edges out Scarlet Johansson. She portrays a sassy lawyer with amazing green tea and scones. Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman are brassy bombshells; J-LO fades off the block.  Kathy Bates was shut out when the production company submitted her in the lead category by mistake, a real shame.

   OUTSTANDING CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE:  The Irishman

Once again, my favorite cinema of the year had casts largely ignored… Motherless Brooklyn, Richard Jewell, Hidden Gems, Ford vs. Ferrari, and especially,  Marriage Story. How did the latter receive such individual accolades, only to be missing as a collaborative effort. Of the actual nominees, The Irishman slips past Parasite, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Bombshell. I loved Jojo Rabbit because of the individual performance of Johannson and the children.

~ My 2019 Top 10 Fav Motion Pictures:  1. Motherless Brooklyn  2. Richard Jewell    3. Ford vs. Ferrari  4. Just Mercy  5. The Irishman  6. 1917  7. Jojo Rabbit  8. Joker   9. Dark Water  10. Hidden Gems / Marriage Story (tie)

“’The SAG Awards airs on January 19th on TNT and TBS. We will see how I do this year…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Honored in Bronze…

January 10th, 2020

Manny P. here…

“`Bronze statues depicting famous moments and characters in celluloid from the last century will be placed in Leicester Square in a celebration of London’s film history. The locale was first home to cinema in 1930, with the initial premiere taking place there in 1937. Since then, this square has cemented its place in British cinema history and it regularly plays host to some of the most high-profile events in the United Kingdom’s movie calendar.

“`Laurel and Hardy, Mary Poppins, and Mr. Bean will be among eight figures in the statue trail, which will open next month. Also represented in the square will be Looney Tunes’ Bugs Bunny, Wonder Woman, and Paddington. A statue of Gene Kelly recreating the memorable Singin’ In The Rain dance sequence will also be on display. Concept art shows a statue of Batman stood watching over the square from the roof of the Odeon Luxe.

“`The statues will interact with the square, and designers plan on using walls, benches, and flower beds. A couple of the figures are going to be illuminated at night and accompanied by videos and music.

“`The statues will be unveiled on February 27th.

Until next time>                               “never forget”