“Forgotten Hollywood”- Organized Crime is Back in Vegas!

March 31st, 2011

Manny P. here… 41123874_LasVegas2064

   An interactive attraction examining the sordid roots of Las Vegas has just opened on the strip. Called The Mob Experience, visitors can now visit The Tropicana and learn about the history of organized crime’s involvement with the rise of Sin City. Tourists can expect to chat with legendary gangsters, and in some cases, get made, in mob tradition.

 408px-Meyer_Lansky_NYWTS_1_retouched  Highlights include biographies and stories about Benjamin Siegel and Frank Rosenthal, who ran the Stardust, the Fremont, and the Hacienda casinos. Furniture from Sam Giancana, and a diary from Meyer Lansky are among the  historical artifacts to be displayed. Narration is provided by James Caan, Mickey Rourke, and Frank Vincent; all actors who have played crime figures. The popularity of The Godfather, Casino, and Goodfellas should guarantee thousands of visitors each year, generating an abundance of tourism dollars.

   Downtown Las Vegas also plans to open a publicly-funded Mob Museum in December to compliment the Vegas-strip attraction. To lawfully silence critics and raise its academic credibility, the Mob Museum brought in law enforcement officials, historians, and acclaimed museum experts to help build its collection. And, it will highlight local historic violence,  and the role organized crime played in the success of casinos.

              MEYER LANSKY

   For example, “Bugsy” Siegel’s troubled and expensive opening of the Flamingo Hotel led to his eventual bloody demise. So much for the so-called glamorous origins of Las Vegas, the planned oasis in the Nevada desert.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Farley Granger…

March 30th, 2011

Manny P. here…

Farley_Granger_in_Strangers_on_a_Train_trailer   Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History was written as my humble attempt to capture the many moments during the Studio Era that have fallen by the wayside. Often when a star outlives their fame, they become lost in the cracks. Before the topic  about the first celebrity to be knocked off Dancing With the Stars infiltrates the national dialogue, let’s look back at the career and life of Farley Granger. His name is barely mentioned  when Hollywood’s Golden Age enters casual discussion, even among its most stingent fans.

   With absolutely no formal training, the North Hollywood High School student was discovered by talent scouts of Samuel Goldwyn. With the power of his good looks, Granger popularity dramatically grew. He garnered roles in memorable films including The North Star, The Purple Heart, and Hans Christian Andersen. When director Alfred Hitchcock hired Granger for Rope and Strangers on a Train, his A-list status was secured.

   What the star did next was astonishing. He quit Hollywood – moved to New York – and studied under Lee Strassberg and Stella Adler. In other words, Granger worked hard to become an actor. He practiced his craft on live television and on Broadway. Over the next five decades, he steadily achieved fame in productions which included The Glass MenagerieThe Crucible, and a revival of The King and I. He appeared in recurring roles on The Edge of Night, As the World Turns, and most successfully, in One Life to Live. In fact, he received an Emmy nomination for his acclaimed performance on the soap opera.

   His personal life was quite prolific, with flings and long-term relationships with Ava Gardner, Shelley Winters, Leonard Bernstein, and Arthur Laurents. He wrote his memoirs called Include Me Out in 2008 with his life-partner Robert Calhoun, whom he met while performing with the National Repertory Theatre in the early 1960’s.

   Appropriately, he never apologized for the career choices he made, and for the life he lived. Farley Granger died on Sunday at the age of 85, peacefully, from natural causes.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Spring Ahead to 1600…

March 27th, 2011

vabradio1600_logoManny P. here…

   Unbelievable news! Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History has shot past 1500 over the past six weeks. In fact, I’ve now sold 1600 books on AMAZON, on TOWER.COM, and at BARNES & NOBLE, BORDERS, and Independent locations.

navAmazonLogoFooter__V264586593_  02 Tower  Borders  bn_logo

   Laura Danforth of Danforth Book Distribution has confirmed that my paperback is one of the best sellers from her crop of literary clients. Sales figures should quickly rise over the next few months, based on AMAZON indicators, which I follow on a daily basis.

Danforth top-title   conscious_comp_08    BPN header-1

   This news guarantees a bright 2011 as a second edition of my work will be printed; an eBook should soon become available; and book #2 (tentatively called Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History) will enter the layout phase through the Book Publishers Network. I can also start concentrating on the development of the Forgotten Hollywood documentary in partnership with Vision4Media.


TopHome_r2_c1   And, thanks to Brandon and Roger of Cabinet Wholesalers (at 4510 E. La Palma Ave. in Anaheim) for their generous book purchases. These fine experts are remodling our home kitchen.

   Here’s the link to their website:


   As usual, I’ll keep you informed on the progress of the Forgotten Hollywood story as it continues to unfold.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Return to Prohibition…

March 26th, 2011

Manny P. here…kenburns

   Ken Burns is promoting his newest documentary entitled Prohibition. Highlights of his work will be featured this weekend at a meeting at the National Constitution Center. The forum entitled Civility & Democracy  in America will be taped for a future broadcast.

Raid_at_elk_lake   The Volstead Act took effect from 1920 to 1933, and was a part the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Initially, President Wilson vetoed the bill, but the veto was overridden by Congress. Unintended effects of prohibition were that booklegging became popular; organized crime thrived; and the speakeasy emerged. The F.B.I. became the chief federal enforcement of the law. Also, Alcoholics Anonymous was eventually created as a self-help solution to a growing nationwide drinking problem.

   The repeal of the 18th Amendment occurred on December 5th, 1933, as part of the 21st Amendment. This may have been President Roosevelt’s most popular policy from his New Deal.

   The new 5 1/2-hour, three-part series, premieres this fall on PBS.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of a Legend…

March 23rd, 2011

Manny P. here…

Elizabeth_Taylor_in_Father_of_the_Bride_trailer   Much will be written over the next week about the tumultuous life and times of Elizabeth Taylor. She was a true icon from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Her personal life was fiery and newsworthy. She lost a great love  in a plane crash; she stole a husband away from another screen legend; her relationship with Richard Burton was magically tragic. And, her close friends included Roddy McDowell, Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson, and Michael Jackson.

   Yet, most will recall Taylor’s love affair with the camera, above all. Her violet eyes were striking, even on the black and white screen. She effortlessly graduated from the ranks of child actor to adult star. She won two Oscars. Her screen credits include Lassie Come Home, National Velvet, Little Women, Father of the Bride, A Place in the Sun, Quo Vadis, Ivanhoe, Giant, Raintree County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer, Butterfield 8, Cleopatra, The V.I.P.’sThe Sandpiper, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Anne of a Thousand Days, and The Taming of a Shrew.

800px-Elizabeth_Taylor36   It’s unfair that Elizabeth Taylor will also be remembered for her many marriages to Richard Burton, Conrad Hilton, Michael Todd, Michael Wilding, Eddie Fisher, and Larry Fortensky. Our collective memories should include her unyielding work against the AIDS virus. She was given the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1992 for her efforts. Taylor was appropriately appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

 photo by Roland Godefroy

   She was also a friend to the hospital employees she met while suffering the many illnesses throughout her life and career. I don’t say this with any hint of sarcasm. Gloria Pacheco (my mother) attended to the actress during various stays at St. John’s Hospital in Southern California. She recounted how gracious and friendly Taylor was; never treating the staff with anything but dignity. This speaks volumes for the star known for a well-documented temper. Believe me, if Liz had been anything but kind, I surely would have heard about it from my mom!


   Turner Classic Movies will honor the actress with a day-long memorial tribute on April 10th. In addition, the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood will feature a 60th anniversary screening of her top-notch performance in George Stevens’ A Place in the Sun. A personal thanks to Gary Lycan of the Orange County Register for providing me this special piece of TCM news to share with my bloggers.

   Elizabeth Taylor was 79, and died of congestive heart failure.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Incentive Books Postcard Campaign!

March 18th, 2011

Manny P. here… Incentive Bookslogo

   I just received an email from Terry Roberts of Incentive Books with very promising news regarding the bulk sales of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History to non-profit and  corporate business communities. According to Terry:

FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD FORGOTTEN HISTORY is the 6th most viewed book on our site with 57 views and 42 unique visitors. That’s impressive on a site where visitors are corporate types with incentive shopping on their minds. Any one could eventually develop into a significant deal. Those numbers don’t include people investigating your book at Facebook, which doesn’t report views of individual books.

64% of visitors were returning vs. new, another good sign. It suggests people are returning to the listing to learn more. 39 views were from California, which makes sense given the subject. But that’s also the home base of many large organizations. But there were visits from 13 different U.S. cities and countries.

Here’s an image of the custom postcard we created for your book. This is targeted at hand-selected for-profit and non-profit prospects. The bulleted points tie together the book topic and its value related to the interests of the prospect’s target audience – as suggested by the nature of their business.

PM Template FR - Forgotten Hollywood, History

   I’m extraordinarily convinced Incentive Books can turn my book into a huge money-making enterprise in its literary venture. Here’s a link for more info:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Another Barnes & Noble So Cal Stop!

March 17th, 2011

Manny P. here…

2729   The BARNES & NOBLE bonanza continues in the Inland Empire. My next booksigning will be held at their store in Rancho Cucamonga at 11090 Foothill Blvd. on May 7th at 1p-3p.

   If you live in the area, I invite you to stop by and pick up an autographed copy of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. This should be a great opportunity to visit and chat about classic cinema with me.


   My paperback is currently available in 26 BARNES & NOBLE locations in four states including California, Nevada, Washington, and New York.

   I look forward to meeting you on what should be a wonderful Spring event.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- At Home in the Library of Congress…

March 16th, 2011

Manny P. here…

loc-logo   BPN header-1

   Sheryn Hara of the Book Publishers Network has confirmed that two copies of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History are now housed in the Library of Congress in our nation’s capital. All published books receive an ISBN number from this most revered of library branches. Sheryn says the proceedure is normal, despite the acknowledgement of this most deferential of American literary traditions.

   Many of the photos in Chapters of my paperback can be found in the Library of Congress as part of our Public Domain. So, in a sense, the photographs have returned home.

   I’m thrilled just thinking about where my work can now be read – the Jefferson or Adams Building Reading Rooms.

   This assures my work is officially published.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Meredy’s Place Tells Cinema’s Story

March 13th, 2011

Manny P. here…


   I’d like to introduce you to Meredy’s Place. She’s a special person who shares a love of classic film and television. Meredy has a blog and website you might like to visit to broaden your horizons regarding cinema.

   Meredy provides informative stories, a massive amount of trivia, links to sites, and items to purchase, including DVD’s, calendars, electronic toys, figurines, photos, magazines, music boxes, and screen savers. The common thread is Hollywood’s Golden Age. Here’s the links to her site and blog:



03 Claude_Rains_in_Mr_Skeffington_trailer_headcrop   By the way, Mr. Skeffington was a wonderful motion picture made by Warner Brothersand starred Bette Davis and Claude Rains. Both actors were nominated for Oscars in 1944. Claude Rains is my proud subject of Chapter One in Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History.

   There is little doubt that Meredy and I are soul mates…


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Early 20th Century News!

March 10th, 2011

Manny P. here.

Several stories have come across the Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History desk that are worth telling with regards to the first few decades of the 20th Century.

200px-Frank_Buckles_WW1_at_16_edited    ~ The last American Doughboy, who died recently, will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday. The passing of a generation is what the White House is calling the ceremony. President Obama has ordered that U.S. flags on official buildings be lowered to half-staff on the day the final American WWI vet is buried.

   Frank Buckles, born in 1901, enlisted at 16 after lying about his age. The veteran devoted his final years to campaigning for more recognition for his comrades during the Great War by suggesting a  memorial be built in Washington D.C. in their honor. Buckles died last month in Charlestown, a month after his 110th birthday.  FRANK BUCKLES —->

Great Quake In Color

   ~ The only color photographs of a devastated San Francisco have been discovered at the Smithsonian Institute. The six newly-found images were taken by photographer Frederick Eugene Ives several months after the Great Quake of 1906. They were snapped during a visit by Ives in October ’06.

   The still-shots are photos of San Francisco’s destroyed downtown, and a visual rooftop  account overlooking miles of ruins. They display buildings damaged by the 8.3 temblor, and gutted by the subsequent fire. Some of these structures remarkably still exist.

   Ives is best-known for creating the halftone reproduction process still used for printing pictures in newspapers. It’s expected that these snapshots will be part of a permanent display at the museum.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- LA Public Library Election Results…

March 9th, 2011

Manny P. here…

lapl_logo   Los Angeles citizens have gone to the polls on Tuesday to vote over the fate of Charter Amendment L – Public Library Funding.  Budget cuts last summer forced all branches in the L.A. Public Library system to close on Sundays and Mondays. Measure L was intended to reverse part of these cutbacks.

   Returns show the YES votes at around 63%. With the measure passing, a projected $130 million would be added to the Southern California library budget, overturning staff cutbacks and shorter branch hours. Aside from Detroit, L.A. has been the only significant U.S. municipality to close down its entire library system two days a week. Soon after the funding is restored, public libraries are expected to return to a six-day-a-week schedule citywide.

   Although I completely supported the measure, my blog was never intended to be used as a political forum. This is why I waited until precincts closed on election day to present this important story. The issue of literacy is the story, not the politics of L.A.’s budgetary woes. The best news – The city ballot initiative increases dedicated spending for the Los Angeles Public Library system by $50 million over the next few years without raising taxes.

   As an effort to present full disclosure, I have 9 copies of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History on the shelves of the library system. This includes a reference copy in the Richard J. Riordan Central Library located in Downtown L.A.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- New Web Locations…

March 7th, 2011

Manny P. here…

There are several new locations online where you can purchase Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. Both of these sites are pitching my paperback to an international market. These are promising alternatives where you might consider buying my book.

harvardbooksellers   bookhills_01

   Harvard Booksellers.com is committed to fostering education and literacy. Here’s a link to their site:


   Bookhills.com offers my work throughout the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K.  On their website, my book is in the Social History category. Here is their link:



   Let me thank Dominick Garcia, a Southern California Radio Broadcaster, for joining O.C Register radio columnist Gary Lycan, my wife Laurie, and me, held at this past weekend’s booksigning event at BARNES & NOBLE in Montclair. He has been a friend for over two decades. We had a splendid time with the folks who purchased Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History.

   Another longtime friend, Chris Hayes, who worked closely with me during my time at KRLA in L. A., paid me a visit at last week’s Oscar party at the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffee Shop.

   My opportunity to spend a moment with former colleagues make these events personally special for me.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sales Figures on the Rise…

March 6th, 2011

Manny P. here…

   What a great start to the first quarter of 2011! Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is showing a steady increase with regards to sales, according to various indicators. Here are the details…

02 Tower TOWER.com has seen my book remain in the TOP 10  in their Social History category since before Christmas. This consistent figure is extraordinarily positive from the website which has been my finest ally in my sales journey.

   Here is a link to purchase my book:


Borders ~ The announcement of the unfortunate closing of BORDERS stores throughout Southern California has had one unintended benefit. My work has spent this past week in the TOP 10 in the Local History category, since liquidators started slashing storewide prices on its inventory.

(My gut feeling is this bookstore chain might have avoided Chapter 11 by rewarding customers with weekly sales on selected inventory; and closing their coffee shops, to deter loafers from spending many hours each day reading books for free)


navAmazonLogoFooter__V264586593_~ Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is reaping the benefit from a great cinematic awards season, and several best-selling classic film books currently available on AMAZON.

   Sales figures are at an 18-month high since the release of my paperback. I’ve dabbled in the TOP-100 in the Social History and the History & Criticism categories. And, my ranking in the all-important BOOKS category (out of 8-million titles) has been in the Top 1% of all product sold on the site. Here’s their link:


   Needless to say, I’m pleasantly surprised by the acceptance of my printed words.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Another Visit to Barnes and Noble!

March 2nd, 2011

Manny P. here…

2242   I hope my friends in the Southern California-area will join us this Saturday, March 5th at BARNES & NOBLE in Montclair. Located at 5183 Montclair Plaza Lane (just off the 10 Fwy), my radio partner Gary Lycan and I’ll be personally greeting folks interested in buying a copy of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. This book-signing will be a unique opportunity for us to chat about Hollywood’s Golden Age.

   My paperback is available in 42 BARNES & NOBLE locales in four states including Nevada, California, Washington, and New York. We are thrilled to spend a day with you, our first since the announcement of  the winners at the 2011 Academy Awards.

   Come on by and let’s meet!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Van Nuys High Alumni has Died…

March 1st, 2011

Manny P. here…

Jane Russell Macao_1952   Jane Russell, the iconic star from Hollywood’s Golden Age, has died. She’s best known for her memorable performances in The Outlaw, Macao, The Palefaceand Gentleman Prefer Blondes.

   Born in Minnesota, Jane grew up in Burbank. Like your blogger, she attended Van Nuys High School. From urging by her mom,  Russell studied drama from Maria Ouspenskaya (the Gypsy in The Wolfman).

Van Nuys HighTitle

   Howard Hughes signed Russell to a seven-year contract in 1940. Her first movie was an issue with censors, and not because of its plot. Her ample cleavage was the source of the controversy. Hughes used the stir to his advantage while promoting the film. The Outlaw was released in 1946, and Jane Russell became an overnight sensation.

Gentlemen_Prefer_Blondes_Movie_Trailer_Screenshot_(37)   A highlight in her career was to have her hands and feet placed in cement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with Marilyn Monroe in 1953. Russell also has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Jane suddenly retired from cinema in 1970.

   Away from the silver screen, Jane Russell married  Los Angeles Ram’s quarterback, Bob Waterfield (also a Van Nuys High graduate). In 1955, she founded the World Adoption International Fund, an organization to place children with families that pioneered adoptions from foreign countries by Americans. She also became a popular spokesperson for Playtex.

   She spent her later years in Santa Maria. Jane Russell was 89.

Until next time>                               “never forget”