“Forgotten Hollywood”- Avalon’s Centennial Celebration

December 30th, 2013

Manny P. here…

avalon   Santa Catalina has been the location for the filming of over 500 motion pictures, television programs, documentaries, and commercials over the past 90 years. Beginning as early as 1911, and continuing through the Silent Film era and the introduction of sound to cinema, the Island served as location for more than 225 films.

   Throughout its history, the Island has been transformed into the coast of North Africa, Tahiti, and even the American frontier. It’s been called the lost continent of Atlantis, and the home of a famous mechanical shark… Jaws. In short, Santa Catalina Island holds a unique place in the history of motion picture productions as Hollywood’s exotic backlot.

   During the 16 years of silent film production, many notable directors and actors frequented the Island and produced many classic films, such as Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, Treasure Island, Old Ironsides, and The Black Pirate. D.W. Griffith was one of the first directors on the Island. His feature Man’s Genesis was filmed in 1912. Many of the large studios followed Griffith’s lead and began utilizing the Island as the backdrop of their films. Universal, Lasky Film Corporation, Fox, Paramount, Metro-Goldwyn, and United Artists were among the many companies.

   Another interesting and lasting impression of this unique history was the introduction of the North American Bison to the Island. Many believe that the bison were brought to the Island for the production of The Vanishing American, the movie version of Zane Grey’s classic novel, released by the Lasky Film Corporation in 1925. Perhaps the Island scenes ended up on the cutting room floor. However, a herd of the bison has been roaming the hills of Catalina since December of 1924.

   Sound to motion pictures ushered in a new era of production for Hollywood and Catalina Island. It continued to be a prime location for many of Hollywood’s best filmmakers. One of the first talkies filmed was Condemned starring Ronald Colman. The following years witnessed Island of Lost Souls, Rain, Treasure Island, Captain Blood, Mutiny on the Bounty, and Captain’s Courageous being shot on the Island. The amount of motion pictures during this period introduced several screen favorites to the immense charms of Catalina.

   Many famous actors and celebrities were spotted on the Island and off the coast in their palatial yachts. Each week, Harry Grattan, proprietor of the St. Catherine’s Hotel gift shop, would report his celebrity sightings. Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Betty Grable, Norma Shearer, Irving Thalberg, Richard Arlen, and Johnny Weissmuller were all steady visitors.

    john wayne johnny weissmuller   humphrey bogart


   The onset of World War II changed life on the Island and in Hollywood significantly. Avalon was closed to tourism and the use of the Island for filming was suspended. After World War II, the film industry’s use of Catalina Island slowly re-emerged. Memorable productions have been filmed at the location over the last fifty years, including The Glass Bottom Boat, Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, Apollo 13, WaterworldMacArthur, and Amistad. Most recently, aerial shots of the Island were featured in Disney’s Pearl Harbor. And, Natalie Wood infamously drowned off its coast.

   Santa Catalina awaits the next cast and crew that will add another production to the already long list of memorable movies filmed on her shores.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Tucson Honors Hitchcock in January!

December 27th, 2013

Manny P.  here…

    The Loft Cinema is a nonprofit dedicated to creating community through motion pictures, honoring the vision of filmmakers, celebrating ideas, and promoting the appreciation of the art of film. It’s been a mission-driven, membership-supported arts organization since November 2002, serving the greater Tucson area and all of Southern Arizona.

tucson_loft    Hitchcock blondes

   To start 2014… Suspense! Excitement! Blondes! All through the month of January, The Loft celebrates the films of Alfred Hitchcock and the women who made them classics! Gentlemen truly prefer blondes. Hitch certainly did, and throughout his career, The Master of Suspense obsessively explored and exploited the mysterious appeal of such fair-haired beauties as Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, and Tippi Hedren, just to name a few. They were daring and beautiful. They were sophisticated, smart, cool, and dangerous. And most importantly, they were blondes… Hitchcock Blondes.

Stage-Fright-webposter~ REBECCA – January 4th, Saturday, 7p

~ STAGE FRIGHT – January 9th, Thursday, 7p

~ REAR WINDOW – January 11th, Saturday, 7p

~ THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH – January 16th, Thursday, 7p

~ MARNIE – January 23rd, Thursday, 7p

~ VERTIGO – January 25th, Saturday, 7p

   If you live in the Tucson area, begin the new year with the grand master… Alfred Hitchcock and his movies.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Jimmy Stewart Museum Needs Help!

December 26th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   The Jimmy Stewart Museum, located in Indiana, Pennsylvania (his hometown) highlights its namesake’s accomplishments in film, radio and television. His roles as military hero, civic leader, family man, and world citizen are also woven into displays, film presentations and gallery talks. There’s even a room dedicated to his family’s long and colorful history in Western Pennsylvania. A daguerreotype of his great grand-dad in a Civil War uniform, baby photos of Jimmy, and his dad’s old desk from the family hardware store are all on display.

J. stewart ethos

   You can view Stewart’s motion picture clips and career retrospectives in an intimate, 1930′s vintage movie theatre. Plush with navy velvet drapes and wine colored seats, the theatre features the best of the old and new. The state-of-the-art sound and projection system was donated by Universal Studios of Hollywood.

   Jimmy Stewart aficionados have transformed the third floor of the Indiana Public Library into a museum, capturing the quiet magic and small town charm that catapulted the star to enduring fame. From the museum’s windows, visitors can glimpse the family hardware store site, the bronze statue dedicated to Jimmy on his 75th birthday, and courthouse clock immortalized by Life Magazine’s famous back-from-World War II photo.

   Displays are chock full of original movie posters and photos beginning from the 1930s. Awards and citations from Hollywood, film critics, the Boy Scouts, and other organizations fill walls and cases. Jimmy has personally selected favorite momentos of his career to display, such as a Winchester commemorative rifle, and a propeller blade autographed by the cast and crew of Flight of the Phoenix. All of this adds a personal touch to this one-of-a-kind museum….

jimmy stewart museum logo   jimmy stewart patch

   The Jimmy Stewart Museum is a non-profit educational organization [501(c)(3)] charity, and a member of the American Association of Museums. Its operations are funded through admissions, contributions, and membership society programs. All memberships offer the following benefits:

  • Unlimited free admission
  • Invitation to all member events
  • Advance notice on celebrity events and priority in lines  
  • 10% discount on museum store purchases

   All proceeds from the membership program and museum store not used to cover related costs subsidize the museum’s displays, film theater, educational programs, information service and web site. In fact, the museum depends entirely on these programs, admission fees and private contributions to continue its operations and services for the public. Your participation helps us keep the legend and the legacy of James M. Stewart alive. And, all members receive a Jimmy Stewart Museum tote bag.

   Here’s a link to make a needed contribution:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- I Love Lucy Most Viewed Show!

December 25th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Almost six decades after it first aired, Associated Press reports an I Love Lucy Christmas Special was last week’s most-watched holiday program, according to ratings released on Tuesday. There was a gimmick: The episode of the 1950s sitcom was colorized.

   It was thought to be lost and wasn’t part of the syndicate package until it was discovered in 1989. CBS ran it twice after Lucille Ball’s passing in 1989; once in its original black-and-white version, and once in color.



   The I Love Lucy special on CBS drew 8.7 million viewers to rank as Friday evening’s favorite program and #16 for last week overall, according to Nielsen figures. The Holiday runner-up — A Charlie Brown Christmas — settled for 6.4 million the previous night on ABC.

   I Love Lucy aired from October 15th, 1951 to May 6th, 1957. The weekly show was voted the best television program of all time in a 2012 viewer poll that was conducted by ABC News and People Magazine.

   Everyone still loves Lucy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Hollywood Park Ends Its Run…

December 23rd, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood closed after 75 years in operation. The race track is best known for the legendary Seabiscuit winning 1938’s inaugural running of Hollywood Gold Cup. Dick Van Patten, the 85-year-old actor who starred in Eight is Enough, was a longtime regular. He walked away a winner on Sunday when his horse Tanquerray won the $50,000 third race.

horse_a_hollywoodpark_gb2_600x600   holypak

   The track was opened in 1938 by the Hollywood Turf Club. The 600 original shareholders included many stars, directors, and producers of the film world, such as Al Jolson and Raoul Walsh (two of the original directors of the board), Joan Blondell, Ronald Colman, Walt Disney, Bing Crosby, Sam Goldwyn, Darryl Zanuck, George Jessel, Ralph Bellamy, Wallace Beery, Irene Dunne, Hal Wallis, and Mervyn LeRoy (director of Hollywood Park from 1941 until his death in 1986). Liz Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau were frequent visitors, among others.

   Hollywood Park was used as a storage facility from 1942-44 in association with the war effort, opening only for a brief War Charities meeting in November, 1944. Other highlights:

  • In 1951, Citation became the first million-dollar-winning horse by winning his final start, the Hollywood Gold Cup
  • On July 3rd, 1977, Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew finished fourth in the Swaps Stakes, a major upset
  • On December 10th, 1999, Laffit Pincay Jr. surpassed Bill Shoemaker’s all-time record for race wins by a jockey

   HPRace   HPSeabiscuit

   The Hollywood Park Racing Association and the Los Angeles based subsidiary of Betfair Group that also owns Television Games Network completed a historic agreement on March 13, 2012, intended to transform the customer experience for fans at the venue, as well as, online and on cable. Hollywood Park’s 18 weeks of racing dates will be divided among Santa Anita, Los Alamitos and Del Mar. Over 1,900 horses, 470 full time employees, and 600 workers who reside in the track’s stable area must move on.

   Betfair Hollywood Park is the second major California race track to close since 2008, when Bay Meadows near San Francisco was closed after 74 years for development.


TCC   vccslinclogo3

vbpl   Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History has been added to its 43rd literary branch. It is now housed at Tidewater Community College – Virginia Beach Branch Library. TCC has five campuses throughout the Tidewater area in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is the 104th overall library that carries one of my works in the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. It’s also the 4th worldwide college / university repository with one of my paperbacks, including UCLA and the University of Michigan.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Library of Congress 2013 Film Adds…

December 19th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   The Library of Congress has made its 2013 National Film Registry additions. Spanning the period 1919-2002, the choices named to the registry include Hollywood classics, silent films, documentaries, independent, and experimental motion pictures. This year’s selections bring the number to 625, a small part of the Library’s vast moving-image collection of 1.2 million items.

Library of Congress

   Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress selects 25 productions culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes the annual registry selections after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and conferring with Library film curators and the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB).

   Here are the highlights:

Mary_Poppins5~ Mary Poppins (1964) – Alleged to be Walt Disney’s personal fav, it’s based upon a book by P.L. Travers. With an original tale as its framework, aided by the Sherman Brothers, a cinematic musical was fashioned about a most unusual nanny. Weaving together a witty script, an inventive visual style, and a slate of classic tunes (such as A Spoonful of Sugar and Chim Chim Cher-ee), Mary Poppins has enchanted generations. Seamless integration of animation with live action, its pitch-perfect cast includes Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Jane Darwell, and Ed Wynn. A Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious achievement.

384px-Poster_-_Quiet_Man,_The_01~The Quiet Man (1952) – Director John Ford used The Quiet Man to pay tribute to his Irish heritage. With her red hair ablaze against the lush green landscapes, Maureen O’Hara embodies the mystique of Ireland. John Wayne personifies the indefatigable American searching for his ancestral roots, with Victor Young’s jovial score punctuating their escapades. The movie and the locale are populated with characters bordering on caricature. Sly, whiskey-loving matchmaker Michaleen O’Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald), burly town bully Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen), and put-upon but patient Widow Tillane (Mildred Natwick) are the most vivid.

Judgment_at_Nuremberg-Spencer_Tracy~ Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) – Judgment at Nuremberg broadened its scope beyond the condemnation of Nazi perpetrators to interrogate the broad concept of justice within any modern society. Conceived by screenwriter Abby Mann during McCarthyism, the film argues passionately that those responsible for administering justice also have the duty to ensure human-rights are preserved even if they conflict with national imperatives. Originally produced as a Playhouse 90 teleplay, Mann and actor Maximilian Schell received Oscars, and it boasted fine performances from its all-star cast, including Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, Marlene Dietrich, and William Shatner.

Magnificent_original~ The Magnificent Seven (1960) – The popularity of this Western, based on Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954), has continued to grow since its release, due in part to its role as a springboard for several young actors on the verge of successful careers: Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, and Horst Buchholz. Yul Brynner bought the rights to Kurosawa’s original story, and hand-picked John Sturges as its director. He had earned a reputation for Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957). Contributing to the film’s popular appeal through the decades is Elmer Bernstein’s vibrant score.

Gilda_trailer_hayworth1~ Gilda (1946) – The end of World War II came a dark edge in the American psyche and a change in the cinema it produced. Film noir defined the 1940s and Gilda defined the genre—long on sex appeal, but short on substance. Director Charles Vidor capitalized on the voyeuristic angles of film noir. Glenn Ford, Rita Hayworth, and George Macready round out a tempestuous triangle.

800px-ForbiddenPlanet3_retouched~ Forbidden Planet (1956) – MGM Studio’s Forbidden Planet is one of the seminal science-fiction films of the 1950s, a genre that found itself revitalized within America’s new post-nuclear age. Based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Forbidden Planet is both sci-fi saga and allegory, and proved an inspiration to future visionaries, such as Gene Roddenberry. Walter Pidgeon, Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis, and in his debut, Robbie the Robot, make up the cast.

~ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) – Edward Albee’s 1962 stage triumph made a successful transfer to the screen in this adaption written by Ernest Lehman. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton—who were both Oscar nominees for their work (with Taylor winning) in their respective roles as Martha and George, an older couple who share an explosive evening opposite a younger husband and wife, portrayed by George Segal and Sandy Dennis. Mike Nichols began his auspicious screen directing career with this film; already examining the absurdities and brutality of modern life, themes that became two of his career hallmarks.

   The public is urged to make nominations for next year’s registry at the NFPB website:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Look What was Created at Oprah.com!

December 17th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Winter 2013 is turning into something really special! On Oprah Winfrey’s O website, a Forgotten Hollywood visual retrospective has been created, recounting my own personal journey, which includes my Book Series, Blog, weekly Radio Program, and Documentary in Production. They say a picture paints a 1000 words… Here’s proof:


   And, congrats to Oprah on today’s SAG Awards Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Golden Age Loses Second A-List Star!

December 16th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   The last 48-hours has been devastating for audiences of classic cinema. On the heels of the passing of Peter O’Toole, we have additionally lost Oscar-winning star Joan Fontaine (below). She was also the sister of Olivia de Havilland. In fact, they are the only siblings to have won lead acting Academy Awards. In Hollywood circles, Fontaine was a favorite of many directors — Alfred Hitchcock, George Cukor, Billy Wilder, Nicholas Ray, and Fritz Lang.

Joan_Fontaine_in_Born_To_Be_Bad_trailer_2   In 1940, she earned an Oscar nod for her performance in Rebecca. The next year, Fontaine won the Best Actress Academy Award for Suspicion, making Joan the singular actress to ever win the statuette in a movie directed by Hitchcock. For the filmmaker, she became a prototype of cool blondes played by Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief and Rear Window; Kim Novak in Vertigo; Tippi Hedren in Marnie and The Birds; Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest;and Janet Leigh in Psycho. Joan’s career included roles in Gunga Din, The Women, Jane Eyre, The Constant Nymph, Ivanhoe, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.   

   She received wonderful reviews in 1954 on Broadway in Tea and Sympathy, opposite Anthony Perkins. She also appeared in numerous radio shows during the 1940s for the Lux Radio Theater. Her small screen appearances were notable: The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Wagon Train, Cannon, The Love Boat, and a recurring part on the daytime soap opera, Ryan’s Hope. She earned an Emmy nomination for the latter effort.

   After Joan’s Oscar triumph, a legendary feud with her sister lasted for the rest of their lives since one of the other nominees that year was de Havilland. Olivia finally garnered a coveted statuette in 1946 for her performance in To Each His Own. In reality, they were never very close, which was one reason the actress took the last name on screen… Fontaine. Joan wrote bitterly about her sister in the memoir No Bed of Roses. She also famously didn’t get along with Rebecca co-star Laurence Olivier because he preferred that his wife Vivien Leigh get the role. British critics and audiences weren’t receptive either. But, Fontaine became a top star in Hollywood for over two decades.

   The actress eventually left Tinsel Town when she was asked to play Elvis Presley’s mother. She settled at her Villa Fontana estate about five miles south of Carmel.

tcm color logo   Turner Classic Movies will celebrate her life with seven motion pictures to air on December 29th. The cable network will follow with three Peter O’Toole films, plus an extended interview of the actor by Robert Osborne that was conducted at the 2011 TCM Film Festival, a few years back.

   Joan Fontaine, the demure beauty, was 96.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Legendary Peter O’Toole Has Died…

December 15th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Peter O’Toole was the British (or possibly Irish) star of stage and screen. He was the finest actor never to win a competitive Oscar in the history of cinema; nominated a record eight times. He won four Golden Globes, a BAFTA, and an Emmy, and was the recipient of an Honorary Academy Award in 2003.

484px-Peter_O'Toole_-_Lion   His roles of note, and he had many, include Lawrence of Arabia, Becket, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye Mr. Chips, The Ruling Class, The Stunt Man, My Favorite Year, and Venus. These award-worthy turns lost to Gregory Peck, Rex Harrison, John Wayne, Marlon Brando, Cliff Robertson, Robert De Niro, Ben Kingsley, and Forest Whitaker. He first appeared on film in a 1959 bit-part in The Day They Robbed the Bank of England. Other movies throughout his illustrious career: Lord Jim, What’s New Pussycat, How to Steal a Million, The Sandpiper, Casino RoyaleMurphy’s War, Man of La Mancha, and The Last Emperor. More recently, Peter was hired for the Pixar film Ratatouille.  PETER O’TOOLE  —->

   The actor played Hamlet under Laurence Olivier’s direction in the premiere production of the Royal National Theatre in 1963. His London stage roles were many, mostly at the Old Vic and with the Royal Shakespeare CompanyKing Lear, Othello, Pygmalion, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, and Caligula.

   Severe illness almost ended his life in the late 1970s. His stomach cancer was misdiagnosed as resulting from his alcoholic excess. O’Toole underwent surgery in 1976 to have his pancreas and a large portion of his stomach removed, which resulted in insulin-dependent diabetes. In 1978, he nearly died from a blood disorder.

   Peter O’Toole was offered a knighthood in 1987, but turned it down for personal and political reasons. He was a noted fan of Rugby Union, and attended Five Nations matches with friends and fellow rugby fans Richard Harris, Peter Finch, and Richard Burton. Other pals in his circle: Omar Sharif and Albert Finney. On July 10th, 2012, he retired from acting.

   The always controversial… the amazingly talented… Peter O’Toole was 81.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Freedom Riders Visit Screening…

December 14th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Denzel Washington is hosting a Screen Actors Guild screening of note. He’ll be joined by surviving members and children of the original Freedom Riders at a showing of Lee Daniels’ The Butler on Tuesday. This Hollywood-and-Vine moment (where Tinsel Town and Americana intersect) will be held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre and is sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This important event will include a conversation after the screening with the makers of the motion picture production, including Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Director Lee Daniels, among others in the cast with the Freedom Riders.

EngoziMfon_LeFlore_with_Freedom_Riders   In 1961, the Freedom Riders set out for the Deep South to defy Jim Crow laws and call for change. They were met by hatred and violence — and local police often refused to intervene. But, their efforts transformed the Civil Rights movement. They traveled on Greyhounds and other buses through Montgomery, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi in mixed racial groups to challenge local laws or customs that enforced segregation in seating.

Bull_Connor_(1960)   The first Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C., on May 4th, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17th. The Birmingham Police Commissioner, Bull Connor, together with Police Sergeant Tom Cook (an avid Ku Klux Klan supporter), organized violence against the Freedom Riders with local Ku Klux Klan chapters. The pair made plans to bring the Ride to an end in Alabama. Connor and Alabama Governor George Wallace became the faces of racial segregation. The president federally enforce protection of the Civil Rights’ activists.                                           BULL CONNOR —>

bus_200-1bfce086da14ea18f3c7e3e705cd864598d16de6-s3-c85   Television, radio, and newspaper coverage provided accounts of the daily confrontations, which evoked increased participation by Northern Blacks, students, and those sympathetic to the cause. The Kennedy Administration  and other Democrats joined in the struggle, and the movement eventually led to President Johnson defiantly signing into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    Lee Daniels’ The Butler captures this historic moment in time in a momumental story that stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. Both are nominated for SAG Awards for their roles in the film.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain Suit Sells…

December 13th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Gene Kelly’s gray wool suit worn during the most memorable sequence in Singin’ in the Rain has just been sold to Planet Hollywood International. Gerald Sola, a retired postal worker, had kept it in a closet at his Northern California home for decades. He bought the suit at an MGM lot sale of props and wardrobe items following the purchase of the studio to financier Kirk Kerkorian in 1970. The former letter carrier bought it for just $10.

genekelly5singin_2317224k   Sola sorted through the racks when he ran across the article of clothing and had a feeling it was the one from the famous scene. The jacket’s inside breast pocket has an MGM label with Kelly’s name and the production number. The actor wore the item for the featured dance in the 1952 film musical. GENE KELLY ->

   Kelly’s clothes were purchased by the theme restaurant for more than $106,000. Heritage Auctions officials said that Planet Hollywood intends to display the wardrobe piece at one of its properties, but hasn’t decided which one.

   Cue the music…

————————————————————— 455px-Audrey_Trotter_pin-up_from_Yank,_The_Army_Weekly,_August_1945

   One of MGM’s bad girls has died. Audrey Totter –> began her career in radio in 1937, and was signed to a seven-year film contract with the studio. She made her film debut in Main Street After Dark in 1945, and established herself as a popular female lead of the 1940s. Although she appeared in various genres, she became most widely known to cinematic audiences in film noir productions.

   Her movies of note include The Postman Always Rings Twice, Lady in the Lake, The Unsuspected, and Any Number Can Play. She offered reliable support to Robert Montgomery, Robert Taylor, John Garfield, Susan Hayward, Lana Turner, Clark Gable, Claude Rains, Cesar Romero, and Ray Milland. On television, Totter had a co-starring role on Medical Center. She also appeared in Perry Mason and Murder She Wrote.

   The femme fatale was 95.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- My Appearance on C-SPAN BOOK TV!

December 11th, 2013

Manny P. here…twitter_booktv_icon

   One of the highlights on the recent trip to receive my Gold Medal at Readers’ Favorite was a chance to appear on C-SPAN 2 BOOK TV at the Miami Book Fair International. I asked a question to the esteemed panel of Doris Kearns Goodwin and A. Scott Berg.

manny cspan b

   Goodwin is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author best known for her work, Team of Rivals, which was adapted by Steven Spielberg in what became last year’s sensation, Lincoln; the motion picture that earned an Oscar for the formidable role of the 16th President played by Daniel Day-Lewis. Goodwin’s latest book is entitled The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. Spielberg is ready to also adapt this literary masterpiece for the big screen.

   Here’s a link to my cameo Q&A that took place in front of live audience in an auditorium at Miami Dade College:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of Eleanor Parker…

December 10th, 2013

Manny P. here…447px-Eleanor_Parker

   Eleanor Parker was an actress who appeared in over 80 motion pictures for three decades. An actor of notable versatility, she was known as Woman of a Thousand Faces, the title of her biography by Doug McClelland. Like Bill Holden, Robert Preston, Dustin Hoffman, among others, Parker was discovered at the Pasadena Playhouse.                      ELEANOR PARKER ——>

   After high school, she signed with Warner Brothers in 1941. She was cast that year in the film, They Died with Their Boots On, but her scenes were cut. Her actual film debut was as Nurse Ryan in Soldiers in White in 1942. Her breakthrough starring role was in the 1946 remake of Of Human Bondage.

   Other cinematic appearances include Pride of the Marines with John Garfield, Hollywood Canteen, Escape Me Never featuring Errol Flynn, It’s a Great Feeling, Chain Lightning starring Humphrey Bogart, The Man with the Golden Arm opposite Frank Sinatra, and The King and Four Queens with Clark Gable. And, Eleanor received three Academy Award nominations: for Caged in 1950, The Detective Story the following year, and Interrupted Melody in 1955. The latter motion picture dealt with the subject of an opera star contracting polio. In the 1960s, she garnered supporting roles in The Sound of Music and The Oscar.

   Parker guest-starred on the small screen with parts in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Vega$, Bracken’s World (earning her a Golden Globe Award nod), Hawaii 5-0, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Hotel, and Murder She Wrote. Eleanor headlined in a number of theatrical productions, including Applause, which was originated by Lauren Bacall. She played Maxine in an Ahmanson Theater revival of The Night of the Iguana. She left a revival of Pal Joey during previews.

tcm color logo   Turner Classic Movies is altering their schedule on December 17th with a 14-hour motion picture tribute. This is the kind of programming that TCM is great at doing for their audience.

   The versatile Eleanor Parker was 91.


   Read Tuesday is a special event dedicated to big literary savings. Thousands of books will be on sale. This is a great opportunity for readers to stock up from their favorite authors and publishers. Discounted works also make great gifts for the holidays, including the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. For more information on this wonderful literary idea:


   Read Tuesday will be a huge day like Black Friday for buying and gifting books at amazing sale prices. It will also be a great way to help improve literacy. Encourage a person to read! Here are the Amazon links promoting my books:



Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Holidays Friendly to Book Series!

December 8th, 2013

Manny P. here…

imagesCA2WOFB6   The Fall-Winter Book Tour, which began in Miami, is rolling along. Thanks to holiday orders of both books in the series, Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is complimenting its recent Gold Medal accolade from Readers’ Favorite to surpassing 900 in actual sales. Add to this fact, the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series is approaching 4000 paperbacks sold. Believe me, I’ll have a celebratory blog about this milestone at a later date.

hollywood_souvenier_logo1   HollywoodHeritage

   I appreciate Souvenirs of Hollywood and Hollywood Heritage Museum stocking their shelves with my books this week. And, the latter location had a successfully brisk Afternoon with the Authors day of business on Saturday. Holiday shoppers were treated to nostalgic copies of autographed literary faire, sure to become stocking stuffers for lucky friends and family.

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   Our next stop is on Tuesday at the Granada Pavilion in Granada Hills for my third visit with the Tugnet Computer Group for their annual Holiday get-together. I’ll provide an update about the Forgotten Hollywood franchise. Of course, I’ll also be autographing copies of both of my books to their membership. The Granada Pavilion has been on the ground floor in support of my literary and documentary venture. Here’s a link to find out more about Tugnet:


   Another busy week is on tap as we roll through the Holidays for 2013!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Nelson Mandela Depicted in Cinema…

December 6th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Over the next few weeks, lots of ink will be written about the legacy of Nelson Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary who was imprisoned and then became a politician and philanthropist. He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His government focused on dismantling the everyday nature of apartheid through tackling institutionalized racism, poverty, and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Across the world, Mandela came to be seen as a moral authority with a great concern for truth.

   His larger-than-life persona has been depicted in cinema numerous times. Danny Glover offered an impassioned performance in the 1987 television piece Mandela, while he was still imprisoned. The small screen film Mandela and de Klerk starred Sidney Poitier; and Dennis Haysbert played him in Goodbye Bafana in 2007. In the BBC television film Mrs. Mandela, Nelson was portrayed by David Harewood, In 2009, Morgan Freeman earned an Oscar nod for his role in Invictus. The actor yesterday reflected by saying: As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just ponder on how far we’ve come, but, on how far we have to go. Terrence Howard co-starred as the iconic leader in the recently released Winnie Mandela. Stevie Wonder dedicated his 1985 Academy Award for I Just Called to Say I Love You to Mandela, resulting in the songwriter’s music being banned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

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   The figure known as Madiba or Tata is currently portrayed by Idris Elba in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. This current production is sure to receive upcoming attention from the acting guilds. It premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7th, and it went into limited release in this country on November 29th. President Barack Obama recently screened the motion picture at the White House. Prince William and his wife Kate were attending the London premiere of the movie when the former leader’s death was announced. Mandela was supposed to see the cinematic production, but passed on before he could. The theatrical release has turned from a living tribute to a big-screen eulogy.

   His funeral is expected to take place after lying-in-state at the Union Buildings, and before burial at his native village – Qunu. The majestic Nelson Mandela was 95.

 Until next time>                              “never forget”