“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Animated Magic of Mary Blair…

April 30th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   The Walt Disney Family Museum is currently presenting an exhibition depicting modern  images of Lewis Carrolls’ Alice in Wonderland. The main focus of the exhibit is the recent  handiwork of Camille Rose Garcia. Adding historical perspective, Alice in Wonderland conceptual paintings by Disney artist Mary Blair from the Museum’s collection. This delight to the visual senses are on display through November 3rd.

MB-drawing-table   Walt Disney’s conceptual artistry for over three decades included the imaginative effort of Mary Blair. Her fine work  influenced Walt’s animated productions and the look and style of his theme parks. Historians have compared her post-modern genius to the iconic art by Lost Generation painters who lived in Paris during the 1920s.  MARY BLAIR ->

   Born in McAlester, Oklahoma, Blair won a scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. After graduation in 1933, at the height of the Depression, she took a job in the animation unit at MGM, rather than pursue her dream of a fine arts career. Blair was hired by the Walt Disney Studios in 1940, and assigned a number of projects. In 1941, she joined an expedition that toured Mexico and South America. She painted with watercolors, inspiring Disney to name her art supervisor on The Three Caballeros and on Saludos Amigos. Blair influenced Disney’s postwar productions, such as Song of the South, Alice in Wonderland, Peter PanThe Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, and Cinderella.

blair_alice   it's a small world

   In 1964, Walt asked Blair to assist in the design of the It’s a Small World attraction. Over the years, she contributed to the style of many exhibits at the theme parks in California and Florida, including fanciful murals in the Grand Canyon Concourse at Walt Disney World Resort.

   She was credited as the color designer on the 1968 cinematic version of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Mary Blair died in 1978.

   Though her art veers away from naturalism toward abstraction, Blair was one of Disney’s favorite artists. He personally responded to the use of color, naïve graphics, and a storytelling aspect in her pictures. Her bold and ground-breaking color design still inspires many of today’s contemporary designers and animators. She was recognized with a posthumous Disney Legend award in 1991.

300px-The_Walt_Disney_Family_Museum_logo_svg   The vibrant exhibit transcends multiple visions of a legendary literary story, and each artist compliments the other. The Walt Disney Museum is at 104 Montgomery St. at  The Presidio in San Francisco.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Vanity Fair Goes Retro on its Cover…

April 28th, 2013

Manny P. here… audrey-hepburn-vanity-fair-may-2013-cover__oPt

   As anticipated as the Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue,  folks of a certain demographic are eagerly awaiting Vanity Fair’s tribute to the Golden Age of Cinema on their cover. Debuting in May, they will feature a colorized photo of the iconic Audrey Hepburn; and it promises to be a sought-after collectible.

   The publishers have selected a humdinger of a shot from the collection of Bud Fraker, the same photographer behind those iconic Breakfast at Tiffany‘s portraits. Fraker was the head of Columbia’s publicity department in the late 1930s, and the director of Paramount Studios’ still photography department from the 1940s. One of his favorite subjects was Grace Kelly. He also created postwar looks for Barbara Stanwyck, Montgomery Clift, Lizabeth Scott, Betty Hutton, William Holden, Sophia Loren, Jane Russell, Marlon Brando (among others).

   In a featured article, her son Luca Dotti talks personally about his mother, sharing seldom-told and insightful anecdotes ( also discussed in his new book set for release later this year). Among the topics… Hepburn’s frank views about her real appearance, her candid thoughts about aging gracefully, and the reasons why she had a vast scarf collection.

   After all these years, Audrey Hepburn still epitomizes elegance and class.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Let’s Look at the Tote Board (#16)…

April 25th, 2013

Manny P. here…

  The FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD Pilot Documentary (Development) funding campaign is in its final month and 16th week on INDIEGOGO. We’ve approached 65% of our goal. Click on the link if you’re interested in making a contribution:




~ JANNIE REBRASSIER ($100) – Jannie is a veteran hairstylist in Southern California. Her current workplace is Angelo’s Hair Salon in Huntington Beach. Located at the corner of Golden West and Garfield, this is my go-to place when I need my hair cut. In fact, Jannie has been styling my locks for over 25 years. Just recently, her son has entered military service, and he is preparing to travel abroad. Every day, I send a prayer to the ReBrassier family for his safe harbor. I hope you will do the same.

angelo's #2

~ DEBORAH WHITMORE ($25) – Deborah is the latest person to visit my Indiegogo site to place a contribution for our documentary campaign. My message is resonating throughout Southern California, and beyond…

* * * * *

   During this 2013 campaign, I’m asking friends, family, and supporters to help us achieve our 120+ day (19-week) goal of $500086 contributors want to support quality family-friendly television programs, intelligently presented.

   YOU can contribute ANY AMOUNT. This step ensures Development, and we’ll be able to:

  1. Hire a research archivist to track down footage and photos; and secure licensing
  2. Hire a consultant / casting director to book actors and behind-the-scenes folks from Hollywood’s Golden Age; plus cinematic historians for original interviews
  3. Set up a production shoot to tape these candid moments

   Again… here’s the INDIEGOGO link for the details (and you’re chance to contribute):


   All participants will warmly receive screen thanks at the conclusion of the Documentary.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Radio Program Adds Joe Lyons!

April 24th, 2013

Manny P. here…joe lyons

   I’m pleased to announce that Joe Lyons, the regional sales manager of KSPA AM 1510 will become the new co-host of the Forgotten Hollywood Radio Program, which airs on the Financial News and Talk network. With the passing of Gary Lycan, Joe has graciously accepted the assignment of providing the weekly On the Backlot report. He’ll provide current news and notes relating to Hollywood’s past. Lyons is a native of Ohio, and a longtime fan of the Golden Age of cinema. Joe Lyons (right) will be a welcome addition to our show.

   Forgotten Hollywood airs each Saturday at 3p (pst). Here’s a link if you would like to listen, and reside outside the broadcast area (which includes Inland Empire, Orange County, and North San Diego):


alan arbus<—Allan Arbus was best known for his role as Dr. Sydney Freedman on the television adaptation of M*A*S*H, including his appearance in the series finale. Before becoming an actor, the New York-born Arbus had a successful career as a fashion photographer.

   Arbus became a shutterbug for the military during World War II. After the war, he started a studio with then-wife Diane Arbus. She became one of the most renowned art photojournalists of the 20th century. Later, he was primarily known for advertising photography that appeared in Glamour, Seventeen, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and other magazines. Two years after their divorce, Diane Arbus committed suicide by ingesting barbiturates and slashing her wrists with a razor.

   Allan eventually appeared in over seventy television shows and motion pictures. His film credits include Cinderella LibertyW.C. Fields and Me and Damien: Omen II. He also guest-starred on the small screen in Starsky and Hutch, Law & Order, L.A. Law, Matlock, and most recently, Curb Your Enthusiasm.

   Allan Arbus was 95. Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Recognition as an Author…

April 23rd, 2013

Manny P. here… hummingbird review cover

   Several wonderful items to note.

~ The Hummingbird Review Spring 2013 (Volume 4) – The anthology of non-fiction, poetry, lyrics, and even a screenplay is available on Amazon. This latest volume, compiled by notable author  Charlie Redner, features Hollywood-themed essays by an esteemed cast of new and established authors, including an article I wrote entitled Evolution of the Screenwriter. I adapted this composition from a chapter about Arthur Kennedy in my initial paperback, Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. Portions of my literary analysis appeared on this site in a blog I wrote on January 9th.

   If you would like to purchase a copy of the latest edition of The Hummingbird Review, click on the Amazon link:


   And on Amazon Kindle:


~ League of Guardians Recognition Dinner Moose Charities is hosting an annual gala at the Milwaukee Art Museum on May 27th for local chapters of Moose International Inc. who have made significant contributions. Because of my $2400 donation to MooseHeart Child City and School from each dollar collected from the purchase of first edition copies of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, I’ve been invited to attend this esteemed dinner. I’m planning also a visit to MooseHeart, just outside of Chicago, during my upcoming trip to the Midwest. For more information on Moose Charities: League of Guardians, click on the link below:


 moose charities Logo-Bannerleague of gurdians

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Memorable Weekend…

April 22nd, 2013

Manny P. here…

   I’ve been all over Southern California this weekend for a variety of reasons. And, I really  enjoyed seeing old friends, making new friends, and chatting about the wonderful world of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

manny   On Friday, I spent a deferential time with broadcasters, journalists, and a number of dear friends of Gary Lycan, as we celebrated his life in a wonderful memorial. We shared a day of fellowship at the Orange County Register site. I spent treasured time with Mike Wagner, my former program director at KRLA; Lindy Thurrell, the co-owner of the Academy of Radio and Television Broadcasting; former radio co-hort Mickey Czegledy (who helped organize this wonderful event); current on-air broadcaster at the Financial News and Talk network, Bill Martinez; radio host at KOST, and friend to the Forgotten Hollywood franchise, Ted Ziegenbusch; and Scott Essman, Universal Studios Home Entertainment publicist, and an educator. I was also pleased to finally meet fellow radio announcers, Mike Sakellarides, KTWV; Chef Jamie Gwen at KFWB; Pat Haslam of KNX; among others.

   The OC Register wrote a moving column about our attendence; and Gary Lycan was additionally memorialized on KFWB. Here’s a link to these touching stories:



367px-Laurelyhardy_179   Saturday was a busy day for Laurie and me, as we made stops at the Frank & Sons Collectible Show in the City of Industry; and Sons of the Desert Early to Rise Tent in Temple City, part of an international group of Laurel and Hardy enthusiasts.

   The latter event featured a number of humorous opening rituals, a silent auction, a really engaging host, and four wonderful two-reelers made by Stan and Ollie. In between, I had the chance to chat about Hollywood’s Golden Age, and sign copies of my paperbacks for interested readers. This activity was lively and fun.We made some wonderful friends.

   On Sunday, Laurie and I were by LAX at the Hollywood Show, another collectible-related event. I started the day meeting the grandson of the legendary Jackie Coogan. Keith Coogan co-starred in one of my favorite coming-of-age movies, Adventures in Babysitting. He now also owns a copy of Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. I feature his grandpa in a chapter about Children of the Depression.

A college friend stopped by. Barni Rothman and Laurie kept me apprised about the notable folks who made appearances at this event, since I was busy meeting interested readers of my work. Among the stars there: Loni Anderson, Angie Dickinson, Earl Holliman, Lou Ferrigno, child star Mark Lester, cast members of the Rocky Horror Show, and singer Chris Montez.

   All-in-all… a most reflective weekend in April.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Comedic Trailblazers Given Their Due!

April 19th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   A pair of comedy icons will be honored in the coming weeks. Here are the details:


   Mel Brooks has been in show business for more than sixty years, and blessed throughout his career with an abundance of accolades (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony). However, he’s avoided a documentary profile being made, even issuing an informal gag order on his friends… until now. Prior to its broadcast premiere, the Paley Center For Media presents this special screening and onstage conversation celebrating the iconic comedy genius.

   Showcasing the Brooklyn native’s brilliant originality, American Masters Mel Brooks: Make a Noise travels through Brooks’s early years in live television—with Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows—to the cinematic genres he so successfully satirized in Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs—to the groundbreaking Broadway musical version of his first film, The Producers. The documentary also delves into his professional and personal ups and downs—his childhood, first wife, and his subsequent forty-one-year marriage to Anne Bancroft—capturing a never-before-heard sense of reflection and confession.

   The documentary features new interviews with Brooks, his friends and colleagues, including Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Cloris Leachman, Joan Rivers, Tracey Ullman, and his close friend, with whom he created The 2000 Year Old Man more than fifty years ago… Carl Reiner.

   American Masters: Mel Brooks airs on PBS, Monday, May 20th, 9p (ET/PT; check local listings). Tickets are now on sale.

———————————————— 220px-Don_Rickles_1973

   The Friars Club is honoring Don Rickles with a Lifetime Achievement award.The entertainers’ group just announced it will celebrate the career of 86-year-old comedian at its annual awards ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on June 24th.                  DON RICKLES ——–>

   Tony Danza, Kathy Griffin, Bob Newhart, Regis Philbin, Bob Costas, and Joan Rivers are among those set to appear on June 24th. Don Rickles started his career in the 1950s, and has worked with generations of legends, including Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Lucille Ball. Because of his relationship with Johnny Carson, Rickles still visits the late-night programs of Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman, and Craig Ferguson. His movie career has been diverse, with funny roles in Run Silent Run Deep, Kelly’s Heroes, Casino, the Beach Party films, and the Toy Story series of animated classics.

   His nickname is Mr. Warmth, derived from his comedic routine.

Until next time>                               “never forget

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Let’s Look at the Tote Board (#15)…

April 18th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD Pilot Documentary (Development) funding campaign is up to its 15th week on INDIEGOGO. We have approached 62% of our goal. You can still click on the link if you’re interested in making a contribution:




~ RUSS AND KELLEY SHADDOCK-DUKE ($200) – A very close couple, Russ and Kelley are virtually inseparable. Their latest venture is co-employment at SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation). In fact, Russ is the router shop supervisor at the company that launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. SpaceX designs and manufactures its products. It’s the only private enterprise ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in December 2010. The company made history again in May 2012 when one of its spacecraft attached to the International Space Station exchanged cargo payloads, and returned safely to Earth — a challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments. SpaceX currently has contracts with NASA and private corporations.


   Russ and Kelley are also devoted to charitible causes. Notably, my close friends are involved with the People4Children annual benefit; a brainchild of karaoke host Donna Martin from the TomKat Lounge in Buena Park. Proceeds and toys go to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. They have now contributed to the Forgotten Hollywood Documentary campaign in memory of Gary Lycan, who has been instrumental in seeing this project succeed. I’m pleased to make accept their donation on behalf of my longtime friend. Intrestingly, Russ is related to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

john ray~ JOHNNIE LEE RAY ($30) – A former trucker and owner of a bowling supply store, the Cypress resident has also hosted a karaoke show at Valley View Lanes in Garden Grove. Like Russ and Kelley, J.R. is quite enjoyable to watch when he performs a given tune. He and his significant other, Cheryl, are great supporters of all of my ventures, including my karaoke shows and my work as an author.

~ LARRY GERBER ($20) – Larry is one of my more recent friends I’ve made in my journey through Forgotten Hollywood. I met him at Westiminster Lanes, where he bowls with his family. He is also a retired post office employee. Larry has also supported my venture by purchasing a copy of my book.

* * * * *

   During this 2013 campaign, I’m asking friends, family, and supporters to help us achieve our 120+ day (17-week) goal of $500084 contributors want to support quality family-friendly television programs, intelligently presented.

   YOU can contribute ANY AMOUNT. This step ensures Development, and we’ll be able to:

  1. Hire a research archivist to track down footage and photos; and secure licensing
  2. Hire a consultant / casting director to book actors and behind-the-scenes folks from Hollywood’s Golden Age; plus cinematic historians for original interviews
  3. Set up a production shoot to tape these candid moments

   Here’s the INDIEGOGO link for the details (and you’re chance to contribute):


   All participants will receive screen credit at the conclusion of the Documentary Pilot.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Weekend of Notable Booksignings

April 17th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   One of the last emails I received from Gary Lycan was a reminder to promote my multiple opportunities this weekend to meet-and-greet folks interested in a signed copy of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History and Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. I just came across the email, and it made me smile. Gary was such a dear friend, so here is the info:


19649 E. San Jose Ave., City of Industry, CA

April 20th

Saturday 11a – 5p


 ~ ~ ~


Westminster Presbyterian Church

9642 E. Live Oak Ave., Temple City, CA

April 20th

6:45p – 10p

lhplaque   LogosETBSOD

~ ~ ~


Westin Los Angeles Airport

5400 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

April 21st

Sunday 11a – 4p

Hollywood Show logo

~ ~ ~

   Hope to see you sometime this weekend!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- #42 Honored Across the Ballparks…

April 16th, 2013

Manny P. here…42-logo-300x297

   Overshadowed by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, Major League Baseball went on with ceremonies for the fifth Jackie Robinson Day at stadiums all over the country and north of the border in Toronto. All the teams in action were asked to wear Robinson’s number. Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, is drawing special attention this year with the release of the movie 42, which went into wide release last weekend. The motion picture was the #1 watched flick over the weekend.

JackieRobinson1945   Robinson’s children and widow Rachel were introduced before the Los Angeles Dodgers played the San Diego Padres. Harrison Ford bounced a ceremonial first pitch to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Ford plays ex-Brooklyn general manager Branch Rickey in 42. Rickey was the iconic executive that signed Robinson to a major league contract. The ballplayer was enjoying a Hall of Fame career in the Negro Leagues prior to his entry into the Major Leagues.

   On the Minnesota Twins big screen, stock footage of Robinson was shown to an appreciative crowd and team. The Tampa Bay Rays spent the day at a 42 screening. In Miami’s ballpark, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Norman Berman, the ballboy for the Brooklyn Dodgers when Robinson was a rookie. #42 will be universally retired when Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees retires at the end of the season. It’s been his number for his entire career. Teams not playing on Monday are planning to pay tribute to  <——— Jackie Robinson on Tuesday.

   A Hollywood-and-Vine moment… when Hollywood meets Americana!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Chariots of Fire Disrupted…

April 15th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   To the participants of the Boston Marathon.. To the Boston community… To supporters attending this annual event… To our first responders on the scene… To the victims and their families… A nation grieves with you at such a vile disturbance.

boston marathon logo

   Terror caused by anarchists of an international, domestic, or of a random nature only serves to unite our country. Why can’t  opponents of freedom ever understand this singular premise?

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Comedic Genius is Gone…

April 12th, 2013

Manny P. here…

457px-Jonathan_Winters_-_publicity   A tough week in the world of entertainment, you can add Jonathan Winters to the list who has passed on. He was a comedic improvisational genius, who influenced scores of comics, such as Robin Williams, Johnny Carson, Jim Carrey, and Billy Crystal. He’s best known for his role as the dim-witted Pike, the truck driver in It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, and the son of Williams on Mork and Mindy.

   A Marine Corps veteran, Winters spent two years in World War II in the Pacific Theater. After his service, he studied cartoon illustration at Dayton Art Institute. After a few stints as a radio disc jockey and television host in his native Ohio from 1950-1953, he left for New York, where he found initial work as a guest star on Dennis James’ Chance of a Lifetime on the Dumont Network; and for Alistair Cooke on the CBS Sunday show Omnibus. He made television history in 1956, when RCA broadcast the first public demonstration of color videotape on The Jonathan Winters Show.                                                        JONATHAN WINTERS

   Despite suffering a nervous breakdown in 1960, he used the painful experience in his comedy routines, most notably on his The Wonderful World of Jonathan Winters record album. He became a favorite of late night television, becoming a frequent guest of Jack Paar and Johnny Carson. In fact, Carson’s Aunt Blabby was inspired by Maude Frickert, a character created by Winters. His comedy worked to perfection when invited to sit on The Hollywood Squares, and as a panelist in the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts.

   Winters appeared in film, including The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming, Viva Max, The Flinstones, The Shadow, and The Surfs. He was memorable on an episode of The Twilight Zone. He won an Emmy playing Randy Quaid’s dad in Davis Rules in 1991. He was nominated again in 2003 as outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for an appearance on Life With Bonnie. He also won two Grammys: One for his work on The Little Prince LP in 1975, and another for his Crank Calls comedy album in 1996. He additionally won the Kennedy Center’s second Mark Twain Prize for Humor in 1999, a year after Richard Pryor.

   While show business kept Winters busy, the former art school student was also a painter and writer. Among his work is a collection of short stories called Winters’ Tales, published in 1987.  Content with overcoming the demons he battled decades ago, he died peacefully of natural causes.

   Jonathan Winters was 87.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Let’s Look at the Tote Board (#14)…

April 11th, 2013

   In memory of my colleague Gary Lycan, our FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD Pilot Documentary (Development) funding campaign has now reached its 14th week on INDIEGOGO. We have approached 57% of our goal. Click on the link if you are interested in making a contribution:



CONTRIBUTIONSgary lycan 2012

~ GARY LYCAN ($200) – One of the final acts of my companion in this Forgotten Hollywood journey was to make one more contribution to our campaign. Not knowing he was taking a turn for the worse, which he kept private (since he was uniformally upbeat in public), he sent me a typical email that served to help me put my priorities in order. Gary Lycan was a consummate professional, who met his deadline for his Orange County Register radio column, even as recently as last Thursday. He confided to me that our project kept his spirits up, and I believe, helped him fight the good fight against cancer. I continue to work on Forgotten Hollywood to honor his memory. Rest in peace my friend…

   Wonderful media tributes are pouring in for Gary. Here are links from LAObserved, Orange County Breeze, LARadio.com, and the Tom Leykis website:

lao-logo   oc-breeze-logo-turquoise1


julio berger~ JULIO BERGER ($20) – Julio Berger has created a unique business of trading and selling Hollywood collectible cards. The Frank & Sons Collectibles Show in the City of Industry has been a place of business for almost two decades. A fine  dancer, he also sings quite well, and indulges in karaoke at Southern California locations. He recently made the valuable suggestion that I sell my series of books at Frank & Sons. My next visit is on April 20th.


maoc_board-2   The Media Alliance of Orange County has offered support in our Forgotten Hollywood Documentary production. They have tweeted the information from a recent article that appeared in the Orange County Breeze about our intention to interview legendary film star… Margaret O’Brien.

   And, thank you once again to Phill Cross of Cross Web Tech and Julie Turnbaugh for their continued support by sending social media messages on Facebook to promote my Forgotten Hollywood campaign.

* * * * *

   During this 2013 campaign, I’m asking friends, family, and supporters to help us achieve our 120+ day (17-week) goal of $500081 contributors want to support quality family-friendly television programs, intelligently presented.

   YOU can contribute ANY AMOUNT. This step ensures Development, and we’ll be able to:

  1. Hire a research archivist to track down footage and photos; and secure licensing
  2. Hire a consultant / casting director to book actors and behind-the-scenes folks from Hollywood’s Golden Age; plus cinematic historians for original interviews
  3. Set up a production shoot to tape these candid moments

   Here’s the INDIEGOGO link for the details (and you’re chance to contribute):


   All participants will receive screen credit at the conclusion of the Documentary Pilot.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Friend to Southern California Radio…

April 10th, 2013

Manny P. here… gary lycan 2012

   Suffice to say, this is the most difficult blog story I’ve written…

   My dear, dear friend Gary Lycan has passed on. Part of the fabric of Southern California, he was the award-winning radio columnist of the Orange County Register since his initial assignment in 1968.  Gary was also my cherished co-host on Forgotten Hollywood, a weekly radio program that airs on the Financial News and Radio Network. And, he wrote the Foreword and Introduction, to my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.            GARY LYCAN ——–>

   Though, we’ve been like brothers working on the Forgotten Hollywood franchise for these past 4 1/2 years, I’m smart enough to know that he had a really keen friendship with every Southern California broadcaster who has cracked a microphone during the Golden Age of Format-Radio. He was inspired by the disc jockeys, radio personalities, and news-related folks who worked at KFWB, KRLA, and KHJ back in the 1960s. He wanted desperately to join this fraternity. But, his unparalleled talent lay in the written, not spoken, word. Through his weekly radio column, he became an elder statesman of this so-called fraternity. Orange County folks  learned about the business of broadcasting in a digestible, easy-to-read, and friendly way, which made his readers feel that we were all part of the inner circle.

   Never to rest on his laurels, Gary Lycan also had longtime allies who fought for animal rights (a particular passion of his), and ultimately, the Golden Age of Hollywood community. During one of our programs, he secured an interview for us with the legendary Debbie Reynolds. This weekend, on 15-10 AM and 14-50 AM, we’ll re-broadcast a poignant early incarnation of our show. I had the foresight to interview my co-host early on, and the network of stations has been gracious enough to re-shuffle its programming this Saturday at 3p (pst) to air this fitting tribute. If you would like to honor Gary’s memory by taking a listen, but you live outside the broadcast area of Orange County and the Inland Empire… here’s a link:


C__Users_Laurie_AppData_Local_Temp_PMBUploader_5132_DSC00297-300x220   On his birthday in 2012, the Los Angeles Press Club honored Gary Lycan with their National Entertainment Journalist Award in the Print Columnist of the Year category. He was really astounded at the fine outpouring of congratulations by radio broadcasters throughout Southern California on his Facebook page. Of course, I wasn’t surprised at all. I knew what he meant to our community. His words transcended Orange County with the advent of the website dot.com craze and social media.

   Knowing that his time on earth was short, Gary wrote me a wonderful email on October 30th. I’m not known for sharing my most personal correspondence. However, I’m compelled to share this with you:

These have been the best days of my life – working with you, collaborating on ideas, hanging out with you, applauding YOUR work as a writer on the radio show and the blog, I want you to know how much I treasure all that.  It just sucks to be saddled with illness at the same time, but I will keep on keeping on, as they say. I just want you and your family to know how much I value your talents and how much I enjoy our relationship.  It puts a smile on my face every day.  Best, Gary

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade includes Mouseketeer

April 8th, 2013

Manny P. here… 450px-Annette_Funicello_Former_Mouseketeer_1975

   Annette Funicello was the Disney image of youthful exuberance. The most popular member of the Mickey Mouse Club, she would eventually settle on screen into young adulthood. Her teaming with Frankie Avalon in the Beach Party movies ushered in the early 1960s with a lighthearted spirit that complimented similar characterizations such as Gidget and Tammy. Annette also had a string of pop music hits; and was well known for her strong Catholic faith in her private life. Ultimately, she became a familiar face in the fight against multiple sclerosis.     ANNETTE —->

   In 1955, the 12-year-old was discovered by Walt Disney when she performed as the Swan Queen in Swan Lake at a dance recital at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank. Disney cast her as one of the original Mouseketeers; the last to be selected, and one of the few cast-members personally selected by Walt Disney himself. Annette proved to be very popular, and by the end of the first season of Mickey Mouse Club, she was receiving 6,000 letters a month, according to her Disney Legends biography.

   After the Mickey Mouse Club, she remained under contract with Disney for a time, and had  a noted recurring television role in Zorro. Annette also co-starred in Disney-produced movies such as The Shaggy Dog, Babes in Toyland, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, and The Monkey’s Uncle. Although uncomfortable as a singer, Funicello scored a number of hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and mostly penned by the Sherman Brothers, including: Tall PaulO Dio Mio, Train of Love (written by Paul Anka), and Pineapple Princess. They were released by Disney’s Buena Vista label.

   She moved on from Disney to become a teen idol, starring in a series of Beach Party films with Frankie Avalon and Harvey Lembeck for American International Pictures. They included Beach PartyMuscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach, Pajama Party, Beach Blanket Bingo, and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini. The wholesome image earned in these films gained her a reference in the Grease song… Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee. As a personal favor to Walt Disney, she was the only co-star to wear a one-piece bathing suit. Annette and Frankie were reunited in 1987 for the Paramount release, Back to the Beach. She became a familiar spokesperson on television for Skippy Peanut Butter.

   Funicello announced in 1992 that she suffered from multiple sclerosis. She opened the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Disorders at the California Community Foundation. Annette remained lifelong friends with Shelley Fabares, Tommy Kirk, and Frankie Avalon. Her autobiography, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story was written in 1994.

   Despite the loss in her ability to walk, and eventually, to speak, she was vigilant in bringing openess to her disease, which eventually cost the star her life. Annette Funicello was 70.


04oshea-articleInline<— MILO O’SHEA was a serviceable character actor, whose career transcended the end of the Studio Era of filmmaking to guest-starring roles during television’s golden age. He began acting on the stage, and then moved to motion pictures in the 1960s. He’s best known for playing the tempermental judge in The Verdict, which starred Paul Newman, James Mason, and Jack Warden.

   His film career included roles in Franco Zefferelli’s Romeo and Juliet, Barbarella, Theatre of Blood, and The Purple Rose of Cairo. The affable Irishman also made memorable appearances in The Golden Girls, The West Wing, Cheers, and Frasier.

   Milo O’Shea was 86.


170px-Thatcher-loc   This is indeed a sad day in Hollywood and world history. I’m sure, others will note the death of The Iron Lady… former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Her amazing story was chronicled last year in a movie starring Meryl Streep. Her characterization of Thatcher earned the actress a third  Oscar. Maggie’s friendly political relationship with President Reagan was legendary, and it helped end the Cold WarMARGARET THATCHER —->

   Part of a Hollywood-and-Vine metaphoric moment, Margaret Thatcher was 87.

Until next time>                               “never forget”