“Forgotten Hollywood”- eBook Sale on Smashwords in July!

June 30th, 2014

Manny P. here…

Forgotten Hollywood cover   Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History eBook edition, is 25% off for the entire month of July. It’s part of an annual Smashwords sale,  providing great books at reduced prices to kick off your Summer.  This means you can purchase and download a copy of my initial work for $7.50, a bargain.

   To download copies of my first paperback for your KOBO, APPLE, DIESEL, etc. Please click on the link below:

smashwords logo


   You must still visit Barnes & Noble for your NOOK, and Amazon for your KINDLE; they are not part of this promo. On Smashwords, include one of the following codes to get the 25% discount: SSW25 or LQ92H.


* * *manny mic

Thank you to Smashwords for the in-depth Q&A. I get to tell the Forgotten Hollywood franchise story. My interview can be found at:



Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Post Office to Honor Screen Goddess

June 28th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   Several members of California’s congressional delegation are pushing to name a new post office after the actress Marilyn Monroe (below). Democratic Representative Tony Cardenas says he introduced legislation that would name a post office in Van Nuys, CA, after Monroe. She attended Van Nuys High School in the 1940s and once referred to her time living in the community as the happiest in her life.

Marilyn_Monroe_in_The_Asphalt_Jungle_trailer   Van Nuys HighTitle

   Cardenas said the facility’s name would be a reminder for San Fernando Valley students what they can reach by working hard. Eighteen California lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation.

   Like yours truly, Norma Jean Baker went to the same high school as Robert Redford, Tom Selleck, Stacy Keach, Don Drysdale, Jane Powell, and Vincent Van Patten.


Frank_Sinatra_in_Take_Me_Out_to_the_Ball_Game_trailer   Frank Sinatra’s first New Jersey driver’s license has sold for over $15,000 at auction. The yellowed, text-only 1934 license was issued, including a typo, to Francis Sintra, 841 Garden Street, Hoboken, New Jersey. The license was signed by the then-19-year-old a year before Sinatra got his first big break in the music industry. His eyes, of course, are recorded as blue. His weight was 130 pounds.


   The auction deal also included a 1940 letter to the state Commissioner of Motor Vehicles from the lawyer of a man who’d been involved in a car crash with Sinatra, insisting Sinatra’s driving privileges be revoked until he pays up.

   Boston-based RR Auction didn’t disclose the buyer.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing of a Broadway Composer…

June 27th, 2014

Manny P. here… mary rodgers

   Mary Rodgers was the daughter of Broadway icon Richard Rodgers who found her own fame as composer of the 1959 musical Once Upon a Mattress. The production was a musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fable The Princess and the Pea, and made a star of Carol Burnett. The comedic actor and the musical received Tony nominations. Rodgers was also a children’s book author who scored big with Freaky Friday, in which a mother and daughter trade bodies. The book was twice adapted into a Disney movie, most recently in 2003 starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan.                                  MARY RODGERS ——->

   Ms. Rodgers grew up in a household steeped in music and theatre culture. The daughter of South Pacific and Flower Drum Song composer Richard Rodgers and Dorothy Rodgers, Mary was also the mother of a musical theater composer, Adam Guettel, a Tony Award winner for The Light in the Piazza. Her dad had iconic collaborative efforts with Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein. Mary’s other shows include From A to Z, a revue featuring her songs; and two other short-lived shows: Hot Spot and The Madwoman of Central Park West, a one-person musical starring Phyllis Newman.

   Mary was a director of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization and a board member of ASCAP. She also served for as chairman of the Juilliard School.

   Mary Rodgers was 83.


   This weekend I will spend treasured time discussing Self-Publishing in the Digital Age at the 2014 Southwest Technology and Computer Conference. For our tech-savvy friends in Southern California, come down Sunday and pick up a copy of my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. Here are the details:


Kellogg West Conference Center

3801 W. Temple Avenue, Building 76, Pomona, CA


Presentation – Workshop – Book Signing

June 29th

Sunday 9a – 12p



Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Wells Fargo Small Biz Contest…

June 26th, 2014

Manny P. here…Website_Banners_300X250

   Wells Fargo Bank is engaged in supporting local small businesses. To this end, they are conducting a contest that could earn up to five companies — $25,000; and 30 entrepreneurs — $1000 for the efforts.

   As a first-time cinematic producer, I entered this competition to help my production team facilitate our Forgotten Hollywood Documentary. I NEED YOUR HELP!! If you could take a moment and VOTE ONCE PER DAY UNTIL JUNE 30TH on the Wells Fargo site for my entry, this would be a major contribution on your part. The link is:


   My entry shares the following story:

The Forgotten Hollywood journey began as a humble attempt to jumpstart my radio broadcasting career as an author. As a longtime Wells Fargo customer, the Garden Gove (California) Branch helped me set up a DBA account that would consolidate my earnings from what has now become an award-winning book series. Forgotten Hollywood shares America’s story through eyes of character actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age, including Lionel Barrymore, Frank Morgan, Peter Lorre, Hattie McDaniel, and Cesar Romero. After completing my goal to become a successful scribe, the Forgotten Hollywood franchise has blossomed into a weekly radio show on the Financial News and Talk Network in Southern California; a Blog Site recently honored by the Los Angeles Press Club; and a Forgotten Hollywood Documentary, that spawned a business investment plan and five minute Trailer.

Once I decided to become a first-time producer of a documentary, Wells Fargo again came to my aid by setting up an additional Forgotten Hollywood LLC account. I spent the next twelve months raising money through a crowd-funding site (Indiegogo) that funneled investor monies to my LLC account. My production team raised $5000; enough to create the needed business plan and Trailer to tell a remarkable Forgotten Hollywood-story.

Forgotten Hollywood Documentary Logo - new   13 lionel barrymore drawing

Lionel Barrymore was a legendary character actor, diagnosed in 1937 with advanced degenerative arthritis at the height of his career. Despite a growing call for his retirement, the actor carried on with his cinematic endeavors, creating such memorable roles in It’s a Wonderful Life, Key Largo, and Dr. Kildare series. His inspired performances from a wheelchair motivated Helen Keller and President Franklin D. Roosevelt to step up their own personal struggles with disease and disability. FDR partnered with Hollywood to make the March of Dimes the most successful charity in American history. A decade after the president’s death, contributions to the March of Dimes has helped researchers eradicate Polio in the United States. Lionel Barrymore’s stubborn resolve not to retire from cinema shaped the way theatre-going audiences perceive disease and disability. The actor is a pioneer in promoting the field of medical research.

Website_Banners_160X600The Forgotten Hollywood Documentary, a Pilot to a proposed cable/television series, shares this remarkable story in a PBS-style approach. Our production team has assembled a talented cast, including Oscar-winning actress Margaret O’Brien, Debbie Reynolds, and Emmy-winning narrator Jeff Bordner to provide first-person accounts of Barrymore, Keller, and FDR’s combined efforts. For example, O’Brien actually worked with Lionel Barrymore in two motion pictures, and was the first poster child for the initial March of Dimes campaign. To date, we have theatrically shopped the project through Vision4Media Entertainment at American Film Market, Cannes Film Festival, and Toronto Film Festival. We have attained great interest to distribute a finished Pilot through domestic and international media outlets.

Forgotten Hollywood’s story about Lionel Barrymore has the potential to raise awareness for the following charitable organizations:  March of Dimes, Rotary International’s Polio-Plus Program, National Arthritis Research Foundation, American Foundation for the Blind, and National Easter Seals Society for Crippled Children.

Our projected budget is $100,000 to $250,000, a modest investment in today’s spiraling cost of theatrical productions. A cash outlay of $25,000 would allow us to begin in earnest the focused production of the Pilot based on the above details provided in the investment plan and trailer. Whether this current opportunity becomes successful or not, our sincere intention at Forgotten Hollywood is to make this documentary a reality.

The Forgotten Hollywood franchise of books, radio program, and blog site will continue to thrive… And, I will continue to partner with Wells Fargo to make sure all my budgetary concerns remain solvent.

   Once again, if you could take the time to go to the site and simply vote (once per day):



   Thanks for your sincere efforts…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Joe Louis Story to Broadway…

June 25th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   The producing team behind some recent sport-related Broadway shows have just gotten the rights to tell the story of boxing great Joe Louis. If they turn it into a stage story, Fran Ponturo and Tony Kirmser will have their fourth sports-related play since 2010.

Joe_Louis_by_Alston   Louis’ life certainly has plenty of fodder for a dramatic retelling, especially his rise to becoming arguably the world’s  heavyweight champion, and his decades of conflict with the IRS over millions in back income taxes and interest. His history is highlighted by his two fights with Max Schmeling, the German champion whose victory in their first bout was hailed by Adolf Hitler. Louis demolished Schmeling in their rematch on June 22nd, 1938. After Louis claimed the heavyweight title in 1937, he held it for over 11 years, making 25 defenses to set a fine record unlikely to be broken. Louis’ influence in both boxing and race relations has been immense. He died in 1981. It would be the latest boxing-related show in New York following the musical Rocky, based on Sylvester Stallone’s film.

   Ponturo and Kirmser have a long history with mining the theatricality in sports stories . Their Lombardi, about the Green Bay Packers coach, turned into a modest hit, but Magic/Bird, about the friendship between basketball legends Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird, didn’t do as well, closing after only 37 shows. The third — a look at the New York Yankees called Bronx Bombers — lasted less than a month. Kirmser and Ponturo will serve as executive producers of Legendary Pictures’ feature film version of their Lombardi.

   In the meantime, the production team are returning to the ring. Sound the bell!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- One of the Greats Has Died…

June 24th, 2014

Manny P. here…482px-Eli_Wallach_-_publicity

   Eli Wallach (right) was one of the great character actors of the last half of the twentieth century. He was a cinematic facilitator of the method approach to acting. His career shined in movies, onstage, and on television for more than 60 years. He was honored with numerous BAFTA Awards, Tonys, and Emmys for his work, and he received an Honorary Academy Award at the 2nd Annual Governors Awards, presented in 2010. Among his most famous roles were in The Magnificent SevenThe Misfitsand The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Other fine portrayals included scenes in How the West was Won, Cinderella LibertyThe Godfather Part III,and The Two Jakes. One of America’s most prolific screen actors, he remained active well into his 90s, notably in Mystic River, and in 2010, in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

   Eli was born in Brooklyn, and gained his first method experience at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York City. While attending the University of Texas, Wallach performed in a play with fellow students Ann Sheridan and Walter Cronkite. During World War II, the actor served in the army on Hawaii and in Casablanca.  Members from his unit wrote a play called Is This the Army, which was inspired by Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army. In the comedic play, Wallach and the other men clowned around as various dictators, with Eli portraying Adolf Hitler.

   After the war, he took acting classes at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School in New York. He attended the Actors Studio from its inception, and studied method acting alongside Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Karl Malden, and Sidney Lumet. Method was where actors draw upon their own memories and emotions to replicate the emotional conditions under which the character operates.

   Wallach made his Broadway debut in 1945, and won a Tony in 1951 for his performance in the Tennessee Williams play The Rose Tattoo. Other stage credits include Mister Roberts and The Teahouse of the August Moon. Broadway theaters will dim their marquee lights Friday night in memory of Eli Wallach. He and his wife Anne Jackson appeared together in 15 plays, becoming one of the best-known acting couples in American theater. The Broadway League said the lights will be dimmed for one minute starting at 7:45p Eastern time.

Eli_Wallach_in_Baby_Doll_trailer   Wallach cinematic career was delayed when he was convinced by questionable friends of Frank Sinatra to turn down the role of Maggio in From Here to Eternity. The part helped Sinatra forge a comeback to motion pictures, culminating in a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the crooner. Wallach’s motion picture debut was three years later in Elia Kazan’s controversial 1956 Baby Doll. For his performance, he won a BAFTA for Best Newcomer of the Year, and a Golden Globe nod.

   Applying method acting to live small screen anthologies, Wallach appeared in the Philco  Television Playhouse, Lights Out, Studio One, Kraft Television Theatre, Hallmark Hall of Fame, and Playhouse 90. He also was busy in episodic television with roles in The Naked City, Batman, Kojak, Murder She Wrote, L.A. Law, Highway to Heaven, Law & Order, E.R., and Nurse Jackie. He also recently lent his voice to Ken Burns acclaimed documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, and his upcoming production, The Roosevelts, due out in the Fall.  In 2005, he released his autobiography The Good, the Bad and Me: In My Anecdotage. He wrote that he received more fan mail about his role as Mr. Freeze (in Batman) than about all of his other roles combined.

   Turner Classic Movies is appropriately remembering Eli Wallach on June 30th with an 11-hour marathon that begins at 6a Pacific and 9a Eastern. The amazingly talented Eli Wallach was 98.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Oscar Comes Up For Auction…

June 23rd, 2014

Manny P. here…

   A rare auction of an Oscar statuette brought a total of $79,200, well more than expected, at its sale Monday by a Rhode Island auction house. Briarbrook Auctions had estimated the golden statuette would sell for $5,000 to $30,000. But several hours before the live auction began, the online bidding had already reached $32,000.

   The Oscar was awarded in to Joseph C. Wright at the 15th Academy Awards for Color Art Direction for his work on My Gal Sal, starring Rita Hayworth and Victor Mature. Prior to the auction, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences investigated the sale of the statuette. Since 1950, the Academy prohibited recipients and their heirs from selling the statues without first offering them back to the Academy for $1. But, the auction house said the restriction does not apply because the Oscar was awarded before 1950.

   My Gal Sal is a biographical story of 1890s composer and songwriter Paul Dresser and singer Sally Elliot. Dresser sold his songs through sheet music publishers, especially the firms in New York City’s Tin Pan Alley, and became a partner in the music publishing business. His biggest hit, On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away, became the second best-selling song sheet music during the nineteenth century. Following its success, many newspapers compared Dresser to popular music composer Stephen Foster. The tune became the official state song of Indiana in 1913.

220px-Mygalsal02   20th Century Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck purchased the story of My Gal Sal, and initially had the script and the lead role of Sally Elliott tailor-made to fit the talents of Alice Faye. However, she was tired of starring in costume musicals and turned the film down. Afterward, the part was offered to Betty Grable, who was becoming known as a successor to Faye at Fox, but she turned it down, believing the studio was over-working her. Zanuck had the script rewritten to showcase Irene Dunne, but her busy film schedule meant holding up production on My Gal Sal for eighteen months. The mogul subsequently approached Mae West with the role, but she also declined. Zanuck considered grooming newcomer Carole Landis for the part, but her screen test failed to impress producers. Despite not winning the part of Sally Elliott, Landis did end up playing the secondary lead of Mae Collins in the film. Zanuck finally approached Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Pictures, about borrowing Rita Hayworth. The film went on to become one of the most-successful Fox films during 1942.

   Wright received twelve Academy Award nominations and won twice, both in 1942. The other award was for Black-and-White Art Direction for This Above All, starring Tyrone Power and Joan Fontaine. He also was nominated for his work on Down Argentine Way, Blood and Sand, Days of Wine and Roses, Guys and Dolls, Flower Drum Song, and The Man with the Golden Arm. He worked on 86 films between 1923 and 1969. Wright died in 1985, and his nephew inherited the statue.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sing Sing to Open a Prison Museum…

June 22nd, 2014

Manny P. here…

   An old power plant at Sing Sing that once supplied the juice for the electric chair is being eyed as the site for a museum dedicated to the infamous prison. Supporters envision thousands of tourists streaming up the river from New York to see artifacts including, Old Sparky, as the chair was known; a metal cage used when prisoners were transported; and a display of prisoners’ weapons, from axes made in metal shop to shivs fashioned from forks.

220px-20,000_Years_in_Sing_Sing    Sing Sing’s reputation was burnished by Hollywood, which used it as a setting for such 1930s movies as The Big House, 20,000 Years at Sing Sing, and Angels with Dirty Faces. The lockup 30 miles up the Hudson from New York City also inspired the saying now synonymous with incarceration and the tile of a 1930 flick: Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart starred in Up the River. It was the only time these noted thespians appeared  together in a motion picture.   The famed prison was also the last stop for many members of the notorious of Murder Inc., which acted as a contract killing squad for the Mafia in the 1930s and 1940s.

   There are plenty of prison museums around the country, but most, like Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay and Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, are at closed facilities. It’s rare to have a museum at an active prison. The Angola Museum, just outside the gates of Louisiana State Penitentiary, draws about 2,600 visitors a month. A Sing Sing museum could eventually attract 250,000 people a year.

   Like Warner Brothers, planners expect to make a killing at this site!


   Steve Rossi was 1/2 of the comedy team Allen and Rossi ——> For over a decade, they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show, and The Merv Griffin Show. They were also a staple in Las Vegas. They released multiple comedy albums and co-starred in a feature film, The Last of the Secret Agents. Steve was discovered by Mae West in 1953 when the comedian starred in The Student Prince at the Civic Light Orchestra in Los Angeles. Marty Allen and Steve Rossi were signed as a duo to Paramount Pictures in 1957. They officially broke up in 1968.

   Rossi continued his singing career as a solo artist, recording for several labels in the 1960s and 1970s, including ABC Records, Red Bird Records, Roulette Records, and Columbia Records. He also briefly teamed with Joe E. Ross, Slappy White, and Sandy Hackett, the son of Buddy Hackett.

   Steve Rossi was 82.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Literary Icons Get Walk of Fame Stars!

June 21st, 2014

Manny P. here…

   The Walk of Fame Selection Committee of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has just chosen the honorees at their meeting held on June 16th. They officially chose the recipients of Stars for 2015. The usual batch of current film, stage, and television thespians were chosen, including Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Garner, Peter Jackson, Kristin Chenoweth, and Julianna Margulies. Also selected… screenwriter and novelist Raymond Chandler and Batman creator Bob Kane will be given their stars posthumously.


   Raymond Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and he is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and other writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. His initial novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett’s Sam Spade, is considered to be synonymous with private eyes; both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart, and the actor is considered to be the quintessential Marlowe.

   Some of Chandler’s novels are important literary works, and three are called masterpieces: Farewell, My Lovely, The Little Sister, and The Long Goodbye. The latter is praised within an anthology of American crime stories as arguably the first book since Hammett’s The Glass Key, published over twenty years earlier, to qualify as a significant mainstream novel that happened to possess elements of mystery. In the year before he died, he was elected as president of the Mystery Writers of America.

  bob-kane-9a3be                          RAYMOND CHANDLER                     BOB KANE

   Bob Kane was an American comic book artist and writer, credited along with Bill Finger as the creator of the DC Comics superhero Batman. He was inducted into the comic-book industry’s Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1994. Kane said his influences for the character included actor Douglas Fairbanks’ movie portrayal of the swashbuckler Zorro; Leonardo da Vinci’s diagram of the ornithopter, a flying machine with huge bat-like wings; and the 1930 film The Bat Whispers.

   As Kane’s comic-book work tapered off in the 1960s, he parlayed his Batman status into minor celebrity. DC Comics named Kane in 1985 as one of the honorees in the company’s 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great. He later published his autobiography — Batman and Me. Kane worked as a consultant on the 1989 movie Batman and its three subsequent sequels with directors Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher. Kane’s work is still visible to the public, housed in collections such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, and St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York.

   They will both have relatives representing at their Walk of Fame events.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Weekend Shout Out of Silent Stars…

June 20th, 2014

Manny P. here…

   The Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, Packard Campus is presenting Mostly Lost 3: A Film Identification Workshop on July 17th-19th, 2014 in Culpeper, Virginia. Mostly Lost will feature the screenings of unidentified, under-identified, or misidentified silent and early sound films.


   Early movie experts and archivists are encouraged to attend. But, the workshop is open to anyone willing to actively help identify and research the films showcased at the workshop. In addition to cinema from the Library of Congress collections, Mostly Lost features materials from other film archives around the world. For this year’s screening, films will come from the LOC’s own collection of unidentified movies, along with the reels from the George Eastman HouseUCLA Film and Television Archive, EYE Film Institut Nederland in Amsterdam, USC SCA Hugh M Hefner Moving Image Archive, Lobster Film Archive, Royal Belgian Filmarchive, and Newsfilm Library at the University of South Carolina. Throughout the three-day event, there will be presentations about a history of film formats, Technicolor, and silent film accompaniment, as well as insights to cinema previously thought lost. Live musical accompaniment during workshop and evening presentations of newly preserved silent movies will also be featured.

   Attendees range from students interested in film industry careers in fields such as film preservation to writers, scholars, archivists, filmmakers, and just film buffs. Keep in mind, this is not a sit back and enjoy the show type of experience. They ask for your continual and enthusiastic engagement during the screenings as you and other attendees shout out things as you recognize them. Anything from city landmarks, actors, production companies, or even the title of the film if you happen to know it—the more the better!

   The workshop itself is free.  However, you must be registered for the workshop and have received a confirmation to attend. They cannot accommodate unregistered guests. The last day to register for Mostly Lost 3 is Tuesday, July 1st.

   For more information on registering on this worthy venture, please click on the link below:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Summer Camp Stars of Tomorrow…

June 17th, 2014

Manny P. here…

Summer-Camp-Front-Final-I   The Nickelodeon debuts its new summer camp programs. Their six day summer camps teach students the basic techniques of video production through documentaries and stop-motion animated films that will be screened at the end of camp.

   Stop Motion Animation Camp teach students basic stop motion animation techniques while working in groups to produce their own cinematic scenes which will be compiled into one movie by instructors. Youth Documentary Camp teaches students creative and innovative techniques of producing thought-provoking documentaries about issues as poverty, racism, access to healthy food, and health care.

   Here are the two summer camps for age-specific children:

Summer Camp I: Stop-Motion Animation

Ages 8-12 / min. 10 – max. 15 students

June 23rd-28th / 9:00a – 1:00p

~ ~ ~

Summer Camp II: Youth Documentary Camp

Ages 13-16 / min. 10 – max. 15 students

July 14th-19th / 9:00a-1:00p

~ ~ ~

   For more information, contact:


Summer Camps @ The Nick

c/o Nickelodeon Theatre, P.O. Box 7063 Columbia, SC 29202

attn: Sherard Duvall

 Tel: 8039781614



~ ~ ~

   What a great opportunity to develop our filmmakers of tomorrow, who may create a new Golden Age of Cinema. Where was this summer camp when I was growing up?

The Nickelodeon Theatre/Columbia Film Society (all rights reserved)

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Cole Porter is Back on Broadway!

June 16th, 2014

Manny P. here… Coleporter

   For the first time, a few lucky folks will get to hear a collection of lost Cole Porter songs. The one-night-only June 27th premiere of The Ambassador Revue at the Town Hall near Times Square will mark the first time the 1929 program has ever been staged outside Paris. The show — a revue with solo singers, tap dancers, and showgirls akin to the current Broadway hit After Midnight — was written at the beginning of Porter’s career, and has hints of his combination of witty lyrics and hummable melodies. The variety show will feature Tom Wopat singing a few songs, and the veteran of such Broadway shows as The Trip to Bountiful and Catch Me If You Can said the prospect is exciting.                                         COLE PORTER ——>

   The original show was staged at the Ambassadeurs nightclub near the Champs-Elysees. It was performed in English by American singers, including Morton Downey and Evelyn Hoey. Band leader Fred Waring was also there, and intriguingly, so was George Gershwin’s sister, Frances. It ran for a few months and then disappeared, with none of the music published in America. Porter later returned to America and went on to write hit songs like You’re the Top, I Get a Kick Out of You, Night and Day, Love For SaleBegin the Beguine, and What Is This Thing Called Love. The variety show slipped into obscurity, with many Porter experts giving up on ever finding its music.

   The missing work was found in the Universal Music archive in Milan. Then, the original orchestrations were discovered in Fred Waring’s archive at Penn State, and music was also uncovered for two more songs and a tune that had no lyrics. A concert of some songs — Boulevard Break, Blue Hours, and Fountain of Youth — returned to Paris in 2012.

   I suspect the next stop after the presentation of this production will be a future Woody Allen project… just sayin’!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Theo Bikel Still Performing at 90!

June 15th, 2014

Manny P. here… Theo Bikel

   Theodore Bikel will perform Monday evening at Theo, L’Chaim to Life Concert — Celebrating Theodore Bikel’s 90th Birthday at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Ed Asner is hosting the star-studded birthday party, which is expected to feature performances by folk singers, including Arlo Guthrie, Tom Paxton and Peter Yarrow.       THEODORE BIKEL ——–>

   Bikel became interested in folk music when he was in London and embraced American folk music upon his arrival in New York in 1954 for the Broadway  play Tonight in Samarkand. He began a recording career as a folk music artist in 1955, and co-founded the Newport Folk Festival with Pete Seeger. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein even wrote the beloved folk song Edelweiss for Bikel to perform as Captain Von Trapp in the original 1959 Broadway production of The Sound of Music. It was Hammerstein’s last composition before he died.

   The star is also featured in a new documentary, Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem, based on his one-man show, Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears. It premieres in July at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

   Bikel’s storied career began when Laurence Olivier cast the young actor in a small role of the 1949 London production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Theo had recently graduated London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art when Michael Redgrave recommended him to Olivier. The play starred his wife, Vivien Leigh, who would win an Oscar for her performance as Blanche DuBois in the motion picture just two years later. Bikel would also understudy the key roles of Stanley and Mitch. Later, he graduated to Mitch when the Tennessee Williams play went on tour.

   When he finished his engagement with Streetcar, Bikel starred in Peter Ustinov’s hit London play The Love of Four Colonels, where he caught the eye of another famous director, John Huston, who was in town to complete production on his 1951 classic The African Queen, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. Huston was interested in Bikel for the role of the German gunboat captain.

   Bikel’s been a mainstay in films, most notably in his Oscar-nominated role as a Southern sheriff in 1958’s The Defiant Ones, and as Zoltan Karpathy in the Academy Award-winning 1964 musical, My Fair Lady — as well as television (Falcon Crest, Murder, She Wrote) and of course the stage as an actor and singer. One of his favorite parts was as Tevye on stage in Fiddler on the Roof, which he’s performed over 2000 times.

   I met Theodore Bikel two year’s ago, and I’m proud he owns a personal copy of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. Best wishes on his performance on Monday.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Pioneer of Silent Era is Gone…

June 13th, 2014

Manny P. here…carla laemmle

    Carla Laemmle was the niece  of Universal Pictures studio founder Carl Laemmle. She was a movie actress in the 1920s and 1930s and, at the time of her death, was one of the few surviving actors of the silent film era.

   Her films included the 1925 version of Phantom of the Opera, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and during the advent of talkies, Hollywood Revue of 1929, Dracula, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Laemmle continued to appear in small roles until the late 1930s, when she disappeared from the movie screen.

   In 2009, the book Growing Up With Monsters: My Times at Universal Studios in Rhymes, co-authored by Carla Laemmle and Daniel Kinske, was released. The book details her life at Universal Studios from 1921 to 1937. On October 3, 2010. she appeared in BBC Four documentary A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss, sharing memories of her early film work with Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi. On screen, she recited her opening lines from Dracula. She made an appearance in the documentary Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood for Turner Classic Movies, and she appeared in Paul Merton’s Birth of Hollywood on the BBC. In March 2012, TCM presented a screening of Dracula, Laemmle appeared at the screening in connection with its Classic Movie Festival. She celebrated her 100th birthday with a guest list, which included Ray Bradbury, Bela Lugosi, Jr., Sara Karloff, and Ron Chaney.

   Cinematic pioneer Carla Laemmle was 104.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Death of Ruby Dee…

June 12th, 2014

Manny P. here…Ruby_Dee_-_1972

   Ruby Dee was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and activist. She’s best known for co-starring in A Raisin in the Sun and American Gangster for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has won Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, and Screen Actors Guild Award. She was also married to Ossie Davis until his death in 2005.  Ruby Dee —>

   Dee made several appearances on Broadway before receiving national recognition for her role in The Jackie Robinson Story. Other movies included No Way Out, St. Louis Blues, and Buck and the Preacher. On stage, Ruby had roles in South PacificArsenic and Old Lace, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Bus Stop, The Glass Menagerie, and the original production of A Raisin in the Sun. On television, she appeared in The Fugitive, Peyton Place, Police Woman, and The Golden Girls. She was a cast member on The Guiding Light and the mini-series, Roots: The Next Generation.

    Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis were well-known civil rights activists. She was a member of the Congress of Racial EqualityNAACPand Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Dee and Davis were both personal friends of both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, with Davis giving the eulogy at Malcolm X’s funeral in 1965. Dee was awarded – along with her late husband – the Lifetime Achievement Freedom Award, presented by the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. In 1995, she and Davis were awarded the National Medal of Arts. They were also recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004. She received an Honorary Degree from Princeton University.

   In 1998, the pair celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and an even longer association in show business with the publication of their autobiography, With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together. Davis died in February 2005. Among those who mourned at his funeral included former President Bill Clinton, Harry Belafonte and Spike Lee.

   Ruby Dee was 91.

Until next time>                               “never forget”