“Forgotten Hollywood”- Slashing Parade Claims Acting Icon…

May 31st, 2015

Manny P. here…

   A longtime actress, who may have been best know as playing the mother of Jason Voorhees in the first two Friday the 13th film series flicks, has died. Betsy Palmer was also a regular panelist, and the last surviving member of the televised game show I’ve Got a Secret.

   Palmer got her first acting job in 1951 when she joined the cast of a daily soap opera, Miss Susan, which was produced in Philadelphia. She was discovered for this role while attending a party in the apartment of actor Frank Sutton. A life member of The Actors Studio, she appeared in numerous television shows dating to the early 1950s Golden Age of Television. Among them were such classic dramas as Kraft Theatre, Playhouse 90, and Studio One. Later small screen roles included stints in Columbo, Newhart, Knot’s Landing, The Love Boatand Murder She Wrote. Betsy also had a recurring part in the daytime soap opera in As the World Turns in the 1990s.

220px-Betsy_Palmer_1960   Before her murderous turns in the Friday the 13th series, Palmer was memorable in a number of screen roles in the 1950s. She worked opposite top stars, including Tyrone Power and Maureen O’Hara in The Long Gray Line; Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, and Jack Lemmon in Mr. Roberts; Paul Muni in The Last Angry Man; Joan Crawford in Queen Bee; and again with Fonda and Anthony Perkins in The Tin Star. She ultimately came to embrace her participation in the horror films genre, and appeared in the 2006 documentary Betsy Palmer: A Scream Queen Legend.                    BETSY PALMER —->

   Palmer’s stage work included a tour of South Pacific. She also appeared in several plays on Broadway, such as Same Time Next Year and Cactus Flower. Her final stage credit was in On Golden Pond in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada.

   Betsy Palmer died peacefully of natural causes. She was 88.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Journeyman Actor Has Died…

May 29th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Wally Cassell was a durable character actor during Hollywood’s studio era. He began his cinematic career in 1942, initially appearing in uncredited roles. Today, he is a little-remembered cog in a litany of wonderful films. He was a also a lifelong friend of Mickey Rooney. The popular actor served as the best man at his 1947 wedding. Wally remained married until the day he died.

wally cassell   His movies include Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, National Velvet, The Thin Man Goes HomeThe Story of G.I. JoeThe ClockThe Postman Always Rings Twice, Son of Lassie, Anchor’s Aweigh, Sands of Iwo JimaWhite HeatQuicksand, City That Never Sleeps, and Island in the Sky. Cassell also guest starred in several television series, including The Loretta Young ShowGunsmoke, the 1959 premier episode of The UntouchablesRawhide, and The Beverly Hillbillies.

   He retired from acting in 1964 and became a businessman. One of the oldest remnants from our celluloid past, Wally Cassell was 103.      WALLY CASSELL

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of Anne Meara…

May 25th, 2015

Manny P. here…Anne_Meara_1975

   Actress and comedian Anne Meara, whose comic work with husband Jerry Stiller helped launch a 60-year career in film and television, has died. She was also the mother to comedian Ben Stiller.   ANNE MEARA—>

   The couple performed regularly as Stiller & Meara on The Ed Sullivan Show and other programs in the 1960s, and appeared on other variety programs. They won awards for the television and radio commercials they made together.

   Meara had recurring roles on Rhoda, Archie Bunker’s Place, Alf, Sex and the City, and The King of Queens. Her husband co-starred in the latter series. She was a cast member for seven years on All My Children. Her movies included stints in Lovers and Other Strangers, The Out-of-TownersThe Boys in Brazil, Awakenings, FameZoolander, and recently, Night At the Museum.

   Anne Meara was 85.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Omar Sharif Suffers From Alzheimer’s

May 24th, 2015

Manny P. here…Omar_Sharif_-_Zhivago_-_1965

   I’m sorry to report that legendary actor Omar Sharif is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The star’s son revealed in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo that the 83-year-old actor is struggling with his memory and retired from the industry because of his illness because he could no longer remember his lines. Sharif also confuses the names of his biggest films and has been struggling with the disease for the last three years.

   Sharif, who was born in Alexandria, Egypt, first rose to international fame for his role in 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia co-starring alongside Peter O’Toole. They became life-long friends. His performance earned an Oscar nod and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. Omar later starred in Doctor Zhivago with Julie Christie and Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand. Sharif continued acting until his late 70s.   OMAR SHARIF –>

   At present, he resides mostly in Cairo with his family. As recently as two years ago, a spokesperson for Sharif reportedly dismissed claims that he was struggling with dementia.

   Here’s wishing the fabulous Omar Sharif the very best wishes.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- School Obtains Orson Welles Memoir

May 22nd, 2015

Manny P. here…

   A rough draft of an unpublished Orson Welles memoir has been added to the University of Michigan’s archives on the trailblazing filmmaker, the school says. The Welles material is part of the university’s Screen Arts Mavericks Collection, which also holds the archives of John Sayles and the late Robert Altman. The school already had three donated and two purchased archives of Welles, and may be the most extensive repository of written materials on him.

Orson-Welles-1945   The typewritten memoir, tentatively titled Confessions of a One-Man Band, was among the materials in eight boxes the Ann Arbor school recently purchased from Croatian filmmaker Oja Kodar, who was Welles’ partner and collaborator for 24 years before Welles’ death in 1985 at age 70. Orson clearly intended to publish the autobiographical work, and had placed photographs in envelopes that could be used in a book.     ORSON WELLES —->

   The 80-page typed memoir has thorough handwritten notes and edits. The new Welles material is a rich trove of memorabilia from both his personal and public lives, with letters to his first wife, original scripts, and photos . It includes passages about his parents; his second wife, actress Rita Hayworth; novelist Ernest Hemingway, a friend of Welles; and filmmaker D.W. Griffith.

   Meanwhile, Kodar is to attend the university’s June 7th-9th symposium on Welles, marking the 100th anniversary of his birth. It will include a reading of memoir excerpts, and of Welles’ play Too Much Johnson at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Mannix Owns Book Series…

May 21st, 2015

Manny P. here…

Rotary-Wheel-3d-150x150   Today, I was in the city of Fallbrook, California at a book-signing event with their local chapter of Rotary International. While there, I met a personal friend of Mike Connors, the small screen actor who garnered a Golden Globe for his performance in Mannix. She promised to give my Forgotten Hollywood book-series to this venerable star.

Mike_Connors_Mannix_1968   Connors is a World War II veteran, who played for John Wooden at UCLA on a scholarship. Director William Wellman got him into acting after noticing his expressive face while Connors was playing basketball.

   His early motion picture career included small roles in Island in the Sky and The Ten Commandments. On television, he guest-starred on Perry Mason, Maverick, Wagon Train, and Here’s Lucy. Mannix was produced at Desilu Productions. Lucille Ball pushed for CBS to keep the show on the air after a lackluster first season in the ratings. One of the pioneering items about the program was it featured African American Gail Fisher as his able assistant. The weekly show ran from 1967 – 1975, and it was my favorite detective series of the era.               MIKE CONNORS —->

Forgotten Hollywood cover   FINALfrontcover-sonofforgottenhol

   I’m thrilled that Joe Mannix will now be reading my work.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- New Museum Honors the Duke…

May 20th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Like many rural communities, the Iowa city of Winterset has an idyllic town square, variety stores, and a historic movie theater. But Winterset also has a unique claim to fame: It’s the birthplace of John Wayne, and a new museum opening here is celebrating the late actor’s life, career and local connections.

   Wayne was born Marion Morrison in Winterset in 1907. Although he moved to California at a young age, Winterset has been showcasing his local roots for years. In addition to a new museum, the small wooden house where he was born offers tours, and there’s a large bronze statue of the actor in his signature cowboy hat.


   The new 6,100-square-foot museum officially opens Saturday on the block of his birthplace. The museum displays his film wardrobes, a signed Andy Warhol print of the actor and his customized 1972 Pontiac Grand Safari station wagon. It’s parked inside the gallery, near decorative wooden panels from the closing barroom fight scene of Wayne’s final film, The Shootist. Visitors can also see an ashtray from his yacht, his briefcase, his personal address book — with contact information for Ronald Reagan when he was the California governor — and the eye patch Wayne wore in the movie True Grit.

8470-JW_code_T-shirt   The museum was funded over seven years through grants and private donations, including door-to-door pledges from residents of Winterset, population 5,000. The general $15 ticket to the museum includes a tour of Wayne’s birthplace, which has been restored to  when Wayne lived there. The museum also suggests a trail of spots near and around town linked to Wayne’s family. Organizers are packaging the museum as part of an overall experience to Madison County, where Winterset is located. Nearby are the famous bridges that sparked The Bridges of Madison County novel, movie, and Broadway musical. For more info, visit the site by using the link, below:


   Many of the museum items come from a large private collection, and not everything is on display. That means organizers will change exhibits to keep things fresh for returning visitors. Not all museums about celebs remain successful. The Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pennsylvania, has seen a decrease in attendees and financial support over the years. A museum dedicated to Liberace closed in 2010 near Las Vegas after over 30 years in business.

   A recent Friday included visitors from Florida, Ireland, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. We kinda figure The Duke has staying power… I hope we’re right!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Preservation of Classic Television…

May 19th, 2015

Manny P. here…


   Episode #5 of FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD on THERAPYCABLE features guest Herbie J. Pilato, the individual behind the Classic TV Preservation Society. The purpose of this fine 501{c)3 organization is to educate individuals, community, arts/media, business and academic organizations and institutions on the social significance and positive influence of classic television programming, with specific regard to family values, diversity in the work place, and mutual respect for all folks of every cultural background and heritage, race and creed.


Forgotten Hollywood on Therapy Cable logo   Forgotten Hollywood - Therapy Cable #5

TCLogo   The interview on THERAPYCABLE CHANNEL, Pilato discusses his life work, which includes his effort as an author, motivational speaker, and spokesperson for this fine social and cultural enterprise. His latest literary piece is entitled, Glamour, Gidgets, and the Girls Next Door: Television’s Iconic Women From the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

GlamourGidgetsGirlNextDoor (2)   Herbie and I discuss Television’s Golden Age. Our conversation coincides with the anniversary of the passing of one of Pilato’s subjects twenty years ago… Elizabeth Montgomery, the star of Bewitched. She was also in a memorable episode of The Twilight Zone. The actress was part of Hollywood royalty, Her father was a star during the Studio Era, Robert Montgomery. His cinematic career dabbled in the Fantasy Genre when he starred in Here Comes Mr. Jordan in 1941. The movie also featured several actors in my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series: Claude Rains, James Gleason, and (in my upcoming book) Edward Everett Horton.

   Click (or cut-and-paste) to view and enjoy our latest program:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- On-Line Film Noir Course Offered…

May 18th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Ball State University will be offering an on-line course in conjunction with TCM’s Summer of Darkness beginning in June. They invite movie fans from around the world to join us for a flexible, multimedia investigation and celebration of film noir.


film noir

   In this nine-week course, they will go back in film history to investigate the The Case of Film Noir—the means, motives, and opportunities that led Hollywood studios to make these hard-boiled crime dramas, arguably their greatest contribution to American culture. This course will run concurrently with the Turner Classic Movies  programming event, airing 24 hours of films noir every Friday in June and July 2015. This is the deepest catalog of film noir ever presented by the network (and perhaps any network), and provides an unprecedented opportunity for those interested in learning more to watch over 100 classic movies.

   Both the course and the associated films will enrich your understanding of the film noir phenomenon—from the earliest noir precursors to recent experiments in neo-noir. You will be able to share thoughts online and test your movie knowledge with a worldwide community of film noir students and fans.

Course Outcomes

Students will

  • gain a deeper appreciation of classic Hollywood movies
  • be able to identify the characteristics of a film noir
  • able to explain the origins and history of film noir
  • be able to perform close analyses of films noir

Topics include

  • What is Film Noir?
  • Film Noir and Its Influences
  • Film Noir in the Studio System
  • Film Noir Themes and Characters
  • Film Noir in the Postwar Period

   Sign up now for this free, flexible course from Ball State University, taught by film noir expert Richard Edwards. You may join the course as late as July 19th. Here is a link to enroll:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Widow Authorizes Mike Nichols Book.

May 16th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   With the consent of Diane Sawyer, a book on the late Mike Nichols is in the works. Penguin Press announced Friday that it had reached a deal with Mark Harris, author of the acclaimed film histories, Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back. The new book will be called Mike Nichols: A Biography, and has the support of Sawyer, his widow, and most other family members, according to Penguin.

   Nichols, one of the most honored film and stage directors of his time, died last Fall. Harris initially interviewed Nichols a few years ago for Pictures at a Revolution, a comprehensive take on five major movies of 1967, including Nichols’ The Graduate.             DIANE SAWYER / MIKE NICHOLS ——->

   A release date has not been set. When you read finally the upcoming work, remember one word…. plastics!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Pioneering Silent Film Star Honored…

May 14th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Aurora Repertory Theatre of Nevada is producing a silent film festival in honor of the 100th anniversary of Edna Purviance’s noted movie career. Edna was born in Paradise Valley, Nevada and grew up in Lovelock, Nevada. She was a pioneer of the motion picture industry and appeared in 34 Chaplin productions.

   In addition to the award winning The Kid, The Tramp, and The Vagabond, the festival will feature seven additional Charlie Chaplin films co-starring Edna including her only lead role in the controversial Chaplin-directed A Woman of Paris.

edna~ ~ ~

Aurora Repertory Theatre & Artown

Edna Purviance & Charlie Chaplin Film Festival  Speakeasy Costume Party

July 17th, 18th, 19th

National Auto Museum 1 E. Lake St. Reno, NV

Tickets on sale to the public on June 1st

Group discount available; Adult day pass $30 Festival pass $50; Seniors / Students $25 Children under 12 free

Speakeasy Party $50 person / $90 couple

~ ~ ~

For more infomation – contact Lena Covello at: lenacov@att.net or 775-846-1788.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Loss of a Great Character Actress…

May 11th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Elizabeth Wilson was a Tony Award-winning actress. She was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2007. She also had a wonderful cinematic career, best remembered as the screen mom to  Dustin Hoffman, Ralph Fiennes, and Bill Murray  in various movies.

   Wilson made her Broadway debut in Picnic in 1953. Her stage credits include Desk SetThe Importance of Being Earnest, You Can’t Take It with You, Ah Wilderness, and A Delicate Balance. She won a Tony for her performance in 1972’s Sticks and Bones.

800 <—–  ELIZABETH WILSON made her screen debut in 1946 in Notorious. She reprised her character in the 1955 film adaptation of Picnic. Other movies include The Birds, The GraduateThe Day of the Dolphin, Catch-22The Prisoner of Second Ave., 9 to 5, Regarding Henry, The Addams Family, and Quiz Show. Her final celluloid appearance was as Sara Delano Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson. On television, she appeared in Kraft Television Theatre, The U.S. Steel Hour, Another World, Dark Shadows, Murder She Wrote, a recurring role in All in the Family, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

   The matronly Elizabeth Wilson was 94.


   The ugly Lucy artifact just won’t go away. A statue of Lucille Ball in her western New York hometown has made enough people laugh to earn a spot in the new National Comedy Center, breaking ground soon. Chairman Tom Benson says the center will embrace the statue not as a likeness of the late comedian but as a tribute to what she was about — making people laugh.

   I think I’ve done enough splaning

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Password is ‘Harold and Maude…’

May 9th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   If you enjoyed the cult classic, Harold and Maude, you’re going to love this story! It takes place in Indiana…

   An Indiana teenager who took his 93-year-old great-grandmother to his junior prom says he had a great time, even though her early bedtime nearly cut the night short. Drew Holm says his classmates thought it was pretty cool that he asked Kathryn Keith to last Friday’s Crothersville High School junior prom.  DREW AND KATHRYN –>

   Holm picked Keith up in her Cadillac for the dance in Seymour, about 60 miles south of Indianapolis. Keith, who wore a blue dress, told the Seymour Tribune that she’s proud that he asked her. The pair hit the dance floor for only one song, sharing a slow dance. Their night ended by 9p because Keith has an early bedtime. Holm then took his actual girlfriend to an after-prom event at a bowling alley.

   Harold and Maude is the unconventional tale of a young man who falls for an octogenarian. Directed by Hal Ashby, the Colin Higgins screenplay featured Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort in the title roles. The 1971 film is ranked #45 on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Funniest Movies of all Time and was selected in 1997 for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. At the 29th Golden Globe Awards, Cort and Gordon each received a nomination for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Film.

   Colin Higgins later adapted the story into a stage play. The original Broadway production, starring Janet Gaynor as Maude and Keith McDermott as Harold, closed after just four performances in February, 1980. Higgins had expressed interest in 1978 about both a sequel and prequel to Harold and Maude. The sequel, Harold’s Story, would have Bud Cort portray Harold’s life after Maude. Higgins also imagined a prequel showing Maude’s life before Harold, Grover and Maude had Maude learning how to steal cars from Grover Muldoon, the character portrayed by Richard Pryor in Higgins’ 1976 film Silver Streak. Higgins wanted Ruth Gordon and Pryor to reprise their roles.

   Now, real life captures a similar moment..

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Film Noir in June and July on TCM…

May 4th, 2015

Manny P. here…

   Turner Classic Movies will honor the genre of movies that celebrates an adapted European style of filmmaking that became popular as Axis aggression swept two continents. Dubbed film noir… writers such as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler were quickly hired by the movie studios to update how gangster-films were put together. Hammett was particularly adept at this gritty nuanced style.


BigComboTrailer   A detective with duplicitous motives, menacing dark evening streets, and a femme-fatale, made stars of Alan Ladd, John Garfield, Van Heflin, Lana Turner, Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Lucille Ball, Sterling Hayden, Robert Mitchum, Barbara Stanwyck, Lizabeth Scott, Fred MacMurray, etc.  Iconic flicks, including The Glass Key, The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, The Blue Dahlia, Out of the Fog, The Big Sleep, Macao, and The Asphalt Jungle still plays well in black-and-white cinematography that starkly compliments a rich noir script.

   On Fridays in June & July, join TCM for a Summer of Darkness, 24-hours of tense cinema. Czar of noir Eddie Muller will walk us through more than 100 noir greats, such as Laura, Johnny Eager, Murder My Sweet, The Third Man, Lady on the Lake, White Heat, Gilda, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Strangers on a Train, The Big Heat, Key Largo, and D.O.A. For a complete schedule, click the link or (cut-and-paste):


   Keep the lights on when you watch these wonderfully sinister films!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The End of a Televised Era…

May 2nd, 2015

Manny P. here…

   The Muscular Dystrophy Association is pulling the plug on its annual Labor Day telethon, a television tradition for decades that has slowly disappeared from view since the sudden departure of Jerry Lewis in his role as host following the 2010 show. From over 21 hours in Lewis’ final year, the show had been reduced to two hours the last two years on ABC. His abrupt exit, announced by the MDA a full month before the 2011 telethon, was never fully explained.

   His history with the charity goes back nearly to its beginning: the MDA was started in 1950, and a year later, Lewis and his comic partner Dean Martin mentioned the charity on their NBC show. The two comics hosted a 1956 telethon before breaking up. Lewis began hosting it regularly in 1966, starting on a single television station in New York.

jerry lewis telethon

   The annual telethon was a relic from a different age, a tuxedoed Lewis oozing show biz schmaltz and hosting stars from Frank Sinatra to Jennifer Lopez over 45 years, pushing through his exhaustion to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone as a tote board rang up millions of dollars in donations. Jerry’s roster through the years were a who’s who of entertainment, including a post-Beatles John Lennon, Michael Jackson singing with and without his brothers, Liberace, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, and Celine Dion. Former Johnny Carson sidekick Ed McMahon filled the same role with Lewis on Labor Day for many years. In 1976, Sinatra engineered a reunion of Lewis with Martin, his estranged former partner.

   With years of telethon tapes, the MDA has the equivalent of years of show biz gold in its vaults. They have been discussing with Lewis ways to release some of this archived material. With television time costly, the MDA’s fundraising efforts will move primarily online.

   And so it goes…


   Two kings of R&B are in the news.

   Former lead vocalist for The Drifters, Ben E. King has died. His biggest hits included Dance With Me, There Goes My Baby, Save the Last Dance for Me, This Magic Moment, I Count the Tears (with The Drifters), Spanish Harlem, I (Who Have Nothing), Don’t Play That Song, and Stand By Me. The latter tune was featured as the title track of a Stephen King-adapted movie that starred Richard Dreyfuss and River Phoenix.

   Ben E. King was 76.

Ben E. King   B_B__King_con_Lucille

  BEN E. KING                                B.B. KING

   B. B. King has announced he is receiving hospice care. The 89-year old Blues legend has been in declining health. His rendition of The Thrill is Gone is considered an anthem. He appeared in a fabulous little comedy as himself, Heart and Souls, a film that showcased the talents of Robert Downey Jr., Charles Grodin, Elisabeth Shue, Alfre Woodard, Kyra Sedgwick, and David Paymer.

   Let’s wish Blues Boy King the very best…

Until next time>                               “never forget”