“Forgotten Hollywood”- Truckin’…

June 14th, 2016

Manny P. here…

hbd_logo2015_final   The Helms Bakery will reopen under the direction of award-winning pastry Chef Sherry Yard. Currently under construction, the revitalized Helms Bakery will feature a multi-space layout including a full-service restaurant for breakfast and lunch, a dedicated bakery with counter for prepared foods, as well as, retail specialty products.

   From its inception, the bakery was a pristine showplace and a model for mass production. Bakers baked on a large scale, creating breads, cakes, pies, wedding cakes, doughnuts, cookies, and even cream puffs — over 150 items in all. For all of its organized chaos, not a crumb was ever out of place. Tour groups were invited to watch as ingredients were poured, mixed and kneaded by the ton. By 1965, the bakery consumed 780 train carloads of white and wheat flour on an annual basis. Over two million eggs were used in a single month, and at holiday time, enormous quantities of fruit and nuts went into the batter. All this, of course, required 1,798 miles of wrapping paper.

   First opening its doors in 1931, family-owned and operated Helms Bakery supplied local residents with its fresh-baked bread delivered daily at your door for over four decades. The Helms trucks, nicknamed coaches, became a ready fixture along Los Angeles streets. And, the Helms Bakery building remains a cherished local landmark, recognized for its architectural significance.


   As much a promoter as a businessman, Paul Helms quickly thrust his local bakery onto the world stage. Helms bread soon became the choice of athletes and astronauts, presidents, kings, and Rose Parade queens, chalking up honors that defined an era. Beginning with its designation as Official Bread of the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the meteoric rise all but ended with the historic Apollo landing in 1969. At the 1934 California State Fair, it won the first gold medal for bread. Through the years its floats collected ribbons in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

   In the early days of broadcast and again ahead of its time, Helms was on the air as sponsor of a hugely popular radio and television cooking show featuring Helms baked goods. Jane Sterling, the host of the Tricks and Treats show, appeared as Helms home economist Coris Guy, the Martha Stewart of her day. Just months before the bakery closed, Helms Bakery  supplied Apollo 11 with its life sustaining bread, thus becoming the first bread on the moon.

   And soon, you can once again enjoy the goodies provided by Helms Bakery. A preview of the sweet menu is available from our vintage Helms coach outside on Thursdays from 1p – 5p; and Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 12p – 4p.


3220 Helms Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Donation From Andrew Lloyd Webber

June 13th, 2016

Manny P. here… webber

   Andrew Lloyd Webber (right) cheered on his kid rock band at this year’s Tony Awards. He then donated some money to encourage musical kids. The legendary composer, whose School of Rock competed for the top musical prize on Sunday, announced that he is funding $1.3 million to buy musical theater equipment for American public schools, and to help subsidize study.

   The stage version of School of Rock stays close to the plot of the Jack Black-2003 film, in which a wannabe rocker enlists his fifth-graders to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands. Lloyd Webber wanted a scheduled Tony Awards performance to motivate others.


   The three-year grant operated by The American Theatre Wing will include the purchase of instruments and equipment for school theater programs, after-school training, funding summer study, and college scholarships. The grant is an extension of a program Lloyd Webber has implemented in Britain, introducing violins in schools before pupils go on to make their own music choices.

   It’s great to see support for The Humanities.


janet Waldo   Janet Waldo was a consummate voiceover star, best known for her playing Judy Jetson. She lent her voice to The Lux Radio TheatreThe Dinah Shore Program, The Great Gildersleeve, My Favorite Husband, The Eddie Bracken Show, and Meet Corliss Archer. She had small roles in cinema, appearing in The Way of All FleshWaterloo Bridge, The Farmer’s Daughter, and Fantastic Planet, among others. On television, she guest-starred in I Love Lucy, The Phil Silvers Show, Get SmartThe Adventures of Ozzie and HarrietThe Andy Griffith Show, The F.B.I., Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Petticoat Junction, and Julia.

   Her career was special in animation, with steady parts in The Jetsons, The Flinstones, Johnny Quest, Josie and the Pussycats, The Magilla Gorilla Show, Peter Potamus, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, and The Fantastic Four.

   The durable Janet Waldo was 96.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Queen at 90…

June 12th, 2016

Manny P. here… elizabeth2

   Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her official 90th birthday with a three-day series of festivities. The Queen’s birthday has been a three-month affair starting with her real birthday in April. The monarch’s birthday is traditionally celebrated in June when London’s weather can be more favorable.

   The traditional Trooping the Color parade was held on Saturday, the Queen’s official birthday. The queen, wearing a lime green outfit visible from the far points of the crowded Mall, traveled by horse-drawn carriage, waving to the throng. Prince Charles, heir to the throne, and his son Prince William rode down the Mall on horseback, along with Princess Anne, the queen’s daughter, a skilled equestrian. The event drew throngs of Brits and visitors to Buckingham Palace for a balcony appearance by the senior royals. On Sunday, The Mall in front of the palace hosted lunch for hundreds of charity workers and members of the Royal family. The palace has invited roughly 10,000 people who work at charities supported by the queen to the open air festivities.

Vera_Lynn_(1962)   Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip attended a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, what was Philip’s 95th birthday. Rod Stewart was also knighted in the queen’s annual Birthday Honors List, which also included recognition for Downton Abbey co-star Penelope Wilton. She was made a Dame, the female equivalent of a Knight. Another recipient, 99-year-old torch singer <– Vera Lynn, who raised British spirits during World War II with songs, including The White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll Meet Again. She was made a Companion of Honor, an award limited to 65 people of distinction.

   Street parties were additionally held in towns and cities all over Great Britain, and in related Commonwealth countries.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- TherapyCable Episode #12 is Live…

June 11th, 2016

Manny P. here…


interview-stan-freese   FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD – Episode #12 on THERAPYCABLE features guest Stan Freese. Our recent visitor is, of all things, a tuba soloist, and was the Talent Casting and Booking Director with Disney Entertainment. Stan served in many roles throughout his Disney career, including the Director of Bands at both Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort. He’s performed at the White House, the Kremlin, and along the Great Wall of China. He’s appeared on the Lawrence Welk Show and Hee Haw. Recently retired from Disney, Freese also overcame personal demons for a life well lived. STAN FREESE /MICKEY MOUSE ->


Forgotten Hollywood - Therapy Cable logo Forgotten Hollywood - Therapy Cable #12


TCLogo   For 45 years, Stan has been a principal mentor for hundreds of Disney Entertainment Division staff members who are responsible for the music and show development for Disney Theme Parks around the world. Stan most recent assignment was to find talent, develop musical ensembles, and oversee the multitude of live musical performances at Disney California Adventure, Disneyland, and Downtown Disney.

stan freese


   To watch and enjoy this marvelous interview on THERAPYCABLE, click or (cut-and-paste) to view my latest program:


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Curly Top Back in Santa Monica…

June 10th, 2016

Manny P. here… shirley temple

   Entering the Santa Monica History Museum for Shirley Temple: Santa Monica’s Biggest Little Star, visitors are greeted by a gift shop laden with lollipops, animal crackers, and the optimism of a simpler time. People with only a cursory knowledge of Temple’s work will appreciate artifacts — dresses, shoes, black-and-white images — from her time as the #1 box office star, from 1935 to 1938. But, for her more seasoned fans, there’s an abundance of insight into Temple’s life and career beyond the age of 12.

   The museum celebrates Shirley Temple’s (right) time as a child star, it also provides a view of her as a more complete individual — tap-dancing moppet, mother, television series creator, businesswoman, and politician. Temple was born in Santa Monica, so it’s fitting that she be memorialized in a museum that seeks to preserve the city’s history.

   The museum previously hosted a Temple exhibit in 2015 that focused only on the actress’ early career. Temple’s mother, Gertrude, preserved all of her daughter’s belongings from a young age, which Temple continued to do as an adult, resulting in an extraordinary collection of items, 120 of which are on display here.

   Curator Sara Crown explains that though the museum was offered several hundred items from collectors and Temple’s family, it pared down with a desire to focus on items Temple had actually owned. The only exception is a case of Temple-inspired merchandise, including dolls created in her likeness. Temple was one of the first child stars to have lucrative merchandising — Temple and her family were innovative in their control of licensing her name.


   Temple’s birth certificate and receipt for doctor’s charges represent the most direct surviving connection between the actress and Santa Monica. For fans of Temple’s films, it’s fascinating to see the intricacies of some of her most famous costumes up close, from lambswool-lined wooden shoes from Heidi, to the polka dot dress that she wore in her breakout performance in Stand Up and Cheer! The exhibit also includes more personal tangible items, which give a beautiful glimpse of Temple beyond her juvenile persona, including an antique carousel horse Temple restored herself, and the stunning ivory-satin wedding gown from her first marriage to John Agar in 1945. There is also a glimpse into lesser-known aspects of her career, including her films as a teenager, and her 1958 return to entertainment with the television series Shirley Temple’s Storybook.

   Temple was at the peak of her fame during some of the worst years of the Great Depression, leading President Roosevelt to praise her for her unique ability to lift the spirits of Americans. The exhibit showcases a collection of photos and letters from Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, thanking Temple following her visit to the White House. It reflects her unique role as a national symbol of hope and optimism during one of the nation’s darkest times.

   Temple also broke racial barriers, as the first to be part of an onscreen interracial performance opposite Bill Bojangles Robinson in The Little Colonel and several subsequent films. A pink dress from that film highlights the groundbreaking moment.


   From a young age, Temple used her image and fame to promote important causes, taking an active role in War Bond drives and visiting soldiers as a teenager during World War II. Even after retiring from acting at 22, Temple actively participated in charity work and civic engagement, ultimately devoting the last four decades of her life to public service. The exhibit highlights this aspect of her career, including materials from her unsuccessful 1967 run for Congress, and photographs and clippings from her years as a representative to the UN General Assembly and her service as the United States Ambassador to both Ghana and Czechoslovakia.

   She also brought attention to issues closer to home following her diagnosis with breast cancer in 1972. At the time, this was a private battle for public figures; Temple was one of the first to publicly discuss her experiences fighting the disease, and promote open conversation around women’s health issues. The exhibit features the 1973 issue of Lady’s Journal that includes the honest, pioneering interview.

   The Santa Monica History Museum is at 1350 7th St. in Santa Monica; and runs through July 1st.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Award For Michael Keaton…

June 9th, 2016

Manny P. here… keaton-michael-large

   New York is honoring actor Michael Keaton for his contributions to the art of film. The George Eastman Museum in Rochester will present the Batman, Beetlejuice, Birdman, and Spotlight actor with an award this evening. The star is on a roll, having appeared in the last two Oscar winners for Best Picture. The museum says Keaton is being recognized for his versatility over more than 40 years in television and film. The ceremony will feature a video compilation of his work.

   The George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the oldest film archives. The George Eastman Award was established in 1955, and is named for the photography innovator who founded Rochester-based Eastman Kodak.

   Previous winners of the award have included Charlie Chaplin, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Michael Douglas. Congratulations to the talented actor.

———————————————– —————-

nypl_logo   And speaking of the Big Apple, I’m happy to announce that five copies of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History have been ordered for the shelves of the Mid Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library system. This is the location I visited in March for an oral presentation and book-signing event during the 2016 ReelAbilities Film Festival. This makes 91st repository that will carry my initial literary work, and 111th library, overall.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Playboy Mansion in Escrow…

June 7th, 2016

Manny P. here…

Playboy-logo-1024x768   Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion is about to acquire a new owner — the wealthy businessman who lives next door. Representatives for Playboy Enterprises confirmed Monday that Daren Metropoulos has made a bid to buy Hefner’s man cave, and the deal is in escrow.

   Both sides declined to reveal the sale price until escrow closes, but a representative for Metropoulos said terms would allow Playboy Magazine’s 90-year-old founder to remain in the mansion for the rest of his life. Metropoulos bought his current home next door to the mansion from Hefner in 2009 for $18 million.

   The home in Los Angeles’ fashionable Holmby Hills was originally listed at $200 million, but local real estate agents said at the time that appeared ridiculously overpriced. A nearby property sold last year for $59 million. The mansion, the scene of countless celebrity-filled parties and innumerable tales of sexual shenanigans, was built in 1927, and purchased by Playboy Enterprises in 1971 for $1.05 million. It sits on 5 acres and has 29 rooms, including a game house, home theater, wine cellar, gym, tennis court, swimming pool, cave-like grotto, and a four-bedroom guest house.


   Daren Metropoulos is the principal at the private equity firm, Metropoulos & Co., which owns Hostess Brands, the makers of Twinkies. His current home was built in 1929 and sits on about 2 acres.

road sign   On a personal note, I made a trek to the Playboy Mansion in 1987 to do a live broadcast for KRLA 1110 AM. I also conducted a celebrity tennis match on the grounds. I invited my longtime friend, actor (and former tennis pro) Vincent Van Patten, actor Bernie Kopell, and tennis player Rosie Casals to participate. The purpose of the radio remote and tennis match was to raise donated money for the John Tracy Clinic for the hearing-impaired. The organization was named for the son of actor Spencer Tracy, whose son was born deaf. His wife Louise made it her personal mission to help ordinary folks with the disability to lead productive lives. The John Tracy Clinic became her life’s work.

   Meeting Hugh Hefner (in his robe) was a real treat! Best wishes to the new owner.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims a Brit…

June 6th, 2016

Manny P. here…

Peter   British playwright Peter Shaffer was an award-winner, with stage and cinematic hits that included Equus and Amadeus. He won a combined six Tony Awards for both productions. Amadeus took home an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1984. He also received the Best Screenplay Golden Globe and the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. For much of his career, Shaffer achieved the often-elusive goal of combining commercial and critical success by penning thoughtful, cleverly crafted plays that became box-office hits in London and in New York.                                                     PETER SHAFFER

   Peter’s first play, The Salt Land, was presented on the BBC. Shaffer made his London and New York stage debut in 1958 with the simmering domestic drama, Five Finger Exercise, directed by John Gielgud. It garnered incredible reviews, and secured his reputation as a playwright. He had a huge hit in 1964 with The Royal Hunt of the Sun that was staged by Britain’s newly founded National Theatre. In 1965, the company staged his farce Black Comedy, which starred Maggie Smith and Derek Jacobi. Shaffer went on to write many of his plays for the National, from where they often moved on to commercial West End runs and Broadway.

   Dame Maggie became a favorite in collaboration. Shaffer wrote Lettice and Lovage for the diva in 1986, for which he was nominated for another Tony Award. She won the statuette in 1990 for Best Actress on her forth nod.

   His twin brother also became a successful playwright, and scored with the thriller, Sleuth. Peter received the prestigious William Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre in 1992. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001; and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2007.

   Peter Shaffer was 90.


TheresaSaldana   Theresa Saldana was an actress, who was best known for her co-starring performance in Raging Bull; and her Golden Globe-nominated role in The Commish. She was a regular on television, with appearances in T. J. Hooker, MatlockCagney & Lacey, Simon & Simon, HunterFalcon Crest, Diagnosis: Murder, Law & Order, MacGyver; and in the daytime soap operas, Santa Barbara and All My Children.   THERESA SALDANA –>

   She was also known for raising public awareness of the crime of stalking, after surviving a murder attempt by an obsessed fan in 1982. Saldana founded the Victims for Victims organization, and participated in lobbying for the 1990 anti-stalking law and the 1994 Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, both of which came into being partly as a consequence of the attack. The experience also inspired Saldana to play herself in the television movie Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story, and she authored the book Beyond Survival, a memoir of her experiences after being attacked.

   Theresa Saldana was 61.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Greatest Love of All…

June 4th, 2016

Manny P. here…

ali   Muhammad Ali was a magnificent heavyweight champion whose fast fists and irrepressible personality transcended sports, and captivated the world. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., a controversial and polarizing figure during his early career, Ali is now remembered for the skills he displayed in the ring, plus the values he exemplified outside of it: religious freedom, racial justice, and the triumph of principle over expedience. Ali transformed the role and image of the African American athlete in America by his embrace of racial pride and his willingness to antagonize the white establishment in doing so. He also embodied the savvy concept of self-worth.

   Ali was one of the most recognized sports figures of the past 100 years, crowned Sportsman of the Century by Sports Illustrated. In 1993, the Associated Press reported that Ali was tied with Babe Ruth as the most recognized athlete, out of over 800 dead or alive athletes, in America. Ali has been the subject of numerous books, films, and other creative works. He has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated on 37 different occasions, second only to Michael Jordan.

AliFrazierFightOfTheCentury   Muhammad remains the only lineal three-time world heavyweight champion; he won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978. Nicknamed The Greatest, Ali was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these were the first Sonny Liston fight, three with rival Joe Frazier, and one with George Foreman (memorably called The Rumble in the Jungle). Ali was named the second greatest fighter in boxing history by ESPN.com behind welterweight and middleweight, Sugar Ray Robinson. In 2007, ESPN listed Ali the #2 heavyweight of all time, behind Joe Louis. The brash boxer famously bragged: I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee…

   In 1967, just three years after winning his initial heavyweight title, Ali refused to be conscripted into the military, citing his religious beliefs, and a personal opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges, and stripped of his boxing title. He did not fight again for nearly four years, losing a time of peak performance in an athlete’s career. Ali’s legal appeal worked its way up to the United States Supreme Court. In 1971, his conviction was overturned. Ali’s actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him a champion for the counter-culture generation. Ali inspired Martin Luther King Jr., who had been reluctant to address the Vietnam War for fear of alienating the Johnson Administration and its support of the Civil Rights agenda.

Muhammad_Ali_1966   After he won the championship from Liston in 1964, the Nation of Islam agreed to recruit him as a member. Shortly after, leader Elijah Muhammad recorded a statement that Clay would be renamed Muhammad (worthy of all praises) Ali. Only a few journalists (notably Howard Cosell) accepted the new name at the time. Ali would proclaim: Cassius Clay is my slave name. Ali’s friendship with Malcolm X ended when the radical split with the Nation of Islam a couple of weeks after Ali joined. He later admitted that turning his back on Malcolm X was a mistake he regretted for most of his adult life.            MUHAMMAD ALI —>

   Ali had a cameo role in the 1962 film version of Requiem for a Heavyweight. During his exile, he starred in the short-lived Broadway musical Buck White. Ali appeared in the documentary film Black Rodeo riding both a horse and a bull. The film Freedom Road, made in 1978, featured Muhammad in a rare acting role as Gideon Jackson, an ex-slave in 1870s Virginia who gets elected to the Senate.

1024px-Vitoria_-_Graffiti_&_Murals_0951   His autobiography The Greatest: My Own Story, written with Richard Durham, was published in 1975. In 1977, it was adapted into a film called The Greatest, in which Ali played himself, Ernest Borgnine played Angelo Dundee, and James Earl Jones played Malcolm X. The Greatest Love of All was written by composers Michael Masser and Linda Creed. It was the main theme of the 1977 film. The original version was performed by George Benson. Eight years later, the song became even more well-known for a cover version by Whitney Houston that eventually topped the charts.

   When We Were Kings, a 1996 documentary about the Rumble in the Jungle boxing match, won an Academy Award. With Jodie Foster and Kevin Spacey wildly applauding, Foreman and Ali both hit the stage to help accept the statuette. And, the 2001 biopic Ali garnered an Oscar nod for Will Smith’s portrayal of the champion. The biographical film, directed by Michael Mann, centers on Ali from 1964-1974.

StangoAli   He famously met The Beatles during their first visit to the United States. In photos that would become legendary, the boxer is seen knocking the Fab Four down like dominoes, and standing over them sprawled out in the ring. His 1996 surprise appearance to light the torch at the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics was considered one of the iconic television moments in sport’s history. Ali has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His star is the only one to be mounted on a vertical surface, out of deference to his request that his name not be walked upon.

   In 2005, President George W. Bush presented the boxer with Medal of Freedom. Originally known as the Louisville Lip, Kentucky’s governor has ordered the flags at the statehouse to fly at half-staff in Ali’s honor. By every measurable account, he was a true gentleman, and a real champion in-and-out of the boxing ring.

   On a personal note, I had the distinct honor to be the master of ceremonies at his 50th birthday party. Seven years into his diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, he quietly thanked me and shook my hand. I’ll never forget my opportunity to host this special Hollywood event.

   Larger-than-life, Muhammad Ali was 74.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- TCM Teams With Film Mag…

June 2nd, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Film Comment magazine will produce a series of editorial content and commentary for Turner Classic Movies. The project will include a monthly spotlight on TCM’s website called Film Comment Picks, in which classic cinema, directors, or actors from the network’s programming are highlighted by newly commissioned essays.

Film Comment

   The inaugural articles will highlight American classics from the network’s June programming: Sidney Lumet’s film of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, the rare example of a truly successful adaptation of a stage classic; and Charles Walters’s The Tender Trap, frothy faire starring Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds that reveals much about contemporary gender relations.

   Coming on the heels of TCM’s recent announcement of FilmStruck, its collaboration with the Criterion Collection, this editorial initiative was spearheaded by Nicolas Rapold, who was named Editor of Film Comment earlier this month. Under his leadership as Interim Editor, the magazine has expanded its digital content with new online columns, a weekly podcast, and a forthcoming app. The partnership with TCM is the latest venture for the Film Comment team, and the collaboration will continue to grow.

TCM_website_logo   Film Society of Lincoln Center

   With Rapold’s new position, and Michael Koresky, recently appointed Editorial Director of Film Society of Lincoln Center, expect more exciting news in the coming months!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Merry Old Land…

June 1st, 2016

Manny P. here…

   North Carolina’s Land of Oz theme park is finally re-opening on Fridays in June. Tickets are already sold out for this Friday.

 In 1990, the 450 acre project known as Emerald Mountain development was begun; the concept of creating home sites with respect to The Land of Oz being one of their goals. In the past eight summers, Oz has become an enchanting private garden, with Dorothy’s farm restored, gazebos renovated, fountain, pond, and waterfall made operational, and the yellow brick road unearthed and patched. For now, the character houses and Emerald City are gone. Dorothy’s house is a lovely cottage they now rent to romantics wanting to escape.

ozYBR   OZ_yellow_brick_road

   This is the third year that The Land of Oz has opened for a limited time. The theme park originally operated from 1970 to 1980. When the park was open year-round, people could wander through Dorothy’s farmhouse and take a ride on a hot air balloon.

   Organizers say tours with the character Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz take place every hour between 10:30a and 3:30p. Tickets cost $12.50 plus $10 for a round-trip lift ticket.

   I must admit this is geographically closer to Mayberry than to Kansas. Just sayin…

Until next time>                               “never forget”