“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Man Behind the Wiener…

September 30th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   He was the individual who got generations of hot dog lovers singing. Richard D. Trentlage helped solidify a company’s hot dogs as a piece of Americana with the words:

Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener. That is what I truly love to be. Because, if I were an Oscar Meyer Wiener. Everyone would be in love with me…


1855899_profile_pic   Submitted as part of a contest, Trentlage (right) finished composing the tune in about an hour and recorded it in his living room. The jingle he wrote appeared in a 1960s television commercial featuring cartoon kids  marching along and singing. The song would become the sound of Oscar Mayer for 45 years, until the company retired it in 2010. It went on to be heard in 21 English-speaking countries (including all 50 states), and even played by symphony orchestras. Oscar Mayer used the jingle as an underlying theme that promoted, among other things, the wienermobile.

800   330px-wienermobile-bologna


   Trentlage was born in Chicago and began penning jingles as a high school student. He later transformed his home into a makeshift recording studio, inviting his own children to sing on audition tapes. They even recorded on-air sessions.

   However, he was no one-hit wonder, writing:  WOW! It sure doesn’t taste like tomato juice for V8; Buckle up for safety, buckle up! for the National Safety Council; and McDonald’s is your kind of place! for the burger chain.

   The very clever Richard D. Trentlage was 87.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sex Returns to Broadway…

September 29th, 2016

Manny P. here… 330px-mae_west_lat

   This month, Sex is back in the Big Apple:  An infamous play written by, and starring, budding starlet Mae West (right) in the 1920s. Although conservative critics panned the show, ticket sales were hot. The sultry production did not go over well with city officials, who had received complaints from some religious groups, and the theater was raided, with West arrested, along with the cast. After a 10-month run on Broadway in 1927, the play was deemed by a grand jury to be such obscene, indecent, immoral, and impure drama that it might corrupt the morals of youth. West was sentenced to 10 days in jail for obscenity. She traveled to the pokey in style; garlanded in roses, wearing silk underwear, and riding in a limousine. She was released after 8 days.

   The notoriety helped the actor. Several years after the Sex scandal, Paramount Pictures offered West – then aged 38 – a studio contract. She went on to become one of the best-known and best paid stars of the era: legend has it, by 1935, she was the second-highest paid person in the United States behind publisher William Randolph Hearst. Even more impressive than West’s salary, or her age when she commandeered Hollywood, was the control she held over her career. The breezy, bawdy characters she played were partly of her own design, thanks to a deal she negotiated with Paramount allowing her to write her own lines.

   Now, the play that propelled West into the spotlight is coming back to New York, where it will be performed as a staged reading (through October 2nd). It’s being produced by the feminist theatre group, the Dirty Blondes. A key feature will be the special events taking place after each performance. Guests are invited to take part in talk-backs, such as artist Juniper Fleming – who has previously directed, produced and performed in a revival of Sex. Other guests include historian Linda Ann Loschiavo, an expert in West; feminist poet Maya Osborne; and burlesque dancer Veronica Varlow.

   The play is a somewhat unusual choice for the Dirty Blondes, which typically focuses on work with and by living artists. Since being founded in Brooklyn in 2012, it has produced 15 pieces of new theater, and worked with more than 340 artists. And now, they are using Mae West’s career as inspiration to create their own legacy.

   Goodness, what a scandalous career. But, as Mae West once surmised:

Goodness had nothing to do with it!


Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- White House Goes for the Gold…

September 28th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Shortly after Jesse Owens returned home from his snubbing by Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympics, he and 17 other black Olympians found a less-than-welcoming reception from their own government, as well. On Thursday, relatives of those 1936 African-American Olympians will be welcomed to the White House to shake the president’s hand — an honor Owens and the others didn’t receive, the way some of their white counterparts did, after they returned home from Berlin 80 years ago.


   At the 1936 Olympics, Owens won four Gold medals. But, it was the message Owens’ victories sent by winning in Nazi Germany and undercutting Hitler’s white-supremacy dogma that stood as the lasting memory of those games. Owens returned to a segregated America where he had trouble finding steady work, and where, according to his interviews in later years, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, never sent him any words of congratulations, or an invitation to the White House.

   Athletes didn’t return from the Olympics to lucrative advertising and product endorsement campaigns in those days, and Owens supported his young family with a variety of jobs. One was of special significance – playground director in Cleveland. It was his first step into a lifetime of working with underprivileged youth, which gave him his greatest satisfaction. After relocating to Chicago, he devoted much of his time to underprivileged youth as a board member and former director of the Chicago Boys’ Club.

   Owens traveled widely in his post-Olympic days. He was an inspirational speaker, highly sought after to address youth groups, professional organizations, civic meetings, sports banquets, PTAs, church organizations, brotherhood and black history programs, as well as high school and college commencements and ceremonies. He was also a public relations representative and consultant to many corporations, including Atlantic Richfield, Ford, and United States Olympic Committee.

   Decades later, Owens was acknowledged and honored at the White House. In 1976, President Gerald Ford presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Owens died of lung cancer in 1980. Since then, a street and a school have been named after him in Berlin, two United States postage stamps have been issued in his honor, and a memorial park has been opened in Alabama. Earlier this year, Race, a wonderful bio-flick about the life of Jesse Owens, brought needed attention to the initial snub.

   Owens daughter, Marlene Owens-Rankin, will be among the relatives visiting the White House. The stories of the other 17 blacks on that team were less-widely known. Thursday’s event was meant to give overdue White House recognition to those athletes, who accounted for 14 of America’s 56 medals in Berlin.

john_carlos_tommie_smith_peter_norman_1968cr   United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun announced the upcoming visit at a Team USA Awards ceremony. The announcement came on the same night the USOC invited Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who were booted from the 1968 Olympics for their gloved-fist protest on the medals stand, to be part of the awards show. Smith and Carlos hadn’t been involved in an official USOC event since being sent home from Mexico City. The Gold and Bronze medal-winning sprinters will be at the White House on Thursday, as well.

   The recent protest by NFL players during the National Anthem also brought attention to the 1968 sprinters that pioneered this way of making a statement during the raising of our colors.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Harry James Orchestra Still in Tune…

September 27th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   The Rona Barrett Foundation is thrilled to announce the legendary Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke will perform at the Foundation’s Big Band Celebration Ball fundraising gala on Saturday, October 8th. The event will support the needs of vulnerable seniors through the Rona Barrett Foundation’s Golden Inn & Village.



   The history of the Harry James Orchestra began when Harry James formed the Music Makers with the financial backing of Benny Goodman. The years that followed for Harry James were successful, and included a recording with the young Frank Sinatra that became a million-record seller. After, James’ interest in movies grew, and he served as technical advisor and played all trumpet parts in Young Man with a Horn.

   Following James’ death in 1983, the band continued the mellow arrangements and fine rhythmic playing that first made it famous, now under the direction of Harry James’ lead trumpet virtuoso, Fred Radke. The Harry James Orchestra has performed in major venues and continues to tour extensively throughout the world under the direction of Radke, whose trumpet playing is indiscernible to Harry James’ style.

   The Rona Barrett Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide a solution to affordable housing and supportive services for at-risk seniors. The Foundation is celebrating the Grand Opening of the Golden Inn & Village, an affordable, dignified, and enriching senior campus in the Santa Ynez Valley, offering senior residency and a variety of care that meets their needs as they age.

   To learn more about the Golden Inn & Village, please visit:


   Sponsorship opportunities are available for the October 8th event. To secure a sponsorship or for more info, contact (805) 688-8887, or email:


   This sounds like a great way to spend an evening, while helping seniors-in-need.

Until next time>                               “never forget’

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Golf Loses Its Best Friend…

September 26th, 2016

Manny P. here… footer-bg-1_0

   Arnold Palmer ranked among the most important figures in golf and sports history. His social impact on behalf of the game was perhaps unrivaled among fellow professionals; his humble background and plain-spoken popularity helped change the perception of golf as an elite, upper-class pastime to a more democratic accessibility for the working class. He was at ease with presidents and the public. He leaves behind a gallery known as Arnie’s Army, which began at Augusta National with a small group of soldiers from nearby Fort Gordon, and grew to include a legion of fans from every corner of the globe. His rivalry with Jack Nicholas was legendary. Beyond the game, Palmer was a pioneer in sports marketing, paving the way for scores of athletes to reap in millions of dollars from endorsements. Four decades after his last PGA Tour win, he ranked among the highest-earners in golf.  ARNOLD PALMER —>

   Palmer was a product of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the oldest of four children. His father, Deacon, became the greens-keeper at Latrobe Country Club in 1921, and the club pro in 1933. Arnie joined the PGA Tour in 1955, and won the Canadian Open for the first of his 62 titles. He won four green jackets at Augusta National, along with the British Open in 1961 and 1962, and the U.S. Open in 1960, perhaps the most memorable of his seven majors. Only four other players won more PGA Tour events than Palmer — Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Tiger Woods, and Ben Hogan.

   Palmer played at least one PGA Tour event every season for 52 consecutive years, ending with the 2004 Masters. He spearheaded the growth of the 50-and-older Champions Tour; winning 10 times, and drawing some of the biggest crowds. He was equally successful with golf course design, a wine collection, and apparel that included his famous logo of an umbrella. He bought the Bay Hill Club & Lodge upon making his winter home in Orlando, Florida, and in 2007, the PGA Tour changed the name of their tournament to the Arnold Palmer Invitational. And,  Arnie treated the gallery with such respect, looking everyone in the eye with a smile and a wink. He signed every autograph, making sure it was legible. He made every fan feel like an old friend.

   Even after he formally retired, Palmer’s image was everywhere, from motor oil and ketchup. to financial services companies. Even as late as 2011, nearly 40 years after his last PGA Tour win, Palmer was #3 on Golf Digest’s list of top earners at $36 million a year. He trailed only Woods and Phil Mickelson. Meanwhile, at any bar in the United States, the combination of iced tea and lemonade is known as an Arnold Palmer. Only Shirley Temple and Roy Rogers was also branded this unique honor.

congressional_gold_medal_arnold_palmer   Palmer won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998; and in 1974, he was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004; and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.

   Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pennsylvania is named for him. There is a statue of Palmer holding a golf club in front of the airport’s entrance, unveiled in 2007. An avid pilot for over 50 years, he logged nearly 20,000 hours of flight time in various aircraft.

   Known simply as The King, the affable Arnold Palmer was 87.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- SAG Honors Legacy of Robin Williams

September 24th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s new screening room and educational space in New York City is set to open on October 5th with a celebration of of a legendary comedian, for whom the new facility is named. Dubbed the Robin Williams Center for Actors, Broadcasters and Recording Artists, its 154-seat, 4,000-square-foot theater is equipped with a 25-foot-wide cinema screen, state-of-the-art video streaming technology, including 4K HD Christie Digital Cinema projection and surround sound, and programmable theatrical lighting, which will enable it to host screening events. It also has multi-camera live stream broadcast and recording capabilities.

   Its upcoming opening will be marked by a celebration of the actor’s work, featuring the screening of a Conversation with Robin Williams that took place at the Foundation in Los Angeles in 2003. Following the screening, a panel of the late performer’s friends and colleagues including Hank Azaria, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Barry Levinson, and Bonnie Hunt will discuss Williams’ work and legacy.


                                                               ROBIN WILLIAMS  

   Subsequent events scheduled for the Center will include a Tom Brokaw career retrospective, and other programming featuring prominent actors and broadcasters. All events will be recorded and posted to the Foundation’s YouTube channel and website.

   In addition to offering educational programming to more than 40,000 actors, broadcasters, and recording artists in the New York metro area, the Center will become the permanent home to the Foundation’s Conversations and The Business programs, and it will also serve as an extension of the Foundation’s already existing free resources for SAG-AFTRA members — the EIF Voiceover Lab, an on-camera lab, a computer lab and classroom  — housed within their New York office.

   The Foundation has kicked off a capital campaign to fund the building and the cost of operations for the duration of the Center’s 20-year-lease. The Center is located at 247 W. 54th St. between 8th Ave. and Broadway.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Monty Python Member Suffers Illness

September 23rd, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Monty Python star Terry Jones has revealed that he is battling dementia. The Welsh comedian has been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia, a variant of Frontotemporal Dementia. His representative revealed that the disease is affecting his ability to communicate and he can no longer give interviews.

terry_jones   The announcement about his diagnosis came ahead of a scheduled appearance at Bafta Cymru on October 2nd where he will receive a special Outstanding Contributuon to Film and Television award. During the ceremony, the work of Terry Jones (right) with a retrospective from his career that began in 1967 to the present day. The comedian, writer, actor, and historian directed The Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, and co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail alongside Terry Gilliam. He also appeared in Jabberwocky and Erik the Viking. Back in college, performed comedy with future Monty Python cast mate Michael Palin in The Oxford Revue.

   In August 2014, Jones was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish Independence in the run-up to September’s referendum on the issue.

   Best wishes to this iconic comedic filmmaker.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Lansbury and the Beast…

September 20th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Beauty and the Beast returned to the Lincoln Center  for a special screening on Sunday night, 25 years after the Film Society of Lincoln Center first showed the film as an unfinished work at the New York Film Festival, and it ended with an enchanting pair of surprise performances.

   The anniversary celebration brought out members of the original voice cast — Paige O’Hara (Belle), Robby Benson (Beast), Richard White (Gaston), and Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts), plus producer Don Hahn — for an extended introduction to the film. Before the Beauty and the Beast screening, the original cast reflected on the film and its legacy during the on-stage Q&A. O’Hara told a story about how Lansbury came to New York to record after being up all night traveling, and still went in and sang the title song in one take.



   After the credits rolled, a piano was brought onto the Alice Tully Hall stage and legendary composer Alan Menken performed a medley of his most famous Disney tunes, including ones from Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Hercules, the live-action musical Enchanted, and, of course, Beauty and the Beast.

   Lansbury then joined him on stage and, with Menken accompanying her on piano, sang the film’s iconic title song. Ever the perfect Mrs. Potts, she even threw in a Run along and get in the cupboard, Chip at the end.

   Always the pro…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Vin Scully’s Final Week…

September 19th, 2016

Manny P. here…

vin-scully-numbers-091916   Vin Scully is heading into his final week behind the mic at Dodger Stadium before concluding his career on October 2nd in San Francisco, where the Los Angeles Dodgers end the regular season against the rival Giants. His 67 years with the Dodgers make Scully the longest-tenured broadcaster with a single team in professional sports.

   Scully discovered his love of baseball walking home from grade school. He passed a Chinese laundromat and saw the score from Game 2 of the 1936 World Series. His aspirations came true at 22 when he was hired by a CBS radio affiliate in Washington, D.C. The next year, he joined Red Barber and Connie Desmond in the Brooklyn Dodgers‘ radio and television booths.

   In 1953, at age 25, Scully became the youngest person to broadcast a World Series game, a mark that still stands. Though the years, Vin Scully has entranced generations of baseball fans with his dulcet tones as he spins stories about the game and its players while working alone on the air. He credits the birth of the transistor radio as the greatest single break of his career. In 1958, he accompanied the Dodgers when the franchise relocated to Los Angeles from Ebbets Field. Fans had trouble recognizing the players during the team’s first four years at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. That habit carried over when the team moved to Dodger Stadium. Fans at the games held radios to their ears, and those not present listened from home or the car, allowing Scully to connect generations of families with his words.

   The Dodgers plan to honor their second-longest tenured employee (behind former manager Tom Lasorda) starting Tuesday night with a Scully bobblehead giveaway. Friday is an appreciation day for Scully with a pregame ceremony featuring speakers from his career. Commissioner Rob Manfred will offer a $50,000 donation from Major League Baseball to the Jackie Robinson Foundation in Scully’s name with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts toting the oversized check on stage. After the speeches, both teams will line up on each side of home plate, remove their caps, and listen to John Williams conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the national anthem behind the mound. And, there will be a post-game fireworks show is set to the top calls of Vin’s career. The first 50,000 fans at Saturday’s game against Colorado will receive a limited edition solid bronze coin. On the front is an image of Scully with his signature introduction:

 It’s time for Dodger baseball

   Previously, at the start of each series, the umpires have turned to face Scully’s booth and tipped their caps to him. To his surprise and delight, players and managers have come to him. Throughout the season, they’ve made the long trek from the visiting clubhouse in right field to his fifth-floor broadcast booth in the press box named for him, bringing gifts. In San Francisco, the Giants will honor Scully at his final game. Two Bay Area television stations will carry an inning of his broadcast, as stations in other cities have done this season.


   Now 88, Scully was adamant about not having an extended farewell. For the last time at home on Sunday, Vinnie will open his broadcast with the same reassuring greeting:

Hi everybody, and a very pleasant good afternoon to you wherever you may be

images   Vin Scully influenced me and hundreds of Southern California talent to enter radio broadcasting. Fittingly, his last game will be 80 years to the day he saw that 1936 score. The man who has been the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for my entire life and beyond has earned a serene retirement.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bob Hope Home Saved…

September 17th, 2016

Manny P. here… bob-hope

   The Los Angeles City Council passed on Friday an emergency motion to apply Bob Hope’s Toluca Lake house for review as a historic-cultural monument. This savvy move happened after the Department of City Planning alerted to the council that Linda Hope — Bob Hope’s daughter and current owner of the estate on 10346 Moorpark St. in Toluca Lake — had obtained a permit allowing for a demolition inspection.  BOB and DOLORES HOPE –>

   While it’s unclear if Linda Hope does, indeed, intend to demolish the structure, the permit paved way for the process. Once an inspection had been completed, Hope would have been given the green-light to obtain a demolition permit, at which point the city has no power to prevent the destruction of the home.

   Councilmember David Ryu introduced the emergency motion to beat the clock. As noted by Estevan Montemayor, director of communications at Ryu’s office, the house can’t be touched while it’s under review by the Cultural Heritage Commission.

   The decision rests with the Cultural Heritage Commission, a five-member panel that oversees the designation of cultural monuments. Something may deemed historically and culturally significant if it’s, among other things, identified with historic personages, or [embodies] the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural-type specimen. Ryu’s office hopes the Moorpark Street residence will be reviewed in a month.

   The house has had a turbulent ride on the real estate-market. In 2013, it was listed for $27.5 million. The property has a nearly 15,000-square-foot house (designed in the English traditional-style), a one-hole golf course, and an indoor pool. In total, the estate is over five acres. Hope hosted soirees that saw the likes of Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra. Once, Richard Nixon’s helicopter landed on the back lawn.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of Edward Albee…

September 16th, 2016

Manny P. here…

    Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee challenged theatrical convention in masterworks such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and A Delicate Balance. The former work opened on Broadway in 1962. The Tony-winning play, still widely considered Albee’s finest, was made into an award-winning 1966 film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Albee was arguably America’s greatest living playwright. His daring mix of theatricality and biting dialogue helped reinvent the post-war American theatre in the early 1960s.

270px-edward_albee_by_reginald_gray   Albee was born in 1928, and was adopted by a wealthy suburban New York couple. Estranged from his parents, Albee worked as a messenger for Western Union before gaining notice with The Zoo Story, a one-act play written in 1958. His early works reflect an Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd that descended from European playwrights, including Eugene Ionesco. The playwright shook up a Broadway dominated by Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and their intellectual disciples. Many of his works had similar things in common: domestic rancor inflamed by booze, a sense of unknown anxiety, a lost child who creates a marital friction, and precise but flailing language that alternates between comic and profound. Willing to tackle successful works, Albee adapted to the stage the productions of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Lolita.

   The Edward F. Albee Foundation was founded in 1967, after proceeds from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf proved abundant. The foundation has maintained the William Flanagan Memorial Creative Persons Center in Montauk, on Long Island, as a residence for writers and visual artists. The mission of the foundation:

To serve writers and visual artists from all walks of life, by providing time and space in which to work without disturbance. The only criteria for selection are talent and need, and the foundation invites any and all artists to apply.

   Albee was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1972. In 1985, Albee was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Albee was honored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1996 for his lifetime contributions. Then-President Bill Clinton praised Albee as a creative type who inspired a generation of American dramatists. Clinton also awarded Albee a National Medal of the Arts that year.

   The acerbic Edward Albee was 88.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Kiss That Launched Freedom…

September 11th, 2016

Manny P. here… Greta Zimmer Friedman

   She was the woman in an iconic photograph shown kissing an ecstatic sailor in Times Square celebrating the end of World War II. Greta Zimmer Friedman fled Austria during the war. She was a 21-year-old dental assistant when she became part of one of the most memorable moments of the 20th Century.

   August 14th, known as V-J Day when Japan surrendered to the United States, people spilled into the New York City streets from restaurants, bars, and movie theaters, and began celebrating the news. That’s when George Mendonsa spotted Friedman, spun her around, and planted a kiss. The two had never met. In fact, Mendonsa was on a date with a hospital nurse, Rita Petry, who would later become his wife.

   The photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt was titled V-J Day in Times Square, but is known to most simply as The Kiss. In some photos of the scene, Petry could be seen smiling in the background. It was first published in Life Magazine, buried deep within its pages.

  Over the years, the photo gained recognition, and several people claimed to be the kissing couple. In an August 1980 issue of Life, Eleven men and three women said they were the subjects. It was years before Mendonsa and Friedman were confirmed to be the couple. Greta recalled the events happening in an instant. She never thought it was much of a kiss or some kind of romantic event.

   Both of Friedman’s parents died in The Holocaust. She will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, next to her late husband. Greta Zimmer Friedman was 92.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Mel Brooks to Pay Tribute…

September 6th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   Young Frankenstein will come alive in theaters once again on October 5th, with a live introduction from writer-director Mel Brooks, who will pay tribute to the classic spoof’s late star Gene Wilder. The intro will be broadcast from the 20th Century Fox lot in 500 theaters nationwide, according to an announcement from Fathom Events.

   mad_dr   YF-p126

            GENE WILDER                               PETER BOYLE    MEL BROOKS

   In addition to touring the studio lot, where much of the movie was filmed, Brooks is expected to reminisce about his friend and collaborator, who died last Sunday of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Young Frankenstein is one of Wilder’s most fondly remembered films. It was during the filming of Blazing Saddles that Wilder proposed the concept for Young Frankenstein to Brooks.

   The announcement comes on the heels of AMC Theaters bringing other Wilder favorites Blazing Saddles and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory back to theaters this past weekend.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of a Friend…

September 5th, 2016

Manny P. here…

   One of my dear friends in show business has died. Hugh O’Brian shot to fame as Sheriff Wyatt Earp in what was hailed as television’s first adult Western. More than your usual television star, O’Brian starred in motion pictures, most notably, Broken Lance, Ten Little Indians, and In Harm’s Way. He was the last star whose character was killed by John Wayne, which occurred at the conclusion of The Shootist. The actor also made his mark in philanthropy as founder of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) organization. He formed the organization after meeting the legendary Dr. Albert Schweitzer.

 Hugh_O'Brian_Wyatt_Earp_1959   O’Brian was educated in Winnetka, Illinois, leaving school at 17 to join the Marines. He went on to become one of the corps’ youngest drill sergeants. While in the service, he fatefully met John Wayne. He originally planned to study law at Yale University. But, after actress Ida Lupino saw him in a play at a small Los Angeles theater, she cast him in Never Fear, a 1949 film she was directing, and his acting career was launched. One of his pals was Buddy Hackett.   HUGH O’BRIAN –>

   Until The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp debuted in September 1955, most television Westerns, notably The Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy,  were targeted at adolescent boys. Wyatt Earp, on the other hand, was based on a real-life Western hero, and some of its stories were authentic. The real Earp, who lived from 1848 to 1929, is most famous for his participation in the 1881 Shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Wyatt Earp paved the way for the success of Gunsmoke, and a litany of fine television Westerns that followed.

   Shortly after returning home from his famed meeting with Schweitzer, he founded the HOBY youth group. Each year, it brought together promising high school sophomores at sites around the country for leadership seminars. In 1999, O’Brian estimated that HOBY had more than 200,000 graduates from ages 16 to 59. The organization currently enrolls students in accelerated leadership programs in all 50 states and 20 countries. Hugh received numerous awards for his fine achievement.

   O’Brian was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1992. At age 81, he married the love of his life, Virginia, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery in what they quipped was a wedding to die for.

   On a personal note, I interviewed Hugh a few years back on my Forgotten Hollywood Radio Program; and he was a proud owner of my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. His autobiography and my paperbacks were self-published through the Book Publisher’s Network. I met the famed-actor and his wife at a reunion at Republic Pictures, and we became instant friends. I spent treasured time at their home, including one Christmas. I most recently saw my friends at a ceremony in which he donated his famed Wyatt Earp outfit to the Hollywood Museum at the site of the old Max Factor building.

   My heart goes out to Virginia and his family. I will miss him.

   Hugh O’Brian was 91.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood” 2016 Governor’s Awards Announced…

September 1st, 2016

Manny P. here…

Anne Coates 1   Actor Jackie Chan, film editor Anne V. Coates, casting director Lynn Stalmaster, and documentarian Frederick Wiseman are getting honorary Academy Awards. The film academy announced the four industry veterans will receive Oscar statuettes at the annual Governors Awards ceremony in November.    ANNE V. COATES —->

   Chan has starred in and produced dozens of films, dazzling with his stunts and martial arts. Coates won an Academy Award for her editing work on Lawrence of Arabia. She received four other Oscar nominations during her career, working with such directors as Sidney Lumet, Richard Attenborough, and Steven Soderbergh.

   Stalmaster has been casting since the mid-1950s. His credits include I Want to Live!, Judgement at Nuremberg, The Fortune Cookie, In the Heat of the Night, The GraduateDeliveranceFiddler on the Roof, Harold and Maude, Silver Streak, SupermanBeing There, and Tootsie. Wiseman started making documentaries in 1967. His most recent was last year’s In Jackson Heights, about a community in Queens, New York, considered one of the most culturally diverse in the United States.

   Honorary Oscars recognize lifetime achievement and exceptional contributions to film. The eighth annual Governors Awards will be presented at a private dinner ceremony on November. 12th at the Hollywood & Highland Center. While the event is generally not televised, clips may be included in the 2017 Academy Awards telecast on February. 26th.

Until next time>                               “never forget”