“Forgotten Hollywood”- Passing Parade Claims Elena Verdugo

May 31st, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Elena Verdugo had a prolific film career, before concentrating on television; garnering two Emmy nominations for her performance  on Marcus Welby M.D.  Her movie roles include supporting work with Lon Chaney Jr.  in House of Frankenstein and The Frozen Ghost;  with Abbott and Costello in Little Giant; and Cyrano de Bergerac and Thief of Damascus.

“`Verdugo landed her first cinematic acting role in 1931. By her mid-teens, she was appearing in multiple films a year, including four in 1949 and a half-dozen in 1952.    ELENA VERDUGO –>

“`Verdugo also was a singer and dancer. She performed in the 1940s with the Xavier Cugat Orchestra, and handled the vocals on his hit, Tico Tico, which was used in the finale of the 1945 film It’s a Pleasure!

“`After guest starring on classics such as  The Bob Cummings Show, Petticoat Junction, 77 Sunset Strip, Rawhide, Route 66The Red Skelton HourIronside, Daniel Boone, Love American Style, and Mannix, she worked through the 1960s, before landing the role for which she’s best remembered.  Elena also portrayed the title character in Meet Millie on television and radio for four years, beginning in 1954.

“`Starring Father Knows Best alum Robert Young, Marcus Welby, M.D. was an out-of-the-box smash, finishing its 1969-1970 rookie run in the prime time Top 10. The following year, it became the first ABC series to finish #1, moving ahead of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and Gunsmoke. For its seven-season run, Elena was Consuelo Lopez, a nurse and office assistant to Young’s dedicated Santa Monica general practitioner.  The show also featured James Brolin, and ended in 1976, after nearly 170 episodes.

“`Elena Verdugo was 92.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Epic Ending For Casablanca Hangar…

May 29th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`An airport hangar facade from the opening and ending scenes of Casablanca has found a new home, a decade after being saved from the wrecking ball. The arched facade, dating to the 1920s, has been in a parking lot, since it was removed during renovations at Van Nuys Airport in 2007.


“`The hangar, with 95-foot doors, appeared in movies such as Laurel and Hardy’s The Flying Deuces. And, Major Strasser’s arrival in Casablanca was filmed at Metropolitan Airport in Van Nuys. Most notably, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman stood under the facade during the production’s iconic conclusion (above).

“`For now, it will be moved to Valley Relics Museum, home to many pop culture items. The goal is to restore it as part of a Moroccan-themed restaurant at Van Nuys Airport.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- JFK Turns 100…

May 28th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The legacy of John F. Kennedy, who died in 1963, will be celebrated on the day he would turn 100. He served as president from January, 1961, until his assassination on November 22nd in Dallas. JFK was 46.

“`The United States Postal Service plans to commemorate his centennial on Monday with a dedication of a new JFK postage stamp in Brookline, Massachusetts; the Boston suburb where the late president was born on May 29th, 1917. U.S.P.S. Boston Postmaster Nick Francescucci and reps from the  John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site — JFK’s birthplace and childhood home — are expected to attend.

“`The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston will hold a birthday celebration that includes a flyover from the United States Navy,  and a cake creation by the family of the baker  who created the engagement cake for Senator Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier. The museum unveiled a new exhibit on Friday, featuring 100 original photographs, documents, and artifacts from Jack Kennedy’s life and political career.  They will provide an interactive card exhibition for global well-wishers to send birthday messages and then post responses online. Plus, there were events over the weekend to honor JFK’s life.

“`Joe Kennedy III, the great-nephew of JFK,  is expected to deliver the keynote at a ceremony held at the United States National Park on Monday afternoon. Many of his colleagues in  Washington were inspired into public service because of Joe’s celebrated uncle.

“`A wreath-laying ceremony is planned at JFK’s grave site at Arlington National Cemetery. The Eternal Flame will never shine so bright.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Memorial Weekend Story…

May 27th, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`The iconic World War II bomber Memphis Belle is finally going on public display, next Spring at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force; alongside John F. Kennedy’s presidential plane, the Wright Brothers flyer, and other national aviation treasures. The journey from flights over occupied France and Germany, to restoration and display at the Ohio museum, has been troubled for the most celebrated American aircraft to survive the war.

“`The B-17 Flying Fortress, feted as one of the first planes to make it through the required 25 bombing missions, arrived at the museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in pieces, a dozen years ago. It was in rough shape, having been outside on display for years in Memphis, where it deteriorated from weather and vandalism.

“`Restoration work by an army of volunteers has continued;  delayed by major expansion at the museum near Dayton, and other restoration projects vying for attention. An unveiling of the restored war bird is scheduled for May 17th, 2018 —  the 75th anniversary of the crew’s 25th and final mission. The Memphis Belle will be displayed as a centerpiece of an exhibition on the strategic bombing campaign that broke the back of Germany’s wartime production.

“`Since B-17 parts are no longer manufactured,  volunteers have labored painstaking hours fabricating them from scratch, and reassembling the plane inside a cavernous hangar at the museum. The wing tips just went on. But, the fuselage skin still needs riveting. And, it’s still missing the plastic nose cone, a tail section, and an authentic paint job.

“`The four-engine bomber with .50-caliber machine guns was piloted by Lt. Robert Morgan, and was given its famous name before leaving  the mainland. Morgan,  who died in 2004, said its inspiration was his sweetheart, 19-year-old Memphis resident Margaret Polk. The actual moniker came from the riverboat in the John Wayne film Lady for a Night that Morgan and his co-pilot watched, the evening before the crew voted on a name. Prior to flying to Europe, he flew to Memphis where Polk christened the aircraft with a bottle of champagne, amid much fanfare.

“`The Memphis Belle, with a leggy Esquire Magazine pinup girl painted on the nose, survived six total months of combat in 1942-43, during missions to bomb submarine pens and munition factories. In doing so, the airplane and its crew beat the odds.  Two out of three young men — their average age was 20 — who flew on those B-17 missions from airfields in England, did not survive the war. One out of every 18 planes was lost in combat.

“`Because the bomber’s crew flew in other aircraft, they had actually completed their requisite 25th mission two days before the Memphis, which flew its 25th on May 19th, 1943.  It was one of the first B-17’s to do so. After being honored by Army brass and the King and Queen of England, most of the original crew and airplane were reunited in a publicized tour of the United States to help sell war bonds during the summer of 1943, including a trip to the same military base, where it will permanently reside. A 1944 William Wyler documentary added to the lore of the Belle, while younger generations were introduced to it in a 1990 movie; a fictionalized account of its last wartime mission.

“`Despite Memphis Belle’s final assignment at the Air Force museum in Ohio, the Tennessee legislature designated it as the state’s official airplane, earlier this year.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Another Evening With Groucho…

May 24th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Award-winning actor Frank Ferrante presents his acclaimed one-man comedy that celebrates one of cinema’s greatest comedian — Groucho Marx. You will feel Groucho is on stage as Ferrante sings, dances, tells stories, and performs classic routines and one-liners. Accompanied by his onstage pianist, Ferrante plays a young Groucho of stage and film.

“`Tales of the legendary Marx Brothers:  Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo; Groucho foil, Margaret Dumont; and Groucho’s Hollywood peers — Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, W.C. Fields and MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer — are sprinkled throughout in a family-friendly program. An Evening with Groucho is presented June 12th and 13th at 7:30p.

“`Ferrante recreates his PBS, New York, and London acclaimed portrayal of the legendary comedian in this fast-paced ninety minutes of hilarity. The two-act comedy also includes a rendition of Lydia the Tattooed Lady. The audience becomes part of the show, as Ferrante intentionally ad-libs his way throughout the performance in grand Groucho style.

“`North Coast Rep’s Variety Night Theatre is always a blast, offering a mix of shows, from comedy nights to special one-night-only productions. The venue is located at 987 Lomas Santa Fe, Suite D, in Solana Beach; north of Del Mar, CA.

“`Groucho’s back… Hooray for Captain Spaulding!


“`Here is something special from the UCLA Television and Film Archive. It’s taking place at the Billy Wilder Theater in Los Angeles.

“`The retrospective includes  The Maltese Falcon, Key LargoThe Asphalt JungleThe Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The African Queen, The Misfits, We Were Strangers, The Red Badge of Courage, Moulin Rouge, and Heaven Knows Mr. Allison.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Nobody Did It Better…

May 23rd, 2017

Manny P. here… 

“`Sir Roger Moore spent much of his screen career as  suave spies, such as Simon Templar and James Bond. On television,  Moore starred from 1962-1969 in The Saint; and on the big screen, he assumed the role of 007 from  Sean Connery in seven cinematic features. Named UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991, Moore would be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003, for services to charity.  In 2008, the French government appointed Moore Commander  (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres).                                  ROGER MOORE —>

“`Moore studied for two terms at  Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He was a classmate of future Bond co-star Lois Maxwell, the initial Miss Moneypenny. He was an extra in the Vivien Leigh/Claude Rains 1945 vehicle Caesar and Cleopatra. Stardom did not arrive easily, however.

“`The Brit toiled as a working actor in television and films in the United Kingdom. In the early 1950s, he became a print advertisements model. Finally, Hollywood came calling.

“`Although, Moore signed a seven-year contract with MGM in 1954,  the movies that followed were seldom profitable. Roger co-starred in Interrupted Melody; cast behind Eleanor Parker and Glenn Ford.  He was released from his MGM contract after only two years. Other films he appeared include The Wild Geese, The Cannonball Run, Curse of the Pink Panther, and Shout at the Devil. On television, he starred in Ivanhoe, Maverick, and The Persuaders.

“`Because of commitments to the long-lasting series, The Saint, Moore was not available for the James Bond franchise for a considerable time. As the longest serving James Bond to date, he starred in  Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes OnlyOctopussy, and A View To a Kill.

“`Moore’s friend Audrey Hepburn had impressed him with her work for UNICEF, and consequently, he became a Goodwill Ambassador in 1991. He was the voice of Father Christmas in the UNICEF – The Fly Who Loved Me. Recently, Moore was involved with a children’s fairytales app, GivingTales, for UNICEF, together with a number of other British celebrities, including Michael Caine, Stephen Fry, Ewan McGregor, Joan Collins, and Charlotte Rampling.

“`He penned a reader based on his diaries – Roger Moore as James Bond: Roger Moore’s Own Account of Filming Live and Let Die was published in London in 1973 by Pan Books. The book includes an acknowledgment to Connery with whom he remained close for countless years. Bond On Bond was published as a tie-in to the 50th anniversary of James Bond flicks. It’s based on Moore’s own memories, thoughts, and anecdotes about 007.

“`Not thinking of himself as much of an actor; he was a skilled performer, who inspired much adoration from his audience. Roger Moore was 89.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Death of a Socialite…

May 22nd, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Dina Merrill was an actress, heiress, socialite, businesswoman and philanthropist. She was the only child of  Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, and her second husband was the Wall Street stockbroker Edward Francis (E.F.) Hutton. She was also related to Glenn Close.

“`Merrill would attend George Washington University; dropped out and enrolled at American Academy of the Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. Merrill made her Broadway debut in  The Mermaid Singing in 1945; then appeared  in George Washington Slept Here.

“`During the 1950s and 1960s, Merrill was intentionally marketed, and was called Hollywood’s next Grace Kelly. Her film credits included  Desk Set, The Sundowners, Operation Petticoat (with Tony Curtis and Cary Grant, who was wed to her cousin Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton),  The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,  I’ll Take Sweden,  Butterfield 8,  The Greatest, True Colors, Caddyshack II,  a remake of Mighty Joe Young, and The Player.  In 1991, Dina and her third husband, Ted Hartley, merged their company with a movie studio that claimed the copyright and intellectual property of  RKO Radio Pictures.                          DINA MERRILL –>

“`Merrill appeared regularly as a guest star on numerous television series in the 1960s, most notably as villain Calamity Jan in two 1968 episodes of Batman alongside then-husband Cliff Robertson. Dina also made appearances on  Dr. Kildare, RawhideThe Phil Silvers Show, Playhouse 90, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour,  Daniel Boone, Daktari, Run For Your Life, BonanzaMedical Center, The Name of the Game, The Virginian, Marcus Welby M.D., Mission:  Impossible, The F.B.I.The Odd Couple, Night Gallery, Ellery Queen, Hotel, Hawaii 5-0The Love Boat, Quincy M.E., Murder She Wrote, and Roseanne.

“`Dina was a presidential appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; trustee of Eugene O’Neill Theater Centerand vice president of New York City Mission Society. In 2005, she received a  Lifetime Achievement Award from American Academy of the Dramatic Arts. When son, David, was diagnosed with diabetes, she was inspired to establish the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

“`Dina Merrill was 93.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Turns 90

May 18th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`A symbol of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is turning 90. Today,  known as the TCL Chinese Theatre, the landmark movie palace first opened on May 18th, 1927, and it’s been hosting movies, actors, and fans, ever since. Films such as King Kong, The Wizard of Oz, and Star Wars have all had their premiere at this glamorous locale.

“`Sid Grauman’s masterpiece cinema house stands on a  bustling corner of Hollywood Blvd., next door to the Dolby Theatre where the Oscars are now presented; and across from the historic Roosevelt Hotel, where the first Oscars’ ceremony was held in 1929. A Hollywood take on a Chinese temple, it boasts a pagoda-shaped roof, ornate marble carvings, plus the cement forecourt, filled with celebrity footprints. The theater still hosts dozens of premieres each year, and its iconic footprint forecourt draws an estimated five million tourists annually from around the world. Ticket prices have risen, however. It cost 75 cents to see a movie in 1927. An IMAX 3-D screening today runs $22.75.

“`A showman and entrepreneur, Grauman started building the Chinese Theatre in 1926, the same year he and other Hollywood titans established the  Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  He imagined an elegant and otherworldly cinema palace that would transport visitors to ancient China, with its serene gardens and regal temples.

“`Silent film star Norma Talmadge came to see Sid at his new building on Hollywood Blvd., when she accidentally stepped in wet cement, out front.  Inspiration took hold…  Grauman believed celebrity footprints would be a fun way to promote his new theater.  He welcomed  friends and business partners, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, to purposely put their hands and feet in wet cement, and the tradition was born. More than 300 actors, directors, and producers have followed suit. Alien:  Covenant director Ridley Scott added his prints, recently.

“`There are two time capsules buried beneath the forecourt. The first was planted in 1942 to mark the release of Mrs. Miniver, which won six Oscars. Beneath Greer Garson’s prints is a capsule containing a copy of the script and a 35-milimeter print of the film. A second capsule commemorates the theater’s 50th anniversary. Buried in 1977, it holds a theater ticket, a 16-milimeter print of a Chinese film, and a program from opening night in 1927.

“`The city of Los Angeles declared the splendid theater a historic-cultural monument in 1968. It underwent the biggest renovation in its history in 2013, to create stadium seating, and add a state-of-the-art IMAX screen — the only one in the world with an old-fashioned curtain that opens just before the feature presentation.

“`The company plans to expand the brand around the world, with a San Diego location set to open later this year. But, for countless tourists and celebrities, past and present, the  Chinese Theatre will always stay on Hollywood Boulevard, representing the Golden Age of Cinema.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Riverside Approves ‘The Cheech’…

May 17th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture, and Industry – which people already have nicknamed  The Cheech – is officially a go for the Downtown-area of Riverside. Their local  city council approved to replace their downtown library with a cultural center, displaying Marin’s renowned  700-piece Mexicano art collection. A third-generation Latino-American, he hopes the art center  will be accessible to five universities in the area.

“`Residents burst into applause after the vote, and their comments reflected excitement and anticipation of how the Marin Center could raise the city’s profile, and showcase a culture the art world has neglected.

“`The agreement gives the city, Marin, and  Riverside Art Museum up to a year, to raise $3 million of an estimated $5 to $7 million, the project is expected to cost. The city will continue to own the building, Marin will lend his art,  and the art museum will staff and run the center. Measuring about 60,000 square feet, the edifice is the current home to the Riverside Public Library, which plans to vacate the structure and move a few blocks away.

“`Melissa Richardson Banks, who manages Marin’s art collection, said Cheech couldn’t attend the council meeting, because he is in Atlanta filming a movie. However, he texted her hourly, hoping for a decision. The vote was unanimousAfter the vote, Banks stood at a lectern, and put her cell phone to the microphone, so Marin could express his thoughts.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Cue the Violin…

May 16th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`English violinist Wallace Hartley was the leader of musicians who had the job of entertaining the passengers on the RMS Titanic. But, they ended up playing music, in order to keep people calm, while the ship sank.  Wallace’s torso was recovered, two weeks later, with his violin case still strapped to his corpse.

                               WALLACE HARTLEY

“`After the death of the violinist, the instrument was sent back to England to his fiancé Maria Robinson.  When Maria died in 1939, her sister gave that violin to Bridlington Salvation Army. And, she shared the complete chronicle behind the instrument’s history to its representatives. Years later, it became the possession of a music teacher. He then handed the violin to friends, whose son found the instrument in his attic in 2006.

“`The discovery caught the attention of  Henry Aldridge & Son auction house, which began an investigation in order to confirm the authenticity of the instrument. It took seven years to gather evidence; and, another two years of forensic analysis, before proclaiming the violin to be the original one, owned by Wallace Hartley. The announcement was made in March, 2013. A leather case engraved with the initials W.H.H. was also analyzed.

“`Once the authenticity of this instrument was proven, Henry Aldridge & Son sold the violin to an unidentified buyer on October 19th, 2013. The initial price was set at $65,000. However, their bids surpassed all expectations; eventually bought for $1.7 million. It was later exhibited in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the shipyard where the Titanic was constructed; before making a trip to the United States for publicly display.

“`Wallace Hartley was hesitant to spend time away from his fiancé to join Titanic’s crew. But, in pursuit of future employment contracts, he decided to work on the ocean liner with his ensemble. Each cinematic production about the doomed ship faithfully recount his steadfast last hours, including the stoic British version — A Night to Remember.

“`His body was received by his father in Liverpool,  who traveled back to their hometown of Colne, Lancashire. Hartley’s funeral was held on May 18th, 1912, and was attended by over a thousand people, while approximately 40,000 more waited in line to pay their respects. A ten-foot headstone was erected above his grave site at Keighley Road Cemetery, with an opulent carved violin at its base.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Remembering Powers Boothe…

May 15th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Powers Boothe was a veteran actor who won an Emmy in 1980 for playing a cult leader in the television movie, Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones. He was prolific in playing intense villains on screen.

“`After graduating from Southwest Texas State University, Boothe joined the repertory  company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  His Manhattan stage debut was in the 1974 Lincoln Center production of Richard III. Five years later, his Broadway debut came in a starring role in the one-act play Lone Star.

“`Boothe joined the ranks of Humphrey Bogart, Dick Powell, Robert Mitchum, and other actors, when he played Phillip Marlowe for HBO  in the 1980s. Other cable and television appearances included roles in Deadwood,  24, Hatfields & McCoys,  Nashville, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Powers also appeared on the big screen, with parts in  The Goodbye Girl,  Southern Comfort, Tombstone, Con Air, Nixon (as Alexander Haig), and Sin City.   POWERS BOOTHE —>

“`In 2008,  he narrated a television campaign ad for  Senator John McCain’s presidential run. Boothe maintained a private collection of art, which included Western paintings of his friend and fellow actor, Buck Taylor.

“`Powers Boothe, a ferocious presence on screen, died peacefully in his sleep. He was 68.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Book Series Reaches 5000 in Sales…

May 14th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History and  Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History has reached a monumental milestone, nine (9) years in the making. I have been told by literary experts:  Every book you self-publish should reach in sales…  400 450 (average), to be considered a success. Coincidentally, 900 purchases for a combined two-book series will allow you to approximately break even, in terms of expenses.


“`A majority of my book purchases, over the years, have been made by many friendly folks of Southern California. However, my work is distributed nationally as a paperback, and an eBook. I also have visited Reno, Las Vegas, Chicago, Milwaukee, Miami, Manhattan, and The Bronx in order to initially reach my goal of breaking even as a Self Published Author.

“`Today, on May 13th, 2017, I surpassed 5000 in combined book sales for my award-winning  Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.  The event that put my non-stop efforts over the top was Saturday’s Daily Breeze Successful Aging Expo in Torrance, CA.

“`All of these statistics bode well, with an impending third paperback to add to the collection in the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series; due out soon. Plus, this fine journey includes the Forgotten Hollywood weekly Radio Program; a Cable Podcast; and an award-winning Blog Site (with almost 1700 posts, since 2009).

“`And, so it goes…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Meal With Herve…

May 13th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`HBO has green-lighted a production about Herve Villechaize. He was the actor who played Tattoo on television’s Fantasy Island.

“`My Dinner with Herve will star Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones as Villechaize. Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan will portray a journalist who interviews the tempestuous actor. HBO writer and director Sacha Gervasi interviewed Villechaize shortly before he died.

“`His shout of The plane, the plane… greeted arriving guests during the 1977-1983 series  Fantasy Island. His co-star was Ricardo Montalban. Popular with the public, Herve Villechaize (right) was difficult on the set. Clashing repeatedly with producers, he was let go in 1983 over a salary dispute. The program was canceled in 1984.

“`Herve remained a well-known figure after his dismissal from the show. He was cast as villain Nick Nack in 1974’s James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun.

“`The 3-foot-11 Villechaize endured many health problems, and passed away in 1993 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at age 50.


“`NBC is adding another live musical to its slate. The network will air the rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, on Easter Sunday, 2018.

“`Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice  will be the executive producers of Jesus Christ Superstar Live!  NBC has aired live productions of Peter Pan, The WizThe Sound of Music and Hairspray. On tap for NBC is Bye Bye Birdie in December, starring Jennifer Lopez.

“`Jesus Christ Superstar, originally conceived as a concept album, opened on Broadway in 1971 with Ben Vereen.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Disneyland in the First Trimester…

May 12th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Tomorrowland was originally called World of Tomorrow. Frontierland was Frontier Country. Lilliputian Land never came to fruition at Disneyland. And, Star Wars Land opening in 2019 was creative folly.

“`Walt Disney spent a marathon weekend in 1953 brainstorming ideas for a family amusement park, called Disneyland. There would be a Train Station and old-fashioned Main Street Square. The park would have a princess castle, a pirate ship, and maybe even a rocket. Disney wanted to get investors on board. Walt described the elements he imagined to artist Herb Ryman, who translated them into a hand-drawn map — conceptual origins of a Disneyland theme park.

                                       WALT DISNEY

 “`The famous Sleeping Beauty Castle that sits in the center of the park is displayed further back in the concept sketch. The Matterhorn Bobsleds and the Monorail were added in 1959. The Enchanted Tiki Room opened in 1963. It’s a Small World arrived in 1966, followed with Pirates of the Caribbean in 1967. The official Disneyland Hotel opened in 1988. A new park, Disney California Adventure, and accompanying Grand Californian Hotel, added in 2001.

“`None of those elements were part of Ryman’s 1953 sketch. It is hard to compare designs from the original map with what actually exists in the park, today.

“`For the auctioneer, whose Van Eaton Galleries are full of Disney animation cells, old park souvenirs, and even, a googly-eyed sea monster from the now-shuttered Submarine Voyage ride, the pre-Disneyland map is treasure. After spending the past four decades locked away in a vault, the map is being showcased in a public viewing at the gallery prior to the auction.

“`It could be yours. That original concept art could fetch as much as $1 million when it goes up for auction, next month.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Seven Days in May…

May 11th, 2017

Manny P. here…

“`Art imitating life… Truth is stranger than fiction.  Dateline: 05/11/2017

“`A Pentagon insider, working with intelligence,  initiates surveillance on the President of the United States. The result is an attempted coup by the military at the highest levels, because the Executive Branch is cozy with the Soviet Union. The head of the Joint Chief of Staff fails, and is forced to resign; in essence, he is dispatched. I’m not referring to any shenanigans of the 2017 presidential administration. It is a literary narrative written in 1962.

“`Seven Days in May was loosely based on actual facts, and reflected the political climate of the day. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy had accepted the resignation of vociferous anti-Communist,  General Edwin Walker,  who was indoctrinating troops under his watch with his radical views; and described former President Harry Truman, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, and other public figures, as Russian sympathizers.

“`The production was directed by John Frankenheimer; and it starred Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Edmond O’Brien, and Ava Gardner. The screenplay was adroitly adapted by Rod Serling, based on the book by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II.

“`President Kennedy had read Seven Days in May shortly after its publication, and believed the described scenario could actually occur in the United States. According to Frankenheimer, he received encouragement and assistance from JFK, through Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, who conveyed the president’s desire that it be produced. The exterior of the White House was even made available. But, the Pentagon was vehemently against the completion of this movie.

“`The motion picture was released three months after the assassination of President Kennedy, in February, 1964, and opened to wonderful reviews. Critics called it a thrilling piece of fiction.

“`In the final analysis, the visionary aspects of a smartly-written screenplay is consequential. Consider Citizen KaneA Face in the Crowd, Network, and now, Seven Days in May.

Until next time>                               “never forget”