“Forgotten Hollywood”- Coming Soon…

July 30th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The long awaited third book in the Forgotten Hollywood series of paperbacks is almost here!

“`Road to Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History features twenty character actors and hundreds of stories that tie Hollywood’s Golden Age with Americana. Actors featured include Edward Everett Horton, Charles Laughton, George Sanders, Keye Luke and Judith Anderson.


“`It will soon be available at your local bookstores and other locations that carry the Forgotten Hollywood book series.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Now That’s Funny…

July 29th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`You can tickle your funny bone in New York. The National Comedy Center is set to open on August 1st.

“`The nonprofit center in Jamestown was inspired by their hometown hero, Lucille Ball, who had envisioned a permanent location where comedy could be celebrated. The city is already home to the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Museum.

“`Located in a re-purposed 1930 art-deco train station,  this center is part museum, hall of fame, and video arcade, keeping visitors smiling as they move through displays of comedic artifacts. The 37,000-square-foot, $50 million center received funding from New York state, along with private and federal support. Congress unanimously approved a bill designating it the nation’s official comedy center.

“`United States Senator Charles Schumer’s cousin is comedian Amy Schumer, who is in the opening week lineup. The grand opening week also includes appearances by Lily Tomlin and members of the initial Saturday Night Live cast Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Lorraine Newman.

“`There also are plenty of chances to laugh. A club-like comedy lounge airs stand-up bits, and a movie theater has clips of classic scenes with celebrity commentary. A retrospective provides a linear history from vaudeville to YouTube.

“`Lucille Ball’s formidable legacy continues even after her passing, and is a fitting posthumous tribute.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood” – Disney Going Green…

July 27th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`The Walt Disney Company’s total commitment to environmental stewardship dates back to their establishment more than sixty years ago.  Today, they are offering another important step in a journey to environmental goals. By mid-2019, The Walt Disney Company will stop using single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers at all off their owned and operated locations across the globe. A mission statement outlines their complete commitment to going green.

“`Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has allocated over seventy million dollars to stop the decline of wildlife around the world. They have also reduced company net greenhouse gas emissions by forty-one percent in 2017,  and have diverted almost fifty percent of waste from landfills and incineration in 2017, making significant progress on a long-term goal of attaining a net zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste, while conserving water resources.

“`In addition, over the next few years, they are transitioning to refillable in-room amenities in their hotels and on their cruise ships, reducing plastics in guest rooms by eighty percent. They will also lower the number of plastic shopping bags at their owned and operated parks and on their cruise line, offering their guests the option to purchase reusable bags at a nominal price. Finally, they will eliminate polystyrene cups across their global businesses. These simple steps are part of an effort to reduce single-use plastics, and responsibly dispose of single-use waste that cannot be eliminated.

“`Looking ahead, they will continue to make progress on their long-term sustainability goals.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- S. O. S. …

July 26th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Globally,  folks reported hearing radio distress calls from Amelia Earhart in July 1937. Many of them at the time were dismissed as fake.  A research group just published a comprehensive report of all distress calls, days after Earhart vanished, and concludes that fifty-seven of them are legitimate.

“`The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) says the calls prove their theories that Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan survived at least a week after crashing onto a remote Pacific island. Based on timing of the messages, researchers believe that Amelia returned to the wrecked plane during low tide to send her pleas for help. These were the only times she could run the engine without the risk of flooding it.

Waters high… water’s knee deep… help us quick…

Plane down on uncharted island…

“`How could people so far away hear the messages from Earhart? TIGHAR points to harmonic frequencies that skip off the ionosphere and can carry great distances.  The most harrowing of the calls deemed legit is the final one:

Can you read me? This is Amelia Earhart. … please come in… 

We have taken in water… my navigator is badly hurt. … we can’t hold on much longer…

“`TIGHAR says the calls disprove the Navy’s long-held conclusion that Earhart’s aircraft had crashed in the ocean and sank immediately.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Why Does a Beatle Cross the Road…

July 25th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Next month will mark the 49th anniversary of the iconic photograph that serves as cover art for The Beatles’  Abbey Road. Photographer Iain Macmillan captured the fab four as they were crossing Abbey Road outside London’s EMI Studios on August 8, 1969.

“`Nearly five decades later, Paul McCartney is gearing up for the debut of his new solo album. And to promote the impending release of Egypt Station, he played a surprise gig at the venue (re-named Abbey Road Studios).  While on his way to the performance, Paul again crossed Abbey Road for the cameras.


ABBEY ROAD (then and now)

“`McCartney’s eldest daughter captured a video of the moment and posted it to Instagram. Paul decided to forgo crossing the road barefoot, and opted for sandals this time around.

“`Incidentally, I did not forget the question… The answer: …to get to the other side.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Gondola Ride of a Lifetime…

July 24th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Vanessa Redgrave will receive a prestigious Golden Lion lifetime achievement prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival. The Brit actress is no stranger to acclaim. Plus, Redgrave is a member in good standing of Hollywood royalty.

“`The Venice Biennale annually awards two accolades to honor career work in cinema; one to a filmmaker, and the other to an actor or actress. Along with Redgrave, David Cronenberg will receive a Golden Lion, which runs August 29th to September 8th.

“`Redgrave, a six-time Oscar-nominated actress, won the  Academy Award in 1978 for her performance in Julia. She won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play in Long Day’s Journey into Night in 2003. Her other work includes prestigious roles in  A Man for All Seasons, Camelot, Blowup,  Murder on the Orient Express, and Howard’s End.

“`Cronenberg is known for cinematic work in horror, such as The Fly, Scanners, and The Dead Zone. His most memorable production was Eastern Promises with Viggo Mortensen

“`Venice festival organizers is set to release their 2018 line-up for the film festival on Wednesday.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Goodbye Vietnam…

July 19th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Adrian Cronauer was the broadcaster whose military radio antics inspired the character played by Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam. Robin made the refrain famous in the 1987 film, loosely based on Cronauer’s time in Saigon.     ADRIAN CRONAUER —>

“`Cronauer was Pittsburgh native, the child of a steelworker and a schoolteacher. He attended the University of Pennsylvania’s law school, which let to employment in communications law, and then, handling prisoner-of-war cases for the Pentagon. After the military, Adrian worked in radio, television and advertising.

“`The military brass wanted conservative programming.  American youths, however, were not into sterile announcements with middle-of-the-road music, and a battle over the airwaves was in full swing. In the movie, Williams quickly drops Perry Como and Lawrence Welk from his 6a playlist in favor of the Dave Clark Five.

“`This flick was a departure from other  Vietnam war movies that focused on bloody realism, such as the Academy Award-winning Platoon. Instead, it was about irreverent youth in the 1960s fighting the military. The production was inspired after Cronauer watched Apocalypse Now and determined that his service had little to do with combat.

“`Initially, producers nixed an idea of developing a screenplay about the subject matter. The film was pivotal in changing the way Americans thought about the Vietnamese and the war; similar to a style of comedy presented in M*A*S*H and WKRP in Cincinnati. For his role, Williams received an Oscar nomination.

“`During his service as a United States Air Force sergeant in 1965 and 1966, Cronauer opened his Armed Forces Radio show with the phrase, Good morning, Vietnam! He loved the movie, but said much of the film was Hollywood make-believe.

“`Adrian Cronauer was 79.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Here’s Two Stories…

July 18th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch is for sale for $1.885 million. The agent says the home attracts 30 to 50 visitors a day.


                           THE BRADY BUNCH

“`George and Violet McCallister bought the two-bedroom, three-bathroom split-level home in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1973 for $61,000. A rock-wall fireplace, wood-paneled walls and floral wallpaper are vintage touches of what homes looked like in the 1970s.

“`The house has been updated and upgraded, but the interior layout does not resemble what was shown on the show, which ran from 1969 to 1974. Interior scenes were shot in a studio.

“`The owners died, and their children are selling the property.


“`A new PBS American Masters documentary explores the life of baseball legend Ted Williams and his volatile relationships with family and the press. Ted kept his Mexican-American heritage a secret at the time when no black players were allowed in the major leagues and the Red Sox were owned by Tom Yawkey, a controversial person, who was the final owner to integrate a major league baseball team.                                      TED WILLIAMS –>

“`He was born to Samuel Stuart Williams and May Venzor, a Mexican-American Salvation Army devotee who often volunteered in Tijuana, Mexico. Ted’s Mexican family ended up in San Diego as tensions simmered before the 1910 Mexican Revolution.  For decades, Williams shunned his ethnic heritage. As Ted campaigned on behalf on the inclusion of black ballplayers to the Major Leagues, he chose to reveal his connections to Mexican-American Southern California family.

“`Williams, called by some, the greatest hitter who ever lived, was followed by sports writers thanks to his superb slugging skills and John Wayne-esque persona as a foul-mouth outdoors man. But the future Hall of Famer regularly clashed with journalists and had public spats with his numerous wives. The slugger also lost prime years because of service in World War II and the Korean War — something that angered him.

“`The San Diego-born Williams played nineteen years as a left fielder for the Boston Red Sox where Ted won two American League Most Valuable Player Awards, and twice took the Triple Crown. He finished his career with a .344 batting average and 521 home runs, both of which rank among the top in baseball history. Williams was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as soon as he became eligible.

“`American Masters Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived will air on most PBS stations on Monday.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Two-Bit Thimble Rigger…

July 17th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`A con artist blows into town to warn citizens about the TROUBLE invading the community due to modernization that might corrupt the youngsters of any hamlet. Along the way, this two-bit thimble rigger bamboozles the mayor and his spouse, the school board, a librarian, and parents and children. I’m not referring to current politicos selling a collection of hotels from Mar-a-Lago to Scotland… Actually, this is the underlying story of The Music Man.

“`In the early 1960s,  a number of anti-heroes were the subject of important cinema that spoke to the gullibility of small town and big-city America. What emerged from Hollywood were films such as A Face in the Crowd, Elmer Gantry and of course, The Music Man. These tales border on satire, with characters working themselves into a fervent frenzy.

“`The Music Man was written by Meredith Wilson and his purposeful theme was to lampoon the modest values of any collective. For the record, Professor Harold Hill is oft described as a bang beat, bell-ringin’, big haul, great go neck-or-nothin’, rip-roarin’, ever’time-a-bull’s-eye, salesmanas a fast-talking, self-centered, woman-chasing traveling man; and road agent, highwayman, and a pickpocket. In one instance, the Iowa townspeople are labeled as neck-bowed Hawk-eyes. When apprised of their gullible foolishness, the town fathers suggest tar-and-feathers as an appropriate punishment for this so-called spellbinder.

“`The real crime is that Robert Preston (Professor Hill) was snubbed by the film academy for his larger-than-life performance. Others in the perfectly cast musical include Buddy Hackett, Shirley Jones, Ron Howard, Paul Ford, Hermione Gingold, Pert Kelton and superb barbershop quartet, The Buffalo Bills.

“`Just after the turn of the twentieth century, our young industrialized society was shaken to its core by an arrival of Halley’s Comet. The Book of Revelations speaks of fire and brimstone that might befall our planet. And in the late 1930s, the entire Eastern seaboard were terrified by a martian invasion, which was descriptively penned by H. G. Wells in War of the Worlds. The radio broadcast presented by  Mercury Theatre on the Air employed techniques similar to those in The March of Time newsreel. The result was frightening in its presentation, and in its aftermath.

“`The difference of oft-told parables and the current political climate is the redemptive happy endings designed to keep audiences satisfied. Let us hope that we as a culture will be just as lucky during these turbulent times. Rejecting false prophets is a great start.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Footloose and Fancy Free…

July 16th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Fort Smith city directors recently repealed a 1953 ordinance that essentially outlawed public dancing on Sundays. Local residents who knew about the law called it the Footloose ordinance, nicknamed for the 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon about a fictional hamlet that banned dancing and rock music.

“`City Director Andre Good introduced the repeal after being informed about the antiquated law by a local resident. The directive barred the operation of public dance halls or any place with dancing on Sundays. The ordinance was enacted amid a series of blue laws established throughout Arkansas, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Other laws also banned Sunday activities that included hunting and baseball.

“`The dancing ban’s emergency clause signed by former Mayor H. R. Hestand. No one in Fort Smith has been arrested or ticketed in twenty years for cutting loose on Sundays because of the morality code, according to a local spokesperson. The decision could lead to the repeal of other laws that impede progress and conflict in Fort Smith and other towns in Arkansas.

“`Now that I think about it, someone should invite Kenny Loggins to hold a Sunday concert for the residents of the community.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of the First Mrs. Sinatra…

July 14th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Frank Sinatra had a number of wives, but he initially married his childhood sweetheart. Nancy Sinatra Sr. was the wife of a crooning sensation and the mom of two pop stars. She is credited in helping shape her daughter’s career.   FRANK AND NANCY SINATRA –>

“`They dated as teens, and wed at  Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Jersey City on February 4th, 1939, just as Frank’s singing career hit the stratosphere. Three years prior to marrying the former Nancy Barbato, Sinatra landed a radio program on WAAT. At times,  Nancy was employed as a secretary, while Frank worked nights as a singing waiter.

“`After Sinatra became a pop-music sensation in the 1940s, the couple moved to Los Angeles, where the singer would also become a movie star, raconteur, man about town and a notorious womanizer. That latter accomplishment led Nancy to leave him after an affair with actress Ava Gardner became public knowledge. Weeks after the couple’s divorce became final in 1951, her ex-husband married Gardner.

“`During the 1960s. she became known as Nancy Sr., especially as daughter Nancy became a 1960s singing sensation with These Boots Are Made For Walking, and other hit tunes. She also remained friendly with her ex-husband. Over the years, Frank often requested pasta and other Italian food dishes she was known to be an expert at preparing.

“`She never remarried and outlived her husband and son. The elder Nancy Sinatra was 101.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Downton On the Big Screen…

July 13th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Three years after going off the air,  Downton Abbey will be back as a full length feature. The long-rumored adaptation is likely to be released sometime next year. The primary cast members are all set to return.

“`Focus Features  has announced that it shall begin its production this summer on a Downton film that reunites the Crawley family on the big screen. And series creator Julian Fellowes wrote the screenplay and will produce.

“`Over six seasons,  Downton Abbey became a global hit, airing in at least 150 countries and setting a record for cable programming with 69 Emmy nominations.

“`Brian Percival, who was at the helm for the series’ pilot, will direct the movie.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Cha-Ching and Tigger Too…

July 10th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The original hand-drawn map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Woods has sold at auction for 430,000 pounds, a record price for any literary illustration. E. H. Shepard’s drawing sold at Sotheby’s in London for almost three-times its pre-sale estimate. It was last sold in 1970 for 1,700 pounds.

“`Shepard’s 1926 sketch features beloved characters, including Pooh and Christopher Robin, and landmarks such as Bee Tree and Eeyore’s Gloomy Place. Shepard’s illustration cemented the popularity of A. A. Milne’s bear and his woodland buddies. In 2014, an ink drawing of the characters playing the game poohsticks sold for a then-record 314,500 pounds.

“`The map and four other Shepard Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations sold for a total of 917,500 pounds at Tuesday’s auction.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- What Lola Wanted…

July 9th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Tab Hunter was the actor and singer who became a heartthrob for millions of teenagers in the 1950s with such films as Battle Cry and Damn Yankees!. And, decades later, Tab received newfound attention when revealing he was gay. The actor’s savvy timing of his announcement provided positive movement towards acceptance of the lifestyle by society.

“`Born Arthur Andrew Kelm, his on-screen moniker was fabricated by Henry Willson, a talent agent who imaged the personas of Rock Hudson and Rory Calhoun.  While visiting New York,  he saw Broadway plays and became interested in acting.  With no dramatic training, Hunter was hired for a small part in the drama, The Lawless. Soon, his handsome face and muscular build appeared on magazine covers. Warner Brothers, quite savvy to the increasingly important youth market, signed him to a contract.

“`He started appearing with top stars, including Van Heflin, Rita Hayworth, Gary Cooper, Fred Astaire, Natalie Wood, Clint Eastwood, and Debbie Reynolds, Tab’s big break was a lead in the 1958 musical, Damn Yankees!, an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical with Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston in their Tony-winning roles, and the original director, George Abbott, sharing direction with Stanley Donen.

“`His career involved stints on television, European flicks, and youth-oriented fare.  Ride the Wild Surf capitalized on the beach-party series of films. He garnered small parts in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and Grease 2. In the 1980s, he won new fans by appearing in cult movies with Divine, a 300-pound transvestite, most notably in John Waters’ Polyester and Paul Bartel’s Lust in the Dust, which was co-produced by Hunter.

“`The enigmatic Tab Hunter was 86.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- News From the Web…

July 7th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Legendary comic book creator Steve Ditko co-created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange with Stan Lee. Plus, Ditko penned such enduring foes as Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, and Vulture, all of whom have appeared in numerous Spider-Man movies, which have earned lifetime totals of $5 billion, worldwide.

“`Ditko studied under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at Cartoonist and Illustrators School in New York City. Steve began his professional career in 1953, working in the studio of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

“`After Lee and Ditko teamed on Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spider-Man’s initial appearance), the newly-launched Marvel Comics spun off the character into his own comic book, The Amazing Spider-Man, which has published over 800 issues since its first printing in 1963. Ditko worked on Amazing Spider-Man until issue #38,  a tenure that saw the creation of related characters, such as J. Jonah Jameson.

“`Lee and Ditko famously split up for reasons never entirely identified. In 2017, Lee recounted how the pair clashed over Lee’s decision to reveal the identity of Spider-Man’s arch enemy, the Green Goblin, as the dad of Peter Parker’s  (Spider-Man’s alter ego) best pal. For a time, Ditko worked at DC Comics.

“`Ditko maintained a writing studio in Manhattan until his passing. He had no known surviving family members, and he was incredibly private, turning down nearly all offers to do interviews, meet fans, or appear at movie premieres. He was inducted into the  Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1990.

“`The reclusive Steve Ditko was 90.

Until next time>                               “never forget”