“Forgotten Hollywood”- Julius La Rosa has Died…

Posted on May 15, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

Julius_la_rosa_1957   Julius La Rosa was a pop singing crooner known for hits, including Eh Cumpari, whose firing live on the air by Arthur Godfrey in 1953 overshadowed his successes that followed. La Rosa, a native of Brooklyn, was in the Navy when Godfrey heard him sing and invited him to appear on his CBS television show. Godfrey also urged him to come back after his discharge. La Rosa became a star of Godfrey’s show from 1951 to 1953.

   However, his growing popularity annoyed Godfrey. On October 19th, 1953, La Rosa was ready to begin the television portion of Arthur’s program, but was kept waiting backstage until the final minutes of the radio-only part of the show. After singing Manhattan, La Rosa and the audience heard Godfrey precede his sign-off by saying, That was Julie’s swan song with us. Godfrey said he fired him because he lacked humility, and because he had hired an agent. The public response was swift and deliberate. The LaRosa incident remained a controversial decision that swirled around Godfrey, and it gradually destroyed his folksy image.                                                           JULIUS LA ROSA

   The public firing actually boosted La Rosa’s career for a while. He served as the summer replacement on Perry Como’s television show in 1955. He also appeared on numerous other variety shows in the 1950s and 1960s, including Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town and The Merv Griffin Show. He starred in the 1958 film Let’s Rock. La Rosa appeared on a range of television shows, such as The HoneymoonersWhat’s My Line, The Polly Bergen Show  (two episodes, including the 1957 premiere), and Laverne & Shirley. Julius received a Daytime Emmy nod in 1980 for Best Supporting Actor for his role on Another World.

   He has also been a frequent contributor to comedian Jerry Lewis’s annual marathon Labor Day telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, often hosting the New York outpost of the program. He was also a disc jockey on WNEW-AM in New York.

   Despite his rift with Arthur Godfrey that remained over the course of his life, La Rosa tired of revisiting the affair, declared  publicly Godfrey was in fact the one individual who made his career.

   Julius La Rosa was 86.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2016 at 12:08 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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