“Forgotten Hollywood”- Actors Then and Now…

January 4th, 2022

Manny P. here…

“`Let us begin 2022 with an engaging comparison of actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age and movie stars of the 21st century. I present a conversation with John Coleman and Art Kirsch on Celebrating Act 2. Agree or disagree!

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Thank You For Being a Friend…

December 31st, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Betty White was a pioneer of early television, with a career spanning eight decades. She was among the first women to exert control in front and behind the camera and the first woman to produce a sitcom, which she did in 1955s Life with Elizabeth. She is best known for her trio of performances on television; Sue Ann Nivens in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rose Nylund in The Golden Girls, and Elka Ostrovsky in Hot in Cleveland. She memorably tackled substantive issues, such as the HIV crises, on episodes of The Golden Girls.               BETTY WHITE —>

“`Inspired by her idols Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, she decided to pursue a career as an actress. White started her entertainment career in radio in the late 1930s and by 1939 had made her small screen debut crooning on an experimental channel in Los Angeles. After serving with the American Women’s Voluntary Service, which helped the Allied effort during World War II, she was a regular on Hollywood on Television, a daily five-hour live variety show, in 1949.

          BETTY WHITE

“`White became a celebrity panelist on several game shows, including Match Game, To Tell the Truth, Tattletales, The Hollywood Squares and The $25,000 Pyramid. She married Password host Allen Ludden in 1963. For almost two decades, she co-hosted coverage of the Tournament of Roses ParadeNBC offered White a chance to co-anchor for the Today show. She turned it down and the work eventually went to Barbara Walters.  White spent ten-years as the hostess of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for CBS.

“`After wonderful success on The Mary Tyler Moore Show,  White guest-starred on  The Bold and the Beautiful, Boston Legal, The Carol Burnett Show and Saturday Night Live. A recurring role on Mama’s Family followed, along with future Golden Girls co-star Rue McClanahan. White reprised her Rose Nylund character in guest roles on the NBC shows, Empty Nest and Nurses, both set in Miami. On an episode of  The John Larroquette Show, she was reunited with Estelle Getty and McClanahan  (right with Bea Arthur). She also had recurring roles in The Bold and the Beautiful and Boston Legal.

“`Over the years, she claimed Lucille Ball, Liberace, Mary Tyler Moore, Grant Tinker and John Steinbeck as personal friends. However, the four-legged furry types were her favorite. White was a pet enthusiast and animal welfare advocate, who worked with organizations, including the Los Angeles Zoo Commission, The Morris Animal Foundation, African Wildlife Foundation, and Actors and Others for Animals. Her interest in animal welfare began in the early 1970s.

  

“`White worked longer in television than anyone else, earning her a Guinness World Record in 2018. She received eight Emmy Awards, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards,and a Grammy Award. She earned a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and was a 1985 Television Hall of Fame inductee. The Associated Press selected her Entertainer of the Year in 2010. A 2011 Reuters/Ipsos poll named her as the most popular and trusted celebrity in America with an 86% favorability rating.

“`Before White’s passing, it was announced that her milestone birthday would be celebrated on January 17, 2022 at American theatres with a screening of a new documentary-style movie celebrating White’s life and career titled… Betty White: 100 Years Young – A Birthday Celebration. People magazine features her as the cover story in the January 2022 newsstand publication to celebrate the anticipated milestone and it was released days before her death.

“`The eubillient Betty White was seventeen days shy of her 100th birthday. The password is GOLDEN. Let us draw the curtain on 2021…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- What’s In a Name…

December 27th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Crazy colorful monickers are featured in memorable films. Art Kirsch and John Coleman make me take a quiz by handing me a character name and I have to guess the film! All on Celebrating Act 2.

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Christmas at Collinsport…

December 19th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`The living members of Dark Shadows performed their version of A Christmas Carol on Zoom. By all accounts, it was a huge success! David Selby shined as Mr. Scrooge. It is now available to watch on YouTube.

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- LOC National Film Registry 2021…

December 16th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`It is that time of the year again! The 2021 selections of the Library of Congress National Film Registry have just been announced. Entrants including three silent film and a number of modern fantasy, science fiction, and horror productions, including  Star Wars Episode VI — Return of the Jedi, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, WALL•E, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Even the postmodern subversive exploitation comedy that was a midnight staple at art houses, Pink Flamingos, made the cut. How divine!

“`Let us look at the Hollywood Golden Age selections:

~ FLOWERS AND TREES (1932) – A pioneering animated experiment, Flowers and Trees was the first three-strip Technicolor feature shown to the public. The overwhelmingly positive response convinced Walt Disney to produce all future Silly Symphony shorts in color. It was a commercial and critical success, winning the initial Academy Award for  Best Cartoon Short Subject.

   

~ STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951) –  The final part by tormented actor Robert Walker, this riveting 1951 Hitchcock classic began the director’s string of iconic cinema that would continue over the subsequent twelve years with movies such as The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, and The Birds. This is one of the original identity-inspired mystery thrillers, in which natural human behavior is the driving force behind the true macabre rather than any supernatural elements. Hitch’s favorite device of an ordinary man caught in an ever-tightening web of fear was a common theme for lots of his productions. Farley Granger and Ruth Roman also star in this feature.

~ WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE (1962) – The effort to make this motion picture include the legendary public feud between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Directed by Robert Aldrich, this 1962 horror dark comedy delves into the redundant worlds of fading stardom and the grotesque. The flick remains vivid and uncomfortably terrifying.  As in the finest Hitchcock movies, suspense, rather than actual mayhem, drives the piece.

   

~ SOUNDER (1972) – This effort received acclaim, with critics praising it as an alternative to the contemporaneous wave of black movies, most of which were considered of low quality and budget and exploitative. The film’s depiction of a loving sharecropper family in the deep South during the Great Depression was hailed as a banner accomplishment for black filmmakers and audiences.  Supporting parts were offered to local townsfolk and actors from regional theatre. Cicely Tyson cemented her status as a major star with her performance.

“`The Library of Congress National Film Registry annually inducts twenty-five movies that are considered culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. These films must be at least ten years old.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- …But Not Least…

December 15th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Art Kirsch and John Coleman pose an interesting question on Celebrating Act 2… What were the final films of legendary actors. It is an interesting examination.

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Six Blocks Away…

December 8th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`I am thrilled to be returning to the Cypress Chamber of Commerce Monthly Breakfast to be held at the Marriott Residence Inn, literally six blocks from my home!

“`I will be sharing stories from my Forgotten Hollywood book series and offering autographed copies of my book, which make unique holiday gifts.

“`To aid the less fortunate during this time of year, Cypress Chamber has adopted Precious Life Shelter for pregnant homeless mothers. Suggested items listed below…

For Children:
Toys for boy and girl toddlers
Teethers
Plush toys for 3-6 / 6-9 months
boys and girls Infant toys, toy blocks, plush toys,
Wooden puzzles (larger pieces) for childcare
Rubber/plastic play balls for outdoor play

 

For Moms:
Pajamas sizes M, L, XL
Slippers sizes 8 and up
Lotions and/or body wash
Gloves for cold mornings
Bristle hair brushes and hair spray
Lip Gloss

“`Reservations are recommended to secure your spot for the monthly breakfasts. Cost for the breakfast event is $25. If you live in and around Cypress CA, stop by for a morning of fellowship.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- KNX 97.1 FM…

December 7th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`There has been a monumental shift in the Los Angeles radio landscape. As December 6th at 3p, KNX 1070 AM began simulcasting on the FM dial. The platform is now called: KNX News 97.1 FM.

“`For over a century, KNX has been a dependable source for information on your radio dial. The unique opportunity to reach more listeners and the fact that electric cars are now being sold without an AM signal available were factors into this company decision.  The corporate bosses of parent company, Audacy, are confident that all of the success enjoyed by the AM station will translate to its FM counterpart.

“`I am proud to be part of a new chapter in the iconic history of KNX!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bond on Brand…

December 6th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`It is about time that Celebrating Act 2 has a converstion on the James Bond series of films. Art Kirsch and John Coleman join in to chat about the Bond franchise.

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Celebrating Scribes…

December 1st, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Hollywood Heritage is hosting its 10th annual Afternoon with the Authors this Saturday, from 11a to 3p at the Hollywood Heritage Museum, 2100 N. Highland Avenue. This is my ninth visit to the event, and I am thrilled to have all three of my paperbacks in the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series to autograph.

   

“`Among the noted authors on hand… Leonard Maltin, William Wellman Jr., Cari Beauchamp, Mary Mallory, Rocky Lang, and Marc Wanamaker. Fourteen authors will be there with literary inventory that shall make great Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers.

“`This year, we are thrilled to have the press at the event. The producers of Celebrating Act 2 will be interviewing the scribes for their nationwide YouTube channel. Hosts Art Kirsch, John Coleman will be there for most of the day covering current and future Hollywood publications.

“`Also covering the day is Pat Pattison, host and executive producer of The Best Of California with Pat Pattison. He will also be profiling the authors for his popular YouTube channel. He is a former Disney executive, and now a longtime television broadcaster with a very successful program. Pat is a great supporter of Hollywood Heritage.

“`Consider this your personal invitation!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- In the Pantheon of All-Time Greats…

November 30th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Josephine Baker, the American-born entertainer, wartime spy, and civil rights activist who first achieved fame in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, was given France’s highest honor today when she was inducted into the French Pantheon, the nation’s mausoleum of heroes. She is the first performing artist, first Black woman, and initial American honored with a Pantheon induction.

“`As a teenager, Josephine moved to New York City and began performing with an all-Black dance troupe. She was discovered by a talent scout from Paris. Baker arrived in the French capital in 1925, at age nineteen. Baker became a fixture in shows at Les Folies Bergères, a famous music hall. She was a symbol of the Jazz Age, dominating France’s cabarets with a sense of humor, her frantic dancing and her iconic songs. One of America’s members of the Lost Generation, her contributions coincided with the talents of Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“`French President Emmanuel Macron presided over this evening’s official ceremony, broadcast live on French television, and included Baker’s family members, politicians, Monaco’s Prince Albert II, and crowds of spectators. The idea of Baker’s inclusion in the Pantheon was first proposed in 2013, and gained traction in recent years as France reckons with racism, its colonial past, and questions about their success of its model of social integration.

“`Eighty other luminaries, such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Marie Curie, are among those laid to rest in the Paris monument. Baker remains buried in Monaco.  Her addition is commemorated with a plaque on a cenotaph. France has awarded Baker with several big honors over the years — a French Resistance medal, the Croix de Guerre, and in 1961, upon recognition by President de Gaulle, the Legion of Honor.

“`Today’s ceremony symbolizes the pioneering spirit of Josephine Baker (above).

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Real Dahl…

November 29th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Arlene Dahl was an actress for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and was a spokesperson for cosmetics throughout her career. She was married to Lex Barker and Fernando Lamas.  Her son is Lorenzo Lamas. She leaves a shrinking list of actors with ties to Hollywood’s Golden Age.

“`As a young adult, she traveled to New York and worked as a model. She successfully auditioned for a part in a musical in 1945. This led to her getting the lead in  Questionable Ladies, seen by a talent scout from Hollywood. Dahl had an uncredited bit part in Life with Father. She was promoted to leading lady in My Wild Irish Rose with Dennis Morgan, a big hit that led to an offer from MGM.   ARLENE DAHL –>

“`Other memorable cinema include A Southern Yankee, Three Little Words, Carribean Gold, Here Come the Girls, Woman’s World, and Journey to the Center of the Earth. On the small screen, she guest-starred in Burke’s Law, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, and recurring roles on One Life to Live and All My Children. On Broadway, Dahl replaced Lauren Bacall as Margo Channing in Applause, the musical based on All About Eve.

“`She began writing a syndicated beauty column in 1952, and opened Arlene Dahl Enterprises in 1954, marketing cosmetics and designer lingerie. She began working at Sears Roebuck as the director of beauty products in 1970, earning nearly $750,000 annually. She left in 1975 to found a short-lived fragrance company, Dahlia.

“`Arlene Dahl was ninety-six.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Goodbye to Sondheim…

November 26th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim would change American musical theater, reaching artistic heights with legacy works as  West Side Story, Gypsy, Company, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, FolliesSweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Little Night Music, and Into the Woods. He began to grasp the essence of musical theater when he was a teenager from his neighbor and mentor, Oscar Hammerstein II. He later advised a new generation of Broadway influencers, including Lin Manuel Miranda.

                                   STEPHEN SONDHEIM

“`He began his career writing for the television series Topper.  He devoured 1940s and 1950s films, and called cinema his basic language; his film knowledge got him through The $64,000 Question contestant tryouts. Sondheim disliked movie musicals, favoring classic dramas such as Citizen Kane, The Grapes of Wrath and A Matter of Life and Death. He loved the work of Michael Curtiz and Raoul Walsh.

“`He eventually collaborated with and wrote the lyrics to Leonard Bernstein’s score for West Side Story, inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. He also worked with fellow composer Jule Styne as a lyricist for Gypsy, loosely based on the memoirs of burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee. The initial musical for which Sondheim wrote music and lyrics was A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The concept, based on farces by Plautus, was written by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. Sondheim’s score was not well received;  while the show won several Tony Awards (including Best Musical), he did not receive a nomination.

“`He scored signature hit Send in the Clowns from his 1973 musical A Little Night Music. It was recorded by Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan and Judy Collins, among others. One of Sondheim’s greatest triumphs was the Pulitzer Prize he shared with composure James Lapine for the 1984 musical Sunday in the Park with George,  about nineteenth-century French Neo-Impressionist artist Georges Seurat. The two later collaborated on Into the Woods.  Other projects did not fare as well. Plus, he seldom compared favorably to the efforts provided by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

“`Other film assignments not related to his work on Broadway include The Last of Sheila, co-written with Anthony Perkins; and music provided for  The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Reds, Dick Tracy, and The Birdcage.  He recently collaborated with Steven Spielberg on an update of West Side Story to be released in December.

“`Sondheim received an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man) from Dick Tracy. He also won eight Tonys for his work on Broadway and eight Grammy Awards for his musical theatre albums. Sondheim has also been nominated for two Golden Globes and he received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1993. In 2015, President Barack Obama presented the lyricist the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony.

“`A virtual tribute Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Celebration was live-streamed on Broadway.com’s YouTube channel on April 26th.  Participants included Lin-Manuel Miranda, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Nathan Lane, Josh Groban, Patti LuPone, Neil Patrick Harris, Bernadette Peters, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mandy Patinkin, Christine Baranski, Jason Alexander and Audra McDonald.

“`His work addressed darker, more harrowing elements of the human experience, with songs often tinged with ambivalence about various aspects of life. It allowed him to be uniquely relatable to his theatre-going audience.

“`Stephen Sondheim was ninety-one.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- From Screen to Television…

November 24th, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`Celebrating Act 2 examines the transition of stars from cinema to the small screen, such as Raymond Burr, Karl Malden, Walter Brennan, George Reeves, Robert Young, and Lucille Ball. I am thrilled to join Art Kirsch and John Coleman for this engaging examination.

“`Enjoy!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Dark Christmas Carol…

November 23rd, 2021

Manny P. here…

“`I must admit… There is great comraderie among the cast of Dark Shadows still alive. Lara Parker and Kathryn Leigh Scott have been lifelong friends since they co-starred in the spooky soap opera.                                 (Parker and Scott joining me at a book fest) —>

“`Now, they will join  David Selby, Nancy Barrett, David Henesy, Jerry Lacy, and others for a Zoom Christmas reading of A Christmas Carol on December 19th at 4p (pst). Spend Christmas in Collinsport!

“`This is going to be spectacular!

Until next time>                               “never forget”