Greer Garson – Acting Talent Does Not Equate To Being A Good Talk Show Guest
Greer Garson (1904-1996) was a fine and talented actress. Anyone seeing her deeply moving performances in Goodbye Mr. Chips or Mrs. Miniver can attest to that.
Garson won the Academy Award for her portrayal as the title character in Mrs. Miniver. Six additional Academy Award nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role affirm that her colleagues appreciated Garson’s acting skills.
But according to Craig Tennis, a former talent coordinator of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson from 1968-1976, Greer Garson was not great when it came to spontaneity. Continue reading →
Jack Benny and Wife Mary Livingstone Dine At Ciro’s 1955
Jack Benny and his wife Mary, enjoy an evening at Ciro’s in Hollywood. Benny started his career in the entertainment world as a doorman at a theater in Waukegan, Illinois, his birthplace. The Benny’s have been married 28 years. photo: Inside Hollywood by Nat Dallinger for King Features Syndicate week of August 12, 1955
Barbara Stanwyck Thanks “Golden Boy” For Her Honorary Oscar 1982
In a six decade career Barbara Stanwyck (1907-1990) received four Academy Award nominations for Best Actress in a leading role. The films were Stella Dallas (1937); Ball of Fire (1941); Double Indemnity (1944) and Sorry, Wrong Number (1948). She did not win for any of these great performances in fine pictures.
Stanwyck and William Holden starred together in the 1939 film Golden Boy. It was Holden’s first starring role. And he was almost fired. But Barbara Stanwyck insisted Holden stay on the film. The two became lifelong friends.
At the April 3, 1978 Academy Awards presentation, William Holden and Barbara Stanwyck were reunited as co-presenters for the award for best sound.
This was the era before everyone handing out awards had every word scripted for them and was littered with politically correct, back-slapping fake accolades and bad jokes. What happened next was completely genuine, unrehearsed and quite touching as you will see by Stanwyck’s reaction.
Finally four years later on March 29, 1982, the Academy recognized Stanwyck with an honorary Oscar for “superlative creativity and unique contribution to the art of screen acting.”Continue reading →
Columbus Circle 1947 photo: Keystone-Mast Collection, UCR/California Museum of Photography
Our scene shows Columbus Circle looking south from Broadway and 60th Street towards 8th Avenue.
In the foreground are two examples of the iron and glass subway kiosks providing graceful entrances and exits to the original subway. By the late-1960s all the ornamental kiosks were removed by the city. Continue reading →
Canned Hitchcock – Alfred Hitchcock found out how his motion pictures would look if laid end to end when Universal Studios lines up prints of all his films, starting with “The Pleasure Garden” circa 1925, and ending with his 53rd motion picture, “Family Plot,” now being edited by the master of suspense.Alfred Hitchcock’s Family Plot starring Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris and William Devane, has been selected to open the 1976 Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Filmex) on March 21 at Plitt’s Century Plaza Theatre as a black tie pre-release world premiere, followed by a special Filmex Society “Salute To Alfred Hitchcock” at the Century Plaza Hotel. Film drama about the search for a lost heir will open nationally three weeks later on April 9. – photo: Philippe Halsman, January 1976
IMDB lists 54 feature film credits for Alfred Hitchcock as director, not 53. Somewhere along the line someone forgot to count one of Hitchcock’s films. Continue reading →
Mongo’s (Alex Karras) Cut Scenes From Blazing Saddles
Blazing Saddles (1974) would never get made today. The genius humor of writers Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Andrew Bergman, Alan Uger and Norman Steinberg is now politically incorrect. Yes, the movie is vulgar and over the top. But it remains undeniably one of the funniest movies ever made.
Some of the best scenes in Blazing Saddles belong to the half-wit behemoth Mongo, played by former NFL star Alex Karras.
Here are two of the scenes involving Mongo that were not in the final cut but were broadcast when eventually shown on television.
The 130th Anniversary of The Birth Of Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx in 1931 photo Eugene Robert Richee for Paramount
There are at least five comedians I wish were alive now to comment on the state of the world. If interviewed they could put current events into perspective. They are George Carlin, Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor and Groucho Marx.
Each humorist was intelligent, sardonic and biting in their outlooks on life.
My all-time favorite was Groucho Marx.
Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx was born on October 2, 1890.
There are literally thousands of stories about Groucho and the Marx clan. Rather than rehash his life I’ll throw out one little known fact about Groucho from brother Harpo’s autobiography, Harpo Speaks! (1961, Bernard Gies Associates). Continue reading →