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
Rooney & Davis – Two Very Popular Movie Stars – 1940
Mickey Rooney and Bette Davis are two names you would not link romantically. Then maybe Mickey is kissing Bette for a movie? Continue reading
Orson The Magnificent Performs For Servicemen During World War II
It’s tough in Hollywood when everything you do is compared to your biggest success. And it makes it even tougher when your first movie is considered among the best movies ever made. Citizen Kane (1941) starring, produced, co-written and directed by Orson Welles remains Welles’ penultimate achievement. He was just 25-years-old. Continue reading
A Rare Photograph Of Fred Astaire With His Daughter Ava – 1958
1/5/1958 – HOLLYWOOD – Fred Astaire poses with his daughter Ava, 16, in a rare family portrait taken on the set of the General Electric Theater TV show. This is reportedly the first picture of the entertainer and his daughter to be released in 15 years. Photo- United Press International Telephoto
With the paparazzi of today there are no limits to what constitutes an invasion of privacy. Nobody is off limits – especially the children of the famous. Then there are the celebrities that don’t stop at just cooperating with paparazzi. They shamelessly publicize their children (who have no say in the matter) to promote themselves.
Some old-time celebrities had ethics. They didn’t exploit their families to get publicity. Actor, dancer and singer Fred Astaire (1899-1987) falls into that category.
A Private Man
When he was big star in the 1930s, most people didn’t even realize Fred Astaire was married. Continue reading
Iris Bristol At The Beach
Iris Bristol photo Al Greene and Associates
If you’ve never heard of Iris Bristol you’re not alone. Her most notable film appearance is in My Fair Lady (1964) in a brief uncredited role as a flower girl. Iris, born in Worcester, England November 20, 1931 is more well known for gracing the covers of male libido boosting magazines in the 1950s and 1960s, than she is for movies. At five foot three with an hourglass figure, Iris’ décolleté was put on display frequently.
Mammary obsessed photographer and director Russ Meyer Continue reading
The Lady With The Fans, Her Sexcellency Sally Rand
Sally Rand bubble dance photo by Ziegfeld Follies glamorist Alfred Cheney Johnston
Earlier in 2020, History Channel’s American Pickers featured a show about buying Sally Rand’s personal memorabilia. Most viewers were probably perplexed as to why host Danielle Colby was so excited. In terms of forgotten superstars, Sally Rand, (born Hattie Helen Gould Beck, 1904-1979) would rank pretty high today. Not so for Ms. Colby who understands and admires the artistry that Sally Rand created. Continue reading
Planet of the Apes Star Maurice Evans Talks About Playing Dr. Zaius
The Most Challenging Operation In History
The biggest and most challenging makeup operation in the history of Hollywood is currently underway for a new film called “Planet of the Apes”. One hundred artists and laboratory men have been given the job of turning out a cast of ape-like beings who inhabit another planet.
Faces of the apes are especially difficult to make since they must be pliable and able to express emotion. Experiments have been going on for a year to be ready for the commencement of the $5-million production.
The makeup substance is made partly of foam rubber and allows the actors to sweat without effecting their grotesque looks. Makeup men start on the cast as early as 4 o’clock in the morning to be ready for filming.
Story of the film is about astronaut Charlton Heston who lands on the weird planet peopled by sophisticated apes. Chief ape is played by Maurice Evans. – photo Keystone Press Agency 1967
The original choice to play Dr. Zaius was not Maurice Evans, but Edward G. Robinson. Supposedly Robinson could not bear the grueling makeup regimen and bowed out before filming began.
According to John Chambers, head makeup man for Planet of the Apes it took three and a half hours to turn a man into an ape. Continue reading
Lana Turner, Stephen Crane & Frank Sinatra At The Stork Club 1943
Nation’s Heart Throbs in Gotham
Two of the three persons at this Stork Club table probably account for more of the male and female heart throbs in America. Lana Turner takes care of the male faction while Sinatra the singer accounts for the fairer sex. In center is Stephen Crane who is fortunate enough to be Lana’s husband and personal heart throb. (October 9, 1943) Photo: International News
From the look of this press photo it seems film star Lana Turner (1921-1995) and singer Frank Sinatra have more chemistry than Turner and her husband Stephen Crane. Quick romances do not always lead to satisfying marriages. Lana Turner eloped with bandleader Artie Shaw in 1940 when she was just 19-years-old. The marriage lasted four months.
Only three weeks after meeting merchandiser and tobacco heir Stephen Crane, 21-year-old Lana Turner married him on July 17, 1942. In December of 1942 the couple announced they were expecting a child. Continue reading
More Snaphots of the Stars In 1948-49 – Hollywood Couples
Howard Duff and Ava Gardner
We continue our look back at a fan’s collection of snapshots from the late 1940s.
Frequently the studio would pair up couples so that they could be seen together when they were going out on the town. It didn’t matter that they may have had no interest in one another or one of them was gay. It was good publicity to be seen by the press and public.
However in many of these photographs the stars are married to one another and they are not “beards” covering up homosexual relationships.
Even more surprising is that a number of these couples remained married to each other for many years; some until death. Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin and Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond being two prime examples of lifelong commitments.
June Allyson and Dick Powell
Betsy Blair and Gene Kelly