Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Ladies!

Anyone who knows anything about anything knows and adores Jill. Watching her in An Unmarried Woman and Starting Over were near accidents on life's highway. good accidents. Wikishmiki says that her next role is in something called Dirty Tricks where she plays Pat Nixon, but I find no corroborating evidence of that anywhere. It's a crime that her profile isn't higher.

I'm aware that Cloris was on a dancing show which I don't watch. More recently, though a mere blip, she did share the dais with Debbie Reynolds and RuPaul on Drag Race a few weeks ago and did well. Seems whenever I see her in something current, she's been typecast as the brash, gnarly, straight-talkin' mom, which is okay....work is work. Supposedly, she auditioned to reprise her role as Frau Blucher for Mel Brooks when he was mounting Young Frankenstein, the musical, based on the film in which Cloris appeared. Seems she didn't land the role because Mel Brooks thought Leachman, at 81, was too old for the role. "We don't want her to die on stage," he told columnist Army Archerd." Did anyone ever notice how Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show became an entirely different person on the spinoff Phyllis? Yes, I know Lou Grant wasn't the same Lou Grant on Lou Grant, but jumping from sitcom to drama begged a personality transplant, but sitcom to sitcom? Rhoda didn't morph into someone else. Just sayin'.

Eve, Eve, Eve, what didn't you do. Sure, as she aged, she looked like Vincent Price's twin sister, but dear Eve, the quintessential sidekick made everything she appeared in better. Especially when she gave that look. Not this look, but that other look....you know.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tired Old Queen At The Movies

If you haven't already, do jump over and subscribe. Mr. Hayes is just great!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A little bit of Angie Bofill

Not the greatest quality video (and it abruptly ends before it's done) but I'd never heard her sing this live and she did a beautiful job.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yahrtzeit! Rose Louise Hovick 4/26/70

I so cannot wait! In production right now is, "G-String Mother" based on the book "Gypsy and Me: At Home and on the Road with Gypsy Rose Lee" by her son, Erik Preminger. This is a terrific book. Erik is your usual teenager, sneaking out to drink, smoke a cigarette or get laid. Gypsy is so not your usual mother. Strict and demanding, her son's antics are not well received. Gyp needs money and is uber cheap so that when she plays out of town, she drives there herself! She's got her kennel of chinese cresteds (and Erik detests them) and everything but the kitchen sink crammed into the Rolls. I know Sigourney Weaver will do a fabulous job as Mom, but they'll never be able to fit all the great stuff in that memoir into the movie.

I watched the two available pieces of Gypsy video at the Museum of TV and Radio in NYC a few years ago. Both clips were from "The Gypsy Rose Lee Show". One was a promo with Judy Garland and Robert Goulet. (That had been on Youtube, but is now gone..grr.) The other was a segment from the show with Gyp's only guest, Ethel Merman. It was fascinating watching Ethel and Gypsy interact. If only Gypsy's show had been filmed. Betch you'll never guess what her TV show's theme song was?

Remember near the end of the film "Gypsy" when Harvey Korman (who was uncredited) comes into Gypsy's dressing room after she and Mama have had another quarrel? Korman's character turns to Natalie Wood and says, "Come on Gyps, show us your talent!" and Gypsy turns to the photographer and comes alive. In the film, Louise is presented as having no apparent talent until burlesque knocks on her door. Do you get what's bugging me? Here she has finally found her talent, she's a rising star in burlesque. Why would her agent (Korman) say that? I wonder, where did this come from? Gypsy's own memoir? Was this line in the stage production? Is it merely there as a judgement on striptease? Am I an idiot for posing this question?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Streisand Addendum

Famous American actor Elliot Gould divorced American singer and actress Barbra Streisand in Santo Domingo (1971). Photos show his lawyers and Jennie Bogart his companion to the present days. Exclusive pictures by Hector Herrera (sic)

Early 1980s, LA. I worked at Faire LaCuisine on Melrose, which shared the building with Fred Segal. As with Fred Segal, you entered Faire LaCuisine from the rear, which was its restaurant. Once you walked through the patio/dining area, you entered the kitchen store. This is where I worked, so I had no idea who was dining. It was another Sunday brunch and quiet in the store. I had control of the music, so I played what I wanted and this day I wanted to hear my Barbra cassette. I'd made it. It was 90 minutes of various selections from all her albums up until then. It was a great tape. After the tape had played one side and I'd flipped to the other, the waitress came into the store and informed me that Elliott was having brunch and he wondered if I might change the music. That was a Hollywood moment.

What About Today?

Back then, when this old world started getting me down, and since I had no roof to escape to, my mother would often say, "Why don't you go and listen to Barbra."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kenny Rankin and Laura Nyro

The siren of my teenage years, Laura Nyro meant everything to me. Really. Remarkably, I enjoy all her albums, The First Songs, Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, New York Tendaberry, Christmas and the Beads of Sweat and Gonna Take a Miracle as much today as I did then. After the album with Labelle, Laura and I went our separate ways...understandable. I just recently became aware of this single she'd done with Kenny Rankin, who I also liked. Such a sweet voice. To have stumbled upon this song, the two of them so young and at the top of their games, was a wonderful surprise. It broke my heart when I learned ovarian cancer had killed her.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yahrtzeit! Jane Froman 4/22/80

I probably never would have known who Jane Froman was had Susan not made "With A Song In My Heart". There are a few videotaped kinescopes on Youtube of "The Jane Froman Show" (created by Irving Mansfield, Mr. Jackie Susann) but the poster of these won't allow them to be embedded. To survive a plane crash, have your leg destroyed and keep on keepin' on, well, she was quite a dame.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kinehora Liz, you're 84!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Lovely NEW Site!

Instigated by Ask The Cool Cookie, The Hair Hall of Fame is now up and running. MJ, TJB, jason and myself were asked to co-conspire. Upon visiting, might you see postings with words such as HOMO and PENETRATION? Having MJ on board wielding her editorial prowess, anything is probable.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Filene's for Donna

So, did you grow up pronouncing it "FI-leens" (accent on first syllable) or "Fah-LEENS" (accent on second syllable)? My grandmother uttered the latter, when she would make plans with Beattie or Gittie (her sisters) to, "Meet me under clock at Fahleen's." This little box (pictured) came from Gram's house. (Why she needed white chalk is anyone's guess). It was in a pile of garbage where I luckily found it and snatched it. Though it's hard to see, it's got the old logo, the one I remember as a little boy. I can recall the scary in-store elevators (with the operators), all the herky-jerkiness of those old things and how you could see out the glass doors in-between floors . It was on those doors that I recall that circular logo, either on a handle or maybe it was a decal on the glass.

The last time I was in Filene's was the later 1980s. I was amazed and thrilled when I rode the escalator down into the basement and found it to be the same as it ever was. Sure, the upstairs had been remodeled/updated countless times (or maybe just once, I don't know) but the basement was weirdly stuck in time....like 1948. It hadn't been painted, the floors were OLD, the fixtures were OLD....I didn't want to leave. And wasn't it Filene's Automatic Bargain Basement? I still have the goofy shoes I bought that day.

Marion Davies

Flowerbell and Felix were correct with their spot-on answer. John Engstead took my Guess Who photo of dear Marion in 1960. During the sitting, Marion dabbed at the corner of her mouth remarking, "I'm having tooth trouble." Never a dentist, Marion had it wrong for it was the onset of cancer that would end her life September 22, 1961.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Boston 2008 and 1906

Washington Street
(via Shorpy's)

Guess Who?

Carole Lombard

What can I say? I thought that photo of Carole was unrecognizable, but what do I know? Once again, bravo Flowerbell! (and Felix for having such a marvelous eye in his mind).

Barely out of Larchmont.

Thank you lisanti quarterly.

Monday, April 12, 2010

From the glorious coffee table book...

..."LOL at the Cemetery"

Anyone know who this is?

Mac was right!

Of course that was Moms Mabley. I just loved that shot of her sans hat with the cigarette holder. (As Edith Massey uttered in Polyester) "Au Courant."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Name the star.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Just another Friday night....

...just another premiere.

Remember her?

brotherfrancis didn't Foch this one up! Yes, dear Nina Foch, who graced mitten drinnen a few weeks ago managed to steal the headlines once again. Thank you to everyone who gave it a shot....it means a lot.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mystery Gal

Anyone know who this is? It isn't too tough, considering the brains that passes through this joint. BTW, this lovely photo (and a catalog full of a zillion others) came to me via Stu@Doing Hard Time in Shaker Heights and we thank him, profusely.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Familiar faces from old television.

I found these (among many others) at The Digital Deli Too. It's their homage to long forgotten radio stars who filled the ranks of many episodes of Perry Mason. I chose just some of the ladies I grew up knowing because their faces were always on this or that TV show.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Did we ever think of Andy Hardy as hot?

He did finagle eight wives....maybe there's something we can't see.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Yahrtzeit! Gloria Swanson 1983

Happy 104th Birthday, Bea Benaderet!

Shown here with the lovely Eva Gabor, Bea had quite the career. Though she started in radio, my first recollections of her are as Blanche Morton on The Burns and Allen Show (in reruns, I'm not that old). Her double takes with Gracie were perfect. Seems Lucy Ball & Desi wanted Bea to play Ethel Mertz on a certain show you may have seen, but because of her commitment to George & Gracie, well, we know who nabbed that role (Bea did do a guest spot I Love Lucy). I guess she was also considered to play Granny Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, but got the part of Jethro's mother, Pearl instead. Then she landed the lead on Petticoat Junction, which led to the spin-off, Green Acres, which she guested on. In between all of this, Bea also voiced adorable Betty Rubble on The Flintstones.

Wikipedia just enlightened me to the fact that Bea's second husband died the day of Bea's funeral, four days after the death of his wife. He was interred next to Bea in North Hollywood.

And I never knew that Jack Bannon who played Art Donovan on Lou Grant was Bea's son. Live and learn.

Yahrtzeit! Johnny Stompanato

Yup. Fifty-two years ago today, Cheryl Crane swapped roles with Lana, playing the role of concerned parent to her clueless child.

I think the flag is a nice touch, don't you?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yahrtzeit! Helena Rubinstein

Since the subject of face creams and products of beauty, applied and adhered have been floating around mitten drinnen, an homage is surely fitting.

Madame Helena Rubinstein died on this day, 1965. The following is taken from Andrew Tobias' Fire and Ice. If you've never read this book, find it....it's great.

Madame Rubinstein thought the nail man (Charles Revson) "heartless." She was anguished by the way he would copy her products ("only better!"). But he fascinated her. She couldn't help admiring him. She even bought Revlon stock.

They were not so dissimilar, Madame and the nail man. She, too, was an earthy, idiosyncratic, impossible, tyrannical Jewish founder/one-man-show. She hired people, milked them, and fired them. She played one off the other. She burped unabashedly and blew her nose in her bed sheets. She felt surrounded by ingratitude. She complained bitterly about having to close the office after John Kennedy's assassination. Unlike Revson, however, she was not out to prove herself to anyone, she did not live in fear of being embarrassed, and she was thoroughly-ludicrously-cheap. Yet far better liked than Charles, for all his lavish entertaining. Her quirks were seen as amusing rather than gauche or offensive. No one called her ruthless, although she did have much the same obsession with her business that Charles did.

For many years it was not he but "the other one"-(Elizabeth) Arden- whose competition most irked Madame Rubinstein. Arden once raided virtually the entire Rubinstein sales staff. Madame retaliated by hiring Arden's ex-husband as her sales manager. At least the nail man and she were in largely separate fields. He had the lipstick and nails markets, yes, but Madame was the queen of treatment creams. It was only in 1962, when Revson launched Eterna 27, the remarkable skin cream, that Madame felt really threatened. A Rubinstein executive walked into her office that day to find the window open wide and Madame leaning out, screaming and shaking her fist. Her third-floor office was directly opposite 666 Fifth Avenue, where Revson ruled the twenty-seventh floor (hence the name- Eterna 27). This tiny ninety-year-old woman was screaming up at him in a very heavy Polish accent, "What are you doing? You're killing me, you rat! What's the matter with you?" It looked as though she might fall out of the window. "Don't worry about it, Madame," the Rubinstein executive said, pulling her back in and hoping to cheer her up, "it's not going to sell. In fact, I think they're going to change the name to Returna." She looked at him blankly. Like Charles (Revson), she had very little sense of humor about her business. "Why would they want to do that?" she said. "It's a good name, Eterna."

Later that year Madame met Revson briefly at a fashion gathering. Her comment afterward: "He has an awful skin."