Friday, December 31, 2010

Thank you Thom


Happy New Year!

Have Fun!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Anyone there?

Can you hear me?

I haven't caught you in the middle of anything, have I?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Here's a bone....

I'm not nearly ready to give up on that Hullabaloo mystery group, but just to keep you occupied, here's a mystery dude I know you'll get. I'm speaking of the gent whose head is just above the microphone. He's appearing on the Sammy Davis Jr. Show.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mystery Group

Here's a new one at MITTEN DRINNEN, a mysterious singing group, unknown to myself. Here they are, appearing on Hullabaloo, obviously singing a number that has some connection to meat or a butcher. I thought it might be Gary Lewis since the drummer seems to be the front man, but that guy just doesn't look like Lewis...and wasn't he always photographed with Buddy Holly-esque glasses?

Mr. Xmas Eve!

Cookie gets the kudos and not the krumbs this time, our mystery man is none other than Hugh O'Brian! Once a heart throb extraordinaire, it seems Hugh now wears his years...fairly well. In 2006, Hugh, then 81 married a 58 year old with Robert Schuller (of Crystal Cathedral fame) officiating within the confines of Forest Lawn cemetery while Debbie Reynolds serenaded the couple. If you need a Pepcid, I've got some in the bathroom closet. It was O'Brian's first marriage.

This photo above, with Natalie Wood, showcases Hugh playing softly yet carrying a big stick.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Other Crawford

Interested in acting? Scriptwriting? You need look no further, everything you need to know is contained in these scintillating 26 minutes. The Buicks are mighty nice too, especially that dame's Roadmaster convertible.

Apologies to our Canadian friends. Hulu won't let you watch. If you'd like me to storyboard the episode and send it to you, please send a SASE to normadesmond productions in care of your local bottler.

Can you tell how caught up I am in the holiday?


Christmas Eve Mystery Man

Know who he is?

Her 93rd Christmas

Do you think they even bothered with a tree?

The David Susskind Show

I've been slowly working my way through these old Susskind shows. I love them on many levels. I can recall hearing the show's theme from my bed as a teen. I also remember watching some very amazing stuff on his shows, like Warhol, Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn, people you saw nowhere else.

This runs close to an hour. Between Joyce Haber, Patrick O'Higgins and Rex Reed, there's a lot of attitude seeping out of these guests and they have plenty to say about the moment. As always, Rex is just too, too.....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mystery Guest Revealed!

Yes, Snappychuck nailed it. I suppose it was stupid of me to post a current photo of Sheila, but I hadn't seen any pictures of her for years and presumed no one else had either. I will never under estimate my wonderful guests, lesson learned. Back in the day, Sheila was quite the looker, as far as I'm concerned. I always loved her as the back-talking Alice Kramden to Jackie Gleason's Ralph.

It's probably been tough for her, losing daughter Meredith to brain cancer in 2000. Daughter Heather's (pictured with Sheila in original post) been a busy actress, most notably for marrying Miranda and Steve on Sex and the City.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What I'm Listening To.

Just discovered an online "radio station" and it's pretty groovy. Of course, you have to be in the mood for 60s stuff, with a little 50s and 70s thrown in. Big hits, but mostly lesser stuff, music you never hear on oldies' stations.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Who's the Blonde! UPDATED!!

A pal was once, long ago, a musician on The Sammy Davis Jr. Show, Hullabaloo and The Tonight Show. Recently, he dug up some photos he snapped while at work. Most are of his buddies, not folks the general public would know. Do you know who this blonde is?

I shouldn't do this, but I can't resist planting this second photo as a hint.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Before What's My Line....

                                                   Did you know spunky Miss Kilgallen really did do this?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lynne Baggett Revealed!

Lynne Baggett won't be remembered her for her lackluster screen career. Almost half of her appearances in film were uncredited, including a moment in Mildred Pierce as a waitress. Her last on screen gig occurred in 1951. She was 21 when she met producer Sam Spiegel, 19 years her senior.  Before she married Spiegel in '48, she had a fling with George Tobias (Abner Kravitz on Bewitched).  Speigel and Lynne had a rocky marriage. Lynne consorted with writer Irwin Shaw while hubby was busy producing The African Queen. (John Huston, the director, had been a witness at the Spiegel nuptials). After Spiegel threw Baggett out, she had a brief affair with Huston. In 1952, Sam filed for divorce and Lynne became a dance instructor at Arthur Murray.

On July 7, 1954 while on her way home from a party at Arthur Treacher's, she hit a station wagon filled with boy's coming home from summer camp. Joel Watnick was killed in the accident, an accident she doesn't report. Two days later, the police bring her in for questioning. The car she drove is traced to Tobias. Seems he'd loaned the car to her that day. 

Baggett is arrested, husband Sam pays her bail. She's convicted on a felony charge of hit and run driving, but is acquitted of a second felony count of manslaughter. She is given a 60 day sentence in jail of which she served 50 days. 

June 1959, Lynne attempts suicide, but makes a phone call prior to losing consciousness and is rescued. Prior to her successful suicide in 1960, she was diagnosed as partially paralyzed due to drug addiction.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mystery Guest!

Anyone know who this broad is?

Lee Wiley

A well liked jazz singer, Lee died December 11, 1975. Here she sings, "I've Got Five Dollars" which was introduced by Harriette Lake (Ann Sothern) in the 1931 Rogers and Hart musical, America's Sweetheart.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Completed on this Date

Susan Cabot was born Susan Shapiro in Boston. She had an unspectacular acting career with her final film being The Wasp Woman and her last TV role a spot on Bracken's World. Married twice, it is said she had an affair with King Hussein. Gave birth to a son, Timothy Roman, a dwarf. Seems Timmy took experimental drugs for many years, hoping to cure himself of his wee-ness. These drugs didn't help his brain, or maybe his dwarfy brain grew larger than his skull? Also seemed Susan was odd, very possessive of her little son. On December 10, 1986, in Susan's Encino, CA home, little Timmy (who was 22 at the time) crushed his mother's skull with a barbell while she was in bed. In court, Susan, the victim, was painted as Susan, the perp. Little Timmy got a three year suspended sentence. Ah California and it's infamous legal system.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It isn't always about Joan and Christina

I enjoy reading Margo Howard over at The Women on the Web. The other Twin City paper, The Pioneer Press runs Abby's daughter's column. Her column I don't like so much, I like Margo's style better. Just read this little remembrance of Margo's which you'll find below. Makes me rethink my opinion of Ann just a little. As for the photo of Ann, I chose it because I'm mystified by what's going on with that hair. It appears as if she has a generous hank of regrowth which would usually lead a sighted hairdresser to say, "How 'bouts we give you a little bang today since your picture's being taken and the usual straight off the head seems a tad severe."

I also remember the evening when my mother and a gang of us were in a restaurant and she needed to make a call. I gave her a quarter for the payphone, and off she went- only to return to ask, "Where do I put the money?"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nostalgia Ain't What it Used To Be

My childhood was riddled with emotional bullet holes. The enemy? My schoolmates. My youth was spent plotting paths of least resistance, avoiding obstacles and ducking snipers. I don't recall how, but I found out about a theatre group at our (then) new community center. It seemed the perfect "hiding place", especially since I so wanted to be Loretta Young. The director of this goofy venture is the reason why I write. You think I'm Norma Desmond? Elaine Sack was Norma Desmond. Ebony hair, heavily coaled eyes (with a nod to Cleopatra) and only dramatic blood in her veins; she made her entrance and I was entranced. I don't know if any of my fellow performers thought of her quite as I did. Sure, we probably giggled a bit, but I was awed. I didn't realize it then, but I was gazing at a role model.

Our first "season" (HA!) together, we did "scenes" from things. I don't recall everything, but I know we did a little bit from Bells are Ringing. Another scene was from Neil Simon...maybe it was Come Blow Your Horn, I'm not sure. There was a little snippet of The Odd Couple and maybe a drop of Auntie Mame. Last October, I sifted through my hometown's newspaper's microfiche at the public library and presented here is what was the highly anticipated "Season II." A whole play! As you can see, we did Six Flights Up. Never heard of it you say? Ah, but you have.

I have no memory as to how Elaine began this group. I know that she got no money from the community center, bupkis. So, what does a lady, with drama in her blood and not a penny do when money is supposed to be paid to the Samuel French Company when Neil Simon's, Barefoot in the Park is performed? Why, she simply changes the name! Yes, I was Paul Bratter, Nancy was Corey & David was Victor, who lived upstairs. In our show, he lived on the ladder. The saddest part of the whole thing is that we had no stage. What we had was a very large room, huge in fact. I think the building had been a hotel at the turn of the century and we must've been in the main dining room. What we were given were risers, like what an orchestra might use. They must've been 5 or 6 inches off of the floor. This was our stage. There were no walls behind or beside us. We weren't theater-in-the-round, we were theater-in-the-whatever. The audience (ahem) had folding chairs to sit on. There were swinging doors that must've gone into the kitchen, so the risers were close to these doors. This was our back stage. We did have some furniture because I begged my parents to loan us something from their store. I think the furniture was the best part, it certainly was the most real part. It was sad.

I don't know why she gave me the male lead. Back then, I was so limp, so nelly, I imagine the girl who played my wife was butcher than me. I guess she saw something. Or maybe the other two boys wouldn't take on the role, I don't know. As you might imagine, the audience was made up of our families, I don't think that front page story and advertisement packed the house. What I do know is that Elaine Sack was a wonderful lady who gave us a lot of her time, because she wanted to. I know I was awful at memorizing my lines and blocking and she pushed me and dammit, I did it. I'd always hoped that I would run into her somewhere or get a chance to look her up. It was earlier this year that my sister connected with Elaine's daughter and I found out that Elaine is gone. The information was sketchy, some sort of cancer, and there was also a fire at some point, so photos of Elaine are rare. I asked for a copy of anything and her daughter sent me this, instructing me to keep it. She seemed so happy that someone was remembering her mother. Remember her? I could never forget her.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Moguls and Movie Stars and Who?

Just a few moments ago, I finished watching installment six of TCM's interesting, "A History of Hollywood- Moguls and Movie Stars." Tonight was all about the 1950s and the collapse of the movie studios as we'd known them. Getting quite close to the end, the show mentioned rock & roll and teenagers. Roger Corman had a few things to say about his movie making at the time. The critic, Leonard Maltin was saying that there'd always been lone wolves, mavericks, what we now all know as independent film makers. The narrator, Christopher Plummer then mentions Samuel Arkoff and James Nicholson, the men that formed American International Pictures, a studio that catered to that large, teenage audience. The photo you see above is what one saw as Christopher spoke. Immediately I laughed. I thought, why the fuck is there a photo of Ferrante and Teicher? Instantly I knew I was wrong. Then thought, wait a minute, am I learning something I'd never known? Something else to rival Marion Davies' rosebud? No. Some yutz who put this documentary together probably couldn't come up with a photo of Arkoff & Nicholson and found this delightful shot of Sandler and Young and figured, ah, who'll know the diff.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Wikileak from Christina in December, 1960?

Here's our favorite daughter dearest building the foundation for what was to come.
Personally, I think the shot the paper chose of Christina is quite flattering.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Una Pregunta....

Happened to see a photo of Anna Nicole Smith on the latest Los Angeles magazine. This got me wondering; I work with people that were quite broken up when she died. This amazed me. I'm guessing there's already a generation coming up that have no idea who Miss Smith was, myself included. Soon, she will be a very trivial pursuit question, yes? And that brings me to Marilyn. Do you think her candle burns as brightly as it did? What with Warhol, the 60s and into the 70s, Marilyn was almost alive. Even the 80s seemed unready to give her up. But now, I think she's slipping away. Am I wrong? Is it just me slipping away?