Charlie Brown Peanuts 1980s Animated Television Specials

Today’s blog entry is a brief look at the Peanuts/Charlie Brown animated television specials that aired in the US during the 1980s.

She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown

 Peppermint Patty has been honing her skating skills by getting up early every morning and reporting to her coach, Snoopy.  She wants to enter a skating competition and Snoopy plans to make sure she is at her best by putting her through a rigorous training routine. When Marcie fails to find a skating dress for Patty, Snoopy comes to the rescue by designing the outfit and even sewing it together. At the event, Snoopy manages to mangle the tape that has the song Patty would be skating to…but Woodstock comes to the rescue when he whistles a song for her  and she wins the competition!

This special was adapted from a series of comic strips by Schulz that revolved around a single idea. The comic strip ran for five weeks. Ice skater Mary Ellen Kinsey was studied in order to help create Peppermint Patty’s ice skating scenes.

  • Premiere: February 25, 1980 on CBS
  • This special won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program (1980-81)
  • Voices: Patricia Patts: Peppermint Patty, Arrin Skelley: Charlie Brown, Rocky Rilley: Linus van Pelt, Laura Planting: Lucy van Pelt, Casey Carlson: Marcie, Debbie Muller: Teacher, Bill Melendez: Snoopy, Scott Beach: Announcer, Jason Serinus: Woodstock (whistling Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro”)

Life’s a Circus, Charlie Brown

Snoopy has left home to become a circus performer when he falls for the charms of a French poodle named Fifi who is part of the circus act, Miss Polly and her Poodles. Wowing audiences as Hugo the Great, Snoopy loves the limelight almost as much as he loves Fifi.

Poor Charlie Brown is sad and doesn’t get my sympathy from Linus who tells him that there is more to life than a plastic supper dish.

Snoopy and Fifi run away from the circus, but things don’t go as planned, Fifi misses the circus life and returns leaving Snoopy heartbroken. He then heads back home to good ole Charlie Brown’s house, takes a shower, dons his sleeping cap and takes his usual comfortable place atop his dog house.

  • Premiere: October 24, 1980 on CBS.
  • This special won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program in 1981.
  • Voices: Michael Mandy as Charlie Brown, Brent Hauer as Peppermint Patty, Casey Carlson as Polly, Earl “Rocky” Reilly as Linus van Pelt, Kristen Fullerton as Lucy van Pelt, Sherm Cohen as Marcie, Christopher Donohoe as Schroeder, and Bill Melendez as Snoopy.

It’s Magic, Charlie Brown

 What happens when Snoopy gets a library card, well, he checks out the book “How to Perform Magic” and really takes the message to heart. He performs his first show as the Great Houndini for the neighborhood kids and finds that he has a few wrinkles to iron out. He has solid rings that won’t come apart, his magic closet won’t release a trapped Peppermint Patty. His can’t restore Linus’ blanket that he cut into multiple pieces and poor Linus faints! Lucy isn’t too happy about landing on the hard ground with a loud thud after he levitates her into the air.

But, the most awesome thing that The Great Houndini does is make Charlie Brown invisible only to discover that making him visible again isn’t so easy. Charlie feels that he is doomed to walk the world as a lost soul. His spirits do take an upswing when runs across Lucy who is practicing holding the football for a placekick. Being invisible, he manages to kick the ball three times before Snoopy is able to wave his wand and make Charlie visible again.

  • Premiere: April 28, 1981 on CBS.
  • The 21st Peanuts special.
  • Voices: Michael Mandy as Charlie Brown, Sydney Penny as Lucy Van Pelt, Cindi Reilly as Sally Brown, Earl Reilly as Linus Van Pelt and Franklin, Brent Hauer as Peppermint Patty, Shannon Cohn/Casey Carlson as Marcie, Christopher Donohone as Schroeder, Bill Melendez as Snoopy and Woodstock.

Someday You’ll Find Her, Charlie Brown

 When Charlie Brown catches a glimpse of a pretty girl in the stands at a televised football game, he is immediately smitten and he knows he just has to find her! Enlisting the help of Snoopy, Woodstock and Linus the detectives discover that her name is Mary Jo and she lives at Happy Valley Farm. Spending 50 cents on bus fare to get there, Charlie is too embarrassed to meet her face to face so he convinces Linus to act as his mouthpiece. Linus knocks on the door and is immediately taken with Mary Jo as she has her own security blanket and simply can’t bear to part with it! It’s a match made in heaven for Linus. He gets invited in for cookies and milk while poor Charlie Brown waits outside. When Linus emerges from the house he announces ecstatically the he is in love with Mary Jo! Poor Charlie Brown loses again.
  • Premiere: October 30, 1981 on CBS
  • Theme Song: Alone performed by Becky Reardon
  • Voices:Grant Wehr as Charlie Brown, Earl Reilly as Linus Van Pelt, Bill Melendez as Snoopy and Woodstock, Nicole Eggert as First girl, Jennifer Gaffin as Mary Jo

A Charlie Brown Celebration

 This is a bit different than the other Peanuts specials that have come before it. This show has no central plot, but instead has our favorite Peanuts characters like Peppermint Patty, Schroeder, Marcie, Lucy and others involved in short and funny skits that have one or two word titles.

This was the first hour long Peanuts animated television special and some of the short skits include Charlie Brown trying to fly a kite, Peppermint Patty’s adventures at Dog Obedience School and Lucy and Shroeder discussing marriage while he plays the piano.

  • Premiered on May 24, 1982 on CBS
  • Recycles some of it’s ideas and footage from There’s No Time for Love, Charlie Brown and Play It Again, Charlie Brown.
  • Schulz hosts the program
  • Was originally going to be titled The Best of Charlie Brown.

Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?

 A sort of sad installment of the Peanuts gang. Linus and Lucy are moving away and the news leaves Charlie Brown very sad. He is losing his best friend, Linus, as well as his second-baseman. Lucy won’t be there to man her psychiatric advice, or to irritate Snoopy.

Lucy sells her advice booth to Snoopy who has raised the price from 5 to 50 cents. And the goodbye party, who is really in the mood to create that kind of get together, but that is taken care of by Snoopy who had opened up Joe Cool’s Catering, but it serves up the finest in dog biscuits and kibble.

Of course, there is a happy ending to this as Lucy and Linus returning and not having to leave their friends after all!

  • Premiere: February 23, 1983 on CBS
  • 24th Peanuts prime-time special
  • Voices: Brad Kesten as Charlie Brown, Jeremy Schoenberg as Linus van Pelt, Angela Lee as Lucy van Pelt, Stacy Heather Tolkin as Sally Brown, Bill Melendez as Snoopy and Woodstock, Kevin Brando as Schroeder and Franklin, Victoria Vargas as Peppermint Patty, Michael Dockery as Marcie.

It’s An Adventure, Charlie Brown

 Six short stories make up this Charlie Brown special. First we see Peppermint Patty decide to get a job at the Ace Country Club as a caddy even though she has very little experience with the sport of golf. Two women golfers at the club who were highly competitive with each other proved to be quite a handful for poor Patty.

The second story saw Marcie blow a butterfly off of sleeping Patty’s nose. Patty became convinced, thanks to Marcie, that it turned into an angel and flew away and that this miracle was a sign that she was chosen to bring an important message to the world.

Our third story is about unrequited love between Lucy and Schroeder. She manages to slip some sheet music in front of him as he was playing and before he knew what was happening, he was playing her a love song, which she sang along with as she danced wildly atop his piano much to his horror.

Lucy was being her usual nasty little self and decided to mess with Linus and his blanket. She said that it hissed at her and even went so far as to chase her outside. She got hold of it and buried it. As Linus went through withdrawal, kindhearted Charlie Brown sat up with him all night. Snoopy recovered the blanket only to have Lucy make a kite out of it and it flew out over the ocean. A rescue team made up of various Peanuts characters went after it.

Finally, poor old Charlie Brown thought he was going crazy as it seemed that everything he looked at was round like a baseball. Taking the advice of his pediatrician Dr. Sweet, Charlie headed off to summer camp for two weeks. While there, he became a hero of sorts, first when a kite swallowing tree “ate” his first kite of spring, he struck back with fury, only to become fearful that he might end up being put in prison by the Environment Protection Agency. He ran away and came upon a group of small children who wanted him to manage their baseball team, The Goose Eggs.

  • Premiere: May 16, 1983 on CBS
  • Voices: Michael Catalano as Charlie Brown, Angela Lee as Lucy van Pelt, Earl Reilly as Linus van Pelt, Cindi Reilly as Sally Brown, Brent Hauer as Peppermint Patty, Michael Dockery as Marcie, Brad Schacter as Schroeder, Frank Oz as The Kite Eating Tree, Bill Meléndez as Snoopy/Woodstock

What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?

 This special is a bittersweet and very thought-provoking Memorial Day tribute as only Charles Schulz could do it.

Charlie Brown fondly looks back over his trip to France as an exchange student with some of his Peanuts friends. With Snoopy as driver and mechanic, the gang travel in a dilapidated old car over country roads as they head toward the Normandy coast. Marcie acts as the interpreter and Peppermint Patty offers her help, but only manages to keep throwing out the wrong phrases from the guidebook. When the clan set up camp for the night on a bluff near the sea, Linus is restless and goes for walk along the beach at dawn. The sound of the waves and wind is his only company. But he tries hard to visualize Omaha Beach on V-Day, June 6, 1944 and creates in his mind a ghostly reenactment of the Allies landing.

Later as the clan move along the coast, past trenches, German bunkers, and a mine crater, the gang also stops at the place where Lt. Col. J.M. McRae wrote his famous poem, In Flander’s Fields. Linus recites the first verse and after a moment or two of quiet reflection, he turns to Charlie Brown and asks “What have we learned, Charlie Brown?”.

  • Premiered on May 30, 1983 on CBS.
  • Brad Kesten as Charlie Brown, Jeremy Schoenberg as Linus van Pelt, Stacy Heather Tolkin as Sally Brown, Brent Hauer/Victoria Vargas as Peppermint Patty, Michael Dockery as Marcie, Monica Parker as French Lady, and Bill Melendez as Snoopy and Woodstock
  • Charles Schulz provided the introduction to this special.
  • Special won the Peabody Award for “distinguished achievement and meritorious public service”.
  • Linus recites the famous poem In Flander’s Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian physician.

It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown

 There is no real unifying plot in this special. It seems that dance fever has overcome our favorite beagle, Snoopy.  Waiting for the cover of darkness to practice his dance moves, he finally feels confident enough to head to the local disco to show off his new moves to a very appreciative audience. But, alas, his hours spent practicing took its toll on his relationship with Charlie Brown who lamented that there was nothing worse than owning a dog who wasn’t a dog.

Peppermint Patty is having problems in class, falling sleep, failing a test, but in gym class she shines by showing off to the other students that she is in shape.

Lucy takes over a game of Simon-Says and turns it into her own lively musical number and even old Charlie Brown proves he is no square when he leads the class in a good old fashioned barn dance.

  • Premiered: April 16, 1984 on CBS.
  • Voices:Brett Johnson as Charlie Brown, Stacy Ferguson as Sally Brown,Jeremy Schoenberg as Linus van Pelt, Heather Stoneman as Lucy van Pelt, Gary Goren as Schroeder, Gini Holtzman as Peppermint Patty, Keri Houlihan as Marcie, Bill Melendez as Snoopy/Woodstock.
  • Marine Jahan who performed much of the dancing in the film Flashdance and Schulz’s daughter, Jill, were the models for Snoopy dancing and Peppermint Patty’s aerobics, through the rotoscope animation process.

Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown

 Is Charlie Brown going to lose his favorite dog to the world of matrimony. While on guard duty at Peppermint Patty’s house, because her father had gone out of town, Snoopy is a bit unnerved at first when he hears strange noises. But not to worry too much, he has along with him, the most dangerous weapon ever devised by man…a hockey stick. Suddenly two large eyes appear in the darkness and Snoopy disappears! The next morning, a letter is found from Snoopy asking that Charlie Brown get in touch with Snoopy’s brother Spike as he wants to get married. It seems he is in love, those large eyes that appeared in the dark belonged to lovely French poodle, Genevieve. Snoopy wants Spike to be his best man at the wedding.

Spike living in Needles, California, then goes about trying to earn enough money to make the trip, but eventually after several unfortunate events decides to hitch hike instead. `

All the Peanuts gang get in on the preparations: Charlie Brown goes shopping with Snoopy to find the right top hat and tails. Woodstock and his friends paint Snoopy’s dog house pink and white, Linus works on the marriage vows and Lucy comes up with the menu. Schroeder is in charge of the bachelor party, which of course is a wild affair with everyone toasting the husband to be with huge glasses of root beer. Even though the event is meant to be one to celebrate great happiness, it is also twinged with some sadness as well as the guests think about Snoopy leaving to start his new life. But, what is this, Snoopy crying in his root beer because he is getting a case of cold feet? The gang try to cheer him up, Sally, with the help of Shroeder offer up a romantic ballad and Linus prepares to read the marriage vows. Lucy offers up “bad” news, it seems the bride to be, Genevieve, has run off with a golden retriever! A relieved Snoopy, dines on the wedding feast atop his dog house with his best friend Woodstock. Spike sets out to go back home and hops a slow going freight train.

  • Premiered: March 20, 1985 on CBS.
  • 28th animated Peanuts special.
  • Voices: Brett Johnson as Charlie Brown, Jeremy Schoenberg as Linus van Pelt, Stacy Ferguson as Sally Brown, Heather Stoneman as Lucy van Pelt, Gini Holtzman as Peppermint Patty, Keri Houlihan as Marcie, Daniel Colby as Schroeder, Dawnn D. Leary Sally Brown (singing voice),Bill Melendez as Snoopy, Woodstock, and Spike.
  • This special was inspired by a comic strip of Schulz’s from 1977. In that version, Genevieve runs of with Snoopy’s brother Spike!

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

 This hour long animated adaption of the 1967 off-Broadway play shows us the ups and downs of the life of Charlie Brown whose life is a constant source of disappointment and frustration.This special marks the debut of Snoopy speaking, with his voice supplied by Robert Tower who was a member of the 1967 Los Angeles stage cast.
  • Premiered: November 6, 1985 on CBS.
  • Voices: Brad Keston as Charlie Brown (Singing voice Kevin Brando), David Wagner as Linus, Jessie Lee Smith as Lucy Van Pelt, Jeremy Reinbold as Schroeder, Michael Dockery as Marcie, Tiffany Reinbold as Sally, Robert Tower as Snoopy.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!

 The Peanuts gang decide to celebrate the New Year right, they are going to throw a big party. But poor Charlie Brown has a huge problem, before Christmas vacation started his teacher assigned him the task of reading Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel, War and Peace and then write a book report.

Lucy, Marcie and Peppermint Patty were determined that this New Year’s party wold be a memorable one, at least romantically. Lucy set her sights on Schroeder and  Marcie was interested in getting Linus to the New Year’s party and Peppermint Patty was determined to win the heart of good old Charlie Brown. Alas, things didn’t go as planned of course, and Schroeder was more interested in playing his piano. Linus was his usual philosophical self and not too interested in romance, and Charlie Brown was way too involved in trying to get his book report finished. Oh, and to make matters worse, he actually invited the Little Red-Headed Girl to the party… can you sense just how much of a disaster that would turn out to be?

Lucy enrolled everyone in a dance class, and everyone learned some new moves, except for Chuck who was stuck on the sidelines reading his book. The night of the party, found Charlie Brown still not having any luck getting his report finished, but he decided to join the fun and got involved in a rowdy game of “Musical Chairs”.

Chuck does manage to write his book report and gets a D on it and becomes even more exasperated when he learns the next book report will be on Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. He just can’t win!

  • Premiere: January 1, 1986.
  • Voices: Chad Allen as Charlie Brown, Jeremy Miller as Linus van Pelt, Melissa Guzzi as Lucy van Pelt, Kristie Baker as Peppermint Patty, Elizabeth Lyn Fraseras Sally Brown, Aron Mandelbaum as Schroeder, Jason Mendelson as Marcie, Bill Melendez as Snoopy and Woodstock.
  • Song: Slow Slow Quick Quick performed by Desiree Goyette.

Snoopy The Musical

 This one hour animated special is based on the popular 1974 play. It is made up of a series of tuneful sketches with Snoopy headlining.
  • “Don’t Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be” – With Snoopy watching, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Sally and Linus sing about being the best that you can be.
  • “Snoopy’s Song” – Will poor Snoopy will be traded in on a cat (thanks to Lucy) if he doesn’t obey Charlie Brown more often?
  • “Woodstock’s Theme” – Woodstock wakes up and flies and Snoopy makes comments on his flying technique.
  • “Edgar Allan Poe” It’s that sort of sick feeling you get when you know your teacher is going to call on you to answer a question that most always has something to do with Poe!
  • “I Know Now” – A musical number with Sally, Peppermint Patty and Lucy singing about all the things they have learned as they have grown up.
  • “The Vigil” – Linus is once again patiently and faithfully waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear. He is kept company by Snoopy, who wears a pair of dark glasses, he doesn’t want anyone to recognize him.
  • “Clouds” – The Peanuts gang take a nice time out and lay in a grassy meadow and talk about the shapes and things they see in the clouds.
  • “The Great Writer” – Snoopy tries to write his masterpiece: “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night”.
  • “Poor Sweet Baby” – Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown are paired in this cute piece about love.
  • “The Big Bow-Wow” – What do you do when you get selected as Head Beagle, well if you are Snoopy you celebrate by going out on the town and putting on a stage show!
  • “Just One Person” – The Peanuts gang sing this ensemble piece that encourages each of us to believe in ourself!
  • Premiere: January 29, 1988 on CBS.
  • Voices: Sean Collings as Charlie Brown, Ami Foster as Lucy van Pelt, Jeremy Miller as Linus van Pelt, Tiffany Billings as Sally Brown, Cameron Clarke as Snoopy, Bill Melendez as Woodstock, Kristie Baker as Peppermint Patty

It’s the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown

This special was a departure from the usual Peanuts specials in that it was a mix of animated and live action scenes. It wasn’t well received by critics and viewers alike, perhaps because it lacked many of the core Peanuts characters that audiences had grown to love over the years. Charlie Brown makes a brief appearance as does Snoopy, but the real star of this special is Snoopy’s brother, Spike.

Spike, who lives in Needles, California meets pretty Jenny, an aerobics instructor with secret dreams of becoming a big city jazz dancer. Together the two of them enjoy exploring the desert vistas in Jenny’s sturdy old red pick-up truck. Soon Spike is in love, but sadly, Jenny already has a boyfriend, Jeff and things are strained between the two, because, without Jenny’s permission, Jeff set up a dance audition for her. This not only interferes with her dance class schedule, but also means, that if she does well at the audition, she has to move away from the desert she loves so much.

After a nice little drive through the desert, Jenny takes Spike home so they can share a nice root bear float, but her boyfriend, Jeff shows up and he is a little bit jealous of Jenny’s friendship with Spike. The trio then decide to go to a roller rink, where Spike is accidentally thrown out of the place and ends up being chased by a group of hunters on a coyote chase. Jenny and Jeff go in search of him and end up rescuing him from the hunters. They want him to come home with them, but Spike simply can’t leave his beloved desert.

Jeff realizes that Jenny is mature enough to make her own choices and it was wrong of him to try to make them for her.

  • Premiered on September 27, 1988 on CBS.
  • Voices:Jason Riffle as Charlie Brown, Steven Solifar as French teacher, Jill Schulz as Jenny, Molly Brice as Molly, Greg Deacon as Jeff and Bill Melendez as Spike.
  • This production took four years to make and Schulz’s wasn’t as pleased with the finished product as he had originally hoped.
  • Some critics suspected that the special was inspired by the success of that summer’s feature film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which had a mixture of live action and cartoon action,  but Schulz denied it, saying he had created the idea in 1984, from a comic strip he had drawn.
  • Monte Schulz, the son of Charles, co wrote the script which some reviewers considered to be rather “thin” in content.

Copyright: Glory Miller/Graple’s Entertainment Archive 2017

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Classic Hollywood: Celebrity Female Halloween Pin-ups Poses

Halloween and Hollywood: A Wonderful Combination!

Hollywood and Halloween seem to be made for each other. In a world that loves to play make believe and dress-up, Halloween was (still is) the perfect excuse for lovely female celebrities to don season appropriate costumes and pose for pin-ups.  Collected here is just a few examples of actresses and starlets of yesteryear who gave us some very lovely poses.

Pier Angeli

  • Born in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy as Anna Maria Pierangeli she made her movie debut in 1950 in De Sica in Domani è troppo tardi.
  • Hollywood discovered her and MGM launched her career in 1951 starring her in the Fred Zinneman directed film, Teresa. She was under contract with MGM for most of the 1950s getting to work with many handsome Hollywood leading men like Stewart Granger, Kirk Douglas, Paul Newman.
  • When MGM signed Leslie Caron to their roster, Pier was loaned out to various studios like Columbia and Warner Brothers and Paramount. Her last film under her MGM contract was Merry Andrew starring Danny Kaye.
  • During the 60s and 70s, she lived and worked in Europe. She was cast in the film The Godfather, but passed away before filming began of an accidental barbiturate overdose. She was only 36 years old and was buried in France.
  • Was romantically involved with James Dean for a short period but broke of their relationship to marry Vic Damone. Their marriage lasted for four years and produced a son, Perry. During the divorce, the couple engaged in a very public child custody battle.
  • Her twin sister Marisa Pavan was also an actress.
  • Her sister Marisa won an Academy Award for her work in the film The Rose Tattoo , the role that Pier was to play but couldn’t.

Nancy Carroll

  • Nancy Carroll, born Ann Veronica Lahiff in New York City and was one of 12 children.
  • She began her career on Broadway and eventually moved into the movie industry making her first film, Ladies Must Dress in 1927.
  • In 1928 she made a number of films, but one in particular, Easy Come, Easy Go made her into a star. She was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress in 1930.
  • While under contract with Paramount Pictures, she gained a bit of a reputation for being temperamental and difficult to deal with because she simply refused to take just any role offered to her. She was eventually released from her contract.
  • In 1938 she retired from the movie business and went back to the stage.
  • In the 50s and 60s she did mostly television work.
  • Married writer F. Bolton Mallory on June 1, 1932 in Connecticut and filed for divorce, citing cruelty and non support, in September of 1935 stating that she had not heard or seen anything of Mallory since he left Hollywood in 1934. Mallory was said to be residing in Mexico at the time of Carroll’s filing. (1)
  • She died at age 61 on August 6, 1965 from a aneurysm.

References:

(1) “Divorce Suit Filed By Nancy Carroll.” The Reading Eagle 5 Sept. 1935: 15. Print.

Cyd Charisse

  • Born Tula Ellice Finklea on March 8, 1922.
  • Suffered from polio at age six. Began to take dancing lessons in hopes of strengthening the muscles in her legs. It worked, by age 12 she was studying ballet.
  • In 1943 she had one of her first film roles in Something to Shout About, but her first speaking part came in the film The Harvey Girls in 1946, starring Judy Garland.
  • Perhaps she is best remembered as being dancing partner to both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. When the movie musical began to fade in popularity, she retired from dancing, but did continue to act in both film and television.
  • Charisse passed away at age 86 of a heart attack on June 17, 2008.

Etchika Choureau

  • Born as Jeannie Paulette Verret in Paris in 1929 (some sources list her birth year as 1923 or possibly 1933).
  • Married Max Choureau when she was 19 years old.
  • Enrolled in the Paris Conservatory of Arts and was discovered by actor Alain Cuny who talked her into accepting a role in the Italian film The Vanquished in 1953.
  • Divorced her husband in 1953, but kept his last name as her stage name.
  • She starred in two more film in 1953: The Other Side of Paradise and Children of Love. She would go on to make nine more films in Italy, Germany and France.
  • In 1957 she came to Hollywood and landed the lead in two war films at Warner Brothers; Darby’s Rangers which co stared James Garner and Lafaytette Escadrille costarring Tab Hunter. Rumor had it that Hunter was deeply smitten with Etchika, but wasn’t allowed by the studio to pursue the relationship.
  • She then engaged in a long time affair with Moulay Hassan II, the Crown Prince of Morocco and retired from the screen. Their affair ended when Hassan was named King of Morocco after His Majesty Mohammed V died.
  • Tried to make a come back in 1961, after being away from the screen for four years, but the magic just didn’t seem to be there anymore and she retired permanently having appeared in only 17 films total.

Ava Gardner

  • Born Ava Lavinia Gardner on December 24, 1922.
  • Was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood and talented as well, winning an Oscar nomination for best actress in the film Mogambo (1953).
  • Married actor Mickey Rooney in 1942 when she was 19, the marriage lasted one year.
  • Married Artie Shaw in 1945 which as another short-lived marriage lasting one year.
  • Married a third and final time to Frank Sinatra from 1951-57.
  • Gardner died at age 67 of pneumonia on January 25, 1990 and is buried in Sunset Memorial Park, Smithfield, North Carolina.

Paulette Goddard

  • A child model, Broadway actress, a Ziegfeld Girl and Academy Award nominated actress of the 1940s.
  • Her career began as an uncredited actress in 1929 at the age of 19. She had minor roles in the Laurel and Hardy short, Berth Marks and in the drama The Locked Door. In 1932 she became a Goldwyn Girl ( a stock company of female dancers hired by Samuel Goldwyn) and worked in the film The Kid From Spain. She and Goldwyn didn’t see eye to eye and she spent some time working for Hal Roach and starring in a variety of his films, many of which were uncredited appearances, over the next four years.
  • She married Charlie Chaplin in 1936 and starred in his hit movie Modern Times. The success of the film allowed her to sign with film producer David O. Selznick who put her in the film The Young and Heart and then loaned her out to MGM for two films; (1938) Dramatic School which failed at the box office and (1939) The Women which was a success.
  • She signed with Paramount and starred in the 1939 Bob Hope film The Cat and the Canary and in 1940, she starred with husband Chaplin in the film The Great Dictator. She and Chaplin split amicably and finally divorced in 1942.
  • In 1943 she received her only Oscar nomination (for Best Supporting Actress) for her role in So Proudly We Hail. She married actor Burgess Meredith in 1944 and worked with him in the 1946 film The Diary of a Chambermaid. The couple divorced in 1949.
  • She would work in a few more movies during the latter part of the 40’s and did some work on television in the 50s.
  • She retired from acting in 1958 when she married her fourth and final husband Erich Maria Remarque who died in 1971.
  • Paulette died in Switzerland April 23, 1990 at age 79.

Betty Grable

  • In 1929, at age 12 her mother got her work as a chorus girl, by using false identification papers claiming she was 15 years old.
  • Became a Goldwyn Girl  and began to get very small uncredited parts in several films, before getting a part in the 1932 film Probation, which was her first credited role.
  • She would spend much of the 1930s in small roles (many non credited, again) in B films and finally in 1938, she got her first starring role in the film Campus Confessions receiving top billing.
  • Betty was married to Jackie Coogan from 1937 to 1939. Coogan would gain fame as Uncle Fester in the 60s sitcom The Addams Family.
  • In 1939, she starred with Coogan in the film Million Dollar Legs. The title soon became Grable’s nick name.  (William Holden has an extremely small uncredited role in this film!)
  • By 1940, though, she had had enough of Hollywood and decided to retire,  but managed to get a contract 20th Century Fox when she replaced ailing star Alice Faye in the film Down Argentina Way. The movie was a success and Betty was on her way to being a major star and the 1940s proved to be a successful decade for Betty in terms of films.
  • By the time the 50s began her career was starting to run out of steam and she would make just eight films, with the last being How to Be Very Very Popular in 1955. This film originally was meant to star Betty with Marilyn Monroe, whom she had worked with in How to Marry a Millionaire, but Monroe refused the part saying the script was of poor quality. Instead another up and coming blond sex symbol, Sheree North was cast. The film did moderately well at the box office and Betty was praised for her work, but Sheree didn’t fare as well.
  • Her legs had been insured by her studio for 1 million dollars with Lloyds of London.
  • Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, said Betty was his inspiration for creating the magazine.
  • Grable died of lung cancer at age 56 on July 2, 1973. She is buried at the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California

Joyce Holden

  • Born Jo Ann Heckert on September 1, 1930
  • While attending college she tried out for a part in The Ed Wynn Show and won a 13 week contract. This was her first break.
  • Steve Allen then gave her a small part in the film Down Memory Lane.
  • She studied singing, dancing and elocution.
  • Universal cast her in the Jimmy Durante film The Milkman, she was 20 years old.
  • Won several beauty contests including Miss Southern California and Miss Television.
  • Her agent claimed that she set a record for the number of kisses received in one day, a total of 602 as numerous actors auditioned with her in order to be cast in a Universal movie with her. Actor Dick Long won the audition. (Actress Piper Laurie dropped to second place with a total of 524 kisses in one day!)
  • Married song writer Arnold Stanford, 16 years her senior in June of 1951. The couple divorced in 1955.
  • Married David P. Mannhalter in 1958 and they are still married.

Janet Leigh

  • Her film debut was in the 1947 The Romance of Rosy Ridge and she would get top billing in the Lassie film Hills of Home in 1948.
  • Many quality roles followed: Little Women and Holiday Affair, both in 1949. Jet Pilot with John Wayne started filming in 1949 and finished in 1953. The film itself wasn’t released until 1957, because Howard Hughes who produced it, kept it out of circulation as he edited it and re-edited it repeatedly, something that he, or at least rumor had it, did to many of the films he was involved with.
  • Throughout the 50s, Janet proved to be a very versatile actress, working in comedy, musicals, and westerns.
  • Her most famous role, came in 1960 when she portrayed the ill-fated Marion Crane in the Hitchcock thriller, Psycho. The role won her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
  • She would continue to make appearances in film and TV with her last movie appearance being in the 2005 Bad Girls from Valley High.
  • Janet died at age 77 on October 3, 2004.

Bessie Love

  • Juanita Horton who would become actress Bessie Love was born in Midland Texas on September 10, 1898. Her silent screen career began in 1915 when director D.W. Griffith (who was also responsible for giving her her screen name) cast her in a role in his classic film, Birth of a Nation. He would cast her again in his 1916 film, Intolerance.
  • She was one of the few silent screen actors to transaction smoothly into “talkies” and in 1929 she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in The Broadway Melody, but by 1932, her film career was in decline so she moved to England where she worked on films and stage, with an occasional role back in the US.
  • Bessie died in London of natural causes on April 26, 1986 at the age of 87.

Myrna Loy

  • Myrna’s career began in the silent film era. She tested for the lead role in Cobra a film produced by Rudolph Valentino. She didn’t get the part, but she did manage to find work as an extra in the 1925 film Pretty Ladies. In 1925 she had a small role in the film What Price Beauty. It remained unreleased for three years, but publicity photos of Myra in her film’s costume appeared in fan magazines which caught the attention of folks at Warner Brothers who gave her a contract.
  • Her silent film roles were mostly that of a vamp or femme fatale. She also found herself typecast as characters who were Asian or Eurasian and this took years of hard work to break away from.
  • Her career took an upswing when she was cast as Nora Charles in the classic 1934 film The Thin Man with William Powell. She almost didn’t get the part because the studio believed her to be a dramatic actress who wouldn’t be able to do comedy. The film’s producer W. S. Van Dyke kept insisting on her and the studio gave in. The Thin Man was a success and Myra and William would go on to star in 14 films together, making them one of Hollywood’s most popular movie pairings.
  • When World War II broke out, she all but abandoned her career and started to work with the Red Cross. She helped to run the Naval Auxiliary Canteen.
  • She returned to her movie career in 1945 doing another Thin Man movie as well as starring in The Best Years of Our Lives in 1946, a movie role that she always considered her best work.
  • She acted sporadically in theater, film and television from the 50s to the 70’s and her last role was a spot on the television series, Love, Sidney in 1982.
  • She died at age 88 in New York City on December 14, 1993.

Ann Miller

  • Ann got a contract at RKO when she was just 13 (having told them she was 18). She stayed with the studio till 1940.
  • In 1941 she signed with Columbia Studios and worked in 11 B grade movies between 1941-45.
  • In 1948, she gained famed working in the Easter Parade, a Fred Astaire musical. She also had success in the 1948 film On the Town and Kiss Me Kate in 1953.
  • Her movie career ended in 1956, but she kept busy in television and theater. In 1969 she appeared on Broadway in Mame and in 1979 in Sugar Babies.
  • Suffered from a case of rickets at age five. Her mother enrolled her in dance classes believing it would strengthen her legs.
  • Born Johnnie Lucille Collier. Her father wanted a son and insisted on the name Johnnie.
  • Her father, John Alfred Collier was an attorney who represented Machine Gun Kelly, Baby Face Nelson and other notable gangsters.
  • Was discovered by Lucille Ball and talent agent Benny Rubin while she worked as a dancer at the Black Cat Club in San Francisco.
  • Ann died on January 22, 2004 from lung cancer.

Ruth Roman

  • Ruth fell in love with acting at a very young age. In 1945, she headed to New York to get work on Broadway, when it didn’t prove to be that easy, she found she had to take work as model and her image appeared on covers of detective magazines. She eventually found herself in California and managed to get a contract with Warner Brothers and worked in such films as Good Sam with Gary Cooper in 1948, Strangers on a Train in 1951, The Far Country in 1954.
  • The movie industry was in a bit of a panic during the early 50’s with the advent of television. It was thought by studio heads that television was just a fad and would fade from view, but that didn’t happen. But, Ruth did make her share of films but sadly, her career seemed to lose steam and she faded from view.
  • She made a big comeback of sorts when she was a passenger on the ill fated ship, the Andrea Doria in 1956. She managed to get her young son, Dickey, off the ship by putting him on a life boat. She told him that he was going on a picnic. Eventually, Ruth was able to get off the boat, too, being rescued by the SS Ile de France and ended up in New York where she was reunited with her son, who had been taken aboard the Stockholm.
  • Ruth passed away September 9, 1999 at age 76.

Vampira

  • Born Maila Nurmi (rhymes with wormy) on December 11, 1922 in Finland.
  • In a 1954 interview she described herself as having been a “spook ever since she was born. I have always been odd, fanatic, and interested in the macabre.”
  • She came to the US at a young age and worked at a variety of jobs including being an apprentice engraver, a hat check girl, and New York City’s first female bell hop.
  • In 1949 she made her way to Hollywood and worked as a dancer, a pin-up model, a photographer’s assistant.
  • She married Dean Riesner a successful writer in 1949. The couple eventually divorced and she would marry two more times.
  • On Broadway she worked in the Mike Todd show Spook Scandals, a musical. For publicity for the show, she wrapped herself in a lavender shroud and lay in a coffin in the lobby.
  • Reportedly had personal stationary that showed her resting on a coffin.
  • In 1953, the character of Morticia Addams, a Charles Addams creation is what inspired Maila to create her famous Vampira persona. Her husband, Dean Riesner came up with the name and she admitted that he was, at times, embarrassed by her act.
  • On May 1, 1954, The Vampira Show premiered on KABC-TV. It lasted until 1955, and she retained the rights to the character.
  • On January 10, 2008, passed away at age 85 of natural causes.

Martha Vickers

  • Discovered by David O. Selznick after seeing her photos in an article about photo lighting. He gave her a contract then “forgot” about her. She spent a year taking diction lessons and study how to “sit prettily”.
  • She then tried for a contract at Universal where for six months she had a small role in Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman. Then tried for a contract at RKO.
  • Finally was contacted by Howard Hawks who was searching for an actress to play Lauren Bacall’s little sister in the 1946 film The Big Sleep.
  • A 1947 newspaper article cited Vickers as preparing to give up acting in order to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer and editor.
  • Married to Mickey Rooney from 1949 to 1951, the couple had one son.
  • Vickers married Manuel Rojas in 1954, the couple had two children. They divorced in 1965.
  • Vickers passed away at age 46 in 1971.

 

Copyright: Glory Miller/Graple’s Entertainment Archive 2014

1960’s Comedy Films of Doris Day

 
This article is a brief look at the 1960s comedy films of Doris Day who finished out the decade of the 50s with her Oscar nominated role in the 1959 film, Pillow Talk, co starring Rock Hudson.This  film was a nice lead-in to the “bedroom” comedies of the 60’s that become some of her most popular and memorable films. These comedies were romantic in nature and seemed to be a little more adult compared to her roles in the past. She was paired with some of Hollywood’s most attractive actors like Rock Hudson, Rod Taylor, James Garner, and Cary Grant and most of them had her as a long suffering wife with husband and marital problems or as an independent single woman working hard to keep her sense of “self respect”. It was these kinds of roles that earned her the moniker of “the world’s oldest virgin” and movie audiences began to shy away from her films as their real life views about sex, love and marriage were changing.

Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960)

Cast: Doris Day, David Niven, Patsy Kelly, Janis Paige, Richard Haydon, Jack Weston

Directed: Charles Walters

Produced: Joe Pasternak

Basic Plot: David Niven is college professor Lawrence Mackay and Doris is his wife Kate. When the couple decide to move to the country, they buy an old run down house and Kate takes to fixing it up. Meanwhile, Larry, has given up his work at the college to become an entertainment critic. Things are going fine with his new job until he is given the task of reviewing a good friend’s play, which turns out to be horrible. The leading actress, Deborah Vaughn (Janis Paige) decides to take revenge and gets great publicity when she is photographed slapping Larry’s face at a fancy restaurant. This gains Larry a following and soon he and Kate are the toast of the town getting invited to all the fancy parties and events which begins to change Larry’s personality much to Kate’s chagrin. She decides to spend her time living in the country fixing up the house while, Larry decides to spend more time living in the city, enjoying all of the perks his new fame brings, including the attention of sexy actress Deborah Vaughn. Will Larry come back to his senses?

Trivia:

  • Based on the book of the same name by Jean Kerr,who admitted to doing some of her writing in the family car which she parked several blocks from her home that was filled with kids, pets and other kinds of “chaos”.
  • In an argument with her husband, Kate makes the silly remark that she had a “rendezvous with Rock Hudson”, which was a alluding to the fact that Day’s previous film, Pillow Talk had co starred Rock Hudson.
  • The book inspired a sitcom that ran on NBC from 1965-67 starring Mark Miller and Patricia Crowley.

Lover Come Back (1961)

Film’s Tag Line: A riotous new twist in the art of gentle persuasion!

Cast: Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Randall, Edie Adams, Ann B. Davis, Joe Flynn, Jack Albertson, Donna Douglas

Directed: Delbert Mann

Produced: Robert Arthur, Martin Melcher, Stanley Shapiro

Basic Plot: In this comedy Day and Hudson play competing Madison Avenue advertising agents who have never met in person, but have an intense dislike for each other just the same. Carol Templeton (Day) is hard working and very professional woman and Jerry Webster (Hudson) is unscrupulous and would do just about anything to win and keep a client and isn’t above wining and dining them and even setting them up on dates. Carol reports him to the Ad Counsel and Jerry is able to charm them as well, especially when he brings in sexy Rebel Davis (Edie Adams) to seduce them. To buy Rebel’s silence, Jerry comes up with a fake product for her to hawk, problem is when her commercials get released as the real thing, Jerry has to come up with the product and then has to impersonate the chemist who invented the product and guess who decides to try to win him as a client for her ad agency, that’s right, Carol!

Trivia

  • Not as well known as their venture together in Pillow Talk from 1959, Rock Hudson and Doris are at it again.
  • Though not a musical, there are two Day songs, the title track, Pillow Talk and Possess Me (sometimes called Should I Surrender). Rock and Doris sing Roly Poly.
  • Tony Randall was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor.

That Touch of Mink (1962)

Film’s Tag Line: Two of Hollywood’s most beloved stars, Cary Grant and Doris Day, sparkle in a breezy, stylish comedy that’s rich with romantic delights.

Cast: Doris Day, Cary Grant, Gig Young, John Astin, Dick Sargent, Audrey Meadows

Directed: Delbert Mann

Produced: Robert Arthur, Martin Melcher, Stanley Shapiro

Basic Plot: The duo play Cathy Timberlake and Philip Shayne. Shayne is a wealthy man who meets Cathy when his car splashes her with mud while she is walking to a job interview. Philip is attracted to Cathy and being a rich sophisticated man, has no real desire to engage in a real relationship or get married. He enjoys his freedom and simply wants to have an affair. He invites Cathy to a trip to Bermuda for some fun in the sun, which she initially rejects, but then she decides that she will go. But, when together with Philip, she finds the idea of being intimate with him to be so scary she breaks out into a rash.

Trivia:

  • This was Cary Grant’s 69th film and his only one with Doris and it gave him a boost to his career as it was a box office hit. It also solidified Doris as a top box office earner. Clearly, she was the more popular star of this film.
  • The film won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy Film of 1963.
  • Doris allowed Grant’s name to precede hers in the credits out of respect for his long and distinguished career.
  • Cary Grant hated the finished film.
  • Rock Hudson was to get the role of Philip, but director Delbert Mann wanted Grant, instead.
  • By this time, viewers and critics alike were getting tired of Day’s perpetual virgin roles. The idea of Day, at her age in this film, still being a virgin was laughable to some.

Billy Rose’s Jumbo (1962)

Film’s Tag Line: Jump for Joy! It’s Jumbo!

 Cast: Doris Day, Stephen Boyd, Jimmy Durante, Dean Jagger, Martha Raye

Directed: Charles Walters

Produced:Joe Pasternak, Martin Melcher

Basic Plot: It’s 1910 and The Wonder Circus comes to town and its main attraction is Jumbo the elephant. Run by Pop Wonder (Durante) and his daughter Kitty (Day) the circus is in deep financial straights as Pop has a bit of a gambling problem. When Kitty hires on Sam Rawlins (Boyd) who seems to be a man of many talents, she is unaware that he is the son of fellow circus competitor John Noble (Jagger) who wants to buy The Wonder Circus and who with his son’s help manages to get control of the circus. Kitty and Pop go off on their own to form a small traveling carnival but things just aren’t the same. Eventually, loves wins out when Sam’s conscience gets the best of him (and the fact that he has fallen in love with Kitty) splits from his father’s business and goes to join Kitty and her father in their new business.

Trivia:

  • Was to be made in 1947, but MGM felt that the script was not ready to be made into a film.
  • Was to originally star Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland.
  • This was Day’s first musical role in five years.
  • The film featured seven songs by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers.
  • Designer Morton Haack created over 2,000 costumes for the movie.
  • The film was a Broadway play that also starred Durante.
  • Martha Raye returned to the silver screen after a 14 year absence.
  • It took the talents of three trained elephants, Sydney, Hattie and Anna May to create Jumbo.
  • Busby Berkeley choreographed the circus acts scenes.

The Thrill of It All (1963)

Film’s Tag Line: She’s hoping he’s ready. He wishing she’s willing.

Cast:Doris Day, James Garner, Arlene Francis, Edward Andrews

Directed: Norman Jewison

Produced: Ross Hunter, Martin Melcher

Basic Plot: Doris is housewife Beverly Boyer and James Garner is her husband, Gerald, a very successful obstetrician. When Beverly gets a chance to star in a commercial advertising Happy Soap, she is a big hit and gets a contract to make weekly commercials. Things go fine until her work begins to interfere with her marriage to Gerald who discovers that he sees more of his wife on television than in person.

Trivia:

  • Written by Larry Gelbart and Carl Reiner. Reiner had written the part of Beverly intending it to be a vehicle of Judy Holliday, who had to refuse the role because she was suffering from cancer. She would pass away at age 43 in 1965.
  • Reiner has a cameo in the film.
  • Bosley Crowther, who reviewed the movie for the New York Times called the film “good clean fun, that was filled with slapstick and sight gags.”

Move Over Darling (1963)

Films’ Tag Line:  She’s married to him, he’s married to her and it’s sheer bedlam from morning til night!

Cast: Doris Day, James Garner, Chuck Connors, Wally Cox, Don Knotts, Polly Bergan, Thelma Ritter, John Astin, Pat Harrington, Jr.

Directed: Michael Gordon

Produced: Martin Melcher, Aaron Rosenberg

Basic Plot: Day is Ellen Wagstaff Arden, a loving mother and wife who was lost at sea and presumed drowned. Five years pass, and her husband, Nick (James Garner) wants to have her declared legally dead so he can remarry. What Nick doesn’t know is that Ellen is very much alive having spent the five years on a deserted island with handsome Stephen Burkett (Chuck Connors) and the fun begins when she returns to civilization on the same day that Nick is to remarry!

Trivia:

  • This comedy film is a remake of the 1940 comedy My Favorite Wife starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunn.
  • It was to be remade in 1962 as a Marilyn Monroe vehicle co starring Dean Martin, under the title of Something’s Got to Give. Of course, it is common knowledge that Marilyn died before filming was completed. That movie was then shelved and eventually the idea was retooled as Move Over Darling starring Doris and James Garner.
  • A real submarine, the USS Blackfin was used in the scene that showed Ellen being rescued. Day toured the sub, lunched with the crew and was made an honorary crew member.
  • Garner had been wanted by producers to star in the Dean Martin role in the Monroe film, but he was busy working on The Great Escape.

Send Me No Flowers (1964)

Film’s Tag Line: Rock is ready to make love yesterday, tomorrow and especially to Day (Doris that is!)

 Cast: Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Randall, Clint Walker, Paul Lynde

Directed: Norman Jewison

Produced: Harry Keller

Basic Plot: George and Judy Kimball (Hudson and Day) are a happily married couple. George, though is a hypochondriac, always under the belief that he is ill. One day, he overhears his doctor talking about a patient that only has a short time to live. George mistakenly believes it’s him. He confides in his best friend, Arnold (Tony Randall) and together the two decide to search for a replacement husband for Judy. They don’t have to look far, when an old college boyfriend of Judy’s, Bert Power (Clint Walker) comes on the scene. Things get even more mixed up when Judy begins to suspect that George is having an affair with newly divorced Linda Bullard (Patricia Barry).

Trivia:

  • This is the third and final pairing of Doris with Rock Hudson.
  • Even though the topic is somewhat dark and depressing, the film is light and amusing and does offer up some good laughs.
  • Paul Lynde is wonderful as the undertaker who sells George his cemetery plot.
  • Clint Walker isn’t really used as much as I would have liked, he seems to just disappear from the movie at the end.
  • Theme song Send Me No Flowers performed by Doris (did you really expect anyone else?).

Do Not Disturb (1965)

Film’s Tag Line: A Gorgeous Day!…A Hilarious Day!…A Kissable Day!…A Glorious Day…And Night!

 Cast: Doris Day, Rod Taylor, Hermione Baddeley, Sergio Fantoni

Directed: Ralph Levy, George Marshall

Produced: Martin Melcher, Aaron Rosenberg

Basic Plot: Doris stars as Janet Harper and Rod Taylor as her husband Mike. When he is transferred to England for his job, Janet goes along. Soon she is upset because he is spending so much time at work and is getting jealous of his very attractive assistant Claire Hackett (Maura McGiveney). In order to make Mike jealous, Janet creates a mystery man of her own, only to find out he really exists in the form of a Paul Bellari (Sergio Fantoni) and he just might sweep her off her feet!

Trivia:

  • The first of two movies Doris made with Rod Taylor.
  • New York Time movie critic Bosley Crowther said, “Do Not Disturb,” is the most foolish piece of comic trivia she’s been caught in since her pre-Rock Hudson days. [1]
  • Doris stated in her 1975 autobiography that she didn’t want to do this film, but her then husband and manager Martin Melcher signed the contract without her knowledge.
  • Raquel Welch has a small part as a woman standing in the lobby.
  • Britt Ekland has a role as a party goer.

Sources:

[1] Crowther, Bosley. “Do Not Disturb: Doris Day Decorates Home in England.” Review. New York Times 25 Dec. 1965: n. pag. Web.

The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

Film’s Tag Lines:  (1)  Is this the girl next door?  (2) The spy who came out of the water.

Cast: Doris Day, Rod Taylor, Paul Lynde, Arthur Godfrey, Dom DeLuise, Dick Martin, Edward Andrews, Eric Fleming

Directed: Frank Tashlin

Producer: Everett Freeman and Martin Melcher

Basic Plot: Jennifer Nelson (Day) sometimes works for her father, Axel Nordstrom (Arthur Godfrey) who runs a glass bottom boat tour business at Santa Catalina Island in California.  She wears a mermaid costume and swims beneath the boat for the amusement of his passengers. One day, Bruce Templeton (Rod Taylor) snags her suit with his fishing hook, tearing off the bottom of her costume.  She later learns that Templeton is a high placed executive at a NASA space center where she will soon be starting her new full time job in public relations.  When Templeton discovers she works there, he hires her for a new job, that of his biographer, wanting her to help him write his life’s story. But, he has other motives, he really wants to win her affection.   But, there is a problem, the company’s security offer, Homer Cripps (Paul Lynde) finds Jennifer’s actions highly suspicious when he hears her talking in “code” during a phone conversation.  He immediately begins to suspect she is a spy working for the Russians who want to get their hands on Templeton’s new invention the GISMO.  When she discovers that Templeton believes she isn’t smart enough to be a spy, she decides to have a little bit of fun by pretending to be one and turning the tables on both Cripps and Templeton.

Trivia:

  • This is Doris Day’s second appearance with handsome Rod Taylor and is a spoof on the popular spy genre that was started with the success of the James Bond series of films.
  • In some countries, such as Australia, the film was released under the title of The Spy in Lace Panties.
  • GISMO stands for Gravity Inertial Stabilization Man Observatory.
  • Robert Vaughn famous for his role in the TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. has a non speaking cameo part.
  • By the time this movie was filmed, Doris had lost her Number One standing (she had dropped to 8th place) at the box office, being replaced by Julie Andrews.

The Ballad of Josie (1967)

Film’s Tag Line: It’s Quick Draw Doris!

Cast: Doris Day, Peter Graves, George Kennedy, Andy Devine, William Talman, David Hartman

Directed: Andrew V. McLaglen

Produced: Norman MacDonnell and Martin Melcher

Basic Plot: Doris stars in the comedy western as Josie Minick, a young woman who accidentally kills her abusive husband. She is put on trial but is acquitted and decides to take up sheep ranching much to the dismay of her male neighbors who raise cattle. She then decides to get other women around the area involved and soon a suffragette movement is born with Josie determined to prove a woman is a good as a man when it comes to farming. Oh, and she also wins the heart of good guy cowboy Jason Meredith (Peter Graves) in the process and eventually comes to realize it’s never too good to be too independent. Hmm.

Trivia:

  • Vincent Canby who reviewed the film for the New York Times stated that the film was incredibly unimportant and felt that it was better suited as a television movie than feature film.
  • Not one of Day’s better received films. Some have called it mediocre. It was an attempt to cash in on the rising feminist movement.
  • Was the last film role for actor William Talman, who is probably better known for his work on the television series Perry Mason as District Attorney Hamilton Burger.
  • Original title for the film The Epic of Josie and it was originally to be a television movie until Doris and her husband got hold of the script and became interested in filming it.

Caprice (1967)

Film’s Tag Lines: (1)Where do you run when there’s no place to run? Where do you hide when there’s no place to hide? (2) The Suspense Is Incredible! (3) Doris Day Richard Harris play the game of excitement in the cliff-hanger of the year ! (4) Caprice is a zig zag pattern of suspense and excitement that leaves all other thrillers far behind!

 Cast: Doris Day, Richard Harris, Ray Walston, Edward Mulhare

Directed: Frank Tashlin

Produced: Aaron Rosenberg, Martin Melcher

Basic Plot: Patricia Foster (Doris) works for Femina Cosmetics and wants to sell a secret formula to rival cosmetic company May Fortune. When she is caught and fired, she is then hired by May Fortune, but she is still secretly working for Femina Cosmetics. Her assignment is to get her hands on the new super secret hairspray formula created by May Fortune’s head chemist Dr Stuart Clancy (Ray Walston). This hairspray will make all others obsolete! Patricia is wooed by Christopher White (Richard Harris) who works for May Fortune, he wants to learn all of the secrets she knows about Femina Cosmetics. It soon becomes clear that its is difficult to keep track of just which side Patricia and Christoper are on and if it’s really hairspray that is at the center of their attention!

Trivia

  • The last film that used CinemaScope.
  • An obvious attempt to jump on the secret agent/spy bandwagon.
  • Columnist Harold Cohn believed that the role set Day’s career back 10 years maybe even 20! [1]
  • New York Times movie review Bosley Crowther called the film a “cluttered chichi and comedy claptrap”. [2]
  • Day’s husband and manager Marty Melcher committed her to this film before she ever saw the script, she had no chance to turn it down.

References:

[1] Cohn, Harold V. “At Random.” Pittsburgh Post Gazette 26 July 1967: 13. Print.

[2] Crowther, Bosley. “Caprice: Doris Day Plays a Spy at Several Houses.” Review. The New York Times 8 June 1967:

Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (1968)

Film’s Tag Lines: (1) Oh, the liberties that were taken the night New York flipped its fuse… and became “Fun City”!  (2) The story of 8 million New Yorkers who were lost in the dark… until they found each other.

 Cast: Doris Day, Patrick O’Neal, Robert Morse, Terry-Thomas, Lola Albright, Jim Backus

Directed:Hy Averback

Produced: Everett Freeman and Martin Melcher

Basic Plot: When Broadway actress Margaret Garrison’s (Doris) show is shut down for the night because of the city-wide blackout, she goes home early and finds hubby, Peter, (Patrick O’ Neal) being a little too friendly with reporter Roberta Lane (Lola Albright). In anger, she leaves the apartment and heads to their country home in Connecticut. While there, she mixes for herself a sleeping concoction, drinks some down and falls fast asleep. Corporate embezzler, Waldo Zane (Robert Morse) has escaped the city with an attache case full of cash and when his car breaks down near Margaret’s home, he takes refuge there, unaware she is there. When he mistakenly tries some of her sleeping concoction, he ends up in bed with Margaret fast asleep. When Peter arrives a few hours later and finds the two together, he assumes the worst and storms out and heads back to the city. Will this be the end of their marriage?r.

Trivia:

  • The Letterman sing the theme song.
  • Based on the play by Claude Magnier.
  • Morgan Freeman has an uncredited role as a commuter.
  • Cameo Roles: Steve Allen tries to read the news by candle light, Jim Backus is a glib car salesman, Ben Blue is a man trying to shave in the dark and Pat Paulsen is a subway bus conductor groping around in the dark.
  • The film was inspired by the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965.

With Six You Get Eggroll (1968)

Film’s Tag Line:  Does this look like a movie that could give you bad dreams?

Cast: Doris Day, Brian Keith, Barbara Hershey, George Carlin, Pat Carroll, Vic Tayback, Alice Ghostly

Directed by: Howard Morris

Produced by: Martin Melcher for the Cinema Center Films which was a subsidiary of Columbia Broadcasting System.

Basic Plot: Doris is Abby McClure, a widow with three sons who is running her late husband’s business. She is tricked by her match making sister, Maxine (Pat Carroll) into a dinner meeting with widower Jake Iverson (Brian Keith) and things don’t go so well. Eventually, the couple do manage to have a successful date and fall in love. The problem is, Abby’s sons and Jake’s daughter don’t get along and try their hardest to keep their parents apart. Will love win out?

Trivia:

  • George Carlin’s movie debut.
  • The last feature film for Day before she began work on her TV series, The Doris Day Show.
  • Very similar in plot line to the feature film, Yours, Mine, Ours which has been released four months earlier.
  • Was one of Day’s biggest money earners.
  • One movie critic found the film to be “clumsily written, ineptly directed, and artificially wholesome”. {1}

Sources:

[1] Stoneham, Gordon. “Movie-goers Won’t Lose Any Sleep over “Eggroll” Review. Ottawa Citizen 19 Sept. 1968: 35. Web.

© Copyright: Glory Miller/Graple’s Entertainment Archive 2014

June Knight: 1930s Blonde Bombshell, Broadway and Film Star

A brief look at June Knight, dancer, singer and actress of stage and screen famous in the 1930s. Collected here is bits of trivia about her movies, marriages, romances, and life in general. Using various online sources as well as old newspaper and magazine articles, we get just a very brief look at her life and career.

  • Born Margaret Rose Valliquietto January 22, 1913.
  • She suffered from infantile paralysis from the age 22 months until age five.
  • At age four she was diagnosed with tuberculosis which was cured with time spent in Arizona.
  • She also suffered from double pneumonia, scarlet fever, whooping cough, chicken pox and mastoiditis. She was so sickly that doctor’s simply didn’t believe she would live.
  • She learned to sing to help strengthen her lungs and to dance to help build strength in her legs. By the time she was 15 years old, she was the picture of health and one of the best gymnasts at her school.

1930’s Broadway and Personal Appearances

  • Made her Broadway debut at age 19 in the Ziegfield Follies show Hot-Cha (1932).
  • June 1934 played a two-week engagement at the Beach and Tennis Club in Miami Florida. She also did appearances at the Rony Plaza Hotel courtesy of the Beach and Tennis Club.
  • Worked in two other Broadway shows during the 30s; Take a Chance (32), Jubilee (35).
  • In 1935 she studied under Samuel Krayzer who had been “building and polishing” stars since 1878. He said of her, “She possesses a thorough understanding of the mind and has a sincere purpose in pictures.” Some of Krayzer’s other pupils were Paulette Goddard, Fredric March and Edwin Booth (whose career would be over shadowed by his brother, John Wilkes, who would gain notoriety as the assassin of US President Abraham Lincoln).

June Knight’s 1930s Films

A listing of June’s 1930’s film credits with bits of trivia about the film, June, other actors and more where applicable.

  • (1938) Vacation from Love: June sangLet’s Pretend It’s True“.
  • (1938) Break the News: A long forgotten British B-movie
  • (1937) The Lilac Domino: A British B-movie one of several that June worked in. A rather obscure title.
  • (1935) Redheads on Parade
  • (1935) Broadway Melody of 1936: June sang I’ve Got a Feelin’ You’re Foolin with Robert Taylor. Buddy Ebsen dances with his sister Vilma, who would soon retire from show business. She and Buddy had been a popular vaudeville act in the early 30’s.
  • (1934) Wake Up and Dream: This was Russ Columbo’s first and only lead role in a film. He wrote all four songs used in the film’s score. June sings with him on “Wake Up and Dream”, “Let’s Pretend There’s a Moon”, “When You’re In Love” and “Too Beautiful for Words” which some Columbo biographer’s claim he wrote for Carole Lombard with whom he was involved romantically at the time of his death. He was killed in a freak shooting accident at age 26.
  • (1934) Gift of Gab: Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi have small roles.
  • (1934) Cross Country Cruise
  • (1933) Take a Chance: Vivian Vance had an uncredited role in the film. Vivian, of course would go on to gain fame as Lucy Ricardo’s landlord and friend, Ethel Mertz in I Love Lucy.
  • (1933) Ladies Must Love
  • (1930) Madam Satan: While she tested for the lead role, she was too young to play a thirty something woman. She did have an uncredited role.

Romantic Relationships/Marriages

  • Was rumored that prize fighter Max Baer had proposed to her in 1933, she admitted he had, but then laughed if off saying that “Max proposes to everybody”.
  • She and Texas oilman, Arthur A. Cameron, who married in August of 1938, divorced in September of 1943. Cameron stated that she was so jealous that it was almost like a phobia. Knight denied being the jealous type, but admitted she was possessive and very much in love with her soon to be ex-husband. She had been asking for $4,000 a month alimony, $10,000 for attorney fees and half of community property. She was eventually awarded a $50,000 settlement. The couple had met in a Galveston night club where June had been making a personal appearance.
  • After meeting in Miami Beach, Florida, in 1942 ,wealthy New York broker Paul Ames, age 32, (whose brother Stephen was married to actress Raquel Torres and who had been previously married to another actress Adrienne Ames) married June on November 30, 1943. He filed for divorce just thirteen (some sources state nine days) later siting cruelty. Knight complained that Ames always had his friend, Murray Stern who served as best man at their wedding, hanging around, so the couple had little time together alone. She also said that Ames was sullen and morose and continually allowed his family to interfere in their affairs. She was asking for $1,200 a month alimony. [1]
  • In 1949 she married Carl B. Squier, Lockheed Aircraft executive.Their marriage lasted 18 years, until his death in 1967.
  • In 1969 she married for the fourth and last time to Jack Buehler, another Lockheed Aircraft executive and close friend of her late husband, Carl. She remained married to Jack until her death on June 16, 1987.

Sources:

  • “13 Day Marriage.” The Milwaukee Sentinel 15 Dec. 1934: 22. Print.

June Knight Trivia

  • June stood 5’5″ tall and weighed 119 pounds. She had blue eyes and taffy-colored hair.
  • Around age 15, she adopted the name Marie Valli. She was visiting MGM and heard one of the great stars of the day trying out for a singing role. Knight rather boldly said out loud she could do better than that which caught the ear of director Cecil B. DeMille, who decided to test her. He was impressed and almost cast her in the lead. Although she didn’t get the lead, she did get an uncredited part in the film.
  • In 1931, she started a dance partnership with Jack Holland using her name of Marie Valli. Holland changed her stage name to June Knight. She liked it so much she legally changed her name to that. In 1933, when she split with Holland, he hired a new partner and gave her that same stage name.She sued Holland to gain complete rights to the name of June Knight.
  • In 1935 June and her maid were bound and gagged by two robbers in her apartment who stole $5,000 worth of jewelry from her. Stolen were a diamond ring, a diamond bracelet, miscellaneous pieces of jade and some coins. Knight reported that one of the men had called her on the phone claiming to be an executive who wanted a testimonial and who suggested a conference. She agreed, when the man came to her apartment, he pulled out a gun and proceeded to tell her that it was a stick-up and he wanted her jewels. A second man then joined them and they bound her by the ankles and stuffed a towel in her mouth and then took her jewelry.
  • In June of 1944, she was hospitalized to have a benign tumor removed.
  • In 1945 had her own line of perfume.
  • June was a bit of an inventor, coming up with the Widow’s Peak Coiffure Clip, a hair clip. She invented a garter belt with an attached small change purse, she also invented the June Chic, a collapsible camping toilet.

© 2015 Glory Miller/Graple’s Entertainment Archives

Ten Handsome Actors Who Have Played Cowboys!

 Cowboys whether they are outlaws, lawmen, gunslingers, are always fun to watch. This is a short listing of some of the actors who played cowboys in feature films and television.

Bruce Campbell in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.bruce-campbell-brisco

  • Plot: The Adventures of Brisco County Jr is a fun filled high energy Western series. Set in the American west during the 1890’s, Brisco is a Harvard educated lawyer and son of a slain U.S. Marshal, who has turned bounty hunter, and whose main goal, when not being interrupted by other issues, is to capture John Bly and his gang. He is helped in his adventures by Professor Albert Wickwire (John Astin) an eccentric scientist and inventor who supplies Brisco with some interesting gadgets.
  • Year: Ran on Fox from August 27, 1993 to May 20, 1994
  • Campbell had to audition five times before he got the part of Brisco.
  • Available on DVD: Yes

Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain The Riflemanchuck-connors-the-rifleman

  • Plot: In the New Mexico Territory of North Fork, Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors) is a widowed father raising his young son, Mark (Johnny Crawford) alone. All he wants to do is tend to his ranch, but when things go to be too much for North Fork’s marshal to handle, McCain would often be called in to set things right, and it usually involved him using his self invented rapid cocking rifle. When the bad guys heard it being cocked, they had better take cover cause McCain meant business.
  • Year: September 30, 1958-April 8, 1963
  • Lucas McCain was listed at #32 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time list from their June 20, 2004 issue.
  • Connors initially turned down the role because the money was too low. Producers offered it to two other actors, John Anderson and James Whitmore, but decided that Connors was the best choice. They offered it to him a second time with a much higher salary and he accepted.
  • In the original story for The Rifleman written for an episode of Gunsmoke but rejected, the character of McCain had no son, was a dead shot with a pistol instead of a rifle and his first name was John, not Lucas.
  • Available on DVD: Yes

Gary Cooper as Marshall Will Kane in High Noongary-cooper-high-noon

  • Plot: Cooper is lawman Will Kane forced on the day of his wedding to face down a gang of outlaws bent on revenge against him. No one in the small town of Hadleyville will offer him a hand and the gang will arrive by train at high noon. All Will wants it to give up being a lawman, spend the rest of his life with his new bride, Amy (Grace Kelly) and open a store in some other place.
  • Year: 1952
  • This film was dismissed by critics because it wasn’t Western enough for them. It lacked gun fights, chasing the bad guys on horseback, and basic Western violence.
  • The film revitalized Cooper’s career and earned him an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
  • Available on DVD: Yes
  • In 1989, Polish graphic designer Tomasz Sarnecki took a Polish movie poster that featured Gary in this role and turned it into a political poster for the Solidarity party in Poland which was up against the Communist party in the elections. The image of Cooper, and the ideal of the cowboy as one who fights for freedom and justice and against evil propelled the Solidarity party to victory and paved the way for democracy in Poland.
  • Of course, Gary has a large number of Western films to his credit such as The Westerner, The Plainsman, The Cowboy and the Lady and Along Came Jones to just mention a few.

Ed Harris as Virgil Cole in Appaloosa

ed-harris1

  • Plot: Rancher Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) is terrorizing the residents of the small town of Appaloosa, New Mexico. He has murdered the marshal, and the two deputies who came to his ranch to arrest him. So, the town, not knowing what else to do, hires peacekeeper Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his deputy Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) to get things back under control. Cole agrees on one condition the little town must cede total control to him.
  • Year: 2008
  • This was Harris’ second time directing a film.
  • Based on the 2005 novel, Appaloosa, by Robert B. Parker.
  • Available on DVD: Yes

Lee Horsley as Ethan Allan Cord in Paradiselee-horsley-paradise

  • Plot: Ethan Allen Cord (Lee Horsely) is a gun fighter who has to take over as caregiver to his deceased sister’s four children. Realizing that his lifestyle is unsuitable for raising kids, he decides to give up his ways and settle down. He buys a home in Paradise, California and intends to lead a peaceful life, but he is constantly reminded of his violent past.
  • Year:October 27, 1988 – May 10, 1991
  • The show was renamed in the third and final season, The Guns of Paradise, in an attempt to remind viewers that the show was first and foremost a Western and in hopes it would bring up the ratings.
  • Available on DVD: No

Elvis Presley as Pacer Burton in Flaming Starelvis-flaming-star-publicity

  • Plot: Elvis is Pacer Burton, a young man whose mother is a Kiowa and his father is a Texas rancher. The family wants to just lead a peaceful life, but that peace is shattered when a nearby tribe of Kiowa begin to raid local homesteads. Pacer then finds himself torn between two worlds and not certain to which should go his loyalty. He lives in both worlds, but really belongs to neither.
  • Year: 1960
  • Most of us, when we think of Elvis and his film roles, tend to automatically think of his musicals. But, he did have some dramatic performances in King Creole and Wild in the Country and it was his desire to get a chance to do dramatic parts.
  • Originally, there were to be four songs performed by Elvis in this film, but using his influence, he was able to have two of the songs, Britches and Summer Kisses, Winter Tears removed. He does sing the theme song, and A Cane and a High Starched Collar.
  • The film was released just a short time after his big hit G.I. Blues and it didn’t achieve the same level of success as its predecessor, coming in at number 12 for the year in terms of box office successes. It seemed rather obvious to Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager that his fans didn’t want to see him in dramas, they wanted music and comedy, Elvis style so he went back to making those kinds of films.
  • Elvis also starred in another Western Charro! in 1969. While not a huge success, it is an example of Presley’s dramatic acting ability.
  • Available on DVD: Yes

Randolph Scott as Ned Britt in Fort Worthrandolph-scott-fort-worth1951

  • Plot: Scott is Ned Britt, a former gun fighter, who has decided to become a newspaper man, instead. He sets up shot in, Fort Worth, Texas and soon discovers that printing the news can be as dangerous as any gun fight. Cattle baron Gabe Clevinger (Ray Teal) wants to stop the railroad from ever reaching Fort Worth and will resort to any means necessary to do so.
  • Year: 1951
  • Scott was a multi-talented actor working in many different genres:dramas, comedies, musicals (although he never sang or danced in them), war, horror and fantasy, but he is most remembered for his numerous roles in Westerns.
  • Available on DVD: Yes

Tom Selleck as Mac Traven in The Shadow Riderstom-selleck-the-shadow-riders

  • Plot: In this TV Western, Mac and Dal Traven Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott) are brothers who fought on opposite sides during the Civil War. They both make their way back to Texas after the War’s end and discover that their brother and sisters as well as Dal’s sweetheart have been kidnapped by a band of Confederate rebels. It’s up to the brothers to go in search of them.
  • Year: 1982
  • Based on the 1982 novel, The Shadow Riders by Louis L’Amour.
  • This TV movie reunited Selleck with Sam Elliott and Jeff Osterhage who had starred together in the 1979 TV Western, The Sacketts.
  • Available on DVD: Yes

Clint Walker as Cheyenne Bodie in Cheyennewalker-cheyenne

  • Plot: Cheyenne Bodie,(Clint Walker) a loner who drifts through the American west after the end of the Civil War and took whatever work he could find; sometimes as a federal marshal, or a ranch hand, or a riding along with a wagon train. His many different jobs got him involved in a variety of conflicts.
  • Year: September 20, 1955 – December 17, 1962
  • There are only 108 episodes of the series, even though it ran for 7 seasons. This is because the show was on a revolving schedule with shows Bronco, and Sugarfoot, they would alternate the time slot. Also, during the 1958-59 season, Walker went on strike because he had to give Warner Brothers 50% of the money he earned on personal appearances.
  • Walker also had a pleasant singing voice and he was forced to record for Warner Brothers Records, he wanted the freedom to sign with the record company of his choice. Eventually, a settlement was reached and Walker came back to work.
  • Cheyenne was the first hour long US TV Western.
  • Available on DVD: Yes
  • Walker starred in many Western films including: Fort Dobbs, More Dead Than Alive, The Great Bank Robbery and more!

Patrick Wayne as Bob Barber in Rustler’s Rhapsodypatrick-wayne

  • Plot: A fun spoof of the old westerns of the 30s and 40s. Singing cowboy Rex O’Herlihan (Tom Berenger) rides into the one horse town of Wildfire to dispense justice (non lethal) to bad guy cattle baron Colonel Ticonderoga (Andy Griffith).
  • Year: 1985
  • Available on DVD: Yes
  • Patrick’s film debut was at age 11 in his father’s (John Wayne) film Rio Grande and he would work in more Western films with his father such as the popular The Searchers.
  • Patrick starred in a several commercials during the 1970s advertising Marathon candy bar as good guy cowboy, Marathon John who always warned Quick Carl (who did everything quick) that he couldn’t eat a Marathon bar quick.

Copyright: Glory Miller/Graple’s Entertainment Archive 2017

Remembering Actor Larry Breeding

I thought it would be nice to write about an actor that I remember from back in the late 70s by the name of Larry Breeding.    There really isn’t a lot of information available on Larry and that might be because his career was so short-lived.

He was born Warren Lawrence Breeding in Jacksonville, Illinois on September 28, 1946.  Larry was an up and coming actor who starred in a few short-lived 70s sitcoms.  In fact he was called a “flop-up” actor by some which means that his career was progressing and not negatively affected by how bad his last show was.  I am not sure if that term is used anymore, though and to be honest, I had never heard of it before until I read a brief article from 1979 about Larry.  It was in the entertainment page/section of the Chicago Tribune.

His first television series was the horrific Who’s Watching the Kids, a sitcom produced by Gary Marshall that many say was simply a re-envisioning of another failed Marshall series from 1977 called Blanksky’s Beauties.  I can’t offer up an opinion on that as I never saw any episode of that series.   But, I did watch Who’s Watching the Kids and will say that I believe Larry was the only really good thing about it.  He played Larry Parnell, the aspiring journalist neighbor of Angie (Lynda Goodfriend) and Stacy (Caren Kaye), two Las Vegas show girls.  The two women shared an apartment and each had a younger sibling to care for; Angie had her 15-year old brother Frankie (Scott Baio) who was, in my opinion, more obnoxious than funny and Stacy had her 9-year old sister, Melissa (Tammy Lauren).  Parnell often acted as a baby sitter for the two keeping them out of trouble, or helping them get out of trouble, whichever the case may be.    The show ran on NBC from September 22, 1978 to December 15, 1978.  According to the article mentioned above, even Breeding thought the show was horrible.

His next series was The Last Resort which aired on CBS from September 19, 1979 to March 17, 1980. It was an MTM (Mary Tyler Moore) production and was a sitcom about a group of college students who worked as kitchen staff at a hotel. Larry was Michael Lerner a pre-med student working as a waiter.   The show lasted for one season with 15 episodes and as far as I know, has never been released onto DVD.

Larry went on to make appearances on other popular series of the time and his last work was on the series Laverne and Shirley in 1982, having worked in three episodes.

Sadly, Larry was killed on September 27, 1982 (some sources claim it was the 28th which would have been his 37th birthday) in a car accident when the vehicle he was driving struck a concrete pole on Franklin Avenue, a road beneath the Hollywood Freeway in California.  He was the only occupant of the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.    Witnesses to the accident said he appeared to be driving normally, and authorities had no idea what caused the accident.  It was to be investigated.  I have no clue what conclusion investigators came to about the cause of the crash or if it was ever reported in any news media.  Maybe someone reading this will have the answer and can enlighten me?

In the 1979 article I mentioned earlier, it stated that Larry had recently married a lovely woman named Anne Bloom.   But, sources state that prior to his death, he had been dating Penny Marshall whom he met by his work on her series Laverne and Shirley.  I suppose he could have gotten a divorce in the few short years between 1979 and 1982 as it certainly isn’t unheard of. (The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) does have an Anne “Annie” Bloom listed as an actress, but makes no mention of her ever being married to Larry, so she probably isn’t the right Anne Bloom.) Anyway, Larry’s last appearance on Laverne & Shirley aired after his death.

He is buried in, I believe, the Fallbrook Masonic Cemetery in Fallbrook, California.

Larry Breeding Filmography

This listing is possibly incomplete. If you know of any other shows that Larry was in, please feel free to let me know.

Laverne & Shirley (TV Series)
As Mike Bailey in the episodes Window on Main Street (1982) and The Fashion Show (1983)
As Hank in the episode An Affair to Forget (1982)

This Is Kate Bennett (TV Movie 1982)
As Seth Greenwald

It’s Not Easy (TV Series 1982)
As Neil Townsend. Breeding was to co star with Gerald McRaney of Simon and Simon , but when McRaney’s series was renewed he returned to it. It’s Not Easy was then put on hold and while waiting for a replacement for McRaney to be cast, Breeding was killed in a car accident. The series eventually went on the air with Bert Convy in the role originally to be played by Breeding and Ken Howard in the role meant for McRaney. It lasted for 10 episodes.   I believe, but I could be in error, that the original pilot with Larry and Gerald had been filmed, but it never aired, because of McRaney being called back to his old series.

Lou Grant (TV Series)
As Burton Cary in the episode Friends (1981)

It’s a Living (TV Series)
As Stan in episode Boys of Summer (1981)

Street Music (Feature film 1981)
As Eddie

Hart to Hart (TV Series)
As Frank Jordon in the Murder Takes a Bow

The Love Boat (TV Series)
As Johnny Gilmore in the episode Black Sheep/Hometown Doc/Clothes Make the Girl
As Jack Strander in the episode No Girls for Doc/Marriage of Convenience/The Caller/The Witness

A Matter of Life and Death (TV Movie/1981)

The Love Tapes (TV Movie/1980)
As Peter Barnes

Eight is Enough (TV Series)
As Gary in the episode A Little Triangle

The Last Resort (TV Series 1979-80)
As Michael Lerner (15 episodes)

The Bad News Bears (TV Series)
As Elliot Carson in the episode Save the Bears (1979)

Alice (TV Series)
As Mark in episode My Fair Vera (1979)

Larry did some stage work, too, so if anyone has a listing of some of the plays he worked in and where and when they were performed, that would be great.

Copyright: Glory Miller/Graple’s Entertainment Archive 2017

With One Magic Word…SHAZAM!

shazam-captain-marvel-jackson-bostwick-cover

Shazam was one of my favorite kids shows from the 70s. I watched it faithfully every week (and its companion show, Isis/The Secrets of Isis, as well).     It starred Jackson Bostwick as Captain Marvel with Michael Grey as Billy Batson and Les Tremayne as Mentor. Billy and Mentor traveled around in an RV, getting involved in the trials and tribulations of ordinary folks.  When trouble reared its ugly head, Batson had but to utter “Shazam” and Batson would transform into Captain Marvel and save the day.

Sure the show looks campy and corny now, but back then it was lots of fun to watch.  One of the things that did confuse and disappoint me was Bostwick being replaced by John Davey.   I didn’t mind too much, I guess, as I kept watching the show, but admit, to this day, I still prefer Bostwick’s portrayal of the Captain. (For all you Davey fans, there is no hating here on my part, Davey did a fine job considering he was taking over an already established role!)   It wasn’t until years later, that I discovered that Bostwick had been fired from the show because producers thought he was holding out for more money when he didn’t show up for filming one day.  Turns out he was at the hospital seeking medical attention for an injury he had sustained on a previous days’ filming.   He sued Filmation and they had to pay him for his entire contract plus residuals.    I guess this is a good reminder to always get the facts about a situation before doing something that ends up costing a lot of extra money.    Anyway, the injury story is always the one that I read when someone offers up the reason for his departure.  Maybe there is more to the story than was ever released.  But, no matter, it is history.  Lol, I was just thinking, wouldn’t that concept make a cool exit scenario for the ending of an episode, remember when, at the end of each show, Captain Marvel would come on in a 30 second (maybe longer, maybe shorter, I can’t remember, really) “moral of the episode” message; “So, remember kids, gather all of the facts before deciding to fire someone.”   Filmation did a moral of the story message at the end of Isis as well, which I think was standard for most, if not all, of their shows.

Old newspaper article talking about the transition from Bostwick to Davey.

If you want more information about the show, I am sure a Google search will provide you with more information that you can shake a stick at.  :)  Although, why you would want to shake a stick is a little beyond me.  :)   The real reason for this post is the over sized comic book that was published in 1975 that had Bostwick on the front cover.  I only recently added this to my magazine collection (after having known about its existence for years and years!) and I have to say I was a little bit disappointed when I received it.  I was hoping to have a magazine that had a lot more material in it about the television series but it really is just a collection of four Captain Marvel stories from the comics and not based on the TV show at all.   But alas, not all is lost, it does have the great color photo of Bostwick on the front cover and a few black and white photos of the cast on the inside back cover, so, I guess that is better than nothing.  :)

You can check out Bostwick’s own web site (jacksonbostwick.com),  and see what he has been up to in recent years. You can also buy autographed material from there if you are so inclined. I have no idea whatever became of John Davey, the last film/TV credit for him on IMDB is from 1987.  I know that doesn’t mean much as they aren’t always as up to date with their information as one would like.

The show has been out on DVD since 2012 and usually sells for a  fairly reasonable price on Amazon, unlike some other DVD releases of 70s live action and cartoon shows, when can get pretty steep price wise.   The companion series, The Secrets of Isis, with Joanna Cameron usually sells for well over $100 on Amazon.

Anyway, ramble over, until next entry….

Peace, love and bacon grease.

Copyright: Glory Miller/Graple’s Entertainment Archive 2017