Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for Mai Zetterling

Born: May 24, 1925

Died: March 17, 1994

Aged: 68 years from cancer

Married: 2 times

Affairs: Herbert Lom, Tyrone Power (he gets around!)

Beautiful green-eyed Swede who enraptured audiences by her elfin features. She was born in Sweden, lived a very short time in Australia but they went back to Sweden where she started her film career under the tutelage of Ingmar Bergman. Her early films with Bergman catapulted her to stardom and starring with some of the big names of the day. She became  a sex symbol and could act in drama as well as comedy. In the mid 60's controversy erupted when she started to direct! (How dare she). She directed film that often dealt with sexual themes of homosexuality and sexual repression. her one film " Alskande Pir" was banned at Cannes for being sexually explicit and showing nudity. She is ahead of her time since women directors were and still are rare in the Hollywood industry. She went back to acting in the early 90's.

Films: "Torment", "Frieda", "Music in Darkness", "Quartet", "Only Two Can Play", "Knock on Wood", "The Witches"

Quote: "I have been a child, a girl, a party doll, a mistress, a wife, a mother, a professional woman, a virgin, and a grandmother. I have been a woman for more than 50 years and yet I have never been able to discover precisely what it is I am, how real I am. I ask myself-perhaps my femaleness is just a human disease."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for Gig Young

Born: November 4, 1913

Died: October 19, 1978

Aged: 64 years-suicide

Real Name: Byron Elsworth Barr

Married: 5 Times-Elizabeth Montgomery

Affairs: Bette Davis, stripper Sherry Britton, Elaine Stritch and many others

Played the affable, unassuming guy but in real life, he carried dark insecurities that eventually took their toll. He was the youngest of 3 children who always wanted his father's approval but his father favoured his older brother. He also seemed to often have affairs with older women and needed their care due to his underlying insecurities. He showed a passion for acting in high school and won a scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse. He started getting small roles under his original name but when he made a film with Barbara Stanwyck called "The Gay Sisters" he changed his name to the character he played in that film. He steadily rose in the ranks but was bothered that he was never given the lead and was destroyed when he received no offers to star in his own picture after his Oscar win. When his second wife died from cancer in 1952, he went into a deep depression and began to drink heavily. Against her father's wishes, Elizabeth Montgomery married the much older Young but he was abusive and drank so the marriage failed. He continued to have affairs and drink more and more and finally started taking LSD and other drugs. He was hired to play the Character, The Wacko Kid" that Gene Wilder ended up playing in "Blazing Saddles" but, because he was suffering delirium tremors from alcohol abuse, he was fired. He married for the 5th time but it was an unhappy marriage as they often fought. On the eve of October 18th, 1978 he called a friend in California asking that she come to New York and bring him back with her to California. Either not taking him too seriously or thinking the tough love approach would be best, she declined. The next day, he took his gun, shot his wife in the head( married only 3 weeks) and then he turned the gun on himself. His Oscar was found between them. Despite friends trying to help him in the past get help for his drinking and other problems, he always refused.

Oscar Nominations: "Come Fill The Cup", "Teacher's Pet"

Oscar Win: "They Shoot Horses Don't They"

Films: "Only the Valiant", "Desk Set", "The Tunnel of Love", :That Touch of Mink", "Strange bedfellows",  "Lovers and Other Strangers", "The Hindenburg", "Game of Death"

The films in bold are the ones to try to see first:)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for Xavier Cugat

Born: January 1, 1900

Died: October 27, 1990

Aged: 90 years of heart failure

Real Name: Francisco De Asis Javier Cugat Mingall De Brue Y Deulofeu (whew!)

Married: 4 times maybe 5:)-Charro-last wife (Goochi, Goochi, Goo)

Affairs: Oh my-did he ever

Famous Family: Niece-Margo (dancer/actress married Eddie Albert)

Famous Friend: Enrico Caruso

A lover of life, women and music who always had a Chihuahua on his arm and popularized Latin music. He was born in Spain but his family moved to Havana, Cuba when he was 5. He learned to play the violin and was considered a child prodigy. He was so good that Enrico Caruso hired him to play first violin when he was still a young boy and they became friends. He moved to the United States to play music but he didn't want to be a starving artist so he got a job as a caricaturist for the L. A. Times. He did not give up music though and had a Latin relief band at the Cocoanut Grove with his niece Margo as the main dancer. The manager of the Waldorf-Astoria saw Margo so he signed her and Cugat came along with the deal. Over the years he rose in ranks to become the star band playing popular Latin numbers, dressing the band members in Latin-American outfits, the women in seductive dresses and he, having the time of his life. He became a hit on the radio and was a household name. He ventured to Hollywood appearing as himself in many Latin style films that were popular for the day often in Esther Williams films. He loved women, had many affairs and was in the headlines often because his wives would often have him followed and found in positions. Except for Charro, the other marriages did not end on a friendly note although he stated he would never change a thing and would marry them all over again:)

Films: "Weekend At The Waldorf", "On An Island With You", " A Date With Judy", "Neptune's Daughter"

Quote: "I would rather play 'Chiquita Banana' and have a swimming pool than play Bach and starve" (he had a swimming pool:))

Any film you see with him is great really:)

Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for Anna May Wong

Born: January 3, 1905

Died: February 3, 1961

Aged: 56 years from Heart Attack

Real Name: Huang Liu Tsong which means "Frosted Yellow Willow"

Affairs: Many, mainly Caucasian-Marshall Neillan, Eric Maschwitz (wrote a song about her called "These Foolish Things")

Friends: Leni Riefenstahl

The first major oriental star who should have become a major actress but the racial biases of the day prevented this. Her father worked in the laundry but she was American through and through. She grew up near the picture industry and, as young as 9 years old, she begged to be in pictures. She was so often on the studio lots she was called CCC for Curious Chinese Child.  She would always appear in public in traditional Chinese fashion but in private, she preferred jeans. She started out as a photographer's model but soon broke into films and was in the first full length feature film done in two-tone colour called "The Toll Of The Sea".  She continued playing typical Asian roles of  either a innocent Chinese girl or usually an evil temptress. Due to the laws of the day, she was not allowed to marry Caucasian men, be shown in a leading role kissing or married to a Caucasian in film. In the Chinese culture of the day, any Chinese actress was considered little more than a prostitute so  Asian men would not consider her marriage material.  Since her roles were so biased, she travelled to Germany and got roles suited to her talents. She became re-known for her roles she made in Europe and became friends with the film elite like Leni Riefenstahl and Marlene Dietrich. At this time, rumours started that she was a lesbian due to her associations with members of the same sex.  She became fluent in German and French, was part of the intellectual elite and was known for her intelligence and humour. When in England, Hollywood again came calling and she answered. She was able to work with Joseph Von Sternberg (Director). She really wanted the lead, O-Lan in "The Good Earth" but the studio gave the part to Luise Rainer who was Austrian and won the Oscar for the role. By this point her father (mother died in 1930) and her siblings returned to China so she decided to visit. She received such bad publicity and protests from her fellow Chinese, depression sank in and she started drinking and smoking heavily. She made very few films after, developed her home into apartments and got into real estate. Due to her excessive drinking her liver was compromised. She was offered a role in "Flower Drum Song" which she was excited to do when she died in her sleep from a massive heart attack. She never married.Sorry another sad one but she paved the way for so many others and is listed as one of the greats now.

Films: "The Toll Of The Sea", "The Thief of Bagdad", "Mr. Wu", "Old San Francisco", "Piccadilly", "Daughter of the Dragon", "Shanghai Express", "Tiger Bay", "Jar Head", "Limelight Blues", "Portrait in Black".

Quote: "I see no reason why Chinese and English people should not kiss on the screen, even though I prefer not to."

The films in bold are the ones to try and see:)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Vera-Ellen

Born: February 16, 1921

Died: August 30, 1981

Aged: 60 years from Cancer

Real Name: Vera Ellen Westmeier Rohe

Married: 2 times

A dancing dynamo! She started off dancing because she was very sickly and this helped her gain her strength. From this, a passion for dance was formed and she became one the greatest dancers ever to grace the screen. Both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly had nothing but the highest regards for her.  She started in nightclub acts and was once part of the Rockettes as one of the youngest dancers.  She was let go because she was "too original". She started appearing on the Great White Way which led to Hollywood. She starred with Danny Kaye in "Wonder Man" and did a show-stopping number called "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" with Gene Kelly in "Words and Music."  She is to have had the smallest waist in Hollywood where some estimates put it at 17 inches round! I think my thigh is bigger than that! It is now thought that she suffered from the eating disorder Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia or a combo of both. By the time she made "White Christmas" the costumes she wore were all turtlenecks since her neck and upper area showed the effects of not eating. By the way, she could not sing a note, all her singing was dubbed! When the musicals left Hollywood, so did Vera-Ellen's career. She retired by the time she was 40. She was dealt a harsh blow when her daughter died of SIDS in 1963. With her failed marriages, her frail body and arthritis setting in, she became a virtual recluse.  She would still dance an hour a day but she left Hollywood behind her.

Films: "Wonder Man", "Words and Music", "Three Little Words", "On The Town", "The Belle of New York", "Call Me Madam", "White Christmas"

Quote: "I'm a dancer, and I can never really get away from my career. On the days I don't dance at the studio, I have to practise at least an hour in the evening to keep in shape. Dancing is like breathing-missing a day doing either is very bad."

The films in bold are ones I recommend seeing first. "Words and Music" is a compilation of musical works

Friday, April 24, 2015

U for Miyoshi Umeki

Born: May 8, 1929

Died: August 28, 2007

Aged: 78 years from cancer

Married: 2 times

Great Friend: Bill Bixby

Tiny powerhouse who stole many scenes from much bigger stars. The youngest of 9 children, she was born into a prosperous family and showed a passion for music. She could play the Piano, Mandolin and Harmonica plus she could sing. Much to her parent's chagrin she loved American songs and sang them in the English language. This helped her after the war since she could play with a G.I. band on radio and in nightclubs becoming very popular under the name Nancy Umeki.  She was noticed for her talent and came to the United States joining the Arthur Godfrey show. From there she hit the jackpot acting in "Sayonara" with Red Buttons and Marlon Brando. She became the first Asian and, so far, only Asian woman to win an Oscar (she accepted the Oscar wearing her traditional dress which is beautiful). She then conquered Broadway receiving a Tony nomination for "Flower Drum Song" which she repeated in film. She guest starred on several shows and became a regular on "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" where she met and became a life-long friend of Bill Bixby. Once that show was done, she retired with her 2nd husband, raised a family and started a business, with her husband, renting editing equipment. Once widowed, she moved closer to her son to be near him and his family.

Oscar Win: "Sayonara"

Films: "Flower Drum Song", "Cry For Happy", "The Horizontal Lieutenant".

Quote: After receiving Oscar " I really don't know what to say. I wish somebody would help me right now. I did not expect this cos I have nothing in my mind right now. I thank you, you  and all fo you thank you American People."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Gene Tierney

Born: November 20, 1920

Died: November 6, 1991

Aged: 70 years from emphysema

Marriages: 2 times first to Oleg Cassini

Affairs: Tyrone Power, J.F.K., Prince Aly Khan, Spencer Tracy

Famous Partner: Dana Andrews

One of the greatest (and most tragic) beauties ever to grace the screen with an overbite any man would love to kiss. She was born in Brooklyn to a wealthy family (father was in insurance). Due to her beauty she was noticed by Anatole Litvak who wanted her to come to Hollywood but her dad was cautious and rather had her go to the theatre. This didn't last long and she made it to Hollywood anyway. She gave 20% of her earnings to her father which was placed in his insurance company. When she finally decided to separate from her father, he sued her but it came out that he was stealing from her for years so he, thankfully lost the case. She never spoke to him again until his deathbed. During World War 2, the Hollywood Canteen(started by Bette Davis) became the hotspot for every GI man and woman to go to since the stars catered to them by serving them food, drinks, dancing and entertaining them. Gene was helping out for only that one evening when she was pregnant. She got the German measles and, as a result, her daughter, Daria was born blind and severely retarded(sorry no PC). She was devastated and blamed herself. Her husband, Oleg Cassini(Fashion designer) did not seem the most loving (saw him in later interviews-not impressed). She tried to care for her child but she could not give all the care her daughter needed so she sent her to an excellent clinic to provide the care she could not. In the mid 50's, a lady approached Ms. Tierney saying how much of a fan she is of hers. She went on how she was sick with the German measles during World War 2 but heard Gene was going to be at the Hollywood Canteen so she had to see her. She snuck out of her room to meet her and shake her hand since this was her dream come true. Can you imagine!! I think I would have smacked that woman in the jaw! The film, "The Mirror Crack'd" is based on Gene Tierney's life.  Gene  had an affair with J.F.K and fell hopelessly in love with him but when he stated he could never marry a mere actress, the family would not approve, she was heart broken. Due to guilt over her daughter, a failed marriage and the affair with Kennedy and Khan, she suffered a nervous breakdown and committed herself into a sanitarium where she received electro shock therapy a number of times. In 1960, she met her 2nd husband and it was a very happy union who gave her the security she needed plus she did have another, perfectly healthy, daughter with Cassini who was there for her mom.  When she started in films, she hated her high voice so she started smoking to lower her voice which ultimately led to the emphysema that claimed her later in life.

Oscar Nominations: "Leave Her To Heaven"

Films: "Tobacco Road", " Heaven Can Wait", "Laura", "The Razor's Edge", "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir", "That Wonderful Urge", "Plymouth Adventure", "Never Let Me Go", "The Left Hand of God", :Advise and Consent".

Quote: " Jealousy is, I think, the worst of all faults because it makes a victim of both parties."

The films in bold is where to start with-Laura is great to begin then keep going:)

OK this is supposed to be for Thursday!-hahahaaaa

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Sylvia Sidney

Born: August 8, 1910

Died: July 1, 1999

Aged: 88 years of throat cancer

Real Name: Sophia Kossow

Marriages: 3 times-2nd to Luther Adler

Affairs: Budd Schulberg

Delicate, suffering beauty with the strength of steel! Grew up in the Bronx from Russian/Romanian Jewish parents. She was exceptionally shy but came out of her shell when she started acting.  She went to the theatre but soon Hollywood beckoned and she became one of the top stars during the early 1930's. She made one film, "Madame Butterfly" that was horrible (except for her performance) but her name was popular in Japan for  condoms which they called Sylvia Sidneys. She disliked being controlled by the Hollywood studios so she left! She signed with director, Walter Wanger, who was a bully and brought out her insecurities and whom she, ultimately, did not like at all. She worked with Fritz Lang (director) on 3 pictures also known for his roughness but she found him easier to deal with. In the 40's her film work slowed down but she enjoyed other outlets. She loved needlepoint and wrote  and published 2 books on the subject. She was also known for  breeding many prize-winning dogs(I heard pugs). Her only son passed away in the 70's from Lou Gehrig's disease. Her ex, Luther Adler  consoled her and vice versa since they remained life-long friends. She continued to work often in TV but made a resurgence late in her career in comedies. She always felt it was easy to do tragic parts since she could cry on cue but comedy was much more difficult. She was a life long smoker which finally caught up with her.

Oscar Nomination: "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams"

Films: "American Tragedy", " City Streets", "Ladies of the Big House", "Merrily We Go To Hell", "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine", "Sabotage", "Fury", "You Only Live Once", "Dead End", "Beetlejuice", "Mars Attacks"

Quote:  When she realized she could refuse roles she didn't like -"When I realized I didn't have to, I became a bitch on wheels!"

The films in bold I would see first-start with her earlier roles-she is great in the later 2 comedies

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for Rin Tin Tin

Born: in 1918

Died: August 8, 1932

Aged: 14 years-Natural Causes

Marriages: None that I know:)

Affairs: Oh this doggie stud found plenty of bitches

I am not kidding about this one-this is the first Doggie superstar that literally saved Warner Bros. from bankruptcy! He was found in a German dugout in Lorraine, France with his mom and 5 siblings. The poor mom was half starved and the pups were only 5 days old. Lieutenant Lee Duncan saved them, nursed them back to health and decided to take 2 of the pups back home to the U.S. He named them Nanette and Rin Tin Tin after French Puppets that the French kids would entertain the soldiers with. Poor Nannette caught distemper and died en route but Rin Tin Tin survived the trip. Duncan loved the dog and started training him from the beginning, and noticed this dog was highly intelligent plus very athletic. He started showing the dog in shows and was noticed by someone who worked at Warner Bros. The doggie was hired! The newly formed Warner Bros( 1923) were impressed that Rin Tin Tin could get the job done in one take and that he was a new dog breed to the average American since they were not really aware of German Shepherds at this point. His salary jumped from $1,000 a week to $6,000, he had his own chef prepare hamburger and steaks plus musicians played music while the dog ate to ease his digestion. Rin Tin Tin's films were big money makers and started the career of Darryl F Zanuck since he wrote many of the films. Even though the plots were very similar and everyone knew Rin Tin Tin would save the day, he received over $1,000 fan letters a week! Duncan took so good care of him that, at one point Duncan's wife wanted a divorce and named the poor dog as a co-respondent. Rin Tin Tin even had his own radio show which started in 1930-he barked his way to the top. In 1932, he passed away peacefully and many accounts say that it was in Jean Harlow's arms  but I also read that he just passed away with Duncan very nearby which sounds more plausible. Due to careful breeding, there are still descendants of Rin Tin Tin today. Lee Duncan made $5 million and died in 1960 a happy man.

Oscar Nominations: Apparently, it was found in old records that Rin Tin Tin won the first Oscar but the newly formed Academy thought they would lose  respect if the first Oscar went to a dog so they gave it to the runner up-Emil Jannings!

Films: (many are lost)- "Tracked By The Police", "Clash of the Wolves", "hills of Kentucky", "A Dog of the Regiment", "The Night Cry"

Quote: "Woof, Woof, Woof woof woof, Woof."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q for Anthony Quayle

Born: September 7, 1913

Died: October 20, 1989

Aged: 76 years from cancer

Married: 2 times

A reliable and excellent character actor who has been seen in many films but people can't quite place him. He was an only child and was often lonely. In school he went into Rugby and RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts). He was taught by Sir Tyrone Guthrie and was greatly influenced by Sir John Gielgud. He started working as a comedic foil on stage but soon was able to find dramatic parts and even played in a couple of movies but more in the background. When World War 2 started he was one of the first to enlist and was a major in the Royal Artillery and he also worked for the OAS behind German lines with the Albanian patriots-he was a spy! After the war, he did not talk about his experiences even though he was greatly affected by it but he wrote & published 2 novels shortly after the war-"Eight Hours From England" and "On Such A Night". This probably helped him deal with his experiences.  He resumed his theatre work which was his first love and worked in many great plays like "Titus Andronicus" with Laurence Olivier. He started appearing more and more in films and in 1985 he was knighted. When his good friend, David Niven, was struck with Lou Gehrig's disease, He took the lead in campaigning to raise awareness about this disease. He was a war hero and true British Gentleman.

Oscar Nomination: "Anne of a Thousand Days"

Films: "Hamlet", "No Time for Tears", "Guns of Navarone", "Lawrence of Arabia" "The Fall of the Roman Empire", "The Eagle Has Landed", "Murder By Decree".

Quote: "If life doesn't have that little bit of danger, you'd better create it. If life hands you that danger, accept it gratefully."

The films in bold are the films to look for first but all are great

OK so my T list came up by accident yesterday-hahahaaaa-It took me a while to figure out how to put it to the right date.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Gregory Peck

Born: April 5, 1916

Died: June 12, 2003

Aged: 87 Years from natural causes

Real Name: Eldred Gregory Peck

Marriages: 2 times

A true blue, deep-voiced actor who was a strong liberal who fought for humanitarian causes and stood up for what he believed in. He was also quite good looking(enter mooning sigh here). He hated his first name (who can blame him) so he always went by his middle name. In university he was a rower where he injured his spine preventing him from entering World War 2. He stated he took dance lessons from Martha Graham to improve movement and injured his spine, when with her group, but the studio thought that did not sound as good as a sports injury. He enjoyed acting and eased into the movies since so many male actors were overseas. His first wife took him to the cleaners (he paid for her his whole life) and when he was in Rome he met a lady journalist with the first name of Veronique. A few weeks later he called her and she gave up her interview with Albert Schweitzer to go out with Peck. They married and remained happily married until he passed away. While making the film, "Roman Holiday" in Rome with newcomer Audrey Hepburn, he insisted she be above the credits beside his name because he knew she would become a great star. When he was filming "Moby Dick", they had strapped him to an 80ft white whale(obviously not real) 10 miles off the coast of Wales in the Irish Sea. The weather was horrible and it was very choppy when a wave came and snapped the lines off the boats holding the whale with Peck strapped on it. Fog had rolled in and they could not locate him. Finally the fog lifted enough that they spotted him and he was safe and sound but he stated he had never been so scared in his life. He was a champion of causes-he was chairman of the Cancer fund, Chairman of the Motion Picture and Television relief fund, He gave speeches to GLADD and walked alongside Martin Luther King Jnr. He was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Johnson. "To Kill A Mockingbird" is his favourite film and he became lifelong friend with Mary Badham (Scout) and Brock Peters, who played  the African American wrongly accused of rape. Brock Peters gave the eulogy at Peck's funeral. Being a life long outspoken liberal, one of his proudest achievements was being near the top of  Nixon's enemies list!

Oscar Nominations: "Keys To The Kingdom", "The Yearling", "Gentlemen's Agreement" "12 O'clock High"

Oscar Win: "To Kill A Mockingbird"

Films: "Spellbound", "Duel In The Sun", "David and Bathsheba", "The Gunfighter", "Roman Holiday", "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", "The Big Country", "The Guns of Navarone", "Arabesque", "Captain Newman M.D.", "The Omen".

Quote: " They say the bad guys are more interesting to play but there is more to it than that-playing the good guys is more challenging because it's harder to make them interesting."

The films in bold are what I would try first but so many are great

Friday, April 17, 2015

O for Maureen O'Hara

Born: August 17, 1920

Died: Nope still alive and just as feisty!

Age: Soon to be 95 years young

Real Name: Maureen Fitzsimmons

Married: 3 times

Famous Partners: John Wayne and John Ford(Director)

A famously beautiful red haired Irish spitfire who could match men scene for scene! She is one of my favourites:)  She was discovered by Charles Laughton who became his protégé. She grew up as a tomboy who loved sports so she often did her own stunts. Colour loved her and it was found she could do fun swashbuckling pictures sword dueling with the best of them but also show great dramatic flair all without losing her beauty and femininity. She was John Ford's favourite actress and was part of the team which included John Wayne and Ward Bond. She was the only woman allowed to go along on one of their many sailing trips and were there for her when she went through 2 failed marriages. They were always very respectful towards her and she considered John Wayne one of her dearest friends and vice versa. In the 1950's, she made a few record albums because she had such a beautiful singing voice although she never made a musical. When she made "The Parent Trap" for Disney she had to battle them to get her same salary and have her name above the title. Disney was a sore point for her. She met her last husband and he turned out to be the love of her life. They lived on the Virgin Islands running "Antilles Airlines". He tragically died 10 years later in an airplane crash which made her the owner of the airlines-the first woman to run an airline! When John Wayne was dying of cancer. she approached congress with Elizabeth Taylor to make sure he received the Congressional Gold Medal saying "John Wayne-American".  After a long absence she made a film with John Candy called "Only The Lonely". When Candy noticed she had a very small trailer while he had a very nice one, he went to the higher ups and told them this living legend deserved a trailer as big as his. They stated they did not have it in their budget so he switched trailers with Ms. O'Hara. Didn't those executroids come up with another trailer for John Candy. In October 2014 she received an honourary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement which was not included in the actual Oscar telecast (so wrong!). When she gave her acceptance speech, they cut her off, even though she is in a wheelchair she kicked her shoe off in disgust-Way ta go girl!

Films: "Jamaican Inn", "Hunchback Of Notre Dame", "How Green Was My Valley", " The Black Swan", "The Spanish Main", "Miracle on 34th Street", "Rio Grande", "The Quiet Man", "Parent Trap", "Mr. Hobb's Takes a Vacation", "McLintock", "Only The Lonely"

Quote: Speaking to drama students in 2010-"If you really want it, go after it--and learn how to speak properly, for God's sake!"

Oh I put a few in bold to see first but you can pick any. It was sweet to see her with John Candy

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N for Ramon Novarro

Born: February 6, 1899

Died: October 30, 1968

Aged: 69 Years-murdered

Real Name: Jose Ramon Gil Samaniegos

Affair: Herbert Howe

Famous Cousin: Delores Del Rio

A dashing matinee idol who is now more famous for how he died than for his body of work. His father was a dentist and they were well off but when his father died, their financial situation took a nose dive. To support his mom and 14 siblings, he went to work when he was a mere teenager. At one point he became a singing waiter. Due to his looks, he soon found himself in films and when Valentino died, his career went into the stratosphere. Even though he had an excellent speaking voice and could sing to boot (his version of "Pagan Love Song" was a hit), his career suffered when sound came. His career slowly  dried up. He was a strong Roman Catholic but he was also a homosexual and he struggled his whole life trying to come to terms with who he was. This was at a time  when people who were gay in England could be sent to jail and one was branded a deviant. He started to drink ( don't they all it seems) and  was arrested for drunk driving more than once. He would often pick up young men for some hubba hubba. In 1968. he picked up 2 young men and brought them back to his place. He was talking about the old days and these 2 S.O.B.'s thought Novarro had a ton of cash hidden in his home. After the one man had sex with Novarro, he took Novarro's cane and started to beat him with it. They beat the poor man to death. They tried to make it look like someone broke in but  since one was on the phone for 45 minutes after they killed Novarro plus other evidence, they were arrested 2 days later. Poor Ramon Novarro was found, naked the following day by his employee. Truly a sad end to a man that was conflicted but set women's hearts on fire.

Films: "Prisoner of Zenda", "Scaramouche", "Ben Hur", "The Student Prince", "Mata Hari"

Quote: " I was always the hero-with no vices-reciting practically the same lines to the leading lady. The current crop of movie heroes are less handicapped than the old ones. They are more human. The leading men of silent films were Adonis's and Apollo's. Today the hero can even take a poke at the leading lady. In my time, a hero who hit the girl just once would have been out."

The films in bold are the ones I would see first:)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for Marilyn Monroe

Born: June 1, 1926

Died: August 4, 1962

Aged: 36 years from overdose-accidental, suicide or murder-I think murder

Real Name: Norma Jean Mortensen(Baker)

Marriages: 3-2nd to Joe DiMaggio, 3rd-Arthur Miller

Affairs: Johnny Hyde, Andre Des Diennes, Yves Montand, JFK, Robert Kennedy etc..

Friends: Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald

A world icon, sex symbol extraordinaire. More books have been written about her than any other actor/actress. Her family history seems to be riddled with mental instability. Her mother worked as a film cutter but was in and out of mental institutions which meant she could not care for her daughter. (Marilyn had a half brother who died before she was born and she has a half sister). Marilyn ended up in orphanages and foster homes. In one of these homes she was raped when she was just a child. As soon as she could, she married so she would not have to go to another foster home but her heart belonged to becoming an actress. Her idol was Clark Gable. When her first marriage crumbled, she started being in the movies but didn't make much of a splash. To be able to get her car out of the pound, she did a nude spread. Later, when she was famous, she was going to be blackmailed but she decided to reveal it herself to the press and it worked to her advantage.  Johnny Hyde was an agent who helped her get small roles where she was noticed.  As she climbed up the ladder to stardom her insecurities plagued her and she started taking more pills. She could not sleep so she made sure the phone was placed outside her door so the ringing would not wake her if she did fall asleep. Her issues with showing up late on the set or not showing up at all started to rear its ugly head. When she finally made it to stardom she said, "Thank God, that's the last C$#! I will have to suck." She was famous for the casting couch. She went to Korea  for the soldiers. When Ella had trouble getting bookings, Marilyn helped out and would sit in the front row-Ella always appreciated the help. Marilyn wanted to be known as an actress so she left the studio and showed up in New York to study under the famed Lee Strasburg method style of acting. She often brought his daughter to the set and it was of a great annoyance to the director and others never mind being always hours!. During the filming of "Some Like It Hot" she had to do over 70 takes just asking where the bourbon (or whiskey, I forget-watch the movie:)) was. They finally had to write it on a paper and place it in the drawer. These antics made Tony Curtis say "Kissing her was like kissing Hitler." He later claimed he slept with her but I doubt it.  Billy Wilder liked working with her because of what she brought to the screen which one could not see when you saw her in person.  Photographers loved her and one night Andre Des Diennes got a call from Marilyn at 2am. She could not sleep & was depressed and wanted pictures of her in the most desolate of places to capture her mood. He took these pictures-without makeup or anything else, just the headlights from the car.  After she said " You usually write captions for your photographs, you can put-The end of everything, underneath these."

When she was found dead, the police were not called initially. Peter Lawford, who lived behind her, was at the house (he was married to Pat Kennedy), a doctor and some others were there. She was found naked with her hand on the telephone which was strange since she didn't want the phone in her room and the phone records went missing later. There was no water or cup found in her room so how did she take the pills? The pill bottles were there on the table. The big thing is that they found drugs in her blood stream but nothing was found in her stomach! They also found a small puncture wound between her toes!! Whatever happened these are questions left unanswered. It is quick to say she took an overdose due to her history but things don't add up. Regardless she is bigger now than ever. DiMaggio was heartbroken as it seemed they may have been seeing each other just before she died. He made sure red roses were at her burial crypt every week.

Films: "The Asphalt Jungle", "The Lady Eve", "Niagara", "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", "How To Marry A Millionaire", "The Seven Year Itch", "Bus Stop", "Some Like It Hot", "The Misfits"

Quote: " "I want to be a big star more than anything. It's something precious."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Carole Lombard

Born: October 6, 1908

Died: January 16, 1942

Aged: 33 years in a plane crash

Real Name: Jane Alice Peters

Marriages: Twice-William Powell, Clark Gable

Engaged: Russ Columbo (The greatest love of her life-she was known to say)

Bold, beautiful woman who could swear like a sailor and stand up to the powers at be like Harry Cohn(head of Columbia Pictures) who admired her style. In 1925 she suffered a horrible car accident  that left her face badly scarred and in need of extensive plastic surgery. Camera angles and make-up did the rest. She fell in love with Russ Columbo and was devastated when he died by an accidental gunshot blast(1934). His mother was blind and an invalid so the family, friends, including Lombard, decided not to tell his mom but stated he was on tour and devised ways she could listen to radio broadcasts that were previously recorded. They kept up the charade until his mom passed away in 1944! She loved parties and practical jokes. When she was filming "Mr. & Mrs. Smith for Alfred Hitchcock, she had heard him say that all actors were cattle. The following day when Hitchcock appeared on set he was greeted by a bunch of cows:) She preferred lunching with the crew rather than other actors since she enjoyed their company and could swear like them and often did! She and Clark Gable (The King of Hollywood) fell in love  and lived together since he could not get a divorce right away. Once he was free, they married and bought a farm, called each other Ma and Pa and she started to settle down. She even went hunting with him becoming a better shot. She was very patriotic and went on a War Bond tour with her mom. She wanted to see her husband so rather than take the train, she decided to take the plane despite her mother's concerns. They chartered the plane which crashed into Tablerock mountain-all perished. Gable, so grief stricken had to be held back from looking for Carole's body. He immediately joined the War but never got over her death keeping her bedroom as it was the day she left. He married 2 more times and both women looked similar to Lombard. The Queen of Screwball comedy was given the Medal of Freedom posthumously by FDR and a Liberty ship was named after her.

Oscar Nominations: "My Man Godfrey"

Films: "No Man of Her Own", "Bolero", "Twentieth Century", "Nothing Sacred", "Made For Each Other", "To Be Or Not To Be".

Quote: "I've lived a man's code designed to fit a man's world, yet at the same time I never forget that a woman's first job is to choose the right shade of lipstick".

The films in bold are films I would choose to see first, but they are all great

Monday, April 13, 2015

K for Buster Keaton

Born: October 4, 1895

Died: February 1, 1966

Aged: 70 years from lung cancer

Real Name: Joseph Frank Keaton

Nickname: "The Great Stone Face"

Married: 3 times-first to Natalie Talmadge

Famous Friend: Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle

Considered THE best comedian, now, even ahead of Chaplin. Many today take from this great comedian who stated he learned everything from his friend, Fatty Arbuckle. Lucille Ball said she learned everything from Buster and he was her mentor. He was on stage by the time he could walk with his Vaudevillian parents. The father would literally hurl his son off the stage and often onto the spectators. Buster was to have gotten his name from Harry Houdini after seeing the act but no one knows for sure but the name "Buster" started with this man.  Keaton taught himself how to read and write as he had only one day of schooling. I am surprised child services wasn't all over the dad's ass. Early in his career he realized he got more laughs if he didn't smile so he decided to take that route for the rest of his career. He is the one actor who truly did ALL his own stunts from giant boulders following him downhill to a house façade falling on him-with him being in the window opening with inches to spare all around! In one stunt, he was on top of a train and there was water that came out of the spout that smacked him down. He complained of a headache but thought nothing of it. A few years later when MGM took over the smaller studio he had to go for a mandatory physical and it was found he had fractured his neck!  He not only was an actor but a great director who did direct many of his films but when MGM took over he lost his independence and creative control. His work suffered,  he started to drink heavily and became an alcoholic. MGM fired him and he ended up in a sanitarium for a while. He quit drinking after many years, with the help of his last wife and in the 1950's saw his career being resurrected. He was receiving many honours for his brilliance in film. He actually loved poker and baseball, was a great prankster and loved to laugh.

Films: "The Goat", "Go West", "Sherlock Jnr", "The Navigator", "The General", "Steamboat Bill Jnr",  "The Cameraman", "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum", "Railrodder".

Quote: "They say pantomime's a lost art, It's never been a lost art and never will be, because it's too natural to do."

Yup He could have died.

The films in bold are ones I pick to see first. The Railrodder is a film from Canada and it's great!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for Emil Jannings

Born: July 23,1884

Died: January 3, 1950

Aged: 65 Years from cancer

Real Name: Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz

Married: 5 times

A Swiss born, German actor considered one of the greatest actors of the 20th century who is now disgraced, rightly so, for his willing involvement in pro Nazi films. To see his acting, even today, in these films, does compel one to give credit where it is due, namely that he was an excellent actor that could create pathos in some great characters. He started acting for the famed Max Reinhardt and his theatre. The German film industry was in its expressionistic heyday after World War 1 and during the 1920's and he was a huge part of this industry. At this time, Hollywood called and like many German actors, writers and directors, left the country and came to Hollywood. He had the typical arrogant demeanor that actors have when they believe they are the greatest. He starred in some great films and then...da, da dum dum-sound arrived. He had such a heavy, thick German accent that people had a difficult time understanding him so he headed back to Germany. Of course, this was after he won the very first best actor award Oscar for which he did not attend since the winners all knew beforehand (it took a little over 5 minutes to hand out the awards-big difference now eh?). He is also the first one who did not attend the ceremony. He made his most famous film "The Blue Angel" with Marlene Dietrich in Germany and then came more roles that Joseph Goebbels personally asked Jannings to be part of and he willingly accepted. Later he became head of the German film industry of UFA. When the war ended and the Allies came in he apparently held up his Oscar to say he was one of them so as not to be killed or arrested. He also claimed he was forced to work but this seems unlikely. The arrogance, ability to work and the power that came with it was too enticing. He went to the dark side, became disgraced and died in obscurity, completely forgotten.

Oscar Win: "The Last Command", The Way of All Flesh" (could win for more than 1 film at the beginning)

Films: "Othello", "Faust", "The Street of Sin", "The Sins of our Fathers", "The Blue Angel"

The films in bold is a good place to start. Some films like "The Way of All Flesh" is conserved lost.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Film Society-Death To Smoochy!

Yup-It is the second Friday of the month and Mock and the Armchair Squid have started a film society where we watch a film each month and review it. Last month we all chose our own films (mine was "Strangers On A Train") and then we were to pick a film from one of the others and critique the film they chose.  Toi Thomas chose "Death To Smoochy".

This film came out in 2002 and stars Robin Williams, Edward Norton, Catherine Keener and Danny De Vito who also directed. It royally tanked at the box office and was given nasty reviews. Robin Williams was nominated for a Razzie but thankfully they gave it to the deserved Hayden Christiansen for his portrayal of Darth Vader-more like a whiny Dr. Evil but oh well.

I think people didn't take well to Robin Williams playing a big A-hole. It is also a very caustic look at the behind the scenes look at a kid's show. It has since been getting a cult following and I always wanted to see this film and see if it is as bad as they say.

I enjoyed it! This does mean that yes I like bad ass language which there is allot in this film and I love the dark style of this film. It doesn't pull any punches since we all wish that purple dinosaur would be caught inflagrante delecto, with the purple teletubbie. The acting is not A1 as there is some over the top style but I didn't mind it and Robin always saves the day with his wicked one liners. I enjoyed the late Vincent Shiavelli who comes in late at the scene and seems to suffer from narcolepsy. The writing is wicked and I never thought I would see a children's ice capade  with a singing Wagnerian Valkyrie, Nazis and death but it was all good:) The plot seemed to go a little off near the end (see what I just wrote) but overall I give it a good  thumbs up.

My favourite scene is when Robins Williams is dancing through the city a la Gene Kelly.  I am glad I saw this film finally and it was filmed in Toronto and Hamilton!

Oh If anyone can help, I can't seem to leave a comment for Toi and yet I chose her film. When I tried to connect through Google plus my computer froze-grrrr. Since I am not computer savvy any help would be appreciated:)

PS My A to Z is the previous Post-I for "John Ireland" :)

I is for John Ireland


Born: January 30, 1914

Died: March 21, 1992

Aged: 78 years from leukemia

Married: 3 times-2nd wife was Joanne Dru

Affairs: Oh my..where to start-Natalie Wood, Sue Lyon, Joan Crawford, Tuesday Weld

An actor who started strong but never quite made it-could have been so much more. He started in a water carnival because he was an excellent swimmer. He was known to be likeable and would always greet his fans and sign autographs but he could have a temper. A tall man with a rather large nose who was also known for something large. In the film, "Red River"  he and Montgomery Clift are comparing guns which was supposed to be an inside joke. During the making of this film, he and Joanne Dru fell in love. Howard Hawks, the director, also fancied Joanne Dru so Hawks severely cut his film role. The other story is that Ireland felt cheated, money wise, by his agent who was invested in this film. Ireland and Hawks had a falling out and Ireland walked out. They filmed around him  which is why you see his character near the beginning and then at the end. It was also rumoured he liked his drink and would show up late until he got canned. The story that is most often repeated is that Hawks fell for Dru. Soon he started to be more in character roles or in B films whether made here or overseas ("Satan's Cheerleaders" is one such B film). He started to do more TV work in the 80's and, at one point, took a huge ad out in the paper requesting film work.  He seemed to like the women young and had a very notorious affair with Tuesday Weld when she was 16 and he was...45! (jerk).

Oscar Nominations: "All The King's Men",

Films: "A Walk In The Sun", "Red River", "The Gangster", "Little Big Horn", "The Fast and the Furious", "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral", "55 Days at Peking"

Quote: Regarding the affair with Tuesday Weld-"If there wasn't such a difference in our ages I'd ask her to marry me. That and her mother are the only things that stop me."

The films in bold are the ones to see first:) but you can choose whatever

Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for Rita Hayworth


Born: October 17, 1918

Died: May 14, 1987

Aged: 68 years from Alzheimers

Real Name: Margarita Carmen Cansino

Marriages: 5 times-Orson Welles, Prince Aly Khan, Dick Haymes

Affairs: Victor Mature, Glenn Ford, Gary Merrill

Famous Partner: Glenn Ford

Famous Cousin: Ginger Rogers

Known as the "Love Goddess" she would have rather been a housewife and mother. Famous for her red hair and her beauty was the 2nd biggest pin-up for the GI's. They actually placed her picture on the first atomic bomb that exploded at Bikini, Atoll. Her demanding and domineering father taught her dancing and they toured as the great Cansini's. He also sexually molested her (bastard). When she was picked up by Columbia Pictures, she underwent painful electrolysis to  raise her hairline, dyed her black hair red and went on a diet to achieve her Goddess look. Despite her beauty she was shy, unassuming who had a strong work ethic and was very un-diva like. She was an excellent dancer who partnered with both Fred Astaire (twice) and Gene Kelly. It is actually said that she was Fred Astaire's favourite dance partner. She married Orson Welles and they were known as "Beauty and the Brain". She felt intimidated by his intelligence and when they made "The Lady of Shanghai" together he had her beautiful locks cut and died platinum much to the regret of her fans. It is rumoured this was done in spite but who knows. After she divorced Welles she married Prince Ali Khan and became the first Hollywood star to become a princess. When this marriage went south, she had to escape quickly with her daughter under an assumed name since his religion, she feared,  would have forbade her to keep her daughter. By the early 60's she was forgetting her lines and becoming quite emotional. The doctors and the public labeled her an alcoholic. In fact I remember, as a kid, hearing reports that she was an alcoholic. It was not until 1980 that she was confirmed as having early onset Alzheimers. Her daughter, Yasmin Khan took care of her until she passed away.

Films: "Only Angels Have Wings", "The Strawberry Blonde", "Blood and Sand", "You were never Lovelier", "You'll Never Get Rich", "Covergirl", "Gilda", "The Lady From Shanghai", "Pal Joey"

Quote: "Every man I have ever known has fallen in love with Gilda and awakened with me".

Films in bold are the ones to start with but, as you know, they are all great.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for John Gilbert


Born: July 10, 1897 or 1899 or 1895 but most of my books say 1897

Death: January 9, 1936

Aged: 38 years old-heart attack brought on by alcoholism

Real Name: John Cecil Pringle

Marriages: 4 times-Leatrice Joy, Ina Claire, Virginia Bruce

Affairs: Greta Garbo, Jeanne Eagles, Marlene Dietrich

Famous Partner: Greta Garbo

Considered the worst tragedy of silent film actors who did not make it to sound...but it is not that simple. Born to very poor vaudeville parents-his father skipped out and his mother would often introduce him to his new "daddy". He would be beaten, bullied and knew what starvation meant. He broke into pictures quite young starting in stunt work but, since he was very handsome, he quickly went into lead roles. He showed a natural affinity to writing and directing which he did do in some early pictures but the powers at be wanted him in front of the camera. He first wooed Leatrice Joy who was Cecil B DeMille's favourite actresses and they had a daughter together who later wrote a wonderful book about her father  called "Dark Star".  He became a huge star and the highest paid (a 1 million dollar contract)  with MGM. When he first met Garbo on the set of "Flesh and the Devil" there was an instant attraction. Their first scene was a kissing scene and when the director yelled "Cut" they continued kissing and everyone left the set. She moved in with him and he proposed. There was to be a double wedding with King and Florence Vidor. Gilbert waited and waited but she was a no-show.  Gilbert was heart broken and was in the washroom when Louis B Mayer came in and said " Just F$#! her, don't marry her". With that, Gilbert punched Mayer in the face and he went down. Mayer was beyond angry and vowed to destroy Gilbert. Mayer tried to break Gilbert's contract but it was solid. Gilbert made his talking debut and people did not take to his voice. He had a tenor voice not a baritone. There are even reports that Mayer fiddled with the sound to make it even worse but there is no evidence to support this theory.  Regardless, one can see his career steadily going down and, instead of being given great films and scripts, he was given horrible scripts that did nothing to help his voice or his talent ("His Glorious Night" has been satirized in "Singing In The Rain"-"I love you, I love you, I love you). Gilbert began to drink heavily but refused to give up his contract and kept sliding further and further. By now Garbo was the huge star and he was not, but she refused to work with no one else but him in the film "Queen Christina" . Later, Marlene Dietrich also tried to help him by getting him sober but it was too late. He died of a heart attack but not alone as everyone thought- he was having sex with Marlene Dietrich and died (what a way to go). She called the studio first who came and brought him to his own place and then the police were called. Sad end to a great actor who had so much more to offer.

Films: "Monte Cristo", "Madness of Youth", "He Who Gets Slapped", "The Merry Widow", "The Big Parade", "La Boheme", "Flesh and the Devil", "Love", "Woman of Affairs", "Downstairs", "Queen Christina"

Quote: When wanting to film "Man, Woman and Sin", Mayer objected to the mother being portrayed as a prostitute. John replied, "What's wrong with that, my own mother was a whore!" Mayer decked him.

The films in bold I would see first

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F for Douglas Fairbanks

Born: May 23, 1883

Died: December 12, 1939

Aged: 56 years-heart attack

Real Name: Douglas Elton Ullman

Marriages: 3 times-2nd to Mary Pickford and 3rd to Lady Sylvia Ashley

Famous Friend: Charlie Chaplin

Famous Son: Douglas Fairbanks Jnr.

Happy go-lucky, swashbuckling prankster who was very physically fit, did most of his own stunts and never drank. His physique and looks were the basis of Superman and his portrayal of Zorro  was the inspiration for Batman! He was a founding member of the Oscars. He loved doing his own stunts and everything was designed in his films according to his weight and height so it looked like he did them with ease. He and Chaplin loved hanging out together and truly enjoyed one another's company. They went on a War Bond selling tour which brought in huge crowds and helped the war effort (WW1).  Fairbanks, Chaplin, D.W. Griffith (the father of film he is often called-a director) and Mary Pickford, "America's Sweetheart" (she was Canadian) formed United Artists so they could be independent from the other studios. He and Pickford met in the teens and fell deeply in love even though both were married to others at the time. When his mother died, he and Mary went for a drive and when he broke down, they noticed the clock, in the car, stopped at the moment his mom had died. They took this as a sign of their love and their catch phrase to each other was "By The Clock".  They were able to get divorces, married and honeymooned in Europe. In London they were so overwhelmed by their fans(300,000) that there was a real fear of being trampled to death. There are pictures of Pickford on Fairbanks shoulders and she looks scared! They bought a home in Hollywood which they named "Pickfair" and it became THE place to be invited over. Kings, presidents, heads of state all stayed at Pickfair. Lord Mountbatten had his honeymoon there.(Pickfair was bought by Pia Zadora and, despite opposition from his son and the historical society, she razed it to the ground in 1990). They were more famous than anyone you could think of today. Sadly, they divorced but never fell out of love for one another and both kept pictures of one another on their bedside table even though they remarried to other people. In 1939 he suffered a heart attack, he was in poor condition and family and friends came to see him. He told his brother to see Mary and give her a message-"By The Clock".

Films:  "The Americano", "Wild and Wooly", "The Mark of Zorro",  "The 3 Musketeers", "Robin Hood", "The Thief of Bagdad", "The Black Pirate", "The Gaucho", "The Taming of the Shrew"

Quote: (his last words) "I never felt better in my life."

In London

 selling war bonds

The films in bold are films to choose first to watch but others  are great too

Monday, April 6, 2015

Jeanne Eagels

Born: June 26, 1890

Died: October 3, 1929

Aged: 39 years-accidental overdose(maybe)

Real Name: Eugenia Amelia Eagles

Married: twice-2nd to college football star, Ted Coy

Affairs: Arthur Fiedler (he said she was the love of his life), John Gilbert, Prince of Wales

Famous Friend: Clifton Webb

She was the Meryl Streep of her day! Temperamental diva who was a major star on stage, wowed film audiences and is now almost totally forgotten. Came from a very poor family. She left and toured with an acting troupe in tent shows. Married one of the actors and had a child but gave the child up for adoption. She was noticed by the famous David Belasco who got her into Broadway and the Ziegfeld Follies. She rose to stardom playing Sadie Thompson in "Rain" on Broadway and was a huge hit! She played this role for a total of 1,500 performances and people, in the theatre, still talk about her great performance. Of course, Hollywood beckoned and, even though she made a couple of films in the teens, she did not take Hollywood by storm until the 1920's. Unfortunately, her temperament, anxieties, alcohol and drug use was getting in the way. Her great friend Clifton Webb almost married her, even though he was gay, but his mommy stopped him (they were very close). They remained the closest of friends until her untimely death. Due to her wild ways and diva style she was banned from the theatre for 15 months. Due to the harsh lights used in early cinema she developed  "Klieg Eyes" and needed minor surgery to correct it. Some time later she went back to the hospital and was in very poor shape. She died and her death was ruled accidental overdose due to either Chloral hydrate or cocaine or heroin. One can also find sources claiming she committed suicide. There are also sources stating she was given something to calm down and this reacted negatively to what was already in her system and this is what killed her. One will never know. She is the first person nominated for an Academy Award posthumously.

Oscar Nomination: "The Letter"

Films: "The Cross Bearers", "Man, Woman and Sin", "Jealousy"

Quote: "I'm the greatest actress in the world and the greatest failure and nobody gives a damn"

Saturday, April 4, 2015

D for Olivia De Havilland

Born: July 1, 1916

Died: Not Dead yet!

Age: 98 Yrs old and going!!

Marriages: Twice

Affairs: Howard Hughes, James Stewart, John Huston (no one was married at the time)

Famous Sibling: Joan Fontaine ("And I Caaan't Stand her!")

Famous Partner: Errol Flynn

Bright, good girl with hidden strengths. A contract player at Warner Bros. She was often placed on suspension since she did not want to play the roles they gave her. These suspensions kept being added to her 7 year contract. She sued Warner Bros and, where Bette Davis lost, Olivia De Havilland won her case even though she did not work for 3 years. This became known as the De Havilland Decision and meant the beginning of the end of the studio contract days. After this, she became a free agent and started getting better roles. She worked 9 times with Errol Flynn and she was strongly attracted to Mr. Flynn but she knew his wild ways and so resisted the temptation. It is stated that she was his great love even though they never had an affair. In fact, at one Hollywood party Errol Flynn and John Huston had a huge fight over Ms. De Havilland and I believe Huston won. The feud, sibling rivalry and just plain dislike for her sister (the feeling was mutual) is legendary. Some say it became worse when Joan Fontaine won the Oscar before Olivia. Olivia stated she was upset by what her sister said about her then husband. Whatever the reason, it was caught on camera when Olivia De Havilland snubbed her sister who had her hand outstretched to congratulate her for winning the Oscar. They may have spoken in the 70's although am unsure about this. They did not speak in decades and never will since Joan Fontaine died last year.  Talk about hate! Olivia went into semi-retirement in the mid 50's  when she remarried, moved to Paris (ended in amicable divorce in the 1970's) to raise her 2 children (her son died in 1991). She still resides in the outskirts of Paris to this day.

Oscar Nominations: "Gone With The Wind", "Hold Back The Dawn", "The Snake Pit"

Oscar Wins: " To Each His Own", "The Heiress"

Films: "Midsummer's Night's Dream",  "Captain Blood",  "The Adventures of Robin Hood", "Santa Fe Trail", "They Died With Their Boots On", "The Dark Mirror", "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte", "Airport '77"

Quote: "Famous people feel they must perpetually be in the crest of the wave, not realizing that it is against all the rules of life. You can't be on top all the time; it isn't natural."

The 2 films I would choose to see first are in can pick what you like though:)