I was born in Los Angeles in 1950. My father was born in Los Angeles in 1920. As he told me very little of his life, I learned a lot from his friends and relatives. Since he died, I have learned a bit more from my mother.
He went to UCLA, and to pay his way through college, he worked as a page for then NBC-Radio. Although a page, he was acquainted with a lot of the stars, such as Bob Hope, Jack Benny, and others. I told my mother that it is a shame he didn’t write a book of his experiences.
Like a lot of young men of that time, shortly after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army in 1942 during his 3rd year at UCLA. He became a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne, telling his mother that advancement was fast in the Airborne. My mother later asked him if he considered why advancement was so fast…
After the war, he had a hard time finding work before he took over his fathers import-export business, and my mother and I wonder why he didn’t use some of his contacts at NBC to get work there. Although I can’t see him as a studio exec.
His cousin there told me as boys they would ride their bicycles down the middle of Hollywood Blvd early in the morning. That’s hard to image today.
In addition to being a comedienne whose work is still appreciated over 60 years later, Lucy had quite an influence in television. It could be said that I Love Lucy, started in 1951 with the dawn of television, became the template for the modern sitcom.
I had heard it said years ago that this show pioneered the 3 Camera Approach in filming. But others are saying not so fast – it was invented 4 years earlier, in 1947. Perhaps because the show was so groundbreaking and popular – it is still in syndication today – it got the credit.
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Driving home just now, I was trying to think of all the people who had both a strong musical presence and a strong stage or screen presence.
There have been a few stars of either the small or big screen that were 1 hit wonders. But the screen stars who have also had a strong presence on the radio have been few and far between.
I’m thinking of Bing Crosby and Barbara Streisand.
And Doris Day.
Growing up in Studio City I will always remember this song of hers.
For many years, she lived a quiet life in Carmel.
Celebrate a bit of her legacy here.
By lex, on September 24th, 2007
The 13-year old cohort at Chez Lex is of the unswervable opinion that Sunday evenings are, and of a right ought to be, dedicated to viewing of “The Simpsons” on television. This same group was shocked into outrage last night to find that the paterfamilias had dedicated the TiVo towards recording the first 2.5 hours of Ken Burns PBS mini-series “The War.”
Posted by Lex, on February 6, 2010
Andrew Klavan explains it:
See if you can spot the difference between reality and American culture. In reality, President John F. Kennedy was a fierce Cold Warrior who twice tripled America’s military presence in the Vietnam War to try to stop the spread of Communism and risked nuclear disaster by standing up to the Soviet Union in Cuba. He was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, an America-hating leftist who had once defected to the USSR.
Now, the culture: in Oliver Stone’s film JFK—nominated for Best Picture Oscar in 1991—Kennedy is a peaceful lefty contemplating a withdrawal from Vietnam. He’s assassinated by a vast right-wing cabal that includes every single person in America except for Oliver Stone. Reality, culture. Can you spot the difference?
More examples abound.
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Photo via Getty Images
Over the years, thanks to screenwriter Robert Avrech, I developed an appreciation for classic Hollywood. As is my nature, that which has interested me I really delved into research to learn all that I can.
Audrey Hepburn was, according to her son Sean Ferrer, An Elegant Spirit. No Hollywood diva, she. She grew up in Holland under the Nazis nearly starving, because her father felt that the Nazis were on the verge of invading England, and he should take his family to Europe.
Talk about timing.
Her first love was ballet, and for reasons I forget couldn’t make the cut, and started acting.
Posted on August 15, 2006
Success in a particular field of endeavor does not, sadly, translate to success in all fields. When I was a nobbut, experienced civil aviators of my acquaintance often called the Bonanza V-35B the “doctor killer,” since it was an expensive, high performance, slippery aircraft which demanded precision, especially during adverse weather. Weather for which certain of the wealthy, master-of-the-universe-type physicians who often purchased them declined to adequately prepare.