Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to one of my favs - Phil Harris!

Happy 106th Birthday to my favorite:

Wonga Phil Harris!

Whenever you need a laugh, Phil Harris always fits the bill


He and Dean Martin always had hilarious encounters

One of my favorite Phil Harris quotes: "I can't die until the government finds a safe place to bury my liver."

I adore Phil Harris on the radio in the Jack Benny Program and of coarse, The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. You can't be sad after listening to Phil. So full of life, fun, and hilarious. Happy Birthday Phil!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kate Smith and Nerves about My Big Day Tomorrow


Here's the gorgeous voiced Kate Smith from my Charlie McCarthy Scrapbook. I don't have time tonight to prep a long post. Super hot in MN and prepping for my big day tomorrow (Hoping I can make it through without a panic attack). Will let you guys know.

Best Wishes,
Amanda

Monday, June 21, 2010

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Birthday Girl Jane Russell!


Thought I'd mix up the order a bit and highlight birthday girl, Jane Russell, born June 21st, 1921 in my home state of Minnesota (Bemidji to be exact). The fabulous Jane is still with us today and as spicy as ever. I have to say I am a great admirer of her outspokenness, views, and her incredible work for adoption which I hope to do myself one day...



Here were Jane's wishes in 1956:
"The important thing in my life is my home - Bob and the children. Personally, I want to continue to put into our marriage the faith and solidity and trust we have known all these years"
Bob Waterfield and Jane were married from April 24, 1943 to February 2, 1967.




"Professionally, I'm interested in the continued success of the Russfield Productions which is headed by my husband. Bob says I'm the main asset in this business, but Bob really runs the show"
Jane and her husband formed Russfield Productions in 1955. Russfield Productions made four film: Gentleman Marry Brunettes (1956), The King and Four Queens (1956), Run for the Sun (1956), and The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown (1957).


"I have a deep interest in seeing that every orphan in the world finds a happy and secure home in 1956. As a citizen, I'm working hard with the WAIF organization to help realize this dream."
Amanda's comment - This is admire Jane's work with adoption so much. What a classy lady. I was able to catch her in Macao today on TCM. She was fantastic in it! Check out the clip of her singing in it above.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - George Nader



George Nader (October 19, 1921 - February 4, 2002) was born in Pasadena, California and started acting at Pasadena Playhouse. Naturally, he got noticed and started work in films beginning in 1951. I can't say I've seen him in any films, but he is best known for his role of Roy in the 3-D cheestastic Robot Monster (1953). The 6'1" 180 actor was largelly overlooked by Hollywood for the likes of Rock Hudson and Tony Curtis. Due to an alledged love affair with Rock Hudson, Nader went to Europe in the early 1960s and got plenty of roles. George was in fact involved with Rock's secretary, Mark Miller, who became his lifelong companion. After injuring his eyes in a 1974 accident, Nader retired and became a writer.

The Cheestastic Trailer for Robot Monster (1953)


Some George Nader Trivia:

  • He won the Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer in 1954
  • George quit acting in the U.S. to try to distract the public from questioning Rock Hudson's sexuality
  • He wrote the first science fiction book with homosexual robots, 1978's Chrome
  • George was remembered in Rock Hudson's will





What were George's 1956 wishes from Movieland's 1956 Annual:

"Personally, I want to be settled in my new home by 1956. I don't want to travel. I'd rather live here than anywhere in the world."

Amanda's comments - I feel badly that he felt he had to leave the country because of who he was. I'm a homebody myself, so I understand the desire to have a loving home to go home to.





" Professionally, I hope to do another musical like The Second Greatest Sex"



"As a citizen, I think we all have to want to understand the other fellow = no matter what his race or creed."



Amanda's Comments - AMEN!



Gorgeous Carole Lombard Graces My Charlie McCarthy Scrapbook


One of my favorites, Carole Lombard, is the next featured image in my Charlie McCarthy Scrapbook. She is absolutely stunning as usual. This one is dated 1939.
Next up from the Scrapbook - Kate Smith

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why Does 31 Feel Like 100?

So today was my 31st Birthday. I feel like I'm 100 like Sarah Dougherty here (who celebrated her 100th Birthday on December 23, 1921) because of all the physical pain and drama I've been through since my last birthday. I'm proud that I was able to make it through this year. Update on my house - just the basement and craft room left to clean. Did a major clean in the kitchen the past few days. I even waxed the floor!


I spent the day with my husband, brothers and sisters, mom, grandma and grandpa, and my three nieces at my grandparents' cabin. I sent the whole day chasing my 4 year-old nieces in a lake. Pretty exhausting!



(Found in Mom's Basement)

As a treat, my nieces made cookies out of their Easy-Bake Oven and decorated them for my birthday. It was so cute! I always wanted an Easy-Bake Oven when I was a kid.


My husband made Swedish Birthday Cake for my Birthday. I always grew up having Hamloaf and Chocolate Cake for my birthday (my favs), but marriage brings new traditions. My husband's family always made this for their birthdays, and it is quite delicious. It's basically yellow cake with a layer of mashed bananas, a layer of whipped cream, a layer of strawberry jam, and covered in whipped cream. Yummy!



This year has been very lean, but my husband spoils me. Since I love Old Time Radio, he got me a set for my birthday present. This time it's I Was a Communist For the FBI. Fabulous show. Dana Andrews is fantastic in it, and it is an insight into 1950s life. The Radio Show also frequently has William Conrad on it, who is basically an OTR god. There are some free episodes at Archive.org



One of the other cool things I found was the original sconces for over the fireplace. My present from my fabulous mother was to have my uncle (who is an electrician) fix and put them back up. They had been taken out and covered over in the 1970s or 1980s. But they look super cool and now I finally have a light in my living room. Yeah!
Best Wishes,
Amanda



Monday, June 14, 2010

Can a Dummy Rum with Giant Scissors?


One of the gems I found when I was cleaning was this 1930's scrapbook I purchased a few years ago for $5. It is full of fun pics, and the wonderful person who had created it thankfully wrote who many of the stars were. Some were easy to recognize, but some I still am not quite sure who a few of the people are. It seems like many of the clippings are from 1936-1938. I thought I would start a series of some of the fun pictures in the scrapbook.



I'd like to start out by saying I absolutely adore Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Their radio show is absolutely hilarious! I listen to Old Time Radio a lot, and what can be difficult listening to comedies is that much of the humor is based on things that occurred during the time. If you aren't familiar with a lot of the politics of the time, the shows aren't nearly as enjoyable. Lucky for us, Edgar Bergen's humor is timeless. For a free listen, check out the great Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Show which was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990.



I love this Vitaphone short!


Claudette Colbert is the first photo in the scrapbook. Claudette looks glamorous as always. I love her look here.
Up next in this series - Carole Lombard

Best Wishes,

Amanda










Monday, June 7, 2010

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy (June 20, 1924 - May 28, 1971) is probably best remembered for being a World War II hero for which he received many awards, including the Congressional Medal of Honor. Sad to say, I've not seen an Audie Murphy film. It appears like he made mostly Westerns, which is not generally the kind of classic film I seek out.

Anyway, here is the start of the continuation of the Movieland series about Hollywood stars wishes for the New Year of 1956:


"As a human being, I want to keep growing. My greatest desire beyond that is that my family enjoys good health and that I continue to get enough work to keep my thoughts absorbed during professional hours."


"Westerns have always been good to me but during last year, I found a change of roles stimulating. Eventually, I hope to direct and do some writing."
In the picture below, he is signing copies of his classic 1949 novel To Hell and Back at a book signing. I hear it is a fabulous book, but I haven't read it yet.



"I am in favor of no more war but as long as war clouds hover over the earth, as a citizen, I feel we should be prepared for the worst."
Seems odd coming from someone who was a war hero, but poor Audie was traumatized by his experience in World War II. He had nightmares and post traumatic stress. According to his first wife Wanda Hendrix (seen with Audie in the top photo), his nightmares caused him to be violent and he even slept with a gun under his pillow (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001559/bio). Unfortunately their union only lasted 1 year.
Up next - George Nader

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dona Drake and My No Longer Dreary Fridge

My big project for today was my refrigerator. Now, I don't have as cool a fridge as the 1944 one above, but mine was just as full (Mostly expired stuff). Took me most of the day but I got everything washed, labeled, and compartmentalized. Drives my hubby nuts that I go nuts and have to do a massive clean every once in a while, but sometimes the fridge just needs it. I even found some expired soup from 2007 :)


As we see, even the lovely Dona Drake (November 15, 1914 - June 20, 1989) had to clean her own fridge thanks to the help of her cocker spaniel and two Siamese cats in this 1942 photo.



I haven't seen any of Dona Drake's films, but it is easy to see why she was so captivating. I saw this stunning photo of her on Stirred, Straight Up With a Twist a while ago and it's easy to see why she was captivating.



Dona was a singer, dancer, and actress active from about 1935 to 1955. She was born Eunice Westmoreland, which I think would have made a great stage name. Dona ended up having at least 5 stage names: Dona Drake, Rita Rio, Rita Novella, Rita Shaw, and Una Velon. Dona played mostly ethnic roles and Hollywood billed her as being born in Mexico (even though she was born in Miami, Florida).




Dona toured the country as Rita Rio and Her All Girl Band. From what I've seen, they were quite fabulous.




Best Wishes,
Amanda





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