Saturday, January 30, 2010

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Jeff Chandler

Jeff Chandler (December 15, 1918 - June 17, 1961) was THE actor in the 1950s. Probably best known as Cochise in Broken Arrow, Chandler is one of my favorite actors - though not from his films (not that he wasn't fabulous in them). I adore him as Mr Boynton in the radio program Our Miss Brooks opposite Eve Arden. Who couldn't love Mr Boynton? Some Chandler trivia:

  • Jeff Chandler was born Ira Grossel
  • He had Gray hair by age 18
  • Chandler's death from blood poisoning following surgery was deemed malpractice and resulted in a large lawsuit
  • He offered Sammy Davis one of his eyes
  • The Jonny Quest character "Race Bannon" was modeled on Jeff Chandler (I love Jonny Quest!)

Jeff Chandler's 1956 wishes:

1. Personally, I hope to find a new house by 1956. By the time you read this, we might just have found one! (I hope they did)

2. Professionally, I hope to make more friends during 1956. In The Spoilers Rory Calhoun and I have a terrific fight. That may be an odd way to begin a friendship, but that's the way ours started. I appreciate friends and I'd like to who them how much in 1956.

3. As a citizen, I hope the segregation problem will be solved by the end of next year. And I hope the Christmas spirit will continue throughout the whole year.

Racial harmony is definitely a cool wish. I wish the Christmas Spirit lasted the entire year too, but it surprises me that Jeff would wish for it since he was Jewish. The feeling you are supposed to get is a universal one. Not the commercialism part - the love for your fellow man. All people can wish for that.
Up next - the lovelies Joan Collins and Jeanne Crain

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Marge and Gower Champion

Marge (born September 2, 1919) & Gower Champion (June 22, 1921 - August 25, 1980) were a husband and wife dance team who worked in mainly MGM musicals. They were married from October 5, 1947 until 1973. In 1957 they had a t.v. show where they played themselves, a dancer and a choreographer. Some trivia:
  • Marge Champion is the stepmother to actress Katey Sagal (Most famous for her role in Married With Children)
  • Marge Champion was the model for Snow White from Disney's Snow White in the Seven Dwarfs (for which she earned $10 a day), the Blue Fairy in Pinnochio, and Hyacinth Hippo in Fantasia.
  • Gower Champion had 15 Tony Award nominations, he won 8 - the most of any choreographer

Marge and Gower's 1956 wishes:

1. We find being 24-hour-a-day partners just wonderful. We want the same for 1956.

2. If all goes well, we'll have our own independent motion picture and TV company by '56 (which they did)

3. We'd like to create a real interest in dancing among the young people, particularly the teen-agers. It's our answer to juvenile delinquency.

I'm not sure kids these days would have any interest in the kind of classic dancing the Champions championed (sorry :) to stop juvenile delinquency. Couldn't hurt to try, though.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - William Campbell

William Campbell was born October 30, 1926 in Newark, New Jersey and is still with us! He was sort of a B actor but he did appear in the cult film Hush..Hush Sweet Charlotte and on several episodes of varying Star Trek series including one of my favorite episodes of the original series, The Trouble with Tribbles. For a good post on William, check out Movie Morlocks. Some William Campbell trivia:

  • First wife Judith Campbell Exner professed to be a mistress of President John F. Kennedy. She was also involved with Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana during the period she claimed to be Kennedy's mistress.
  • William was the first actor ever to sing with Elvis. It was in the picture Love Me Tender

William Campbell's 1956 Wishes:

1. Personally, I'd like to see more of my mother. She's a wonderful person, but she lives back East.

2. I had the chance of a lifetime in the Kirk Douglas picture Man Without a Star. Professionally, I'd like another chance like that in 1956.

3. I'd like to see people living our Constitution instead of just talking about it. I believe in equality for all and I hope the time comes when we are all better citizens and better Americans because we practice what we preach.

Up next - Marge and Gower Champion and Jeff Chandler

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Corinne Calvet

Corinne Calvet, born Corinne Dibos, on April 30, 1925 in Paris, France. She died June 23, 2001 (Aged 76) in Los Angeles, CA of a Cerebral Hemorrhage. She was discovered by Paramount Studios, but left the industry in the 1970s to become a therapist. She usually played French characters in films, and was basically the eye candy (from what I can tell). Her main claim to fame outside the acting arena is inn 1952 Calvet filed a lawsuit accusing actress Zsa Zsa Gabor of slandering her in telling several people, including a newspaper columnist, that Calvet was not really French. Another fun fact - her father invented Pyrex dishware.

Here are Corinne Calvet's 1956 Wishes:
1. Personally, I want to spend as much time as I can with my husband, Jeffrey Stone (Pictured below)

2. Professionally, we'd like to do a picture together

3. As a citizen, I'd like to travel more and get to know more people so I can understand their viewpoints and they can understand ours.

Very admirable wishes from a very gorgeous lady.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Richard Burton

I'm going to guess that most people know about Richard Burton, but if not, check out IMDB for a bio, but here is my favorite Burton quote: Home is where the books are. Richard Burton's 1956 wishes were:

1. "Perhaps I'd better mention what my wife wants for me - to stop buying and driving so many fast cars." - Poor guy, I love fast cars myself.

2. "Professionally, I hope to grow, to continue to learn and to study. You learn from every picture. Right now, I'm learning from my role in 'The Rains of Ranchipur'." - I've never seen The Rains of Ranchipur. Does anyone know if it's a good film?

3. "As a Welshman, may I hope that someday more people will become acquainted with the beautiful Welsh language and the lovely Welsh songs." - I don't think many people are aware of Welsh songs and language. I became a bit familiar when I was in a the play Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas in High School. I played Mrs Pugh, whose husband keeps trying to murder her. Talk about marital issues. Turns out Richard Burton performed this play on the radio quite a few times.

Up next - Corinne Calvet and William Campbell

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - David Brian

David Brian (August 5, 1914 - July 15, 1993). Dancer-turned-actor David Brian didn't enter films until he was in his mid 30s, yet he made a great impression on moviegoers in such films as Flamingo Road (1949; with Joan Crawford and Zachary Scott), The Damned Don't Cry (1950; with Joan Crawford and Steve Cochran), and The High and the Mighty (1954; with John Wayne and Jan Sterling). David Brian passed away from natural causes at the age of 78. Some of his poetry is on display at Kent State and Boston University.

David Brian's 1956 wishes:

  1. My wife, Adrian Booth, and I are very interested in WATF. We are very sincere about this work, and personally I would like to see 1956 - with every orphanage in the world empty and all the orphans with loving "adopted" parents.
  2. Personally, I'd like to play the role of the Duke of Gloucester, Henry the VI. I like this role, as Shakespeare created it, because although the Duke was a ruthless man, he was not a hypocrite with himself.
  3. As a citizen, I wish they'd quit cutting down our beautiful palm trees that took so many tears to mature. When I first came to California, only a few years back, there were many palms. They mean southern California to me. But now they are being chopped down ruthlessly.

I can't say I have heard of David Brian before I found out what films he was in. I have seen most of them, so I must have seen him, although I can't quite remember him personally. I think his wishes are great. His first wish I believe has to do with support of an orphan organization. I was not able to find any information on it because so many organizations have that acronym and I just didn't have time to go through them all. Henry the VI would be a wonderful role for any actor and I hope he had the opportunity to play him. He didn't in any films, but he was mostly on TV in westerns primarily. And I'm all for palm trees, so preservation of them in California would be fantastic.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart

Well, we all know Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. These pictures are from their attendance at the Academy Awards in 1955. Bogie and Bacall's wishes were:

  1. As individuals we want good health - especially for our children
  2. As performers we want our careers to thrive, blossom and flower.
  3. As citizens we want peace in the world and especially a tranquil career for the United Nations.

Lauren and Humphrey have wonderful dreams that everyone wishes for: health, happiness, and peace.

Up next - David Brian and Richard Burton

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Keefe Brasselle

Very hard to find info on Keefe Brasselle. He acted in a few films such as A Place in the Sun, but ended up being a TV executive. He was born Feb. 7, 1923 and died Jul. 7, 1981 from Cirrhosis of the liver and is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in LA.
Keefe's 1956 wishes were:
  1. Personally, I'd like my first Cadillac convertible.
  2. Everyone is waiting for that chance-of-a-lifetime part, and I'm waiting for mine. Professionally, I'd like a big part in a big picture directed by Mervyn LeRoy because his pictures have a quality that endures
  3. As a citizen, I'm tire of the smog in Los Angeles. I've been here a long time and I remember when we could look across the valley and see the mountains. I know they are working hard to eliminate it, but I wish they'd work harder.

As far as Keefe's wishes go, I would love a Cadillac convertible too. That would be a fabulous car. Professionally, he is completely right. Every actor wishes for their big break. His no smog wish definitely has not come true - in fact I bet it is worse in LA.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Ann Blyth

Ann Blyth is a true goddess to me. I adore her work in films, and as a person. One of my favorite quotes from Ann:

"As an actress, I have always believed that the truer challenge, the deeper
obligation, begins after the the camera stops. My role as a woman in my
community and in my home has always overshadowed the excitement of any part I
have ever played on stage or screen."

Since I could go on and on about her, I will just give a site to where you can find some info about her at TCM. Ann's 1956 wishes were:

1. Personally, I want good health and happiness for our two children (She eventually had five). I expect my second on Christmas day.

2. Professionally, I'd like a chance to sing opera - a role that would call for the impersonation of some great opera star of the past or present. But, even if it can't be a role in a picture, I'd just like a chance to sing opera. I love it so. (And she was fabulous at it too!)

3. I'm married to a doctor so I know there are many diseases that could be wiped out and I'm not minimizing them when I say my own personal desire as a citizen is that someone find a help for children with muscular dystrophy. (Ann was married to Dr. James McNulty, brother of singer Dennis Day, from 1953 to his death in 2007).
Ann, as always, is quite classy in her wishes. I believe some of them came true. Now if only her third wish would come true!

Next up - Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart and Keefe Brasselle

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Mari Blanchard

Mari Blanchard was an actress performing mainly during the 1950s and early 1960s. She was born April 13, 1923 in Long Beach, California. Mari was discovered after being in a 1950 ad for bubble bath. She worked at RKO, MGM, Paramount, and finally was signed by Universal in 1952. Her most famous role is the Venusian queen Allura in Abbott and Costello go to Mars (1953). Mari retired in 1963 after making her last film McClintock. Mari passed away at the age of 43 from cancer.

Mari's 1956 wishes were:

1. Personally, I'd like a larger home for mother and me.

2. I'd like a chance as an actress to select my own screen roles, always, whether or not I'm under contract to a studio.

3. As a citizen, it would be great if there were a standardization of all traffic laws so that the laws are the same throughout the United States.

Interesting wishes. Everyone feels like they could use a better house. Actors and Actresses have always wanted to be able to choose their own roles. I'm not sure how many people would have said so at the time, though. As for the third wish, having driven across the country a few times, I can totally understand her wish. It can be quite frustrating.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Lana Turner and Lex Barker

Lana Turner and Lex Barker were married from September 8, 1953 to July 22, 1957. While Lana needs no introduction, Lex Barker was mainly known for taking over the role of Tarzan after Johnny Weismuller. Definitely has the look for it. Here are the couple's 1956 wishes:

1. We want to go back to Acapulco again and just rest under the palms. Personally, we love it down there.

2. Professionally, we'd like solid dramatic roles, of course. But, since I was Tarzan for so long, I'd like more roles like the one I had in Away All Boats (Lex).

3. We love children and as citizens we'd like a better educational system. Knowledge can win anything - especially peace.
Nice wishes, but since they weren't together for too long after this, maybe they should have wished for a strong marriage. And Acapulco can be a lovely place to visit (so I've heard).

Up next - Mari Blanchard and Ann Blyth

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - William Bishop

William Bishop was born July 16, 1918 in Illinois and died October 3, 1959. He started out at MGM and later worked freelance for Columbia pictures. His first credit was in the classic Song of the Thin Man. His last role was opposite Fred MacMurray in The Oregon Trail (1959). Anyway, here are William Bishop's 3 Wants for 1956:
  1. I'm tired of living alone. Personally, I would like to meet the gal who will put the proverbial ring around my nose.

  2. Our series on TV, "It's a Great Life," seems to be going well, so professionally, I wish 1956 would find me finding enough time to do some of the wonderful film roles I've been offered.

  3. As a citizen, I hope for more advances in medicine. It will be wonderful when they can cure such diseases as cancer.

It's a Great Life was an early TV show about two ex-GI friends rooming together in a Southern California boardinghouse. The sitcom aired in syndication under the title The Bachelors. William Bishop played Steve Connors for the entire fun of the show. It only ran from 1954-1956, so unfortunately it didn't work out for William.

As far as I can tell, none of poor William's wishes came true. Ironically he died of cancer at age 42 in 1959. Not bad looking either. I wouldn't have minded if he "put the proverbial ring around my nose"!

Friday, January 22, 2010

What 100 Stars Want in 1956 - Nick Adams

Nick Adams seems like a quite tragic figure, having passing away from a drug overdose. He was a good friend of James Dean. He is pictured above in 1956 with mementos from James Dean. Nick Adams wishes for 1956 were:
  • As a person I would like to find some way to thank all the people who have been so wonderful to me during the past years and have made my dreams come true.
  • As a performer I would like to continue to be honest and sincere in my interpretation of any roles assigned to me. I want to be respected not only as a comedian but also as a dramatic actor.
  • As a citizen I would like to visit and talk to juvenile delinquents in reform schools and try to get across to them that they can make something of themselves. I would especially like to help boys who are convinced that they are bad and that there is no help for their future.
I sure hope he was able to speak to juvenile delinquents and import them with hope for the future, but I have no idea if that happened. Wonderful wishes.
Up next - Lana Turner & Lex Barker as well as William Bishop

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What 100 Stars Want Most in 1956 - John Agar

Since I have got off my resolutions a bit (aside from reading a vintage book a week), I thought I would find out what some stars wished for back in the day. I found this fun 1956 Movieland article listing 100 stars and what they wanted. Today's star is John Agar, probably best known for marrying Shirley Temple, whom he was divorced from in 1949. Acting wise, he basically ended up being a B Sci-fi movie regular starring in such classics as: Tarantula (1955), The Mole People (1956), The Brain from Planet Arous (1958), and Invisible Invaders (1959). I've seen Tarantula and The Mole People, and I enjoy them for the cheese factor. I am a total big fan of B Sci-fi 1950s films. I even did my senior dissertation on the subject in college. John Agar's wishes:

  • My wife and I want to stay as happy as we are (Not Shirley in 1956)
  • The more pictures I can do, the happier I'll be
  • As a citizen, I feel that Hollywood is coming to realize the great good it can do, and I hope our films point a way for a better life for everyone, everywhere. A lot of people don't believe in "massage" pictures. I do. I believe in them all the way from "The Ten Commandments" to "On the Waterfront"

Not bad wishes. Can't say I've ever heard the term "massage" pictures.

Up next - Lana Turner & Lex Barker as well as William Bishop

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vintage Inspiration - Goddess Gloria Swanson

Watching the fabulous Sunset Boulevard right now on TCM. It is one of my favorite films, so of course my vintage inspiration for today is none other than Gloria Swanson. This picture is from 1948. Gloria is chic as always. Adore her dress.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vintage Book of the Week - The Cutie by Donald E Westlake

Mavis St John is a mercenary, using men to get to the top of the entertainment world. When she ends up dead, Clay has a huge problem on his hands. You see, a junkie was framed for the killing and it's Clay's job to clear the junkie's name - and keep him alive. Another Hard Case treat from 1960 written by Donald E. Westlake. Total edge of your seat read as you follow Clay on his quest to find and clear the missing junkie's name. How you you go wrong with political corruptness, mob connections, and a dead body? Watch out for the Sopranos style ending. How do you think it ended?

Vintage Book of the Week - Night Walker by Donald Hamilton

I have been way into Hard Case Crime books lately. They're basically noir books, some new and some reprints of classic pulp books. This gem is by Donald Hamilton, creator of Matt Helm. Anyway, the story begins with a naval lieutenant hitchhiking his way back to his base. Lieutenant David Young suddenly finds himself in a hospital with his face bandaged and under a different name and basically kidnapped. There are so many twists and turns in this book I could never guess what was coming up next or who was on what side. I didn't know if I would like it, but it was a fabulous read. I've read about 5 of the Hard Case Crime books and they have all been fantastic. Definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good noir or suspense book. And the covers are fantastic, too.

1920s Exercise 5 - Raise Up from the Floor

And now for our last 1920s exercise ladies. Appears to be a push-up. The article says only do 3 to 5 of them, which isn't too difficult for me to handle. I should be buff by this weekend :)

Spread a sheet on the carpet and kneel on it. Place hands on the floor the width of the shoulders apart. Stretch the legs out behind until the body is supported by hands and feet only.

  1. Lower the body until chest touches floor, as in top figure
  2. Then slowly raise to the arms' length as in bottom figure

Breathing - Inhale before pressing up; exhale while lowering. Repeat three to five times.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

1920s Exercise 4: Flexion and Extension of the Foot

Don't hear the word flexion used very much. Sorry the picture didn't turn out well, but she is basically sitting and making a little circle with her foot. Here's the exercise:
Sitting Position - The leg is held slightly forward. Raise and lower the foot vigorously without bending knee, as in figure 4. Then perform a circular movement. Repeat ten times, first with one foot then with the the other.
According to the article these leg exercises should be done when you start exercising because they "equalize the circulation to distribute the blood, which from inaction might have been congested in parts of the body and to prepare the muscles for activity."
- Had no idea this was going on, but must keep the blood working.
They are also good at the end of exercising because these exercises "quiet the heart beat, which has been quickened by the preceding exercise, also to deflect the blood from other parts of the body to the legs, and to develop the muscles of the calves."
- Now I'm totally confused. How can it accelerate AND calm the blood at the same time? Not sure, but these are easy exercises to perform so I'm all for it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

1920s Excercise 3 - Knee Raising

Knee Raising - Standing position. With hands on hips balance yourself on one foot. Raise the opposite knee until it comes as near chest as possible, like figure 3. Avoid straining and do not bend the body to meet the knee. Five times each leg. Use legs alternately.
Knee Bending Backwards - This movement should be carried out while holding the same position as in the previous exercise. Bend the knee backward as far as possible. Extend the knee with vigor. Exercise each leg alternately five times.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are You a "Lovely Menace"? Apparently I'm not

Well, were any of you a menace to other women? Stealing their boyfriends?

I took the quiz, and only got 40 points. Let's see if I am a "Lovely Menace".

Well, according to the answer key, 40 points is quite pathetic and Ponds suggest I work immediately to help my skin.

Jeepers! I had no idea I was in such dire straights. I better get my Ponds Cold Cream and get to it :)

Vintage Book of the Week - Fright by Cornell Woolrich

Just finished this gem from one of my favorite book series, Hard Case Crime. They basically reprint old pulp novels as well as new books written in the pulp style. Fright was written by the fabulous Cornell Woolrich. Woolrich wrote fantastic mysteries. This gem was written in 1950.
Anyway, Fright is the tale of Prescott Marshall and his horrible mistake. A few days before his wedding, Marshall decides to have some fun with a prostitute. His indiscretion decides to blackmail him and basically stalks him wherever he goes. Not only that, but an hour before he gets married, he basically goes nuts and kills the prostitute.
This book was very disturbing and suspenseful. I was a little leery of it at first, but I really liked it. I loved the cover too. It was created by Arthur Sydam. To me, it totally looks like Marilyn Monroe.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How Do You Rate as a "Lovely Menace"?

Are you a "Lovely Menace"? Do you make every bachelor want to get hitched? Does every girl hate you because you are so fantastic?

Take Pond's 1940 Quiz to find out! Answers revealed tomorrow. Click on the photo to increase it's size.

I bet this gentleman doesn't mind using Cold Cream on the lovely Betty Grable :)


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