Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

"In the Spotlight"

Recommended Posts



Bill -

Ryan SeaWEED - that's great. Or maybe WATERcreast. The only thing is that seaweed and watercrest have a beneficial purpose; what that human ****'s purpose is, is not evident......


Dolores -

Supposedly, they do award posthumous stars; but when the last one was, is your guess because I can't remember one. I'd speculate that they haven't been able to extract money yet from the grave or the corpses haven't been able to get to the bank and certify their cheques!!!!



Link to post
Share on other sites

In the Spotlight: Barbara Nichols


Barbara Nichols, was an actress who was something of a cross between a sex symbol and a character actress, a voluptous and attractive woman with a highly distinctive scratchy voice who usually played brassy secondary comic roles in a number of major films in the 1950s and 1960s.


Nichols was born Barbara Nickeraeur on December 10, 1928 in Queens, New York (other sources indicate December 20, 1929).

She began modeling for **** magazines in the early-1950s and for a period of time worked as a stripper.


In the mid-1950s she moved to Hollywood and began regularly appearing in second leads in a number of films including "Miracle in the Rain" (1956), "A King and Four Queens" with Gable (1956), "The Naked and the Dead" (1957), "Pal Joey" (1957), "Sweet Smell of Success" (1957) exceptional role, "The Pajama Game" (1957), and "That Kind of Woman" (1958).

Other films included, "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt", "The Wild Party", "Ten North Federick", "Woman Obsessed", "Where the Boys Are", "House of Women", "Dear Heart", etc.


Nichols was a very popular model in cheesecake magazines of the era and was considered a minor rival to Marilyn Monroe's throne as the era's sexiest blonde along with several other blonde bombshells including Jayne Mansfield, Mamie Van Doren, Cleo Moore, and Diana Dors, although unlike the rest of them she had talent and remained single.

Nichols rarely starred in films yet she had showy supporting roles in major films starring the likes of Clark Gable, Susan Hayward, Sophia Loren, and Doris Day.

One of her few starring roles was in the 1966 science fiction film "The Human Duplicators".


Nichols was also a frequent guest star on many television series including "The Twilight Zone", "The Untouchables", and "The Beverly Hillbillies". Producer/actor Jack Webb used her in a number of his TV shows including "Dragnet".


Her last film was 1976's "Won Ton Ton, The Dog Who Saved Hollywood" (with an all-star cast the movie is seldom if ever shown). She also starred on Broadway.


Sadly, by the mid-70s, Barbara had developed a life-threatening liver disease. Her health deteriorated rapidly and she died in 1976 at the age of 47.


The bubbly blonde does not have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Link to post
Share on other sites



This will probably sound like a small-potatoes contribution to Elisha Cook's tribute here, but I just have to point out that he was perhaps the biggest reason that Willam Castle's "House on Haunted Hill" scared the ever-lovin' bejezus out of me at 6 years old, in the silky darkness of the Opera House theatre in Bellows Falls (man, I betcha I dropped my 10-cent box of 'corn at LEAST 4 times!); something about his fear-blasted eyes and morose warnings of doom got right into my bones.

And you know, that quirky old cheap-trick flick still, mostly, works for me now.

(Forget about that ghastly remake from 2000!)

Thank you Mr. Cook; because of you, I will ALWAYS have a little bit of 1961!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Larry, blonde bombshell Barbara Nichols was indeed a knockout and fun to watch. She was a hoot in "The Pajama Game" as Poopsie.



Klondike, I know where your coming from since I had the same experience as a kid after watching Peter Lorre in "The Beast with Five Fingers".

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Sandy. It was sad that Miss Nichols suffered a severe illness and left us much too early.

I always thought that she should have played the stripper in the movie musical "Gypsy" belting out "You Gotta Have a Gimmick". She would have been perfecto.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the Spotlight: Robert Ryan


Robert Bushnell Ryan born November 11, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, most often played hardened cops and ruthless villains throughout his career.

He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1932, where he was also the school boxing champion. After graduation, not finding work to his liking, Ryan worked as a stoker on a ship, a laborer, and a ranch hand in Montana.


He attempted to make a career in show business as a playwright, but had to turn to acting to support himself.

He studied acting in Hollywood and appeared on stage and in small film parts during the 1940s.

Robert Ryan enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp in January 1944. He was trained as a drill instructor, assigned to Camp Pendleton. The extremely creative Marine took up abstract painting during his time at the Southern California barracks, producing a hellish self-portrait.

It may have been a way for him to grapple with the inner battle stirred up by having to play the real-life role of a tough, no-nonsense marine trainer, all the while knowing that many of those fresh-faced boys would never survive the war.


Ryan was equally affected by many of the war veterans who did return. He watched as the wounded and crippled tried to cope with uncertain futures. He saw the horror behind the haunted gaze of those who had lived through unimaginable conditions, leaving comrades forever behind.


While he had made films starting in 1940, his productive career commenced after his discharge from the military. He also became involved in many liberal causes.


The role that first put him on the map was as the anti-semitic killer in Edward Dmytryk's 1947 film-noir "Crossfire" (Oscar nominee best support).

From then on Ryan's speciality was tough/tender roles, finding particular expression in the films of celebrated directors such as Nicholas Ray, Robert Wise and Sam Fuller. In Ray's "On Dangerous Ground" (1951) he portrayed a burnt-out violent city-cop finding redemption whilst solving a rural murder. He played the over-the-hill boxer in "The Set-Up" (1949). Other important films were Anthony Mann's western "The Naked Spur", Sam Fuller's Japanese set gangland thriller "House of Bamboo", "Bad Day at Black Rock", and the socially conscious heist-movie "Odds Against Tomorrow".

Other films included, "Behind the Rising Sun", "Tender Comrade" with Ginger Rogers, "Golden Gloves", "The Woman on the Beach", "Act of Violence", "Born to Be Bad", "Flying Leathernecks", "The Racket" with Lizabeth Scott, "Clash by Night" with Stanwyck, "The Naked Spur", "The Proud Ones", "Lonelyhearts", "God's Little Acre", etc.

He also appeared in several all-star war films, including "The Longest Day" (1962) and "Battle of the Bulge" (1965).


Ryan's Broadway credits included "Mr. President" and "The Front Page".


In his latter years, Ryan continued playing key roles in major films. Most notable of these were "The Dirty Dozen", "The Professionals" and Sam Peckinpah's highly influential brutal western "The Wild Bunch". In 1973, he played the terminally-ill political activist Larry Slade in "The Iceman Cometh" (1973). Ironically, while filming, he knew he was approaching the final stages of lung cancer.


He married Jessica Cadwalader on March 11, 1939, and they remained married until her death from cancer in 1972; they had 3 children. He died in New York City the following year at the age of 63.

Shortly before his death, Ryan moved out of his apartment (number 72) at the Dakota in New York City. Ryan leased (and then his estate later sold) the apartment to John Lennon and Yoko Ono.


Mr. Ryan does NOT have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mongo, I saw Ryan on Broadway in "Mr. President" when I was a lass. I remember my parents debating his performance. They thought he looked very uncomfortable onstage, and wondered whether he was really that insecure, or if he was trying to portray the political awkwardness of Dwight Eisenhower. They said that Ryan incorporated many of the mannerisms of several recent presidents (this was in the early 60s, I think), so he may have been consciously trying for awkward. It was a puzzle never solved.


I remember not really noticing him at all - he couldn't sing (and we had the cast recording too - everyone bought cast recordings in those days, even if they never saw the show) and I didn't really know who he was at that point. I thought he was overshadowed by Nanette Fabray, who played a rather brassy First Lady.

Link to post
Share on other sites

>>"Mr. Ryan does NOT have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame."<<


From working with some of the best in the business,Actors, Actresses' and Directors, in over 90 films, THIS MAN deserves a Star. Because of his abilities on the screen he made lesser roles become great just by acting in them.

Never hated the man even when he was the heavy. Always gave 100%.


Again I'm depressed...(*sigh)



Link to post
Share on other sites

Judith, since Robert Ryan was an established actor in 1962/63 when he appeared in the stage musical "Mr. President", I doubt that he was insecure.

Since he was serious about his work I would think that he was trying to portray the political awkwardness of Dwight Eisenhower.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Robert Ryan has a small role he does a wonderful job with in The Sky's the Limit, one of Fred Astaire's lesser-known movies. It's one of the movies Ryan made before his military service, and he plays a Flying Tiger buddy of Fred's, as does Richard Davies. It's an odd little musical, because it takes a somber look at war and its effects on people. With edgy humor, Ryan and Davies give Astaire a hard time in the movie, but also subtly communicate how much they admire him (all of them play war heroes who just want to forget about the war for a while) and care about him.


One scene in the movie that always makes me laugh: Six foot, four inch Robert Ryan enters a room and begins talking to Fred, who doesn't want Joan Leslie to find out that they know each other. Astaire runs right into Ryan and pushes him over, even though Fred's so slight and about 7 inches shorter. You can tell that it's a case of a friend letting his smaller colleague push him around in a horseplay way, and it's really endearing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
  • Create New...