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"In the Spotlight"

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Hi Mongo,


Nice to see Hope Emerson again.


I've met her twice.


On the Copper Canyon set, where she enjoyed kidding Macdonald Carey - barking out to him, "Get a shave, you handsome varmint, you'll get more girls that way!!"..... And, "You low down dirty rotten scoundrel"........

He loved it.....

At the premier, I went with Hedy Lamarr and Reginald Gardiner and Hope sat next to me but when the movie started she went and sat at the back. "So everybody behind me can see!!" What a considerate lady.......


Also, I saw her on the TV set of "I Married Joan" about two years later. My grandmother "produced" that show for Joan Davis, whom she loved.

Hope ordered tea at 4 o'clock and we all sat around while she poured. A proper hostess.

She was very kind and humourous. I liked her very much.




P.S. - I can't believe that here's another without a star on HB..... Oh well, maybe I can, at the rate I'm finding out how many 'worthies' don't have stars.....


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Larry great story... Always respected her talent. Great in "Caged" (really nasty) (DVD Please!) Good counter part for Hume Cronyn as Capt. Munsey in '47's "Brute Force".


Mongo that's 3 for 3 on deserving talented Actors without Stars....




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Dear Mongol!

another great spotlight as always. What a surprise she was the one who did Elsie the Cows voice.She was vastly talented and another who should been honored with the walk of fame. But at least she is being honored on this thread like so many others.


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Thanks for the Hope Emerson spotlight, Mr. Mongo. My biggest surprise was regarding Norman Bel Geddes. I knew he was an industrial designer (and father of Barbara Bel Geddes -- Vertigo's "Midge"), but didn't know he was also a theatrical producer. What an interesting fellow!

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Larry, your fortunate to have been acquainted with Hope Emerson. She is one character actress that I would liked to have met.


I had read that she was a hoot and kindly on her movie sets, including "Caged" where she played the piano and led the girls in a sing-a-long.

The spotlight picture I used is from "Caged" in her most famous role. I intend to include another picture in which she is dolled-up a bit.


She was indeed top-notch.

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Hi Mongo,


Although I didn't know her very well, I am happy that I did meet her.

She was indeed attractive looking at the premier and had a smile on her face that made her so.

Also, another old battle-axe, Minerva Urecal, was not that bad looking either when done up. I've seen a picture of her in a magazine years ago and she looked matronly but quite attractive.

These women were good actresses that's why they convinced us they were 'stinkers'....



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How apt that you should feature the talented Hope Emerson today, Mongo. Just the other dawn, I awoke to view Cry of the City (1949) with Miss E., Richard Conte and Victor Mature in a neglected doozie from Robert Siodmak's talented hands on the Fox Movie Channel. She was so scary she made me nervous for poor li'l Conte in the scene when she gives him a shoulder rub!! And in a location shot with her and Conte walking down a NY street, (it looked a bit like Columbus Circle, though I can't be sure), she loomed over the actor. Wish that she could've done more comic roles, such as the one in Adam's Rib.


Btw, Cry of the City deserves a careful transfer to dvd by 20th Century Fox, as they have done with other, better known, noirs. Just my 2 cents, as usual. Thanks for the profile of this good, though intimidating, lady.

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Moira, I also watched the great film-noir "Cry of the City" recently. Hope Emerson was a hoot as the villainous masseuse.

Didn't you dig the fur coat she was wearing when 'escorting' Richard Conte to the train station? And how about her devouring those pancakes? Good stuff indeed.

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Lol, Mongo! Loved the scene when she was wolfing down the pancakes--and how many minks died to make that voluminous coat? I thought that the scene in which she gives the exhausted Conte a shoulder rub had the strangest and most menacing vibe, didn't you? And how about that little soliloquy she launched into about old, rich women thinking that a massage or jewels would restore their youth? And how many cops did it take to subdue her in the subway? Twelve, twenty?


Btw, I thought that Cry of the City also featured one of the better Richard Conte performances--he could be so sympathetic and manipulative--and that hint of a reptilian glint in his eye when he was "playing" his girl in the last scene was so perfect! I wonder if audiences haven't been drawn to this piece because of the ambiguity of that character? That noted, and by his own admission, non-actor, Victor Mature gave, as in Kiss of Death, a credible turn here as well. Think maybe Mr. Mature responded well to decent scripts & good direction, which he clearly wasn't always privileged to receive during his long career. Cry of the City was wonderfully cast all around.


I recently obtained a dvd of the meagerly budgeted, yet stylish and innovative '50s series Peter Gunn from Netflix featuring Miss Emerson as Mother, who ran a smoky dive featuring good jazz in that show. I was shocked to find her playing a good gal who wore weirdly feminine dresses. I was even more shattered by the numerous scenes in which nogoodniks twist her arm and toss her to the floor. Gimme a break! My money's on Hope! Get up off the floor, Miss E! You can take these clowns--even in an evening gown. Well, the Henry Mancini music and Lola Albright's singing were fine, even if the plot twists did stretch credulity.


From the profile you wrote and Vecchiolarry's reminiscences, I think that Hope Emerson, while trying to make a living using the gifts that nature gave her, may have longed to play more sympathetic characters--though she definitely broke alot of stereotypes about women. Alas, in her time, more black and white characters, cinematically and psychologically, were literally money in the bank for a working actor such as Hope Emerson.

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In the Spotlight: Jon Hall


Born Charles Hall Locher in Fresno, California, on February 23, 1915 of Swiss/Tahitian ancestry, his father was a former world skating champion turned actor and his mother was a Tahitian princess.


The handsome, athletic leading man began acting in films in 1935 in minor roles. He achieved success in 1937 when cast opposite another relative newcomer, Dorothy Lamour in "The Hurricane". He maintained his popularity until the end of the 1940s usually playing leads in adventure films.

He is notable for having made six popular Technicolor adventure films with Maria Montez; "Arabian Nights" (1942), "White Savage" (1943), "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" (1944), "Cobra Woman" (1944), "Gypsy Wildcat" (1944) and "Sudan" (1945). They typify the type of escapist entertainment which was extremely popular during World War II. The press dubbed Hall and Montez the King and Queen of Technicolor.

He also starred in "South of Pago Pago" with Frances Farmer, "Kit Carson", "Aloma of the South Seas", "Eagle Squadron", "The Tuttles of Tahiti" with Chales Laughton, "Last of the Red Men", "Zamba", etc.


Hall also directed two 'B' films, "The Navy vs. the Night Monsters" (1966) and

"The Beach Girls and the Monster", and starred on the TV series "Ramar of the Jungle" for 2 seasons.

After the show ended, Hall concentrated on business interests rather than acting and focusing instead on his photographic equipment business that specialized in underwater cameras. His venture was very successful, renting the equipment to film studios and occasionally supervising underwater sequences.


He was married to the singer Frances Langford from 1934 until 1955, and also twice married and divorced the actress, Raquel Torres.

His third wife was a psychiatrist; they married in 1969 and lived in Los Angeles with her two sons and a daughter.


When he was stricken with bladder cancer, Hall's health declined to a point that he found unbearable, and after telling friends that the pain of his illness was overwhelming, he committed suicide using a gun in North Hollywood on December 13, 1979 at age 64.


Hall has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for Motion Pictures at 1724 Vine Street, and for television at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard. Hooray!

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Jon Hall quote:


"I never liked acting. I don't like to be told what to do and what to say and how to say it. I'm grateful to it as it provided me with the money to do other things such as I'm into now, but as a profession, it's a bore."

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Robert RYAN doesn't have a star on Hollywood Boulevard?????


But Ryan Seacrest does. Oh yeah, no payola there.


Let me guess, Sterling Hayden doesn't either?


By the way, someone get me an ice cube...even WITH the pants up to THERE, Ryan (ROBERT OF COURSE) is some kinda hotsy totsy. :) :)

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My grandmother "produced" that show for Joan Davis, whom she loved.


Nooooooooo. How very cool.


Where's that book, Larry?


Speaking of which, I guess we have lost Keenan Wynn's son for good from this board? What a shame.


I loved that show, way back when cable was really cable and one of the channels SHOWED gems like I Married Joan and The Molly Goldberg Show. Look how far they've come...not.


But I liked Joan Davis immediately. I found her as talented and funny as Lucille Ball, and always wondered why her show didn't get as far. She also didn't do the requisite waaaaaaaaa that was necessary for the MCPs of the time. Joan, if I am recalling correctly, was ahead of her time in her feminism wasn't she?


Dagnabbit, Larry, I SURE would have liked to meet your grandmother!

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Hi Dolores,


My grandmother, Nell, only threw money at Loretta Young and Martha Raye and Joan Davis and called herself a 'producer'. She ended up feuding with Loretta and Martha and dumping them both professionally and personally.

She remained on good terms with Joan Davis always.

Nell detested Lucille Ball and was rather prickly with Agnes Moorehead because she was a friend of Lucille's.

Agnes thought Nell was too hoity toity and full of herself and very rude, which she was.


I had a hard time keeping all of this straight especially when I was between 4 and 10. Then after that I was just friendly with everybody and Nell be damned.

She often gave me a 'face' and a lip sneer but never 'said' anything. She knew that I could always go back to my parents and she didn't want that.....

Actually, neither did I......



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> I loved that show, way back when cable was really

> cable and one of the channels SHOWED gems like I

> Married Joan and The Molly Goldberg Show. Look how

> far they've come...not.


> But I liked Joan Davis immediately. I found her as

> talented and funny as Lucille Ball, and always

> wondered why her show didn't get as far. She also

> didn't do the requisite waaaaaaaaa that was necessary

> for the MCPs of the time. Joan, if I am recalling

> correctly, was ahead of her time in her feminism

> wasn't she?


Dolores, I liked Joan Davis too, but are we remembering the same "I Married Joan?" If your cable company carried it, then you've seen it much more recently than I have. I remember the show as being much more slapstick than "I Love Lucy," and not nearly as clever in dialog. I remember Joan (Stephens, was it?) as seeming rather desperate in everything she did, and I recall the show as having Jim Backus do very little but come on camera occasionally to say "Now, Joanie," and to treat his wife like a backward child. The one episode I remember best is Joan trying to make oxtail soup, not realizing the recipe she had was meant to serve an army. And I think she fell into the huge pot. Did she ever stand up to her husband? I can't remember her ever doing so un-passive-aggressively, but then, it's been a very long time since I've seen that show.

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