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"In the Spotlight"


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Damn. I like his face. There are actors whose face I 'like' and those I don't 'like' and the little man in my stomach is usually right on whether they are worthy of my admiration or not.

 

Richard Farnsworth ---- LOVE his face. Warren William -- fill in the blanks. :)

 

Some others, not so much. Guess who.

 

Jon Hall seemed nice. I am really sorry he died so young.

 

Thanks mongo.

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> Wow. Seems, then, that I'm having a serious senior

> moment!

>

> It was at least twenty years ago that Cablevision

> then TCI carried it, so I have to defer to you in

> remembering it.

>

> Must be me doing some transference........ :)

>

> Sorry.

 

Don't be sorry, my friend. My own memories of I Married Joan are certainly colored by the comments I heard from adults at the time. I do remember Davis' distinctive, dry, midwestern voice, which I liked very much. I believe she was from Minnesota. I can also still sing most of the theme song - "what a girl, what a whirl, what a wife." Notwithstanding my previous comments, I'd love to see some of that show again.

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Nice post, Mongo. Jon Hall--another favorite. Those technicolor fantasies with Montez are great. I understand Universal is finally getting around to putting out the first one (ARABIAN NIGHTS) sometime soon. I wish they'd do WHITE SAVAGE. That one is tough to find. I loved RAMAR as a kid (was it sponsored by Good and Plenty candy??)

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Hi Ayres,

 

I can't say whether that true or not. She did make a movie with Eddie Cantor (maybe more?) and Paulette Goddard said Eddie was a 'horney little guy', so anything is possible. I think Paulette and Eddie did "get it on".... Or so I've heard, but not from her!!

 

Joan Davis was married for years to Sy Willis and they were a very happy couple, so I tend to think they were faithful, but what do I know......

 

Larry

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In the Spotlight: Joan Davis

 

I had Miss Davis scheduled in the spotlight for March however since she is the topic of conversation at the moment, here she is.

 

Joan Davis was born Madonna Josephine Davis on June 29, 1907 in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was a comic actress whose career spanned vaudeville, film, radio, and television. Remembered best for the 1952-1955 television comedy, "I Married Joan", Davis actually had a more successful earlier career as a B-movie actress/singer and radio comedienne.

 

A performer since childhood, she later appeared with her husband Si Wills in vaudeville and became known as one of the very few female physical clowns of her time.

Davis became a B-movie actress, who made a large number of such films between 1935 and 1952. Perhaps best known for her co-starring turn with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in 1941's "Hold That Ghost", she had a reputation for spotless physical comedy.

Other flms include, "The Holy Terror", "Sing and Be Happy", "Thin Ice" with Sonia Henie, "Sally, Irene and Mary", "My Lucky Star", "Just Around the Corner" with Shirley Temple, "Sun Valley Serenade", "Show Business" and "If You Knew Susie" both with Eddie Cantor, "The Traveling Saleswoman", "Love That Brute" with Paul Douglas, "The Groom Wore Spurs", etc.

 

She moved into radio in the same decade but, as good as she was with comic dialogue (and she was very good at it), listeners couldn't see the physical comedy that was considered her best talent. She was featured in radio shows like "Leave It To Joan" (a situation comedy) and "Sealtest Village Store" (a comedy and variety show), the latter also featuring Jack Haley and Eve Arden; she was later a frequent and popular part of Tallulah Bankhead's legendary variety show, "The Big Show" (1950-52).

 

Things changed when "I Married Joan" premiered in 1952, casting Davis as the manic wife of a mild-mannered community judge (Jim Backus) who got her husband into and out of numerous whacky jams, with or without the help of a younger sister, played by her real-life daughter, Beverly Wills. Aimed at attracting the mass audience of its most obvious influence, "I Love Lucy", "I Married Joan" didn't quite sustain a strong audience of its own and retired quietly in 1955---as did its star, seemingly.

 

Sadly, Davis died of a heart attack in 1961, at the age of 53. She was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery mausoleum in Culver City, California. In one of the most tragic and bizarre postscripts in show business, Davis's mother, daughter, and grandsons were all killed in a house fire two years after Davis' death.

 

But a quarter century after her signature show left the air, Davis re-entered the American television viewer's consciousness. The original CBN cable television network began showing the old episodes of "I Married Joan" in 1981-82, as part of a late-night hour that also included the old episodes of "My Little Margie".

This resurrection of "I Married Joan" remained on the air almost as long as the show had lived in the first place. The show is now said to be seen in scattered viewings on small, localized television stations while copies of Davis' radio work of the 1940s remain in circulation among collectors.

 

Happy to report that the zany Joan Davis has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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>>"Blackhangman, Stoney, and Vallo, I'm glad to know that your all enjoying the profiles of the unsung stars.<<"

 

I look forward to these,Mongo. Only if, to kick start my memory. It's great to bring back a few people that truly had importance part in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Keep 'em coming...........

 

Bill (vallo)

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Mongo, My Friend!

Have you ever dropped a klieg (figuratively!) on the majestic Louise Beavers?

I don't want to make any busy-work for you, I can certainly backtrack to a past page here if you can just point me, provided you've covered her somewhere herein already.

I confess, I've always stood in awe of her ability to inject a little "jump & jive" in movies I might otherwise deem a little pedestrian.

To this day, I'll sit through an umpty-umpth viewing of Mr. Blandings just to enjoy Louise bustling in & out and occasionally spiking the dialogue.

And of course, the "money line" at the film's climax is hers, and hers alone!

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Klondike, I have the wonderful Louise Beavers scheduled for early March. She was indeed a grand character actress.

 

Joan, I'm glad that you are enjoying the spotlights. It's nice to know that the Joan Davis profile brought back some fond memories.

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In the Spotlight: Vic Morrow

 

Victor Morrow was born on February 14, 1929 in the Bronx, New York.

 

Morrow dropped out of high school at 17 to join the U.S. Navy. When he left the Navy, he used the G.I. Bill to study pre-law at Florida State.

While Morrow was working on his degree in Law, he also took part in a school play and found that he preferred stage acting to courtroom acting. When he went to New York, Morrow enrolled in the Actors' Workshop to improve his skills.

After graduating, he was cast in the summer stock production of "A Streetcar Named Desire". His screen debut came when he was signed by MGM to play a tough-talking, surly street punk in "Blackboard Jungle" (1955).

Other films included, "Tribute to a Bad Man", "Men in War", "Hell's Five Hours", "King Creole" in which he bullied Elvis, "God's Little Acre", "Cimarron" (1960), "Portrait of a Mobster" as Dutch Schultz, "Posse from Hell", "Target Harry", "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry", etc.

 

He eventually went into television and after many guest appearances was cast in the TV series "COMBAT!" (1962-1967) he was nominated for a best actor Emmy Award, and he also worked as a television director on the series. After "COMBAT!" ended, he worked in made-for-TV movies and several films.

Morrow appeared in two episodes of Australian-produced anthology series "The Evil Touch" (1973), one of which he also directed. He memorably played the homicidal sheriff alongside Martin Sheen in the 1974 TV film "The California Kid", and had a key role in the 1976 comedy "The Bad News Bears".

 

Sadly, Morrow was killed on the set of "Twilight Zone: The Movie" (1983) while holding two small children (Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen). A helicopter being used on the set spun out of control and crashed, decapitating him and one of the children with its rotor blades. The remaining child was crushed to death as the helicopter crashed. The six occupants inside the helicopter sustained minor injuries. Morrow was 53 years old.

The accident led to massive reforms in U.S. child labor laws and safety regulations on movie sets in California.

 

His funeral was attended by "Combat!" co-stars Dick Peabody and Rick Jason...and by John Landis, who directed Morrow in "Twilight Zone: The Movie". All three gave separate eulogies; Peabody also served as one of Vic's pallbearers.

 

Vic Morrow is interred in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.

 

Married and divorced twice Morrow is the father of actresses Jennifer Jason Leigh and Carrie Morrow. Jennifer and her father were estranged.

 

No star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for the ultimate bad guy of the movies.

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Great underrated Actor. Never used to his true potential. Always had my attention on the screen. Died way too young.

And should have a star. I remember reading at the time of his untimely death that he was happy to be in the Twilight Zone Movie.and thanked Landis for the role.. Sad End to a great Actor...

 

 

vallo

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[nobr]Another marvelous choice for a profile, Mongo.[/nobr]

 

[nobr]I realize that many believe his best work was on film--I beg to differ. Vic Morrow's work in Combat! over the series' life (1962-1967) showed what could be done in the medium: his Sgt. Saunders was a scared, warweary,and somewhat disillusioned everyman just trying to get through the war with some shreds of humanity in tact. It's some of the best acting I've seen in that format. Morrow also seemed to be quite prescient about the nature of his career, and perhaps his life. As a fellow cast member mentioned in the documentary "Memories of Combat!"*, Morrow, when asked what it was like to be a "star" demurred in his interesting, method actor way that he was merely a "comet", not a star--here briefly, gone tomorrow. [/nobr]

 

Vic2.jpg

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*This documentary was shown along with the broadcast of many of the episodes of Combat on the Encore Action Channel within the last year. I believe that it is included in the dvd packages of the series available around the internet.

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Thank you, moira. That line you entered: "Morrow, when asked what it was like to be a "star" demurred in his interesting, method actor way that he was merely a "comet", not a star--here briefly, gone tomorrow" certainly was prophetic.

 

That is a great shot of Morrow in his Emmy nominated role as Sgt Saunders in the hit war drama "Combat!".

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