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"In the Spotlight"

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cashette, I watched "Come to the Stable" on the Fox Movie Channel and it was a delightful film. Celeste Holm was a sweetie as the French nun.

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In the Spotlight: TURHAN BEY

 

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Darkly, handsome movie actor Turhan Bey was born Turhan Gilbert Selahattin Sahultavy on March 30, 1922 in Vienna, Austria. His father was a Turkish diplomat and his mother was a Czech industrialist.

As the National Socialist Party gained power, Bey and his family fled first to Switzerland, then Paris and eventually to the USA in 1930. As a young boy newly arrived in the US, Bey was introduced to Albert Einstein, as Bey's uncle was a mathematician who worked with Einstein. Bey and Einstein kept up a close friendship over the years.

 

Although his family settled on the East Coast, he headed to Southern California where he enrolled at Ben Bard's School of Dramatic Art, in part to improve his English. He gravitated towards acting, and studied at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California.

 

His first film was "Shadows on the Stairs" in 1941, and shortly thereafter, Bey landed a role in the Errol Flynn vehicle "Footsteps in the Dark".

He was then snapped up by Universal who put him under contract. Roles in serials like "Junior G-Men of the Air" and horror films like "The Mummy's Tomb" (both 1942) soon followed.

Other films include, "The Mad Ghoul", "Dragon Seed" with Katharine Hepburn, "The Climax" with Karloff, "Frisco Sal", "Out of the Blue", "Song of India", and "A Night in Paradise" with Merle Oberon.

Oberon married Lucien Ballard in Mexico in 1945, but at what appears to be the first opportunity (while filming "A Night in Paradise" ) she fell for and according to director Arthur Lubin, became briefly involved with Bey. This was a difficult situation as Bey was being pursued at the time by Lana Turner who was one of MGM's biggest stars. Her intrusion into their liaison no doubt caused some annoyance and the affair did not last much longer than the duration of the shoot. Lubin says they had a steamy affair and that Merle was attracted to Bey's physique.

 

 

Turhan Bey was frequently cast in "exotic" glorious-Technicolor films, often opposite Mar?a Montez. They appeared together in "Raiders of the Desert", "Arabian Nights", "Bombay Clipper", "White Savage", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", "Bowery to Broadway", "Follow the Boys" and "Sudan".

He also has a memorable role in "The Amazing Mr. X" as Alexis the Spiritualist.

 

When that genre dried up in the late '40s, so did Bey's career, a problem exacerbated when he was called up for an extended term of military service, where he would trade autographed pictures of Lana Turner for his turn at kitchen police.

 

His last movie role was "Prisoners of the Casbah" with Gloria Grahame in 1953, and he produced another, "Stolen Identity".

He had a brief renaissance in the 1990s, appearing in two episodes of the science fiction TV series "Babylon 5": first as the Emperor of Centauri (who also had the name Turhan), and later as a Minbari Ranger named Turval.

 

Bey did become a well-respected photographer in his native Vienna, and he directed plays at the Marionette Theater in Salzburg.

 

At 85 and a lifelong bachelor, his only regrets which have come about through an understanding of karma, are of the abortions his lovers had - some at his insistence.

 

A documentary film about Turhan Bey, was made in 2002 by Andrea Eckert.

 

Message was edited by: mongo

 

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Mongo -- I am trolling through some older 'IN THE SPOTLIGHTS". Tripped over your Dennis Morgan profle. Can't say that he was a favorite actor of mine - but seems to have been a "swell kid". (And not a bad voice.) Although I resent him for getting be Jane Wyman's boyfriend in a film or two - OVER ME, Can you believe THAT?! ...Enjoyed the profile - and most of all the pictures that you dig up from your magic trunk.........Thanks Mongo....you NEVER disappoint, my friend!

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....And as I keep trolling through - what do I find? A great tribute to the very undersung RALPH MEEKER.....an actor who ALWAYS brought an interesting take on any role he was given. One of my top, top favorites. Thanks for remembering him (even though about six months late thanking you).

 

Mongo, my man, you made my day!

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Filmflub, I appreciate your interest in the thread. Glad that you enjoyed some of the profiles from past selections.

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Gorgeous gorgeous pretty boy Turhan Bey. Then Tony Curtis came along. Listen, Mongo ya gotta spotlight the lovely Suzanne Pleshette. And lemme axe you a question: are you sure that's Celeste Holm's husband?

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CineMaven, indeed Celeste Holm is married to her much younger fifth husband Frank Basile.

I will make it a point to include the lovely Suzanne Pleshette in a future profile. She was certainly a special lady.

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In the Spotlight: ALICE FAYE

 

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The blonde songbird was born Alice Jeanne Leppert in New York City's Hells Kitchen on May 5, 1915, the daughter of a New York police officer of German descent and his Irish-American wife.

Faye's entertainment career began in vaudeville as a chorus girl (making herself 3 years older when auditioning), before she moved to Broadway and "George White's Scandals" in 1931.

By this time, she had adopted her stage name and first reached a radio audience on Rudy Vallee's hit show.

 

Faye got her first major film break in 1934, when Lilian Harvey abandoned the lead role in a film version of "George White's Scandals", in which Vallee was also to appear.

She became a hit with film audiences of the 1930s, particularly when Fox mastermind producer Darryl F. Zanuck made her his protege. He softened Faye from a wisecracking show girl to a youthful, yet somewhat motherly figure such as she played in a few Shirley Temple films.

[on Shirley Temple] She was a nice kid, with a really wonderful mother and father. We all liked her. But she was brilliant. She knew everyone's dialogue and, if you forgot a line, she gave it to you. We all hated her for that.

 

Faye also received a physical makeover, from being something of a singing version of Jean Harlow to sporting a softer look with a more natural tone to her blonde hair and more mature makeup.

 

Cast in musicals most of all, notably "Alexander's Ragtime Band" with Tyrone Power, Faye introduced many popular songs to the hit parade. Considered less than serious as an actress and more than serious as a singer, Faye nailed what many critics consider her best acting performance in 1937's "In Old Chicago", again with Power.

She more than held her own, in spite of a mild speech impediment, with co-stars such as Rudy Vallee, Al Jolson, Charlotte Greenwood, and Edward Everett Horton, as well as leading men such as Don Ameche, Tyrone Power, and John Payne.

[on Tyrone Power] He was the best looking thing I've ever seen in my life. Kissing him was like dying and going to heaven.

 

Color film flattered Faye enormously, and she shone in the splashy musical features that were a Fox trademark in the 1940s.

Films such as "Week-End in Havana" and "That Night in Rio" made good use of Faye's husky singing voice, solid comic timing, and flair for carrying off the era's starry-eyed romantic storylines.

1943's "The Gang's All Here" is perhaps the epitome of these films, with lavish production values and a range of supporting players (including the memorable Carmen Miranda in the indescribable "Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat" number) that camouflage the film's trivial plot and leisurely pacing.

Other Faye films include, "King of Burlesque", "On the Avenue", "You're a Sweetheart", "Hollywood Cavalcade", "Rose of Washington Square", "Little Old New York", "Lillian Russell", "Tin Pan Alley" with friend Betty Grable, etc.

 

Faye's career continued until 1944 when she was cast in "Fallen Angel". Designed ostensibly as Faye's vehicle, the film all but became her celluloid epitaph when Zanuck, trying to build his new protege Linda Darnell, ordered many Faye scenes cut and Darnell emphasized.

When Faye saw a screening of the final product, she drove away from the Fox studio refusing to return, feeling she had been undercut deliberately by Zanuck.

 

Zanuck hit back by having Faye blackballed for breach of contract, ending her film career. Released in 1945, "Fallen Angel" was Faye's last film as a major Hollywood star.

 

But seventeen years after the "Fallen Angel" debacle, Faye went before the cameras again, in 1962's "State Fair" with Pat Boone. While Faye received good reviews, the film was not a great success, and she made only infrequent cameo appearances in films thereafter.

She was not happy with the way the studio system had changed.

 

Faye's first marriage, to crooner Tony Martin in 1937, ended in divorce in 1940. A year later, however, she married hipster-comic/bandleader Phil Harris.

 

The couple had two daughters, Alice (b. 1942) and Phyllis (b. 1944), and began working in radio together as Faye's film career declined. First, they teamed to host a variety show on NBC.

Originally conceived as a music showcase as well as a haven for Harris and Faye's tart comic style, the show came to center more on the couple and, by 1948, the show was revamped entirely into a situation comedy called "The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show".

 

Faye singing ballads and swing numbers in her honey contralto voice was a regular highlight of the show, as was a knack for tart one-liners equal to her husband's. The show's running gags also included barbs by Faye aimed at her rift with Zanuck, usually referencing "Fallen Angel" in one or another way.

 

Faye and Harris continued various projects, individually and together, for the rest of their lives. Faye made a return to Broadway after forty-three years in a revival of "Good News", opposite her old Fox partner John Payne.

 

In later years, Faye became a spokeswoman for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, promoting the virtues of an active senior lifestyle.

 

The Faye-Harris marriage endured (54 years) until Harris's death in 1995; before that, the couple donated a large volume of their entertainment memorabilia to Harris's hometown Linton, Indiana.

 

Three years after her husband's death, Alice Faye died in Rancho Mirage, California from stomach cancer at the age of 83.

Her ashes rest beside those of Phil Harris at the mausoleum of the Forest Lawn Cemetery near Palm Springs, California.

The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show remains a favorite of old-time radio collectors.

 

The lady has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition of her contribution to Motion Pictures.

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"CineMaven, indeed Celeste Holm is married to her much younger fifth husband Frank Basile. I will make it a point to include the lovely Suzanne Pleshette in a future profile. She was certainly a special lady."

 

Thank you thank you kind sir. And thanxx for the answer about Celeste Holm.

 

Oh...I looked up the word luscious. It means: "succulent, lush, juicy, mouthwatering, lip-smacking, sweet, tasty, appetizing, scrumptious, yummy, gorgeous beautiful, sultry, curvy." And that describes the close-up b&w shot you've included of Alice Faye. Her place in Hollywood history is assured. She was great. Thanx Mongo for the work you do on this thread.

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"CineMaven, indeed Celeste Holm is married to her much younger fifth husband Frank Basile. I will make it a point to include the lovely Suzanne Pleshette in a future profile. She was certainly a special lady."

 

Thank you thank you kind sir. And thanxx for the answer about Celeste Holm.

 

Oh...I looked up the word luscious. It means: "succulent, lush, juicy, mouthwatering, lip-smacking, sweet, tasty, appetizing, scrumptious, yummy, gorgeous beautiful, sultry, curvy." And that describes the close-up b&w shot you've included of Alice Faye. Her place in Hollywood history is assured. She was great. Thanx Mongo for the work you do on this thread.

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