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Larry's Classic Star Reminiscences


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He was also in a movie called Shag - The Movie with a bunch of other Hollywood kids: Bridget Fonda, Phoebe Cates, Annabeth Gish, and Carol Burnett's daughter, who's name escapes me. He's a dead-ringer for his dad.

 

They never show it on TV, I don't know why, it's really cute "coming of age" movie.

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He was also in a movie called Shag - The Movie with a bunch of other Hollywood kids: Bridget Fonda, Phoebe Cates, Annabeth Gish, and Carol Burnett's daughter, who's name escapes me. He's a dead-ringer for his dad.

 

They never show it on TV, I don't know why, it's really cute "coming of age" movie.

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and Carol Burnett's daughter,

> who's name escapes me.

 

Her name was Carrie Hamilton. She was the daughter of Burnett and the late producer Joe Hamilton. Sadly, she died at 38 of brain and lung cancer.

 

Midge

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Hope this logs? To vecchio, ironically, I was lucky enough to be on

actual set of forementioned & eventual 2 time Oscar winner-(*Don Ameche for S. Actor & Visual Effects) 1985 release "Cocoon" (***1/2-out of four) ($76 million gross)

 

It was literally in my own backyard too? It was the sweltering summer-(when is it not, dow nhere?) August of 1984 & my ma' woke me to tell me all these massive 20th Century Fox vans were at retirement home-(more like a park) next to apts living at at that time. i of course thought she was kidding & took a look out of the window & man, man, 0, man I was over there about 8 hours!

 

Stood behind Tahnee Welch-(she was playing with a puzzle & just killing time.) She's a lot smaller then her legendary mamma! Her & S. Guttenberg didn't seem to like each other & had no scenes on this day, but apparently had to work on lines later together. Which they did. He mostly hang out with crew & all. I spoke to him quite a bit & a grand-gal: *Maureen Stapleton-(1925-) about "Reds"-(most on here are aware she won well deserved "Golden Boy,' for the epic bio)

Did not meet *Mr. Ameche, Hume Cronyn or W. Brimley though.

& *Jessica Tandy & Gwen Verdon were presnt on this day.-(a kinda' longer & funny story about *Tandy, but for another time)

 

I was a bit slick & waited to approach *Ron Howard though. Until day was finito & actually walked to his limo with him & got his autograph as well

 

The ok **1/2) sequel was shot on other side of coast & *Howard had nada to do with it. They faked things-("Mock-Up Signs" & all)

 

(FINAL NOTE TO "Vecchiolarry" I wanted to know if in your experiences you ever saw, met & or possibly spoke to these celebs>*"The Great: Spencer Tracy"/ *Kate Hepburn/ Natalie Wood/ Garbo-(I know that is an unlikely 1)/ *James Cagney

or possibly *"The Chairman of the Board: Francis Albert Sinatra???")

 

Please drop me a line & or just reply on this item

 

& I thank you

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Hi Spencer,

 

First of all -- Happy Birthday again for today, your real birthday according to Mongo!!!!!!!

 

I never knew nor even saw Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo or James Cagney. These people pretty much stayed out of the public gaze......

 

I have seen Natalie Wood in NYC during a filmed scene for 'West Side Story'. It was a scene between her and George Chakiris. But I did not meet her, as she would have had to break concentration of her character (that's something you don't do with some actors).....

 

I have seen Frank Sinatra however on the set of "Show Boat" when I visited Ava Gardner and she was teaching me to play poker. On 3 different occasons, he was very rude and nasty to me and I can tell you I have never liked nor cared for him.

My opinion of him and his family you don't want to hear. My grandmother detested him and bitched him out on a few times.

I do however, adore Dean Martin and so did Nell. She persued him un apologetically and made no bones about it! He however, was a total gentleman.

Dean Martin was head and shoulders above Frank Sinatra in every area.....

 

Please do tell us your Jessica tandy story. She was one of the greatest actresses and talents on Earth... I'd love to hear it!!!!!

 

Larry

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Larry,

Thank you for these wonderful reminiscences. I might have gone idolizing some of these actors without knowing how condescending they were to their fans. (i.e Bette Davis) Great info...

 

I have something to ask. One of my favourite actors, Burt Lancaster, has had his reputation been somewhat maligned on IMDB because of the Natalie Wood rumours. I don't want to appear insensitive but wanted to know if you knew if there's any truth to it being him or Kirk Douglas who assaulted her? I sincerely hope it wasn't Lancaster.

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Hello Jackie,

 

As far as Burt Lancaster is concerned, I don't know that much about him. I saw him and his wife, Norma, once in a restaurant in Spain in the late 50's, but left them alone... I have always thought that he was a very good actor and was quite adventurous in some of the roles he took -eg- "Come Back Little Sheba" and "The Rose Tatoo'.......

I have heard that Natalie Wood was molested by Kirk Douglas but not the one about Burt Lancaster being involved. However, I really don't know if any of that is true. I've heard lots of scandalous things about many movie stars over the years and can't say I believe most of it. It's all just garbage for the most part.

People on a movie set, especially the stars, were surrounded by hundreds of people and were very seldom alone.

If a kid, like me, could get onto the MGM and Paramount lots and have free reign, who knows who else was running around snooping, so people had to mind their manners as gossip could kill your career back then. And, I never saw or heard anything untoward - and I'm pretty savvy.

 

I used to belong to that IMDb message board, but I found that it was a scandal mongers paradise with false rumours and stories multiplied beyond recognition. So I stopped going there and joined this board. It seems to revere the stars and their performances more than denigrating them.

 

I have always loved Bette Davis even thouugh she didn't always behave graciously. I still have that picture of her (as Margo Channing) that she signed and it's in a double picture frame along with Joan Crawford's signed photo that I got that day. They sit on one of my library shelves beside each other, staring (glaring!) at each other. Quite funny really!!!!!!

 

Larry

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  • 2 months later...

Larry,

 

Wanted to let you know that I visited the Autry Museum in Griffith Park yesterday. They had a terific exhibit honoring Sergio Leone. Did you or Mongo know that the dusters the bad guys (Jack Elam, Woody Strode and the other guy) wear in the opening sequence to "Once Upon A Time in the West" were the same ones worn in "Liberty Valence"?

 

Leone found them on a rack at Western Costume (back when WC used to be in Hollywood).

 

 

Anyways, the real point of my post is this:

One of the regular exhibits has the piano from the Doheny Mansion. The upright with the Indian Scene painted on the front. It is a beautiful piece and the display they have it with compliments it very well.

 

Just wanted to let you know!

 

Lynn in Sherman Oaks

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Hello Lynn,

 

Thank you for telling me about that piano. I do remember it and where it stood in the music room. I have banged away on it a couple of times; yes, I do play the piano - badly, as my fingers don't stretch wide enough!! I'm a bad typist too - same reason.....

 

My Aunt Lucy always insisted that I play "Roll Out the Barrel" for her and set the dogs off to howling. She was a scamp.... But, the dogs loved it, I'm sure.....

 

I'm glad you got out to Griffith Park; I always loved it there. Once while bird watching with Rex Harrison, I jokingly called out to him that I spotted a hawk coming in for the kill!! It was a sparrow diving for a worm and he said, "Obviously it's seen better days!"......

Wouldn't it be grand to go through Western Costume Co. and see all those clothes??

 

Thanks for telling me about the Gene Autry Museum; I'll go there next visit to LA...

 

Take care, Lynn....

 

Larry

 

Message was edited by:

vecchiolarry

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Larry,

 

Next time you make it down here to Southern California, I hope you will let me know. Would love to get together with you for lunch, dinner or drinks (or all three!) and share our love of old Hollywood and movies!

 

Your pal,

 

Lynn

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Well Lynn,

 

I am talking to my guest, David, whom I brought to LA in September and he would like to return next October and since I'm going to San Francisco again in late October, I may just take him to LA agian. Nothing concrete yet......

 

I am going to Russia in September to St. Petersburg for the re-burial of the old Dowager Empress, so I may not want to travel to LA so soon.

 

However, I will certainly let you know if and when I'm in LA and we will definitely paint the town red -- deep rouge, if we're real naughty!!!!

 

Larry

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Hi Larry -

 

Tell us more about going to Russia in September for the re-burial of the old Dowager Empress. Is there something I don't know about you and the russians? I think I've read every word you've ever posted but don't remember hearing anything about that?

 

Remember "You Can't Take it With You?" I saw the NYC production when Colleen Dewhurst was playing the Romanoff princess. Funny!!

 

What did you think of the Anna Anderson story over the years? I know she was debunked, but apparently a lot of people bought into her story (remember "Anastasia" with Ingrid Bergman)? I saw a production of "Anastasia" years ago starring Dolly Haas (married to Al Hirschfeld at the time) and John Emery (Tallulah's ex).

 

I hope you get to meet and spend some time with Liz Cutter when you get to California. I'm envious.

 

Ralph

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Hello Ralph,

 

Yes, I will certainly meet up with Lynn, if and when I get to LA. I will look forward to it?.

 

Well, thank you for saying that you?ve read every word I?ve ever posted. This is quite heartening news and my endorphins are swirling right now ? a natural high!!!

Sometimes one wonders if anyone is listening/reading what one writes, but I?m glad someone is!!

 

Now, me and the Russians:--

I have been to Russia about 4 times ? 1960, 1978, 1998 and 2002. The first time with Nell, my grandmother, and the other times either alone or with friends.

 

My connection with Russia and the Romanovs is that Nell was married to two Russian princes and was once the Chatelaine of the Dowager Empress? Household. Nell?s first husband was Chevalier to the Dowager Empress? Household, so Nell automatically was commandeered into that position.

Nell left Russia in 1914 (April) and by August the whole world was in WWI, so she escaped with her head and her fortune.

The Dowager Empress escaped in 1919 and died in Denmark in 1928. Nell attended her funeral. The old girl was buried in Roskilde Cathedral among her Danish relatives but wished to be re-buried in Russia, when the proper time came, next to her husband, Czar Alexander III??

The time is now, apparently, and the Danish Queen has given her permission to transfer her ?old auntie? back to Russia ? September 26th??.

I know several Romanov princes and princesses, all old men and women, mostly living in France and I have been given permission to attend this ceremony by the Russian government; but only to be present on the island outside the St. Peter and St. Paul Church. I am presently, through the Canadian Embassy in Moscow, applying to be inside the Church and things are looking well for that but who knows?.

Nell always spoke well of the Dowager Empress and even the Soviets didn?t shoot her, so it will be exciting to see her go to her reward finally.

The DE had two daughters, who also escaped the Revolution and I met both of them. The eldest had 6 sons and their descendants are the Romanovs that I know. Also, the descendants of two Grand Dukes I know also.

Nell?s first husband was murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918, but her 2nd husband escaped to Finland. I knew him too and his next two wives. All these people are long dead now and her Russian husbands had no children.

Well Ralph, that?s it for my Russian connection.

Hope I didn?t bore you and everyone with the history lesson!!!

 

Now ? for you ? are you permanently in Laos? Are you a diplomat or attached to an Embassy there??

 

Take care & stay safe

 

Larry

 

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vecchiolarry

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Ralph,

 

I just realized that I didn?t answer your question about Anastasia?.

 

I did see the movie with Ingrid Bergman and although it is quite good, it is pure fiction. The Dowager Empress (Helen Hayes) never did meet Anastasia, although her younger daughter, Olga, did and ultimately disavowed her as an impostor.

Also, Anastasia?s maternal aunt, Princess Irene, pronounced her a fake.

 

Nell was not familiar with Nicholas II and Alexandra and only ever saw their children at a distance.

I don?t know how much you know about the Romanovs, but Nicholas and Alexandra were semi recluses and saw the rest of the family rarely. They seldom went to St. Petersburg and lived in the Alexander Palace in Tsarski Selo, a village about 40 miles south of the city.

 

Most of the survivors of that revolution never believed that anyone escaped the firing squad that murdered the Czar and his family, since they were all bayoneted and then burned with acid after the fact.

 

Prince Philip and some other royals provided DNA to compare with Anna Anderson and she didn?t register as related!! Philip?s grandmother, Princess Victoria von Hesse Darmstadt, was the Empress Alexandra?s sister and therefore Philip and Anastasia would have been cousins (2nd, 3rd, whatever??)?..

 

Larry

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Larry,

 

Thanks for the interesting history on the Romanovs.

 

Speaking of the Romanovs...

 

Totally unrelated to the family but did you ever dine at Romanov's here in Los Angeles?

 

If so, can you tell us a bit about it?

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Interesting stuff, Larry. Kudos to grandma Nell for paving the way for your privileged and interesting lifestyle, which you in turn can relate to us.

God bless her. With your recollections it would be nice if you could write a book about the lady.

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Hi Lynn and Mongo,

 

First, Mongo, let me tell you that there will be no book about Nell while my father is alive. He would leave his condo here in Calgary (he?s a recluse & semi invalid now) and walk the four blocks to my place and shoot me. If he knew how to operate the internet and fell onto this message board, I?d be dead already.

He has successfully sued two American and three European authors to keep her name out of books about us??. The latest book about the Doheny?s only mentions her brother and excludes her and her sister. We are non-existent and that?s the way he likes it.

 

Lynn ? a slight correction in the spelling of the restaurant; it was Romanoff?s, not Romanov?s.

And the reason is slight but important to Russian and other royal circles:

1) a Romanov was the equal and legitimate family member of the Imperial Family ? those who could inherit the throne.

2) a Romanoff is and was the product of an unequal or morganatic marriage and not in line for the throne. All descendants of the Imperial Family are now Romanoff as they all have married unequally.

The most famous morganatic marriage in current history was the Duke and Duchess of Windsor; he was a prince and she was a commoner??

Thus Nell was a morganatic wife of both her two Russian princes and she and any children she might have had could not inherit the throne. She didn?t have any children with them, so the question is a moot one but she always said her politics were to the far right of the last Czarina.

 

Romanoff?s restaurant was on Rodeo Drive and was run by Prince Michael Romanoff, who really was a charlatan. He was not royal at all but he was loveable and charming and everybody knew he was a phoney.

I really didn?t care for his restaurant, even though I could walk there from our place.

Several movie stars set him up in the business in the 30?s but it was so overly expensive and stuffy and some of the stars like Bogart, Grant and Gable owned their own booths there that you couldn?t always get in. And, you had to be somebody even to make a reservation. By the early 60?s when all his old cronies had died off, it closed down.

I certainly didn?t miss it, since I preferred Chasen?s anyway.

Romanoff always ate with his two bulldogs, Confucius and Socrates, at his table and they were smelly, stinky and slobbery. Yuck. They ate the most expensive foods and were served by their own ?butler? (waiter) ? Prince Michael was a real snob, he didn?t have waiters, but butlers. The dogs were always belching and farting, so you know I didn?t care for the place. It wasn?t really the cleanest place either and stunk.

His most famous food there was ?Strawberries Romanoff?, which is strawberries in whipped cream, soaked in orange liqueur (cointreau usually) and brandy in a vanilla pastry. You can set it on fire, if you want but get fire insurance first!!!!!! Cointreau has been known to explode???.

Prince Michael had a wife named Gloria, but she didn?t call herself a princess.

 

Can?t think of anything else to tell you.

 

 

Larry

 

Message was edited by:

vecchiolarry

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Hi Larry -

 

This is fascinating stuff; I'm glad I asked the question. But you really can't write a sentence such as "I'm going to Russia in September to St. Petersburg for the re-burial of the old Dowager Empress" and just leave it dangling. What a great opening line for a book; remember "Last night I dreamed I went to Manderlay again?"

 

And speaking of books (someone was), I think you've already written one. I really got interested because I one read something of yours that totally **** me off so I thought I'd read more. Several hours later I had read everything you had written and was hooked. I thought at the time that this material would make a great book - sort of a "reminiscences of a Hollywood childhood" or something like that.

 

Anyway, keep up the good work - and keep us informed.

 

Why am I in Laos? I am retired from the U.S. Navy and was making a return visit to the Philippines about six years ago when I stopped in Thailand (enroute to Manila), visited Laos, and just stayed here - I never did get back to the Philippines (where I had been stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Manila for four years). So, I am a volunteer English teacher here in Thakhek, Laos, a small town just across the Mekong River from Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. Laos is a tiny, land-locked country with no industry to speak of (Pepsi and Beer Lao and cement are the only things I know of which are manufactured here in Laos - everything else is imported, so quite expensive). The people are poor (very poor, the average annual income is around US$300; some of the people in the provinces never see money). But they are also some of the happiest people you could ever meet, always laughing, very warm and welcoming. I love it here (especially after spending most of my life suffering through the bitter-cold winters in Upper Michigan - about 50 miles from the Canadian border. But you, living in Calgary, know all about cold winters).

 

Take care of yourself, Larry. It should be an interesting year for you and I know that lots of us look forward to sharing your adventures - even vicariously.

 

Ralph

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Hi Ralph,

 

OMG, what did I write to "**** you off"??? It certainly wouldn't be my intention to do so. Perhaps my ambiguous writing style was misinterpreted.

Let me know what it was, please.......

 

Laos sounds a pleasant place. My father was a Major in the Canadian army and was assigned to the United Nations in the middle 60's. He had a tour of duty for a year in Laos and thoughly enjoyed it there. There was a war going on around there then but I don't remember where in Laos he was stationed.

 

I have been to Hong Kong and Singapore but nowhere else in Southeast Asia.

A friend of mine travelled to Thailand last year and loved it.

 

It's great of you to volunteer to teach English there. Keep up the good work..

 

Larry

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And speaking of books (someone was), I think you've already written one.

 

Hope I'm not intruding, but you've already written one?

 

Larry, I mentioned awhile ago that your ruminations were the stuff that dreams are made of, and you should write a book, lickedty split. I think you said you might, some day.

 

Have you, though?

 

Your words are fascinating, as is Nell. You should be penning this stuff, in a safe place where your dad doesn't see it, for the lucky public of the future.

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Hi Dolores,

 

There is no book being written by me. I really don't think one would sell unless I included all the 'dirt' and I won't do that.

If I wrote a "National Enquirer" type book, I would be inundated with press and media and tarred and feathered by my family and many movie fans.

And, I don't want that.....

Best left alone

 

Larry

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