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

Larry's Classic Star Reminiscences

Recommended Posts



I'm a baritone!!


I did take voice lessons from Lillian Burns at MGM when my little boy's voice changed around 11.

She was the model for the Kathleen Freeman character in "Singin' in the Rain" - - -'aeh', 'eee', 'eiy', 'ooh', 'yew'......


But, if you want me to sing like Billie Burke, I'll do my damndest!!!!



Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Lawrence,


Afraid I don't know of anyone in these boards who answers to the description you've used here. Nonetheless I did find it interesting that you should publicly make a suggestion for people to commit suicide.


I don't know about you, but I think that life is awfully precious and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, no matter how much I disagreed with them.


Here are some figures that may be of interest to you:


The Golden Gate Bridge is a notorious site for suicide. The official suicide count ended in 1995 when the number approached 1,000. In the eight years preceding 2003, there was an average of one suicide jump every two weeks, which brought the unofficial total to over 1,300 suicides. Until the official count was discontinued, suicide locations were officially documented according to which of the bridge's 128 lamp posts the jumper was nearest to when he or she jumped.


There were 34 confirmed bridge jump suicides in 2006, in addition to four jumpers whose bodies were never recovered and various unwitnessed deaths that appeared to be suicides but could not be confirmed. The California Highway Patrol removed seventy apparently suicidal people from the bridge that year. Currently, it is said that a person jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge every 15 days.


The 220 foot (67 m) fall from the bridge takes four seconds and jumpers hit the water at 75 miles per hour (120 km/h). As of 2006, only 26 people are known to have survived the jump. Those who do survive always strike the water feet first and most suffer multiple internal injuries and broken bones. One young man, John Kevin Hines, survived a jump off the bridge in 2000, although the impact broke his back and shattered multiple vertebrae.


A young woman from Piedmont, California, Sarah Rutledge Birnbaum, may be the only person to have jumped from the bridge twice. She survived the first jump in early 1988, but died in her second attempt later that year.

Link to post
Share on other sites

> A message to The Fungus from all of us:

> There has been a lack of suicides off the Golden Gate

> Bridge of late;

> please feel free to fill that quota! And soon...

> Larry


> Message was edited by:

> vecchiolarry


For the record TCMWebAdmin.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Fred, Anne and Nancy,


Continuing on with the Hollywood theme:


Well, this isn't Hollywood, per se, but I'm going to be busy doing a Vera Lynn tribute at our concert hall with the Orchestra for the next 3 - 4 days, so I may not be posting much then.


Dame Vera Lynn is 90 today but Saturday is the only day we could schedule our tribute. It is going to be filmed and sent to her in Britain.


Alright everybody - do, re, me, fa, so, la, te, do!!!!!!!



Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy Cow! I thought I've seen everything ( A Polish Pope.... First Man on the Moon 7/20/69......Praise for Hanoi Jane....The Mighty Mickey Mantle 1956 Triple Crown Winner 52 Homers-130 RBI's-.353 Batting Average....October 1, 1961 Roger Maris popping #61 against the hated Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard....June 14, 1994 New York Ranger Stanley Cup...1969 NY Mets World Champs....A Catholic President John Fitzgerald Kennedy....Nixon winning in 1968...Elvis death 8/16/77 (Babe Ruth died 30 years earlier 8/16/47 ).....O.J.Simpson Beating a Murder Rap) but now I have seen EVERYTHING!



Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Larry.


I'm new to the TCM message boards - and am very glad to have found your fascinating thread. However, I have yet to see the post where you describe your "showbiz" background. Could you fill me in a bit, please? I'd appreciate it.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bartlett,


OK, I've lived through and seen all that too but I'm not quite sure that I've seen Everything....


I don't really understand what you're getting at. Is that post finished? Is there more??



Hi Meredith,


I wasn't in show business, per se, but my grandmother was a Los Angeles socialite and I lived with her off and on from 1946 to 1964. She knew everybody and I knew some of the everybodies!!

Hope that answers your question.

BTW, welcome to the neighbourhood...



Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll sing alto, someone else can hit the high notes!


Why was Nell sent to Russia for "finishing"? Were her parents of Russian ancestry? I always thought (wrong, obviously) that one went to Switzerland, or in a pinch, France, to be finished.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops! Sorry, I looked a couple of threads back and found out you're a singer.


I was interested because I have a studio and have done lots of engineering and FOH mixing. My drummer actually does record and mix chorale music.


Thanks for the info and I am enjoying reading your thread. Unfortunately I've started at the front and back and am working my way towards the middle..

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Nancy,


My grandmother, Nell, and her sister, Carrie, both went to Russia in 1902.


That's a long convoluted, disfunctional family episode.

It has to do with her parent's divorce, her mother's suicide and her father's remarriage.

Nell and carrie were sent off to Camarillo, California because they were both 'brats' and unmanageable.

Then, they did go to Paris and then were sponsored by the Russian Dowager Empress to finish at the Smolny Institute in St. Petersburg.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Larry, a friend once remarked, "The only real dysfunctional families are the so-called normal ones! We are all dysfunctional to some degree." My grandmother's mother-in-law disapproved of her, and literally forced her son (a wimp in my opinion, but different days, different attitudes) to re-locate in Sunny Cal. When my grandmother wrote to tell him she was expecting a child (my dad), the old bat intercepted the letter (we found out 50 yrs later) and claimed it wasn't her son's child.


From your previous stories, it looks like Nell was about 12 in 1902? No wonder the old girl had issues!


Message was edited by:


Link to post
Share on other sites

Larry, family lore is that we are related to him. My Grandparents were professional dancers in the 30's and 40's and my Grandfather was a double for John Gilbert. I did find a large box when I was a kid that was filled with family pictures of my Grandpa with Johnny Weissmuller, and other photos of Alice Faye, Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, etc. Unfortunately my Father became estranged from my Grandfather and I was too young at the time to ask about it.

However, because of our Family's TV show on A&E, over the last four years we have met and dined with some current stars and celebrities, rock stars, etc..

But I couldn't hold a candle to you and the stories of the wonderful TRUE movie stars of the past era. Like another lady in the thread said, I wish I would have been a young Woman in the late 30's early 40's because boy was that MY kind of era! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Larry,


Quote from yesterday...

"Calgary winters are fairly mild for the most part because of Chinook winds roaring down the Rockies and bringing warm air from the Pacific"


Well, let me tell you...I know Chinook winds. And, here is a windy story to prove my statement. I promise to be brief.


The first eighteen years of my life (uh-oh), I lived in a crackerbox with a view. The box (and the view) located in Boulder, Colorado. Now, moving from my house east to west was...one six lane highway (Broadway), a couple of miles of open field (U.S. government property and lots of weeds), a hill (one of a series of hills running north to south...the foothills) and the Flatirons. The Flatirons are several slabs of rock pushed up at about a 60 degree angle by titanic geological forces.


Every couple of years we would experience high velocity (Chinook) winds in Boulder. My house had little windbreak between it and the winds charging down the slopes of the Rockies. Every couple of decades we would have bad Chinook winds...the sort of winds that are news-worthy nationally. Back in the late 1960s, we had one of those bad wind episodes. The day of the bad wind, one of the first big wind gusts broke the wind measurement thing used by NCAR. "NCAR" is National Center For Atmospheric Research and is located in a building situated on top of one of those foothills. It was estimated a 125 mile per hour wind gust broke the NCAR instrument. The Chinook winds got worse during the night. About midnight, one particularly high velocity gust of wind picked up rocks from the field west of my house, flung the rocks at high speed across Broadway and smashed every west facing window in my house. We had a large 9 pane window in the living room and the glass went flying all the way through two rooms. Well, my father did what dads are supposed to do...he went running out the back door and we never saw the guy again. No. I'm kidding. My father did not panic. While my brother, my mother and I cowered as far away from the west wall of the house...dad stuck a ping-pong table into the big hole in the living room wall. Plus, he piled a bunch of furniture against the ping-pong table to keep the thing in the window.. At the same time as the rock throwing, the electricity went out and a fire started in the foothills about two miles south-west of my house.


Now, a person might think, "jeez...nature has had its fun...no windows, no electricity, and a big fire...maybe, slack off a little with the wind...". No. My family cowered in the safest corner of the house for the next 12 hours and...hoped the brush fire blew straight east (not north-east towards our spot).


Some time during the night the fire went away. I don't know how. Some time during the next morning the bad wind went away. We were thankful.


So, how bad are the Chinook winds in Calgary?



Link to post
Share on other sites

> Hi Meredith,


> I wasn't in show business, per se, but my grandmother

> was a Los Angeles socialite and I lived with her off

> and on from 1946 to 1964. She knew everybody and I

> knew some of the everybodies!!

> Hope that answers your question.

> BTW, welcome to the neighbourhood...


> Larry


Hi Larry - and thanks for the answer. I still haven't gotten through all the posts but I'm working on it!


Yes, I looked up your grandmother - it looks like we knew some of the same people. My aunt and father were makeup artists and I grew up in the same area you did. Lots of what you describe is very familiar to me. It was a great time to be running around here, wasn't it? It certainly isn't the same now.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rusty,


What a horrendous story; sounds like something out of Lillian Gish's movie, "The Wind" and "Twister".....


Our Chinooks are benevolent for the most part but it wise to plant an evergreen tree wind shield on your west front....

We have had some truely horrible ones though where the glass has been sucked out of our skyscrapers. Calgary has several 20 and 30 storey buildings and one 40 and one 55 storey ones and a 60 storey one. So, windows flying from 60 storeys can be quite a horror show as well as mindboggling.

Just 2 weeks ago, 3 windows came flying out of the PetroCanada Building and rained down on a Chinese New Years Parade... No one was hurt, miraculously....



Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Shonna,


Thanks for answering my rather nosy question!!


Your grandfather must have been good looking to be a double for John Gilbert. Mae Murray was very fond of him and spoke well of Gilbert.


I always liked the Tarzan movies and nobody was as good as Johnny Weissmuller. And, I always adored Maureen O'Sullivan, although I never knew her personally. She was my ideal of beauty.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Larry! Yes, my Grandpa was very handsome but quite a scoundrel from what I have been told.

O.K. Larry, do you know any stories about:

Tommy Dorsey

Harry James or

Gene Krupa??

I heard you mention Greg Bautzer earlier. ( I thought he was a handsome devil! :))

Also, did your Grandmother ever recount a story to you regarding an incident with Joseph Cotten and Louella Parsons?

And finally, I read that you were closest to Mary Astor.

I had read that she was in a horrible battle with an Ex-Husband over her child? I thought she was lovely.

Thank you kindly!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again Shonna,


A scandalous grandfather - sounds interesting!!!


Saw Bautzer a couple of times at Romanoff's but I wasn't that fussy about that place, so am not overly knowledgeable about him.


Joseph Cotton told us all about his Hedda incident at a dinner party with Agnes Moorehead and his wife Patricia Medina (I sat next to her). I think it was at the Goetz's place.

Hedda had written something horrible about Orson Welles and/or him and JC kicked her in the 'arse' (his word)...


Mary Astor's divorce scandal happened in the early 30's. Her husband sued her for child custody claiming Mary was unfaithful. He produced a diary of Mary's with all her 'confessions written in purple ink'.. Some of it hit the press but a lot of it was a forgery, apparently.

As you can imagine, I never brought that up with her.

She did receive and maintain custody of her daughter.


Sorry, don't know much about those musicians.




Message was edited by:


Link to post
Share on other sites

> Hi Arkadin,


> While I have a baritone voice, I am not a singer. I

> sing rather badly and don't sustain a note as long as

> required.

> I can sing "Happy Birthday" but that's mostly all I

> attempt these days.


> My relationship to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

> is that I'm on the Board of Directors

> I'm a great organizer and so is my friend, Doreen,

> Really though, the Orchestra runs itself now and we

> only plan and pay for luncheons and parties. We were

> more 'hand-on' in the past and now mainly butt

> out...


> Larry


That's great! Unfortunately, the arts are critically undersupported in the US as I'm sure you know.


I don't know why some people don't seem to recognize that it takes as much (usually more) energy to produce a great work of art whatever it's form as it does to hold down a 9-5 job. I salute you for doing what you do.


As I once told a friend of mine--"If you're an athelete you have a legitimate shot at doing well because you either have the skills or you don't and competition will vindicate your cause. If you're an artist it doesn't matter whether you are great or not because you're dealing with people's taste."


Unfortunately, lots of geniuses starve to death before people realize their greatness.

Link to post
Share on other sites

> > Holy Cow! I thought I've seen everything ( A

> Polish

> > Pope.... First Man on the Moon

> 7/20/69......Praise

> > for Hanoi Jane....The Mighty Mickey Mantle 1956

> > Triple Crown Winner 52 Homers-130 RBI's-.353

> Batting

> > Average....October 1, 1961 Roger Maris popping #61

> > against the hated Red Sox pitcher Tracy

> > Stallard....


> > Bartlett


> Barlett, you haven't seen everything.....the Cubs

> haven't won the series in 99 years!




I'm not Methuselah! LOL Ha Ha Ha!




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...