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How to pronounce those difficult names . . .


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Hi Gerb & Wordmaster,

 

Wordmaster - you seem to have hit the proverbial nail on the head with your pronounciations. Very good and your expanation of Mischa was spot on; I couldn't have said it better myself, so I won't........

 

Signe also shows up in the Russian equivalent, Xenia. One of the last Czar's sisters was named Xenia (I knew her). She often complained that Westerners mispronounced her name as ZEN-IA when it was ZEE-NYA. It derives from the Scandinavian - Signe (SEEN-YA).......

 

BTW, Coffeedan - where are you??? I do wonder.......

 

Larry

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Thank you, Larry, for your corroboration, and the clarification re: Signe Hasso.

 

My linguistics background does occasionally come in handy, in cases such as this one.

 

It's always a relief to "hit the nail on the head" without hitting my thumb.

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Hey Larry,

 

Thanks for the further input. It's always a pleasure to read your posts. I'm awed by how many of the big names you knew. Just this morning I spent time reading some of your old posts from last year. How many people can claim that Mary Boland babysat them? And, that comment from Martha Raye when you were sitting close to her cracked me up.

 

When I was still in college, I used to work every spring, summer and Christmas break stocking groceries. The produce manager was an older gentleman who had fought in Vietnam. He told me that when Martha was entertaining for them she took a huge microphone and stuck it completely in her mouth. He said everyone went wild. She even kissed the undershirt he was wearing that day, and he never wore it again. He says it still has her lipstick marks on it. Boy, how I envy you people.

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Here's one I found out about last night, watching a TCM short.

 

The name "ZaSu Pitts" is pronounced ZAY-SUE [ZAY rhymes with 'day']; at least, that was how Thelma Todd pronounced it during "The Old Bull", a Hal Roach short about two wacky gals who have some car trouble, and trouble with some farmer-type people, and trouble with an escaped lion.

 

It was kind of a head-scratcher; I wouldn't be the one to ask if I thought it was funny or not.

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On AOL's In2TV, where you can watch episodes of classic Warner Brothers TV shows, the cast announcer for one episode of "The F.B.I." confirms what the post below says: it is "Reese" for Rhys Williams' first name. Another episode has the pronunciation "DAH-na" (sort of like "Donna") for Dana Wynter's first name. Gotta love those Quinn Martin TV show cast announcers!

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I think "The Fugitive" was the only Quinn Martin show William Conrad worked with before he starred in "Cannon." Conrad was the uncredited narrator of "The Fugitive," but--according to IMDb--the "introductory narrator" was Hank Simms. Conrad narrated the main title and was most often heard early in Act I and in the epilogs, but it must have been Simms who announced the guest stars and the sponsors--it's clearly a different voice there.

 

It sounds like Conrad on QM's "The Invaders," but it's actually William Woodson, who gave us the immortal "Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?" on another series shortly afterward. Simms did the cast credits on "The Invaders," though, sez IMDb. Walter Winchell, as many know, narrated "The Untouchables," although there was a different person announcing the guest cast and sponsors.

 

I don't know who narrated "Cannon." It doesn't sound like Conrad himself, going by a TV Land crime-series CD that has the "Cannon" theme complete with the cast announcer's voice. I'm not sure about the other QM series' announcers/narrators. The announcer on "The Streets of San Francisco," as I mentioned in a similar thread, pronounced David Opatoshu's last name as "ope-a-TAH-shoo."

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Yes, I've learned a lot of correct pronunciations from shows of the 50s and 60s. The voice-overs during the credits of I Love Lucy and Rod Serling's teasers for the following week's guest star at the end of each episode of The Twilight Zone have helped immensely. I learned how to say Albert Salmi's name from Serling.

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Rod Serling's "Night Gallery" is another series featuring a guest-star announcer. That's where I first heard Brandon De Wilde's last name pronounced (it's de-WILL-duh). I may have mentioned that in another thread on this forum.

 

I notice some "I Love Lucy" episodes have no announced credits for the guest cast, even when there are actors who delivered several lines and clearly deserved a credit. I think the "Superman" episode didn't even credit George Reeves. The syndicated credits, though, are different from the original sponsor-tagged sequences, and perhaps these people were credited on the original broadcasts.

 

Boris Karloff's "Thriller" series featured perhaps the best guest-cast credits. Boris himself announced the names as the actors appeared. In one episode, each was lying in a coffin and opened his/her eyes when the name was announced!

 

Marvin Miller announced for "The F.B.I.," FWIW.

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Wow, I never knew that about Brandon De Wilde. Thanks for the tip. I've also noticed that some of the credits are minus the voice-over for I Love Lucy. Luckily, with the new season-by-season DVD sets of Lucy, they have tried their best to restore previously edited sequences. I never knew that the heart on satin intros were not the original broadcast openings until I got Season 1. The original had stick figures of Lucy and Desi and a lot of spotlight on sponsor Phillip Morris. For these sets, they have also reinstated the previously-clipped tag scene fade-out cues and Lucy and Desi's extended kissing scenes. And, so far, I haven't noticed any MIA voice-overs whenever a guest star appears.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sandy, I certainly agree with you about the pronunciation of her last name.

 

Her first name could be pronounced as one quick syllable - PYAIR - with the Y sound as in 'yet'. In any case, I usually say it like the French "Pierre" [which isn't pronounced in two syllables: "pee-AIR"].

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Great thread, one and all.

 

For so many years, I had only seen or read the names of movie people. I never heard them pronounced until I heard Robert Osborne say them. So now I know. . .

 

Walter Wanger (rhymes with "danger")

Robert Siodmak ("shod-mack")

J. Carroll Naish ("nash")

 

But I'm still mystified by "Paul Henreid." I always hear his last name pronounced "HON-reed," and that has just never seemed right to me.

 

What about Mayo Methot?

 

And Colin Clive -- does it rhyme with "hive" or "heave"?

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Hello, Evelyn_Mulwray [!]

 

You certainly meet interesting people around here... ;-)

 

I also was puzzled about Walter's last name until I heard Mr. Osborne.

 

I am 'on the fence' about Paul - I would like to hear some other opinions.

 

As far as Mayo...I will go out on a limb and say "METH-owe" or "meth-OWE", but I would guess not "me-THOUGHT" or "METH-ought".

 

For me [until evidence to the contrary], Clive rhymes with "hive".

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But I'm still mystified by "Paul Henreid." I always hear his last name pronounced "HON-reed," and that has just never seemed right to me.

 

Henreid's name is correctly spelled "Henried," not "Henreid," whose spelling he adopted when he came to America, since Americans/English pronounce "reid" as "reed."

 

His full name, by the way, was Paul von Hernried, with the "H" pronounced ("Hen," like a female chicken), not as the TCM announcer does it -- "On-reed" (which suggests that the poor, misinformed woman thinks he's French. Henreid was, in fact, a Jew born in an Italian region of what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire).

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I was watching Rocky and Bullwinkle yesterday, and Bullwinkle referred to Colin Clive. His pronunciation rhymed with hive. Now, I'm not saying that you should use a cartoon as an authoritative source, but you would think that voice-actor Bill Scott would know how to pronounce the name. Another place that might have mentioned Clive's name was in the biopic about James Whales' life called "Gods and Monsters". It had Ian McKellen and Brendan Fraser. I was forced to watch it in film class, but I don't remember any particulars about it.

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