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Famous Stars on Television


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This morning I was watching Dora the Explorer with my children and couldn't believe my ears when I heard Ricardo Montalban's voice as a wizard who needed Dora and Boots to find his absent magic wand. I noticed the copyright was 2001, and I've since checked the imdb listing for it on his filmography, but I didn't realize how much work the man still does, and primarily for children/youth-oriented programs and films. His voice never seems to age or change and his delivery was as smooth as probably everything else the man has done.

 

It got me thinking about other vintage stars' performances on television and another I always remember enjoying was Pat O'Brien's appearance on WKRP as a crusty millionaire who Jennifer had been seeing. If I remember correctly, his performance was largely restricted to a video reading of his will that his family and Jennifer were attending in his lawyer's office. When I first saw it as a kid on its original run, I didn't know Pat O'Brien from a hole in the wall. It was my introduction to him, and because I was already beginning to dig into classic films, his appearance made me seek out what I could find of his work and he's now one of my (many) favorites. And kudos to TCM for brushing the dust off I Sell Anything yesterday.

 

Even though kids watching Dora the Explorer don't have the slightest idea who Ricardo Montalban is and what he's achieved, I think it's wonderful that these programs continually provide links to the great stars of yesterday.

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The first one that came to me was Jean Simmons on "The Odd Couple". She played a princess on a trip to NY. Tony Randall falls in love with her. I remember thinking what a fine bit of casting.

 

I think James Garner made the transition to regular TV star as well as anyone. Best part was he still got to make movies.

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For most movie actors in the twilight of their careers, TV work is the second step on that downward ladder to the Rehab clinic.

 

The next step ? TV Commercials.

 

The next step ? YOU harass the paparazzi

 

The next step ? Bad Japanese SciFi movies.

 

The next step ? Being turned down for a job at a Celebrity look-alike floral delivery service because you don?t look enough like?????..

 

The next step ? The IRS is leaning on you for five million dollars in back taxes. Which is five million dollars more than you have at the moment.

 

The next step ? You?re best friend is the cop who arrests you every few months for non-payment of child support.

 

The next step ? Your mailing address is the local Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation clinic.

 

The next step ? You are offered the chance of a couple of days work to appear on an episode of ?Where Are They Now? and look like a fool. You jump at it.

 

The last step ? You are given a ?Lifetime Achievement? award by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Oscars, and are called a ?Legend????

 

Then you know for sure you?re **** is grass, and your career is over.

 

Regards

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Gee, I didn't realize Ricardo Montalban had been in trouble with the IRS and had been in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic or appeared in bad Japanese SciFi films. I must have missed something along the way.

 

Some people in film history actually liked television work more than film work. Faye Emerson's an example (though she never really did fly in the films). I was suggesting that it's through appearances on television programs that some people (like me) were introduced to the stars of yesterday, such as O'Brien's appearance on WKRP or Robert Alda's appearance(s) on M*A*S*H. I think it's great and I don't look at television work for an actor who outworn his welcome with idiotic mass audiences who continually prefer fresh faces regardless of talent to the confirmed talent of decent stars who no longer physically fit the form of what's hip-and-happened today (or yesterday).

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Saw Charlton Heston on Saturday Night Live a few years ago, he was Hilarious. Nice to see a republican with enough courage to go on SNL and make fun of himself. He's my favorite republican.

 

All my favorite Republicans are dead. Come to think of it, they haven't manufactured one of any merit since Theodore Roosevelt.

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Saw Charlton Heston on Saturday Night Live a few years ago, he was Hilarious. Nice to see a republican with enough courage to go on SNL and make fun of himself. He's my favorite republican.

 

What, no Jimmy Stewart, Frank Capra, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby or John Wayne? My favorite Democrat surrendered at Appomattox. Ok, there were a couple others since.

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A real nice place to see vintage stars is on the Game Show Network's nightly reruns of WHAT'S MY LINE? at 3:30 am ET....they usually are on to plug SOMEthing...some of the real classic episodes include Groucho as a panelist,and a VERY nice turn by Louis Armstrong as a Mystery Guest - Arlene Francis asks him to sing a couple of bars of Hello Dolly...which he proceeds to do...much ot the consternation of his manager, who had just signed an exclusive deal for Louis to sing the song on a different show! It should be noted that panelist Bennett Cerf was a board member of MGM for period of time in the 50's and 60's.....

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Bing was a Republican. Hope wasn't ripping Bing, he was just joking about Democrats. Sinatra was a Democrat when he helped get JFK the presidency, and when he heard that JFK wasn't going to stay at the new compound he had built for JFK, he was **** because not only did JFK screw him, but he was staying at Bing's, who was a Republican. Later, Sinatra became a Republican.

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One actress, she was quite good in the movies. She was remembered more for her role, as" Lilly Munster", Ivonne Decarlo, of the Munsters.

 

How about "Mortisha Addams (Fump)",Carolyn Jones, of the Addams Family.

 

"The Beverly Hillbillies", Jed Clampett. Buddy Ebsin, was in lots of classic movies.

 

One more, sweet "Grandma Walton", Ellen Corby. She was a great actress, appearing in many films. Not many seem to see her, cause she wasn't a big star.

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