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Found 9 results

  1. Priscilla Allen is a legend in the San Diego theater world, having been active on the stage there for decades. People outside of San Diego will probably best know her from a couple of films she was in. If you ask me how long I've been thinking of writing this post, my answer would be, about two weeks.
  2. This is an arcane piece of trivia - I'm pretty sure this was essentially unknown, but I spent about twenty minutes researching it. Arlene Martel was a fairly prolific TV actress in the 60s and 70s, and best known for being Spock's would-be wife, T'Pring, in the original Star Trek episode, "Amok Time." She was also one of the singers in the Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola ad, "Hey Kid, Catch!" 😯
  3. Vera Miles is perhaps most noted for working with Alfred Hitchcock; with me, it's her role in "The Man who Shot Liberty Valance." Vera Miles on donrockwell.com
  4. This week, I've seen Tippie Hedren in two Alfred Hitchcock films: "The Birds" (1963) and "Marnie" (1964). Hedren has very much of a "style," in that she plays a matronly young woman in these movies, seeming older than her youth and beauty would imply. There's something about her very un-Audrey Hepburn-like in that she doesn't radiate vigor, or steal scenes by her mere presence. Honestly, I don't love her acting, either, although she got through both of these roles without any catastrophic flaws. Is anyone else here a Hedren fan? And if so, what did you like that you saw her in?
  5. Everybody needs to start somewhere. I'm not saying this to be mean, but Paula Abdul sings no better than I do, and I have the type of voice where I'm embarrassed to sing the National Anthem at sporting events, or hymns in church - my voice is *that* bad: It's very-much-below average. She's not quite singing out-of-tune (although who knows what technical corrections were made?), but there's absolutely *no* talent behind that voice. What does that tell you about technology in pop music? Next time you watch a music video, see if there are any shots of people dancing for longer than 1/2 second, without the camera cutting to a new scene - if there are, and the dancers manage to keep up good moves for 3-4 seconds, then they're a step-above the norm. Paula Abdul became famous because she has a set of core attributes (she's pretty, she sings somewhat on-key, she dances well enough to keep rhythm, she somehow learned how to choreograph), and most importantly, because she had the personality willing to turn herself over to her advisers. She had enough raw material so that the Suits could take technology, and make this very average teenage girl into a false talent. I will add: This is not a knock on Paula Abdul, the person - she had enough smarts to do this, and to reap the benefits from doing it.
  6. Zsa-Zsa Gabor passed away yesterday, just a few months short of 100 years old. A small tribute: a Mister Ed episode (two parts on YouTube), with Zsa-Zsa Gabor playing herself. Yes, it's silly, but Gabor didn't take herself too seriously:
  7. Last night, I watched a *great* episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Season 1, Episode 16) starring an impossibly beautiful Marisa Pavan - this is an episode that I urge people to watch on Hulu - it also stars John Cassavetes who, to my surprise, was subsequently nominated for Academy Awards in three different categories (supporting actor, screenwriter, and director). Anyway, I was reading about Marisa Pavan on Wikipedia, and two things stood out about her so much that I wanted to begin a thread about her: I don't normally care who's married to whom, but in this case, it's not only worth a mention - it's also worth a nod of honor: Pavan was married to French director Jean-Pierre Aumont for fully 45 years, from 1956 (the year after the Hitchcock episode debuted) until Aumont's death in 2001. It warms my heart to see couples get married and *stay* married for such a long period of time - if you look at pictures of both Pavan and Aumont, it's not hard to see that there was a mutual physical attraction back in 1956, but when people age and lose their youthful appearance, then something else must necessarily take over as the glue holding together the machine. Congratulations to this couple on a long, and hopefully happy, marriage, and my only regret is that Ms. Pavan has been forced to live so long as a widow. (In the interest of full disclosure, the couple once divorced, but remarried.) The other remarkable thing is that Pavan is an identical twin to Pier Angeli, who unfortunately passed away 44 years ago (it must be an especially odd feeling having an identical twin die, and it's just weird to be predeceased by an identical twin for so many decades). Anyway, when Pier Angeli was assigned the role of Anna Magnani's daughter in "The Rose Tattoo," but unable to play the part, the producers simply gave the role to her twin sister, Marisa Pavan - and that turned out to be Pavan's big breakthrough. Not only was Pavan nominated for an Academy Award for "Best Supporting Actress," she also accepted the "Best Actress" award for Anna Magnani, who was unable to attend the event. "The Rose Tattoo," and the Academy Awards which followed, is considered to be Pavan's "breakthrough moment" - it wouldn't surprise me at all if Pavan and Aumont met each other at the ceremony.
  8. I will confess--I have always been infatuated with Audrey Hepburn. The pixie cut, the cigarette pants, those eyes! I grew up wanting to be her, and now, in my 50s, I still emulate her gamine fashion style. I first became smitten with her when I saw her Oscar-winning performance in the 1953 romantic comedy, "Roman Holiday." She was just 24 when she landed the role of Ann, a princess who sneaks away from her royal duties for a day of fun in Rome with Gregory Peck. She went on to receive five Oscar nominations throughout her career, but this was her only win. She won a Tony award that same year for Best Lead Actress in a Play for her performance in Ondine. She remains one of the few people who have won Academy, Tony, Emmy and Grammy Awards. Since I was a young girl, "Roman Holiday" has been one of my favorite films. It won three Academy Awards: best actress, costume design and screenwriting. I watched it again this week, and I still love it. It isn't the most complicated story. There aren't any special effects. But the chemistry between Peck and Hepburn is compelling, and the shots of Rome are delightful. The thing that makes this film a classic--the standard by which romantic comedies are judged, and often found lacking--is Audrey Hepburn. She isn't the most beautiful film actress of her era, nor is she the most talented. But she is graceful, charming and beguiling. She has that "it" factor that makes it impossible to take your eyes off of her when she is on the screen. She radiates loveliness, kindness and approachability. I have never been one to follow celebrities. When she died in 1993, I bought a copy of the commemorative People Magazine about her. I felt like the world lost a true icon, a woman with a spirit and style that inspires people to this day. I enjoyed her performances in "Sabrina," "Charade," and "Wait Until Dark." I am not a "Breakfast at Tiffany's" fan, although that role is one that established her as one of the world's top fashion icons. Born in Brussels, she lived in German-occupied territory during the second World War. She later became a ballet dancer, a model and an actress. Perhaps because of the adversity she faced as a child, Hepburn became an advocate for children in her later years, devoting much of her time to UNICEF.
  9. I've never quite understood why Lola Albright, who was a radiant presence on the Peter Gunn television series in the 1950s and who could obviously sing, didn't have more of a career than she had. Here she is singing "How High the Moon" on a Peter Gunn episode. It's remarkable that they would take this much time for a musical number that in no way advanced the plot in a half-hour drama. Back in the late 1970s (I don't remember the year, 1979 probably, I could look it up), there was a pre-Broadway tryout at the Kennedy Center of a new play by Tennessee Williams called "Clothes for a Summer Hotel", which did not make it to Broadway for reasons that were painfully obvious at the time. I was at one of the performances, sitting in the last row of the orchestra section of the Eisenhower with a couple of friends. During the course of the performance, we all became aware that Mr. Williams was standing right behind us (in a huge fur coat). As the performance ended to tepid applause, one of my friends turned around in his seat and said "Mr. Williams, would you please sign my program?" Which he did. Then the other friend asked for the same, and Williams again consented. I finally said "Oh what the hell, will you sign my program too?" and Tennessee replied, while taking my program and signing it, "I'm not going to keep doing this forever, you know." You may draw your own conclusions as to why I share this anecdote in the present moment. I'm sorry to say that I moved house not long afterward and the program signed by Tennessee Williams was never seen again.
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