Friday, March 27, 2015

Fun Find: Photo Screen Magazine, December 1973

As usual, things are quite crazy in The Underworld with a bevy of work, household, family and personal issues and yet there's always time for vintage photos of the stars and bits of (way) leftover celebrity gossip! Thus, I present highlights from a early-'70s, smoke-damaged rag that includes what I hope will be some interesting doodads here and there. As is often the case, the cover makes garish, lurid allusions to things that won't actually be found in the stories within. (You may have to open photos in a new window to read the text, rather that use the blogger gallery feature.)

But first up, we see some Tinseltown happenings in a section called Hollywood Hotline (penned by notable gossip columnist Marilyn Beck.) A charity ball game, pictured on top, finds the highly unlikely combination of football pro-turned-action star Jim Brown, James Caan and The Carpenters! The column itself hashes out the love life of Liza Minnelli, who was at that time heading back to Desi Arnaz Jr. after a spell with Peter Sellers! Other names mentioned include Andy Williams, Redd Foxx, John Davidson and Sally Field. There's a photo of Barbara Stanwyck with James Stewart at the dawn of his short-lived series Hawkins (1973-1974.) The show was something of a precursor to Matlock with Andy Griffith, which was far more successful, running nine seasons! Interestingly, Stanwyck and Stewart never acted together during their lengthy careers.

The next page of this section has a shot of ubiquitous '70s teen idol David Cassidy and one of Romeo & Juliet's (1968) Olivia Hussey with her husband "Dino" Martin (son of Dean Martin, later to go by Dean Paul Martin, his actual name.) Their rocky marriage was from 1971-1978 and he later married skating Olympian Dorothy Hamel from 1982-1984 before dying in a 1987 plane crash at only age thirty-five (something his father, quite understandably, never really got over.) Other blurbs concern Sammy and Altovise Davis taking porn star Linda Lovelace on vacation with them (!), Robert Young being put on a diet by his wife, Marlon Brando maintaining contact with relatives and Barbara Eden's marriage to Michael Ansara coming undone after about fifteen years. Other divorces include Joyce Bulifant from Ed Mallory, Goldie Hawn from actor-director Gus Trikonis (who never remarried) and Sean Connery from Diane Cilento.

Page three hands us Days of Our Lives star Bill Hayes about to release an album of love songs and a candid shot of some of The Brady Bunch (1969-1974) at a charity ball game. Also on deck, the passing of legendary director John Ford, marital squabbles for Dean Martin (sr) who was then still newly wed to his third and final wife. They would divorce in 1976. Other stories include preparation for Elizabeth Taylor's Ash Wednesday (1973) and Susan George explaining why she turned down an offer to pose for Playboy magazine.

The fourth page of this section focuses on singer-songwriter Carole King and her unlikely friend Britt Ekland. According to this article, Britt's husband was off to Spain to canoodle with Faye Dunaway, who was filming The Three Musketeers (1973) there! Also, Jim Guerico of the band Chicago discusses corruption in the music business. Photos include Woody Allen with Diane Keaton and Sonny and Cher (holding then-daughter, now-son Chastity/Chaz) with Lucille Ball.

Finally, page five notes the break-up of iconic '60s rock group Jefferson Airplane and spotlights Eva Gabor's voice-acting role in The Rescuers. Astonishingly, this 1973 magazine mentions how long it will take for the hand-drawn animated feature to be made (three years) and, sure enough, the movie came out in 1977! Now, with computers, they seem to spit out "animated" movies every time you turn around... Game show host Larry Blyden is mentioned for his work on What's My Line? (syndicated revival), which would end in 1975. Blyden died that same year under mysterious circumstances while vacationing in Mexico. (Allegedly a car wreck, it has also been suggested that he was carjacked.) Photos depict another surprising trio of Ethel Kennedy, Dustin Hoffman and Howard Cosell along with one of Michelle Phillips whose daughter Chynna would later grow up and form the vocal trio Wilson Phillips.

The cover story blurting out "THE UNUSUAL WAYS ELVIS MADE LOVE TO HER!" consists of him coddling Priscilla like a little girl rather than treating her like the woman she had become over the course of his considerable absences while filming movies and touring all over the place. The article goes on and on about their courtship, the gifts, the wedding, etc... and there is, literally, a sentence about their love life together:  "Priscilla was pampered, she was coddled - that was Elvis' love style and she admits she approved of it." I do like this un-posed photo of him, though.

Next up is a stop-off of the crazy train that was Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor's lives - together and apart for much of the 1960s and '70s.  At this time, they were about to be divorced after close to a decade of marriage.

Maria was a two year-old German girl that Taylor adopted with Eddie Fisher, though by the time the adoption was official, Fisher was already ousted for Burton! Burton then adopted her himself. Taylor and Burton would remarry one another in 1975 for less than a year before splitting again for good.

Another page of the article focuses on her baby granddaughter Leyla, who was her son Michael Wilding Jr.'s child. He and his wife Beth had already divorced with her attempting a career as a photographer while he emerged as a long-haired hippie until later embarking on a short-lived acting career of his own. Taylor was a grandmother at age thirty-nine, by the way!

Somehow, through all the marriages, deaths and divorces, La Liz did manage to keep the whole brood of children and grandchildren accounted for and together, at least every so often! At the time of her death she had four children, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren (but, alas, by that time, no husband.)

Next is another of those lurid headlines with no meat to it in the actual story. It's about Burt Reynolds' relationship with the two-decades-older Dinah Shore. Supposedly, his ex-girlfriends were offering advice to her on how to keep him satisfied. (How would they know?! They were his exes! LOL) I do love these pictures of hunky young Burt, though, and his assortment of gal pals.

This romance was a HUGE deal at the time as it was then (and, really, still is) unusual to see a December-May relationship (with the female older?) than the standard May-December type. Though "cougars" have become something of a key word, it still raised eyebrows even fairly recently when Demi Moore married Ashton Kutcher, who was fifteen years younger than her. (The union lasted from 2005 to 2013.) Burt's relationship with Dinah petered out just as he was about to embark on one with Sally Field that lasted through the end of the decade.

This next article makes it sound like Sonny & Cher had a secret baby that they kept stashed away somewhere. In reality, the article, which is mostly a recap of their lives and successes to that point, refers to a child Bono had fathered in 1958 with his first wife.

The child, Christy, lived with her mother and, in a way, was secret since she was never publicly trotted out the way Chastity was, but she wasn't Cher's as the headline implies. Bono had fathered an illegitimate boy in 1964 and then with his fourth wife had two more kids for a grand total of five prior to his death in 1998 from a skiing accident. He was sixty-two.

George Peppard was an actor who seemed to generate controversy among his costars. Various tangles and disputes dotted his career and his personal life was apparently rocky at times, too. This article concerns his parenting skills, which, according to this, were more worthy of applause than some of his other areas in life.

Starring in Banacek (1972-1974) at the time, he declined to proceed with a third season, despite its being renewed, because to do so would mean that his newly-divorced wife Elizabeth Ashley would receive part of his income from it due to their marriage at the time of its inception. He had a total of three children at the time of this article and no more afterwards, though he did proceed to marry three more times! The fifth and last wife wed him in 1992, but he died of pneumonia in 1994 at the age of sixty-five.

I had never even heard of the guy profiled on these next pages, but it's always nice to run across someone new. Yale Summers was a TV actor who was busy from the early-1960s to the late-1970s. His best-known role was surely that of the young man working at an African animal study center in Daktari (1966-1978), a show I have simply never seen except for a few snippets caught in reruns as a child.

At the time of this feature, Summers was working on the daytime soap Return to Peyton Place (1972-1974) and had replaced the handsome blonde Lawrence Casey as male lead Rodney Harrington. The show limped along for just those two years before being cancelled.

This article says that he didn't work for four years after departing Daktari, though in truth he did appear as a guest on the occasional series, including The Bold Ones: The New Doctors, Land of the Giants, My Three Sons and McMillan and Wife.

One amusing thing about this article is that by way of his marriage to wife Suzanne, she became Suzanne Summers! Though she had been an actress herself, mostly in small TV roles, under her name Suzanne Reid, so perhaps there was no considerable confusion with the soon-to-come Suzanne Somers.

Summers became an integral part of both the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA. One happy note: Unlike so many Hollywood couples, these two remained wed right up until his death in 2012 of pulmonary disease at age seventy-eight.

You don't tend to see a great deal about Sally Field's first husband, Steve Craig, but here is a picture of them. They were married from 1968-1975 and their two sons Peter and Eli are in the business, too, be it writing, directing and occasional acting (though I don't believe Steve Craig was in show business himself?) After a spell with Burt Reynolds, Field married again in 1984 and had another son, Sam, though that marriage ended in 1993 as well.

One marriage I never even knew about was between Broadway and TV actor Ken Howard and TV guest star and soap opera diva Louise Sorel! Perhaps that is because it was a brief union, lasting only from 1973-1975. (Another shocker was discovering that Sorel's prior husband was Herb Edelman, best known as Stanley Zbornak of The Golden Girls!) Howard married again after Sorel in 1977 to Ann Landers' daughter (I wonder how much advice he got from his mother-in-law!) and that marriage lasted until 1991. In 1992, he married his present wife.

This page depicts him with his TV wife Blythe Danner of the short-lived show Adam's Rib (1973.) It's interesting that they played a married couple in the series since they had just the year before played Thomas and Martha Jefferson in 1776 (1972.) Her real husband, Bruce Paltrow, was the creator of The White Shadow (1978-1981), which was a success for Howard. Danner and Howard worked on a couple of other projects as well including two episodes of Huff, though I don't know if they appeared together in them.

Lastly, we come to another column - this one called The Inside Story by Dick Kleiner. These sections are nearly always my favorites in old periodicals like this because they let me know what people were thinking about or working on (or sleeping with) at that time in showbiz history and contain lesser-known photos. This first page mentions Peter Falk's desire to stop doing Columbo, which he did not do until later (the intermittent series ran from 1971 to 1978 and then came back again in 1989 with occasional installments up to 2003! Others mentioned include Harry Guardino, Rock Hudson and Jackie Gleason, whose "happy" marriage noted in the text only lasted from 1970-1975. Richard Thomas and Sian Barbara Allen must not have been together too long after this because he married wife Alma in 1975 and proceeded to have four children with her. David Niven mentions "Vampira," which saw release later under the title Old Dracula (1974) - a play on the title of the hit Young Frankenstein (1974.)

Audrey Meadows, married to airline exec Robert Six, claimed to have done interior decoration on DC-10 airliners! They were wed from 1960 to his death in 1986. (Six' prior wife was Ethel Merman, so I doubt he ever led a very dull marital existence.) Other blurbs focus on, among others, Richard Roundtree, Francois Truffaut, Doris Day's son Terry Melcher (about a wedding that did not in fact occur) and a recent Supreme Court ruling about pornography. This scuttled some plans of Arthur Hiller's to make a movie of Last Exit to Brooklyn (which did finally get made by someone else in 1989.) Also included is a story about Anthony Perkins wedding to Berry Berenson, one about Raymond Burr's faltering health and photos of Mia Farrow a handsomely-bearded Clint Eastwood.

Page three announces a new series for John Amos (which would be Good Times, a Maude spin-off, which ran from 1974-1979, though Amos opted out in 1976), Susan Oliver's apparent retirement from piloting planes, Paul Winfield's arrest for marijuana possession and the death of Peggie Castle. The once-beautiful Castle had become an alcoholic and was only forty-five when she died of cirrhosis. Another death was that of Douglas Kennedy, a busy character actor and the Sheriff of Stockton on The Big Valley (1965-1969) who was taken by cancer at age fifty-five. Photos show Johnny Crawford (who'd recently appeared in The Naked Ape, 1973) and Judy Strangis (who would later costar on Electra Woman and Dyna Girl in 1976!) Her sister did indeed have a brief career in acting as Cindy Malone, but it was over by this point.

The last page concerns the possible casting of Bonnie Bedelia in the 1973 TV-movie Sunshine (Cristina Raines got the part), ESP-ish activity for Joanne Worley, John Beradino's new baby, the death of dwarf actor Michael Dunn, a puff piece about Richard Chamberlain sending for a lady love while filming in Spain and some more of the endless Kennedy shenanigans. Other bits involve Eddie Fisher, Roger Moore, Richard Thomas and Barbara Feldon. In photos, we glimpse Princess Grace and daughter Caroline as well as Myron Floren and Bobby Burgess of The Lawrence Welk Show (1955-1982.)

Sometimes the ads in these magazines can be a real hoot. I only found one that really caught my eye in this one and it's for some caftans and other clothes. I am not a caftfan (fan of caftans!), but I do love the lower right model's big hairdo!

The back page has a full-color ad for a rather vomitous series of eye-shadow colors that guarantee 300 ways to look hideous!  LOL  I hope you enjoyed leafing through this magazine. I'll be back soon with more kitschy material.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Sporting Life

Well, here we are in the thick of March Madness again, with people leaving work early to watch basketball and filling out brackets to see if they can guess the winners. Basketball is definitely one sport that we in The Underworld do NOT follow. The uniforms are altogether too baggy and loose-fitting!  LOL  In fact, the chief requirement of a sport if it wants us to pay attention to it is a sung uniform. Were college basketball players still wearing tops and shorts like the ones in this cover photo, I might be more included to pay attention.

While trawling the world for photos to be used in our sister site, Krazy Kaptions, a project that continues to be a huge hit amongst my Facebook friends, but which has yet to really "happen" on the Internet despite recently reaching its 300th post, I have come across the occasional picture that isn't funny enough to be included there, yet is interesting for other reasons, which may become clear as you look them over. Hence, this post paying tribute to some enjoyable, mostly unknown, athletes and their get-ups!

While we're still on basketball, check out this EARLY shot of the Harvard University team in uniforms that are shocking in their disarray and lack of conformity.
However, the young men certainly are handsome, aren't they? Here's a little bit closer look.
Look at the abbreviated shorts on this 1940s high school team! It's hard to believe that this is what players wore back then, though I would lay odds that there was more ease of movement in them than the almost skirt-like, long-hanging "shorts" that are worn today. (Love the hilariously "tough" little guy on the far right. In charge of water and towels, maybe?)
More of the short-shorts, this time from Michigan State. But what's up with the preened, waxen-looking eyes and faces of the guys? They almost look like they have eye makeup on!
There's something almost diaper-like with this set of uniforms, but I still prefer all that leg over watching someone flounce around in drapey nylon pants.
Before long, satin replaced the heavier fabrics on the court. This team seems to be bursting with hunky virility in spite of the tiny, shiny shorts.
For a while, polyester was king when it came to basketball uniforms. Still worked for me!
Few sports ever boasted a more revealing uniform than wrestling. This lobby card from Pat Boone's tacky 1958 musical Mardi Gras does make me want to see it again because I also seem to remember a song set in either the shower or the locker room, but the shorts he and his friend are wearing are not the traditional wrestling get-up.
These burly and demonstrative sailors in the midst of a wrestling bout look great, but are also not garbed in the standard clothing for the sport.
Neither were these admittedly hunkalicious college guys, plying their trade in front of the school.
No, that would be the brief.
Or in many cases, the singlet!
I do not follow wrestling, but it I believe that high school and college wrestlers choose singlets while the "professional" wrestlers on TV choose anything from a singlet to a brief to compression tights. The get-ups that these young men are wearing look pretty fun!
Get a load of the feathered hair on this stocky gaggle of school wrestlers.
I developed a distaste for WWF-style wrestling when I was a teen and would see those magazines in the drugstore featuring sweaty, bloody faces in all their gory glory. (Look them up sometime if you dare... Ick!) And, of course, today's WWF is filled to the brim with garish gimmickery. No... if I have to choose, I'll take the old fashioned, burly, handsome, brief-clad type of wrestler seen here.


What about this tan, Frenchman with the appealing smile?
Or do you prefer a more intimidating expression?
This guy probably sums up my favorite type of look and physique.
This is a clearer shot of him. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned handsome men like this?!
Singlets recall those early swimsuits men used to wear. Look at this old photograph of a man in a tank-style swimsuit. It's clearly a photo from decades and decades ago, but oh my that handsome, piercing face...
Sometimes even cotton swimsuits could be revealing if they'd shrunken enough. These guys are so than that the zinc oxide they're using on their lips almost makes them look like they're doing blackface! (But I don't know how you can really spend too much time on their faces with Mr. second-from-the-right in attendance.)
Ever since our childhood summer jaunts to Sunlite Pool (the world's largest recirculating pool) in Cincinnati (not shown here), we've had a thing for Speedo-clad lifeguards, now a thing of the past.
No one thought a thing about sitting in the lifeguard chair in nothing more than a foot or less of fabric!
Again, swiftness in the water during rescue was part of the reason for their existence.
The mid-'80s practically signaled the end of the Speedo except for competitive swimming and diving (and even now its existence is threatened by allegedly more hydrodynamic suits that cover more of the body.)
Thus, scenes like this...
...and this may be gone forever... (though I often celebrate the Speedo and other trim suits in a yearly Memorial Day post.)
I used to love poring over high school and college yearbooks and getting to the swim team pictures.
Another great team sport uniform is that of rowing teams!
Often is seemed as if the guys were deliberately wearing the most flimsy, weathered, paper thin jersey shorts they could get their hands on.
True, these were probably practice clothes...
...but even the official competition uniforms were flimsy, clinging and revealing.
Lastly, we turn to football, a sport in which (as opposed to most of them) the clothing has gotten more revealing over the years.) Here's the weird thing. All my life I hated football. I even PLAYED it for three years and despised every second of it, never knowing at all what either my teammates or I was doing. (And I couldn't get my coaches to give me the time of day! LOL) I was so anti-football that I would rant and rage when games ran over into prime time Sunday TV.
Then, one day, I was at a friend's house during an NFL game and he had a high-def, large-screen TV. I saw all sorts of anatomy that I couldn't believe. And eventually, after watching at first just for the junk, I got to where I am now completely enmeshed in the game itself and cannot bear to ever miss an NFL game if it is on!  Crazy, right? After the Super Bowl I slide into an immediate depression that lasts more or less until the swimming pools open on Memorial Day, alleviated only by occasional social events or sometimes performance in theatre during that period.
This is one of my favorite Bengals, Margus Hunt #99, who is an import from Estonia and who has a remarkable story. Brought to the U.S. for his sport of choice, track & field, he arrived at the college to find that the entire program had been dropped! The 6'8" giant (nicknamed "The Eastern Block") then tried football where he excelled tremendously. Now he's in the NFL. From the looks of it, some of Estonia's Viking heritage is still alive in #99!

Another player who's caught my eye is the Philadelphia Eagles' Zach Ertz, for reasons which should be clear. This is but one example of what it there all day every day on the field, though.
As a football fanatic, I've seen a variety of eye-popping things, be it Dallas Cowboy DeMarco Murray having his pants pulled practically all the way down, exposing his brown behind to the world or other players' pants having the side ripped away, exposing a flank of white or dark butt cheek where his jockstrap didn't cover. Or there's this incident in which the New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski was tackled and the other player's facemask caught on his waistband.
Gronk wasn't about to give up without a fight, so he just kept on charging, even though the guy was tackling him with his face and pulling his pants farther and farther down with each step.
By far the craziest thing I've seen so far was the day Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Drew Stanton (who slightly resembles Tom Brady, though even better looking and far less of an asshole) took the field and was tackled by the waistband of his jockstrap! The Seattle Seahawk player grabbed the black band at the back of his waist and held on for dear life and Stanton struggled to keep moving.
When he finally had given up and fallen to the turf, he was darn near de-pants on national television.
Most of the time, we don't have to go that far to see what's going on with a player. Take the time Detroit Lions player Same Martin punted the ball out of bounds and was penalized for it. In mid tantrum (in which he was mostly mad at himself, I hope), it became clear that a lot of players opt for compression shorts under their pants rather than anything more substantial.

He might as well be posing in an art class!
So, anyway, if you're a football fan, you know all about this. If you're not, and you're stuck somewhere watching it against your will, see if playing "spot the stem" can help pass the time. In any case, we are not going to break down and watch basketball... unless they go back to something like this 1911 team wore!