I apologize in advance if you thought from the title that this was going to be a post all about Jeopardy and are disappointed that it's not. I just used a quote from that program to serve as a title for this post because today is all about celebrating random bits of flotsam and jetsam. Jeopardy has a category called “POTPOURRI” that is often made up of previous questions that never got a chance to be asked because time ran out. Today's post consists of pictures that I have wanted to use, but either haven't had a good enough reason to or whose relevance had already come and gone before I discovered them.
I've been blathering on here in The Underworld for more than two years now. This is the 250th post and I still haven't run out of things to yammer about! I have no set scheme, apart from trying to keep things somewhat varied from post to post (something for everyone?) I attack each subject as it strikes me. As some of you know, I operate this site from work during my down time. Sometimes I have plenty of time to write, sometimes not. In those bits of time when I'm not working on a specific post, I often collect photos and sock them away for what I think will be future use.
Let me digress a moment and gripe about the fact that I pay very close attention to the pictures I post here, getting them just the way I want them, and DESPISE the fact that the new photo viewer doesn't let people see them in their original size and state and on their own page. Too often, the images are cramped or otherwise distorted, rendering them far less effective (and in the cases where there is text, illegible!) I don't know who dreamed that whole situation up, but I thoroughly detest it.
(Editor's Note: I have since discovered - I never said I was sharp! - that you can right-click on enlargeable images and select "Open Link in New Window," then click the image in the new window again to magnify it and see it in its intended full size. Sorry about the steps for this, but at least it allows one to see things up close!)
Anyway, I have found myself sitting on a bunch of pictures that I don't think will ever really make it into a post. Others missed the boat when their subject matter had already been covered. So today I'm going to toss out several of them to share and hope that you derive some pleasure from them! There is no real theme at all, just plenty of potpourri! It's truly an “everything but the kitchen sink” sort of day here. Had I thought ahead, I might have posted this next Friday and called it “Thanksgiving Leftovers!”
First up is a shot of Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway from The Thomas Crown Affair. This scene in the movie is brief and filmed from pretty far away. I was thrilled to come upon a picture that shows the actors more close up. I did a post once on vertical hairstyles and mentioned this look on Faye, but wasn't able to actually show it. So, here it is.
I've already done a post on Diane McBain and two featuring Van Williams, so there's no place to put this shot of them (along with Surfside 6 costar Anthony Eisley at far left.) To me, Van is one of the most picture-perfect men ever created. I love his face, his eyes, his tan, hairy chest... Apart from that, the sportswear clothing that men wore then is just so classically clean and appealing. I do find it amusing that he would wear that sweater with nothing under it, but I'm also grateful for it!
I just can't get away from him just yet. He later starred in the short-lived series The Green Hornet. This was produced by the people who brought us Batman, but it was far less campy. It also offered practically no chance at all for beefcake (I think he was partially shirtless only once, after being shot!) He's seen here, in one of those marvelously tailored '60s business suits, as the Hornet's alter ego Britt Reid with his faithful secretary played by Wende Wagner.
This hysterical snap is of hypnotist Pat Collins and a male buddy. Collins was probably most successful in the mid-'60s, when her act was featured in the Dick Van Dyke/Debbie Reynolds comedy Divorce American Style and she spent a week on Hollywood Squares. She also made a handful of TV series appearances such as on Honey West and The Lucy Show, with Miss Lucille Ball. I used this picture once as a joke, sending it to a female friend and telling her it was us since I was very tan and blonde at the time and she was a tad chubby and was wearing lots of makeup then. With those eyes how could you NOT become hypnotized? And check those talons out!
She definitely should have been part of my tribute to horizontal hair, but I watched Divorce American Style (1967) too late to include her. Just look at the absolute mountain of tresses she's got going on here! Some wigmaker or stylist put in some serious hair-banging time to get this 'do done. (That's Van Johnson in the middle, with Debbie Reynolds on the right.) I especially love the back view.
Here we have a candid shot taken during the 1978 howler Empire of the Ants. Another Collins, this time Miss Joan Collins, was at her career nadir when she signed on to make this deplorably tacky, low-budget flick about ants who ingest chemicals that make them grow into massive killing machines. Filmed in the Florida Everglades, Collins endured every conceivable hardship in order to bring home a small strip of bacon, but it looks like she had fun at least one time when one of the papier-mache beasts gave her a peck on the cheek! One thing that has never abandoned Joan is her keen sense of humor. I worship Miss Collins and think she has the most stunning eyes (even with them typically buried under layer after layer of eye shadow!) Just look at her striking orbs in this magazine cover. Below, I'm putting in some fairly recent shots of her that she did for the Alexis Bittar jewelry line. What better person to promote the baubles than someone who made international news playing a character named Alexis?! Note the color of her hair (okay, wig) in the candid shot versus how dark it is in the finished ad.
There won't likely be an individual Carol Lynley tribute at The Underworld and I've already been over The Poseidon Adventure a couple of times, so we'll have to place this photo here. It's a still from Lynley's character's band during rehearsal for the big New Year's Eve concert (in which she seemed to know only two songs: “Auld Lang Syne” and “The Morning After!”) It's a chance to get a good look at brother Teddy (far right) before he is killed in the capsizement. Nevermind the fact that, as a pea-brained child, I thought that “Teddy” and magician Doug Henning were one in the same! LOL
You know, Carol's legs aren't nearly as shapely looking when bare, as seen above, as they are when she's wearing her brown leather boots later in the movie. Still, any pause one might take from seeing her legs looking a tad stubby pales in comparison to this photo of the omnipresent Lady Gaga. I've got nothing against the girl and have enjoyed quite a bit of her music, but this has got to be one of her all-time most ill-advised outfits! Everything she wears is “out there” and outre, but what on earth would you even call this? It's not merely a case of camel toe. Yikes!
This next series of photos just never made it past the “future post” stage. I thought it would be fun to show either dolls or drawings of iconic film and TV casts. There is a Poseidon Adventure fan out there who made these hilariously detailed and specific dolls of the primary cast. I posted this shot already once long ago.
But how about this clay rendering of a key scene in one of the most popular movie musicals (popular movies in general!) of all time? Most of you ought to be able to immediately discern that this is Fraulein Maria meeting Captain Von Trapp's fiancee Baroness Elsa Schraeder for the very first time. The film, of course, is The Sound of Music. Perhaps this was from an old TV special called "Gumby Goes to Austria?"
Mattel really has been making specially augmented Barbie dolls, based on iconic movie and TV stars for years now. There have been dolls meant to resemble Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Susan Lucci, Diahann Carroll in her Julia days, Star Trek crew members, Tippi Hedren in The Birds, Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie, Farrah Fawcett in her iconic red swimsuit, the folks from Twilight and recently Rock Hudson and Doris Day in Pillow Talk (not exactly lifelike replicas!) Rock and Doris will set collectors back about $70 for the set of two at a discount supermarket!
Mattel also recently put out versions of Linda “Krystle” Evans and Joan “Alexis” Collins of Dynasty. The dolls shown here, though, are not them. These are ones that were sold back when the show was still airing. If I remember right, they were markedly larger in size than a Barbie doll, perhaps more like the Gone With the Wind dolls I've seen in some antique and collectible stores. Collins isn't too bad, but no dollmaker has ever been able to accurrately recreate Evans' hair from back then, though.
Then there was this hoot! A devoted fan lovingly crafted these exceptional representations of Rose, Dorothy, Sophia and Blanche: The Golden Girls! That's a great mid-run Bea Arthur and simply IS Estelle Getty. Oh my God, the fun I could have with these, especially if there was also a suburban Miami living room playset, complete with wicker furniture...
Another post to be that ultimately wasn't was a set of magazine clippings that I've saved over the years. I was a longtime subscriber the terrific Movieline magazine back in its heyday and, though I didn't save all the magazines, I did tear out the Hollywood Kids interviews. This duo consisting of a couple of gay writers would choose a subject each month and ask them a dozen or so questions, some of them a little spicy, most of them with a gay sensibility and many of them leading to surprising answers. Take this one with Miss Eartha Kitt. She expresses her dislike for the otherwise sainted Sidney Poiter and mentions encounters with Lady Bird Johnson, Sammy Davis Jr and Orson Welles. Then there's this next one with Mamie Van Doren. She refers to Doris Day as “a bitch,” mentions James Dean's breath, the level of attractiveness of Martin Milner, the augmentations Jeff Chandler made to his trousers and the penis sizes of Rock Hudson and Burt Reynolds! Again, I must apologize if the photo viewer screws these scans up and makes them illegible. I have found that Chrome does a better job of preserving the images than Explorer, but everyone's system is different. It would be much easier if people could just look at the scans as I have made them!
This article, also from Movieline, was worth saving just for the fact that Kevin Bacon freely admits to masturbating and watching gay pornography amidst his costars Joe Pesci and Tommy Lee Jones on the set of the Oliver Stone film JFK! I will never forget reading this article and absorbing such a piece of information... from a then-major bigscreen actor. I'm including the whole article, but also a special scan of just the section in which he discusses this so that it might be easier to see and read.
I've discussed the movie Airport here before and it remains a big favorite. If you've seen the film, then you're familiar with the stand-off near the end between disturbed passenger Van Heflin and the plane's captain Dean Martin. What I find fascinating about this particular photo of that scene is that this was a lobby card, meant to be displayed in the front of the theater. It ought to be a shot from the finished film, suspending all disbelief that perhaps it's only a movie, shot on a sound stage, and yet IN THE PHOTO you can see the sides and top of the set, boom microphones and so on!! It's a great glimpse into what that set was like, but a completely bizarre choice for a lobby photo.
This advertisement for The Longest Yard, a 1974 prison football movie starring Burt Reynolds, is amusing to me because the chosen photo has nothing to do with prison or football. It shows Reynolds in a very revealing, “hip,” polyester and suede suit that makes its appearance very early in the film. Since, like so many other subjects of this posting, I've already featured Burt, I'm placing the photo here. I do "love me" some early Burt!
When I did a tribute to the 1956 musical update of The Women called The Opposite Sex, I looked into the career of one of the stars, Dolores Gray. Gray only made a smattering of films before returning to the stage where she was most successful. It wasn't until the post was all finished that I stumbled on this great photo of her from her later years. I think a lot of people out there might be curious to know what she looked like years after The Opposite Sex, Kismet, Designing Woman and so on. I thought she looked smashing. So here you go!
Were you aware that the year prior to the release of Gone With the Wind, Thomas Mitchell and Barbara O'Neil (who played Scarlett's parents, Gerald and Ellen O'Hara) played a divorced husband and wife who are drawn together to help sort out the marital problems of their son?? It's so strange to know them from GWTW and then see them in 1938's Love, Honor and Behave in a contemporary setting as former spouses. It just seemed an interesting bit of unheralded trivia.
Are you a Victor Mature fan? I wouldn't go so far as to say that I am, though I have nothing against him. Here's an oddball shot of him being coy with the camera for some reason. (There is a full frontal out there in cyberspace of him reading in a bunk bed while his junk is hanging off the side!) I know nothing about this photo except that it's him in a pair of Jockey shorts, but maybe some of you like him and would like to see it.
Along similar lines, a lot of visitors come to the Underworld looking for shots of Doug McClure, star of The Virginian and several movies. Again, I have no dislike for Doug, but he's never been much of a blip on my radar screen, either. For his fans, I put forth a shirtless picture taken during the filming of 1966's Beau Geste.
Glenn Corbett is another lesser-known actor who was a staple of 1960s television and several movies as well. I get visitors here looking for him as well. Probably his biggest claim to fame is taking over George Maharis' place on Route 66 after his departure in 1963. He also starred in a one-season wagon train drama called The Road West. He also guest-starred on Star Trek, appeared in the John Wayne films Chisum and Big Jake and had a recurring role on Dallas. My funniest memory of Corbett is of an old friend of mine watching Midway - a star-packed war film in which he had a teensy part. The friend's mother was reading the paper, not watching, and suddenly exclaimed, "That sounds like Glenn Corbett!" The friend was flabbergasted that anyone could identify, out of all the stars on hand, flight goggle-wearing Corbett by his voice! His voice was distinctive, tinged by that cigarette sound that marked a lot of '40s, '50s and '60s stars as they aged.
Most of you are familiar with that famous shot of John Payne in the boxing ring (from 1939's Kid Nightingale) with his crotch jutting outward as he grips the ropes on either side. It's probably the most well-known portrait from his life and career. Here's a chance to see him shirtless and in color, from the 1953 western The Vanquished. He looks to still be in fightin' shape. Coleen Gray is on the left while Jan Sterling (usually blonde, but a redhead here) is on the right. Payne is also fondly remembered for his leading role opposite Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood in the original Miracle on 34th Street.
Did you know that My Three Sons and 1940s film actor Fred MacMurray was once a hairy, beefy daddy type? I've seen him in a couple of his early publicity photos and knew that he was more handsome then than he seemed later, but I don't know when I ever saw him shirtless before this scene with Barbara Stanwyck in the 1956 Douglas Sirk directed melodrama There's Always Tomorrow. He's lookin' pretty good here! MacMurray and Stanwyck are best remembered together for the classic murder story Double Indemnity (1944), but they also worked together in 1940's Remember the Night and 1953's The Moonlighter, for a grand total of four pairings.
No matter how many times I attempted it, I could never get into the detective show Simon & Simon. It ran for practically the whole breadth of the '80s, nine seasons from 1981 to 1989, but I simply could never become involved in it! I get visitors here looking for Gerald McRaney all the time, but I don't think I've ever written about him! Here he is (with costar Jameson Parker on the left) from a time when the Simon brothers did a crossover on Magnum, P.I. (note John Hillerman and Mr. Tom Selleck in the background.)
Now how or why would I ever do a tribute to Hot Dog... The Movie? I caught it a while back on satellite TV because I had read one time that the young leading actor, Patrick Hauser, had some nudity in it. Sure enough, he did show off his rear end in a time or two. He's very cute, too, in kind of a Bruce Penhall sort of way (if you remember him from dirt-biking fame and his stint on CHiPs.) Imagine my face when I went to look up more info on Hauser and that timeless classic Hot Dog... The Movie and came upon a publicity photo that not only featured a topless Shannon Tweed, but seemed to also reveal the tip of Hauser's erect penis jutting out from the sudsy water of their tub of love?! This particular angle is different than the one in the movie. How this slid by the studio I'll never know. It's possible that it's something else, but I really think that it is what it is. This is not a retouched photo either. It's an original press picture!
Speaking of suds, here's another press photo, one that I found too late to include in my sizeable post about men in the bathtub. This is Don Stroud and Shelley Winters in Bloody Mama. At the start of the movie, she's giving all four of her sons (one of whom was Robert De Niro!) a bath, one at a time in an old wooden tub. As the family gets richer from heists and hold-ups, they can finally bathe in a porcelain tub, but the incestuous Winters still likes to take charge of the situation!
This one is half a year late for my April Showers post about men in the shower. It's from Cool Hand Luke and depicts a fight breaking out as all the prisoners are in the midst of soaping up. I have no desire in the slightest to go to prison, but if I had to go, I guess I would prefer something like this.
When this press picture of Tab Hunter and a lady friend came out, surely no one thought anything much of the two of them sharing a lick of a push-up popsicle. She seems to be happily, but innocently, enjoying her taste of it. He, on the other hand (and perhaps I'm merely projecting because of him now being officially “out”), looks more devilish and lascivious in his slurping! Someone who's good at photo-shopping could probably find a way to turn this shot of him into a real doozy...
How about this rare shot of two cinema legends Miss Bette Davis and Miss Joan Crawford lying down on the job. Actually, they are rehearsing the climactic beach scene for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, the one in which Davis claimed that Crawford's falsies were so tall and hard that it almost knocked the wind out of her when she pounced on her. Joan does look a tad bit “firm” and “solid” for her age here, but if I recall correctly, in the actual film things weren't quite this pronounced. It's been a while since I've seen it.
I did an early, quite abbreviated by today's standards, tribute to Eleanor Parker and her 1960 film Home from the Hill (costarring Robert Mitchum, George Hamilton and, not pictured, George Peppard) is unlikely to get The Underworld treatment, so I'm casting off this still photo. Something about the unusual, muted color scheme really appeals to me. This is probably because the director, Vincente Minnelli, was an absolute master when it came to the use of color in his films.
Another performer who has already received a tribute here is the eye-poppingly handsome Ted McGinley. I had such trouble finding viable pictures of him from his stint on The Love Boat and then, as luck would have it, found this shot much later. As a teen, I wanted to look exactly like him: the blonde, frosted hair, the tan, the teeth, the chiseled features. At least I did have a red jacket anyway...
Disaster movie nut that I am, both Earthquake and Miss Ava Gardner have had their turns in the spotlight, too. This photo of Ava from Earthquake came along afterwards. It's from the sequence where she is trapped in the bowels of the Wilson Plaza underground parking lot. I love her in this scene because as an aftershock whips through the place, she goes into some sort of dizzy, arms-out trance for a second. Ha ha! One of my favorite things ever was going to Universal Studios Florida and taking part in the Earthquake attraction. I was a victim on the escalator and was so into my “part” that I broke my sunglasses!
Continuing with photos that came along too late to be a part of my tributes to people, consider this shot of humpy Robert Conrad, presumably from his TV show Hawaiian Eye. He's wearing a bathing suit, but at first glance it looks like he's lying on the beach naked except for a towel across his midsection. This was surely on of TV's all-time most great looking men, a fact brought even further home when he later did episodes of The Wild Wild West in color.
Gary Conway, best known for Land of the Giants, was another early profile. He had that wonderful, clean '60s look, too, prior to Giants when he costarred with Gene Barry in Burke's Law. That series was in black and white, so it's always a treat to see color photos from it. As is fairly obvious from this particular picture, Barry and Conway didn't get along at all. Conway eventually left the show and it was retooled and retitled Amos Burke, Secret Agent before being cancelled.
Steve Reeves' tribute came about when I was starting to go into more in-depth research for my subjects. What a beautiful man he was... I later came upon this Italian movie still that has an interesting dynamic with a scantily-clad Steve lying on a bed while a woman and two men look on with a degree of menace. Um, yeah, I'd like to menace him, too!
Hugh O'Brien is another big fave of mine. This is a shot of him from the 1963 film Come Fly With Me, all about three stewardesses and their love lives. They are, in order, Pamela Tiffin, Lois Nettleton and Dolores Hart. This whole era of glamorous men and women in the air is making something of a comeback with the recent show set in that period, Pan Am. (Naturally, I don't watch it myself!)
Lex Barker was yet another early subject of The Underworld. I've since featured him in a variety of Tarzan comic book covers. So many things strike me about this shot of him with then-wife Lana Turner. Number one, they are engaged in completely different conversations unrelated to one another. Number two, even though he was a lady-killer (and alleged molester of Turner's daughter), could he look any more gay than he does here?! Then there's the pinky ring and get a load of his cuff links! They're huge! Still, the biggest thing I find interesting about this photo is the utterly serene expression on the woman listening to Lex, whoever she may be. Look how classic her dress and jewelry are and how tasteful she seems.
Every coin has a flip side, so let's examine the polar opposite of tasteful. How about Liberace and Peter Allen sitting at a table together, with Lee sporting a chinchilla (?) muffler around what looks to be Kim Novak's old coat from Vertigo while Peter pairs a red sport coat with a bolero tie? God only knows what thay poor, stuffed bunny rabbit was all about. It's carrying a piano and has been bejewelled and pierced with what looks to be a set of earrings and a bracelet! Do not enlarge this photo at work unless you want the flames to set off the sprinkler system!
I wish someone could explain why Peggy Lee adopted this look late in her concert career. In her day, she was one of the most elegant and glamorous singers, noted for her gowns and thick, platinum blonde hair (see below.) I mean, I realize she became ill with diabetes and so on, but why this beaded surgical cap instead of a pretty scarf or a wig? I recall seeing her like this when I was a kid and the very name Peggy Lee terrified me for years afterward. It wasn't until I heard a recording of “Is That All There Is?” by her years later that I began to appreciate her talent instead of how creepy that first impression was.
I have to guess that bearded George Clooney was deliberately camping it up for the paparazzi (despite all sorts of rumors about him) when this shot was taken. Cindy Crawford seems in on the joke, but her husband Rande Gerber looks a bit worried. Regardless of his many girlfriends (some of whom have seemed so trashy), George has been the subject of countless amounts of speculation about his sexual orientation. Whatever the truth, he does occasionally play a nudge-nudge, wink-wink game with interviewers. I adore him no matter what. He's my favorite contemporary actor and I consider him a rare “true” movie star of the old school, even though I think I've scarcely mentioned the man in over two years of helming this blog!
My favorite contemporary female star was, for years, Catherine Zeta Jones. I still like her all right, but what in world has she been doing? I never see her in anything. I guess being a mother along with all the illness and legal drama and death in her husband and his family's realm, there isn't as much time to gussy up and walk the red carpet as she used to. Like Mr. Clooney, I find her to be one of the great glamorous throwbacks to an earlier era. I was first in line when they made Intolerable Cruelty together, but was less enthusiastic about Ocean's Twelve. (Have they hit “Ocean's Twenty” yet...?)
Another star of today who I admire and find very attractive is Javier Bardem. Yes, I was a little disappointed when he wound up with Penelope Cruz, but I'll wait and see how it turns out before getting too balled up about it. (I know they are just panting for my approval, too!) I did a post about awkward or unexpected kisses back in June and it was after that that I found this shot of Bardem planting a nice one on Josh Brolin. It's neither awkward, nor seemingly unexpected so maybe it wouldn't have fit with the post, but I love it, so it's seeing the light of day now.
Do you know this man? Some of you fans of classic films and stars probably do without any effort at all. At first glance, I thought this was a very early picture of Mel Gibson. It's actually a photo of two-time Oscar winner Gary Cooper during the early days of his acting career. If you've only seen him in his later movies like High Noon, Vera Cruz, Friendly Persuasion or Love in the Afternoon, it's easy to forget that he was once quite a looker.
As we get close to winding up this monument to the minutiae and the crumbs that were never swept all the way into the dust pan, I give you this interesting photo montage. These are the young male stars of Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean and Sal Mineo. You won't see this scene in the motion picture because it isn't from that, exactly. This is from screen test footage of them, in which Dean demonstrated his character's affection for the (implied gay) one played by Mineo. At one point, he even puckers up for a kiss! The movie was terrific, but nothing quite this graphic was permitted to be present in the final product.
This is pretty bizarre. You know, in perusing the archives for this post, I actually came across a hilarious memento from Jeopardy! I used to be a major league fan of the show. I never missed it from the mid-'80s until the late-'90s. It used to be an incredibly difficult and erudite program. No harm to women (I think I demonstrate here my admiration for them on an almost daily basis!), but there was once a time when it was a true rarity to see one on Jeopardy. I mean, like one a week at the most! At some point, they shifted their area of focus to be more accessible to female interests and later dumbed the show down some (though it's still tough compared to most game shows) and I drifted away.
However, in the mid-'90s during those days of nerdy professors and stuffy old lawyers, there was a contestant named Peter who was, to me, the most beautiful person ever to appear on the show. He was slick and handsome and echoed the clean, sharp looks I mentioned above when referring to Van Williams and Gary Conway. I cheered him on like no other before or since. He was very bright, but only won four games and I figured he was through. Then, when the Tournament of Champions rolled around, I almost lost it. True, he hadn't won the necessary five games in a row to qualify, but his total winnings were significant enough to secure him a spot anyway! He won his first round (thanks to my screaming the answer at the TV over and over – LOL!), but then lost in the second. I kept the video of him for years afterward; that's how much I liked him.
Then one day I was watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and, much to my utter astonishment, there he was again!!!! This time, his hair was a little longer and, most importantly, his attitude was far less gracious. He came off as an arrogant, know-it-all jerk and lost pretty swiftly. So my affection for Peter was diminished. (Always quit while you're ahead, I say.) Still, I held on to this picture of him all these years and share it with you now. Goodbye, Peter, my one time object of affection and now (appropriately for this post!) a leftover game show contestant.