Tuesday, December 3, 2019

TinselTales: Book Bytes

You know I'm forever hunting down old books at this flea market or that antique show. Having already read and loved virtually every "What Ever Became of...?" book by Richard Lamparski, in which he endeavored to update us on celebs who had fallen out of the limelight, I was startled to see this 1975 paperback by another author entirely. "Is that who I think it is?" is in a very similar vein to the aforementioned books, but is by Patrick Agan, who penned the oversized paperback "The Decline and Fall of the Love Goddesses," which I have owned for many years and enjoyed. He also wrote bios of Robert DeNiro, Clint Eastwood and Dustin Hoffman.

It was surprising to see a 1976 book that was already wondering what happened to Maureen O'Hara (on the front cover) and Rosemary Clooney (on this, the back cover)! Fame is fleeting and fickle for most, I guess... Jimmy Durante, who also was featured on the cover, was still in the public eye to a point, having done a Volkswagon commercial in 1973, and would live until 1980 when pneumonia claimed him shortly before he turned eighty-seven. In this post, I've picked out a few little tidbits or personalities that stood out for one reason or another. Call them Thanksgiving leftovers if you like!

First we come to Jess Barker, a fledgling actor (under the name Philip Barker) whose career was interrupted by WWII. Meeting Susan Hayward at the Hollywood Canteen in 1943, they were wed in July of 1944. The couple already hit a snag that September with a brawl on Steve Cochran's yacht, but got it together soon enough since Hayward was discovered to be pregnant (with what would be twin sons.) As her career kept building while his kept sliding, their marriage began to crumble. He reportedly chased a nude Hayward around their pool as she shouted "Don't kill me!" when he suspected that Howard Hughes had been visiting her secretly. Their divorce and, especially, custody battle were among Hollywood's most contentious. She had done something unheard of in 1944 which was have Barker sign a prenuptial agreement regarding their incomes (allegedly at the suggestion of her mother.) Thus, after he stupidly refused a $100,000 settlement, he walked away from the marriage with only a station wagon. She, however, was emotionally crushed and attempted suicide in 1955. The next year, Barker lost a paternity suit that claimed he was the father of a baby girl. Hayward proceeded to costar in Hughes' crazed epic The Conqueror (1956), through which she was believed to have developed the brain cancer that would later kill her in 1975. A prior nominee four times, Hayward won an Oscar during her fifth bid for I Want to Live! (1958.) Barker never recovered career momentum and never got over his divorce from Hayward. Diving headlong into alcohol dependence, he died of cirrhosis in 2000 at age eighty-eight, having never re-wed and with framed photos of Hayward all over his small apartment.  Their sons found success as a veterinarian (Gregory) and a public relations exec (Timothy.)

The next name I'm dredging up is less dramatic. Highly-skilled saxophonist and orchestra leader Charlie Barnet came from a very wealthy New York family and was educated in exclusive private schools with the intention that he become a corporation lawyer. However, he had other ideas and by age sixteen was the head of his own jazz band, which toured the country. Introducing the new big band "swing" sound to many music halls and clubs, he ran into opposition at times from those who disliked or were resistant to the genre. One area in which he found little resistance, though, was women. His quote was, "I like the girls to match the upholstery of the car." In other words, they were changed out as frequently (or more) than his vehicles! By age twenty-six, he'd recorded one of 1939's biggest hits, "Cherokee," with "Skyliner" and others coming behind it. By 1949, he was semi-retired, having lost interest in music for the most part (and he was still wealthy from his family so that he could do as he pleased.) Ladies, however, remained a fixture. He was married at least eleven times (!), with additional nuptials taking place in Mexico which were either illegal or annulled! Mickey Rooney had some competition. One woman, his final wife, was able to put the brakes on his revolving door of spouses and they were together thirty-three years. Barnet passed away of Alzheimer's disease in 1991 at age seventy-seven, but his music lives on, with songs of his being used on movie soundtracks and TV shows as recently as 2017.

Rod Cameron was a strapping 6'5" Canadian who wanted to become a Mountie, but wound up suffering from a back injury that prevented it. After doing a string of odd jobs in New York City, he made his way to sunny California where a movie extra pal helped get him an interview to be Fred MacMurray's stand-in! But the handsome young man began to win roles in movies in his own right. A mixture of war movies and (chiefly) westerns followed. Although he acted in over 200 (then-)contemporary detective series episodes across three shows of his, he was forever typecast as and thought of as a cowboy. Having wed a young Portuguese girl in 1950, it raised some eyebrows when her mother accompanied the couple on their honeymoon. This was followed by many public squabbles and a front-page scandal when his mother-in-law had him admitted to the hospital for alcoholism the same year his son was born. But the biggest bit of gossip was yet to come. He divorced his wife in 1954 and in 1960 married his ex-mother-in-law! So now his son's grandmother was also his step-mother! But the union was a lasting one. Cameron developed cancer and died in 1983 at age seventy-three. At that time the two were still married after twenty-three years. Thanksgiving and Christmas had to have been quite interesting holidays amongst the family members on his wife's side...

Gloria Grahame's escapades are slightly better known thanks to her more prominent career as a femme fatale and Oscar-winner (for The Bad and the Beautiful, 1952.) Her nine-minute turn in Beautiful held the record for briefest Oscar-winning performance until Beatrice Straight won for Network (clocking in at about 5 minutes! Judi Dench later won for Shakespeare in Love, 1998, for 6 minutes of screen time...) Already married once, Grahame wed director Nicholas Ray in 1948 the day after her divorce was final. She was stepmother to his nine year-old son Tony during the union while also bearing a son of her own. The couple divorced in 1952 and she married writer-producer Cy Howard, which lasted from 1954 to 1957 and produced a daughter. Then she stunned the world in 1960 by marrying Tony Ray, her former stepson, who was by now twenty-three! They proceeded to have two children together, making for yet another crazed family tree with Tony Ray as step-father to his own half-brother while raising his own two sons by Grahame. When the couple divorced in 1974, that was the end of Grahame's marriages. (Tony Ray also refrained from any further nuptials.) Gossip surfaced that Grahame had entered into a sexual relationship with Tony back when he was her thirteen year-old stepson and that her marriage ended when her husband discovered his wife and son together, but this was later called into question by Grahame's biographer. (Though her ex-husband Howard did sue for custody of his daughter after she married the younger Ray and the stress of the whole situation led to a nervous breakdown and dire career woes for her.) Grahame died at fifty-seven of cancer in 1981, having led a roller-coaster life of great ups and serious downs.

Next comes Dolores Gray, whose career was marked by interesting little details. For instance, when Ethel Merman declined to reprise her title role in "Annie Get Your Gun" in 1947, Gray auditioned but was warned that she was too glamorous. So she dressed down for the callback, won the part and utterly wowed the British theatregoers. Later, back on Broadway, she costarred in a show ("Carnival in Flanders") that closed after only six performances, yet won her a Tony! Her movie career was very short-lived, though she is often the most vivid and memorable part of the films she was in (including Kismet, 1955, The Opposite Sex, 1956 and Designing Woman, 1957.) When movie opportunities waned, she went back to Broadway for "Destry Rides Again" opposite Andy Griffith. During one matinee, a stage curtain caught fire and she managed to keep the 1,500 member audience from panicking while it was quickly, if loudly, extinguished by some firemen. She sang a love song to Griffith, "Anyone Would Love You" louder and louder to cover the fracas and wound up with a hearty applause (with the show resuming after an extended forty-minute intermission and some clean-up!) Even that was less eventful than her set-to with the show's director Michael Kidd. She only took the role after being assured by producer David Merrick that she'd have at least some small part in the big "whip dance" production number, but Kidd refused to allow her even a moment in it and an argument led to him calling her a slut! She responded by slapping his face and he hit her back! Later, her mother attended the show and she let him have it across the face as well, even threatening to kill him. Merrick, savoring all the publicity, even if bad, never intervened. She had some legal battles in the 1960s, being called to testify in a trial that her ex-fiance was involved in over land fraud and then a suit (which she lost) to get her $55,000 engagement ring back from him. Gray wanted to play "Mame," but lost the role to Angela Lansbury, though later replaced Lansbury in the London run of "Gypsy," once again charming the London theatre crowd. Appropriately, she eventually played Carlotta in "Follies" singing "I'm Still Here," and still in good voice. Though she came to regret focusing more on stage than screen (because, as a result, most of her work was not recorded on film or video for posterity), her trio of films and her recordings testify to her unique talent. Gray died of a heart attack in 2002 at age seventy-eight.

I had never even heard of Silvana Pampanini when I read this book, but she was apparently Queen of the Italian cinema for a time and a hot pin-up for American gents as well. An aspiring opera singer and a Miss Italy contestant of 1946, she got off to a splashy start when there was an outcry over her loss. She soon caused a sensation with her various curvaceous photos and movie roles in her home country. No less than Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren were hired as extras in Pampanini's films during their early years. Soon, Pampanini was circling the globe as a sexy ambassadress for the Italian movie industry, though she made waves in Hollywood of 1952 when she described American men as "too old and decrepit" as lovers! Gable, Tracy, Coleman, Cooper and Bogart were highly unlikely to have her appear with them in a film after that one...! She fared better with performers such as Vittorio Gassman, Marcello Mastroianni, Jean Gabin and Vittorio De Sica, among others. She led such a sensational existence that she once received an extortion threat for 8 million lira (about $13,000) or her house would be blown up, prompting her to depart to Spain with bodyguards. She also had her bosom insured by Lloyd's of London for $48,000. She seemed to be mired down in court cases including one against a Roman duchess whose dog bit her leg, a breach of contract suit from a Mexican producer and a suit for the return of engagement gifts that a Greek ex-fiance filed. Then there was an incident in 1958 at the Venice Lido Film Festival in which Ms. Pampanini began hitting a female journalist who'd written unkind things about her previously. She had a string of romances with folks like Tyrone Power, Orson Welles (which ended with several slaps across his face!), Italy's popular actor Toto and singer George DeWitt, who was the first host of TV's Name that Tune, but she never did marry... She lived to be ninety and only passed away because of complications from abdominal surgery in 2016. She was laid to rest in a white coffin with a gravestone reading "Silvana Forever," her houseful of luxurious personal items from jewelry to artwork to ornate gowns being sold at auction. (Her briefly-clad pal in the photo is opera star Mario Petri.)

Finally, we have Monique Van Vooren, who was a Belgian born starlet who rode the wave of hunger for buxom blondes during the 1950s that was led by Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Sheree North and others. Van Vooren had the distinction of a foreign accent to go with her looks. An exchange student in the mid-1940s, she swiftly began to attain publicity and the occasional movie role (the first American one being Tarzan and the She-Devil, 1953, with her in the title role -- not Tarzan!) 1959 was a good year for her, not only thanks to a supporting part in Happy Anniversary with David Niven and Mitzi Gaynor, but also for her participation on I've Got a Secret and To Tell the Truth. She fell into that Gabor-ish category of one who is famous for being famous, though she did study acting with Stella Adler and toured with various theatre ventures including "Sweet Bird of Youth" and summer stock including "A Shot in the Dark" (with George Reinholt!) Her most notorious credit is surely Andy Warhol's Flesh for Frankenstein in which she's shown cavorting with Joe Dallesandro. However, the weirdest credit of hers is her participation in the 1975 Broadway musical "Man on the Moon." Van Vooren had worked in a Broadway revue back in the early-1950s, but this was her first full-on musical. But it was crazed from the get-go, with songs by John Phillips (of the Mamas and the Papas) and meant to star him as well until he was yanked from it (replaced by fellow "Papa" Dennis Doherty!) Costarring Phillips' non-singing girlfriend Geneveieve Waite, who was put through lessons in order to emerge alive, there was palpable tension between the ladies over the number of songs given the neophyte. Van Vooren ultimately exploded with "...even Ethel Merman never took them all!" (which might not have been wholly accurate if you asked Betty Hutton! And what solo songs did any other female have in "Annie Get Your Gun?!") Anyway, the much-troubled production hobbled onto Broadway and then closed within two days after devastating reviews. Most fascinating tidbit of all? Phillips slipped an early copy of the script to George Lucas regarding a possible film version after Lucas had directed his daughter MacKenzie Phillips in American Graffiti (1973) and then later claimed Lucas used it as inspiration for a little movie of his called Star Wars (1977!) Can we consider the diminutive actor in the photo here a prototype for R2-D2?? Ms. Van Vooren is still alive today at ninety-two, though the victim of some decidedly horrendous cosmetic surgery (the pics of which you won't find here...!)


Jess Barker
Charlie Barnet
Rod Cameron (LOVE the hair...!)
Gloria Grahame
Dolores Gray (There was no way I could resist this shot with some truly insane wristwear!)
Silvana Pampanini (Displaying one or more of her attributes.)
Monique Van Vooren

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Sunken Treasures from Poseidon's Foot Locker

Today, we've taken quite a dive... We've sunken really low. Ha ha! I stow away so many photos because they either appeal to me for some reason or I think they will be used in a particular post (that ultimately doesn't come to fruition) and before you know it, I've become a photo hoarder. Some pics also have no real spot here because I obtained them after I already featured the subject in a tribute.  But, anyway, today I'm cracking open my treasure chest (which may also include some debris or even junk, depending on your point of view!) and pulling out a heinously random series of pictures to share with you. (Posts like this have been done before under the title of "Clearance.") Maybe think of it as going through an old drawer to see what you tucked away there and forgot about. I don't think you'll need rubber gloves or a germ mask, but you never can tell...
I can never see enough pictures of Errol Flynn in his prime and always enjoy discovering his movies. A deft athlete in action roles, he was also criminally underrated as an actor.
I generally go for hairy-chested gents, but I love the composition and shading of this portrait.
I had considered a photo essay solely featuring men with poles and, even though there are more of them than you think out there, this shot of luscious Buster Crabbe is as far as I ever got...
I liked the details and colors (and it's pretty rare to find color pictures of him) in this portrait of Roy Rogers. Rogers was born and partly raised here Cincinnati so there's strand of connection to him from that. Look at his gloves with the turned down cuff and that silver saddle horn!
Sometimes people look at me as if I've lost my mind when I tell them that when I read the book Gone with the Wind I put Leslie Howard out of my mind and pictured this gent instead... It's the only way I could wrap my mind around Scarlett's obsession with him. Know him?
It's (primarily) western star Randolph Scott, who I think would have been an ideal Ashley Wilkes. Can't you see it??
Speaking of ideal... I am always up for more Clint Walker of Cheyenne.
Is this masseuse the luckiest woman who ever breathed air on planet Earth?!
Another favorite who rarely gets his due is Jeffrey Hunter.
We love Hunter in everything... westerns, war movies, dramas.
Everything's golden here, though it ended tragically.
There's a lot of pancake makeup going on here, but I liked this shot of Elvis Presley in him flight gear.
Van Williams is another favorite of ours. Not a necessarily thrilling actor, but he had sturdy good looks and beautiful eyes.
The always scrumpdillyicious Guy Madison.
This is the kind of lighting I want and never get when my photo is taken. LOL Ricky Nelson's eyes are incredible here. I have blue eyes, too, but too often they look like two raisins lying in a bowl of butterscotch pudding.
Robert Redford in his The Great Gatsby (1974) mode. Every time I read a book and something about Redford is in it, I find him so annoying! Ha ha! Even though I like many of his 1970s films and he certainly did a lot for independent movie making, his off-screen personality just somehow never resonates with me.
Cynics may see this portrait from The Sound of Music (1965) as Christopher Plummer sighing because Julie Andrews won't stop singing, even during a photo shoot...! LOL But I adore both of these people beyond words and I've enjoyed their careers ever since seeing them in the film (the first movie I can ever recall seeing in a theater.)
I love the joyfulness present in this photo of Miss Andrews on the day of her character's regal wedding. Director Robert Wise must have had some good news for her?
This is a rather unusual shot of Music's Baroness Schraeder, Eleanor Parker, in wig and makeup, but out of costume, on location in Austria. The length of her fingers here does confound me, though! I hope it's a lens distortion of some kind (though she would be great to have around with things roll under the fridge and so forth...!)
As far as I'm concerned, Parker is the last word in elegance throughout the entire movie. I love all the clothes she wears, including this party confection. (Remember the stink Vanessa Williams got when she wore a big poofy thing on her shoulder like this during the Miss America pageant? Didn't bother me none... LOL)
I treasure every moment she has on screen.
Those who only know here from her heavy-set late-career roles in either gripping dramas or wacky comedies might be surprised to see how utterly lovely Shirley Knight was in her early years. We thrill to see her name in the credits because she always gives 100% to whatever it is she's doing.
It's unusual to see Shirley MacLaine with long hair, she's favored the shorter 'dos for so many years.
Way back in 2014, I did a photo essay of eye-popping color portraits of men and then one of women, but this rare color picture of Vivien Leigh came along too late to be included. If you're a newer reader of P.U., you really ought to take a look at these posts to see how gorgeously stars were presented back in the day...
Another one that missed the cut was this colored pic of Suzanne Pleshette, who made quite a few black & white Warner Brothers potboilers in the 1960s.
Even with the scarily-heavy, Crawford-like makeup (or maybe because of it!), I love this portrait of Bette Davis.
The quality of this print could be better, but I like the beguiling expression of Miss Kim Novak of Vertigo (1958) in it nonetheless.
In this rare one, the mystery is sort of lost. Maybe it was too brightly lit and stiffly staged?
On the subject of Hitchcock movies, there were many hooty publicity pictures for his Psycho (1960.) I love this one with the specter of the rocking chair looming over the stars. On-screen sisters Vera Miles and Janet Leigh are never seen together in the film. Miles was to star in Vertigo until pregnancy got in the way. She wore a wig in Psycho because she'd shaved her head not long before to make 5 Branded Women (1960.)
So many things stood out to me in this portrait of then-married Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor. His uniform, her lipstick, the fact that her head is so disproportionately large that it almost looks cut and pasted on!
I love the cool colors in this pic of Sandra Dee and how her hair is a little longer than she often wore it in her teen hey-day.
I love this pic of one of our earliest tribute subjects, Miss Diane McBain.
How fun are Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman in this pair of shots of them frugging around? There's a loose freedom here that Newman rarely, if ever, showed to a motion picture camera, even in his comedies. The pic on the left was later photo-shopped with heads of the Frankenstein monster and his bride for a popular Internet image.
Did you think I was kidding?
Speaking of Paul Newman, even though my life has been spent worshiping The Poseidon Adventure (1972), in recent years The Towering Inferno (1974) has somehow risen to a near-equal level of fascination and obsession for me. I think the more time that passes, the more I miss the type of all-star grandeur that a movie like this represents.
And there is simply never, ever, enough of Faye Dunaway's languid, goddess-like presence as she wafts through the film.
When you consider some of the scenery-devouring performances that our Faye has given since Network (1976), her exceedingly understated and elegant work in Inferno becomes even that much more startling.
And where in the hell else are you going to catch the trio of golden age dancemaster Fred Astaire, La Dunaway and Mike Lookinland (Bobby Brady of The Brady Bunch!) sharing screen time together?!?
Even though it only lasts for fleeting moments, I live for this sequence when the windows of The Promenade Room are knocked out to provide access for a breeches buoy.
People, she's giving you Lillian Gish in Way Down East (1920) realness here!
How much do I worship this four-page spread from a Rona Barrett magazine in which the west coast premiere of the movie is covered?! It even has crossover appeal with stars from Poseidon in attendance! (The only thing I dislike is the overuse of the term "preem!")
Natalie Wood turned down the role that Dunaway essayed. By the time she got in on the disaster cycle herself, it was in the execrable Meteor (1978.) Carol Lynley may have attended the premiere with her manager, but the man she's pictured with is not he. That is Irwin Allen's beloved assistant and go-to costume designer Paul Zastupnevich! What an unfortunate picture of Jennifer Jones....
This publicity photo plays to my affection for stars being arranged and labeled properly (like items in a spice rack! LOL) The Group (1966) trumpeted the arrival of several newish female stars, some of who ultimately fared better than others. Happily, a few of them are still at it today.
My guess is... he'd like someone else to be in a woman! LOL
Recognize any of these couples? They may seem familiar because of the styling or perhaps due to their faces. These are the supporting stars of the now-forgotten NBC miniseries Backstairs at the White House. Nominated for 10 Emmys (winning for Make-Up), it hasn't been broadcast in eons... Why are so many classic TV programs relegated to oblivion while the very same things are shown over and over and OVER?
This is who's who in the prior picture. Flanders, Vaughn, Heckart and Holm were all nominated for their acting. Also nominated were the leads Louis Gossett Jr and Olivia Cole. Winners? Peter Strauss for The Jericho Mile, Bette Davis in Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter, Marlon Brando in Roots: The Next Generation and Esther Rolle in Summer of My German Soldier.
I love this article about the passing of Miss Joan Crawford because it was published in that nanosecond of time between her death and the publication of Mommie Dearest and as a result doesn't carry any that stigma in it. I only wish I had page 13...
In a recent post on Hollywood Studio Magazine, I relayed some info about the editor Joan Evans and just happened to come across this picture of Joan Evans along with her namesake and godmother Joan Crawford and Crawford's long-time friend (and sometimes "frenemy!") Barbara Stanwyck at an industry function.
This was fun. A presentation of "Deb Stars" all done up in new hairstyles. Look carefully and you will find no less than Mary Ann Mobley, Barbara Parkins and Raquel Welch. When you consider that Welch began in situations like this, her ascendancy to the place of world-wide mega-star is even more considerable.
Sadly, I only have one of the additional pages containing the recipes for this sort of glamour, so if you wish to look like any of the other five gals, you're on your own...!
I gave Miss Welch a big, splashy photo essay once here, but this pic came too late to be included in it.
Back in 2013, I did a post about unexpected or unusual celebrity pairings and I intended to do it again sometime, but I never built up enough pictures to warrant it. There is, though, this meeting of Miss Mae West and Julie Andrews...
...and the inexplicable press conference involving Muhammad Ali and Miss Gloria Swanson!
Every so often I think I'll do something regarding the distinctive Miss Edith Head, multiple Oscar-winner, but I never do! Here she is seen with one of her statuettes (for The Facts of Life, 1960) at the 1961 ceremony. Robert Stack is on-hand to present it to her and that's Barbara Rush in back giving one to another fellow.
I did a post once about actresses and their interesting hats. I intended to revisit the subject once more but only collected two examples; this fascinating one on Jane Wyman...
...and this rather tacky floral one on our beloved Lee Meriwether.
I like the colors of this full-length portrait of screen duo John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara who shared palpable chemistry together in several movies.
Another screen team who had a warm relationship off-camera consisted of Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor, who had a load of fun together during the lengthy filming of Giant (1956.)
A little time-worn by The Mirror Crack'd (1980), it was still fun to see them reunited again (even more fun to see Taylor and costar Kim Novak lobbing verbal missles at one another in the story!)
Lacking in chemistry, but not shimmering cinematic glamour, are Sophia Loren and Stephen Boyd of The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), a long movie that gets a bad rap, but which is really eye-popping and has some great moments. Note that Mr. Boyd is free of the brown contacts he had to wear as Messala in Ben-Hur (1959.)
I love the clarity of this pic from The Wizard of Oz (1939) and the detail of the costumes and props it affords. Seeing this on the big-screen not too long ago was a delightful revelation. (I also recently went to a new ballet based on the famous tale and while expecting the worst was positively FLOORED by how good it was!)
Even after all these decades, we're still not over the buck-skinned beauty of Heath on The Big Valley (as played by Lee Majors.) One he was able to shake that badly-dyed hair (and initial stiffness before the camera) of season one and allow his own coloring to shine through, he was dreamy on the show.
Majors was one of the most steadily-employed TV actors of the 1960s, '70s and '80s.
His wife appeared in some episodes of David Janssen's Harry-O before rocketing to superstardom during her single season of Charlie's Angels in 1976. This photo is from the pilot and features what was intended to be a fifth cast member, David Ogden Stiers! You can read more about that, along with other pilot episode oddities, in this, one of my own favorite posts here at P.U. (and, yes, I know how smelly this site's abbreviation is... Ha ha!)
There's a lot going on in this vividly colorful portrait of Miss Elizabeth Taylor and I cannot begin to tell you how I have struggled to figure out the name of that book she's been reading. But look... she's fingering a pillow, has a flower on her lap, has two books lying about and is clasping a cold beverage!! You can't say she was idle. LOLOL
I just love this pic of La Liz. The diffused sunlight is very flattering, as are the colors of her hat and "belt."
She made some very bold fashion choices in the 1970s and not all of them were great, but I do like this crazed get-up that even Maude Findlay might hesitate to don. Fun hair and jewelry, too.
Unless you're a young'n, I presume you can identify this luscious young thing in a bikini (note the covered navel, however!) I mean, she could knock 'em dead even now as this cut of two-piece has made a recent comeback among young ladies.
Yes, that was our beloved Joan Collins in her teen years. Collins never stops for a minute and it was recently revealed to me that she is coming back to Hawaii 5-0 for a couple more episodes (!) which we will certainly be on the lookout for. Her initial appearance was sensational as far as we're concerned (and clearly the producers were equally impressed.)
Well, winter is now upon us, so let's join our other favorite Joan for a brisk walk outside!
Come on, keep up! There's a lot to see!
By this time, our Joan was locked into an eyebrow and eyelash scheme that was pretty much unvaried, but there was no one else like her...
You don't see a whole lot of color pictures of her from the 1960s so you have to appreciate the garish beauty of them when you can find one.
Joan's What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) costar and sometimes nemesis Bette Davis once cracked that Joan slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie, but it looks like even Lassie (who was indeed most often played by a male) made a pass at JC when the opportunity presented itself! Ha ha!
It's almost impossible to pick one, but this is my favorite portrait of Crawford. I cannot ever get enough of that face...
...yet unbelievably, I only discovered this past weekend that in the Crawford portrait she is copying her idol Greta Garbo! I like Garbo fine, but I am not obsessed with her like I am some other stars, so I hadn't seen as many pictures of her as I have of Crawford. Call it heresy, but even with Garbo's exquisite features, I still prefer Crawford's face. It may be due to the emotion she projects versus the icy remoteness that Garbo often put forth. Joan was so hungry for approval while Greta barely seemed to care what anyone thought. I wish someone would have written one brief scene for them together in Grand Hotel (1932) fer cryin' out loud.
Another face I always loved and who has his own tribute here is Ted McGinley. I know you've had your fingers crossed that I'd eventually get around to some beefcake, so I will try to oblige!
Get a load of the head of hair on Tony Curtis during his early days as the star of various adventure yarns at Universal Studios. Wouldn't you like to see him in color?
Alakazam three and poof! Here ya go.
Here is Tony with his compatriots from Spartacus (1960.) I'm diggin' those wedge sandals on Kirk Douglas! How have I never taken note of those before...?! Now I wonder if he wore them in the movie and I just couldn't tell it.
Holy shit.... Can you believe Ty Hardin during his time on PT 109 (1963.) Truly a Tom of Finland sketch brought to life. I'm a little mad at that fish, though, for casting its shadow where it did...
Feast your eyes on this hooty lobby still from The Day the Fish Came Out (1967), a true campfest with two male characters stranded on an island in just their underwear and a horde of soldiers undercover as tourists in scads of crazy, scanty, futuristic resortwear and swimsuits. Oh, and a young and beautiful Candice Bergen.
If you frequent this site, you know I basically live in the past and barely acknowledge any current stars, but I do have the occasional exception wherein I love someone who's happening now. This, as you probably know, is Armie Hammer.
A friend of mine, equally disinterested in the stars of today, didn't know who he was, so I put these montages together as evidence of his appeal.

Wow... What could be better than a series of shots of the divine Jon-Erik Hexum peeling his pants off down to his jockey shorts?! Well, there might be one thing better, but we'll have to settle for this.
While I was busy with the visit of a relative from Ireland, we lost one more actor from my Disaster Movie Club and I neglected to write about him or pay proper tribute. Robert Forster (who costarred in Avalanche, 1978) was a handsome guy and a talented actor. He got his start in 1967's Reflections in a Golden Eye.
In Reflections, he was the object of closeted army major Marlon Brando's affection and had a habit of horseback riding in the nude (bareback, no less!)
Forster took his clothes off in several movies, notably Medium Cool (1969), but he wasn't just a hunk. He was a very solid actor who, after a bit of a fallow period, bounced back into the spotlight with 1997's Jackie Brown. He earned an Oscar nomination for that (losing to Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting) and it kicked off a latter day career resurgence. He was seventy-eight when brain cancer felled him on October 11th.
Even though her name doesn't necessary sit on the tongue of film fans, costume designer Elizabeth Haffenden won two Oscars (in fact for the only two times she was nominated!) One was for the ornate pieces in A Man for All Seasons (1966) and the other was for the epic Ben-Hur (1959), though in this particular case she didn't have to waste much fabric! What an interesting day in the work room when Charlton Heston was modeling his galley slave get-up for the first time.
Which brings us to Dennis Cole and The End!