Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pop Quiz: Celebrity Name Chain

I know that most of you run from these Pop Quizzes as if they were a gym bag filled with pipe bombs left in the aisle of a coliseum, but perhaps a few of you will enjoy this one! The object is to identify the people in the photos, then link their names together in a chain. (Sort of like the "Before and After" category on Wheel of Fortune if you're a "Wheel Watcher.") For example, the one here is a shot of Bob Hope and Hope Lange, thus the answer would be "Bob Hope Lange." I made sure the spellings are the same, too, for the crossover word. Some of these are easier than others, though if you can pick out one of the people, you're already half-way to the answer! If you're feeling generous, you might even congratulate me on making some of the photos in question complimentary to one another in some way although the people may not be related or have worked together at all (or even in the same general era.) Have fun, and if you're good boys and girls there may be a few extra pics within the answers!

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Bonus (a three-fer!)



Answers below......

1.
"Susan Howard Keel"
Howard Keel and Susan Howard did work together on the hot prime-time soap Dallas.

2.
"Ava Gardner McKay"
I think Ava Gardner would love to have sunk her teeth into some Gardner McKay, as would most of the free world...

3.
"Anne Shirley MacLaine"

4.
"Joan Leslie Nielsen"
Leslie Nielsen holds a special place in our hearts as Captain of the S.S. Poseidon in The Poseidon Adventure (1972.)

5.
"Leslie Howard Duff"

6.
"Dane Clark Gable"
Clark Gable was "The King" of Hollywood. These shirtless pics are from his hit films Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Mogambo (1953) and It Happened One Night (1934, for which he won an Oscar.) To me, he was never more handsome than in Red Dust (1932), though.

7.
"Cary Grant Withers" 
(If you don't know, 1930s & '40s actor Grant Withers was the first husband of 17 year-old, hot-to-trot Loretta Young, but it was annulled rather soon after.)

8.
"Mala Powers Boothe" 
(I tried to pretend that the connection with these pics is that his is from The Emerald Forest, 1985, and she's wearing emeralds! Ha! But I don't think they are...)

9.
"Susan St. James Spader"

10.
"Jill St. John Bromfield"
It's simply not possible to ever get too much John Bromfield while he was in his prime. That he was on this day, boating with our dear, late Tab Hunter.

11.
"Barbara Shelley Winters"
Shelley Winters crafted one of the most enduring (and immersive!) characterizations to ever affect a seven year-old boy, "Belle Rosen" in The Poseidon Adventure. We still aren't completely over it!

12.
"Christopher Lee Grant"
Christopher Lee and Lee Grant played sparring marrieds in one of my favorite movies, Airport '77 (1977.) Had this occurred in real life, she'd have been either Lee Lee or Lee Grant-Lee!

Bonus.
"David Brian Keith Andes!"
Hey, in his day Keith Andes was no slouch either, even in his alien makeup (and scanty costume) as a guest on Star Trek.


Monday, July 9, 2018

Fond Farewell: Closing the Tab

We're in mourning (and even a bit of shock) today because we've learned about the passing of one of our all-time favorites Mr. Tab Hunter. The gleaming golden boy of 1950s and '60s cinema died last evening of complications from a blood clot, just days before his 87th birthday which would have been Wednesday, July 11th. If Clint Walker was our burly, brawny, brunette ideal, then Tab was our most cherished on the flip side; a lean, bronze, smooth, blond Adonis who was always - in our mind anyway - far more handsome than his one-time competitor Troy Donahue. Hunter also sought - and as far as we're concerned succeeded - to expand his viability and improve his craft as an actor and was practically always underrated in that regard. He had a recent resurgence of interest thanks to a beautifully crafted documentary on his life and career (based upon his 2005 autobiography) Tab Hunter Confidential (2015.) Stomped on by Hollywood (and Hollywood "journalists") more than once, he endured to live what ultimately became a happy, satisfying life with a partner of thirty-five years. We salute him for the many hours of watching (and ogling!) his surprisingly lengthy filmography and series of TV appearances over the course of his career. Here now are some carefully-selected photos from various points in his life.
Tab's second film appearance, Island Of Desire (1952) opposite Linda Darnell.
I'll wait while you try to find a more randomly incongruous publicity photo from the aforementioned film! Scrawny Hunter had not yet grown into his ears.
Behind him is Richard Davalos in The Sea Chase (1955.) The two of them dive into the ocean, with dire results.
With good friend and two-time costar Natalie Wood. Publicity for The Girl He Left Behind (1956.)
Natalie is swinging (and she's not the only thing in this picture that is!)
An example of the studio system at play. Tab's arranged date Jan Conley and Tony Perkins' arranged date Norma Moore are shown in the inset in the un-cropped photo, both bored as hell!
A rare chance at a musical (Tab could carry a tune), yet he had no substantial songs in it! Damn Yankees! (1958) Filming was an unpleasant experience for him thanks to director George Abbott.
I thought Tab looked better the older he got.
The Golden Arrow (1962) offered a few glimpses of his own every now and then...!
By the time of Ride the Wild Surf (1964) he was elder statesman of the "teen idol" group.
Hunter broke with his previous image in 1972's Sweet Kill, in which he played a psychopathic sex maniac.
He enjoyed a significant interlude with famed ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev.
In Polyester (1981), he played with his stereotyped image in the role of dashing dream lover Todd Tomorrow opposite Divine, though with director John Waters at the helm, one can never be sure of what one is in for.
In a sort of nod to his 1950/60s heydey, Hunter played one of the faculty in Grease 2 (1982) with fellow Warner Brothers contractee Connie Stevens on hand nearby as well. Unfortunately, his big scene/song "Reproduction" was (maybe still is!) cut from many TV broadcasts because of its suggestive subject matter.
Hunter, even accounting for his years outdoors in the sun, aged gracefully, even if his acting career ground to a standstill by the early-1990s.
Even in his eighties, the remnants of his handsome face were still apparent. Show me someone in his mid-'80s who hung in this well and yet still looked human (i.e. - no glaringly obvious surgeries, toupees, etc...)  Maybe Paul Newman?
Carved out of golden cream cheese, he seemed the ideal to many a teenage moviegoer.
This is my own favorite picture of Tab Hunter because to me it looks as contemporary as something that could have been taken yesterday, giving his otherwise "dated" appeal a transcendent quality. We adored Tab Hunter and are sorry to see him go even at what could be considered an advanced age.