Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pop Quiz: All in the Family

Oh, my pets... things have been utterly lunatic in The Underworld lately. The latest chapter in the serial that is my life is that my satellite provider completely, without warning, ERASED FOREVER my entire library of saved programs on my DVR.  So there went several posts down the tubes, including part of my proposed 400th one.  Anyway, while I'm wringing the tears out of my hanky, I have had to resort to a different sort of post while I attempt to get my act together again.  If you don't enjoy the quiz, hopefully a couple of the pictures may be interesting at least!

Today's Pop Quiz will involve a celebrity whose parent or child is/was also a performer and you will have to guess who they are.  In most, if not all, cases, the less famous (or well known these days) celeb will be the lead-off and the answer is the slightly more familiar entity.  Stick around at the end for one last amusing photo!

1. This memorably imposing and dour-looking actor is Vic Morrow, perhaps best known for the WWII series Combat! (1962-1967), but also the guest star of many TV shows (such as The Rifleman, Police Story and Charlie's Angels) and supporting actor in movies (including 1955's The Blackboard Jungle, 1958's God's Little Acre, 1960's Cimarron and 1976's The Bad News Bears.)  His final role was in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) thanks to a horrific on-set accident in which a helicopter decapitated him and killed the two children he was filming with.  His daughter grew up to be a critically popular actress known for her edgy, immersed performances.

2. Fans of the 1975 thriller The Stepford Wives (the only big-screen version that I acknowledge!) will recall this man, who played Katharine Ross' husband.  He maintained an acting career for about two decades from 1966 to 1987, but ultimately switched gears to directing.  His square-jawed daughter (who also appeared as his child in Wives) went on to a successful career in the movies chiefly from the mid-'80s to the mid-'90s.

3. This young lady's name is Tisha Sterling, a pretty actress with striking, large eyes.  As a girl, she toiled in plenty of television shows from The Alfred Hitchcock Hour to Batman, segueing to movies such as Coogan's Bluff (1968) with Clint Eastwood and Norwood (1970) with Glen Campbell.  She's shown in the inset with James Franciscus in the 1970 TV-movie Night Slaves.  She inherited her huge eyes from her famous mother, a 1930s beauty who had her own film series in the 1940s before conquering TV in the 1950s.  Sterling played the younger version of her mother's character in her mother's final movie.

4. This one's such a gimme, I shouldn't even include it, but we must balance out the more difficult ones, mustn't we?  Stage actress Blythe Danner, who went on to film success in 1776 (1972), The Great Santini (1979) and more recently Meet the Parents (2000) is the mother of an actress who achieved tremendous popularity (and even managed to wrangle an Oscar.)  The daughter has lately become associated with a popular, CGI-laden, superhero film franchise.

5. Most of you won't be too familiar with this young man, Kyle Johnson, who enjoyed a brief run at acting in the mid-'60s to the mid-'70s (starring in The Learning Tree, shown here, in 1969, regarding social and racial issues in small town 1920s Kansas.)  He also popped up in Rock Hudson's 1971 dark comedy Pretty Maids All in a Row.  Johnson's mother was a groundbreaking TV actress who was and is part of a major fan favorite franchise so great that the followers were given their own name.

6. Here we have television actress Whitney Blake, a TV actress from the 1950s through the 1970s who costarred on the Shirley Booth sitcom Hazel (1961-1965) and guest-starred on many other shows.  her daughter became a highly-successful television actress as well as part of a 1976-1980 drama series and then a 1981-1989 sitcom in which she, too, played the mom.  She proceeded to star in popular TV-movies and still works frequently today.

7. These two writer-producer-director gents are brothers, Paul and Chris Weitz.  They have collaborated on several movies from the hugely-popular gross-out comedy American Pie (1999) to the far more sensitive About a Boy (2002) to the big-budget misfire The Golden Compass (2007), among other things.  Their father was a German fashion designer and writer named John Weitz.  Their mother, prior to having her sons and retiring, was a promising, thriving actress who won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar for one of her more memorable roles.

8. This young man is Paul Clemens, who starred as an unfairly accused murderer in the 1978 TV-movie A Death in Canaan before landing supporting roles in the 1979 movies Promises in the Dark and The Passage.  As seen here, he also starred in 1982's The Beast Within as the product of rape between a woman and diabolical creature!  His acting career petered out for the most part, though he did segue into art (his father was a portrait painter of the same name.)  His mother is a thrice Oscar-nominated actress who enjoyed considerable fame, including one film that is a bonafide family classic for the ages.

9. The glamour-puss shown here is Marjorie Lord, the TV wife of Danny Thomas on The Danny Thomas Show (known also as Make Room for Daddy) from 1957-1964.  The glam quotient is notable since she replaced Jean Hagen on the show after the first three seasons, partly because Thomas didn't approve of Hale's appearance.  The two-time Emmy nominee (three, actually, because of a special category) was allegedly once told by Thomas, "For God's sake, Jean.  Put on a little lipstick!" Anyway, Hagen wasn't happy on the show, but Lord was.  Lord's daughter went on to significant fame as an actress, scoring an Oscar nomination for her part in a major blockbusting thriller.

10. This is another pretty easy one.  Sean Astin got started in television and movies as a preteen, with The Goonies (1985) a cult favorite.  Later, he starred in Toy Soldiers (1991) and Rudy (1993) before the triple-whammy of the three The Lord of the Rings movies (in 2001, 2002 and 2003.)  He maintains a very busy career now.  His mother was also a teen star of stage, screen and television and won an Oscar while still a youth.

11. This man was a reliable character actor in movies from the 1910s until his premature death at only age fifty-seven of a liver ailment.  As a Warner Brothers contract player, he wound up in more than a dozen films that featured screen swashbuckler Errol Flynn, as seen here in the inset.  He had a similar-looking son named after him who was placed in movies as a child and who grew up to work in many films and television shows.  Although the son worked until the late-1980s, he is chiefly known for his iconic role on a sitcom that only ran for three seasons (yet has never left the airwaves in reruns since!)

12. This exotic French beauty, shown in the inset with James Cagney, was a considerable movie actress of the 1920s and '30s when she met and married an up and coming hunk in 1935.  His career soon shot off like crazy while hers dwindled.  They had one child together before divorcing and she continued to draw spousal support from her ex until he was dead and gone.  Their very handsome son took a stab at acting, too, in less than ten movies (mostly foreign made) before switching gears to photojournalism.

13. Fans of the 1937 movie Lost Horizon will recall Margo (seen here with Horizon's Ronald Coleman), a Mexican actress who worked sporadically in TV and film up through the mid-'60s.  Though married first to actor Francis Lederer, she wed another, more familiar actor in 1945 and they were together until her death forty years later.  Their handsome son, named after his father, but resembling his mother more, went on to a more than forty-year career before the cameras himself when he was prematurely taken by lung cancer at only age fifty-five.

That concludes the quiz.  The answers will be shown below with a tad more commentary accompanying each answer!


1.  Vic Morrow's daughter is Jennifer Jason Leigh, costar of Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), The Hitcher (1986), Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989), Miami Blues (1990), Single White Female (1992) and Dolores Claiborne (1995), among many others.
2. The actor-director's name is Peter Masterson and his daughter is Mary Stuart Masterson, star of Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), Chances Are (1989), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), Benny & Joon (1993) and Bad Girls (1994), among others.

3. Tisha Sterling's mother was Ann Sothern, through her six-year marriage to Robert Sterling.  Tisha played the young version of Sothern's character in The Whales of August (1987) for which Sothern was Oscar-nominated.
4. Blythe Danner is the mother of Gwyneth Paltrow through her thirty-two-year marriage to writer-producer-director Bruce Paltrow.

5. Kyle Johnson's mother is none other than Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) from her brief marriage to Foster Johnson.

6. Whitney Blake's daughter is Meredith Baxter (star of Family and Family Ties) from her first marriage to Tom Baxter.  Ironically, Blake's name on Hazel was "Dorothy Baxter," though by then Blake was divorced from Baxter.

7. The Weitz brothers are the sons of Imitation of Life's Susan Kohner.  Kohner was married to John Weitz from 1964 until his death in 2002.

8. Paul Clemens is the son of The Sound of Music's (1965) elegant Baroness Schraeder, Eleanor Parker.  She was wed to artist Paul Clemens (Sr) from 1954-1965.

9. Marjorie Lord's daughter is Anne Archer, of Fatal Attraction (1987) and many other movies. Lord was married to actor John Archer from 1941 to 1953.
10. Sean Astin's mother is Patty Duke, who won an Oscar for The Miracle Worker (1962), was the star of The Patty Duke Show (1963-1966) and is part of the cult gay phenomena Valley of the Dolls (1967.)  Astin got his name from Duke's marriage to John Astin (1972-1985), but his father was really someone else.  During a manic phase of her bipolar disorder, she had slept with rock promoter Michael Tell, John Astin and Lucille Ball's son, Desi Arnaz Jr!  She married Tell for less than two weeks to "give her baby a name" all the while believing that Arnaz was the father.  Then she married Astin, who raised Sean.  Years later DNA tests confirmed that Tell was Sean's biological father.  If all this had been the plot of one of her movies, audiences would have claimed it was too far-fetched...

11. The character actor is Alan Hale and his son, Alan Hale Jr, played Skipper on Gilligan's Island from 1964-1967 and in a few reunion movies.
12. Actress Lili Damita wed Errol Flynn and gave birth to Sean Flynn.  Sean went missing during a photojournalism jaunt in Cambodia and was presumed dead in 1971 (officially declared so in 1984.)  A desperate Damita tried and tried to recover her son and only child, or at least his remains, but was unsuccessful.  After Errol Flynn's death (and the end of his spousal checks), Damita wed for a third time, but divorced again after twenty-one years.
13. Margo was married to movie actor and star of Green Acres (1965-1971) Eddie Albert and their son, Edward Albert, starred in Butterflies Are Free (1972) and many subsequent films.
My little bonus photo is coming up.  One of the most (in)famous parent-child Hollywood relationships was that of Joan Crawford and her adopted daughter Christina, who pursued acting as a girl.  (Most fans of Joan will recall her stepping into Christina's role on the daytime serial The Secret Storm for a couple of days during an illness.)  Apart from jobs that Joan helped arrange (like 1961's Wild in the Country), Christina had to settle for TV guest spots and work on the regional stage.  By 1972, she was completely done with screen acting after just a handful of jobs.

This photo, a promotional picture for the very popular series Medical Center (1969-1976) starring Chad Everett, was meant to publicize her guest appearance on a 1970 installment, but the newspaper thought so little of her that they cropped it to feature ONLY Everett and X-ed her out of the shot entirely!!  At the time, such a thing would have probably enraged Joan, who wished for Christina to succeed, but in retrospect, she's probably looking at this now from the great beyond with a karmic smirk.

Till the next moment I can rejoin you, my friends. Best wishes!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

More Unearthed Treasure Chests!

Ahhh... Finally back from Florida and once again out from under a landslide of paperwork that was waiting at work for me. So rather than delve into another intensive post, I'm going to share some more photos of famous gents with their shirts off – as usual, quite a variety of types. Randomness is a way of life for me sometimes. Walking on the beach put me in the mood for some more treasured chests (having visited this subject once before back in February!) Our cover boy today is yummy Van Williams in a rare color shot from a photo shoot he did while under contract to Warner Brothers (and likely working on Surfside 6.)

Most of us know Lew Ayres (if at all) from his work in the Oscar-winner for Best Picture All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) or from some of his many, many subsequent movie and TV appearances. (As a child of the '70s, I recall his performance in a two-part episode of The Bionic Woman in 1977 and a memorable death scene in Damian: Omen II, 1978.)

Recognize this fit and trim young man? It's rather hard to mistake that face, belonging to iconic cowboy star John “The Duke” Wayne.
From a The Duke to The King, Mr. Clark Gable, once again shirtless as he famously was in 1934's It Happened One Night. His disrobing for bed and the revelation that he wore no undershirt beneath his dress shirt reportedly sent sales of such items plummetting.
John Payne is a legend among gay classic film buffs for that shot George Hurrell took of him in the boxing ring with his legs spread, but since I've posted that one before, I'll share two others. First up, he's in the middle of some free weight work.
Next he's headed to the dressing rooms. Can I come, too??
Robert Ryan wears his trousers high as was the style of the day, but nevertheless demonstrates quite a fit physique.
One of the screen's most finely-sculpted men in the 1950s and '60s was Woody Strode, an imposing presence seen here in 1951's The Lion Hunters (one of the installments in the Bomba, The Jungle Boy series.)
I like this picture of Rock Hudson because he's a bit more filled-out and mature than in some of his earliest shirtless photos.
Prior to his successful run as Ben Casey (1961-1966), Vince Edwards was a body-builder and physique model (with -once they allowed him to grow it - plenty of hair on his chest, AND head!)
Look at the sign that was posted at the Beverly Hills Health Club where Edwards is taking a swim!  Their loss, I say...
Edwards' medical drama counterpart Dr. Kildare (also 1961-1966) was played by the more lean and far less brooding Richard Chamberlain.
Tony Curtis seems to be having a rather rowdy time of it in 1953's college athletics film, The All-American. I sort of like the brawny pal who has him by the calf and ankle.
Likewise, this photo is a frolicsome glimpse into the world of men hanging out together at length, in this case the military. Recognize the man (or the chest of the man) at far right in this still from 1961's Armored Command? The world would be seeing much more of it in years to come...
That's future megastar Burt Reynolds in one of his very first films.
1960 gave us the Mickey Rooney-Mamie Van Doren comedy The Private Lives of Adam and Eve with Martin Milner as Adam. Milner would later become better known for his work in the howler Valley of the Dolls (1967) and another sort of Adam, Adam-12 (1968-1975.)
Another sort of Adam came in 1960's Can Can with Shirley MacLaine as she did a Garden of Eden number. The Adam to her Eve was played/danced by Marc Wilder, who could also be spotted in musicals such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), TheOpposite Sex (1956) and even Funny Girl (1968.)
In a class all by himself as far as I'm concerned is Underworld favorite and my own ideal man, Clint Walker.
There's really nothing else to say, but just to stare slack-jawed at his towering beauty!
Here he is taking a nap in the sun between takes. How did the surrounding people restrain themselves from climbing on top of him? Ha!
Holding his own quite nicely is Italian actor Raf Vallone in 1962's Phaedra (with Melina Mercouri.)
Before Marilyn Monroe was fired from (the unfinished) Something's Got to Give in 1962, her character had been stranded on a deserted island with hunky Tom Tryon. When the movie was reworked into Move Over Darling the following year with Doris Day, the part Tryon had been assigned was given instead to Chuck Connors.

Steve Cochran, a ladies man of legend, is shown here at the helm of his boat where, sadly, he died during a location scouting expedition in 1965. After succumbing to a lung infection, his three female passengers were forced to drift for ten days with his body on board until they coasted onto a Guatemalan shore.

Taken during his 1964-1969 run on the prime-time soap opera Peyton Place we find Ryan O'Neal.
Here's a shot of Gary Lockwood as an astronaut viewing a message from home in 1968's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
One of THE hottest teen stars of his day (though he was twenty when the craze began) was David Cassidy of The Partridge Family (1970-1974.)
Welsh actor Stanley Baker enjoys a scantily-clad moment with curvaceous beauty Ursula Andress in the bank heist movie Perfect Friday (1970.)
Remarkably fit and trim French superstar Jean-Paul Belmondo is seen here in a still from 1973's spy spoof Le Magnifique.
Beautiful Dirk Benedict becomes the victim of a disreputable scientist's reptilian experiments in 1973's Sssssss. I think Dirk's own snake was fine as it was!
A lean Rod Stewart works on his tan in this photo.
Robert Urich of Vega$ (1978-1981) peruses his script in between takes of the detective series.
Fur lovers may enjoy John Beck (of Rollerball, 1975, and later of Dallas, on and off from 1983-1986.)
Or here is karate instructor-turned-action/marital arts movie hero Chuck Norris.
On Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981), Gil Gerard (seen here with guest star Anne Jeffreys) was often called upon to wear shirts that revealed his mass of chest hair.
This shot offers a better glimpse, one of several times on the show in which he was de-shirted...
A hairy chest hall of famer is Tom Selleck, who starred on Magnum, P.I. from 1980-1988.
Of course we mustn't ignore Lee Majors of The Fall Guy (1981-1986.) Majors has recently joined the cast of the Dallas update as a love interest for Linda Gray.
Another actor who was shucked of much of his clothing on a regular basis was Lorenzo Lamas of Falcon Crest (1981-1990), shown here (like Majors above) in that '80s photo shoot staple of a leather jacket with no shirt on underneath.
Or if fair-haired guys are more your bag, this is Little House on the Prairie's Dean Butler (from 1979-1983), towel-clad after swimming on Battle of the Network Stars.
Since we're on that kick for a minute, let's look at a couple of other stars of the '80s doing some shirtless sporting activity. First is Richard Dean Anderson of MacGyver (1985-1992.)
How about Mark Harmon, then of Flamingo Road (1980-1982) and St. Elsewhere (1983-1986)?
Grant Goodeve of Eight is Enough (1977-1981) seems awfully happy to be there (maybe he won his event?)
The Incredible Hulk's Lou Ferrigno (1978-1982) unfairly compares his bulky physique with a scarily spindly McLean Stevenson!
To get soapy for a moment, we take a gander at Jon Hensley, who played Holden Snyder on As the World Turns from 1985 to 2010, at an industry athletic event.
Also shown here are Kin Shriner (Scotty Baldwin on General Hospital off and on from 1977 to 2013) and Steve Bond (who worked on the same show from 1983 to 1985.)
Bond posed for Playgirl in 1975 and made a staggering impression to say the least.
Look it up some time!
Professional football player-turned-actor John Matuszak enjoyed moderate success with supporting parts in movies such as North Dallas Forty (1979), Caveman (1981) and The Goonies (1985.) In 1982, he also posed semi-nude in Playgirl magazine as seen here...
...and here.
Speaking of sports, who recalls humpy Joe Namath in those Faberge shampoo ads he did? If this photo interests you in any way, I suggest you click on his name and take a look at the tribute he has here in The Underworld!
Robby Benson portrayed an American Indian who beat many odds, including prejudice, to win an Olympic medal for a long-distance race in Running Brave (1983.)
Many of us were horrified when fate snatched John F. Kennedy Jr away from us at only age thirty-eight. In fact, his death in a 1999 plane crash caused me to unclench a little and start making sure I enjoyed life more since we never know when it will be snuffed out!
A few more to go as we near the end of this chesty round-up. Do we know who this angst-ridden, furry gentleman is?
That was none other than Irish-born Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branaugh.

Take a look at the chiseled jawline of Casper Van Dien of Starship Troopers (1997) and a host of other less memorable movies. Lord... He has a tattoo of Casper the Friendly Ghost!
One of my favorite contemporary actors, Spanish-born Javier Bardem, in his early days from Jamon, Jamon (1992.)
Don't ask me why because I cannot offer a reason, but I have a bit of a thing for boy band member-turned-solo singer Robbie Williams.
Someone who does absolutely nothing for me at all, but who the rest of the world seems to adore, is Hugh Jackman, seen here sporting a nice sold build.
Although I do not watch the show, I find myself liking the looks of Jon Hamm of Mad Men (2007-present.) Here we see him on the beach in some sunglasses (and note the tan line on his thighs.)
In this shot, the sunglasses are gone and his trunks have shifted down so that we see the tan line around his waist. Handsome man...

Finally, I leave you with an eye-blistering shot of one of the most handsome men who ever existed on this planet. Mr. Jon-Erik Hexum. Yowza... Till next time, my loves. Take care!