Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter Clearance

Things are horrendously hectic in The Underworld as they have been for some time now.  As a proper post is not immediately forthcoming, I'm going to do a conglomeration (I had considered calling it "Holiday Potpourri" for a while!) of pictures I've amassed, but who don't or won't have a place to show up elsewhere.  Randomness is the word of the day here.  I did this once before two years ago and it proved popular.  We're putting out stuff that is either past its "sell by" date or only one of a kind, but just as in real life, sometimes there is a treasure or two among the bargains!

First take a look at this ad.  When I was a young'n, ABC was my favorite network, chock full of Aaron Spelling creations and loaded with glamorous stars.  This was a special aired in the fall of 1983 which boasted brief appearances by a ton of TV greats.  It would be amazing to have this on video now, though I'm certain it's very lame and cheesy!  I love the artwork.

Speaking of artwork, pretty early on in The Underworld, I did a tribute to my favorite Marvel Comics heroine Scarlet Witch (as well as one to DC's The Legion of Superheroes.)  I had also intended to do one of my favorite DC Comics heroine Black Canary, but never got around to it.
The character had first appeared way back in 1947, but it was the early-'70s rendition that I first encountered and fell for.  Then as now I was captivated by blondes with big pageant hair and good makeup.  LOL
As far as I'm concerned, Neal Adams drew her the best (as in the three pics above), but I also liked George Perez' approach (shown here.)
Her boyfriend was fellow Justice League hero Green Arrow, who was also a favorite of mine (and who is, in a way, the subject of a TV series called Arrow, though there is little relation to the character I grew up with.)
Since I gave up a once-devoted comic-reading habit in the mid-to-late-'80s, Black Canary, like most other comic book heroes, has gone through countless permutations and redesigns, some of them all right and some of them dreadful.  It was the classic character that held appeal to me.  (Does this surprise anyone?  In The Underworld, I am almost completely attached to the past!)  Of course any rendition of any superherione that comes from me always winds up looking like a 5th place finalist on RuPaul's Drag Race!  Ha!

Before we depart the world of superheroines, I have to share this hooty publicity composite featuring Miss Yvonne Craig as the high-kicking Batgirl, who joined the series Batman in its final season (1967-1968.)
Do you recognize the man shown below?
He is part of a post I was going to attempt to do in which I showed various actors from Dallas in their old age and then in their prime.  This one is Jim Davis, who played feisty patriarch Jock Ewing from 1978-1981 (when he died of cancer.)

Miss Ellie's second husband was played by Howard Keel (on the show from 1981 to 1991), seen here in Floods of Fear (1958) with Anne Heywood and below with Esther Williams in Jupiter's Darling (1955.)  I know which hubby is more my type, though I certainly enjoyed crusty Jim Davis in his role on the show.
Take a look at this photo of Omar Sharif and Sophia Loren from 1967's More Than a Miracle.  I love the way their eyes are lit in it!
Likewise, the eyes of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor come across as quite piercing in this photo.
Shots like this one are a true thing of the past.  That over-saturated/over-developed shading and then hand-tinted color applied over the image... Still, the method had a way of burnishing the subjects and freezing them in a state of petrified, old-style glamour.  Troy Donahue and Diane McBain (of Parrish, 1961) look like they're carved out of creamy clay.

I don't know if I'll ever get around to a post about The Champ (1979), but this shot of Ricky Schroeder aping his predecessor in the role Jackie Cooper in the 1931 version was sort of interesting.
One of my earliest (and briefest!) TV tributes was to a top ten favorite show of mine, The Big Valley (1964-1969), starring Miss Barbara Stanwyck and a quartet of good-looking younger talent as her grown children.  I recently came upon these magazine cover photos of the gang.

It's fun to see them in their Big Valley time frame, but in (mostly) street clothes of the day.  To this day, I consider The Barkleys (as seen here, Stanwyck, Lee Majors, Peter Breck, Linda Evans and Richard Long) to be one of the most attractive TV families ever and one that had an incredible sense of what was right and wrong.

Steely, but sensitive Stanwyck was nothing short of the living end to my younger sister and me, especially when she'd whip out a rifle and tell people to get off her land.  LOL  I like this color portrait of her from a magazine of the day.

She was nominated for three Golden Globes for her work on Valley (losing to Anne Francis in Honey West, Marlo Thomas in That Girl and Carol Burnett in The Carol Burnett Show, all before they split the categories into comedy and drama.)  She did take home the Emmy once for the show (and lost two other times to Barbara Bain in Mission: Impossible) and had a prior Emmy (as seen here) for The Barbara Stanwyck Show (1960.)  On that night, Lou Edelman's (the show's producer's) cuff link became caught on her dress and her publicist Helen Ferguson had to do some repair work as fellow winner Raymond Burr of Perry Mason looked on.

Another major movie star who eventually took to television, but far less successfully, was Miss Lana Turner.  Seen here in a pensive moment during Harold Robbins' The Survivors, a very expensive prime-time soap that completely flopped.  I don't know if Miss T is acting here or just dejected by her Maude-like jumpsuit and vest...

Not TV, but how about this publicity still from the later career of one of the cinema's most heralded beauties, Hedy Lamarr?  How fortunate that they installed a klieg light on the set of The Female Animal (1958), aimed directly at her face!

Sometimes I will do a tribute to someone and then later come upon a photo that I wish I'd had to begin with... So without any further ado, I give you a few shots of some men who otherwise have had their day in the sun here previously:

Humpy Dack Rambo, who was a significant childhood crush of mine!
I'd profiled handsome lookalike brothers Rex and Rhodes Reason before, but later found this charming photo spread in which several sets of real-life TV actor brothers are on display.
Glorious Jeffrey Hunter, who it took me years to discover and then could never forget.
Hollywood pretty boy Tab Hunter, in another one of those dreamy types of portraits that no one could pull off today, even if they tried.
Handsome and forthright Joel McCrea in Bird of Paradise (1932) with Dolores Del Rio.
Granite-jawed John Gavin is seen below with a bevy of attractive ladies.  Recognize what they have to do with him at all?  They are from one of his glossy movies (a major favorite of mine), but shared no scenes with him in the finished product.  This is strictly a shot for publicity's sake.
The photo is of a gaggle of models in their best Jean Louis creations for a fashion show sequence in Back Street (1961), in which Susan Hayward played a dress designer who was in love with a married man (Gavin.)  In one of my favorite scenes in all cinema, Gavin's brittle, boozy wife (an unforgettable Vera Miles) bursts into the room and purchases the (unseen here) bridal gown, telling Hayward to send it to herself, thought she'll never wear it!

Now we see Van Williams, star of The Green Hornet (1966-1967) and various movies, doing something that would be practically unthinkable today in our SPF-conscious society.  He's using a reflector to sun himself in the face evenly and efficiently between takes!  No white lines under the chin with this handy-dandy contraption... The end result is shown below.  Richard Anderson of The Six-Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman was another one who worked on his tan every chance he could between set-ups.
When I posted a run-down of the hooty TV-movie It Happened at Lakewood Manor (1977), at least one of my devoted divers expressed his adoration of Barry Van Dyke.  This particular shot of him is a favorite, so I pass it along to you now.
In The Underworld, we love Nicholas Clay (of Excaliber, 1981, and Evil Under the Sun, 1982) in practically anything, but imagine our delight when he popped up in the TV miniseries The Last Days of Pompeii (1984) as a Grecian visitor to the title city.
In this sequence, he practices the discus in his garden and twirls around to allow his already abbreviated loincloth to ride up and show off his beefy bottom!
Thank you ABC-TV!
Brawny Burt Reynolds is seen here during Deliverance (1972), sporting his iconic zip-up vest and eye-catching torso full of fur.
And what about this picture?
HA!  It's from a wax museum (Movieland Wax Museum?), commemorating the star-making performance he gave in the riveting John Boorman film.

That brings me to this shot of Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner relaxing between takes during The King and I (1956.)
Hee hee!  No... these are wax figures, too, of course.  I really should have done (and, who knows, may still do!) a post on old wax renditions of famous actors and their roles.

Speaking of, I think I have posted pictures like this before of the long-standing (but now gone) Movieland wax exhibit of The Poseidon Adventure (1972) with its somewhat on-target/somewhat off renditions of the stars.  (Not sure where Ernest Borgnine scored that jaunty little kerchief for his neck!)
Stella Stevens really went the gamut in that film from buxom, beautiful bombshell... bombed-out, burnt-up bimbo, though I love every second of her in the movie.
She was one of the most striking looking women ever to hit Tinseltown in my opinion.  Love her!  (Hey!  Why didn't someone cast HER as Black Canary in a TV show or movie?!)
Another fave of mine, of a totally different style and type, is Miss Dina Merrill.  I love the cool, elegant looks she's sporting here. (This, however, remains my all-time favorite photo of Dina!)
We just lost another cool and elegant star, Miss Joan Fontaine (at only age ninety-six!)  How dare she go before I had a chance to profile her (though at the rate I've been going lately, a tribute from me often instigates the demise of the subject at hand!)
I recently stumbled upon this deliberately old-fashioned photo of Lee Majors and his then-wife Farrah Fawcett-Majors, though it does aptly capture the spirit of their marriage.  The Six Million Dollar Man wanted her home in the evenings, even though she was starring in a hit, time-consuming TV series of her own (Charlie's Angels, in case you have been under a rock.)

This shot below, by the way, is my very favorite portrait of Fawcett.  Hair for years!
This post seems about the only one I can think of in which to share this picture of Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) star Margaret O'Brien all grown up and looking va-va-voom.
Not in any way va-va-voom, but unforgettable in other ways is Mary Astor, whose performance in Return to Peyton Place (1961) changed my life.  I came up on this still photo of her long after I'd done a tribute to Miss A.
I did a rather fun photo essay once about the meeting up of some very diverse people, but this shot came too late to make it in.  Here, we see the bewigged Phyllis Diller and a purring Eartha Kitt hooking up at some event.
I enjoy this picture of old friends Monica Lewis and Ava Gardner in between takes of Earthquake (1974.)  Note the artfully drawn trickle of blood on Miss Lewis' forehead!  One of these days, I must go back over that movie a little bit more, the way I've done a couple of the Airport flicks.
Where else could I post this shot of Helen Mirren looking astonishing?  Once the subject of Worst Dressed Lists and pointed barbs from Joan Rivers and others, Miss Mirren did a 180 and eventually emerged as one of the most beautifully-dressed ladies to walk any red carpet.  This is my own favorite look of hers.
Many of us vividly recall seeing Patty Duke boozily weaving through her house in Valley of the Dolls (1967) dressed in only a bra and slip, bellowing at the top of her lungs.
Did you know that in 1980 she was at it again?
In The Babysitter, she plays William Shatner's wife who comes undone and begins drinking heavily after the title character (Stephanie Zimbalist) starts causing all kinds of trouble through her machinations.
Duke, dressed in a full slip, gets tanked up and starts to tear up the living room while screaming at the concerned, lisping daughter Quinn Cummings.  Ah... some things never change!
And with that, Robbie Williams and I must alert you that this post has come to The End!


rico said...

Poseidon, you hit a lot of my sweet spots for '70s and '80s hunks!

The ABC print art work was done by Amsel, I think. He did a lot of great work for TV Guide and movie posters, like Murder on the Orient Express.

Barbara Stanwyck was cool. Great in her heyday and unlike Joan or Bette, did not become a parody of herself when she became older.

I love your Winter Clearance!

NotFelixUnger said...

That is the best picture of Barry Van Dyke I have ever seen. But, tell me, who is "the diver?"

I love Barbara Stanwyck. As Rico points out, she was cool. Way cool to be sure. That was my idea of "perfect cool" growing up.

Oh, I think we both know how we feel about Black Canary and Green Arrow.

How do you feel about the new Wonder Woman? No Lynda for sure, but certainly better than the last actress who attempted the part!

Big hugs for Christmas!

Please, more clearance sales in the future!

Poseidon3 said...

Rico, thanks for identifying the artist of that ad. I LOVE the poster for "Murder on the Orient Express." His work is like the most realistic (and often simultaneously idealistic) cartoon version of whomever he's depicting. I think he also did "Death on the Nile," which I also adore.

NotFelix, I hideously can't recall the person who wrote to me about Barry and sent me this shot, but I know that you love him, too! You professed it during my post about Buddies on TV. I just wish the quality of that picture were a tad better. I cannot find it anywhere, but if I ever do see it in a clearer version, I'll substitute it and alert you. ;-)

Alas, I haven't seen the new Wonder Woman... didn't even know there was one! I'll have to look it up.

rico said...

Type Richard Amsel on Google Images and you will have died and gone to heaven! He also did the iconic Chinatown poster...

joel65913 said...

If only all clearances were as satisfying! Even the comic book stuff of which I'm not a fan was interesting.

I never would have recognized Jim Davis. I have seen his one big starring role before Dallas in the interesting Bette Davis failure Winter Meeting when he was still relatively young but he didn't look like that as I recall, but Howard Keel definitely looks better.

Love those Big Valley magazine covers. They all look great and Linda Evans' hair is just too too! And of course I adore Missy Stanwyck, love the candid of her frock being stitched up.

Love Lana but when she and Bea Arthur start wearing the same clothes the world has slipped a bit on its axis. Poor Hedy if they hit her with any more light her features would have vanished.

Dack, Jeffrey, Barry, Van and Nicholas(front & back) all look appropriately dreamy but as always my heart goes a bit faster for the uber delicious Joel McCrea. He and Delores are competing for who can carry off the most eye shadow!

Stella looks amazing in two of those shots, why couldn't she have played both her part and that awful Carol Lynley's too.

Farrah's hair is getting ready to take over the planet!!

Lastly Helen Mirren always looks so amazing nowadays, so effortlessly graceful and gracious.

Happy Holidays Poseidon!

Scooter said...

Love the more recent shot of Farrah Fawcett. Evidence that women can age gracefully.

Poseidon3 said...

Rico, thanks again! You've cleared up an unspoken question in my mind about all those great posters and TV Guide covers. I love that man's art (and will probably do a little tribute to it sometime now!)

Joel, thanks as always for your in-depth reflections and observations! I think Jim Davis had what they used to call "hatchet face" but his type served a purpose, especially in westerns and on "Dallas."

Glad that you and Scooter liked that wonderful shot of Farrah!

rico said...

Richard Amsel was in his heyday when I was a teen drawing movie stars, so he was an inspiration! Amsel was prolific. Can you imagine how much more work Amsel would have created if he hadn't died from AIDS in '85?

On a happier note, Happy Holidays, and thanks for all the work you do with this terrific blog! Rico

Craig Buntin said...

Is Nicholas Clay actually naked in "The Last Days of Pompeii"?

The screencap you posted from ABC-TV looks like it, but I don't remember his loincloth actually showing him naked on my DVD copy.

Poseidon3 said...

I'm not sure how large you're viewing the pictures of Clay, but if you click on them, you ought to see, at least in the one with two views, that he's got the equivalent of a thong on. There's a small triangle of beige cloth above his crack. But, yes, in that brief moment, it is for all intents and purposes his bare ass!