Friday, January 10, 2014

Fun Finds: 1972 Mexican Celebrity Cards

It goes without saying that in The Underworld we love our movies and movie stars (TV, too!) and from my earliest age, I've had a thing about tangible objects that display the stars. What I mean is, I always loved to have books full of pictures of them, photos, postcards, etc... something I could hold in my hand and look at. My media room has sepia-tone 8x10s of my favorite actors and actresses and even the coasters have little insets of favorite screen couples (Errol & Olivia, Rock & Doris, etc...)

So things such as what I came upon for today's Fun Find please me a lot. It's devoted to SOME of a series of movie & TV star cards that were printed and sold in Mexico in 1972. There were about 400 in all, but sadly I only have less than a fourth of that many to show you, mostly of TV stars. What I like about them is that in almost every case, the choice of photo is one that I have never seen before of that particular performer.

Printed on the cheap, the photo quality is often only so-so and the captions frequently misspell the performer's name! They have a strangely garish, at times almost ugly, quality to them and yet compel me nonetheless. I hope you have fun glancing them over. As they were produced in 1972, quite a few Underworld faves are represented, including folks who would become part of the (in my own mind) Disaster Movie Club, membership obtained by appearing in a big-screen disaster movie between 1970 and 1980.

Let's kick things off with some primarily movie stars, such as Dean Martin, all garbed in his Airport (1970) uniform, which gained him entry into the Disaster Movie Club (DMC.)
Martin's one-time comedic sidekick, a demure looking Jerry Lewis.
Here we have Mr. Rock Hudson (a DMC member for Avalanche,1978.)
International actress Claudia Cardinale.
Recent Kennedy Center Honoree and Oscar winner, Shirley MacLaine, whose name is misspelled "Mc Laine."
Dual Oscar winner Anthony Quinn, who's listed here as "Anthony Queen!" So much for international superstardom...
Italian mega-star and fellow Oscar winner Sophia Loren doesn't fare a whole lot better, being billed as "Sofia Loren." She is a DMC member for The Cassandra Crossing (1976.)
1950s and 60s pretty-boy, Troy Donahue.
Suzanne Pleshette, who was Mrs. Troy Donahue for about half a year in 1964.
Richard Widmark, who earned his DMC membership with The Swarm (1978.)
Dame Julie Andrews, who took home an Academy Award right out of the gate for Mary Poppins (1964.)
Two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda.
Oscar winning actor and legendary vocalist Frank Sinatra in costume, I believe, for The Detective (1968.)
A very cool Julie Christie, another Oscar winner.
Movie superstar and Oscar recipient Paul Newman puts his secondary assets forward in this shot from Sometimes a Great Notion (1970.)  Mr. Newman is a DMC legend thanks to The Towering Inferno (1974) and When Time Ran Out (1980.)
Few stars have been more famous than Newman's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) costar, the twice Oscar winning Elizabeth Taylor.
Katharine Ross, who somehow got her name spelled right! A DMC member for The Swarm (1980.) I think this picture is from The Hellfighters (1968), in which she played John Wayne's daughter.
Gayle Hunnicutt, a former model who was at the time a fairly hot movie actress, but who strangely drifted out of the spotlight entirely.
The remainder of the cards I'm showing you today are TV associated, though many of these people made movies as well. For example, here's Ryan O'Neal during his Peyton Place days, though he would soon become a film star.
His Peyton Place costar Mia Farrow also became better known for her movie work (and is a DMC member for Avalanche, 1978.)
Robert Lansing (shown in The Man Who Never Was, 1966-1967.)
Christopher George played The Immortal from 1969-1971.
Darren McGavin shown during The Outsider (1968-1969) and a DMC member for Airport '77 (1977.)
Roy Thinnes of The Invaders (1967-1968), who won a spot in the DMC for both Airport 1975 (1974) and The Hindenburg (1978.)
Joseph Campanella of The Bold Ones: The Doctors (1969-1972) and countless other TV and movie appearances.
Jeffrey Hunter, who truly was a movie star, but is shown here during his days as Temple Houston (1963-1964.)
On the subject of westerns, we now see elegant Linda Cristal of The High Chapparal (1967-1971.)
It made me smile to see the way this shot of the cast of Wagon Train (1957-1965) was renamed "Caravana."
We now enter the Land of the Giants (1968-1970) for a series of shots. Costar Don Marshall always stands out to me for his guest role on Star Trek, in which he was a combative crewman with Mr. Spock as one of the “Galileo Seven.”
Another Don on the show was Don Matheson.
Matheson wound up marrying his Giants costar Deanna Lund (whose name is misspelled as "Deanne" on her card.)
Somehow they got busy character actor Kurt Kasznar's name right, though...
Not so for the kid of the show Stefan Arngrim. Arngrim, by the way, is the older brother of Alison Arngrim, famed as the spiteful Nellie Oleson for all those years on Little House on the Prairie.
In this group shot below, we discover that all of the individual photos I've just shown you were actually derived from this one picture! Someone meticulously cut around the hair of Lund and Arngrim to give them solid color backgrounds! Sadly, I don't have pics of cutie captain Gary Conway or Heather Young, but you can picture those for yourself now since all they would have been were crops from this still photo.
Next up is David Hedison of another Irwin Allen TV series, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-1968.)
And the costar of still another Allen show, James Darren from The Time Tunnel (1966-1967.)
What a rotten photo of Adam West, TV's Batman (1966-1968.) He may be a bit tipsy!
Here's his “Boy Wonder,” Robin, played by Burt Ward.
The sentimental sitcom Family Affair (1966-1971) featured Brian Keith as a bachelor forced to take on three nieces and nephews after their parents' death.  Mr. Keith earned his DMC stripes with Meteor (1979.)
One of the two youngest children (portrayed as twins on the show) was Johnny Whitaker (who's mispelled as "Jhonnie" on his card!)
The other, enigmatically somber but adorable Anissa Jones had her unusual name spelled correctly!
By the time these cards were printed, Oscar winner Patty Duke had long since grown out of The Patty Duke Show (1963-1966), but she's shown here in her teen guise. Duke is a DMC member thanks to The Swarm (1978.)
Another young TV star who is a member of the DMC (and a two-time Oscar winner) is Sally Field, seen here in her get-up from The Flying Nun (1967-1970.) Her name is misspelled as “Fields.” Her DMC spot came courtesy of Beyond the PoseidonAdventure (1979.)
Her Nun costar Alejandro Rey is also in the DMC for The Swarm (1978), in which he played the doctor of pregnant Patty Duke!
Gimmicky, supernatural sitcoms were all the rage in the mid-'60s. One huge success was Bewitched (1964-1972.) Look at the little boy's face! (And is it me or is this photo reversed? The people don't look quite right.)
I like this shot of Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery.
Another memorable sitcom of similar nature was I Dream of Jeannie (1965-1970) starring Barbara Eden.
Her costar was future Dallas troublemaker Larry Hagman, looking impossibly young here.
Less remembered for whatever reason (I've never seen it!) was The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1968-1970) about a young widow and her children living in a house with the spirit of a dead sea captain, featuring Hope Lange.
Far more famous is The Addams Family (1964-1966), which starred John Astin. Since the series was in eerie black and white, it's fun to see him in color.
Similarly, we see Carolyn Jones, Astin's costar, and Ken Weatherwax, as their chubby son, in color here.
This is a strangely dated-looking (hand-tinted) photo when compared to the rest featuring Bob Cummings, of his own self-titled series which ran in a couple of incarnations (between 1955 and 1962) as well as My Living Doll (1964-1965.)
Television comedy institution Carol Burnett (whose name is missing a “t” here!) headlined The Carol Burnett Show from 1967-1977 (and could have gone on even longer had she so chosen.)
Another one, this one from the male side, is Dick Van Dyke, whose self-named show ran from 1961-1966. He then made quite a few movies before returning with The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971-1974.)
Yet another comedic actor who had several series with variations on his name is Bill Cosby (shown here during The Bill Cosby Show, 1968-1971.) His most famous series, The Cosby Show, ran from 1984-1992, but even that was later followed by Cosby (1996-2000.)
Now some TV crime-fighters, starting with Van Williams, who lent a helping hand on several series from Bourbon Street Beat (1959-1960) to Surfside 6 (1960-1962) to The Green Hornet (1966-1967.)
Mike Connors played Mannix from 1967-1975.
His helpmate on the show was Gail Fisher, oddly shown here with her eyes closed!
Robert Culp starred (along with the aforementioned Bill Cosby) on I Spy from 1965-1968.
Next we meet a few men from the stellar spy series Mission: Impossible (1966-1973.) Peter Graves joined the show in 1967 and quickly soared to fame.  Love that silver hair and tan skin with the blue eyes!  (And how do you like his earring??  Actually a button on the coat of whomever was behind him!  Ha!)
Greg Morris was with the show for its entire run, thus appearing in more episodes than anyone else.
Strongman Peter Lupus was the second most frequent player, though there were some episodes he missed when producers briefly considered phasing him out of the series.
Another famous spy was the catsuit-clad, high-kicking Dame Diana Rigg of The Avengers (from 1965-1968.) Poor Diana had to have her named presented as "Diana Riee!"
A longstanding TV cop show was Adam-12 (1968-1975) which starred Martin Milner...
...and cleft-chinned cutie Kent McCord (who on his card inherited a dash in his last name!)
Here is Jack Lord, reigning star of the venerable crime drama Hawaii 5-O (1968-1980.)
For quite a few years (1968-1979), Lord's right-hand man "Danno" was played by James MacArthur, whose name is erroneously listed as “Mc Arthur” on his card.
Then there is Raymond Burr in his trusty ivy-patterned wheelchair as Ironside (1967-1975.)
Burr, as Chief Ironside, had three assistants in his crime-solving efforts.  There was police detective Don Galloway (who happens to have been from a small town not far from me, close to the same one where Rosemary Clooney was from)...
...and his personal attendant (and later law student) Don Mitchell (who's missing an "l" from his name!)...

...and the lovely policewoman Barbara Anderson (who always had amazing hair), who left the show in 1971. Note the accent on the "a" in her first name. The same thing was done with Barbara Eden.
Michael Douglas had just begun appearing as a detective on The Streets of San Francisco in 1972 and would stay on that series until 1976.
Doing the right thing where other ways were concerned were folks like adventurous roamer George Maharis of Route 66 (1960-1963) and later The Most Deadly Game (1970-71.)
Ben Gazzara starred in Run for Your Life (1965-1968) about a terminally ill man who decides to travel the world in search of adventure and aide to his fellow man. (This series, if you ever come upon it, is chock full of female guest stars with incredible 1960s hair!) Gazzara is an honorary DMC member thanks to The Neptune Factor (1973.)
On The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (1969-1972) we find James Farentino (whose last name is hilariously misspelled “Florentino.”) I like this mod look on James!
The publishing-oriented drama The Name of the Game (1968-1971) starred Gene Barry (formerly of Bat Masterson, 1958-1961, and Burke's Law, 1963-1966, whose name here is missing an “r”)...
...Robert Stack, previously of The Untouchables (1959-1963), but shown here from Game... well as Anthony Franciosa. Franciosa was the husband of Shelley Winters from 1957-1960, which is about as much drama and adventure as anyone could wish for, I'm sure!
Did you know that there was a TV show called Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1969-1970) based upon the classic 1936 Gary Cooper movie? It starred Monte Markham (called "Monte Markan" here!) This would have made a great entry in my recent Pop Quiz on that subject! Markham, who's a member of the DMC thanks to Airport '77, also later starred in the little-known redux The New Perry Mason (1973-1974!)
Legal drama Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law starred Walter Hill, but costarred handsome Lee Majors (1971-1974.)
Do-gooder David Canary helped fill a gap on Bonanza from 1967-1973 once Pernell Roberts quit the series.
Next up is that pair of TV doctors. First, Vince Edwards (oddly listed as “Vincent Edward” here), who was Ben Casey from 1961-1966...
...and then Richard Chamberlain, who was Dr. Kildare from 1961-1966 as well. Chamberlain had DMC cred due to both The Towering Inferno (1974) and The Swarm (1978.)
Finally, we glimpse that friend of both man and beast, Tarzan, as portrayed on television by Ron Ely from 1966-1968. (For some reason, they felt the need to put his character in parentheses, something not done for anyone else, and there's an accent mark in the word “Tarzan.”)

It finally came to me that about a year and a half ago, I had posted at least one of these cards in this post about campy things. The card was wrong in about two or three different ways and cracked me up!

I don't know if anything can top that howler, but this one comes damn close...  Take a look below!!
Not only is the name supposed to be Ursula Andress, not "Andrews," but that isn't even her!  It's a young and lean Raquel Welch!!!  I doubt if either lady, who each possesses her own unique and eye-popping assets, would want to be mistaken for one another...  If I ever come upon more of these hooty cards, I'll be sure to share them one way or another.

I kid you not, if they published and sold packets of cards like this right now (for vintage stars, not current ones!), I would collect them! I once collected a series of Hollywood Walk of Fame cards, even though the photos on them were similarly poor in many cases, though often the actual quality of the printing was better. I enjoyed reading the trivia on the back of them and, as I said in the first place, just holding the stars in my hand. Til next time... this deck is all played out!


Gingerguy said...

Alejandro Rey, Peter Lupus, and Van Williams-hubba hubba! and wasn't James Macarthur the son of Helen Hayes?

Poseidon3 said...

Gingerguy, Van Williams is one of my top faves and you can find many photos of him sprinkled throughout The Underworld. Just click on his name in the righthand column and start the parade!

Yes, MacArthur was the adopted son of Helen Hayes and writer Charles MacArthur. Such a cute, nice guy and a good actor.

joel65913 said...

So many treasures! Thanks for sharing them Poseidon.

Even if the color is off in some of pictures the snaps themselves for several stars are quite good. Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Ross, I especially love that somewhat pensive profile shot of her, Mia Farrow, Larry Hagman who looks adorable, Robert Stack, David Canary, after years of watching him on All My Children it's always surprising to see him with dark hair. And of course Ron Ely. They all look great.

But in some cases the actors often resemble someone else even though the pix themselves are good. At first I thought that Julie Christie was Charlotte Rampling. Hope Lange is throwing off sort of a Joan Crawford attitude. Van Williams who for probably the only time in his life reminds me of an athletic Bob Denver. Claudia Cardinale has a whole Sally Field vibe going on. Speaking of Sally and the misspelling of her last name that seems to happen frequently. Last year when she was nominated for a supporting actress Oscar it was still misspelled in several articles and the woman was up for Hollywood's top prize not to mention she's Sally freaking Field!!, Gayle Hunnicutt has a sort of Jacqueline Bisset/Pamela Tiffin look happening.

But some are just awful: I think that might be the worst picture I've ever seen of Shirley MacLaine. Deanna Lund who I always thought was a knockout when I was a kid looks like a wax figure with an atrocious wig. James MacArthur looks like he's been in a fight, what is that lump on his forehead? I always thought Monte Markham was so dreamy but that picture seems to highlight every one of his features in the worst possible light! I do remember his version of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, I loved it and his other series The Second Hundred Years that showed around the same time. Both were short lived but I never missed them when I was a kid. I could have sworn he also starred in The Ugliest Girl in Town, another short lived series that I always watched but it turns out that was Peter Kastner who looked nothing like him, so much for memory. And of course that ghastly picture of Adam West you pointed out.

There are others but those struck me right off. Good, bad or indifferent it was a lot of fun looking through and reading your comments on them as always.

F. Nomen said...

A while ago in a dollar store I found some packs of trading cards published by Panini under the name "Americana" in 2011. Picked up a pack on a whim and got five cards, for Jon Provost (Lassie), Jamie Donnelly (The Rocky Horror Show), Edd Byrnes (77 Sunset Strip), Barbara Morgan (teacher and astronaut) and Piper Laurie (all-around fabulous). Contemporary color pictures, all featuring the subject against a neutral background. Morgan's picture looks like an official NASA publicity picture, Laurie's looks like a red carpet picture, Donnelly has a purse over her shoulder so I'm thinking pap shot? No idea on the others. I was intrigued but not enough to buy them at 20 cents a card.

Ken Anderson said...

I think "Anthony Queen" made my day!
Miss Ursula Andrews wasn't far behind. These are all so great.

Don Marshall of "Land of the Giants" fame, lives in my building here in LA. He is very nice (although a character)and regales all who will listen with unrepeatable gossip about former love-interest, Diahann Carroll. He mostly makes the rounds at autograph and Star Trek conventions.

Poseidon3 said...

Joel, always a pleasure to read your own detailed and insightful takes on my stuff. Some of these pictures (like MacLaine, Markham, West) would have pissed me off if I'd been the star in question! No wonder many big stars used to demand photo approval back in the day (and now?)

F. Nomen, I too tried to check out those Americana cards! I bought three packs, I think, trying to see what they were like because they sounded as if they'd be wonderful, but the ones I got were really lame (they'd have to be for me to give up on such a thing. I usually become obsessed!)

Ken, how hideous of you to mention "unrepeatable gossip" and then not repeat it! HAHAHA! Remember on "Hee Haw" (which I'm sure you watched repeatedly in your youth) when they'd sing that song: "Oh, you'll never hear one of us repeating gossip... so you'd better be sure and listen close the first time!"?? Neat that you have him nearby like that.

Sojol Hossain said...

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Poseidon3 said...

Sojol, without any specific examples of what it is you are trying to talk about, I'm afraid I don't know and, thus, cannot address it properly. ??