Friday, June 10, 2016

Fun Finds: Rona Barrett's Hollywood Magazine, March 1976

Well, we're back again with scans from another movie-oriented, vintage fan magazine. This time it's Miss Rona Barrett's own Hollywood magazine. (She also had the simultaneous rag, Rona Barrett's Gossip.) One thing great about this publication is that, unlike virtually all the others out there, ads were kept to a minimum. Practically every page including the back and inside covers contained copy and photos. These pretty much speak for themselves, so I will try to keep my comments to a minimum unless something really stands out (but I make no promises! Ha ha!) A few things are presented out of order for continuity's sake. You may need to right click & open them in a new tab or window in order to get the best view for reading.
Rona's getting very snug with Burt Reynolds here! His recent ex-love Dinah Shore is shown below. Interesting to see what Elton wore to his Walk of Fame ceremony.
This magazine was stapled in a way that made it really hard to fold for scanning, hence the occasional off-center page. Note the quote from Steven Spielberg (director of a Jurassic Park sequel, several Indiana Jones sequels and producer of countless others), "I think making a sequel to anything is just a cheap carny trick." The tone towards the upcoming Network (1976) is surprisingly derisive.

Needless to say I do not like this look on Paul Newman...
Interesting that a photo of the troubled Farrah Fawcett & Lee Majors is situated above one of Ryan O'Neal, who would soon hasten the end of their marriage (and his friendship with Majors in the bargain!)
It's the REAL Colonel Harland Sanders receiving a kiss from Danny Thomas. Am I the only one who HATES those new KFC commercials with Norm MacDonald? I was intrigued, though, to see that Jeff Bridges was initially slated to play the rapist in Lipstick (1976)!
I never realized that character actor Andy Devine was still alive at this time (and, in fact, he passed away in February of 1977 of leukemia at seventy-one. This All in the Family diaper thing warranted two separate mentions in this mag! By the way, Billy Dee Williams and the (3rd) wife shown here are still married today, forty-four years later.
At the time of this magazine, Good Times (1974-1979) was in a state of upheaval because the ostensible stars John Amos & Esther Rolle were unhappy with costar J.J. Jimmie Walker catching fire (and leading to a dumbing-down of the show.) Walker and Amos had appeared together in Lets' Do It Again (1975), with Walker taking over a role intended for Richard Pryor. Ultimately, Amos was fired from Good Times and Walker became the de facto star of the show.

John Travolta and Kim Darby?! Also, I don't know where I was, but I had no idea that Lucky Lady (1975) was a hit movie! LOL  It really was, making make twice its cost, but for some reason it always had n aura of "flop" for me. (I've never seen it.) Robert Blake is shown with first wife Sondra (1961-1983) who lived to tell about it.
Wow, what a surprise to see '40s and '50s actress Claire Trevor (sporting a Tennille!)

James Caan did in fact marry Sheila Ryan in 1976, but they were divorced by 1977 (though she is the mother of his actor son Scott Caan.) Caan's brother is handsome! Perhaps more so that James. As the caption says, Caan was devoted to his family and his sister's death of leukemia led to not only a deep depression, but cocaine addiction which he eventually overcame. He left acting for five years during that time.
This is a wedding photo of Chico and the Man (1974-1977) star Freddie Prinze and his wife Kathy. Kathy is the mother of Freddie Prinze Jr.
Sadly, about a year after this, Prinze was dead after a fatal round of Russian roulette which many believe was a suicide. The couple had divorced over Prinze's drug use and erratic behavior. He was but twenty-two when he died! (In other news, Jack Jones and Susan George were once a couple?!)

Tony Orlando and Dawn (1974-1976) was actually getting close to ending despite this two-page spread. He and his back-up singers parted ways (partly due to Orlando's despair of his friend Prinze's death and his own drug issues.) His wife Elaine (who had once been Buddy Holly's girlfriend) and he were divorced in 1984.

I can't imagine Diahnne Abbott was too thrilled to pick up this magazine and see her name misspelled! She and De Niro were married for a dozen years starting in 1976 and she appeared in several of his movies.
As a kid (nine when this came out) I was always freaked out by photos of Gregg Allman (also misspelled in the article) and could never understand Cher's interest in him. BTW, Peter Boyle's marriage to Lorraine, which took place the year after this, was a success, lasting until his unfortunate death in 2006 of myeloma at age seventy-one.
Page one of a four-page spread on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975.) Do not ask me why, but I had never seen this film until about 6 months ago!
What struck me more than anything else was how much I enjoyed Danny DeVito (in a role unlike virtually any other that he's played in his long career.) I wish he'd done more things along this line.

Seeing Faye's name on the cover was enough to get me to buy the (sealed) magazine, though the article about her was clearly done without her participation and seems to have been cribbed from other sources.
At least there are plenty of photos from her career sprinkled about.
I STILL have not seen Puzzle of a Downfall Child (1970)...
In the wake of Jane Seymour's performance as Wallis Simpson in The Woman He Loved (1988), Dunaway's lesser-known portrayal in The Woman I Love (1972) seems to have fallen into a TV-movie abyss somewhere! Pairing her with Richard Chamberlain as Edward, I really want to see this one, too!
Interesting that Gable and Lombard (1976) was once known as "Lombard & Gable" before its release (and interesting that anyone thought it was good!)
Hmmm. You don't often hear Petula Clark and Hope Lange in the same sentence! And, again, I do not like this look on Newman. The article notes some of the wild practical jokes he had recently done (or had done to him.)

This page was initially left out in error! Added on 6/14/16.
It's fun to see a latter-day photo of Deborah Kerr. Also, take note of the movie that's mentioned in this column, "Blarney Cock." It later saw the light of day as the high-priced flop Swashbuckler (1976.) Michael York's upcoming "Life of Christ" was actually Jesus of Nazareth (1977), a miniseries in which he played John the Baptist.
My GOD, my mother would have been beside herself over the getup Elizabeth Taylor is wearing in this photo.

Without reading the caption, try to see if you can guess who the chick is in the lower left corner!! Holy Schniekes....

Susan Clark won an Emmy for the TV-movie Babe referred to on this page. Nowadays, people think of Babe (1995), the one about the pig, but this was a memorable telefilm in its day. The photo of her, of course, is from Airport 1975 (1974), though!

God, I love color photo spreads from Hollywood events like this! Unsinkable Debbie Reynolds is still kicking it at eighty-four, though everyone else except Susie Coelho on this page is deceased. Lita Baron, by the way, was Rory Calhoun's wife for about two decades and the mother of three of his children.
We like Ruta Lee a lot and she was always pulled together. We worship Dick Gautier!  Betty White looked lovely here, too. Dig the boobs!  Shelley Winters looks like she wants to eat Don Stroud (and maybe she did.)
Don's tuxedo! At first I thought Russ Tamblyn was with Bea Arthur!  LOL  Do you know that the engagement that is mentioned for Ruta was to a Texas restauranteur named Webster Lowe and that they remain wed to this day?!
Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin enjoyed a fifty-year marriage. Lynda Day and Christopher George probably would have, too, had cancer not taken him thirteen years in. Only death could separate June Haver and Fred MacMurray, who were wed thirty-seven years.
Doncha love how Miss Rona finds her way into so many photos of her own magazine?! She and husband Bill divorced in 1982. She later remarried in 2008. Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood look happy here, though she would die in that horrible incident in 1981.
This is the issue's back cover. Not a bit of wasted space! We hope you enjoyed leafing through this magazine with me.


Taylor Maddux said...

This was amazing, Poseidon. So much content packed into one issue. What a time capsule.

Viva Rona!

And your commentary, as usual, added immeasurably to the fun.

DevilYouKnow said...

I love these Fun Finds of yours! They even inspired me to finally get some old gossip rags off eBay last month. I lucked out and got a few great and cheap lots. They really are a hoot and a half to read and I love the candid shots of old Hollywood stars.

Seeing that pic of John Travolta and Kim Darby reminded me about how bizarre it is (to me anyway) that she landed so many hot dudes! Not to say she's ugly but she has always stuck me as rather homely and has always annoyed the bejesus outta me. Something about the way she talks.

Oh, and I love Ruta Lee too! How she wasn't more of a hotsie totsie sex symbol a la Raquel Welch is beyond me.

Musicals. Rock. said...

Hm... That Rocky Horror Picture Show snapshot seems to be random...

Rick Gould said...

Oh, Poseidon! If I had only kept all my Rona Barrett magazines from my teen years, I could be selling them on E-Bay to you ; )

Did you see this great big article about what Miss Rona is up to today on Buzzfeed? She has lots to say on about her place in entertainment reporting and the industry today.

Poseidon3 said...

Taylor, there was even more, here and there, but there was only so much I could scan and load here. You really got your money's worth with Miss Rona!

DevilYouKnow, isn't it fun to take a gander at what people were up do back in the day? Usually brings back a flood of memories for me unless of course the mag is even older than I am. The (now) rare photos are even more interesting, though often the quality isn't the greatest. As for Kim Darby, I don't dispute that she had some talent, but her looks were "glamor-proof!" I don't know if anyone could have successfully made her up to look like those other movie and TV goddesses of the '60s. (Sian Barbara Allen is another one.)

Rick, that article was WONDERFUL! Loved the photos and hearing all about Rona: The Lost Years. LOL Thank you for sharing it with us. I do think it's a bit unfair that everyone recalls all the Barbara Walters interviews, great as they are, but Rona's, which came first, are all but forgotten. And Rona REALLY put up with some bullshit from various men. You can see clips on youtube of her having to defend herself against various jerks. Oddly enough, the strangest takeaway from the article for me was that Troy Donohue could beat up Suzanne Pleshette and she couldn't or didn't level him with one good punch of her own! She always seemed so capable and tough while he was like a scrawny wimp. (And apparently an ass.)

Gingerguy said...

Rona's hot flashes! very juicy indeed. I always thought John Amos was smoking hot, and looking back on that show I can see how they felt crowded by all the "Dyno-mite!" Esther Rolle was a Shakespearean actress. "Lucky Lady" has been on my watch list for years, along with "The Fortune" I get them mixed up in my head. Whatever happened to Freddie Prinze Jr? he had a movie career late 90's and disappeared, I never realized his Dad was so young-everyone seemed so old to me then. Last but not least, Susie Coelho! wow. She was Sonny Bono's girlfriend, I think she was Hispanic but remember her as native American in something or other on tv. What a trip down memory lane!

sowhatelse said...

I always thought of the young James Caan as a sex god I would have been happy to worship.

It's always interesting to see how the past echoes some of the events of today.

Thanks, Poseidon, for yet another fascinating post, and for your research into a lot of the personalities posted. I'm always curious if some of these people survive, and whether the people they're shown with survived with them.

angelman66 said...

Awesome!!!! Especially love Rona flirting with Burt...thanks for the memories, Poseidon!!

Poseidon3 said...

Gingerguy, I agree about Freddie Jr. Once he was everywhere and now... ??? I blame those wretched Scooby Doo remakes. I just couldn't go near them at all. lists Susie as having been born in England (!), but of East Indian and Portuguese descent. I don't know that I ever saw her in anything (other than countless snaps in The National Enquirer during her relationship and fairly brief marriage to Sonny Bono.) She was in the TV-movie "Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women" which I MUST see some time. Actually, I must have seen her at some point because she's in that horrific Lee Majors Viking flick (I never miss a Lee Majors Viking movie...) "The Norseman!" LOL

Sowhatelse, thank you so much for your comments and for taking the time to write. James Caan was so tight and solid and strong and HAIRY - something we rarely, if ever, see in movie leading men now. He exuded that MACHO confidence. Not a hint of metrosexuality (until maybe "Kiss Me Goodbye," which he loathed.) I get you on that. I really never saw much of his work when I was a kid, but I thought he had a hint of danger and was very manly, which I loved.

Angelman, I never do anything Rona-esque without thinking of you and your affection for her magazines! ;-) Thank you! (P.S. - I hope you read the linked article above in the comments about her current life?)