Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fun Finds: Circa 1960 British Movie Star Cards

Oh duckies, our work life has been nothing short of avalanche-level over the past week or so. The boss is on vacation, which leaves extra duties in my lap, and the building season is in full swing, so there is an endless string of orders, questions and emergencies to contend with, thus the scarcity of posting lately. I'm gearing up for a hefty post next week, but in the meantime I toss you this collection of vintage cards from around 1960. They were made by a British company called F.P.F., Ltd. and came in the size of postcards and half-postcards for greeting purposed (back when people used to write!) Take care and I'll be back ASAP with more fun and frolic.
This is a familiar sort of publicity shot of our Paul, much more of who can be glimpsed right here!
I really want to be like everyone else and like Gregory Peck, but I usually find myself only enjoying about a third of the performances I see him in. Somehow he's just not my type (which is probably more a reflection on me than him!)
Rough and tumble Mitchum was a very effective actor, but sure didn't like to be caught doing it. The profession didn't seem to match his vision of what a man ought to do for a living.
We feel a special connection to Miss Clooney since she was reared only a few miles away from where we were. In fact, I go to her hometown every year or two (and the last time, even got to spend twenty minutes chatting up Rosie's sister-in-law, who happens to be George's mother!)
The always energetic and effervescent Miss Gaynor is such a delight and is still going at age eighty-five.
Burly Mature sometimes seemed to have bigger breasts than his leading ladies.
This isn't really the greatest shot of Calhoun, though if you blur your eyes a little there's an unexpected resemblance to Roch Hudson, who he shared an agent with.
Ms. Blyth seemed to handle things right. Work a little while, nab an Oscar, marry and raise a family (five kids!) and basically only act when you feel like it! She's also still with us today at eighty-eight!
The opera singing movie star dazzled audiences of the 1950s, but struggled to maintain a leading man-level weight. The result of his trying to pare down for a future role was a fatal heart attack at only age thirty-eight.
Rennie was such a busy actor during his prime, though he could hardly be described as dynamic. If you've ever wondered why you never saw him after 1971, it's because an aneurysm claimed him that year at only age sixty-one.
At the time of this portrait, Mr. Bogarde was a British cinema heartthrob, though he would soon begin tackling more challenging roles and embarking on a more distinguished acting career than he initially enjoyed. What many of his fans didn't know was that Bogarde lived a devoted existence with a male lover for more than three decades.
Mr. Murphy's movie career came courtesy of his being one of the most highly-decorated soldiers ever to emerge from WWII. There wasn't one available medal for combat valor that he didn't receive (among many others.) Though his career had its high points and its low ones, he was about to reignite it (similar to the way Randolph Scott did) when a plane crash took him at age forty-five.
Steel was a big hit in 1950s British films until a stormy marriage to Anita Ekberg and and unfulfilling trip to the U.S. derailed things more than a little. He continued to work, but never got back on the seemingly sure career track he'd initially been on.
By the time this card was printed comedic actress Laverick had already filmed her last feature, though she segued into TV for five years before retiring altogether. She's still alive today at eighty-six.
Nader's movie career was waning by this time and he began to work more heavily on television (and eventually in European action cinema.) You can read all about George right here!
Singer and funnyman Bygraves really wasn't predominantly a movie actor, though the few that he'd done were released around the time of this card.
The Scottish Swanson was a 1950s actress who, very soon after this card was published, retired from the screen to marry a Viscount and produce seven children (one of whom was stillborn.) Her title was Countess of Dudley.
I'm so sorry Tommy, but I just can't... Mr. Steele was an exuberant, talented dancer, but that HUGE screen persona (on display in Finian's Rainbow and The Happiest Millionaire) was always too much for me, though I've tried to get on board several times. He's another one of the few here who is still with us (at eighty.)
The versatile Mr. Britton's screen career spanned more than six decades, most often in supporting parts in movies such as Sunday Bloody Sunday, Day of the Jackal and The People That Time Forgot. He's still kicking today at ninety-three!
Brynner in the role for which he's most identified, both on stage and in the film version of The King and I, though he worked steadily in hordes of other movies as well.
We love this beguiling portrait of Miss Kerr, who, of course, was alongside Brynner in the movie of The King and I and starred in many other films as well.
We consider Mr. MacRae one of the (if you'll pardon the pun) most unsung musical talents of the big screen. His gorgeous voice never seems to get all the credit it's due and it's practically our favorite of its type. (And he was a handsome fella, too, until booze took its toll.)
The rather troubled Mr. Ladd is another one we've just never been able to warm up to much... Most of the work I've seen is his later stuff, after alcohol and drugs had taken a toll. (He was dead thanks to a combination of both by age fifty.) Someday I'll have to dig further back to see what I think.
Primarily known for his TV series 77 Sunset Strip, Edd Byrnes (who I've never seen credited as "Eddie!") also worked on several Warner Brothers movies, but by 1959 that was behind him. His TV commitments kept him from accepting several outside roles and before long he was in career trauma, which he never completely recovered from. He's still alive today at eighty-three.
The amazing and inimitable Ms. Johns looks quite lovely here. Incidentally, it was her first husband (and the father of her only child) who wound up as Dirk Bogarde's life partner! She married and divorced three more times. She is ninety-three at present.
British singing sensation Richard was at his zenith around this time, and soon was also appearing in several movies, though that only lasted primarily through the 1960s. At seventy-six, he's not only still alive, but among the youngest represented here.
One of several potential threats to Marilyn Monroe, Ms. North didn't really come into her own until she aged a bit, dropped the white-blonde hair and turned in some knowing, gritty performances on TV and quite a few movies.
This is a pretty surprising portrait of Ms. Dors to those of us who know her principally as a platinum blonder with heavy eye makeup. (Not to mention the bawdy, buxom, busty presence in Berserk!) I always find it surprising that she was once the wife of Richard Dawson (of Hogan's Heroes, Match Game and Family Feud fame.) Ovarian cancer claimed her at only age fifty-two, an event which led her widower to commit suicide just several months later.
Well, this post is leaning a little bit tragic here and there (but then, so am I as a rule!) The glamorous Ms. Kendall died in 1959 of Leukemia at only age thirty-two. Her husband at the time, Rex Harrison, made the decision not to tell her that she was dying, instead leading her to believe she had a severe iron deficiency!
Crooner Martin was about four years out of his famous pairing with Jerry Lewis (which didn't end amicably) and was on the verge of solidifying a solo acting career after the sputtering start with Ten Thousand Bedrooms. Soon, he'd be a steadily-employed, box office name.
Brando, one of the cinema's most famous names, was right near the beginning of what would amount to a career decline. The Fugitive Kind hadn't done particularly well and the costly, troubled productions of One Eyed Jacks and Mutiny on the Bounty were on the horizon. Things would go from bad to worse until The Godfather reestablished him. Some appealing, even revealing, shots of him can be found here.
Ms. Scott was a child actress who successfully transitioned to adult roles. She was still a working actress when she retired from the screen in the late-'60s, wedding Mel Torme the in 1966 and having two children with him. They divorced after about a decade and she is still alive today at age seventy-eight.
Moore, perhaps best known for Mighty Joe Young and Peyton Place, has worked in every decade since 1940 giving her a startlingly lengthy span on film from 1940 to 2016! She's currently eighty-eight years of age.
One of Italy's most notable cinematic exports, Miss Lollobrigida was a sought-after sexpot in quite a few films from the '40s on. Now eighty-nine and off-screen for about two decades, she has been generous with her time and money towards a number of causes.
Garner was freshly embarking on a big screen career having won the lead in Darby's Rangers when Charlton Heston departed and then proceeded to Up Periscope and Cash McCall. Even greater fame was to come when he teamed up with ladies like Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews, Doris Day and others, with a solid return to TV in The Rockford Files.
We love our Tab, though we prefer a little more meat on his bones than at this stage. Having costarred with Natalie Wood a couple of times, headlined Damn Yankees and even become a top-selling vocalist with "Young Love," he was just about to see his fame decline as the late-'60s and 1970s came about. Now eighty-five, he's been back in the limelight thanks to a successful auto-bio and accompanying documentary with details about being gay in old Hollywood.
Mr. Greene had been a busy movie actor prior to WWII and picked up again reasonably afterwards, but his biggest claim to fame was starring in The Adventures of Robin Hood during the mid-to-late '50s on British television. he was also wed to Patricia Medina for ten years long before she was Mrs. Joseph Cotten.
Lord, yes, we're all familiar with Miss Marilyn. Having just taken part in the staggering success Some Like It Hot, she was to see a decline in the importance (not to mention number!) of her movies. Completing only Let's Make Love and The Misfits before her death at only age thirty-six, she remains a worldwide icon, one whose demise is still shrouded in mystery and speculation.
Animal-loving Elizabeth was said never to be without a pet in tow during her years as a child star. She then, of course, went on to a wildly successful adult career and a wild succession of husbands. Having receded from movies by the late-1990s, she was a tireless advocate for those affected by AIDS as well as other charitable endeavors.
Our last star is a chiseled and handsome Dale Robertson. This is quite a change from the burly, boisterous and big-bellied brawler who costarred on the first season of Dynasty as Walter Lankershim, which is how I first ever saw him. Robertson was the star of many a big-screen western and also of the TV series Tales of Wells Fargo, of which he made more than 200 episodes!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Still Quoting....!

"When I worked on The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976), Vanessa Redgrave tried to convert me to a form of communism, Trotskyism, whatever the hell it is. Talented broad, but everyone ducked behind a camera when she came around. I asked her, 'Vanessa can you shoot a pistol?' 'Why?' 'Well, when the revolution comes...' 'No, no,' she interrupted. 'Someone else will do that.' Some Trotskyite. She travels by Rolls Royce." - ROBERT DUVALL on VANESSA REDGRAVE

"Then, I thought to myself, 'Darn it, maybe I can't do what Vanessa Redgrave can, but can Vanessa Redgrave do what I can do? Who's kidding who here? - RAQUEL WELCH on VANESSA REDGRAVE
"What seemed like such a nice, simple, artless performance in Superman (1978) was the finest kind of acting. Reeve's timing-and humor-has to be just about perfect to make the character come off." - director SIDNEY LUMET on CHRISTOPHER REEVE (who he directed in Deathtrap (1982.)
"It was my father who told me I should develop my body seeing as how I wasn't born with much of a brain an' it was the only thing I had to fall back on. Then I saw Steve Reeves an' I thought, 'Jesus, anybody can go to school an' become a lawyer, but I wanna be able to pull down a temple, shift a bridge, take on a whole Roman army. ...That's a man to me.'" - SYLVESTER STALLONE on STEVE REEVES
"It's the man's tremendous wit that just keeps coming across. Listen, there's no acting style. Most people just play themselves. Spencer Tracy used to say to me after a scene, 'Did I ham that one up?' If I said yes, he'd say, 'Okay, let's do it again.' There's that same honesty in Burt Reynolds. He's a throwback to the old school." - MYRNA LOY on BURT REYNOLDS (whose mother she played in The End, 1978.)
"He is the one the ladies like to dance with and their husbands like to drink with. He is the larger-than-life actor of our times. He is gifted, talented, naughty-but nice." - FRANK SINATRA on BURT REYNOLDS (and in whose Cannonball Run II, 1982, he appeared.)
"Burt has a quality that nobody else has. He's funny, sexy, glib, likeable and still very macho. But Burt tries to be all things to all people... He thinks that unless he's doing...intense dramatic work-then he's not an actor. But I don't think he's comfortable with that kind of intense emotional revealing. He doesn't like to reveal himself that way in life, yet he's mad at himself because he can't do that on the screen." SALLY FIELD (one-time romantic partner and costar in Smokey and the Bandit, 1977, The End, 1978, Hooper, 1978, and Smokey and the Bandit II, 1980) on BURT REYNOLDS in 1985.)
"She's one of the reasons I left show business... We'd give her a new scene, and she couldn't remember the lines. She couldn't sing and, surprisingly, she couldn't do the dances. And all through the horror of it all she was smiling and grinning and unreal. There's no denying her appeal to the public. That's what makes her so dangerous. She almost smiled me into bankruptcy." - PAUL GREGORY (producer of the 1959 musical The Pink Jungle, which closed prior to its scheduled 1960 Broadway opening and involved at least seven Actors Equity motions) on GINGER ROGERS
"Don't let her fool you. Tangle with her and she'll shingle your attic." BOB HOPE on JANE RUSSELL (his costar in The Paleface, 1948, and Son of Paleface, 1952.)
"...One of the best actors alive. But my opinion of him as an actor is much higher than my opinion of him as a man." - JOHN HUSTON on GEORGE C. SCOTT (who he directed three times in The List of Adrian Messenger, 1963, The Last Run, 1971, and The Bible: In the Beginning, 1966, the last of which included a booze-fueled relationship with Ava Gardner in which Scott reportedly beat her to the point of hospitalization.)
"But everything [on High, Wide and Handsome, 1937] became a little bit brighter when I got to know Randolph Scott, one of the finest men in Hollywood... Now a retired millionaire, he's still as handsome as he was in 1937, totally charming and loads of fun." DOROTHY LAMOUR on RANDOLPH SCOTT
"Randy Scott is a complete anachronism. He's a gentleman. And so far, he's the only one I've met in this business full of self-promoting sons-of-bitches." - director MICHAEL CURTIZ on RANDOLPH SCOTT (who he directed in Virginia City, 1940.)
"I think his mother had gained such an incredible influence over him that he virtually abdicated his own rights to any individual personality... Finally, he had to invade other bodies to register at all. He had to inhabit, he was like a ghoul, he had to feast off somebody else! But he did it so well, it became an art. He was not a genius, Sellers, he was a freak." - SPIKE MILLIGAN on PETER SELLERS (his frequent stage, television and movie cohort.)
"Talk about unprofessional rat finks." - BILLY WILDER on PETER SELLERS (who Wilder directed, uncredited, in Casino Royale, 1967.)
"Norma, who I have always like and got along with, was at notorious loggerheads with Joan [Crawford.] You see, she was treated as Queen of the Lot because of her marriage to the boss, Irving Thalberg. Joan had made a lot of money for the company, and I imagine that's what annoyed both of them; it was a competition of who was really the Queen of the Lot." ROSALIND RUSSELL on NORMA SHEARER and JOAN CRAWFORD (all three stars of The Women, 1939.)
"And you can tell Miss Shearer that I didn't get where I am on my ass." - JOAN CRAWFORD on NORMA SHEARER (to the press.)