Thursday, March 14, 2019

Fun Finds: TV's Top Ten, November, 1961

If you're a regular reader of Poseidon's Underworld, then you know I frequently scrounge through all sorts of vintage book stores, thrift stores, flea markets and other places like an antique algae eater, looking for any and all interesting old entertainment publications that I can lay my grubby little hands on. Then often I share them here, saving you the trouble of having to locate them yourselves! Today's magazine is unique because there is not one advertisement anywhere in it, so, uncharacteristically, I've gone and scanned the entire thing except for the table of contents. There are ten stars who have photo-heavy profiles here and you'll doubtlessly enjoy this more if you like one or more of them. (The other three sides of the cover have "Bonus Pinups" with performers unrelated to the featured articles.) There is no color, however, apart from the tinted cover. I have a mini-bonus at the end as well. With this many pics, I won't comment unless I feel moved to! Now off we go...
This young lady, Lori Martin, was in the midst of a two-year run on the series National Velvet. Her "black" hair was actually dyed that way to suggest Elizabeth Taylor, who'd starred in the 1944 movie. The year after this, she had a memorable role in Cape Fear (1962) and later appeared in The Chase (1966), but she left the business in 1970 to reassess her career and to take care of her sick mother. In 2010, at age sixty-two, she took her own life, having endured mental health and drug dependency issues in the wake of her husband's death a decade beforehand.
This photo shoot of Michael Landon (who has a tribute of his own here) is all from a U.S. Marine combat preparation exercise that the Bonanza star was taking part in as a publicity gimmick.
Mike and his gun look more impressive when not broken apart on two pages, so I did a mashup for you here.
Despite their apparent happiness, Michael and Dodie split in 1962 and he remarried in 1963 to Lynn (who he famously left twenty years later for a makeup artist from Little House on the Prairie.)
This is Miss Dorothy Provine, a pretty singer and (chiefly) comic actress who was then starring on The Roaring '20s following a stint on The Alaskans with Roger Moore.
Provine had (and has!) a loyal fan following. I've never seen her in anything except 1963's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, for which she didn't register all that much for me against the scads of others among the cast.
Despite this article's headline that 1962 would be her year for love, Provine did not wed until 1968. But, unlike countless other Hollywood blondes, it was the only time she married and it lasted until her death in 2010. Emphysema claimed her at age seventy-five.
At the time of this publication, Troy Donahue was just about at the peak of his popularity, starring on Surfside 6, but simultaneously starring in movies such as Parrish and Susan Slade (both 1961.) Soon, he would make Rome Adventure (1962), referred to in this text under its initial title "Lovers Must Learn," and marry his costar Suzanne Pleshette, though it lasted only months.
This article suggests that he was engaged to Warner Brothers starlet Lili Kardell, but as I said, that would all be history once he met Suzanne!
If Lili truly was on site during filming, that must have really been something! But she was well out of it. Reportedly, Donahue was quite abusive to Pleshette, especially when he drank (which was often!) He married three more times before his death at sixty-five of a heart attack in 2001.
This person is interesting for a few reasons. I truly can't say I'd ever heard of him, yet here he was being featured for eight pages along with all the other prominent names. The short-lived western show Gunslinger was also unfamiliar.
Even his face didn't ring a bell!
Young's first wife was a minor young actress named Connie Mason. The lady he's with here did not become his second. In 1962, he wed Madlyn Rhue and they were together until 1970.
Kristina Hansen only did a small handful of on-screen acting gigs and was all but done even by the time of this article (probably readying to be a wife!) She ultimately left the biz and became an elementary school teacher.
Young wed a third time, unsuccessfully, to curvaceous redheaded actress Sondra Currie, and I can't find any record of the movie "A Very Important Person." He did a slew of TV guest roles and bit parts until the late-1980s - often as henchmen, then passed away of lung cancer in 2002 at age sixty-four.
Someone most of us are better acquainted with is this gal, Miss Connie Stevens.
Like Troy Donahue, she was just about at her peak during this period with Parrish and Susan Slade (both 1961) behind her, the hit show Hawaiian Eye still running and Palm Springs Weekend (1963) on the horizon.
It was fun to see her cavorting with Michael Dante, the subject of a profile here not too long ago.
Stevens wanted to marry "for keeps," but sadly her 1963 union with James Stacy ended in 1966 and her 1967 marriage to Eddie Fisher was disastrous despite giving her two daughters. It was over by 1969 (and he painted a terrible picture of her in his autobiographies, though in truth it reflected worse on him than it did her because he was such a slimeball.)
Route 66's George Maharis.
Oh dear...
There's a certain element of (apt) mystery to a couple of these pics.
"[He] made a new friend (a fellow Greek actor, top, who he met on a street corner)" - !!!
I so wanted to avoid any sort of mention about Maharis getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar, but I'm not strong enough...
The text of this article says that Roger Smith is identified mostly with the fact that he's married to Victoria Shaw. That's fascinating since within a few years he would be even more associated with his wife, only by then it was Ann-Margret!
Smith was then starring on 77 Sunset Strip and had played Rosalind Russell's college-aged nephew in Auntie Mame (1958.)
Smith and Shaw had three children and seemed an ideal couple, but by 1965 it was all through. He married A-M in 1967 and famously guided her career, leaving any acting jobs behind from 1968 on. A debilitating bout of myasthenia gravis affected him greatly for periods of time.
He did manage to keep the disease in check for many years, but in 2017 at age eighty-four, he succumbed to complications from it. For her part, Shaw wed once more briefly and did continue acting, mostly in TV guest roles, through the late-'70s, but passed away of emphysema in 1988 at only age fifty-three.
Diane McBain has been a personal favorite of ours for quite a few years.
The sultry blonde was capable of playing both naughty and nice with equal ease. Still near the dawn of her career (an early break came with Ice Palace, 1960), she was working on Surfside 6 and also got a shot at her very own movie vehicle Claudelle Inglish (1961.)
We adore cutie Rian Garrick, who she's nuzzling in these pics.
Anyone else see some Sharon Stone in her face with the upper-right pic?
Though she remained active, mostly on TV, until about 2001, McBain never quite fulfilled the promise of her early roles. She's still with us today at age seventy-seven.
Gardner McKay didn't do a great deal of acting outside of his series Adventures in Paradise, but he is fondly remembered by many fans even now.
It's easy to see why so many folks still recall the lanky, dark, handsome actor. He didn't end up marrying until 1983, but it lasted until his death and produced two children.
McKay could hardly wait to exit the acting game and turned to writing, also becoming a drama critic for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner for a few years. Prostate cancer claimed him in 2001 at age sixty-nine.
Everyone's favorite Mouseketeer-turned-Beach Babe.
Here, on the cover and in the Table of C0ntents Annette Funicello is listed as merely "Annette," like Cher or Madonna! Ha ha! I guess there was only one Annette of note at the time.
I think sometimes, perhaps because of the lightweight, campy aspect of all those beach pictures, that I underestimate just how wildly popular Miss Funicello was in her day. She married in 1963 and had three children, but the couple split up in 1983. Then in 1987 she wed again for good.
I really like the top picture of her. Miss Funicello was dealt a cruel hand in 1987 when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and suffered its deteriorating effects up until her passing in 2013 at age seventy.
The inside back cover features Pernell Roberts of Bonanza (and later Trapper John, M.D.) Cancer claimed Mr. Roberts in 2010 at age eighty-one.
On the back cover is Canadian actor Lee Patterson, then starring in Surfside 6. Later, he played Joe Riley on One Life to Live among other acting roles, mostly on TV. He died of cancer in 2007 at age seventy-seven.

But I did promise a mini bonus after the main post. I often collect photos that might someday be of use or of they catch my eye for some reason and I do have a few of Troy Donahue (in color, which is how those who like him probably prefer to see him!) As I don't foresee a Donahue tribute, this is as good a time as any to post them.
With his A Summer Place (1959) costar Sandra Dee.
I do love his sun-streaked hair in this brooding shot.
This TV Times channel guide is of note because it erroneously has the photo flipped with his hair parted on the incorrect side...
This is the way he actually should have looked. Lots of makeup/retouching going on here!
Donahue hung on as long as he could until changing tastes doomed his movie career. He was utterly anachronistic by 1968.
But I'm not done yet. I also wanted to share a little bit more about the aforementioned Rian Garrick. You know, the guy shown in his swimsuit nestled up against Diane McBain. First, this pic of McBain that I held onto because I liked it monochromatic neatness.
Rian Garrick was an up and comer who won fourth billing in The Flying Fontaines (1959), a movie that has successfully eluded me for years, but which I long to see. I was not happy about the placement of the blurbs in the yellow boxes. Ha ha! His reads: "Bill - longed for the spotlight, lived in the shadow," which could almost be Garrick's epitath!
This German flyer shows the original picture and why the boxes needed to be the way they were when they cut the performers apart.
I love old movies about trapeze artists. This one is in color, too!
Here we see him practicing his ass off! LOL
Garrick had small roles in Up Periscope and Battle of the Coral Sea (both 1959) and a featured part in Edge of Eternity (1959.) He also had a recurring role on the TV show Manhunt and an uncredited part in Two Rode Together (1962.) By 1966 it was all over, though, inexplicably, because he was very charming and nice looking.
There is precious little info out there on Rian Garrick. He is presumably still alive and in his mid-eighties. We hope he had a happy life!


Gingerguy said...

Another fun find. Love these. Dorothy Provine made me laugh because I worked with a waiter once who was always talking about her, 25 years later than this period.
Connie Stevens could be played by Amy Adams, to me they look so much alike. Susan Slade, must watch it again.
George Maharis was sexy. I read it quickly that he met a fellow Greek actor who was a top, then reread lol.
Gardner McKay is such a cutie. I loved that 60's Ivy League look on guys and think men look so much better in shorter shorts.
I love Annette too and if you have never heard her "Monkey's Uncle" song you really should. So glad I took a trip to the Underworld, my Friday afternoon at work needed this.

VictorG said...

Wow, what a wonderful stroll down memory lane! I loved Surfside 6 with Troy, Diane, and Lee who are all featured here and the vivacious Margarita Sierra (who died too young) and my all-time fave, Van Williams, whom you have covered to my great appreciation in other posts. When I was a little boy in 1961, Annette was a HUGE star, both from Disney tv, records and movies like Babes in Toyland and The Shaggy Dog, and those still-to-come beach movies. I loved that her hair never moved at the beach. My parents used to take us grocery shopping with them to the gigantic First National supermarket which had an enormous magazine section tucked in a corner of the store. My sister and I would spend the whole time my parents were shopping perusing just this kind of magazine, of which there were many varieties back then. This 6 year old knew what he liked way back when, thank you George Maharis and Gardner McKay! And thank you, Poseidon, for a blast from the past.

Poseidon3 said...

Gingerguy, some day I would like to "get" the fascination with Miss Dorothy. I'm telling you she had/has a lot of fans. I think I just haven't caught the right project of hers. (Thing is, I don't even feel drawn to seek any out! LOL No clue why...) I suspect almost any shorts on the lanky McKay would be short! Ha ha! But I agree. Longs shorts, especially below the knee, just baffle me.

VictorG, this whole magazine seemed very geared towards the Warner Brothers shows and stars, though it wasn't explicitly noted (nor seemingly officially associated with them.) The actors at WB seemed to always be so busy on TV and in movies in various combinations with one another. I think some of the characters on their shows even hopped from one to the other at times? And, yes, Annette's hair was completely STATIONARY at the beach. Yet I cannot walk from my back door the the car without being follically decimated. Ha ha ha! Thanks!

Stefano said...

Poseidon, I agree with you regarding "It's a Mad World"; though Dorothy Provine and Edie Adams were skillful comediennes, they weren't given much to do in that movie, except to look very attractive. That may have been the intention, a contrast with all the mugging and shouting going on.

However, one of the best of the legions of mid '60s James Bond knockoffs is the Man From Uncle feature, "One Spy Too Many". The megalomaniac out to control the world meets his match in his ex-wife, played by Provine in delightfully daffy style. As a kid I liked her also in the Disney flick "That Darn Cat!", which has Haley Mills as a bonus.

Poseidon3 said...

Stefano, I always felt that Edie did well under the circumstances since she had just lost her husband Ernie Kovacs in an auto accident and in fact was supposed to have him as her hubby in the film! That couldn't have been easy. Maybe Sid Casaer's one-liners kept her distracted. Provine's role was just sort of pat and colorless (and who could find room on the screen against The Merm at full tilt?! LOL) I'll try to find her in some other things such as you mention. Thanks!