Friday, October 8, 2021

Fun Finds: TV Radio Mirror, February 1967

Back again with another of the battered finds (this is older than even your webmaster!) gleaned from Ohio's biggest antique show, The Springfield Extravaganza. I made sure to select this particular mag from a pile that was up for sale because there were two stories in it featuring stars from one of my all time favorite TV shows, The Big Valley, then in its third season. Cover price was $0.35 and it's thicker than the ones which sold a few years later for $0.60. Thanks, inflation. Now off we go to turn back the pages of time...


Connie Stevens' marriage to Eddie Fisher turned out to be a fiasco, regardless of the two girls they had together. He was remarkably derisive towards her in his auto-bio (though he certainly didn't come off well himself in any case!) A-M and Roger Smith weren't married as soon as Earl speculated, but he wasn't far off. They wed on May 8th.

This really amazed me. The blurb on Lily Tomlin mentions an idol of hers, Jean Carroll. But I'd never even heard of Jean Carroll! Turns out she'd been a successful comedienne, even had her own TV show in the '50s and lived to be 98, only passing away in 2010. The piece about CBS Playhouse mentions "Oily (!) Winter" when the play was about "Olly Winter." Ivan Dixon of Hogan's Heroes starred. (Incidentally, I didn't scan the slim final part as it was not anything particularly celeb-oriented.)

As we later found out, Burt Ward was dipping his Batwand into every conceivable chick who came into his path! Leigh Taylor-Young actually married Ryan O'Neal this same year. It was happy for a moment, but they divorced by 1971. I really knew nothing about Robie Porter, who had a brief 1960s acting career before morphing into a music producer who helped give the world Air Supply (while also fixing lyrics - he turned, "I'm all out of love, I want to arrest you" into "I'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you." - !!)

I LOVE Nancy Ames, who was a very lovely presence on many a TV variety show in the '60s (and had a strong alto voice.) Stu Whitman's marriage to Caroline ended in 1976. Thirty years later, he wed for a third and final time.

I was watching a Dean Martin roast of Evel Knievel the other day and one of the comics quipped that the stunt driver was next going to attempt to leap over the entire King Family! Marilyn and Kent divorced in 1975. The wed a third and final time in 1983.

Granny Clampett offers up insight on being around children when one has none of her own.

I love seeing this photo of Barbara Stanwyck and Chuck Heston together nearly two decades before they would play sister and brother together on yet another of my favorite shows, The Colbys.

There was indeed gray area surrounding Sandra Milo and Moris Ergas' marriage. Some sources don't list it at all...! It would have been fascinating to see Ms. Davis take that role in The Killing of Sister George (1968.) As it was, original stage star Beryl Reid was cast. Lucy's "chance" to portray Dolly Levi on screen was a "fat" one...! No one seemed particularly interested in getting Carol the part and immortalizing her famous role! Neat to see old friends Ginger and Lucy out and about. I always love seeing anything on Joan Crawford. "Circus of Blood" became Berserk! (1967.) Tina Sinatra only acted on screen a handful of times and "Heaven Train" was not among them.

Soupy Sales' Broadway show, by the way, opened on January 26th and closed January 28th...! Not only did Patricia Neal endure a severe stroke, but two of her five children died and then her husband left her! (She's right up there with Elizabeth Taylor when it comes to sufferin'!) Love Joan experiencing "nail-biting" suspense with her legs in full view thanks to the handiwork of Edith Head.

I really was not familiar with Patricia Harty AT ALL. The dancer and stage actress had unusually bad luck when it came to TV series. She proceeded from Occasional Wife, which lasted only one season, to failed shows Blondie, The Bob Crane Show and Herbie, The Love Bug. Ironically, Wife was about a couple posing as married. In real life, she and costar Michael Callan left their spouses and wed one another in 1968! They were divorced in 1970. She's still alive today at 79.

I always want to like The Quiller Memorandum (1966) a little more than I do when I re-watch it. But I adore Senta Berger in almost anything. And try as I might, I could never get into Grand Prix (1966.) Rage is noted for the lovely Mexican landscapes, but the blurb neglects to mention the scenery of Stella Stevens which is also eye-catching.

Popular TV & movie actor Christopher George.

Girl-crazy George opted out of the seminary (even though Greek Orthodox priests were permitted to marry) and instead joined the Marines! Later, he earned a degree in finance from the University of Miami, before earning his living by acting.

Some insights from a variety of stars as to how they'd relive (or redo) one key day of their adolescent if they could.

I rarely scan all of an article, but for some reason today I did more than usual. So you'll get to see all of these...

Christopher Connelly of Peyton Place, who's nose-to-nose with...

costar (and real life girlfriend) Pat Morrow. Someone decided to tear out a strip of this page, perhaps to wrap up their used chewing gum! Sorry, Pat...

I wonder how "different" (or worse!) things would have been if Cosby had become a doctor...!

Several of you enjoy the vintage ads anyway, so there are plenty of those sprinkled in as well.

Here we have the other side of that page that was rendered damaged by an evil gum chewer. LOL But even worse, the whole next (color!) page is torn out, too! Dammit! If not for a recent over-the-air channel rerunning it, I probably wouldn't have ever even known that there was a Shane TV show...!

Cute pics of the Howard boys.

The aforementioned Christopher George was then starring on The Rat Patrol, a WWII desert adventure series. French singer-"actress" Claudine Longet was a guest star in a multi-part episode.

Lord, if they only knew what was to come...!

Between domestic photo spreads like this and appearances on Andy Williams' television shows, the image was of a blissful family unit.

This ultimately came unglued by 1970 and the couple was amicably divorced in 1975. The following year, she "accidentally" fatally shot her lover and it was a huge scandal. Williams stood by his ex-wife throughout, though she wound up marrying her attorney! He'd done his job well as she served only a month in jail for the incident.

For my money, no one was more beautiful than Linda Evans during the latter half of The Big Valley.

As you might guess, the reason Evans wanted her father to pass was because he was in daily excruciating agony from cancer. One can only imagine the mid-1950s treatment options...! With her mother less than healthy as well, she pursued acting gigs in order to bring money into the family of five. He father died in 1958 and her mother in 1969, so neither of them lived to see the sensation that was Dynasty!

Dean Martin had four children with his first wife and three with Jeanne.

The couple stuck it out off and on until he wanted to wed a third time in 1973. But that was over by 1976 (and after he'd adopted that wife's little girl!)

Plenty of nice shots of the Martin household. One cannot accuse TV Radio Mirror of scrimping on the photos in this issue.

The Fugitive, a wildly popular show, was just about to end its run with 72% of all viewers tuned in to that final episode! The arc of this story was that Janssen wasn't helping his half-sister Jill (15 years his junior) get a foothold in the acting world. This despite her just having filmed an ep of The Fugitive as a stand-in and extra.

Jill Janssen had been wed and divorced young and had a toddler in tow. What's interesting is that David harbored a long-held suspicion that he was the love child of Clark Gable and his Ziegfeld Follies showgirl mother. Yet it turns out that Jill had the same ears he did, but from a different father! The article describes how David offered to pay for hers to be fixed. Fun Fact: Berniece Janssen showed up as a courtroom spectator in the big-screen remake of her son's TV series in 1993!

Lord knows it had to have been hard for the four singing Lennon Sisters to keep any sort of schedule or regimen going while each one wed and proceeded to bear children!

Apparently they couldn't even nail down Dianne for this photo op.

Oh boy... Hold on! The second feature on a Big Valley favorite. "This is it!" They feel like they're on to something?

Probably one of the most carefully coded stories evah...! The surface story is that Majors didn't want any fuss made over his rise to stardom from the relative oblivion of eastern Kentucky. The implied, hinted at, story is that he was plucked from that obscurity by Rock Hudson, who anyone in H-Town knew was gay, though the world at large was generally clueless about. Note the use of the word "climax" here...!

Again, scads of pictures along with the "story." The wording all along is incredible.

The rumored real deal is that Rock Hudson (seen above) used to come to Lexington (a per capita gay hot spot) for occasions like The Kentucky Derby or UK football games and stay with a notorious gay couple who hosted salacious parties. The 1962 UK football team was scandalized by at least four of its members having taken part.

Young, married Majors (then Harvey Lee Yeary) played football for Eastern Kentucky University and found himself positioned at one of these parties where he drew the attention of soon-to-be patron Hudson. Before long, he was convinced to move to Tinseltown for acting opportunities and encouraged to lighten his hair to a strawberry blond by his newfound "mentor."  This is the situation the magazine is dying to allude to, but can only skirt in its generally positive, yet obscure, article. Take note, if you haven't already, of Lee's snug trousers. A word about those later.

Reportedly, Majors' young wife was not only a fish out of water, but also was appalled at the situation in Hollywood, with Rock trotting his protegee out at parties, trying to promote his handsome looks and athletic build. She was soon, as the article does state, back home with their young son and soon divorced. 

The final lines: "This is the story Lee Majors didn't want anyone to write. And we still don't know why." Sure ya do! Anyway, once The Big Valley was landed and he took off, the expanse between Majors and Hudson - while friendly enough - grew greater and greater until there was no there there. Majors was not in attendance at his sponsor's 1985 funeral.

No matter who has it on, I almost always love this wig which was (for me anyway!) made immortal on Jacqueline Bisset in Airport (1970.)

Lord, the marriage between Judy Carne and Burt Reynolds was simply made in hell... Never should have happened! Her auto-bio revealed one serious mess of a young lady, not that he was perfect by any means.

Robert Lansing, who was fired after one season of Twelve O'Clock High and, though he remained busy thereafter, could not find regular series success.

The wife seen here, Emily McLaughlin, divorced him in 1968 after a dozen years together. As we noted in a prior post, she then wed Jeffrey Hunter who died soon after.

Fans of classic soaps might like this photo montage along with a rundown of the roles these people essayed to that time. As a HUGE fan of As the World Turns, I would write to various stars of that show and Helen Wagner always wrote back in longhand the most wonderful replies.

Elizabeth Hubbard is my all-time favorite soap actress. It was so much fun a few years back to catch her early work as a heroine on The Doctors when a local station opted to rerun the program. She later made a big splash on As the World Turns.

Believe it or not, this is the very same Johnny Gilbert who still works (remotely these days) as a much-valued announcer. The 93 year-old marvel still heralds "This... is... Jeopardy!" although I no longer watch the show.

Dayton, Ohio is less than an hour north of me. I didn't realize he'd been working there all those years ago or that he'd enjoyed having his own local show.

This ghost-written tome came out at a wild time in Hedy Lamarr's life. Hailed as one of the movie colony's most beautiful faces of the 1930s and '40s, by 1966 she had not been acting for years and this book would be of help financially. Then she had a new movie role as well. But then an arrest for shoplifting put the quash on the movie part and she also spoke out about the book being "fictional, false, vulgar, scandalous, libelous and obscene" after she finally sat down and read it!

Maybe I have no taste (maybe? Ha ha!) but I actually like these get-ups on the back of the magazine...! I'm betting that $24.98 was not exactly dirt cheap in 1966 when this was published. In fact, I looked it up and it's about $204.00 in today's value!

~~~~~~EXTRA MATERIAL~~~~~~

All this Lee Majors/Rock Hudson business could have been its own Tinseltales post here. Like most things, there are a lot of rumors, speculation, etc... I can tell you this much. As a kid, I LOVED The Six Million Dollar Man (only first seeing The Big Valley later in reruns) and when I heard that he was from Eastern Kentucky, not terribly far from where I was living as a tot in Northern Kentucky, I was amazed. I had an aunt who went to EKU at the same time he did and I asked her if she knew him. Her face went white (as did my grandmother's)... but she wouldn't elaborate to my 7 year-old self. So, true or not, the story was well-known to people in the area.

Time and again, TV historians have remarked on the incredible career that Majors had on the tube. One teensy movie role then series after series after series, most of them very successful. That sort of stellar opportunity doesn't come along every day, so a leg up would be hard to resist. Incidentally, I hated the blond hair on him and am glad he let it go back to brown rather quickly.

Before long he had a new, picture-perfect wife to go along with the Hollywood image. If the Rock stories are true, Farrah may not have known or, if she did, may not have cared. After all, she'd done a bedroom scene with Raquel Welch in her starlet days. It's all good.

I simply had to share this... It's out there on the web, so I don't feel as if I'm doing anything untoward in presenting it. (God help us if it was the Richfield Oil station. LOL The mind reels...!)

He did wear some fun pants in the '60s & '70s.

"See anything you like...?"


We may never know exactly what did or did not happen. The key figure in it sure isn't talking about it! But if he did use the considerable connection that came his way in order to get a foothold in the industry, at least he made good on it. He generated his own broad appeal which kept him in good stead for decades. The casting couch might get one a part, but the public determines who really makes it. And he surely did.


hsc said...

Another great magazine find!

I really love these, because my Mom would get them from time to time and in my early teen years I used to devour them looking for pics and nuggets of innuendo.

Kind of amusing to see an article on the cusp of fame for "Lily Tomkin" and the comparison to Carol Burnett. And the idea of Bette Davis under consideration for THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE is a mind-blower!

Also, that quote from Joan Crawford about how she deals with the "mad, mad, mad pace" of juggling work demands with "phone calls, letters, and worries for her four adopted children"-- "plenty of sleep and conserving energy." Ha!

(I have the feeling the real answer was the same as Joan's "secret formula" for throwing a successful party: "I always add a splash of vodka to *everything*. Nobody ever knows and everyone ends up having a wonderful time.")

Also, the article on Lee Majors was great, especially the side discussion about the Rock Hudson involvement and that story about his getting cast over Robert Redford.

And yes, I'm one of those who loves the ads, so this was a great one. That long-running Midol ad with the "before" and "after" shots was always a point of fascination for me (what was *in* that stuff, anyway?)

And about the Skylark Originals ad you pulled out for comment-- that company advertised for *years* in all the "romance comics" back in the '50s and possibly the early '60s. An example of a Skylark ad from 1952 can be seen here:

There were several companies doing "fashions by mail" back then, along with all sorts of support garments-- bras, girdles, corsets, "waist nippers". (Occasionally, you'd see ads for male support garments as well, along with things like car seat covers and cigarette lighters.)

When you look at the prices, they seem mind-bogglingly low until you do what you did and translate the prices into current dollars. Then you realize they're actually all fairly high-priced items, aimed at an adult consumer like a housewife rather than at a kid with allowance money.

As always, another great find! Love this blog! Be safe and well, everyone!

Gingerguy said...

Timely as always Poseidon. PBS had some great specials last week for fundraising and one of them was a fabulous Andy Williams special. The Lennons spoke briefly about how helpful he was with their career, after their show was canceled he hired them for Vegas shows. And of course Claudine pictured here was on my mind. I know she was very young when they married so couldn't have been very old when she shot Spider, sad story.
Leigh Taylor Young was in "Looker" which was her first movie in 8 years and kind of had a fabulous small part in that, she was very pretty.
Why does Linda Evans look so different when she's younger? plastic surgery before "Dynasty"? she's always gorgeous. I don't know if you've seen "Swan Song" she was in recently but it's on my list for sure.

Dan said...

Enough with the Lee Majors already! I want to know more about those pinworms and painful hemorrhoids!

hsc said...

Dan, if you're suffering from pinworms and painful hemorrhoids, just take enough Midol and you'll be so blissed-out you won't even notice!

SkippyDevereaux said...

I LOVED the little reference to "Steel Magnolias". "Pink is my signature color", and I ain't telling what part of my body is pink....well, at my age, it is closer to a dusty rose color from all the abuse. LOL. Just kidding, ya'll. said...

Hey Poseidon,
Maybe Lee shoulda tried out for the part of Rusty in "Myra Breckinridge" with his gal Farrah!

Also, was Rock key in getting Lee cast as Joan Crawford's "younger" husband in "Strait Jacket?" Always love the scene where Majors and his bar room pick up are in bed, laid out like corpses, even before JC comes in and chops their heads off!


Al in PDX said...

Your comments about Barbara Stanwyck on The Colbys were interesting. Happened to see on Twitter, just this week, a letter she sent to the University of Wyoming, where she had donated her Colbys scripts, as well as her film scripts. She was less than enamored with the writing on the Colbys, which prompted her to leave the show.
One of the interesting comments in her letter: "Just because it is known as a 'soap' does not mean it has to be poor writing -- it is still film and it should entertain."
She was quite a lady.
Here's to "Poseidon," whose writing always entertains.

A said...

Hi Poseidon,

Thanks for another great post!


Poseidon3 said...

hsc, "Lily Tomkin!" LOL And I love JC's party trick... I oughtta try that sometime (when no one allergic or alcoholic is coming!) Can you imagine Robert Redford on "The Big Valley?!" Wow... Lee's surly, wounded demeanor worked well in the part. Not sure about RR. So glad you liked this, and thanks for the additional info on the products!

Gingerguy, I adore "Looker" and did a tribute to it here years ago! Even when "Dynasty" premiered, I had trouble connecting the dots between Linda Evans of "TBV" and the soap. It wasn't until her first husband Mark Jennings appeared and they did a flashback with her bangs pulled back that I could see any similarity!! She definitely had work done (at minimum a nose job) while with John Derek, but she was also a smoker, which wreaked havoc with her voice over time. I may have relayed this before, but a good friend of mine was treated very nastily by Andy Williams over a spilled Bloody Mary while in Las Vegas. Ironically, Alan King, whose image is more of a jerk, was reportedly exceedingly kind!

Dan, I didn't realize that Majors, pinworms and hemorrhoids weren't somehow correlated in this post! LOL

Skippy, "I was hopin' you'd catch that...!" [I directed that play back in '97 and know virtually every line of it!]

Rick! Hilarious about Rusty. I wondered about Lee landing that role in "Strait-Jacket." There was a prior mag with a story about how his hometown had a premiere (and I think even his name was on the marquee) yet he was "offed" before the opening credits rolled!! Still better than what happened to Costner in "The Big Chill," though. LOL

Al in PDX, thank you much! Considering she starred in the "soap" "Stella Dallas," which was expertly handled, I feel sure she knew what she was talking about. I actually LOVED some of the writing for much of the first season of "The Colbys." She and Stephanie Beacham just tore it up. But after Barbara left, it all started to circle the drain. Quickly.

A, I appreciate it!! Take care.

Shawny said...

That getup was not good for Ann Margaret. There you have it, evidence that one can look loaded down in light wispy feathers. And that spider body hair attachment...reminds me of when I was a child going to Bob's Big Boy. I always loved to stare and giggle at the crazy big hair attachments of the waitresses and receptionists. Were they hollow? Was it really heavy? I did not envy them.

Dean W. said...

The ad that shows us how, 'Peggy goes from dismal to bright,' with the use of Midol, reveals the socially-accepted condescension that women faced during that period (no pun intended). Another fun post, Poseidon....thanks! Oh, and Lee Majors really gets his money's worth out of his jeans!

rigs-in-gear said...

Re: the wig you found immortalized by Jackie Bisset in Airport... I would've thought you'd say by Babs in On a Clear Day. The wig I always associate with Ms. Bisset is the god-awful Mia wig she wore in The Detective in which she replaced Ms. Farrow.

BrianB said...

While this issue was fun to peruse, the ad for "Draw the Lumberjack" brought up a somewhat painful memory. That Art Instruction school had other ads back then, maybe the most visible was "Draw Winky" who was another version of Bambi. I think there were one or two other drawings in their ads to draw and submit to get a "scholarship".

The memory escapes me some what, but I didn't draw he Lumberjack but maybe drew Winky and submitted it to their school. I received a packet with "assignments" to draw so they could determine my abilities and I sent them in as well. All this without the knowledge of my parents or anyone else in my large family.

Imagine my surprise when a few months later a strange car pulled in to our driveway on the somewhat remote farm where I lived and a guy got out and asked to see me. HIGHLY unusual. He met the parents and told us he was from the Art Instruction School and the 4 of us sat at the dining room table as he talked to them about my "unusual" and "advanced" drawing talent and tried to convince them to get me enrolled in their school. It was the first time someone actually told my parents that maybe they should encourage and support me as an artist because I had the talent to make something of myself. Then he brought up the fees for their course and with 8 kids to support the costs of that wasn't possible.

So he left but not before telling them not to let me stop drawing. I truly expected to get thrashed for setting them up in that uncomfortable position, but there was just quiet, nothing happened. I think it was their first inkling of what I was about and that there was some shame as parents as they couldn't help me.

I still think about if they felt they failed me by not being able to help me. I put myself though art school after high school and did have a 30 year career as a retail illustrator in Pittsburgh and Nordstrom in Seattle so I think they felt OK but not with any help from them.

And I wonder if when Rock Hudson showed up for a visit at Lee Major's house, his parents felt the same way my parents did when the guy from Art Instruction Schools showed up at my house! And I do remember that guy wasn't exactly unattractive, though much too old for a young thing like me. I mean he had to be 30!


Shawny said...

Wow, amazing story. But I can understand the feelings associated with seeing an opportunity pass and there was nothing you could do about it. It feels like the institute guy didn't realize what he was triggering. And your parents were placed in a situation they weren't equipped to handle. Very unfortunate.

Gingerguy said...

BrianB that's an awesome and touching story. I was so moved that you could appreciate your Parents for the way they handled that situation and such a happy ending that you pursued a creative field. Thanks for sharing it!

angelman66 said...

Great peek into the past, Poseidon, I loved all the gossip rags too! My grandmother’s den coffee table was covered with them, so following the stars became my obsession! (In adulthood, I even spent 5 years working for Star, Enquirer and Globe publisher American Media.) thanks also for the tribute to the gorgeous Lee Majors. If only Farrah had stuck it out with him! I think she may have been less stressed out cooking his meals and cleaning his house, she may still be with us today. It was the Joe DiMaggio/Marilyn Monroe story all over again. They were both chauvinistic but saw what show business was doing to their beautiful wives…
- Chris