Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Celebrating EXCELLENCE...That is ageless!

"When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart."
-John Bunyan (1628-1688)

Happy End of August!
How did that happen!?!?! Well, this summer, for the most part, has come and gone. I didn't get to a beach once this summer. I'm about to make up for that. I'm leaving in the AM for Oklahoma City!
And then off to Malibu till 9/11.

If I have wi-fi on my plane, My blog will be written from Continental Airlines tomorrow morning! Christine Talbott Sutin, you may want to tune in!

And I can't believe that we are hurling towards autumn.

I hope you all are more advanced on some level today than you were on August 1st!

My highlights for August were dinners with friends, seeing Lee Tannen's I LOVED LUCY with my friend Diane Findlay(pictured).

We also experienced an earthquake and Irene this month. If nothing else, August was anything but boring! May September be just as exciting with no natural disasters.

I'm looking forward to 10 days in Malibu! Seeing FOLLIES when I return.

Today, I am writing about excellence in entertainment that is ageless.The first entertainer, I saw only once in concert.
Did you know Carole Cook was the 2nd actress to play Dolly after Carol Channing? Yes! In the Australian company!
The second, I saw her in the original 42nd Street on stage and a couple of other times in events honoring Carol Channing.
She promised me years ago that the next time she was in New York, we would get together for a cheeseburger. I'm still waiting, Carole. The third entertainer, I have NEVER seen live but I'm a big fan of through her cds.

I read in the NY TIMES earlier this week that Tom Jones was recovering in a hospital in Monaco on Sunday and said that "severe dehydration" had forced him to cancel a concert. Well, EVERYONE deserves a rest. I fainted on stage once on an opening night in front of a sold out house because of dehydration. It happens at every age. The bottom line is Mr. Jones is still working and is still at the top of his game.
I saw him several years ago when I was appearing in Atlantic City. We were invited by the head of the entertainment department and I was blown away by his show. A TRUE entertainer in EVERY since of the word. Here is wishing him a speedy recovery and back on the boards as soon as HE is ready!
Sir Thomas John Woodward,

(born 7 June 1940), known by his stage name Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer, particularly noted for his powerful voice.

Since the mid 1960s, Jones has sung many styles of popular music – pop, rock, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, techno, soul and gospel– and sold over 100 million records.
When we saw Tom, Whoopi Goldberg was at our table and he devoted this song to her.
Tom Jones was born at 57 Kingsland Terrace, Treforest, Pontypridd in South Wales.
His parents were Thomas Woodward (died 5 October 1981), a coal miner, and Freda Jones (died 7 February 2003).

His family was mainly of English descent, with both of his paternal grandparents being born in England and his maternal grandmother born in Wales to English parents. Most of his ancestral roots appear to lie in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset.

Jones began singing at an early age: he would regularly sing at family gatherings, weddings, and in his school choir. Jones is dyslexic and he did not like school or sports; however, he was able to gain confidence through his singing talent.

At age 12, Jones was diagnosed with by tuberculosis. Many years later he said, "I spent two years in bed recovering. It was the worst time of my life." During convalescence, he could do little else but listen to music and draw.

Jones' bluesy singing style developed out of the sound of American soul music. His early influences included blues and R & B greats like Little Richard, Solomon Burke, Jackie Wilson, and Brook Benton. Jerry Lee Lewis’s music also influenced him from a rock and roll perspective.
Woodward contrived the stage name "Tom Jones" to link himself to the image of the title character in Tony Richardson's then-recent hit film and to emphasize his Welsh nationality. Jones became the frontman for Tommy Scott and the Senators, a Welsh beat group, in 1963. They soon gained a local following and reputation in South Wales.
In 1964, Jones recorded several solo tracks with producer Joe Meek, who took them to various labels, but had little success. Later that year, Decca producer Peter Sullivan saw Tommy Scott and The Senators performing in a club and directed them to manager Phil Solomon, but their partnership was short-lived.
Love you Tom Jones! Now on to Carole Cooke!

Look Who Has Her Own Wine!!!Carole Cook has her own wine! Wines being sold to benefit an AIDS organization in San Francisco. $18 a bottle. I'll drink to that. But after one sip, you sound like you are from Abolene, Texas!

Carole Cook has appeared in many theatrical productions, in films and on television.

Born as Mildred Frances Cook, she was a protege of Lucille Ball. Ball gave her the stage name of "Carole", after her friend Carole Lombard because, Ball reportedly told Cook, "you have the same healthy disrespect for everything in general".
Cook appeared regularly on two of her shows, The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy. Ball was matron of honor at Cook's wedding in 1964 to actor Tom Troupe.

Cooke starred in the animated Disney film Home on the Range, as the voice of Pearl Gesner, the farmer of Patch of Heaven. She appeared in such feature films as The Incredible Mr. Limpet, Sixteen Candles, Grandview, U.S.A., American Gigolo and Summer Lovers. Her first film role was in Palm Springs Weekend.
She made guest appearances on such TV shows as The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, Knight Rider, Magnum, P.I., Murder, She Wrote, Dynasty, Charlie's Angels, on a fourth season 1985 episode of The A-Team called "Members Only", and, more recently, on Grey's Anatomy. In 1974, Cook played Marta, the money-grubbing former wife of Walter Findlay (Bill Macy) on the series Maude. In 1976, she appeared as a bullying nurse in an episode of Emergency! in which Johnny Gage is injured by a hit-and-run driver. In 2006, she appeared as an elderly patient on the ABC drama Grey's Anatomy (episode 14 "Tell Me Sweet Little Lies", season two).
This is a teaser for Saturday's blog! HELLO, CAROLE!


-About The Tierney Sutton Band
The Tierney Sutton Band is currently celebrating its 3rd consecutive Grammy Nomination for "Best Vocal Jazz Album".
During a collaboration that has spanned 17 years, they have also been awarded a JazzWeek Award for Vocalist Of The Year, consecutive nominations for Jazz Journalist Association awards, recorded several #1 Cds on jazz radio, and garnered critical praise throughout the world. Comprised of acclaimed vocalist Tierney Sutton and instrumental virtuosos Christian Jacob, Trey Henry, Kevin Axt and Ray Brinker, the band is an incorporated partnership and a model of both musical and business unity. Members of The Tierney Sutton Band have played and recorded with a diverse array of music legends including Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Placido Domingo, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor and countless others, yet the Tierney Sutton Band has demanded and received their commitment for almost 2 decades. They have headlined in recent years at Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center and have recorded 8 CDs to increasing recognition and acclaim. The Band's Album "On The Other Side" has been called by BusinessWeek "A Masterpiece ...eloquent, honest and magnificently sung and played." and the band's most recent CD, "Desire", has been described by The Chicago Sun Times as "a conceptual masterpiece."

Critics agree that the reason this band endures is in the music:

"Here and throughout the performance, Ms. Sutton conveyed a sense of jazz singing as an extension of spiritual meditation in which adherence to an ideal of balance and consistency and, yes, humility took precedence over any technical or emotional grandstanding.
Ms. Sutton is a pure jazz spirit who respects a song. Even when going out on an improvisatory limb, she never lets its essence slip away. The singer and her trio with whom she has worked for years - Christian Jacob on piano, Kevin Axt on bass and Ray Brinker on drums - have refined the kind of rapport that could only be achieved over time. Her deep, lingering renditions of chestnuts like "Blue Skies" and "Without a Song" are especially impressive for the sense of quiet joy she breathes into them."

Thank you ALL who contributed to this blog!

Tom Jones, Carole Cooke, and Tierney Sutton, thank you both for the gifts you have given me over the years!

To read more, Go to WIKIPEDIA, A Main Source of this blog!

Thank you for joining me on these nostalgic journeys! Remember, every five days, I'm going to answer a question on video that YOU send to me. You can ask me ANYTHING and I will answer your question on video within my blog. Send your questions to Next question will be answered on September 5th from Malibu!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE September for ALL!


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Tomorrow's blog will be SONGS ABOUT THE RAIN...suggested by Christine Talbott Sutin! Tune in!!


I want you to know I’M ON A MISSION! I’m determined to see Carol Channing receive The Kennedy Center Honor THIS YEAR! Tommy Tune has jumped on this bandwagon!

I need your help!
Please sign the petition
We are 205 signatures away from 1000!
Please Post it on your wall
Please forward to at least 25 people today with the same request!
If you Twitter, please RT
With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper 845-365-0720
What can we do to help widen the net? Think outside the box!

Richard Skipper,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Have A Minnie Day!

" ...Oh dear, oh my, will you look at that, ten o'clock and the shop not opened yet..."
-Minnie Fay, "Hello, Dolly!"

Happy Tuesday!
I hope this finds you well. Today's blog was suggested to me by Stephen Artist after my blog of two days ago saluting Irenes and most specifically, Irene Malloy! So he suggested going from Minnie Faye, Irene Malloy's sidekick in The Merchant Of Yonkers, The Matchmaker, and Hello, Dolly! and building upon famous Minnie's from there! If there are others we've left out, please let me know!

Going back to The Merchant of Yonkers, The Broadway production, directed by Max Reinhardt, opened on December 28, 1938 at the Guild Theatre, where it ran for 39 performances.
The cast included Jane Cowl and Tom Ewell.

Minnie Faye was played by Nydia Westman.

Westman's career ranged from episodic appearances on TV sitcoms and uncredited bit roles in movies to appearances in groundbreaking films (such as Craig's Wife), which starred Rosalind Russell, and the first film version of Little Women which starred Katharine Hepburn in her first great movie success).
Song by Joseph Cawthorn, Irene Dunne, Phil Regan, Hugh Herbert and Nydia Westman.
Written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II.

When Ruth Gordon did The Matchmaker, her Minnie Faye was Rosamund Greenwood.
In a career stretching more than 50 years, Greenwood appeared in productions including The Prince and the Showgirl, Night of the Demon, Upstairs, Downstairs, Angels, Crown Court and A Perfect Spy. Her final role, at the age of 83, came in 1990 when she played a witch in the screen adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel The Witches. Here she is as Miss Prism in The Importance Of Being Ernest .

When The Matchmaker transferred to film, Minnie Faye was played by Perry Wilson. She was best known for her role in the 1957 film Fear Strikes Out.

When Hello, Dolly! opened on Broadway in 1964, Minnie Fay was played by my friend Sondra Lee!
(Sondra Lee (Original Tiger Lily) with Peter Pan Michael Darling Bear)

She was the original Tiger Lily in Peter Pan. She was also the lead producer of Charles Busch's Shanghai Moon and was recently working on the production of a musical based on women of Appalachian.
She's had affairs with Baron Phillippe de Rothchilde, Italian film director Federico Fellini and Broadway impresario Billy Rose. She's coy about her sexual involvement with Marlon Brando saying; "let's just say he was my first love."

She didn't care for Frank Sinatra and she has some interesting stores about - a lot of bold names, which Sondra Lee has disclosed in her book I've Slept with Everybody: A Memoir.

When Hello, Dolly! closed on Broadway at the end of it's original run in 1971, Minnie Faye was being played by Georgia Engel.
Georgia Bright Engel (born July 28, 1948) is best known for her roles as Georgette Franklin on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Pat MacDougall on Everybody Loves Raymond.

When Hello, Dolly! transferred to film, Minnie Faye was played by E. J. Peaker.
She has made over 50 television commercials, guest-starred on television and appeared in films. She co-starred with Robert Morse in the 1968 musical television series That's Life She was the associate producer of the 1993 made-for-TV movie Broken Promises: Taking Emily Back.

When Carol did her first Broadway revival in 1978, Minnie Fay was played by Alix Korey.
Alix continued on and made her Broadway debut as Minnie Fay in the 1978 revival of HELLO, DOLLY!, starring Carol Channing. The result of that experience made her run for Equity Council in 1980, on which she served for an extremely rewarding 15 years. In 1987, Alix and four other councilors formed the Equity Fights Aids Committee, later to become BCEFA on whose board she served with pride and joy for many years. Bless you, Tom Viola. And Bless YOU, Alix Korey!I have been lucky enough to share a stage with Alix on more than one occasion. Alix is currently residing in Rancho Mirage and she just opened a voice studio in North Hollywood. If you are in the area and get the opportunity to work with Alix, do!

In the 1994 Broadway Revival, Minnie Fay was played by Lori Ann Mahl.
(Lori Ann Mahl, Tyne Daly and Jonathan Hadary
Photo by courtesy of Teri Furr and Shirley Herz)

I LOVE ALL YOU, MINNIE FAYS...Now on to some other famous Minnies!

Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon (October 25, 1912 – March 4, 1996), known professionally as Minnie Pearl, was a country comedienne who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years (from 1940 to 1991) and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1991.

Sarah Colley was born in Centerville, in Hickman County, Tennessee, about 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Nashville. She was the youngest of the five daughters of a prosperous lumberman in Centerville.
She graduated from Ward-Belmont College (now Belmont University), at the time Nashville's most prestigious school for young ladies, where her major was theater studies and dance was a particular interest. After graduation she taught dance for several years.
Her first professional theatrical job was with the Wayne P. Sewell Production Company, a touring theater company based in Atlanta, for which she produced and directed plays and musicals for local organizations in small towns throughout the southeastern United States.

Minerva "Minnie" Mouse is an animated character created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney. The comic strip story "The Gleam" (published January 19-May 2, 1942) by Merrill De Maris and Floyd Gottfredson first gave her full name as Minerva Mouse. Minnie has since been a recurring alias for her. Minnie is currently voiced by actress Russi Taylor. Both Minnie and Mickey were first drawn in 1928 by Ub Iwerks.
The comic strip story "Mr. Slicker and the Egg Robbers" (published September 22 – December 26, 1930) introduced her father Marcus Mouse and her mother Margie Mouse, both farmers. The same story featured photographs of her grandparents Marshall Mouse and Matilda Mouse. Her best known relatives, however, remain her uncle Mortimer Mouse and her twin nieces, Millie and Melody Mouse, though most often a single niece, Melody, appears. In many appearances, Minnie is presented as the wife of Mickey Mouse, a close friend of Daisy Duck, Donald Duck's wife, and occasionally a friend to Clarabelle Cow. Minnie's sister, Mandie Mouse was a recurring character early on.

Minnie Driver (born Amelia Fiona J. Driver; 31 January 1970) is an English actress and singer-songwriter. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, as well as for an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for her work in the television series The Riches.

Driver was born Amelia Fiona J. Driverin Finsbury Park, London, the daughter of Gaynor Churchward (née Millington), a designer and former couture model, and Ronnie Driver, a Welsh businessman and financial adviser from Swansea.Her mother was her father's mistress, and her father's wife was not aware of his other family.

Driver has Irish, Welsh, Scottish, French, and Italian ancestry.
Her sister, Kate, is a model and producer.
Driver was brought up in Barbados and educated at Bedales, an independent school near Petersfield, Hampshire, England, and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Minnie Julia Riperton (November 8, 1947 – July 12, 1979) was a singer-songwriter best known for her vocal range of five-and-a-half octaves and her 1975 single "Lovin' You".
She was married to songwriter and music producer Richard Rudolph from 1972 until her death in the summer of 1979. They had two children - music engineer Marc Rudolph and actress/comedienne Maya Rudolph.
Riperton grew up on Chicago's South Side. As a child, she studied music, drama, and dance at Chicago's Lincoln Center. In her teen years, she sang lead vocals for the Chicago-based girl group, The Gems. Her early affiliation with the legendary Chicago-based Chess Records afforded her the opportunity to sing backup for various established artists such as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Ramsey Lewis, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and Muddy Waters. While at Chess, Riperton also sang lead for the experimental rock/soul group Rotary Connection, from 1967 to 1971. In 1969 Riperton, along with Rotary Connection, played in the first Catholic Rock Mass at the Liturgical Conference National Convention, Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, WI, produced by James F. Colaianni. Riperton reached the apex of her short, but esteemed, career with her number-one hit single, "Lovin' You," on April 4, 1975. The single was the last release from her 1974 gold album entitled Perfect Angel.
n January 1976 Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy.

By the time of diagnosis, the cancer had metastasized and she was given about six months to live. Despite the grim prognosis, she continued recording and touring. Riperton was one of the first celebrities to go public with her breast cancer diagnosis, but did not disclose that she was terminally ill. In 1977, she became spokesman for the American Cancer Society. In 1978, Riperton also received the American Cancer Society's Courage Award which was presented to her at the White House by President Jimmy Carter. She died at age 31 on July 12, 1979.

Minnehaha was the legendary wife of Hiawatha. The Dakota name, Minnehaha, means "laughing waters." In Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN, parks, streets and a waterfall are named after her. Her legend may be read at the Minnesota Museum of History in St. Paul, MN.

(Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone), left, Minnie Jackson (Octavia Spencer) and Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) recreate life in Jackson, Miss., in 1963 in the movie version of best-seller "The Help.")A class act such as "The Help" is rare enough in Hollywood. Coming at the tail end of summer blockbuster season, it's almost unheard of. GO, GO, GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!!"The Help" is the sort of film that studios typically save for the holiday prestige season in November or December, when Academy Awards voters start thinking ahead to the films they want to anoint.
Come awards time, many of them likely will be thinking of "The Help," whose remarkable ensemble of women offers enough great performances to practically fill the actress categories at the Oscars.

What about Minnie Marx? She was the mother of The Marx Bros. A play called "Minnie's Boys" was about her starring Shelley Winters.

Mother of the Marx Brothers. The fifth of Levy Schönberg and Fanny Sophie Salomons's nine children, Minnie Marx was born in Dornum, Germany and grew up in a family of entertainers.

What about Minnie Marx? She was the mother of The Marx Bros. A play called "Minnie's Boys" was about her starring Shelley Winters. My friend, Diane J. Findlay stars as Minnie Marx, mother of Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Gummo and brings down the house with her eleven o'clock number, "They Give Me Love,"in this live performance from "Minnie's Boys: The Marx Brothers Musical In Concert."

Minnie Minoso
This young Cuban third baseman broke in with a .309 average for the New York Cubans in 1946 and continued his hot hitting into the next season. He was the top hitter on the team with a torrid .336 average going into August, Before cooling off and finishing at .294. Minoso's offensive production from his leadoff spot in the batting order aided the Cubans as they captured the Negro National League pennant and won World Series from the Negro American League's Cleveland Buckeyes. He was the starting third baseman in both the 1947 and 1948 East-West All-Star games before entering the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians in 1949.

Mini-Me is a character played by Verne Troyer in the second and third Austin Powers movies: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Austin Powers in Goldmember.

It was midnight in Miss Pickswinger's Select Seminary for Young Ladies (country location, hot and cold water, wrestling, bull-baiting and other outdoor sports; washing, ironing, and Bulgarian extra). A group of girls had gathered in a cozy room. There was going to be a midnight feast. Oh, goody! There was but little light, for, fearing to turn on the acetylene, they had built a bonfire on the table, and one girl was appointed to feed the faint flames with false hair and legs which she wrenched quietly from the chairs and tables. A saddle of venison for their little supper was turning over and over on a spit in the cooking stove in the corner, and the potatoes were boiling noiselessly in the steam radiator. Perched like a little queen on the armchair sat Louise Sangfroid the hostess, on the mantle-piece lay Mary Murgatroid in red and white striped pajamas while balancing on the molding sat Minnie McCloskey in a nightshirt of yaeger flannel. Other girls sat around the room, two on a trunk which they had ingeniously improvised as a chair, one on an empty case of beer and three on a heap of broken glass and tin cans in the corner.
Little Minnie McCloskey
A story for girls
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A miniskirt, sometimes hyphenated as mini-skirt, is a skirt with a hemline well above the knees – generally no longer than 10 cm (4 in) below the buttocks;and a minidress is a dress with a similar meaning. A micro-miniskirt or microskirt is a further abbreviation of the miniskirt and short shorts are the shortened versions of the shorts.From the lounge masters album '1968'. If you are into lounge music, easy listening and space age pop then this is the man for you.

And what's lounge music without a mini-bar?
A mini-bar is a small, private snack and beverage bar often found in upscale Western-style hotel rooms.

Here's to an INCREDIBLE day for ALL...with MINI challenges!


Thank you WIKIPEDIA for many of the details of this blog.

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Tomorrow's blog will be about...YOU TELL ME! I'm open to suggestions! Now, here's today's video question...posed by Stephen Artist. I will be answering my next video question on September 5th from Malibu!


I want you to know I’M ON A MISSION! I’m determined to see Carol Channing receive The Kennedy Center Honor THIS YEAR! Tommy Tune has jumped on this bandwagon!

I need your help!
Please sign the petition
We are 205 signatures away from 1000!
Please Post it on your wall
Please forward to at least 25 people today with the same request!
If you Twitter, please RT
With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper 845-365-0720
What can we do to help widen the net? Think outside the box!

Richard Skipper,

Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodbye Irene...Part two (Sort of) Betty Garrett...and "other" Irenes!

"The man who can speak acceptably is usually given credit for an ability out of all proportion to what he really possesses."
-Lowell Thomas (1892-1981)

Happy Monday!
For some of us, Irene is a memory. For others it is our reality. My spouse Danny just came home to say there is no power in Valhalla. The tracks of Metro North are completely under water.

For others, there has been more than the loss of electricity, there has been real property damage and in other scenarios, the loss of loved ones. If you did not suffer any damages, please take a moment to pause and reflect on how lucky you are. AND to think of those that are not so lucky. We ALL can deal with the inconvenience of late buses and trains.
Say hello to the people around you and decide to MAKE THIS A GREAT WEEK!
We all have been in IRENE mode for the past several days. My blogs over the past few days have reflected upon that. On Saturday, I wrote about IRENE,the 1973 Broadway musical.
Yesterday, I wrote about Irene Ryan and women who have played Irene Malloy over the years. Last night, I sat down to watch MY MAN GODFREY, the original with Dick Powell and Carole Lombard.
My Man Godfrey is a 1936 American screwball comedy film directed by Gregory LaCava.
The screenplay was written by Morrie Ryskind, with uncredited contributions by La Cava, based on "1101 Park Avenue", a short story by Eric Hatch.
The story concerns a socialite who hires a derelict to be her family's butler, only to fall in love with him, much to his dismay. The film stars William Powell and Carole Lombard.
The film was remade in 1957 with June Allyson and David Niven in the starring roles.

I had forgotten that her character's name is IRENE Bullock!
I almost fell off the sofa because I was planning on following up with my Irene theme today with other famous Irenes (which was the original intent of yesterday's blog). My tribute to the women who have played Irene Malloy took on a life of its own. There are so many and I barely touched the surface.
Thanks to Facebook, these are the ones that have been sent to me.

I'm sure there are still many I am leaving out! Our first Irene today is Irene Lorenzo!
Now some of you may be wondering how Betty Garrett found her way into a blog about Irenes! Well she created Irene Lorenzo in ALL MY FAMILY! It might be a stretch but it's good enough for me!

Betty Garrett (May 23, 1919 – February 12, 2011) was an American actress, comedienne, singer and dancer who originally performed on Broadway before being signed to a film contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Who could forget that she played the Lady Cab driver in the film version of "On the Town" (1949) ie: "Come Up To My Place" the part originated by Nancy Walker on B'way in '45.

Harlan Boll, Betty's friend, sent me the following, "
"Betty was not only one of the most talented women, but truly one of the greatest 'ladys' in the industry. A true survivor herself, she was always there for others and made life better for so many on this planet. A nudist at heart, she always had a song in her heart and a limerick ... often risqué ... on her lips"

While there, she appeared in several musical films before returning to Broadway and making guest appearances on several television series.

Later, she became known for the roles she played in two prominent 1970s sitcoms: Archie Bunker's liberal neighbor Irene Lorenzo in All in the Family and landlady Edna Babish in Laverne & Shirley.

In later years, Garrett appeared in television series such as Grey's Anatomy, Boston Public and Becker as well as in several Broadway plays and revivals.
Garrett was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Shortly after her birth, her parents relocated to Seattle, Washington, where her mother, Octavia, managed the sheet music department in Sherman Clay, while her father, Curtis, worked as a traveling salesman.
His alcoholism and inability to handle finances eventually led to their divorce, and Garrett and her mother lived in a series of residential hotels in order to curtail expenses.

When Garrett was eight years old, her mother married the fiancé she had jilted in order to marry Curtis.
They settled in Regina, Saskatchewan, where her new stepfather worked in the meat packing industry. A year later her mother discovered her new husband was involved in a sexual relationship with his male assistant, and she and Betty returned to Seattle.
After graduating from public grammar school, Garrett enrolled at the Annie Wright School in Tacoma, which she attended on a full scholarship.

There was no drama department there, and she frequently organized musical productions and plays for special occasions. Following her senior year performance in Twelfth Night, the bishop urged her to pursue a career on the stage. At the same time, her mother's friend arranged an interview with Martha Graham, who was in Seattle for a concert tour, and the dancer recommended her for a scholarship at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City.

Garrett and her mother arrived in Manhattan in the summer of 1936 and Garrett began classes in September. Her teachers included Graham and Anna Sokolow for dance, Sandy Meisner for drama, Lehman Engel for music, and Margaret Webster for the Shakespearean classics, and fellow students included Daniel Mann and Richard Conte. She felt she was destined to be a dramatic actress and shied away from playing comedic roles.

During the summer months, Garrett performed in the Borscht Belt, where she had the opportunity to work with Danny Kaye, Jerome Robbins, Carol Channing, Imogene Coca, and Jules Munshin, and she was encouraged to hone her singing and dancing skills. She joined Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre as an understudy in what was to be its last stage presentation, a poorly-reviewed and short-lived production of Danton's Death that gave her the opportunity to work with Joseph Cotten, Ruth Ford, Martin Gabel, and Arlene Francis.
She performed with Martha Graham's dance company at Carnegie Hall and the Alvin Theatre, sang at the Village Vanguard, and appeared in satirical and political revues staged by the Brooklyn-based Flatbush Arts Theatre, which eventually changed its name to the American Youth Theatre and relocated to Manhattan.
It was during this period she joined the Communist Party and began performing at fundraisers for progressive causes.

After Laffing Room Only, another production Garrett appeared in on Broadway closed, she traveled with the show as it played extended runs in Detroit and Chicago, after which she returned to New York and was cast in Call Me Mister, which reunited her with Harold Rome, Lehman Engel, and Jules Munshin. She won critical acclaim and the Donaldson Award for her performance, which prompted Al Hirschfeld to caricature her in the New York Times.
It led to her being signed to a one-year contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer by Louis B. Mayer. Garrett arrived at the studio in January 1947 and made her film debut portraying nightclub performer Shoo Shoo O'Grady in Big City, directed by Norman Taurog and co-starring George Murphy.
Mayer renewed her contract and she appeared in the musicals Words and Music, On the Town, Take Me Out To The Ball Game, and Neptune's Daughter in quick succession.

The Jolson Story had been a huge hit in the United Kingdom, and Garrett and husband Larry Parks decided to capitalize on its popularity by appearing in at the London Palladium and then touring the UK with their nightclub act.
Its success prompted them to return to the country three times, but the increasing popularity of television eventually led to the decline of music hall entertainment.
Then Garrett was cast opposite Janet Leigh and Jack Lemmon in My Sister Eileen, a 1955 musical remake of a 1942 film starring Rosalind Russell, when Judy Holliday dropped out of the project due to a contract dispute.
The following year, she and Parks replaced Holliday and Sydney Chaplin in the Broadway production of Bells Are Ringing during their vacation from the show.

Over the next two decades, she worked sporadically, appearing on Broadway in two short-lived plays (Beg, Borrow or Steal with Parks and A Girl Could Get Lucky with Pat Hingle) and a musical adaptation of Spoon River Anthology, and making guest appearances on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Lloyd Bridges Show, and The Fugitive.

Garrett made her Broadway debut in 1942 in the revue Of Thee We Sing, which closed after 76 performances but led to her being cast in the Harold Rome revue Let Freedom Sing later that year.
It closed after only eight performances, but producer Mike Todd saw it and signed her to understudy Ethel Merman and play a small role in the 1943 Cole Porter musical Something for the Boys.
Merman became ill during the run, allowing Garrett to play the lead for a week. During this time she was seen by producer Vinton Freedley, who cast her in Jackpot, a Vernon Duke/Howard Dietz musical also starring Nanette Fabray and Allan Jones.
The show closed quickly, and Garrett began touring the country with her nightclub act.

In the fall of 1973, All in the Family added two new neighbors to the neighborhood, Frank Lorenzo and his feisty Irish American wife, Irene. Lear had been the publicity man for Call Me Mister, All in the Family writers Bernard West and Mickey West knew Garrett from her days with the American Youth Theatre, and Jean Stapleton had been in the cast of Bells Are Ringing, so Garrett appeared to be a frontrunner for the role of Irene.
It went instead to Sada Thompson, but, unhappy after filming one episode, Thompson asked to be released from her commitment, freeing the role for Garrett.
Irene was Catholic and assumed many of the household duties normally associated with husbands, and she therefore presented a kind of nemesis to Archie Bunker. She later worked with Archie at his place of employment, driving a forklift, and was paid less than the man she replaced. Garrett remained with the series from 1973 through 1975.

The following year, Garrett was performing her one-woman show Betty Garrett and Other Songs in Westwood when she was offered the role of landlady Edna Babish in Laverne & Shirley. The character was a five-time divorcée who eventually married Laverne's father Frank. Although Garrett reportedly felt she was never given enough to do on the show, she appreciated the fact that her musical talents occasionally were incorporated into the plot, and she won a Golden Globe for her performance. When the series was extended beyond what had been intended to be its final season, Garrett was forced to drop out because she already had committed to performing with Sandy Dennis, Jack Gilford, Hope Lange, and Joyce Van Patten in The Supporting Cast on Broadway.
The play closed after only eight performances, but returning to Laverne & Shirley was not an option, as the writers had explained Edna's disappearance by having her divorce Frank.

In the ensuing years, Garrett appeared on television in Murder, She Wrote, The Golden Girls, Harts of the West, Union Square, Boston Public, Becker (for which she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series), and Grey's Anatomy, among others, and on stage in Plaza Suite (with Parks), And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little, and the 2001 Broadway revival of Follies.
At Theatre West, which she co-founded, she directed Arthur Miller's The Price and appeared in the play Waiting in the Wings.
She won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award twice, for Spoon River Anthology and Betty Garrett and Other Songs.

Garrett received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2003.

On the occasion of her ninetieth birthday in 2009, she was honored at a celebration sponsored by Theatre West at the Music Box Theatre in Hollywood.
In 2010, Garrett appeared alongside former two-time co-star Esther Williams during Turner Classic Movies' first annual Classic Film Festival.

Their film Neptune's Daughter was screened at the pool of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California while a Williams-inspired synchronized swimming troop, The Aqualilies, performed.

While appearing in Los Angeles, Garrett was invited to perform a comedy sketch at the Actor's Lab in Hollywood.
It was there she met Larry Parks, who was producing the show.
He invited her to join him for a drink, then drove her to the top of Mulholland Drive and told her, "You're the girl I'm going to marry." During the next two weeks, the two were inseparable.
Garrett departed for a nightclub engagement in Chicago.

Eventually Parks joined her and introduced her to his mother, who lived in nearby Joliet. Parks returned to Los Angeles to begin filming Counter-Attack and Garrett continued to New York to prepare for Laffing Room Only with Olsen and Johnson, but before rehearsals began she called Parks and proposed marriage. The two were wed on September 8, 1944,four months after their initial meeting.
Actor Lloyd Bridges served as best man. Garrett and Parks spent a month honeymooning in Malibu Beach, and then lived apart for the next two years while pursuing their respective careers.
(Rita Hayworth with Larry Parks)

Garrett and Parks remained married until his death in 1975.

She had two sons, composer Garrett and actor Andrew.

Because of their past affiliations with the Communist Party, Garrett and Parks became embroiled with the House Un-American Activities Committee, although only Parks was forced to testify.
He willingly admitted he had been a member of the party and initially refused to name others though did later. Despite this he found himself on the Hollywood blacklist. Garrett also had trouble finding work, although as the mother of two young sons she did not mind being unemployed as much as her husband did. Parks formed a highly successful construction business, and eventually the couple owned many apartment buildings scattered throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Rather than sell them upon completion, Parks decided to retain ownership and collect rents as a landlord, a decision that proved to be extremely profitable. During this period, the couple occasionally performed in Las Vegas showrooms, summer stock productions, and touring companies of Broadway shows.

Betty Garrett died of an aortic aneurysm in Los Angeles on February 12, 2011, at the age of 91.

Our second Irene is Irene Cara.
Irene Cara (born March 18, 1959)[1] is an American singer and actress. Cara won an Academy Award in 1984 in the category of Best Original Song for co-writing "Flashdance... What a Feeling."
She is also known for her recording of the song "Fame", and she also starred in the 1980 film Fame.

She married Hollywood stuntman Conrad Palmisano in 1986.
They divorced in 1991.

Cara's father, Gaspar Cara, was Puerto Rican and Cara's mother, Louise, was an American of Cuban descent.
Cara has two sisters and two brothers.
At age three, Irene Cara was one of five finalists for the 'Little Miss America' pageant.
Cara began to play the piano "by ear" and soon thereafter, she began seriously studying music, acting, and dance.
Cara's performing career started when she was a child on Spanish-language television, professionally singing and dancing.
She made early TV appearances on the Original Amateur Hour (singing in Spanish) and Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show.
She was a regular on PBS’s educational program The Electric Company, which starred Bill Cosby, Rita Moreno, and Morgan Freeman.
As a child, Cara recorded a Latin-market Spanish-language record; an English Christmas album soon followed. She also appeared in a major concert tribute to Duke Ellington which also featured Stevie Wonder, Sammy Davis Jr, and Roberta Flack.

Cara appeared in on-and off-Broadway theatrical shows including the musicals Ain't Misbehavin', The Me Nobody Knows (which won an Obie award), Maggie Flynn opposite Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy, and Via Galactica with Raul Julia.

She was the original Daisy Allen on the 1970s daytime serial Love of Life. Next came her role as Angela in romance/thriller Aaron Loves Angela, followed by her portrayal of the title character in Sparkle, Television brought Cara international acclaim for serious dramatic roles in two outstanding mini-series, Roots: The Next Generation and Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones.

John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 28, named her one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1976;" that same year, a readers' poll in Right On! magazine named her Top Actress.

Cara graduated from the Professional Children's School in Manhattan, a rival of the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art. Coincidentally, LaGuardia High was the inspiration for the performing arts school in her third movie, Fame, along with The Juilliard School. When she attended high school, it was called the School of Performing Arts.
In 1984 the High School of Music & Art was merged with the School of Performing Arts (founded in 1948 by Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia) to become LaGuardia High.
Coco comes from Portorico. She can make everything well: she sings, she dances, and she is a good actress.
Coco has an incredible talent. She is generous, she has a great personality, she is full of energy and she loves to be in the center of the stage. She always fights to defend her ideas and her dream: to become famous. But on the other hand, she is very simple and she can admit her mistakes and apologize for them.
Coco is very close to her grandmother and when she dies, Coco reacts by closing herself off and not performing or singing. But soon she goes back to the true Coco.

The 1980 hit movie Fame catapulted Irene Cara to stardom.
Cara was originally cast as a dancer, and when production heard her voice they re-wrote the role of Coco Hernandez.
As Coco Hernandez, she sang both the title song "Fame" and the film’s other single "Out Here on My Own". These songs helped make the film's soundtrack a chart-topping, multi-platinum album.

Further history was made when at the Academy Awards that year: It was the first time two songs from the same film were nominated in the same category and both sung by the same artist. Thus, Cara had the opportunity to be one of the few singers to perform more than one song at the Oscar ceremony. "Fame", written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford, won the award that year.
Cara earned Grammy nominations in 1980 for Best New Female Artist and Best New Pop Artist, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical. Billboard Magazine named her Top New Single Artist, while Cashbox Magazine awarded her both Most Promising Female Vocalist and Top Female Vocalist.

Asked by the Fame TV series' producers to reprise her role as Coco Hernandez, she declined so as to focus her attention on her recording career.

As a result, Erica Gimpel assumed the role.

Cara was slated to star in her own sitcom, Irene, on NBC in 1981.
Even though the pilot aired and received favorable reviews, the network did not pick it up for its fall season.
It also starred veteran performers Kaye Ballard and Teddy Wilson, as well as newcomers Julia Duffy and Keenan Ivory Wayans.
In 1983, Cara appeared as herself in the film D.C. Cab, which is a film about a group of cabbies.
The movie stars Mr. T. One of the characters, Tyrone played by Charlie Barnett, is an obsessed Cara fan who decorated his Checker Cab as a shrine to her.

In 1982, Cara earned the Image Award for Best Actress when she co-starred with Diahann Carroll and Rosalind Cash in the NBC Movie of the Week, Maya Angelou's Sister, Sister.

Cara portrayed Myrlie Evers-Williams in the PBS TV movie about civil rights leader Medgar Evers, For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story; and earned an NAACP Image Award Best Actress nomination. She also appeared in 1982's Killing 'em Softly.

Then there is Irene Worth(pictured)
Irene Worth, CBE (June 23, 1916 – March 9, 2002) was an American stage and screen actress who became one of the leading stars of the English and American theatre.
(She pronounced her given name with three syllables: "I-REE-nee".)
She joined the Old Vic company in 1951, worked with Tyrone Guthrie and there played Desdemona, Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Portia in The Merchant of Venice and her first Lady Macbeth.
The company went off to South Africa with Worth as one of the leading ladies.
In 1953, she joined the fledgling Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario for its inaugural season. There she was the principal leading lady, performing under an enRicormous tent with Alec Guinness in All's Well That Ends Well and Richard III.
"Binkie" Beaumont brought her back to London in N. C. Hunter's "Chekhovian" drama, A Day by the Sea, with a cast that included John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson. She joined the Midland Theatre Company in Coventry for Ugo Betti's The Queen and the Rebels. Her transformation from "a rejected slut cowering at her lover's feet into a redemption of regal poise" ensured a transfer to London, where Kenneth Tynan wrote of her technique: "It is grandiose, heartfelt, marvellously controlled, clear as crystal and totally unmoving."

Harriet Elizabeth Abrams was born in Fairbury, Nebraska to a Mennonite family.Her parents, Agnes Thiessen and Henry Abrams, were educators. They moved from Nebraska to California in 1920.

She was educated at Newport Harbor High School, Newport Beach, California, Santa Ana Junior College, Santa Ana, California and UCLA.

and Irene Sharaff
Irene Sharaff (January 23, 1910 - August 10, 1993) was an American costume designer for stage and screen. Her work earned her five Academy Awards and a Tony Award. Another Aquarian!

Sharaff was born in Boston and studied at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts, the Art Students League of New York, and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris.

And Irene Castle.
(1893–1969) Dancer
One of the most important couples of twentieth century ballroom dancing: before there was Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, there was Vernon and Irene Castle.
With her husband, Vernon, Irene Castle was the leading popularizer of ballroom dance in the early 20th century.
Born Irene Foote on April 7, 1893, she was the daughter of a prominent physician in New Rochelle, New York. Irene studied dancing and performed in several amateur theatricals before meeting Vernon Castle in 1910. With his help, she was hired for her first professional job, a small daing part in The Summer Widowers.

The next year, over her father’s objections, the two were married. The English-born Vernon had already established himself as a dancer in comedic roles. His specialty was playing a gentleman drunk, who elegantly fell about the stage while trying to hide his condition. After their marriage, Irene joined Vernon in The Hen-Pecks (1911), a production in which he was a featured player. The two then traveled together to Paris to perform in a dance revue. The show closed quickly, but the couple was then hired as a dance act by the Café de Paris. Performing the latest American dances, the Castles were soon the rage of Parisian society. Their success was widely reported in the United States, preparing their way for a triumphant return to New York in 1912.

The Castles were hired to stage dance exhibitions at Louis Martin’s, a Broadway cabaret. Their routine presented a series of popular dances, such as the onestep, tango, fox-trot, and the Castle Walk, their signature dance. The dance fioor was then turned over the couples in the audience, who did their best to imitate the Castles’ footwork. In addition to cabaret, the Castles also became staples of Broadway. Among their shows were The Sunshine Girl (1913) and Watch Your Step (1914), which boasted a score written by Irving Berlin with them in mind. Emerging as America’s premier dance team, the Castles were trendsetters in a number of arenas. Their infectious enthusiasm for dance encouraged admirers to try new forms of social dance. Considered paragons of respectability and class, the Castles specifically helped remove the stigma of vulgarity from close dancing. The Castles’ performances, often set to ragtime and jazz rhythms, also popularized African-American music among well-heeled whites. Irene’s fashion sense, too, started national trends. Her elegant, yet simple, fiowing gowns were often featured in fashion magazines. She is also credited with introducing American women to the bob—the short hairstyle favored by fiappers in the 1920s.
With the assistance of literary agent Elizabeth Marbury, the Castles became enormously adept at capitalizing on their fame. In New York, they established their own supper club and a dance school named Castle House, where they instructed the children of high-society families. For their middleclass fans, they published Modern Dancing (1914), one of the first instructional books on ballroom dance. They also starred in Whirl of Life (1915), their first film biography, and licensed their name to a variety of products, including Castle Corsets.
With the onset of World War I, Vernon joined the British Royal Flying Corps, while Irene attempted to establish a solo career, appearing on Broadway and in film serials. In 1917, the Castles’ performance career came to a tragic end when Vernon, assigned to instruct pilots in Fort Worth, Texas, was killed in a crash during a routine fiight. In the early 1920s, Irene tried to recreate the magic she had with Vernon with a new dance partner, William Reardon, but their pairing never caught on with the public.
Irene Castle continued to perform periodically on Broadway, but by the late 1920s was much more engrossed in her work with the antivivisection movement. In 1928, she established an animal shelter called Orphans of the Storm, which she held society balls to support. After Vernon’s death, she married three more times and had two children, Barbara and William. Suffering from emphysema, she died on January 25, 1969. Though largely forgotten today, the Castles’ career and performance style were immortalized on screen in The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939), the last of nine films starring dance greats GINGER ROGERS and Fred Astaire.

And Irene Dunn.Irene Dunne (December 20, 1898 – September 4, 1990) was an American film actress and singer of the 1930s and 1940s. Dunne was nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her performances in Cimarron (1931), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939) and I Remember Mama (1948). She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1958.
Born Irene Marie Dunn in Louisville, Kentucky, to Joseph Dunn, a steamboat inspector for the United States government, and Adelaide Henry, a concert pianist/music teacher from Newport, Kentucky, Irene Dunn would later write "No triumph of either my stage or screen career has ever rivaled the excitement of trips down the Mississippi on the river boats with my father." She was only eleven when her father died in 1909. She saved all of his letters and often remembered and lived by what he told her the night before he died: "Happiness is never an accident. It is the prize we get when we choose wisely from life's great stores."
After her father's death, she, her mother and younger brother Charles moved to her mother's hometown of Madison, Indiana. Dunn's mother taught her to play the piano as a very small girl.

According to Dunn, "Music was as natural as breathing in our house."
Dunne was raised as a devout Roman Catholic.
Nicknamed "Dunnie," she took piano and voice lessons, sang in local churches and high school plays before her graduation in 1916.

And Irene Selznick

Irene Pappas with Gian Maria Volente
Bewitched ,Beautiful ,and Bespectacled . Even through her tinted specs you can see that Irene Pappas, as well as Gian Maria Violente, is taken aback by what she sees in We Still Kill The Old Way.

As I've already written, Irene (1940) is an American musical film produced and directed by Herbert Wilcox.

The screenplay by Alice Duer Miller is based on the book of the 1919 stage musical of the same name by James Montgomery, who had adapted it from his play Irene O'Dare. The score features songs with music by Harry Tierney and lyrics by Joseph McCarthy.

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