Friday, September 30, 2011


To be normal, is the ideal of the unsuccessful ~C.G.

Happy End of September!
I hope you had a great September. I did! I appeared in Oklahoma City for Primetimers, did three shows in my annual outing to Malibu, performed at my first same-sex wedding, and performed for Bick Moss for Musical Mondays. And speaking of Musical Mondays, MUSICAL MONDAYS THEATRE LAB IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THEIR
FIRST PRESENTATION OF THE 2011-2012 SEASON (THEIR 13TH YEAR!)Let's hope this is their luckiest year yet!



by Bryan D. Leys and Clare Cooper
based on How to Marry a Divorced Man by Leslie Fram

He’s broke, has a crazy ex-wife, two bratty kids,
and he’s the only game in town.
One woman's zany ride on the road to matrimony.
Layla Diamond, a rock and roll reporter in her late 30's, follows the advice of her daffy mother and seeks out a divorced man. She sets her sights on Bo, a charming sports agent with a needy ex and two obnoxious children. Trying to fit into his life, Layla makes one madcap mistake after another, adopting false identities, causing multiple mix-ups, and turning her marital quest into a complicated farce. How to Marry a Divorced Man features a lively score blending rock, pop, country and R&B tunes.

Tickets: $18 (Season subscriptions of four show available for $45).
Snapple Theater Center, 210 West 50th Street (and Broadway).
For reservations, email

Next production: SPOOLIE GIRL (By Rosemary Loar and Robert Atwood), Thursday, November 17th, 6:30 PM at the Snapple.

I saw Follies on Broadway.

Terri White and Danny Burstyn are STARS! Go see this show! Sadly, I also attending an incredible memorial for Randall Wreghitt. The theatre was packed. Gone too soon and the theatre community is at a huge loss because of it. My friend, the FABULOUS Marie Kelly was in town for auditions. Here's hoping that one lucky show will snatch her up!

I attended the Ziegfeld's special screening of Ziegfeld: A Man And His Women at the Paley Center last Saturday which featured the incredible Walter Willison! We are cooking up a few ideas will keep you posted! And THAT was my September!

October is kicking off tomorrow with my wedding (A renewal of our vows)!
There are two major holidays next month.

Columbus Day and one of my favorites, Halloween!

On Wednesday, The Last of The Red Hot Lovers is playing in Nyack, Jamie deRoy is at The Metropolitan Room, The Bistro and MAC Award winning "The Concerts at Tudor Greens) ends its season, and Craig Pomrantz returns to The Metropolitan Room. How do I choose!?!?! This year's Bistro Award winning Colleen McHugh is appearing at The Metropolitan Room.

The weekend after Columbus Day, Danny, Horace, and I are taking a long weekend in The Hamptons. And then a dear friend of mine is visiting for a few days. I can't think of a better way to spend an evening than to take him to see Jason Graae at The Laurie Beechman for his tribute to Jerry Herman. Stay tune for two major Jerry Herman events that I have coming up in November! My friend Don DelBello defies age when we celebrate his 60th birthday towards the end of the month! The Cabaret Convention happens once again this month. I hope to make it to the Gala Opening Night. That's the only night I can attend. One of my favorite's Liz Callaway is appearing that night! Along with Barbara Carroll.Barbara Carroll (born Barbara Carole Coppersmith on January 25, 1925 in Worcester, Massachusetts) is a jazz pianist, composer and vocalist.
She began her classical training in piano at age eight, but by high school had decided to become a jazz pianist. She attended the New England Conservatory of Music for a year, but left it as it conflicted with working for bands. In 1947 Leonard Feather dubbed her "the first girl ever to play bebop piano."
In the following year her trio, which had Chuck Wayne on guitar and Clyde Lombardi on bass, worked briefly with Benny Goodman. Later Charlie Byrd replaced Wayne with Joe Shulman replacing Lombardi.
After Byrd left she decided to have it be a drums, bass, and piano trio.
In the 1950s she did noteworthy solo work as well as work with her trio. She also began to cross-over doing a jazz-waltz and her trio worked on Me and Juliet by Rodgers and Hammerstein. That stated, the end of the decade saw her career ebb. This occurred because of changing musical tastes and personal concerns.
In September 1954 Barbara married Joe Shulman, a member of the trio. The marriage lasted less than three years as he died of a heart-attack in 1957 at 33. She later remarried to former bandleader Bert Block and had a daughter. She decided in 1965 to retire from jazz and devote her time to her family.
In 1972 she returned to change due to a renewed interest and increase in clubs. In 1975 she was asked by Rita Coolidge to work on a session for A&M. Then in 1978 she toured with Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson. In the following two decades she became known as a cabaret musician. This revival met with disapproval from several serious jazz critics with Leonard Feather stating her career "fell apart" because of musical preference. The statement is a bit ambiguous as it may well mean the changing preferences of the audience rather than hers. That said she remained well liked by many audiences, gained new appreciation in the cabaret world, and continued working to the present.
In the current decade she's been awarded a Lifetime Achievement award and the "Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz."

That same night, Christine Ebersole appears, another one of my favorites!

Nicole Henry

Sylvia McNair

Jennifer Sheehan

Also that night, October 20th, The Presentation Of The Mabel Mercer Award and a special remembrance of Cynthia Chisholm Saint-Armand.
Can't wait!

Also in October, Al Jolson was born. I will be doing a special blog just about that.

The month will end with me visiting another great singer friend of mine, Jane Scheckter! So, as you can see, October will be a very musical month!

But before we get there, we have to end SEptember. "30 days hath September..." What better way to end the month than to celebrate the birthdays of several cultural icons.
Angie Dickenson is 80 today. was always bummed she wasn't a Bond Girl. She put the aaaaaahhhh in HOT!” ~> Wow..can't believe she's 80! Loved her in the 70s as Pepper on Police Woman. We used to watch her every Thursday night. My dad was crazy about her. We also looked for her frequent appearances on variety shows, The Dean Martin Show, and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts.
THOSE were funny! Not those shameful hurtful things they call roasts today.
Angie Dickinson (born September 30, 1931) is an American actress. She has appeared in more than fifty films, including Rio Bravo, Ocean's Eleven, Dressed to Kill and Pay It Forward, and starred on television as Sergeant Suzanne "Pepper" Anderson on the 1970s crime series Police Woman.
Dickinson, the second of four daughters, was born Angeline Brown (but called "Angie" by family and friends) in Kulm, North Dakota, the daughter of Frederica and Leo H. Brown. Her family is of German descent and she was raised Roman Catholic.
Dickinson's father was a small-town newspaper publisher and editor.
In 1942, her family moved to Burbank, California, where she attended Bellarmine-Jefferson High School, graduating in 1947 at just 15 years of age. The previous year, she had won the Sixth Annual Bill of Rights essay contest. She studied at Glendale Community College and in 1954 graduated from Immaculate Heart College with a degree in business. Taking a cue from her publisher father, she had intended to be a writer. While a student from 1950–52, she worked as a secretary at Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank (now Bob Hope Airport) and in a parts factory.
Angie married football player Gene Dickinson in 1952. With Gene's encouragement, she entered a beauty pageant in 1953, placing second. The exposure brought her to the attention of a television industry producer, who asked her to consider a career in acting. She studied the craft and a few years later was approached by NBC to guest-star on a number of variety shows, including The Colgate Comedy Hour. She soon met Frank Sinatra, who became a lifelong friend. She would later play Sinatra's wife in the film Ocean's Eleven.
On New Year's Eve 1954, Dickinson made her television acting debut in an episode of Death Valley Days.
This led to other roles in such productions as Buffalo Bill Jr., Matinee Theatre (eight episodes), City Detective, It's a Great Life (two episodes), Gray Ghost, General Electric Theater, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Broken Arrow, Meet McGraw (twice), Northwest Passage, Gunsmoke, The Virginian, Tombstone Territory, Cheyenne, and The Restless Gun.
Rejecting the Marilyn Monroe/Jayne Mansfield style of platinum blonde sex-symbolism because she felt it would narrow her acting options, Dickinson initially allowed studios to lighten her naturally-brunette hair to only honey-blonde. She appeared mainly in B-movies early on, westerns, including Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend (1957) co-starring with James Garner.

Happy Birthday Cissy Houston, who is 78 today!
Emily "Cissy" Drinkard Houston (born September 30, 1933) is a Grammy Award–winning American soul and gospel singer. She led a very successful career as a backup singer for such artists as Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Wishbone Ash and Aretha Franklin, and is now primarily a solo artist. She is the mother of singer and actress Whitney Houston and aunt of Dionne Warwick and the late Dee Dee Warwick.

Singer Johnny Mathis is 76 today!The fourth of seven children, John Royce Mathis was born on September 30, 1935 in Gilmer, Texas to Clem and Mildred Mathis. As a small boy, the family moved to Post Street in San Francisco. It was there that he learned an appreciation of music from his father who taught him his first song, “My Blue Heaven”. At age eight, his father purchased an old upright piano for $25. When he brought it home, it wouldn't fit through the front door. So that evening, Johnny stayed up all night to watch his father dismantle the piano, get it into the small living room of their basement apartment and then reassemble it. Clem Mathis, who worked briefly as a musician back in Texas playing the piano and singing on stage, would continue to teach his son many songs and routines. Johnny had proven to be the most eager of the children to learn all about music. He sang in the church choir, school functions, community events, for visitors in their home as well as amateur shows in the San Francisco area.

Leonard Joseph “Len” Cariou (born September 30, 1939) is a Canadian actor, best known for his portrayal of Sweeney Todd in the original cast of Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He currently plays the patriarch in the multi-generational television series Blue Bloods on CBS.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Cariou is the son of Molly Estelle (née Moore) and George Marius Cariou, a salesman.
His father was French Canadian and his mother was of Irish descent.
Cariou attended Holy Cross School Miles MacDonell Collegiate for grades ten and eleven where he directed and starred in the school plays and he later attended St Paul's College.

Marilyn McCoo is 68 today!
For all the success Marilyn McCoo has enjoyed, she continues to pursue a multi-dimensional career as a singer and entertainer, an always-in-demand host and respected actress.
An extremely successful female recording artist, Marilyn's combined record sales, as a solo performer, a member of The 5th Dimension and a part of a duo with husband, Billy Davis, Jr., ranks her among the top 10 black female vocalists of the "rock era." This places her among such greats as Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight.
Marilyn has won a total of eight Grammys. When she sang with The 5th Dimension, the group won six Grammys. Marilyn and her husband, Billy Davis, Jr., won a Grammy (Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo) for You Don't Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show).
Her eighth Grammy was for participating as a guest artist on Quincy Jones' Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration (Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album).
Her first gospel album, The Me Nobody Knows, was nominated for a Grammy and the title single went to #1 on the gospel charts.
Marilyn and her husband, Billy Davis Jr., are celebrating their 42 years of marriage this year. In 2004 they wrote a critically well received book, which shares their secrets of staying happy and committed to each other in Hollywood. It's entitled Up, Up and Away…How We Found Love, Faith and Lasting Marriage in the Entertainment World.
It was written in collaboration with Mike Yorkey and was released by Northfield Publishing Company. In it, they talk about how they met, their successful musical careers, and their major struggles behind closed doors, offering practical marriage advice and spiritual encouragement along the way.

Pop Singer Sylvia Peterson (The Chiffons) is 65 today.
The Chiffons was an all girl group originating from the Bronx area of New York in 1960.
The Chiffons were one of the top girl groups of the early 1960s. With their trademark tight harmonies, high-stepping confidence and the hit machine of Goffin and King writing songs such as “One Fine Day,” the Chiffons made music that helped define the girl group sound of the era.
The group was originally a trio comprising lead singer Judy Craig, Patricia Bennett and Barbara Lee. They formed at James Monroe High School in The Bronx in 1960. At the suggestion of songwriter Ronald Mack, Sylvia Peterson was added to the group in 1962. Peterson had previously sung with Little Jimmy & the Tops in 1959 when she was 14. This group had a local hit with "Puppy Love" (V-Tone). Sylvia shared the lead with Jimmy on the single's B-Side, "Say You Love Me". Peterson would later sing lead on the Chiffons' "Why Am I So Shy", "Strange, Strange Feeling", "The Real Thing" and on "My Block", written by Jimmy Radcliffe, Carl Spencer and Bert Berns, and "When The Boy's Happy", for the Chiffons in the early days when they were recording as the Four Pennies. They changed their name to the Chiffons in early 1963.

Today is also the birthday of one of my favorite people. Sondra Lee!
Sondra Lee was the original Minnie Fay in HELLO, DOLLY!Richard Skipper as Carol Channing, Sondra Lee and Donna Hanover.
Several years ago Dancers Over 40 (DO40) partnered with Lincoln Center Barnes and Noble "as an opportunity and a way to make these B & N events more enjoyable - by supplying refreshments for the crowd - and the talent," according to DO40 President John Sefakis.
DO40 provided deserts and beverages Lee's book signing. Referring to the presence of 'Carol Channing,' Lee explained, "When I am doing these presentation I ask Richard Skipper if he will come as Carol Channing. He is a very generous performer and an incredible person.
He does a lot besides Carol. He's an actor." The event was moderated by Donna Hanover.
Eileen Brennen created the role of Irene Malloy in the original Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! which opened at the St. James Theater on January 16, 1964.

"Eileen and I were actually very close friends. But we shared a dressing room and you can get on each other's nerves.
She said - 'Well! I have exclusivity of the dressing. I said; 'Well, so do I?"

"So, they put up a curtain. But the curtain didn't work. It wasn't good enough. I was going to call my agent and she was going to call her agent. The producers told the theater to build a wall.
They did. They built a wall in this tiny, stupid dressing room.
The only thing is, she had the air-conditioner and I had the radiator. So, she froze in the winter and I was hot in the summer."
Matthew Broderick. For him the wall came tumbling down. Broderick is one of several celebrities who penned an endorsement for the back cover of Lee's book
"That wall lasted until Matthew Broderick was to have that as his dressing room. He tried to walk in and they had to take the wall down," she said of the dressing room Broderick used while starring in The Producers.

"Eileen and I have remained friends. She is a marvelous, wonderful person," emphasized Lee.

Broderick as well as Angela Lansbury, Jules Feiffer and Charles Busch have written book endorsements.

It was Sondra Lee that helped push Charles Busch into the well deserved spotlight. Lee produced Busch's famous show Shanghai Moon.

"Charles is a friend and I felt this particular show of his, which I was very familiar with, was great. I took it to a producer friend of mine who cocked around. Finally, I went to the Drama Department, which was an independent company. They said they would do it with me and that is how it got done."
"I'm going to produce something else very soon," she disclosed about Hillbilly Women, a drama with music by Elizabeth Stearns, based on the book by Kathy Kahn.
"It's a seven character musical play about the women of Appalachia. I think it has a great deal to do with America, especially in the 70's. These women are amazing.
Nothing much has changed," said Lee about the play which Samuel French, Inc describes as; "Based on interviews in Appalachia, this docu drama features seven women who reveal in song and narrative their personal stories of survival against incredible odds."

"They are poor and a lot of them are products of incest," continued Lee. "They made the Levi jeans. They have black lung disease. I think it is an important piece of American history.
I have music from The Judd's and Peter, Paul and Mary, old Union songs. Things that are meaningful."

"I'm a member of the Actors Studio and about 30 years ago I saw this play done - very differently - with very young actresses from The Actors Studio. This version is with much older actresses and it is just brilliant."

Most dancers don't get into The Actors Studio.

"I am a serous actress and also a serious painter," she explained. "You audition to get into Actors Studio.
In its heyday, was an elitist gymnasium for actors to work on their craft. I learned to direct and experiment and work from feed back."

Enzo Stuarti was in the flop Reuben, Reuben but went on to become a Las Vegas headliner

Lee reports no bad career experiences, "although there was one that was a huge flop - Reuben, Reuben by Mark Blitzstein. It's like if you have a child that isn't quite right and somehow it's you favorite of all your children."
"On opening night in Boston it was like being in Europe. People were booing and people in the audience turned on each other. I remember the Second Act opened in an insane asylum. Eddie Albert, who was the star, had the line - 'My God, I must have been crazy.'
Somebody in the audience said - 'You are! You are!'"

"The people in the play were amazing, talented people," she said referring to Kaye Ballard and George Gaynes.

Thank you ALL for the gifts you have given us and CONTINUE to give us!

Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE October for ALL...with NO challenges!


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

Become A Facebook friend of mine!
Follow me on Twitter
If you've seen one of my appearances/shows, add your thoughts to my guestbook at

Tomorrow's blog will be about...YOU TELL ME! I'M OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS!! I'm also seeking a video question for tomorrow!


Richard Skipper,

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Celebrating Madeline Kahn and The FAME-WALL!

Write from the soul, not from some notion what you think the marketplace wants. The market is fickle; the soul is eternal. - Jeffrey A. Carver

Happy Thursday!

I hope this finds you well. Yesterday, I was shocked and somewhat saddened to read that Madeline Kahn would have been 69 today. We lost her much too soon. She truly was an integral part of my 70s. From the moment, I first heard her utter "Howard?" in WHAT'S UP DOC?, I was a die hard fan! Her acting teacher to Eunice on The Carol Burnett Show is still one of the funniest things I've ever seen: "Miss Catwoman on Mars!"
What a great actress. A versatile talent of both comedic and vocal skills, she will be perhaps best remembered for her roles in the Mel Brooks pictures "Blazing Saddles" (1974) and "Young Frankenstein" (1974).
Kahn was born Madeline Gail Wolfson in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Paula Kahn and Bernard B. Wolfson, who was a garment manufacturer.
She was raised in a non-observant Jewish family.
Her parents divorced when Kahn was two, and she and her mother moved to New York City.
Several years later her parents remarried and gave Kahn two half-siblings: Jeffrey (from her mother) and Robyn (from her father).

Following her mother's remarrying, Madeline took her stepfather's last name Kahn and began studying the piano, as well as taking dance and voice lessons.
In 1948, Kahn was sent to a progressive boarding school in Pennsylvania and stayed there until 1952. During that time, her mother pursued her acting dream. Kahn soon began acting herself and performed in a number of school productions. In 1960, she graduated from Martin Van Buren High School in Queens, where she earned a drama scholarship to Hofstra University on Long Island. At Hofstra, she studied drama, music, and speech therapy. After changing her major a number of times, Kahn graduated from Hofstra in 1964 with a degree in speech therapy. She was a member of a local sorority on campus, Delta Chi Delta.

Following her graduation (in which she received a BA), she taught at a public school on Long Island, but would be drawn back to performing, as she appeared in a stage production of "Kiss Me, Kate" and later was a member of an upstate New York repertory company, with whom she sang opera.

Men should be like Kleenex- soft, strong and disposable”, Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn), Clue

Then there is Paper Moon a 1973 American comedy film directed by Peter Bogdanovich and released by Paramount Pictures.
The screenplay was adapted from the novel Addie Pray by Joe David Brown, and the film was shot in black-and-white.
The film is set during the Great Depression in the U.S. states of Kansas and Missouri.

It also starred the real life father and daughter pairing of Ryan and Tatum O'Neal, as on-screen father and daughter Moze and Addie.

She marked her Broadway debut in "Leonard Sillman's New Faces of 1968" (1968). That same year, she performed her first professional lead in a special concert performance of the operetta Candide in honor of Leonard Bernstein's 50th birthday.
In 1969, she appeared Off Broadway in the musical Promenade and followed this with her performance in the musical "Two By Two" (1970 to 1971).
Her silly waltz "The Golden Ram," capped by a high C, can be heard on the show's cast album) and a leading lady turn as Lily Garland in 1978's On the Twentieth Century. She left (or was fired from) the latter show early in its run, yielding the role to her understudy, Judy Kaye, whose career it launched. She also starred in a 1977 Town Hall revival of She Loves Me (opposite Barry Bostwick and original London cast member Rita Moreno).
Kahn's film debut was in the 1968 short De Düva (The Dove).
Her feature debut was as Ryan O'Neal's hysterical fiancée in Peter Bogdanovich's screwball comedy What's Up, Doc? (1972) starring Barbra Streisand.
"What's Up Doc?" ranks so high on my list of all-time favorite movies. It's not that much of a surprise.
No matter how you categorize it, "What's Up Doc?" is one of the most consistently funny movies I've ever seen. And it remains so after multiple viewings. "What's Up Doc?" owes merely a polite nod to the screwball romantic comedy genre and is stylistically closer in tone to the absurdist, anarchic slapstick of The Marx Brothers and Bugs Bunny.

Her film career continued with Paper Moon (1973), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Kahn was cast in the role of Agnes Gooch in the 1974 film Mame, but star Lucille Ball fired Kahn due to artistic differences.
(Note: several of Ball's biographies note that Kahn was eager to be released from the role so that she could join the cast of Blazing Saddles, a film about to go into production; whether Kahn was fired or left Mame under mutual agreement is undetermined. However, Kahn stated in a 1996 Charlie Rose interview that she had indeed been fired from Mame.)

Among her other films include "The Cheap Detective" (1978), "The Muppet Movie" (1979), "History of the World, Part I" (1981), "Yellowbeard" (1983) and "City Heat" (1984).
In 1983, she starred in her own short-lived TV sitcom, Oh Madeline, which ended after only one season due to poor ratings.
In 1986 she starred in ABC Comedy Factory's pilot episode of Chameleon, which never aired on the fall schedule; it co-starred Nina Foch.
In 1987, Kahn won a Daytime Emmy award for her performance in the ABC Afterschool Special, Wanted: The Perfect Guy.
Late in her career, Kahn returned to the stage, first in Judy Holliday's role in a 1989 revival of Born Yesterday, then as Dr. Gorgeous in Wendy Wasserstein's 1993 play The Sisters Rosensweig, a role that earned her a Tony Award. She played the corrupt mayor (Angela Lansbury's role) in a concert performance of Anyone Can Whistle that was released on CD. She also continued to appear in movies.
Kahn would finally win a Tony Award for her performance in "The Sisters Rosensweig" (1993). Her final role was as Pauline Fox in the TV series "Cosby" (1996 to 1999). She died from ovarian cancer at the age of 57.

Madeline, you are one of my favorites and I will NEVER forget you!

Now, I want to tell you about a very special event taking place here in New York one week from tonight! Another Fame-Wall unveiling!
Fame-wall is a portrait gallery that salutes those who have made a significant impact in the world of art and entertainment, who have inspired others through their work. It was designed to pay tribute to those creative from those arenas uniting stage, screen, music, paper and canvas. The portraits are custom painted by renowned, Grammy Award-winning artist, Fame-Wall is a portrait gallery that salutes those who have made a significant impact in the world of art and entertainment, who have inspired others through their work. It was designed to pay tribute to creative from those arenas uniting stage, screen, music, paper and canvas. The portraits are custom painted by renowned, Grammy Award-winning artist, Jim Warren, whose work ranges from wild and whimsical, to sweet and sensuous icons.

Fame-Wall currently has a home in NYC and Hollywood, and will soon open in London! NYC's gallery, housed in the famed eatery Hurley's, which is recognized for both its rich NYC history and legend, is located in the heart of Times Square on 48th St. and Broadway! Their Hollywood gallery is housed in the Trastevere Ristorante Italiano located at the Kodak Plaza!



Fame-Wall Producer
908 907 1904

There will be Raffles, Entertainment, Hors-d'oeuvres Gift Bags, Auction, Drinks, and much more!!!

$25.00 Donation at door

Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!


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

Become A Facebook friend of mine!
Follow me on Twitter
If you've seen one of my appearances/shows, add your thoughts to my guestbook at

Tomorrow's blog will be about...YOU TELL ME! I'M OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS!! I'm also seeking a video question for tomorrow!


Richard Skipper,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A History of Bullying...When, where, and how does it stop?

Miss Gulch: If you don't hand over that dog, I'll bring a damage suit that'll take your whole farm! There's a law protecting folks against dogs that bite!
Auntie Em: How would it be if she keeps him tied up? He's really gentle... with gentle people, that is.

Happy hump day everyone. Hope u all have a great one.

Yesterday, I posted an item on my Facebook page about yet another suicide due to the torment one received because of his sexuality. There have been too many suicides over the past few years because of bullying. For far too many years, it has been ignored. The internet has brought it to a level like no other time in our history. When I was in high school, if a guy asked a girl out on a date and she rejected him, he might retaliate by making up some bad rumor about her by telling a few friends and little by little it might trickle through the school system destroying her reputation. Today, by a single click of a button, that same information can go to thousands initially and then even further if those that receive the information decide to forward it even further. AND it is ALWAYS there! How do you ever remove that content?

Bullying has been a part of our culture since the beginning of time.Look at Cain and Abel.
One brother kills the other...wonder if the the world ever will recover.Cain and Abel seem to still be causing trouble.'
In all versions of the Bible, Cain is a crop farmer and his younger brother Abel is a shepherd.
Cain is portrayed as sinful, committing the first murder by killing his brother, after God has rejected his offerings of produce but accepted the animal sacrifices brought by Abel.

There are stories of oppression throughout the Bible. That is exactly what bullying is: OPPRESSION! It has been a part of every aspect of our lives. One feeling that one may have dominion over another. It is a part of the very first pieces of drama and literature that we have.
The oldest known copy of the Biblical narration is from the 1st century Dead Sea Scrolls.Cain and Abel also appear in a number of other texts,and the story is the subject of various interpretations.
Abel, the first murder victim, is sometimes seen as the first martyr; while Cain, the first murderer, is sometimes seen as an ancestor of evil.
A few scholars suggest the periscope may have been based on a Sumerian story representing the conflict between nomadic shepherds and settled farmers.Others think that it may refer to the days in which agriculture began to replace the ways of the hunter-gatherer.Literature, especially children's literature, is replete with bullies of all sorts and since most of us have dealt with a bully (maybe even in ourselves) in one way or another in real life, they make an interesting sort of sub-group of villains. Of course, villainy is a small step from bullies and you can move into a study of villains real and imaginary but, for now, let's restrict ourselves to bullies, per se.

And of course, bullies are very much a part of our movie consciousness. Margaret Hamilton made a career out of playing bullies.

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford did as well and who could forget Patty McCormack in The Bad Seed?

The Bad Seed is a 1956 American horror-thriller film directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
It is based upon a play (of the same name) by Maxwell Anderson, which in turn is based upon William March's 1954 novel The Bad Seed.
The play was adapted by John Lee Mahin for the screenplay of the film.

It stars Nancy Kelly (pictured), Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden, William Hopper, Paul Fix, Joan Croydon and Jesse White.
The Bad Seed was nominated for four Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Nancy Kelly), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Eileen Heckart and Patty McCormack, separately) and Best Cinematography, Black-and-White.
On her piano, Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormack) plays the French song "Au clair de la lune", while her father (William Hopper) says his goodbyes to her and his wife, Christine (Nancy Kelly), as he goes away on military duty.

Their neighbor and landlord, Monica Breedlove (Evelyn Varden), comes in with a present for Rhoda (a locket). Rhoda, looking pristine and proper in her perfect dress and pigtails, thanks Monica for the gift. She then tap dances on the hard floor. Monica notices the tap shoes, and Rhoda says the shoes were her own idea. They then discuss a penmanship medal that Rhoda lost to her schoolmate, Claude Daigle, and how infuriating it was for her to lose. Christine and Rhoda leave for the school picnic at a nearby lake.
Later, Christine is having lunch with Monica and friends when they learn on the radio that a child has drowned in the lake where Rhoda's school was having their picnic.
Christine worries that it could be Rhoda, but a follow-up report indicates that it was Rhoda's schoolmate, Claude Daigle. Relieved that her daughter is alive, Christine worries that her daughter might be traumatized by seeing the boy’s corpse. When Rhoda returns, however, she is unfazed by the incident and goes about her daily duties.

Nelson one of the greatest bullies of all-time...
Nelson Mandela Muntz is a fictional character and bully from the animated TV series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright. Nelson was introduced in Season 1's "Bart the General" as a bully but later turned into a friend of Bart Simpson, who is best identified by his signature laugh ("HA-Haw!").Evil and The Devil are also a bully as seen in this clip: Over the years, Nelson has terrorized virtually everyone in Springfield.
However, he rarely associates with the other bullies of the school, namely Jimbo Jones, Dolph and Kearney, who form a separate clique of their own.
He shows the occasional glimpse of humanity, however, and other characters have occasionally warmed to him; Lisa dates him briefly in "Lisa's Date With Density", Marge informally adopts him in "Sleeping with the Enemy", and Bart is shown as a friend to him several times, such as in "The Haw-Hawed Couple".
Even in a life-or-death situation, Nelson laughs at the one in misfortune.
Often, he makes his victim inflict self-punishment while yelling remarks like "Stop hitting yourself!", "Stop butlering yourself!", "Stop zapping yourself!", or "Stop endangering yourself!".
Usually, it is Milhouse and Martin who are subjected to this type of cruelty, although Nelson once described Bart as having "spiky hair, soft kidneys, and always hitting himself".

Cruella de Ville !

The cowardly lion tried very hard to be a bully because of his own low self-esteem. Once he found his courage, he didn't need to do that anymore - part of his character development."

Of course these are all fictitious depictions of bullying. But Bullying is a very real situation and concerns ALL of us. I was a bullied child for at least the first 18 years of my life. I was called sissy, and the "f" word, and the "Q" word when I knew nothing of my sexuality. It's because of the venom associated with those words that I REFUSE to accept them even when my own community tells me to embrace a word associated with hatred. My own father made fun of me because I wouldn't fight back. Fighting was not part of my nature then and it is not part of my nature now.
Even my own teachers were no refuge when I went to them. My partners used to leave us with a woman when I was eight and nine and her son used to torture me physically. NO ONE believed me when I cried out for help. I can't even imagine what my life would have been like if the internet was available to spew their hatred. But it's not just kids that are getting bullied and bully each other. We have chat boards where people so the most hateful vitriolic and vile things about people they know nothing of. I have chosen a profession (or it chose me) where I am constantly dealing with rejection on an almost daily basis. It's hard enough that our every move is scrutinized by the professionals in this business, now every person feels that they have a right to criticize.

When it was announced that Chaz Bono was going to appear on Dancing With The Stars, the hatred that came with that announcement was shocking and obscene. It wasn't just from tweets on twitter and Facebook posts, it also came from comedians who feel they have carte blanche to say hurtful things about people.

This was posted by Andrea Peyser last week, "
For some folks in the gay community, "Becoming Chaz" is unbecoming.

The man known as Chaz was born Chastity Bono, the cutie-pie daughter of
scenery-chewing singing duo Sonny and Cher. Chastity grew into a
depressed,pill-popping woman, traumatized by her Republican father's death in a
skiing accident, and overshadowed into invisibility by her gay-icon mother. There
was only one thing to do. Sex change."

Perhaps it's just me, but this is HATEFUL. I think GLAAD should go after Andrea! When did SHE become the spokesperson for the gay community? I guess I travel in different circles. I don't hang out with or associate with those who feel that it is acceptible to spew hatred. Andrea goes on, "Now -- to her mom's horror and the dismay of her lesbian girlfriend --
she's transformed. At 42, Chaz is a new man, in more ways than one. He has become a one-human
sex-change industry -- evangelizing, normalizing and selling the notion
that messing with one's gender identity is a reasonable choice for folks
let's face it, might benefit from day jobs.But in the gay universe, a debate rages over whether Chaz is the
well-adjusted guy he claims to be. Or is Chaz -- who's chosen a four-letter
strikingly similar that of his one-named mother, Cher -- using his stardom
to work out long-standing mommy issues?
Is Chaz's sex-change a stab in Cher's heart?"

I think those issues are respectfully between Chaz and Cher.

Then there are shows like The A-List. Here are the descriptions from three of the episodes this season: ‘Lies, Hypocrisy & Marriage Equality’: Alliances shift and tables are turned as Austin continues to alienate those closest to him. He and Jake continue to plan their wedding even though their relationship has dissolved to nothing more than fake smiles and a pack of lies. Will Austin and Jake make it down the aisle? And if they do, will anyone even show up for the wedding!?

Wig Parties and Threesomes’:Austin's on the outs as Nyasha makes her move at securing friendships to support her company's new product line. Meanwhile, Reichen's the only guy left who will even talk to Austin. But as their relationship grows, so do Jake's suspicions as he suddenly becomes a third wheel to his own boyfriend.

Cattiness on the Catwalk’:Ryan enlists the A-Listers to walk in his runway show, but with Austin in the same room as ex-bestie Derek and archenemy Nyasha, the real show ends up backstage. Shifting alliances and unexpected betrayals cast Austin out of his social circle and onto a path to self-destruction.

I KNOW there is an audience for this show but can we PLEASE have at least one POSITIVE role model for our youth?

LOGO, the network aimed at the LGBT community, focuses its programming on those shows that deal with bitchiness and cattiness. When our youth see these images, are we surprised when they act out as they do? I'm not asking for censorship but a more rounded portayal of our community.

A 14 yr old boy took his own life because of being bullied for being bisexual. This didn't have to happen. BULLYING IS FOR LOSERS. RIP Jamey. Jamey Rodemeyer, was yet another in what is an all-too-familiar pattern of a boy who is gay, or perceived to be gay, being harassed and bullied constantly until he snaps and kills himself.

Singer Lady Gaga asked President Obama at a fundraiser Sunday night in California to do what he could to prevent the bullying of young people.God bless you Lady Gaga for the attention you are bringing to this important issue! I am here if you need me!
The request came during a question-and-answer session closed to the media, according to reports.
Bullying is a problem that affects millions of students of all races and classes. 1 out of 4 kids is bullied and 43% of kids have been bullied while online. Child and teen Bullying and Cyberbullying are at an all-time high. Some kids are so tormented that suicide has become an alternative for them. It has everyone worried. Not just the kids on its receiving end, but the parents, teachers and others who may not understand how extreme bullying can get. Love Our Children USA is working aggressively to prevent these issues and to help the kids and teens affected by it.

Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!


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

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Tomorrow's blog will be about...Madeline Kahn (on what would have been her 69th birthday) and an upcoming Actors Fund Benefit! I'm open to suggestions! I'm seeking a video question for tomorrow!


Richard Skipper,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Other "Sides" Of Show Business!

"The only hit that comes out of a Helen Lawson show is Helen Lawson, and that's ME, baby, remember?"
-Susan Hayward as Helen Lawson in Valley Of The Dolls, 1967

Happy Tuesday!
I want to jump start your week by showing the underbelly of show business through some classic characters who have found their way into our iconic subconscious. In some instances you will see the lines are blurred by fact and/or fiction. . I'm going to start with two of the campiest characters to ever jump from page to screen. Helen Lawson and Neely O'Hara! Helen and Neely are the brainchildren of Jacqueline Susann.
Helen Lawson is a fictional character in the novel Valley of the Dolls written by Jacqueline Susann.
Lawson is described as having been a very successful Broadway star for many years (Lawson is said to be based on the real-life Broadway actress Ethel Merman).

Her age is never revealed, there are only vague hints, but she's probably supposed to have been born ca. 1900.
Her theatre history is described briefly; she has held the lead in many fictional musicals such as Hit the Sky, Sunny Lady, Sadie's Place, Madame Bovary and Nice Lady, having followed two years of vocal studying and overnight success.

Lawson soon becomes friends with protagonist Anne Welles(pictured above as portrayed by Barbara Perkins) and describes her life: she is Irish and Scottish, and her birth name was actually Helen Laughlin.
Lawson's personality can be described as borderline, commanding and selective.
She commands the directors in all areas, and is quite sexually active and man hungry. She has had numerous relationships, including several marriages (similar to the life of Ethel Merman).

Neely O'Hara (Born Ethel Agnes O'Neill) was played by actress Patty Duke in the first movie; and then in the 1981 remake by Lisa Hartman.
Neely is an actress and singer who first came to attention in vaudeville. She came from Pittsburgh, according to the movie. While working on Broadway, she worked in a musical with the legendary Helen Lawson. However Helen had her fired through jealousy and fear of being upstaged by the talented newcomer.
Neely's boyfriend was Mel Anderson and her best friends were chorus girl and fellow actress Jennifer North and entertainment attorney secretary Anne Welles. A very talented singer, Neely developed a stellar career and the massive ego that would later prove to be her downfall.
Neely married Mel and moved to California, where she became a successful movie actress.
However, she had began taking Seconal, the "dolls" of the title, in New York City, and her addiction worsened in Hollywood.
Along the way, she began to alienate everyone to whom she was close.
She drove Mel out by beginning an affair with a supposedly gay man named Ted Casablanca; and eventually divorced Mel.
Not long after her divorce, she married Ted.
Later on, however, Ted left Neely after she caught him swimming in their pool with another woman ("Carmen Carver" in the novel but unnamed in the movie), and her pills- and alcohol-fueled downward spiral surged on. Also, her conniving nature emerged more fully.
Neely went off to San Francisco, annoying her manager, Lyon Burke.
She also tried to break up his relationship with her friend Anne, which drove her to the dolls as well.
However, in the movie, Anne kicked the pill habit, threw out Lyon, and returned to her New England hometown, Lawrenceville, where she finally felt that she belonged--after a lifetime of wanting to break free of it forever.
After a stint at a sanitarium, Neely attempted a comeback; but by this time her ego had become worse than Helen Lawson's had ever been. In a ladies-room catfight, Neely exposed Helen's real age by snatching her wig off her head and attempting to flush it down the toilet.(See below)
Prior to her opening night in the fictitious play Tell Me, Darling, Neely had a vicious argument with Lyon about a girl named Allison whom she wanted fired because she was eclipsing Neely's "star."
She insulted everyone--including Anne, which truly infuriated Lyon (Anne had forewarned him about Neely's deviousness).

Neely declared arrogantly, "I'm not everyone! I don't have to live by stinking rules set down for ordinary people! I licked pills, booze and the funny farm! I don't need anybody or anything!!" Finally fed up, Lyon quit as her agent. This infuriated Neely even more; she called him "just an agent" and implied that she was better than he was because she was a star. Reeling from the vicious implied insult, Lyon replied angrily, "And you're just a Helen Lawson, and not even that! Because she is a professional." After he stormed out for the last time, Neely shrilled, "They love Helen Lawson, then they love Neely O'Hara!!"
After becoming drunk and strung out on dolls, Neely appeared in her second-act costume and the director ordered her out, replacing her with the understudy.
She went to a bar across the street. By the movie's end, she was all alone in the alley outside the theater, crying; totally alone, having driven out anyone she ever had hoped would care about her. She had finally hit rock bottom.

Jacqueline Susann (August 20, 1918 – September 21, 1974) was an American author known for her best-selling novels.
Her most notable work was Valley of the Dolls, a book that broke sales records and spawned an Oscar-nominated 1967 film and a short-lived TV series.

Valley of the Dolls was initially rejected by some publishers; however, Susann persisted, and when the novel was published on February 10, 1966, it was an immediate hit.
Neely O'Hara: I didn't have dough handed to me because of my good cheekbones, I had to earn it.

The subject matter was considered inappropriate by many people in the general public at that time, and it was a mixture of soap-opera style story-telling with bold, non-traditional characters. The story was a roman á clef of sorts, with characters in the novel reportedly based on real-life celebrities such as Judy Garland and Ethel Merman.

Valley of the Dolls broke some sales records with approximately 30 million copies sold as a novel. As popular as Valley of the Dolls was, many contemporary authors dismissed Susann's writing talents. The novelist Gore Vidal said, "She doesn't write, she types!"
Critics attacked her by saying Susann, "typed on a cash register." Susann responded to literary critics by saying, "As a writer no one's gonna tell me how to write. I'm gonna write the way I wanna write!"
Part of this novel's success stemmed from Susann and Susanne's husband, Irving Mansfield's tireless effort to promote it. The couple traveled worldwide (especially where English is the predominant language) promoting the novel and her following novels on talk shows and in hundreds of bookstores. Wherever Susann went on her cross-country tours, she signed each copy of her book that was available. She wrote down the name and address of every person she met and reportedly, later on sent thank-you cards to everyone.

In 1967, the book was adapted into the film of the same name starring Patty Duke, Barbara Perkins, and Sharon Tate.

Susann made a cameo appearance in the film as a reporter at the scene of Jennifer North's suicide.

Anne Welles: Neely, you know it's bad to take liquor with those pills.
Neely O'Hara: They work faster.

[on the phone with her mother]
Jennifer North: You told me Gramp's been sick, Mother, and I know about the oil burner. Okay, I'll pawn the mink. He'll give me a couple hundred for it. Mother, I know I don't have any talent, and I know I all I have is a body, and I am doing my bust exercises. Goodbye, Mother. I'll wire you the money first thing in the morning. Goodbye.
[hangs up the phone and starts performing calisthenics]
Jennifer North: Oh, to hell with them! Let 'em droop!

Valley of the Dolls was a widespread commercial hit, but the film was largely panned by film critics. Audiences laughed at some of the dramatic scenes. Susann herself hated the film, and walked out of its premiere.
Judy Garland was originally cast as Helen Lawson, but was fired. ;
Susan Hayward replaced her in the role after production had already begun. On July 20, 2009, Patty Duke appeared at the Castro Theater in San Francisco with a benefit screening of the film, and said that director Mark Robson made Garland wait from 8am to 4pm before filming her scenes for the day.

Helen Lawson: They drummed you out of Hollywood, so you come crawling back to Broadway.
But Broadway doesn't go for booze and dope. Now get out of my way, I've got a man waiting for me.

Here is a fusing of Judy and Susan together:

And speaking of Judy, that brings us to my number 2 and number 3 spots Vicki Lester and Jenny Bowman.
Vicki Lester (nee Esther Blodgett is the character Judy played in A STAR IS BORN which was a remake of The Frederick March/Janet Gaynor film of the same name.

In the original, Esther wants to become a dramatic movie star. Of course in Judy's version, they relied on Judy's immeasurable musical talents.
A Star Is Born is a 1954 American musical film directed by George Cukor.

The screenplay written by Moss Hart was an adaptation of the original 1937 film, which was based on the original screenplay by Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker, and Alan Campbell.
In 2000, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

The film ranked #43 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Passions list in 2002 and #7 on its list of best musicals in 2006. The song "The Man That Got Away" was ranked #11 on AFI's list of the 100 top tunes in films.It still kills me that Judy did not win the Oscar for this! And shame on Jack Warner for allowing the butchering of this film!!
Star Judy Garland had not made a movie since she had mutually negotiated the release from her MGM contract soon after filming began on Royal Wedding in 1950, and the film was promoted heavily as her comeback.
(This is the amazing and Emmy Award winning Judy Davis in the made for TV movie, ME AND MY SHADOWS, based on Lorna Luft's best selling memoir of the same name)
Judy was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and NBC, which was televising the ceremony, sent a film crew to the hospital room where she was recuperating after giving birth to her son Joey in order to carry her acceptance speech live if she won, but she lost to Grace Kelly for The Country Girl.
Norman Maine is a former matinee idol whose career is in the early stages of decline.
When he arrives intoxicated at a function at the Shrine Auditorium, his studio's publicist attempts to keep him away from reporters, and after an angry exchange, Norman rushes away and bursts onto a stage where an orchestra is performing.

Singer Esther Blodgett takes him by the hand and pretends he is part of the act, turning an embarrassing and potentially destructive moment into an opportunity for the audience to greet Norman with applause.

Judy Garland also created the incredible Jenny Bowman in I Could Go On Singing. It was called The Lonely Stage in London.
I Could Go On Singing is a 1963 film starring Judy Garland (in her final film role) and Dirk Bogarde.
Although not a huge box office success on release, it won Garland much praise for her performance. In Bogarde's autobiographies and in the 2004 biography, it is recounted that Judy Garland's lines were substantially rewritten by Bogarde (with Garland's consent).
Judy Garland plays a superstar singer, not unlike herself, named Jenny Bowman.
She had met a man 15-16 years before, who was now a prominent physician, played by British actor Dirk Bogarde, and they had produced a child whom she let his father raise in England.
Jenny wants to finally see him, but in the end is left to her true home, the stage. Originally titled The Lonely Stage, it was renamed I Could Go On Singing, so that audiences would know it was the first time Garland sang in a movie since A Star Is Born in 1954. (Not counting Pepe and Gay Pur-ee)
The movie contains some thrilling Garland concert musical numbers including By Myself, Hello Bluebird, It Never Was You, and the title song.
All songs performed by Judy Garland.

And there is another famous Jenny, Jenny Stewart!

Then there is Daisy Clover from Inside Daisy Clover. Supposedly based once again on Judy Garland. Daisy, of course was portrayed by Natalie Wood who unfortunately had a tragic end to a wonderful Hollywood career.
Inside Daisy Clover is a 1965 American drama film based on the 1963 novel by Gavin Lambert. It stars Natalie Wood, Christopher Plummer, Robert Redford, Roddy McDowall and Ruth Gordon in her Academy Award nominated role.
Set in the mid-1930s, the plot centers on Daisy Clover (Wood), a teenage tomboy who lives in a ramshackle trailer with her eccentric mother (Gordon) on a California beach and dreams of Hollywood stardom.
She submits a song recording to the well-known film producer Ray Swan (Plummer), who puts her under contract. Ray and his wife Melora (Katharine Bard) foster Daisy's rise to fame by any means necessary, forcing Daisy to deal with the pressures of stardom and the Swans' manipulation of her life and career. Daisy reluctantly accepts the placement of her mother in a mental institution, to protect Daisy's reputation as "America's valentine", and is told to tell any interviewers that her mother is dead.
Daisy finds some relief in a fellow Swan-discovered star, Wade Lewis (Redford).
The two begin a relationship, though their heavy drinking and partying is not good for either of their reputations.
Soon they marry, to the dismay of Ray (whom Wade has nicknamed "The Prince of Darkness"), who fears that the romance will interrupt Daisy's busy schedule.
On their honeymoon in Arizona, Wade drives off while Daisy is sleeping, abandoning her.
Daisy returns to the Swan home and runs into an extremely intoxicated Melora who reveals to Daisy that Melora had an affair with Wade and that he is actually a closet homosexual.

The next morning, Ray tells Daisy that he knew about Wade's sexual orientation, but that she had to find out for herself, as did his wife.
Ray then scoops her into his arms and kisses her, which begins their affair.
Daisy takes her mother out of the mental institution and moves her into a beach house.
When her mother later dies, Daisy has a nervous breakdown at the studio.
She goes back to the beach house where she spends day after day silently in bed under the care of a private nurse.
Melora visits, assuring Daisy she is not jealous of her affair with Ray.
Wade comes to see Daisy, but the most he gets out of her is a smile.
Ray, impatient that Daisy is taking so long to recover, loses his temper and tells her she must finish the pending motion picture.
He also tells her that he has her under contract for five years, but doesn't care what happens to her after she completes this movie.
Ray fires the nurse and leaves the beach house.
Right after Ray's departure, Daisy attempts suicide by putting her head in the oven, but her attempt is interrupted by ringing phones and visitors until she finally gives up.
The next day Daisy cuts her hair, changes her clothes, and turns the gas oven back on.
She then lights a flame on the stove, grabs a cup of coffee, and strolls out of the house to the beach. The house explodes behind her. When a passerby asks what happened, she shrugs and replies, "Someone declared war!"
I think the film is worth watching to get some glimpses of the Warner Bros. studio lot as it appeared in the mid-1960s as well as the Santa Monica Pier.
Upon its release, the film was a box office and critical failure, however, the film later gained a cult following when it was shown on television and released on home video.

Directed by Robert Mulligan, Wood's singing voice was dubbed by session singer Jackie Ward with the exception of the introduction to the song "You're Gonna Hear From Me" (by Dory Previn and Andre Previn, who composed the score).
The song was later recorded by Barbra Streisand for the album The Movie Album (2003).

Vocal recordings completed by Natalie Wood of the film songs went unused, except as noted above, and were unheard on commercial recordings until the release, in April 2009, of the complete dramatic score and song score by Film Score Monthly.Wood plays a teenager in the 1930s with dreams of being a star. At the beginning of the film Wood walks into the old Merry Go-Round building found at the front of the famous Santa Monica Pier to make a record of herself singing. She later sends the recording to the movie studios hoping she will be noticed. Above is a screenshot of the building as seen in the film and below is the same building as it appears today - and it still has the merry go-round!
Santa Monica Pier as seen in Inside Daisy Clover

Above is another shot of the pier as it appears in the film. Below is the same building as it appears on the Santa Monica Pier today.
Ruth Gordon Jones (October 30, 1896 – August 28, 1985), better known as Ruth Gordon, was an American actress and writer.
She was perhaps best known for her film roles such as Minnie Castevet, Rosemary's overly solicitous neighbor in Rosemary's Baby, as the eccentric Maude in Harold and Maude and as the mother of Orville Boggs in the Clint Eastwood film Every Which Way but Loose. In addition to her acting career, Gordon wrote numerous well-known plays, film scripts and books. Gordon won an Academy Award, an Emmy and two Golden Globe awards for her acting, as well as three Academy Award nominations for her writing.
Gordon was born at 31 Marion St. in Quincy, Massachusetts.
She was the only child of Annie Ziegler Jones and Clinton Jones, a factory foreman who had been a ship's captain.
Prior to graduating from Quincy High School, she wrote to several of her favorite actresses for an autographed picture. A personal reply she received from Hazel Dawn (whom she had seen in a stage production of The Pink Lady) inspired her to go into acting.
Although her father was skeptical of her chances of success in a difficult profession, he took his daughter to New York in 1914, where he enrolled her in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Ruth Gordon began her career early, posing as a picture baby for Mellin's food.
In 1915, Gordon appeared as an extra in silent films that were shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey, including as a dancer in The Whirl of Life, a film based on the lives of Vernon and Irene Castle.
That same year, she made her Broadway debut in a revival of Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, in the role of Nibs (one of the Lost Boys), appearing onstage with Maude Adams and earning a favorable mention from the powerful critic Alexander Woollcott.
Woollcott, who described her favorably as "ever so gay," would become her friend and mentor.
In 1918, Gordon played Lola Pratt in the Broadway adaptation of Booth Tarkington's Seventeen opposite actor Gregory Kelly, who later acted with her in North American tours of Frank Craven's The First Year and Tarkington's Clarence and Tweedles.
Kelly became her first husband in 1921, but died of heart disease in 1927, at the age of 36.
Gordon in 1927 and 1928, had been enjoying a comeback, appearing on Broadway as Bobby in Maxwell Anderson's Saturday's Children, performing in a serious role after having been typecast for years as a "beautiful, but dumb" character.
In 1929, Gordon was starring in the title role of "Serena Blandish" when Gordon's only child, a son, Jones Harris, was born out of wedlock from a relationship with that Broadway show's producer Jed Harris.Gordon continued to act on the stage throughout the 1930s, including notable runs as Mattie in Ethan Frome, Margery Pinchwife in William Wycherley's Restoration comedy The Country Wife at London's Old Vic and on Broadway, and Nora Helmer in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House at Central City, Colorado, and on Broadway. For an early look at Ruth Gordon's life, catch Jean Simmons in The Actress. I have just scratched the surface! Enjoy the rest of your week!

I own NOTHING seen in this blog! No copy write infringement intended. WIKIPEDIA source of MOST of this blog

Judy's daughter, Liza Minnelli, also gave us Sally Bowles (although she did not introduce that role) and Francine Evans (who she did introduce!). Jill O'Hara created the role on Broadway in 1966. Although, I understand that Liza auditioned for the role many times. Kander and Ebb wanted her. Harold Prince did not. Liza had the last laugh. Not only did she end up doing the film but she went on to win The Oscar in 1974. And the songs and role will always be synonymous with the one and only Liza With A Z! In 1974, she won the Oscar, the Tony, and the Emmy! Not bad for the daughter of two legends who wanted to leave her own mark and continues, thank God, to entertain!

It may be a cliché but some film performances have become so iconic that you cannot imagine anyone else occupying the roles. Bette Davis’ performance as Margo Channing in All About Eve is such a performance. Although the writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz originally wanted Claudette Colbert for the part of Margo Channing, and Fox producer Darryl F. Zanuck favoured Marlene Dietrich in the role of the great but ageing theatrical diva, Bette Davis’ performance in Mankiewicz’s dark and cynical melodrama of backstage backstabbing and rivalry remains an astonishing achievement. All About Eve was based on a short story entitled ‘The Wisdom of Eve’ by Mary Orr, and Mankiewicz adapted it to create an astonishingly touching and effective portrayal of what it means to be a woman as well as a star.

I am hosting a tribute to Jerry Herman on Saturday November 12th for The Sheet Music Society. Klea Blackhurst, Donald Pippin, Lee Roy Reams, Amber Edwards, and Miles Phillips are scheduled to appear.

Thank you for joining me on these nostalgic journeys! I've added a new aspect to my blog.. I am now answering 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 when I receive it

"Richard, for supporting the ARTS and calling attention to the STARS of yesterday. You are a STAR in your own right!! With admiration and friendship"
Arlene Dahl

Thank you to all who have encouraged me! Thanks to all who have tried to stifle my art. I have learned from ALL of you!
Here's to an INCREDIBLE day for ALL!


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Tomorrow's blog will be About Bullying


Richard Skipper,