Friday, January 22, 2016

Piper Laurie, Linda Blair, Robby Benson...and MORE!

Praise undeserved is satire in disguise.
Happy Birthday, Piper Laurie

-Henry Broadhurst, English politician (1840-1911)

Happy Friday!
My horoscope began today with, "You thrill to the unpredictable turns of this roller coaster day." I say, bring it on! I'm listening to Christine Ebersole singing Will You? from Grey Gardens, one of the best performances ever I have ever seen in the theatre. I am looking forward to  what the next 24 hours hold.
We all have the same 24 hours at our disposal. It all depends on what we do with them. Whether it's learning a new language, losing weight, running a marathon or just leading a happier life, you have the power to accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Ultimately you are in control of your own destiny and by implementing a few techniques to focus your energy on your aspirations, you can create the life you want to live. Here's how to do it: 5 Ways to Get What You Want Out of Life

The big news of the day is the impending blizzard. Will let you know in the next day or so how we fared.
Cause an 'absolute mess' in at least 15 states, the weather reports indicate we are going to have a few layers of snow in most of the regions Richard Skipper Celebrates will continue to work! Bill Boggs begins his wonderful book, Got What It Takes? by stating during the thirty years he has spent in show business, he has had the privilege of interviewing thousands and influential people and he has always been fascinated by the enduring mystery of what makes one person more successful than another. It is definitely something to think about!

I heard on the radio this morning that a new horror movie is opening today. The film is called The Boy. The premise is that a young American named Greta (Lauren Cohan) takes a job as a nanny for an 8-year-old boy in a remote English village.
To her surprise, Greta learns that the child of her new employers is a life-size doll.
 They care for the doll as if it was human, which helps the couple to cope with the death of their own son 20 years earlier. When Greta violates a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring her worst fears to life, leading her to believe that the doll is alive.
How appropriate that the film opens on the birthdate of two actresses who appeared in two of the scariest movies ever made. Piper Laurie played the mother in Carrie and Linda Blair in possibly the scariest movie of all time, The Exorcist.
Piper Laurie was born Rosetta Jacobs in Detroit, Michigan, on January 22, 1932, to Charlotte Sadie (Alperin) and Alfred Jacobs, a furniture dealer.
Her father was a Polish Jewish immigrant and her mother was of Russian Jewish descent. Her father moved the family to Los Angeles, California, when she was 6-years-old. Rosetta was a pretty red-haired little girl, but very shy, so her parents sent her to weekly elocution lessons.

In addition to her lessons in Hebrew school, she studied acting at a local acting school, and this eventually led to work at Universal Studios.

Survey for today: your favorite Piper Laurie performances and why
The Hustler hands down. A heartbreaking performance in a great movie.
By the way, her autobiography, Learning to Live Out Loud, of a few years back is one of the most moving I've read. Highly recommended.
-Richard Malavet 

 CARRIE cause it's self evident -Avi Duvdevani

  Rob Equality Ramos wrote: Brilliant later-career work in THE THORN BIRDS and PROMISE on TV.

 Judy Negron : I saw her on TV in Orpheus Descending with Robert Loggia. I'd only seen her in silly Arabian Nights type stuff before. I was blown away!

It is also the birthday of Linda Blair!

The following is from Linda's website:     
Actress, Author, Activist and Humanitarian Linda Blair was born in St. Louis Missouri. At the age of 2 her family moved to Westport, Connecticut.
When she was 5 she began her modeling career by appearing in a Downy Fabric Softener ad.

Soon she could be seen in numerous TV commercials, magazine ads and campaigns for everything from Macy’s, Sears, and J.C. Penny’s

At a young age Blair developed a profound love for animals, especially horses. 
She began riding when she was 6, bought her first horse at the age of 10 and began competing.
to Welch’s Grape Jelly, Ivory Soap and Guldens Mustard. Blair often appeared in the New York Times Magazine and became known as the Cinderella girl. Her mother told her if she worked hard and saved her money she could go to school and be anything she wanted. Blair decided she wanted to be a veterinarian.

By the time Blair was 12 she had a lengthy resume. Appearing in more than 75 commercials, the soap opera Hidden Faces, and two feature films, The Sporting Club and The Way We Live Now.  She was also a successful Jr. Rider. Since animals were Blair’s greatest passion she decided she was ready to stop working so she could focus on her studies and become a veterinarian. 
She discussed retiring from the business with her mom, who told her that was ok but she had to finish a couple of jobs first. That’s when The Exorcist came along. 
After The Exorcist finished filming Blair was 14 and wanted nothing more than to get back to her animals and her dreams, but the universe had other plans for her. 
The Exorcist instantly catapulted Blair to international fame and changed her life in ways she never imagined or was prepared for. Her extraordinary performance as Regan MacNeil earned Blair an Academy Award
Nomination, a Golden Globe and People’s Choice Award.  There were also death threats, questions about her mental health and bad press.

While Blair looked at The Exorcist and Regan as a job and made up character with special effects, many people couldn’t separate her from the character she played and were genuinely afraid of her or asked her if she could perform some of the special effects on cue. The press asked her about faith, God, the Devil and Catholicism, thinking she had all the answers.

Blair’s next role in Born Innocent was the first of many acclaimed and controversial TV movies.  Blair plays a runaway who is hardened after being sent to a juvenile detention home, it was the highest rated TV movie to air in 1974. Sarah T. – Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, Victory at Entebbe with Elizabeth Taylor, Sweet Hostage opposite Martin Sheen, and Stranger in Our House directed by Wes Craven, soon followed.

Through the years Blair hosted Scariest Places on Earth, starred in S Club 7 and could also be seen guest starring on television shows such as Married With Children, Murder She Wrote, The Love Boat, MacGyver and most recently Supernatural. Blair’s theatrical releases included the hilarious parody Repossessed, co-starring Leslie Nielson, Airport 1975, The Heretic, Roller Boogie, Hell Night, Night Patrol and Savage Streets. In 1997 Blair made her Broadway debut as Rizzo in Grease. She starred in the Los Angeles production of Women Behind Bars, the San Francisco production of Run For Your Wife and the Canadian production of the romantic comedy It Had To Be You.

Blair was taught at a young age to give back and help others in need.  She has often said that nothing on this planet is harmed for her to survive.
Blair is a vegan and author of Going Vegan, which chronicles her own health journey. Blair has long been an advocate for the environment, health issues, and human and animal rights.  She has received several awards for her tireless efforts to give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.

After years of lending her name and time to countless causes and organizations, Blair is finally fulfilling her dream and working with animals.
In 2004 The Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation officially became a 501c3 California nonprofit organization.  Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation rescues abandoned and abused companion animals. At the LBWF Animal Wellness Center every animal is provided with needed medical care, proper nutrition, socialization, physical and emotional rehabilitation,  and obedience training before heading to their forever homes.
Blair also educates the public about important human and animal issues such as Hunger, Breed Specific Legislation, Animal Abuse, Dogfighting, Pit Bulls and Pet Overpopulation. 
To learn more about the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, or to make a donation or volunteer visit, you can like Linda Blair Worldheart on Facebook  and also follow on twitter @LindaBlairWF. To keep up with Linda Blair you can visit, like her Facebook page or follow her on twitter.

Happy Belated Birthday, Robby Benson (yesterday)
Robby Benson (seen here with wife, Karla DiVito) in  The Pirates of Penzance
Best known for starring in films such as Ice Castles, Ode to Billy Joe, The Chosen, Tribute, Running Brave, Harry and Son, in his own screenplay for the Warner Bros. basketball classic, One on One, and to a new generation as the voice of Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the first animated film ever to receive a Best Picture Academy Award nomination, Robby Benson is also a two time Golden Globe nominated actor whom has co-starred with legends Paul Newman, Jack Lemmon, Burt Reynolds, Gene Hackman, George Burns, Maximillan Schell, and Rod Steiger.

In Entertainment News 
Jim Speake
Charlotte Rampling is in the news. She says, "Calls for actors to boycott the ceremony over a lack of diversity is "racist against white people". READ MORE HERE

TV's Theater Talk Celebrates The Roundabout's 50th Year - beginning TONIGHT Friday, Jan 22 on Thirteen, CUNY TV and WLIW/21

Jim Speake has scheduled two shows at the Laurie Beecham Theatre, Tuesday 12 April at 7pm and Saturday 16 April at 4pm. The show titled “Sweet Life the Show”  includes all of the songs from Jim’s new recording, “Sweet Life”.  
Some of the songs were made popular by Madonna, the Supremes and Ray Charles.  The recording was described on as follows  “Easy listening meets Jazz, Swing and Country in these uniquely arranged, classic popular songs, from an eclectic mix of major songwriters including: Neil Sedaka, Stephen Sondheim, Peter Allen, Cy Coleman, Logins and Messina and Whitesnake.” For tickets to the show call: Ovation Tix: 212-352-3101. The recording is available from iTunes and  

My featured interview for TODAY:  
Richard Malavet has been acclaimed for his work as a singer of the classic American and Spanish songbooks. He has performed with his band in many Manhattan clubs. A native New Yorker, Mr. Malavet has brought his highly acclaimed Billy Eckstine tribute, "The Billy Eckstine Project: Songs in the Key of 'B," to venues across the country. Writing in AfterDark-NYC John Hoglund said ... like Billy Eckstine and Sinatra, Malavet is a first-rate interpreter of the Great American Songbook.

I asked Richard to weigh in on today's celebrated birthdays  in this blog

I love them all. Piper Laurie is one of my
favorite actors, from the ingĂ©nue in the technicolor 50’s movies with Tony Curtis and Rock Hudson to her transformation as an award winning actor, is unmatched by very few in this business. Her autobiography, “Learning to Live Out Loud: A Memoir,“ is one of the most fascinating and unflinchingly personal accounts by a star I have ever read. It’s an incredible journey about her personal life and career as an actor. I was moved by it and highly recommend it. 
John Hurt birthday is also today. He is an incredible actor I remember his moving portrayal of Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant. His movie performance as The Elephant Man was also memorable.  
Of course, who can forget Linda Blair in The Exorcist, but I also remember her in Roller Boogie which was fun for its day. 
Finish this statement: I’ll never understand why…
There is so much disrespect and hate in our current world. Years ago we respected each other and our differences. I hope we can return to that way of thinking and being as a society. 

If you could change one thing about the profession, what would it be?
In the live entertainment music world specifically, I would like to see more professional venues to work and sing in NYC that provide a salary to the entertainers! These venues can provide opportunities for entertainers to get more exposure and develop a following. 

Your last appearance was where and with whom?

I performed a critically-acclaimed exploration of Frank Sinatra’s recording career, Very Good Years: The Intimate Sinatra, at the Metropolitan Room the summer of 2015.  A personally felt Sinatra retrospective focusing on Sinatra’s seminal years from 1939 to 1968,’s Darryl Reilly calls “Very Good Years” “an outstanding cabaret tribute.”  Joe Regan Jr. writing in, applauds Malavet’s “great judgment, pulsating Latin beat, and sensational band.” 

Backing me  were,  “a dream team quartet of
magnificent musicians,” according to’s Navida Stein: multi-Grammy nominee John di Martino is on piano; two-time Grammy winner Boris Kozlov on bass; Shinnosuke Takahashi plays drums, and James Chirillo the guitar. calls Malavet “a superb and very engaging vocalist (…) a master of phrasing as well as a charismatic vocalist!”

My residency at the Metropolitan Room launches on Friday, March 18, 2016 at 7 pm with my jazz concert tribute: THE BILLY ECKSTINE PROJECT: SONGS IN THE KEY OF “B", a musical tribute to premier vocalist Billy Eckstine, offers a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the legendary singer revealing the untold story of one of America’s iconic heartthrobs.  

A story that illustrates how he became one of America’s greatest crooners and as a result breaking down barriers as the first black romantic male singer of his generation.  Richard is joined by his Quintet including Lafayette Harris Jr., Musical Director and Pianist.
What is after that?

I will be continuing my residency at the Metropolitan Room with performances on Friday, June 10 at 7:00 PM; Friday, 10/21 at 7:00 PM, and Saturday, December 3 at 7:00 PM. All different, special event, one night only shows.

June 10th (Judy Garland's Birthday!) is already on my calendar!

Thank to ALL that are mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give! 

Make 2016 the year of YES!

With grateful XOXOXs ,


Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!


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

'Joi Lansing: A Body to Die For'

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook

Undercurrent (1946) starring Katherine Hepburn and directed by Vincente Minnelli. Vincente wife at the time Judy Garland gave birth to Liza during the filming.

Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper,

Steven Brinberg
Sarah Rice, Broadway's original Johanna of Sweeney Todd, will sing a Valentine's Day concert of songs from the operetta, classical and musical theatre repertoire, with Paul Jackel, in upstate New York, Feb. 14. - See more at:

February 13th, Peter Filichia in conversation with Richard Skipper at American Popular Song Society 

with Musical Director Michael Lavine
Steven Brinberg and an all star cast
join  Peter Filichia and Richard Skipper
to celebrate the 1963/64 Broadway Season
Talk/Performance/Book Signing

Call Richard Skipper Celebrates at 845-365-0720 if you need more details.
Many surprises are in store. 
Please contact me if any questions.
Please LIKE Richard Skipper Celebrates on Facebook
Admission is Free for Members/$15.00 for Non-Members .

Doors open at 12:30 for those who want to buy sheet music Also members can take tables and sell their stuff. 2:30 -1:30 "Flea Market" 1:30 seating - showtime: 1:45 - 3:30.

No comments:

Post a Comment