Sunday, November 30, 2008
I must apologize once again for being a bit slow this week in my blog entries. I have had a number of life's little interruptions and thus have been unable to really devote the time needed to my most favorite hobby (this is it everyone!). After spending the Thanksgiving holiday with family until tonight, I still will be a bit weighed down as I am also planning to move residences this coming week and am really busy with that. I should be in my new home (just across town...), on Wednesday the 3rd and be up and running that same afternoon if all goes according to plan. I hope to publish my next blog entry on Thursday. But who knows what may happen from now until Wednesday morning when they pull the plug! lol. I always have some classic star rolling around in my head just begging to be put down for all to see. So I might be able to squeeze in a bit here and there.
I hope everyone had a great holiday and I wish you all the very best in this Christmas season!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
"I'm as pure as the driven slush" - Tallulah Bankhead
"The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner" - Tallulah Bankhead
"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time" - Tallulah Bankhead
"Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it" - Tallulah Bankhead
"(On seeing a former lover for the first time in years) I thought I told you to wait in the car" - Tallulah Blankhead
"The less I behave like Whistler's mother the night before, the more I look like her the morning after" - Tallulah Blankhead
"There is less than in this than meets the eye" - Tallulah Blankhead
'Cocaine habit-forming? Of course not. I ought to know. I've been using it for years" - Tallulah Bankhead
"Here's a rule I recommend: Never practice two vices at once" - Tallulah Blankhead
"I read Shakespeare and the Bible, and I can shoot dice. Thats what I call a liberal education" - Tallulah Bankhead
"They used to shoot Shirley Temple through gauze. They should shoot me through linoleum" - Tallulah Bankhead
"I'd rather be strongly wrong than weakly right" - Tallulah Bankhead
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Most Classic movie watchers have probably not heard of Ross Alexander....I was lucky enough to catch one of his movies on TCM one night last summer and have been a fan ever since. If you get a chance to view one of his movies, I think you'll love him as well. He was a true gem.
Born as Alexander Ross Smith on July 27th, 1907 in Brooklyn, NY, Alexander began his acting career in Broadway productions during the 1920's. By 1926, he was regarded as a promising leading man, with good looks and an easy and charming style, he began to appear in more substantial roles. He was signed to a film contract by Paramount Pictures, but his film debut in "The Wiser Sex" in 1932 was not a success, so he returned to Broadway. In 1934, he was signed to another film contract, this time with Warner Brothers Studios.
Alexander was better suited to the Warner Brothers style of film, and the studio persevered with him, gradually increasing the stature of his roles commensurate with his growing popularity with film audiences. His biggest successes of the period were "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Captain Blood" both in 1935. He married an actress named Aleta Freel in 1934. The marriage ended the following year when Freel committed suicide on December 7th, 1935.
Alexander was also said to have been infatuated with Bette Davis. His infatuation with her reached its height in 1936 with a series of love letters sent by Alexander to Davis. Davis, who thought Alexander to be homosexual (not known), at first found the attention amusing and harmless, and did not discourage it. As his attentions continued though, she begun to find it annoying, and Alexander was eventually confronted by Davis' husband who assaulted Alexander.
Alexander soon after married another actress, Anne Nagel with whom he had appeared in the films "China Clipper" and "Here Comes Carter" both in 1936. In 1936 he starred in an under-rated Warner comedy that was well written as a business venture type of film called "Hot Money". It was a defining role in his persona as a glamorous, wore-clothes-well leading man, not in the usual Warner gangster mold of rough hewn stars like Robinson or Muni. Warner Brothers had decided by this time that Alexander's potential as an actor was limited, and that his personal problems did not allow him to focus completely on his career. Although they continued casting him in films, the importance of his roles were greatly diminished.
With his professional and personal lives in disarray and deeply in debt, Alexander shot himself in the heard in the barn behind his home on January 2, 1937 at the very young age of twenty nine. Ross used the same gun, a .22 caliber rifle, he first wife Aleta Freel shot herself with two years earlier. Yet there is still a mystery regarding the actor's motive for committing suicide. On the day after New Years, 1937, Ross and Miss Nagel dismantled the Christmas tree in their ENcino, California ranch home. They discussed their plans for the coming year and resolved to take a trip together. The actress testified at the coroners inquest. She stated that her husband seemed happier on the day of his death than he had been in weeks. He was an expert shot and was used to handling firearms. He left no notes. However Anne said he had been writing poetry and tossing the crumpled paper into their fireplace. Police speculated that a probable motive may have been grief over his first wife's death. The coroner's jury ruled he had taken his life with suicidal intent.
His final film "Ready, Willing and Able" was released posthumously.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
"The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder" - Alfred Hitchcock
"The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture" - Alfred Hitchcock
"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them" - Alfred Hitchcock
"There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it" - Alfred Hitchcock
"There is nothing to winning really. That is, if you happen to be blessed with a keen eye, an agile mind, and no scruples whatsoever" - Alfred Hitchcock
"When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say "It's in the script". If he says, "But what's my motivation?' I say "Your salary" - Alfred Hitchcock
"What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out" - Alfred Hitchcock
"I'm not against the police; I'm just afraid of them." - Alfred Hitchcock
"I'm full of fears and I do my best to avoid difficulties and any kind of complications. I like everything around me to be clear as crystal and completely calm" - Alfred Hitchcock
"I never said all actors are cattle; what I said was all actors should be treated like cattle" - Alfred Hitchcock
"If its a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of whats going on" - Alfred Hitchcock
"In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director" - Alfred Hitchcock
"In films murders are always very clean. I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man" - Alfred Hitchcock
"Luck is everything....My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person. I'm fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear, because a hero couldn't make a good suspense film" - Alfred Hitchcock
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
John Barrymore was born as John Sidney Blyth Barrymore on February 15, 1882 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was an American actor, frequently called the greatest of his generation. He first gained fame for his portrayals of Hamlet and Richard III. His success continued with motion pictures in both the silent and sound eras. His classic nose and distinguished features won him the nickname "The Great Profile" Barrymore was a member of a multi-generational theatrical dynasty, he was the brother of Lionel Barrymore and Ethel Barrymore, and is the paternal grandfather of the actress Drew Barrrymore.
Barrymore was born into an illustrious theatrical family. His parents were Maurice Barrymore and his wife Georgie Drew Barrymore. His maternal grandmother was Louisa Lane Drew (aka Mrs. Drew), a prominent and well respected 19th century actress and theater manager, who instilled in him and his siblings the ways of acting and theater life. His uncles were John Drew, Jr. and Sidney Drew.
Barrymore fondly remembered the summer of 1896 in his youth spent on his father's rambling farm on Long Island. He and Lionel lived a Robinson-Crusoe-like existence, attended by a black cook named Edward. He was expelled from Georgetown Preparatory School in 1898 after being caught patronizing a bordello. While still a teenager, he courted showgirl Evelyn Nesbit in 1901 and 1902. When Nesbit became pregnant - she aged 17 and he 19 - Barrymore proposed marriage. Her "sponsor" Stanford White intervened, however and arranged for her to undergo an abortion, disguised as operation for "appendicitis". White was later murdered by Nesbit's husband, Pittsburgh millionaire Harry K. Thaw.
Barrymore was staying at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco when the 1906 earthquake struck. He had starred in a production of "The Dictator" and was booked to tour Australia with it. Since he loathed this prospect, he hid, spending the next few days drinking at the home of a friend on Van Ness Avenue. During this drinking jag, he worked out a plan to exploit the earthquake for his own ends. he decided to present himself as an on-the-scene "reporter", making up virtually everything he claimed to have witnessed. Twenty years later, Barrymore finally confessed his deception, but by then, he was so famous that the world merely smiled indulgently at his admission. His account was written as a "letter to my sister Ethel" He was sure the letter would be "worth at least a hundred dollars." In terms of publicity it earned Barrymore a thousand times that amount.
Barrymore delivered some of the most critically acclaimed performances in theater and film history and was widely regarded as the screens greatest performer during a movie career spanning twenty five years as a leading man in more that sixty films.
Barrymore specialized in light comedies until convinced by his friend, playwright Edward Sheldon to try serious drama. Thereafter, Barrymore created a sensation on Broadway, culminating with the greatest success of his theatrical career with "Hamlet" in 1922, which he played on Broadway. for 101 performances, and then took to London in 1925.
Barrymore entered films around 1913 with the feature "An American Citizen:. He or someone using the name Jack Barrymore is given credit for four short films made in 1912 and 1913. but this has not proven to be John Barrymore. Barrymore was most likely convinced into giving films a try out of economic necessity and the fact that he hated touring a play all over the United States.. He could make a couple of movies in the off season theater months or shoot a film in one part of a day while doing a play in another part of the same day. He also may have been goaded by his brother Lionel and his uncle Sidney, who both had been successfully making films for a couple of years. He worked opposite his brother Lionel, and many of the screens foremost leading ladies, including Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, and Carole Lombard.
Later in his career, Barrymore suffered a relapse on his boat "The Mariner" in 1929 off the coast of Mexico while on honeymoon with wife Dolores. This entailed a quick trip to shore by his crew and admittance into doctor's care. Much of his newly occurring health problems most likely stemmed from his consumption of bad and sometimes nearly poisonous illegal alcohol during the period of Prohibition in the US. In the late 1930's, alcoholism encroached on his ability to remember his lines, and his diminished abilities were apparent in a surviving screen test that he mad for an aborted film version of "Hamlet" in 1934. From then on, he insisted on reading his dialogue from cue cards. He continued to give credible performances in lesser pictures though.
In 1937, Barrymore visited India, the land where his father had been born. In his private life, during his last years, he was married to his forth and last wife, Elaine Barrie, a union that turned out to be disastrous. His brother Lionel tried to help him find a small place near himself and to convince him to stay away from impetuous marriages, which usually ended up in divorce and put a strain on his once large income.
Barrymore collapsed while appearing on Rudy Vallee's radio show and died three days later in his hospital room. His dying words were "Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him".
Barrymore was married four times to:
Katherine Corri Harris (1910-1917)
Blanche Oelricks (1920-1928)
Dolores Costello (1928-1934)
Elaine Barrie (1936-1940)
Monday, November 17, 2008
"A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams." - John Barrymore
"American is the country where you can buy a lifetime supply of aspirin for one dollar and use it up in two weeks." - John Barrymore
"Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing happen to him." - John Barrymore
"If it isn't the sheriff, its the finance company; I've got more attachments on me than a vacuum cleaner." - John Barrymore
"In Genesis, it says that it is not good for a man to be alone; but sometimes its a great relief." - John Barrymore
"My wife is too beautiful for words, but not for arguments." - John Barrymore
"Sex: the thing that takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble." - John Barrymore
"The good die young, because they see it's no use living if you have got to be good." - John Barrymore
"The trouble with life is that there are so many beautiful women and so little time." - John Barrymore
"Why is there so much month left at the end of the money." - John Barrymore
"You can only be as good as you dare to be bad." - John Barrymore
"You can't drown yourself in drink. I've tried, you float." - John Barrymore
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Sorry I have be a bit lax during the weekend, but if you are a mom or a grandmom, I am sure you know how it is.....this is the only time I get to spend some quality time with them. And I fully try to take advandtage of that time.
I also wanted to say that I appreciated everyone who has viewed my website and appreciated or learned something from it. I truly love Classic Movie Stars, and love to share that love with others. Please feel free to contact me whenever you like at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. I would love to hear some feedback from you! Thank you!
Carolynn P.S. These pics are from last Christmas!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Frank Morgan was born as Francis Phillip Wuppermann on June 1, 1890 in New York City. He was the youngest of eleven children (six boys and five girls) to the wealthy family which distributed Angostura bitters. He attended Cornell University where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psa fraternity. He then followed his older brother Ralph into show business, first on the Broadway stage, and then into theaters.
His first film was "The Suspect" in 1916. His career expanded when talkies began, his most stereotypical role being that of a befuddled but good-hearted middle-aged man. He was nominated for an academy award for best actor in 1934's "The Affairs of Cellini" where he played the cuckolded Duke of Florence and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1942's "Tortilla Flat", where he played a simple Hispanic man.
Morgan's most famous performance was in "The Wizard of Oz" in 1939, in which he played the carnival huckster "Professor Marvel", the gatekeeper of Emerald City, the driver of the carriage drawn by "The Horse of a Different Color", the armed guard leading to the wizards hall, and of course, the Wizard himself. Like Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch of the West, his characters only appear on-screen for a few minutes total, but they are the show stoppers. He was so popular that MGM gave him a lifetime contract. Other movies of note include "The Shop Around the Corner", "The Human Comedy", The Mortal Storm" "The White Cliffs of Dover" and his last movie "Key to the City", which was released after his death in Beverly Hills, California.
He also recorded a number of children's records, including the popular Gossamer Wump, released in 1949 by Capital Records.
Morgan married Alma Muller in 1914; they had one son. They were married until his death in 1949.
Morgan died after suffering a heart attack in 1949 (while filming "Annie get your Gun". He was the one major player from "The Wizard of Oz" who did not live to see the film become both a television fixture and an American Institution. He is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.
"Ah, beware of snobbery; it is the unwelcome recognition of one's own past failings." - Cary Grant
"Divorce is a game played by lawyers" - Cary Grant
"Do your job and demand your compensation - but in that order" - Cary Grant
"Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant" - Cary Grant
"My father used to say "Let them see you and not the suit. That should be secondary" - Cary Grant
"My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can" - Cary Grant
"To succeed with the opposite sex, tell her you're impotent. She can't wait to disprove it" - Cary Grant