Tuesday, December 30, 2008

To all the Classy Ladies of the Silver Screen.....

My Ten Favorite Movies of All Time (Happy New Year!)

1. "You Can't Take It With You" - 1938
Directed by: Frank Capra
Starring: Lionel Barrymore, Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Ann Miller,
Edward Arnold

2. "Harvey" - 1950
Directed by: Henry Koster
Starring: James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow, Jesse White

3. "Rear Window" - 1954
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter,
Raymond Burr

4. "My Man Godfrey" - 1936
Directed by Gregory La Cava
Starring: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Eugene Pallete

5. "After The Thin Man" - 1936
Directed by: W.S. Van Dyke
Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy, James Stewart

6. "Sitting Pretty" - 1948
Directed by: Walter Lang
Starring: Robert Young, Maureen O'Hara, Clifton Webb

7. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" - 1939
Directed by: Frank Capra
Starring: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold

8. "Dark Victory" - 1939
Directed by: Edmung Goulding
Starring: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Ronald

9. "The Petrified Forest" - 1936
Directed by: Archie Mayo
Starring: Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart

10. "The African Queen" - 1951
Directed by: John Huston
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Kathrine Hepburn, Robert Morley

Monday, December 29, 2008


Coming tomorrow (?) My ten favorite movies of all time (A New Years testimonial....)

My Ten Favorite Actors of All Time (Happy New Year!)

1. William Powell (07-29-1892 to 03-05-1984)
2. James Stewart (05-20-1908 to 07-02-1997)
3. Humphrey Bogart (12-25-1899 to 01-14-1957)
4. Cary Grant (01-14-1904 to 11-29-1986)
5. Lionel Barrymore (04-28-1878 to 11-15-1954)
6. John Barrymore (02-15-1882 to 05-29-1942)
7. Bette Davis (04-05-1908 to 10-06-1989)
8. Jean Arthur (10-17-1900 to 06-19-1991)
9. Hedy Lamarr (11-09-1913 to 09-04-1990)
10.Fred Astaire (05-10-1899 to 06-22-1987)

Famous Classic Movie Star Quotes - MICKEY ROONEY

"A lot of people have asked me how short I am. Since my last divorce, I think I'm about $100,000 short" - Mickey Rooney

"Always get married in the morning. That way if it doesn't work out, you haven't wasted the whole day" - Mickey Rooney

"I buy women shoes and they use them to walk away from me" - Mickey Rooney

"I was a thirteen year old boy for thirty years" - Mickey Rooney

"I'm the only man in the world with a marriage licence made out to whom it may concern" - Mickey Rooney

"You always pass failure on your way to success" - Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland - Could you Use Me?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Famous Classic Movie Stars - MICKEY ROONEY

Mickey Rooney is one of the few stars that I have written about that is still alive today, and for that we should all be very grateful. He was and still is a very talented actor who never quits.

Mickey Rooney was born as Joseph Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. He is an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances span his lifetime. During his career he has won multiple awards, including an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and an Emmy Award. Best know for his work as the Andy Hardy character, Rooney has one of the longest movie careers of any actor ever. entering the "Guinness Book of Records" as the actor with the longest career on both stage and screen.

Rooney was born into a vaudeville family. His father, Joseph Yule, was from Scotland and his mother, Nellie W. was from Kansas City, Missouri. Both parents were in vaudeville, and appearing in a Brooklyn production of "A Gaiety Girl" when Joseph Jr. was born. He began performing at the age of fifteen months as part of his parents routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo which he still owns to this day.

The Yules separated in 1924 during a slump in vaudeville, and in 1925, Nell Yule moved with her son to Hollywood, where she managed a tourist home. Fontaine Fox had placed a newspaper ad for a dark haired child to play the role of "Mickey McGuire" in a series of short films, and, lacking the money to have her sons hair dyed, Mrs. Yule took her son to the audition after applying burnt cork to his scalp. Joe got the role and became "Mickey" for 78 of the comedies running from 1927 to 1936, starting with "Mickey's Circus" released September 4, 1927. These had been adapted from the "Toonerville Trolley" comic strip, which contained a character named Mickey McGuire. Joe Yule briefly became Mickey McGuire legally to trump an attempted copyright lawsuit (as it was his legal name, the movie producers did not owe the comic strip writers royalties).

During an interruption in the series in 1932, Mrs. Yule made plans to take her son on a ten week vaudeville tour as McGuire, and Fox sued successfully to stop him from using the name. Mrs. Yule suggested the stage name of Mickey Looney for her comedian son, which he altered slightly to a less frivolous version. Rooney did other films, including a few more of the McGuire films, in his adolescence, and signed with MGM in 1934. MGM cast Rooney as the teenage son of a judge in 1937's "A Family Affair", setting Rooney on the way to another successful film series.

In 1937, Rooney was selected to portray Andy Hardy in "A Family Affair", which MGM had planned as a "B" movie. Rooney provided comic relief as the son of Judge James K. Hardy, portrayed by Lionel Barrymore (although Lewis Stone would play the role of Judge Hardy in later films). The film was an unexpected success, and led to thirteen more "Andy Hardy" films between 1937 and 1946, and then one final "Andy Hardy" film in 1958. Rooney received top-billing in a feature film as Shockey Carter in "Hossier Schoolboy" (1937). The same years, he made his first film alongside Judy Garland with "Thourbreds don't Cry". His breakthrough role as a dramatic actor came in 1938's "Boy's Town" opposite Spencer Tracy as Whitey Marsh, which opened shortly before his 18th birthday.

Garland and Rooney became a successful song and dance team. Besides three of the Andy Hardy films, where she portrayed Betsey Boothe, a younger girl with a crush on Andy, Garland appeared with Rooney in a string of successful musicals, including the Oscar nominated "Babes in Arms" (1939).

In 1944, Rooney entered military service for 21 months during World War II, during which time he was a radio personality on the American Forces Network. After his return to civilian life, his career slumped. He appeared in a number of films, including "Words and Music" in 1948, which paired him for the last time with Garland on film.

In 1960, he directed and starred in "The Private Lives of Adam and Eve", an ambitious comedy know for its multiple flashbacks and many cameos. In the 1960's Rooney returned to theatrical entertainment. Ne still accepted film roles in undistinguished movies, but occasionally would appear in better works, such as "Requiem for a Heavyweight" (1962) and "The Black Stallion" (1979). One of Rooney's more controversial riles came in the highly acclaimed 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" where he played a stereotyped buck toothed myopic Japanese neighbor of the main character, Holly Golightly. Producer Richard Shepard apologized for this in the 45th anniversary DVD, though director Blake Edwards and Rooney himself did not.

On December 31, 1961, he appeared on televisions "What's my Line" and mentioned that he had already started enrolling students in the MRSE (Mickey Rooney School of Entertainment). His school venture never came to fruition though, but for several years he was a spokesman/partner in Pennsylvania's Downington Inn, a country club and golf resort.

In 1966, while Rooney was working on a film in the Philippines, his wife Barbara Ann Thomason, a former pin up model and aspiring actress who had won 17 straight beauty contests in Southern California, was found dead in their bed. Beside her was her lover, Milos Milos, an actor friend of Rooney's. Detectives ruled it as a murder/suicide, which was accomplished with Rooney's own gun. Milos was also a bodyguard. Grief stricken and not in his right frame of mind, Rooney quickly married Barbara's friend, Marge Lane. The union lasted about one hundred days.

He was awarded an Academy Juvenile Award in 1938, and in 1983 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted him their Academy Honorary Award for his lifetime of achievement. Laurence Olivier called Rooney "the single best film actor America ever produced". a sentiment echoed by actor James Mason, Judy Garland stated that Rooney was "the worlds greatest talent". As a result of the "Andy Hardy" series, Rooney was the highest paid actor in Hollywood in the late 1930's.

Rooney continues to work in film and tours with his current wife in a multi-media live stage production called "Let's Put on A Show!" On May 26, 2007, he was grand Marshall at the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival. Rooney made his British pantomime debut, playing Baron Hardup in Cinderella at the Sunderland Empire Theater over the 2007 Christmas period. He appeared on BBC Points West dressed in a pair of shorts and socks. He is currently playing Baron Hardup in Cinderella now at the Bristol Hippodrome From December 12, 2008 to January 8, 2009.

As of 2008, Rooney and his wife Jan Chamberlin, live in Westlake Village, Californis. They met through his son Mickey Jr. whom Jan had been dating at the time. They were married on August 7, 1978, when Jan was 39 and Mickey was 57. Both are outspoken advocates for veterans and animal rights.

After battling drug addiction and a near bankruptcy caused by gambling and bad investments, Rooney became a born again Christian in the 1970's, reportedly after an angel appeared to him in a coffee shop.

Mickey Rooney's Marriages:
1. Ava Gardner (1942-1943)
2. Betty Jane Rase (1944-1949) (child- Mickey Rooney Jr. & Tim Rooney)
3. Martha Vickers (1949-1951) (child - Teddy Rooney)
4, Elaine Devry (1952-1958)
5. Barbara Ann Thomason (1958-1966) (children - Kyle Rooney, Kimmy Rooney, Kelly Rooney, Kerry Rooney)
6. Marge Lane (1966-1967)
7. Carolyn Hockett (1969-1974) (children - Jimmy Rooney, Jonelle Rooney)
8. Jan Chamberlin (1978-present)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Today's Birthday - December 27 - MARLENE DIETRICH

Birthname: Marie Magdalene Dietrich
Birthdate: December 27, 1901
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Death: May 6, 1991 (90)
Deathplace: Paris, France
Spouse: Rudolph Sieber (1924-1976)

Friday, December 26, 2008


Today's Birthday - December 26 - RICHARD WIDMARK

irthname: Richard Widmark
Birthdate: 12/26/1914
Birthplace: Sunrise Township, Minnesota
Died: March 24, 2008 (93!)
Death Place: Roxbury, Connecticut
Spouses: Jean Hazlewood (1942-1997)
Susan Blanchard (1999-2008) (his death)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

HUMPHREY BOGART - Actor #1 - Greatest Screen Legends

Today's Birthday - December 25

Born as: Humphrey DeForest Bogart
Birthdate: December 25, 1899
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: January 14, 1957 (57)
Deathplace: Los Angeles, California
Spouses: Helen Menken (1926-1927)
Mary Philips (1928-1937)
Mayo Methot (1938-1945)
Lauren Bacall (1945-1957, his death)

Merry Christmas!

Greetings everyone and Merry Christmas to all! I know I have been a bit sparce on my blog entries this past week, but since it is Christmas and all, I guess I have a pretty good excuse! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and that it brought you everything that you desired (and I don't only mean material things....). But, peace, joy and happiness, and that you got to be with the ones you love. After all, isn't that what Christmas is all about? My thoughts go out to each and everyone who is reading this, and I wish you all the happiest of seasons!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Famous Classic Movie Star Quotes - LIONEL BARRYMORE

"Half the people in Hollywood are dying to be discovered and the other half are afraid they will be" - Lionel Barrymore

"Hollywood is tied hand and foot to the demands for artificiality of the masses all over the world" - Lionel Barrymore

"I can remember when nobody believed an actor and didn't care what he believed" - Lionel Barrymore

" I've got a lot of ham in me" - Lionel Barrymore

"This is the age of insincerity. The movies had the misfortune to come along in the twentieth century, and because they appeal to the masses there can be no sincerity in them" - Lionel Barrymore

A Fireside chat with Lionel Barrymore (preview for 1938 version of "A Christmas Carol"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ingrid Bergman

Famous Classic Movie Star Quotes - INGRID BERGMAN

"Be yourself, The world worships the original" - Ingrid Bergman

"Happiness is good health and a bad memory" - Ingrid Bergman

"I have no regrets. I wouldn't have lived my life the way I did if I was going to worry about what people were going to say" - Ingrid Bergman

"I made so many films which were more important, but the only one people ever want to talk about is that one with Bogart" - Ingrid Bergman

"I've gone from saint to whore and back to saint again, all in one lifetime" - Ingrid Bergman

"If you took acting away from me, I'd stop breathing" - Ingrid Bergman

"It is not whether you really cry. It's whether the audience thinks you are crying" - Ingrid Bergman

"Never again! I can see no reason for marriage - ever at all. I've had it. Three times is enough" - Ingrid Bergman

"There are advantages to being a star though - you can always get a seat at a full restaurant" - Ingrid Bergman

"Until 45 I can play a woman in love. After 55 I can play grandmothers. But between those ten years, it is difficult for an actress" - Ingrid Bergman

"A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous" - Ingrid Bergman

"I do not know how to kiss, or I would kiss you. Where do the noses go?" - Ingrid Bergman

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Famous Classic Movie Stars - PETER LORRE

Peter Lorre was born as Laszlo Lowenstein on June 26, 1904 In Ruzomberok, Slovakia. He was of Hungarian-Austrian heritage who became an American actor frequently typecast as a sinister foreigner.

He made an international sensation in 1931 with his portrayal of a serial killer who preys on little girls in the German film "M". Later, he became a popular featured player in Hollywood crime films and mysteries, notably alongside Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet, and as the star of the successful Mr. Moto detective series.

Lorre was born into a Jewish family. His parents were Alois and Elvira. When he was a child, his family moved to Vienna where Lorre attended school, and during his youth he was a student of Sigmund Freud. He began acting onstage in Vienna then moved to Breslau, and Zurich. In the late 1920's, the young 5'5" actor moved to Berlin where he worked with the famous playwright Bertolt Brecht. He achieved fame when Fritz Lang cast him as a child killer in his 1931 film "M".

When the Nazi's came to power in Germany in 1933, Lorre took refuge first in Paris and then London where he played a charming villain in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934). When he arrived in Great Britain, his first meeting was with Hitchcock, and, by smiling and laughing as Hitchcock talked, Lorre was able to bluff the director about his limited command of the English language. During the filming of "The Man Who Knew Too Much", Lorre learned much of his part phonetically.

Eventually, he went to Hollywood where he specialized in playing wicked or wily foreigners, beginning with "Mad Love" (1935) directed by Karl Freund. He starred in a series of Mr. Moto movies, a parrallel to the better known "Charlie Chan" series in which he played a Japanese detective and spy. He did not much enjoy these films and twisted his shoulder during a stunt in "Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation", but they were lucrative for the studio and gained Lorre many new fans.

In 1940, Lorre co-starred with fellow horror actors Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff in the Kay Kyser Movie "You'll Find Out". Lorre enjoyed considerable popularity as a featured player in Warner Brothers suspense and adventure films. Lorre played the role of Joel Cairo in "The Maltese Falcon" in 1941 and portrayed the character Ugarte in the film classic "Casablanca" in 1942.

Lorre demonstrated a gift for comedy in the role of Dr. Einstein in "Arsenic and Old Lace (1944). And in 1946 he starred with Sydney Greenstreet and Geraldine Fitzgerald in "Three Strangers" about three people who are joint partners on a winning lottery ticket.

In 1941, Peter Lorre became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

After World War II, Lorre's acting career in Hollywood experienced a downturn, whereupon he concentrated on radio and stage work. In 1954 though, he had the distinction of becoming the first actor to play a James Bond villain when he portrayed Le Chiffre in a television adaption of "Casino Royale" opposite Barry Nelson as an American James Bond. Also in 1954, Lorre starred alongside Kirk Douglas and James Mason in the hit-classic "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". In the early 1960's he worked with Roger Corman on several low-budgeted, tongue-in-cheek, and very popular films.

Lorre was married three times: Celia Lovsky (1934-1945), Kaaren Verne (1945-1950) and Annemarie Brenning (1953-1964) (his death). Annemarie bore his only child, Catherine, in 1953 who died in 2006 from diabetes.

Lorre had suffered for years from chronic gall-bladder troubles, for which doctors had prescribed morphine. Lorre became trapped between the constant pain and addiction to morphine to ease the trouble. It was during the period of the Moto films that Lorre struggled and overcame this problem.

Overweight and never fully recovered from his morphine addiction, Lorre suffered many personal and career disappointments in his later years. He died in 1964 of a stroke at 59 years of age. Lorre's body was cremated and his ashes interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, Ca. Vincent Price read the eulogy at his funeral.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Famous Classic Movie Star Quotes - JIMMY STEWART

"If I had my career over again? Maybe I'd say to myself, speed it up a little" - James Stewart

"I'd like to do Harvey again. I did it two years ago with Helen Hayes in New York. It was a joy. I was so glad to do it again because I never thought I did it right the first time" - James Stewart

"When it came to kissing, Harlow was the best" - James Stewart

"Well, I think one of the main things that you have to think about when acting in the movies is to try not to make the acting show" - James Stewart

"I always told Hitch that it would have been better to put seats around the set and sell tickets" - James Stewart

"I sort of got into Westerns...it was a sort of desperation move, really. I had several pictures that didn't go very well, and I just realized that I would have to try something else" - James Stewart

"It was amazing that a play that seems dated in this world...A man whose best friend is a six-foot white rabbit...But it caught on, especially with young people - they surprised me most of all" - James Stewart

"I lasted one night. They said my playing spoiled peoples appetites" - James Stewart

"Frank called me one day and said 'I have an idea for a movie, why don't you come over and I'll tell you?' So I went over and we sat down and he said, 'This picture starts in heaven'. That shook me" - James Stewart

EDWARD G. ROBINSON - Greatest Screen Legends #24

Today's Birthday - December 12 - EDWARD G. ROBINSON

Birthname: Emanuel Goldenberg
Birthdate: December 12, 1893
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania
Died: January 26, 1973 (79)
Deathplace: Hollywood, California
Spouses: Gladys Lloyd (1927-1956)
Jane Robinson (1958-1973)