Julius J. Epstein (August 22, 1909 – December 30, 2000) was an American screenwriter, who had a long career, most noted for the adaptation – in partnership with his twin brother, Philip, and others —- of the unproduced play Everybody Comes to Rick’s that became the screenplay for the film Casablanca (1942), for which its team of writers won an Academy Award. Following his brother’s death in 1952, he continued writing, garnering two more Oscar nominations and, in 1998, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association career achievement award. His credits included Four Daughters (1938), The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Mr. Skeffington (1944), The Tender Trap (1955), Light in the Piazza (1962), Send Me No Flowers (1964), Pete ‘n’ Tillie (1972), and Reuben, Reuben (1983).
Epstein graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1931 with a BA in Arts and Letters. Both he and his brother wrestled for the varsity squad there.
Jack Warner, head of Warner Brothers, had a love-hate relationship with the writing duo of the Epstein brothers. He could not argue with their commercial success, but he deplored their pranks, their work habits and the hours they kept. He consistently butted heads with the two. In 1952, Warner gave the brothers’ names to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). They never testified before the committee, but on a HUAC questionnaire, when asked if they ever were members of a "subversive organization," they responded, "Yes. Warner Brothers."
Epstein was the uncle of Leslie Epstein, director of the creative writing program at Boston University and accomplished novelist and the great-uncle of Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein.
Roebuck "Pops" Staples (December 28, 1914 – December 19, 2000) was a Mississippi-born Gospel and R&B musician. He was an accomplished songwriter, guitarist and singer. He was the patriarch and member of singing group The Staple Singers, which included his son Pervis and daughters Mavis, Yvonne, and Cleotha.
Biography Roebuck Staples was born on a cotton plantation near Winona, Mississippi, the youngest of 14 children. When growing up he heard, and began to play with, local blues guitarists such as Charlie Patton, who lived on the nearby Dockery Plantation, Robert Johnson, and Son House.. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade, and sang with a gospel group before marrying and moving to Chicago in 1935.
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There he sang with the Trumpet Jubilees, while working in the stockyards, in construction work, and later in a steel mill. In 1948 he formed The Staple Singers to sing as a gospel group in local churches, with him singing and playing guitar behind his children. They first recorded in the early 1950s for United and then the larger Vee-Jay Records, with songs including "This May Be The Last Time" (later covered by The Rolling Stones) and "Uncloudy Day".
In the 1960s the Staples Singers moved to Riverside Records and later Stax Records, and began recording protest, inspirational and contemporary music, reflecting the civil rights and anti-war movements of the time. They gained a large new audience with the 1972 US # 1 hit "I’ll Take You There", followed by "Respect Yourself", "If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)", and other hits. Pops Staples also recorded an instrumental blues album, Jammed Together, with fellow guitarists Albert King and Steve Croppe.
After Mavis left for a solo career in the 1980s, Pops Staples began a solo career, appearing at international "blues" festivals (though steadfastly refusing to sing the blues), and tried his hand at acting. His 1992 album Peace to the Neighborhood won a Grammy nomination, and in 1995 he won a Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy for Father, Father.
In 1986, Roebuck played the role of Mr. Tucker, a voodoo witch doctor, in the Talking Heads film True Stories.
In 1998 he received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1999 the Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen (December 26, 1921 – October 30, 2000) was an American musician, comedian and writer. As the first host of The Tonight Show, Allen was instrumental in innovating the concept of the television talk show, and is often called the father of television talk shows.
Death of Steve Allen On October 30, 2000, Allen was driving to his son’s home in Encino, California when his car was struck by another vehicle backing out of a driveway. Neither Allen nor the other driver believed they were injured, and damage to both vehicles was minimal; so the two exchanged insurance information and Allen continued on. Shortly after arriving at his son’s home, Allen did not feel quite right and decided to take a nap. While napping, Allen suffered a massive heart attack and was pronounced dead shortly after 8 p.m. Autopsy results concluded that the traffic accident earlier in the day had caused a blood vessel in Allen’s chest to rupture causing blood to leak into the sac surrounding the heart. This condition is known as hemopericardium. In addition, Allen also suffered four broken ribs as a result of the accident. Allen was 78 years old, and is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park-Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles.
Early life Allen was born in New York City, the son of Isabelle (née Donohue), a vaudeville comedienne who performed under the name Belle Montrose, and Carroll Allen, a vaudeville performer who used the stage name Billy Allen. Allen was raised on the South side of Chicago by his mother’s Irish Catholic family. Milton Berle once called Allen’s mother "the funniest woman in vaudeville".
Allen’s first radio job was on station KOY in Phoenix, Arizona after he left Arizona State Teachers’ College (now Arizona State University) in Tempe, Arizona while still a sophomore. He enlisted in the US Army during World War II and was trained as an infantryman. He spent his service time at Camp Roberts, near Monterrey, California, and did not serve overseas. Allen returned to Phoenix before deciding to move back to California.
Career Allen became an announcer for KFAC in Los Angeles then moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1946, talking the station into airing a five night a week comedy show called "Smile Time", co-starring Wendell Noble. Allen had an opportunity to move to CBS Radio’s KNX in Los Angeles and did so. His music and talk format gradually changed to include more talk to his half hour show, boosting his popularity and creating standing room only studio audiences. During one episode of the show, reserved primarily for an interview with Doris Day, his guest star failed to appear. Instead Allen picked up a microphone and went into the audience to ad lib for the first time. In 1950 and for 13 weeks his show substituted for Our Miss Brooks, for the first time exposing Allen to a national audience. Allen next went to New York to work for TV station WCBS.
He achieved national attention when he was pressed into service at the last minute to host Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts when its host was unable to appear. Allen turned one of Godfrey’s live Lipton commercials upside down, preparing tea and instant soup on camera, then pouring both into Godfrey’s ukulele. With the audience (including Godfrey watching from Miami) uproariously and thoroughly entertained, Allen gained major recognition as a comedian and host. Leaving CBS, he created a late-night New York talk-variety TV program in 1953 for what is now WNBC-TV. The following year, on September 27, 1954, the show went on the full NBC network as The Tonight Show, with fellow radio personality Gene Rayburn (who later went on to host hit game shows such as Match Game) as the original announcer. The show ran from 11:15 pm to 1:00 am on the east coast.
While Today Show developer Pat Weaver is often credited as Tonight’s creator, Allen often pointed out that the show was previously "created" — by himself — as a local New York show. "This is Tonight, and I can’t think of too much to tell you about it except I want to give you the bad news first: this program is going to go on forever", Allen told his nationwide audience that first evening. "Boy, you think you’re tired now. Wait until you see one o’clock roll around."
It was as host of The Tonight Show that Allen pioneered the ‘man on the street’ interviews and audience-participation comedy breaks that have become commonplace on late-night TV. In 1956, while still hosting Tonight, Allen added a Sunday-evening variety show scheduled directly against The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS and Maverick on ABC. One of Allen’s guests was comedian Johnny Carson, a future successor to Allen as host of The Tonight Show; among Carson’s material during that appearance was a portrayal of how a poker game between Allen, Sullivan and Maverick star James Garner, all impersonated by Carson, would transpire. Allen’s programs helped the careers of singers Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, who were regulars on his early Tonight Show, and Sammy Davis, Jr..
In 1956 NBC offered Allen a new, prime-time Sunday night Steve Allen Show aimed at dethroning CBS’s top-rated Ed Sullivan Show. The show included a typical run of star performers including early TV appearances by Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. However, Allen, a pianist whose love of jazz influenced all his TV shows and the music presented on them, had a strong personal distaste for Rock ‘n Roll music. He "came from the sheet music era, where songwriters crafted compositions that anyone could play around the piano at home." For him, the "nonsense lyrics" of rock ‘n’ roll "were expressions of the semi-coherent sexual frenzy barely contained within the recordings and live performances. Rock ‘n’ roll was about the excitement the artists pitched and the kids caught; it wasn’t supposed to hold up when lyrics were amputated from the big beat. But that comic bit was just one of Allen’s misdemeanors." He often presented skits ridiculing rock musicians. For instance, controversy surrounded his decision to present Elvis Presley wearing a white bow tie and black tails and singing Hound Dog to a live bassett hound for comedic effect. On the other hand, Allen was the first television show host to present many African American jazz musicians. Allen also provided a nationwide audience for his famous ‘man on the street’ comics, such as Pat Harrington, Jr., Don Knotts, Louis Nye, Bill Dana, Dayton Allen and Tom Poston. All were relatively obscure performers prior to their stints with Allen, and went on to stardom.
Allen remained host of "Tonight" for three nights a week (Monday and Tuesday nights were taken over by Ernie Kovacs) until early 1957, when he left the "Tonight" show to devote his attention to the Sunday night program. It was his (and NBC’s) hope that the Steve Allen show could defeat Ed Sullivan in the ratings. While he did defeat Sullivan on a few occasions, Sullivan continued to dominate. But ironically, what the critics had called an epic battle of two talk giants ended up with both beaten handily by the western Maverick. In September 1959, Allen relocated to Los Angeles, and left Sunday night television. Back in LA, he continued to write songs, hosted other variety shows, and wrote books and articles about comedy.
The 1985 documentary film, Kerouac, the Movie, starts and ends with footage of Jack Kerouac reading from On The Road as Allen accompanies on soft jazz piano, from The Steve Allen Plymouth Show in 1959. "Are you nervous?" Allen asks him; Kerouac answers nervously, "Naw."
Allen helped the recently invented Polaroid camera become popular by demonstrating its use in live commercials, and amassed a huge windfall for his work because he had opted to be paid in Polaroid Corporation stock.
From 1962 to 1964, Allen re-created the Tonight Show on a new late-night Steve Allen Show syndicated by Westinghouse TV. The show, taped in Hollywood, was marked by the same wild and unpredictable stunts, comedy skits that often extended down the street to a supermarket known as the Hollywood Ranch Market. He also presented Southern California eccentrics, including health food advocate Gypsy Boots and an early musical performance by Frank Zappa. One notable program which Westinghouse refused to distribute featured Lenny Bruce, during the time the comic was repeatedly being arrested on obscenity charges; footage from this program was first telecast in 1998 in a Bruce documentary aired on HBO. Regis Philbin took over hosting the Westinghouse show in 1964, but only briefly.
The theater in Hollywood was billed as the "Steve Allen Playhouse" at the corner of La Mirada and Vine, and was an old vaudeville theater. It was built in 1906, and was the theater where Bob Hope did his first stand-up act, and was also the theater for filming the "You Bet Your Life" program with Groucho Marx. During a renovation, the entire interior of the building was burned out, and it is now a mental health clinic.
The show also featured plenty of jazz played by Allen and members of the show’s band, the Donn Trenner Orchestra, which included such virtuoso musicians as guitarist Herb Ellis and flamboyantly comedic hipster trombonist Frank Rosolino (whom Allen credited with originating the ‘Hiyo!’ chant later popularized by Ed McMahon). While the show was not an overwhelming success in its day, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Robin Williams and a number of other prominent comedians have cited Allen’s ‘Westinghouse show’, which they watched as teenagers, as highly influential on their own comedic visions.
Allen later produced a second half-hour show for Westinghouse titled Jazz Scene which featured West Coast jazz musicians such as Rosolino, Stan Kenton and Teddy Edwards. The short-lived show was hosted by Oscar Brown, Jr..
Allen hosted a number of television programs up until the 1980s, including the game show I’ve Got a Secret (replacing original host Garry Moore) in 1964 and The New Steve Allen Show in 1961. He was a regular on the popular panel game show What’s My Line? (where he coined the popular phrase, "Is it bigger than a breadbox?") from 1953 to 1954 and returned frequently as a panelist after Fred Allen died in March, 1956 until the series ended in 1967. In the summer of 1967, he brought most of the regulars from over the years back with "The Steve Allen Comedy Hour", featuring the debuts of Rob Reiner, Richard Dreyfuss, and John Byner, and featuring Ruth Buzzi, who would become famous soon after in "Laugh-In". In 1968-71 he returned to syndicated nightly variety-talk, with the same wacky stunts that would influence David Letterman in later years, including becoming a human hood ornament, jumping into vats of oatmeal and cottage cheese, and beinng lathered with dog food, allowing dogs backstage to feast on the free food. Allen in those two years also introduced Albert Brooks and Steve Martin for the first time to a national audience. A syndicated version of I’ve Got A Secret hosted by Allen and featuring panelists Pat Carroll and Richard Dawson premiered in local syndication in 1972, taped in Hollywood. In 1977 he produced Steve Allen’s Laugh-Back, a syndicated series combining vintage Allen film clips with new talk-show material reuniting his 1950s TV gang. From 1986 through 1988, Allen hosted a daily 3-hour comedy show that was heard nationally on the NBC Radio Network, featuring sketches and America’s best known comedians as regular guests. His co-host was radio personality Mark Simone, and they were joined frequently by comedy writers Larry Gelbart, Herb Sargent and Bob Einstein.
Allen was an accomplished composer who wrote over 10,000 songs. In one famous stunt, he made a bet with singer-songwriter Frankie Laine that he could write 50 songs a day for a week. Composing on public display in the window of a Hollywood music store, Allen met the quota, winning $1,000 from Laine. One of the songs, Let’s Go to Church Next Sunday, was recorded by both Perry Como and Margaret Whiting. Allen’s best-known songs are "This Could Be the Start of Something Big" and "The Gravy Waltz", which won a Grammy Award in 1963 for best jazz composition. He also wrote lyrics for the standards "Picnic" and "South Rampart Street Parade". Allen composed the score to the Paul Mantee imitation James Bond film A Man Called Dagger (1967) with the score orchestrated by Ronald Stein.
Allen was also an actor. He wrote and starred in his first film, the Mack Sennett comedy compilation Down Memory Lane, in 1949. His most famous film appearance is in 1955’s The Benny Goodman Story, in the title role. The film, while an average biopic of its day, was heralded for its music, featuring many alumni of the Goodman band. Allen later recalled his one contribution to the film’s music, used in the film’s early scenes: the accomplished Benny Goodman could no longer produce the sound of a clarinet beginner, and that was the only sound Allen could make on a clarinet!
Allen could also play a trumpet–sort of. He wrote and recorded a tune called "Impossible" in which he tries to play it straight, but continues to bust up laughing. (The recording has been played on the Dr. Demento radio show.)
From 1977 to 1981, Allen was the producer of the award-winning PBS series, Meeting of Minds — a "talk show" with actors playing the parts of notable historical figures, and Steve Allen as the host. This series pitted the likes of Socrates, Marie Antoinette, Thomas Paine, Sir Thomas More, Attila the Hun, Karl Marx, Emily Dickinson, Charles Darwin, and Galileo Galilei in dialogue and argument. This was the show Allen wanted to be remembered for, because he believed that the issues and characters were timeless, and would survive long after his passing. This may be more an indictment of the denigration of popular tastes, of which Allen himself wrote about in his last book, "Vulgarians at the Gates", than any obtuseness on the shows’ part.
Allen was a comedy writer, and author of more than 50 books, including Dumbth, a commentary on the American educational system, and Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality. He also wrote book-length commentaries on show-business personalities (‘Funny People,’ ‘More Funny People’). Perhaps influenced by his son’s involvement with a religious cult, he became an outspoken critic of organized religion and an active member of such humanist and skeptical organizations as the Council for Media Integrity, a group which debunked pseudo-scientific claims. (for more about Allen’s skepticism, see Paul Kurtz, "A Tribute to Steve Allen", Skeptical Inquirer magazine, January/February 2001.)
Allen was also notoriously contemptuous of rock ‘n’ roll music, although he was showman enough to scoop Ed Sullivan by being one of the first to present Elvis Presley on network television (after Presley had appeared on the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Stage Show and Milton Berle shows). "Allen found a way … to satisfy the puritans. He assured viewers that he would not allow Presley ‘to do anything that will offend anyone.’ NBC announced that a ‘revamped, purified and somewhat abridged Presley’ had agreed to sing while standing reasonably still, dressed in black tie." In fact, on this occasion Allen had Elvis wear a top hat and the white tie and tails of a ‘high-class’ musician while singing "Hound Dog" to an actual hound, who was similarly attired. According to Jake Austen, "the way Steve Allen treated Elvis Presley was his federal crime. Allen thought Presley was talentless and absurd, and so he decided to goof on him. Allen set things up so that Presley would show his contrition by appearing in a tuxedo and singing his new song ‘Hound Dog’ to an elderly basset hound…" Elaine Dundy says that Allen smirkingly presented Elvis "with a roll that looks exactly like a large roll of toilet paper with, says Allen, the ‘signatures of eight thousand fans.’ " Presley looked "at Steve as if to say: ‘It’s all right. I’ve been made a worse fool in my life,’ and after he patted the basset hound he is about to sing Hound Dog to, he wiped his hands on his trousers as if to wipe away Steve Allen, the dog and the whole show." Guitarist Scotty Moore later said Elvis and the members of his band were "all angry about their treatment the previous night". "The next day, as Elvis entered the RCA studios to record ‘Hound Dog,’ fans greeted him with signs that declared, ‘We Want the Real Elvis’ and ‘We Want the Gyrating Elvis.’ In the press, critics were no kinder with the singer than they had ever been, this time pronouncing him a ‘cowed kid’ who had demonstrated, once again, that he ‘couldn’t sing or act a lick.’ " In a column in Newsweek, John Lardner wrote, " ‘Like Huckleberry Finn, when the widow put him in a store suit and told him not to gap or scratch,’ [Elvis] had been ‘fouled’ by NBC’s attempt to ‘civilize him … for the good of mankind.’ " Presley often referred to the Allen show as the most ridiculous performance of his career. The singer "was later featured in a mediocre cowboy sketch with Allen, Andy Griffith, and Imogene Coca. As ‘Tumbleweed Presley’ his big joke was ‘I’m warning you galoots, don’t step on my blue suede boots.’ " That apparent mockery was consistent with other situations in which Allen had singers in such comic scenarios on his show, in contrast to the simple "singing in front of a curtain" style of the Sullivan show. The house singers on the early Tonight show were subjected to many such stunts.
It must be remembered that Allen was in his late thirties at the time, and was brought up in his formative years with a big band/jazz perspective. Stan Freberg and others of his generation also comically mocked rock ‘n’ roll at the time, but credit must be given for simply having the artists on in the first place. Rock ‘n’ roll was just coming into its own, and the nation itself didn’t embrace it collectively at first, particularly folks like Allen who were brought up in the big band/crooner era. At the very least, he was an unintentional trailblazer of rock simply by breaking in new artists, per Sullivan. Jerry Lee Lewis was so touched by Allen’s booking of him for the first time to a national audience that he named his first son Steve Allen Lewis after him.
Allen also had many black jazz artists on his early Tonight show, all exposed to a national audience for the first time, including Earl Hines, Billie Holiday, Bobby Short, Coleman Hawkins, Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughn, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and Count Basie. Allen was honored with numerous awards from black organizations for that very same trailblazing.
Allen has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: a TV star at 1720 Vine St. and a radio star at 1537 Vine St.
Personal life Allen’s second wife was actress Jayne Meadows, daughter of Christian missionaries, and sister to actress Audrey Meadows. The marriage of Allen and Meadows produced one son. They were married from 1954 until his death in 2000. Allen had three children, Steve Allen Jr., Brian Allen, and David Allen, from an earlier marriage to Dorothy Goodman that ended in divorce.
Despite his Catholic upbringing, Allen was a secular humanist and Humanist Laureate for the Academy of Humanism, a member of CSICOP and the Council for Secular Humanism. He was a student and supporter of general semantics, recommending it in Dumbth and giving the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture in 1992. Allen was a supporter of world government and served on the World Federalist Association Board of Advisers. In spite of his liberal position on free speech, his later concerns about the smuttiness he saw on radio and television, particularly the programs of Howard Stern, caused him to make proposals restricting the content of programs, allying himself with the Parents Television Council. Coincidentally, his full-page ad on the subject appeared in newspapers a day or two before his unexpected death. Allen had been making speeches in which he referred to himself as an "involved Presbyterian".
Allen made a last appearance on the Tonight show on September 27, 1994, for the show’s 40th anniversary broadcast. Jay Leno was effusive in praise, and actually knelt down and kissed his ring.
Shows Songs for Sale (1950–1952) The Steve Allen Show (1950) What’s My Line? (regular panelist, 1953–1954) Talent Patrol (1953–1955) The Tonight Show (1954–1957, NBC) The Steve Allen Westinghouse Show (1962-1968) I’ve Got a Secret (1964–1967) The Steve Allen Show (Filmways production, 1968-69) Match Game (panelist, 1974) Meeting of Minds (1977–1981, PBS) Steve Allen Comedy Hour (1980–1981) The Start of Something Big (1985–1986)
Songs "Theme from Picnic" "This Could Be the Start of Something Big" "The Gravy Waltz" "The Saturday Evening Post"
Books Bop Fables (1955) Fourteen for Tonight (1955) Short story collection The Funny Men (1956) Wry on the Rocks (1956) Poetry The Girls on the Tenth Floor and Other Stories (1958) 1970 printing: ISBN 0-8369-3608-6 The Question Man… (1959) Mark It and Strike It: An Autobiography (1960) Not All of Your Laughter, Not All of Your Tears (1962) Dialogues in Americanism (1964) with L. Brent Bozell, Jr., William F. Buckley, Jr., Robert M. Hutchins, James MacGregor Burns, and Willmoore Kendall Letter to a Conservative (1965) The Ground is Our Table (1966) Bigger Than A Breadbox (1967) The Flash of Swallows (1969) The Wake (1972) ISBN 0-385-07608-8 Princess Snip-Snip and the Puppy-Kittens (1973) Curses! or… How Never to Be Foiled Again (1973) ISBN 0-87477-008-4 What To Say When It Rains (1974) ISBN 0-8431-0357-4 Schmock-Schmock! (1975) ISBN 0-385-09664-X Meeting of Minds (1978) ISBN 0-517-53383-9 1989 printing: ISBN 0-87975-550-4 Chopped-Up Chinese (1978) Ripoff: A Look at Corruption in America (1979) With Roslyn Bernstein and Donald H. Dunn ISBN 0-8184-0249-0 Meeting of Minds, Second Series (1979) ISBN 0-517-53894-6 1989 printing: ISBN 0-87975-565-2 Explaining China (1980) ISBN 0-517-54062-2 Funny People (1981) ISBN 0-8128-2764-3 Beloved Son: A Story of the Jesus Cults (1982) ISBN 0-672-52678-6 More Funny People (1982) ISBN 0-8128-2884-4 How to Make a Speech (1986) ISBN 0-07-001164-8 How to Be Funny: Discovering the Comic You (1987) With Jane Wollman ISBN 0-07-001199-0 1992 printing: ISBN 0-87975-792-2 1998 revised edition: ISBN 1-57392-206-4 The Passionate Nonsmoker’s Bill of Rights: The First Guide to Enacting Nonsmoking Legislation (1989) With Bill Adler, Jr. ISBN 0-688-06295-4 "Dumbth": And 81 Ways to Make Americans Smarter (1989) ISBN 0-87975-539-3 1998 revised edition: ISBN 1-57392-237-4 Meeting of Minds, Vol. III (1989) ISBN 0-87975-566-0 Meeting of Minds, Vol. IV (1989) ISBN 0-87975-567-9 The Public Hating: A Collection of Short Stories (1990) ISBN 0-942637-22-4 Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion & Morality (1990) ISBN 0-87975-638-1 Hi-Ho, Steverino: The Story of My Adventures in the Wonderful Wacky World of Television (1992) ISBN 0-942637-55-0 large-print edition: ISBN 1-56054-521-6 More Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion & Morality (1993) ISBN 0-87975-736-1 Make ’em Laugh (1993) ISBN 0-87975-837-6 Reflections (1994) ISBN 0-87975-904-6 The Man Who Turned Back the Clock, and Other Short Stories (1995) ISBN 1-57392-002-9 The Bug and the Slug in the Rug (1995) ISBN 1-880851-17-2 But Seriously…: Steve Allen Speaks His Mind (1996) ISBN 1-57392-090-8 Steve Allen’s Songs: 100 Lyrics with Commentary (1999) ISBN 0-7864-0736-0 Steve Allen’s Private Joke File (2000) ISBN 0-609-80672-6 Vulgarians at the Gate: Trash TV and Raunch Radio—Raising the Standards of Popular Culture (2001) ISBN 1-57392-874-7 Allen’s series of mystery novels "starring" himself and wife Jayne Meadows were in part ghostwritten by Walter J. Sheldon, and later Robert Westbrook
The Talk Show Murders (1982) ISBN 0-440-08471-7 Murder on the Glitter Box (1989) ISBN 0-8217-2752-4 Murder in Manhattan (1990) ISBN 0-8217-3033-9 Murder in Vegas (1991) ISBN 0-8217-3462-8 The Murder Game (1993) ISBN 0-8217-4115-2 Murder on the Atlantic (1995) ISBN 0-8217-4647-2 Wake Up to Murder (1996) ISBN 1-57566-090-3 Die Laughing (1998) ISBN 1-57566-241-8 Murder in Hawaii (1999) ISBN 1-57566-375-9
Loretta Young (January 6, 1913 – August 12, 2000) was an Academy Award-winning American actress.
Early life She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah as Gretchen Young (she took the name Michaela at confirmation) she moved with her family to Hollywood when she was three years old. Loretta and her sisters Polly Ann Young and Elizabeth Jane Young (screen name Sally Blane) worked as child actresses, of whom Loretta was the most successful. Young’s first role was at age 3 in the silent film The Primrose Ring. The movie’s star Mae Murray so fell in love with little Gretchen that she wanted to adopt her. Although her mother declined, Gretchen was allowed to live with Murray for two years. Her half-sister Georgiana (daughter of her mother and stepfather George Belzer) eventually married actor Ricardo Montalban. During her high school years, she was educated at Ramona Convent Secondary School.
Death of Loretta young Loretta young died of ovarian cancer at the Santa Monica, California home of her half-sister, Georgiana Montalban, and was interred in the family plot in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Loretta young was 87 years old at the time of her death
Young has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — one for motion pictures, at 6104 Hollywood Blvd, and another for television, at 6141 Hollywood Blvd.
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Career She was billed as "Gretchen Young" in the 1917 film, Sirens of the Sea. It wasn’t until 1928 that she was first billed as "Loretta Young", in The Whip Woman. That same year she co-starred with Lon Chaney in the MGM film Laugh, Clown, Laugh.The next year, she was anointed one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars.
In 1930, Young, then 17, eloped with 26-year-old actor Grant Withers and married him in Yuma, Arizona. The marriage was annulled the next year, just as their second movie together (ironically titled Too Young to Marry) was released.
Young made as many as seven or eight movies a year and won an Oscar in 1947 for her performance in The Farmer’s Daughter. The same year she co-starred with Cary Grant and David Niven in The Bishop’s Wife, a perennial favorite that still airs on television during the Christmas season and was later remade as The Preacher’s Wife with Whitney Houston. In 1949, Young received another Academy Award nomination (for Come to the Stable) and in 1953 appeared in her last film, It Happens Every Thursday.
Moving to television, she hosted and starred in the well-received half hour anthology series The Loretta Young Show. Her "sweeping" trademark appearance at the beginning of each show was to appear dramatically in various high fashion evening gowns. She returned at the program’s conclusion to restate to the viewer the moral of the story just seen. (Young’s introductions and conclusions to her television shows, which were widely satirized at the time, are not rerun on television because she had it legally stipulated that they not be; the ever image-conscious Young didn’t want to be seen in "outdated" wardrobe and hairstyles.) Her program ran in prime time on NBC for eight years, the longest-running prime time network program ever hosted by a woman up to that time.
The program, which earned her three Emmys, began with the premise that each drama was an answer to a question asked in her fan mail; the program’s original title was Letter to Loretta. The title was changed to The Loretta Young Show during the first season, and the "letter" concept was dropped altogether at the end of the second season. At this time, Young’s health required that there be a number of guest hosts and guest stars; her first appearance in the 1955-56 season was for the Christmas show. From this point on, Young appeared in only about half of each season’s shows as an actress and merely functioned as the program host for the remainder. This program, minus Young’s introductions and summarized conclusions, was rerun in daytime by NBC from 1960 to 1964 and also appeared, again without the introductions and conclusions, in syndication.
Affair with Clark Gable In 1935, Young had an affair with Clark Gable, who was married at the time, while on location for The Call of the Wild. During their relationship, Young became pregnant. Due to the moral codes placed on the film industry Young covered up her pregnancy in order to avoid damaging her career (as well as Gable’s). Returning from a long "vacation" (during which she secretly gave birth to her daughter), Young announced that she had adopted the little girl. The child was raised as "Judy Lewis" after taking the name of Young’s second husband, producer Tom Lewis. According to Lewis’s autobiography Uncommon Knowledge, Lewis was made fun of because of the ears that she received from her father, Clark Gable. Over the years she had heard rumors and secretly knew that Clark Gable was her biological father, but it was not until 1958 when Judy’s future husband Joseph Tinney told her that "everybody" knew the rumors that she really began to suspect. It was not until a few years later, after becoming a mother herself, that she finally got the nerve to ask her mother, who, after promptly vomiting, admitted to her that Clark Gable was her father and the she was "a mortal sin."
Marriages and relationships Married to actor Grant Withers from 1930-1931. Married producer Tom Lewis in 1940 and they divorced very bitterly in the mid 1960s. Lewis died in 1988. They had two sons, Peter (Peter Lewis of the legendary San Francisco rock band Moby Grape) and Christopher, a film director. Married fashion designer Jean Louis in 1993. Louis died in 1997. Involved in affairs with Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable; in 1935, she gave birth to Gable’s daughter, who was known as Judy Lewis.
Later life Loretta Young was the godmother of actress Marlo Thomas, whose parents (her father was Danny Thomas), were, like Young, devout Roman Catholics. From the time of Young’s retirement in the 1960s, until not long before her death, she devoted herself to volunteer work for charities and churches with her friend of many years, Jane Wyman. Young did, however, briefly come out of retirement to star in two television films, Christmas Eve (1986), and Lady in a Corner (1989). Young was the mother of Peter Lewis, guitarist and vocalist of seminal 60’s San Francisco underground rock band Moby Grape.
Young died at 87 from ovarian cancer at the Santa Monica, California home of her half-sister, Georgiana Montalban, and was interred in the family plot in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Young has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — one for motion pictures, at 6104 Hollywood Blvd, and another for television, at 6141 Hollywood Blvd.
The Primrose Ring
Sirens of the Sea
The Only Way
Child on the operating table
White and Unmarried
Naughty But Nice
Her Wild Oat
Bit by Ping Pong Table
The Whip Woman
Laugh, Clown, Laugh
The Magnificent Flirt
The Head Man
Seven Footprints to Satan
One of Satan’s victims
The Girl in the Glass Cage
Patricia Mason Stratton
The Careless Age
The Forward Pass
The Show of Shows
Ann Harper Berry
The Man from Blankley’s
Show Girl in Hollywood
Herself, Cameo Appearance at Premiere
The Second Floor Mystery
Road to Paradise
Mary Brennan/Margaret Waring
Warner Bros. Jubilee Dinner
The Truth About Youth
The Devil to Pay!
How I Play Golf, by Bobby Jones No. 8: ‘The Brassie’
Walter John Matthau (October 1, 1920 – July 1, 2000) was an Academy Award-winning American actor best known for his role as Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple and his frequent collaborations with fellow Odd Couple star Jack Lemmon.
Death of Walter Matthau Walter Matthau died of full cardiac arrest on July 1, 2000 in Santa Monica, California. Walter Matthau was 79 years old at the time of his death.
After heart surgery, doctors discovered that he had colon cancer, which had spread to his liver, lungs and brain. However, on his death certificate the causes of death are listed as cardiac arrest and atherosclerotic heart disease, with ESRD and atrial fibrillation added as "other significant conditions contributing to death but not related to [primary] cause…"
He is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, next to fellow actor George C. Scott.
Almost exactly one year after Walter Matthau’s death, Jack Lemmon was also buried at the cemetery, after dying from cancer. After Matthau’s death, Lemmon as well as other friends and relatives appeared on Larry King Live in an hour of tribute and remembrance; poignantly, many of those same people appeared on the show one year later, reminiscing about Lemmon.
His widow, Carol, died of a brain aneurysm in 2003.
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Walter Matthau’s biography & filmographyy continues next page
Early life Walter Matthau was born in New York City’s Lower East Side on October 1, 1920, the son of Russian – Jewish immigrants. His original surname is often shown as Matuschanskayasky, but this is not true (see Original Name Rumor below for a detailed discussion).
Career During World War II Matthau served in the U.S. Army Air Forces with the Eighth Air Force in England as a B-24 Liberator radioman-gunner, in the same bomb group as Jimmy Stewart. He reached the rank of Staff Sergeant and became interested in acting. He often joked that his best early review came in a play where he posed as a derelict. One reviewer said, "The others just looked like actors in make-up, Walter Matthau really looks like a skid row bum!" Matthau was a respected stage actor for years in such fare as Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and A Shot in the Dark. He won the 1962 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a play. In 1952 Matthau appeared in the pilot of Mr. Peepers with Wally Cox. For reasons unknown he used the name Leonard Elliot. His role was of the gym teacher Mr. Wall. In 1955 he made his motion picture debut as a whip-wielding bad guy in The Kentuckian opposite Burt Lancaster. He appeared in many movies after this as a villain such as the 1958 King Creole (where he is beaten up by Elvis Presley). That same year, he made a western called Ride a Crooked Trail with Audie Murphy and the notorious flop Onionhead starring Andy Griffith and Erin O’Brien. Matthau also directed a low budget 1960 movie called The Gangster Story. In 1962, he won acclaim as a sympathetic sheriff in Lonely are the Brave. He also played a villainous war veteran in Charade, which starred Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.
In addition to his busy movie and stage schedule, Matthau made many television appearances in live TV plays. Although he was constantly working, it seemed that the fact that he was not handsome in the traditional sense would keep him from being a top star.
Success came late for Matthau. In 1965, aged 44, Neil Simon cast him in the hit play The Odd Couple opposite Art Carney. In 1966, he again achieved success as a shady lawyer opposite future friend and frequent co-star, actor Jack Lemmon, in The Fortune Cookie. During filming, the film had to be placed on a five month hiatus after he suffered a heart attack.
He won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for that movie, and also made a memorable acceptance speech. He was visibly banged up, having been involved in a bicycle accident shortly before the awards show. He scolded nominated actors who were perfectly healthy and had not bothered to come to the ceremony, especially three of the other four major award winners: Elizabeth Taylor, Sandy Dennis and Paul Scofield.
Matthau and Lemmon became lifelong friends after making The Fortune Cookie and made a total of ten movies together (eleven if we count Kotch, in which Lemmon has a cameo as a sleeping bus passenger), including the movie version of The Odd Couple (with Lemmon playing the Art Carney role) and the popular 1993 hit Grumpy Old Men and its sequel Grumpier Old Men with Sophia Loren.
Matthau hummed the same tune in most of his movies, The Fortune Cookie, Grumpy Old Men, Grumpier Old Men etc.
Marriages Matthau was married twice; first to Grace Geraldine Johnson (1948 – 1958), from 1959 until his death in 2000 to Carol Marcus. He had two children, Jenny Matthau and David Matthau, with his first wife, and a son, Charlie Matthau, with his second. His grandchildren include William Matthau and Emily Roman. His son, Charlie, directed Matthau in the movie The Grass Harp (1995).
Original name rumor There is a persistent rumor that his birth name was Matuschanskayasky, which is false, as are the rumors that his name was Matashansky or Matansky, or any of the other reported names. In truth – as reported by the authors of Matthau: A Life by Rob Edelman and Audrey Kupferberg (along with Walter’s son, Charlie Matthau), Walter was a teller of tall tales. In his youth, he found that the joy of embellishment lifted a story (and the listener) to such enjoyable heights that he could not resist trying to pass off the most bogus of information, just to see who was gullible enough to believe it. Matthau told many stories to many reputable people – including the Social Security Administration.
When he registered for a number, he was amazed that they only wanted him to write his name, and offer no proof of his identity. So, as another of his traditional goofs, he wrote that his true name was "Walter Foghorn Matthau".
The "Matuschanskayasky" name rumor culminated with the release of 1974’s Earthquake. The executive producer, Jennings Lang, had worked with Matthau the previous year on the film Charley Varrick, and convinced him to take a small cameo role in the film – the small part scripted only as a "drunk at the end of the bar." On a whim, Matthau agreed to take the part, without compensation, on the condition that he not be credited under his real name. After Matthau agreed, the part of the "drunk" was expanded to provide comic relief for the film, the character offering toasts to various people (Spiro Agnew, Bobby Riggs, and Peter Fonda), as well as delivering the punchline "Hey, who do you have to know to get a drink around here?" in the midst of a bar devastated by a major earthquake.
As requested, when it came time to insert the credits for Earthquake, the long name "Matuschanskayasky" was used, as agreed, by Jennings Lang and Matthau.
Despite the facts, this fake name continued to appear in the World Almanac section on "Original Names of Selected Entertainers" as recently as the 2007 edition (p.235).
Awards Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor 1966 for The Fortune Cookie
Filmography Atomic Attack (1950) (short subject) The Kentuckian (1955) The Indian Fighter (1955) Bigger Than Life (1956) A Face in the Crowd (1957) Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1957) King Creole (1958) Voice in the Mirror (1958) Ride a Crooked Trail (1958) Onionhead (1958) Gangster Story (1960) (also director) Strangers When We Meet (1960) Lonely are the Brave (1962) Who’s Got the Action? (1962) Island of Love (1963) Charade (1963) Ensign Pulver (1964) Fail-Safe (1964) Goodbye Charlie (1964) Mirage (1965) The Fortune Cookie (1966) A Guide for the Married Man (1967) The Odd Couple (1968) The Secret Life of an American Wife (1968) Candy (1968) Hello, Dolly! (1969) Cactus Flower (1969) A New Leaf (1971) Plaza Suite (1971) Kotch (1971) Pete ‘n’ Tillie (1972) The Laughing Policeman (1973) Charley Varrick (1973) The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Earthquake (1974) (credited as "Walter Matuschanskayasky") The Front Page (1974) The Lion Roars Again (1975) (short subject) The Gentleman Tramp (1975) (documentary) The Sunshine Boys (1975) The Bad News Bears (1976) Casey’s Shadow (1978) House Calls (1978) California Suite (1978) Portrait of a 60% Perfect Man (1980) (documentary) Little Miss Marker (1980) Hopscotch (1980) First Monday in October (1981) Buddy Buddy (1981) I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982) The Survivors (1983) Movers & Shakers (1985) Pirates (1986) The Little Devil (1988) The Couch Trip (1988) JFK (1991) as Senator Russell B. Long Beyond ‘JFK’: The Question of Conspiracy (1992) (documentary) Dennis the Menace (1993) Grumpy Old Men (1993) I.Q. (1994) The Grass Harp (1995) Grumpier Old Men (1995) I’m Not Rappaport (1996) Out to Sea (1997) The Odd Couple II (1998) The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998) (documentary) Hanging Up (2000)
TV work Dry Run, episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents series (1959) Juno and the Paycock (1960) Tallahassee 7000 (cast member in 1961) Awake and Sing! (1972) Actor (1978) The Stingiest Man in Town (1978) (voice) The Incident (1990) Mrs Lambert Remembers Love (1991) Against Her Will: An Incident in Baltimore (1992) Incident in a Small Town (1994) The Marriage Fool (1998)
Stage appearances Anne of the Thousand Days (1948) (replacement) The Liar (1950) Twilight Walk (1951) Fancy Meeting You Again (1952) One Bright Day (1952) In Any Language (1952) The Grey-Eyed People (1952) The Ladies of the Corridor (1953) The Burning Glass (1953) Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter (1955) Once More, with Feeling! (1958) Once There Was a Russian (1961) A Shot in the Dark (1961) My Mother, My Father and Me (1963) The Odd Couple (1965)
Tito Puente, Sr., (April 20, 1923 – May 31, 2000 or June 1, 2000 according to IMDb), born Ernesto Antonio Puente, Jr., was an influential Latin jazz and mambo musician. The son of native Puerto Ricans Ernest and Ercilia Puente, of Spanish Harlem in New York City, Puente is often credited as "El Rey" (the King) of the timbales and "The King of Latin Music". He is best known for dance-oriented mambo and Latin jazz compositions that helped keep his career going for 50 years. He and his music appear in many films such as The Mambo Kings and Fernando Trueba’s Calle 54. He guest starred on several television shows including The Cosby Show and The Simpsons.
Death of Tito Puente Tito Puente Died of a heart attack Tito Puente was 77 years old at the time of his death.
Biography Tito Puente Sr. served in the Navy for three years during World War II after being drafted in 1942. He was discharged with a Presidential Commendation for serving in nine battles. The GI Bill allowed him to study music at Juilliard School of Music, where he completed a formal education in conducting, orchestration and theory. In 1969, he received the key to the City of New York from former Mayor John Lindsay. In 1992 he was inducted into the National Congressional Record, and in 1993 he received the Smithsonian Medal.
During the 1950s, Puente was at the height of his popularity, and helped to bring Afro-Cuban and Caribbean sounds, like mambo, son, and cha-cha-cha, to mainstream audiences (he was so successful playing popular Afro-Cuban rhythms that many people mistakenly identify him as Cuban). Dance Mania, possibly Puente’s most well known album was released in 1958. Later, he moved into more diverse sounds, including pop music, bossa nova and others, eventually settling down with a fusion of Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz genres that became known as "salsa" (a term that he disliked). In 1979 Puente won the first of five Grammy Awards for the albums A Tribute to Benny Moré, On Broadway, Mambo Diablo, and Goza Mi Timbal. In 1990, Puente was awarded the "James Smithson Bicentennial Medal." He was also awarded a Grammy at the first Latin Grammy Awards, winning Best Traditional Tropical Album for Mambo Birdland. He was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.
After a heart attack following a show in Puerto Rico, Puente had heart surgery in New York City, from which he never recovered. He died on May 31, 2000, just a few months after shooting for the music video Calle 54, in which Puente was wearing all-white outfit with his band
Honors During the presidency of Sen. Roberto Rexach Benítez, Tito Puente received the unique honor of not only having a special session of the Senate of Puerto Rico dedicated to him, but being allowed to perform in his unique style on the floor of the Senate while it was in session.
On September 10, 2007, a United States Post Office in Harlem was named after him at a ceremony presided by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Rep. José Serrano (D-NY).
Discography – too long to list here, Tito Puente is a legend
Douglas Elton Fairbanks, Jr., KBE, DSC, K.st.j. (December 9, 1909 – May 7, 2000) was an American actor and a highly decorated naval officer of World War II.
Birth of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was born in New York City, the son of actor Douglas Fairbanks and his first wife, Anna Beth Sully. His parents divorced when he was ten years old. He lived with his mother in California, Paris, and London.
Death of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. died of a heart attack in New York.
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was 90 years old at the time of his death. He is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, in the same crypt as his father.
Largely on the basis of his name, he was given a contract at age fourteen with Paramount Pictures. After making some undistinguished films, he took to the stage, where he impressed his father, his stepmother Mary Pickford, and Charlie Chaplin, who encouraged him to continue with acting.
He began his career during the silent era. He was exceptionally handsome and initially played mainly supporting roles in a range of films featuring many of the leading female players of the day, Belle Bennett in Stella Dallas (1925), Esther Ralston in An American Venus (1926)and Pauline Starke in Women Love Diamonds (1927). In the last years of the silent period he was upped to star billing opposite Loretta Young in several pre-Code films, and Joan Crawford in Our Modern Maidens (1929). He supported John Gilbert and Greta Garbo in Woman of Affairs (1929). Progressing to sound, he played opposite Katharine Hepburn in her Oscar-winning role in the film Morning Glory (1933).
With Outward Bound (1930), The Dawn Patrol (1930), Little Caesar (1931), and Gunga Din (1939), his movies began to have more commercial success.
His first notable relationship was with the actress Joan Crawford, whom he began to seriously date during the filming of their film Our Modern Maidens. On June 3, 1929, at City Hall in New York City, Crawford and Fairbanks married. He was technically underage, so one year was added to his birth (giving him 1908 as his year of birth), and Crawford shed three years from her age, which would remain shed until long after her death, giving her the same year of birth that Fairbanks had created for himself, 1908.
They went on a delayed honeymoon to England, where he was entertained by Noel Coward and George, Duke of Kent. He became active in both society and politics, but Crawford was far more interested in her career and her new affair with Clark Gable. The couple divorced in 1933.
Despite their divorce, Fairbanks and Crawford maintained a good relationship. In his later years, Fairbanks was quick to defend Crawford when her adopted daughter Christina Crawford, published Mommie Dearest, a scathing biography of Crawford’s personal life. He firmly stated, "The Joan Crawford that I’ve heard about in Mommie Dearest is not the Joan Crawford I knew back when."
On April 22, 1939, he married Mary Lee Hartford (née Mary Lee Epling), a former wife of George Huntington Hartford, the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company heir. Douglas and Mary Lee were happily married for nearly fifty years, until Mary Lee died in 1988. They had three daughters, Daphne (married David Weston), Victoria (married Barend Van Gerbig) and Melissa (married Richard Morant). Douglas and Mary Lee had eight grandchildren:Anthony, Nicholas, Dominic and Natasha Weston; Barend and Eliza Isabella O Van Gerbig and Joseph and Crystal Morant. Their great grandchildren are:Benji, Hugo and Alfie Weston; Georgina and Eliza Weston; Aislinn and Charlie Weston; Violette Stymmel-Morant.
World War II
In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed him a special envoy to South America.
Although celebrated as an actor, Fairbanks most enduring legacy was a well-kept secret for decades. At the onset of World War II, Fairbanks was commissioned a reserve officer in the United States Navy and assigned to Lord Mountbatten’s Commando staff in England.
Having witnessed (and participated in) British training and cross-channel harassment operations emphasizing the military art of deception, Fairbanks attained a depth of understanding and appreciation of military deception then unheard of in the United States Navy. Lieutenant Fairbanks was subsequently transferred to Virginia Beach where he came under the command of Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, who was preparing U.S. Naval forces for the invasion of North Africa.
Fairbanks was able to convince Hewitt of the advantages of such a unit, and Admiral Hewitt soon took Fairbanks to Washington, D.C. to sell the idea to the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Ernest King. Fairbanks succeeded and ADM King issued a secret letter on 5 March 1943 charging the Vice Chief of Naval Operations with the recruitment of 180 officers and 300 enlisted men for the Beach Jumper program.
The Beach Jumpers mission would simulate amphibious landings with a very limited force. Operating dozens of kilometers from the actual landing beaches and utilizing their deception equipment, the Beach Jumpers would lure the enemy into believing that theirs was the location of the amphibious beach landing, when in fact the actual amphibious landing would be conducted at another location. Even if the enemy was less than 100-percent convinced of the deception, the uncertainty created by the operations could conceivably delay enemy reinforcement of the actual landing area by several crucial hours.
United States Navy Beach Jumpers saw their initial action in Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. Throughout the remainder of the war, the Beach Jumpers conducted their hazardous, shallow-water operations throughout the Mediterranean.
For his planning the diversion-deception operations and his part in the amphibious assault on Southern France, Lieutenant Commander Fairbanks was awarded the United States Navy’s Legion of Merit with bronze V (for valor), the Italian War Cross for Military Valor, the French Legion d’Honneur and the Croix de Guerre with Palm, and the British Distinguished Service Cross. Fairbanks was also awarded the Silver Star for valor displayed while serving on PT boats.
He was made an Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) in 1949.
It is not a stretch to say that Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was the father of the United States Navy’s Information Operations. As for the Beach Jumpers, they changed names several times in the decades following World War II, expanded their focus, and are currently known as the Navy Information Operations Command. Fairbanks stayed in the Naval Reserve after the war and ultimately retired a captain in 1954.
Many of the Navy’s most important information operations since World War II remain classified, but it is clear that the U.S. military retains its interest in this art of war.
Fairbanks returned to Hollywood at the conclusion of World War II and enjoyed success as host of the Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Theater in the early years of television.
Fairbanks was a confirmed Anglophile and spent a good deal of his time in Britain, where he was well known in the highest social circles. Between 1954 and 1956 he also made a number of half-hour movies for television at one of the smaller Elstree film studios. The College of Arms in London granted Fairbanks a coat of arms symbolising the U.S. and Britain united across the blue Atlantic Ocean by a silken knot of friendship.
It has been claimed that Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was one of the naked men in the incriminating photos which were used as evidence in the divorce trial of Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll in 1963.
He was good friends with legendary English stage and screen actor Sir Laurence Olivier, and was one of the contributors to a documentary of Olivier’s life The South Bank Show Laurence Olivier: A Life.
He was the celebrated godfather of actor, John Bouvier Slatton, a relationship that he was proud of and cherished in his later years. Upon Slatton’s death in an airplane accident, several months before his own death, Fairbanks was distraught with grief.
He died of a heart attack in New York at the age of 90. He is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, in the same crypt as his father.
Legacy Fairbanks has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures at 6318 Hollywood Boulevard and one for television at 6665 Hollywood Boulevard.
American Aristocracy (1916)
The Three Musketeers (1921)
Stephen Steps Out (1923)
The Air Mail (1925)
Wild Horse Mesa (1925)
Stella Dallas (1925)
The American Venus (1926)
Broken Hearts of Hollywood (1926)
Man Bait (1927)
Women Love Diamonds (1927)
Is Zat So? (1927)
A Texas Steer (1927)
Dead Man’s Curve (1928)
Modern Mothers (1928)
The Toilers (1928)
The Power of the Press (1928)
The Barker (1928)
A Woman of Affairs (1928)
Hollywood Snapshots #11 (1929) (short subject)
The Forward Pass (1929)
The Jazz Age (1929)
Our Modern Maidens (1929)
Little Caesar (1931)
Catherine the Great (1934)
Man of the Moment (1935)
The Amateur Gentleman (1936)
The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
Joy of Living (1938)
The Rage of Paris (1938)
Having Wonderful Time (1938)
Gunga Din (1939)
Green Hell (1940)
Angels Over Broadway (1940)
The Corsican Brothers (1941)
Sinbad the Sailor (1947)
The Exile (1947)
Ghost Story (1981)
Stephen L. Reeves (January 21, 1926 – May 1, 2000), was an American bodybuilder, actor, and author. Steve Reeves known as a pioneer who inspired Hollywood musclemen such as Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Death of Steve Reeves
Steve Reeves died at a hospital in San Diego of complications from lymphoma, a type of cancer.
Stephen Reeves was 74 years old at the time of his death.
Born in Glasgow, Montana, Steve Reeves moved to California at the age of 10 with his mother Goldie, after his father Lester Dell Reeves died in a farming accident. Reeves developed an interest in bodybuilding while in high school and trained at Ed Yarick’s gym in Oakland. By the time he was 17 he had developed a Herculean build, long before the rise in general interest in bodybuilding. After graduating from high school, he entered the Army during the latter part of World War II, and served in the Pacific.
Reeves won the following bodybuilding titles:
1946 – Mr. Pacific Coast
1947 – Mr. Western America
1947 – Mr. America
1948 – Mr. World
1950 – Mr. Universe
By his own account, his best cold (unpumped) measurements at the peak of his bodybuilding activity were:
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Neck: 18 1/4"
Biceps: 18 1/4"
Calves: 18 1/4"
Reeves was known for his "V-taper" and for the great width of his shoulders, which Armand Tanny once measured at 23 1/2" using outside calipers.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding states:
By [the 1940s] the distinction between lifting weights purely for strength and training with weights to shape and proportion the body had been clearly made. … However, bodybuilding still remained an obscure sport. No champion was known to the general public–that is, until Steve Reeves came along. Reeves was the right man in the right place at the right time. He was handsome, personable, and had a magnificent physique. Survivors from the Muscle Beach era recall how crowds used to follow Reeves when he walked along the beach, and how people who knew nothing about him would simply stop and stare, awestruck.
After his military service, Reeves decided to try his hand at acting, having been told endlessly that he had the rugged good looks of a Hollywood star. After some intensive actor training, he came to the attention of film director Cecil B. De Mille, who considered him for the part of Samson in Samson and Delilah (1949). After a dispute over his physique in which De Mille and the studio wanted Reeves to lose 15 pounds of muscle, the part finally went to Victor Mature.
In 1954 he had a co-starring role in his first major motion picture, the musical Athena playing Jane Powell’s boyfriend. The same year Reeves had a small role as a cop in the Ed Wood film Jail Bait. This is one of the few opportunities to hear Reeves’ voice as most of his later films were dubbed. Reeves’ appearance in Athena prompted Italian director Pietro Francisci’s daughter to suggest him for the role of Hercules in her father’s upcoming movie. In 1957, Reeves went to Italy and played the title character in Francisci’s Hercules, which was released in Italy in February 1958 and in the U.S. in July 1959. The film’s cinematographer Mario Bava claimed credit for suggesting that Reeves grow a beard for the role. Following the U.S. release, the film was an enormous hit and created a new sub-genre of the sword and sandal film (also known as the peplum film): the ‘Hercules’ or ‘strong man’ movie. The film is now in public domain and can be downloaded from the Internet Archive.
From 1959 through 1964, Reeves went on to appear in a string of sword and sandal movies, and although he is best known for his portrayal of the Greek hero Hercules, he played the character only twice – in the 1958 film Hercules and the sequel Hercules Unchained (released in the U.S. in 1960). He played a number of other characters on screen, including Sir Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s Glaucus of Pompeii; Goliath (also called Emiliano); Tatar hero Hadji Murad; Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome (opposite Gordon Scott as his twin brother Remus); the famous Olympian and war-time messenger of the Battle of Marathon, Pheidippides (The Giant of Marathon); pirate and self-proclaimed governor of Jamaica Captain Henry Morgan; and Karim, the Thief of Baghdad. Twice he played Aeneas of Troy and twice he played Emilio Salgari’s Malaysian hero, Sandokan.
Paramount considered Reeves for the title role of their film version of the Broadway musical Li’l Abner in 1958, but the part eventually went to Peter Palmer. After the box office success of Hercules, Reeves turned down a number of parts that subsequently made the careers of other actors. He was asked to star as James Bond in Dr. No (1962), which he turned down. He also declined the role that finally went to Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars (1964).
During the filming of The Last Days of Pompeii, Reeves dislocated his shoulder when his chariot crashed into a tree. Reeves pulled the joint back into its socket by himself and chose to continue filming and performing his own stunts. Swimming in a subsequent underwater escape scene he reinjured his shoulder. The injury would be aggravated by his stunt work in each successive film, ultimately leading him to retire early.
In 1968 Reeves appeared in his final film, a spaghetti western which he also co-wrote, titled A Long Ride From Hell, fulfilling his wish to make a Western before he retired. George Pal had considered him for the title role of Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze but delays in filming had the part eventually go to Ron Ely. At the peak of his career, he was the highest-paid actor in Europe. His last screen appearance was in 2000 when he appeared as himself in the made-for-television A&E Biography: Arnold Schwarzenegger – Flex Appeal.
Later life Later in his life, Reeves promoted drug-free bodybuilding and bred horses. The last two decades of his life were spent in Valley Center (Escondido), California. He bought a ranch with his savings and lived there with his second wife Aline until her death in 1989. On May 1, 2000, Reeves died from complications of lymphoma.
Athena (1954) an MGM musical starring Debbie Reynolds, Jane Powell, and Edmund Purdom
Jail Bait (1954) directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.
Hercules (1958) aka The Labors of Hercules
Hercules Unchained (1959) aka Hercules and the Queen of Lydia
The Giant of Marathon (1959) aka The Battle of Marathon
Goliath and the Barbarians (1959) aka Terror of the Barbarians
The Last Days of Pompeii (1959)
The White Warrior (1959) directed by Riccardo Freda
Morgan, the Pirate (1960)
The Thief of Bagdad (1960)
Duel of the Titans (1961) aka Romulus and Remus
The Trojan Horse (1961) aka The Trojan War
The Avenger (1962) aka The Last Glory of Troy
The Slave (1962) aka Son of Spartacus
Sandokan The Great (1964) directed by Umberto Lenzi
Pirates of Malaysia (1964) aka Pirates of the Seven Seas
A Long Ride From Hell (1967) spaghetti western
Lawrence Lavonne "Larry" Linville (September 29, 1939 – April 10, 2000) was an American actor. Larry Linville was born in Ojai, California, and is best known for his portrayal of obnoxious, self-important Major Frank Burns in the television series M*A*S*H.
Health and death A longtime smoker and drinker, Linville began to suffer in the late 1990s as his excesses began to catch up with him. In February 1998, he underwent surgery to remove part of his lung after doctors found a malignant tumor under his sternum. His health problems continued over the next two years. Linville died of pneumonia in New York City on April 10, 2000, after complications from cancer surgery. Linville died on fellow M*A*S*H actor Harry Morgan’s 85th birthday.
Larry Linville was 60 years old at the time of his death
Claire Trevor (March 8, 1910 – April 8, 2000) was an Academy Award-winning American actress. Beautiful and talented, she was nicknamed the "Queen of Film Noir" because of her many appearances in "bad girl” roles in film noir and other black-and-white thrillers. She appeared in over 60 films.
Death of Claire Trevor
Claire Trevor died of respiratory failure in Newport Beach, April 8, 2000.
Claire Trevor was 90 years old at the time of her death.
Claire Trevor is survived by several stepchildren by her marriage to Bren. Claire Trevor was cremated and her remains were scattered at sea.
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1948 for Key Largo
Early life Trevor was born as Claire Wemlinger in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York, the only child of a 5th Avenue merchant-tailor and his wife. Her family was of Irish American and French American descent.
Early life Trevor was born as Claire Wemlinger in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York, the only child of a 5th Avenue merchant-tailor and his wife. Her family was of Irish American and French American descent.
Trevor’s acting career spanned more than seven decades and included success in stage, radio, television and film. Trevor often played the hard-boiled blonde, and every conceivable type of "bad girl" role. After attending American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she began her acting career in the late ’20s in stock. By 1932 she was starring on Broadway; that same year she began appearing in Brooklyn-filmed Vitaphone shorts. Her first credited film role was in the 1933 film Life in the Raw, with her feature film debut coming that same year in Jimmy and Sally (1933), with her portraying "Sally Johnson". From 1933 through 1938 Trevor starred in twenty nine films, often having either the lead role or the role of heroine. In 1937 she starred with Humphrey Bogart in Dead End, which would lead to her being nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
By 1939 she was well established as a solid "leading lady". Some of her most memorable performances during this period were opposite John Wayne, including the classic 1939 western Stagecoach, which was Wayne’s breakthrough role. She also starred opposite Wayne in Allegheny Uprising that same year, and again in 1940 in Dark Command. Another two of her more memorable roles was when she starred in Murder, My Sweet opposite Dick Powell, and fellow film noir flick Born to Kill playing a divorcee who gets more than she bargained for by falling in love with a bad boy who impulsively murders.
Awards and nominations Trevor seemed to have her best performances when starring with either John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart. Of the Academy Award nominations and wins that she earned, two were starring opposite Bogart, and one was opposite Wayne. Although she was not nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Wayne’s 1939 breakthrough film, Stagecoach, the film itself received Academy Award nominations in four categories, winning two of them.
Her awards and accolades include;
She was nominated for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Dead End, a 1937 melodrama in which she played a good girl who grows up to be a prostitute, which co-starred Humphrey Bogart.
Trevor won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her 1948 performance in Key Largo, co-starring Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Lauren Bacall.
In 1956, Trevor won an Emmy for Best Live Television Performance by an Actress for Dodsworth, with Fredric March, on NBC’s Producers’ Showcase.
She was nominated again for an Academy Award for her performance in The High and the Mighty, a 1954 airplane disaster epic starring John Wayne.
The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine was named in Trevor’s honor. Both her Oscar and Emmy trophies are on display in the Arts Plaza there, next to the Claire Trevor Theatre.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Private life Trevor married film producer Clark Andrews in 1938, but they divorced four years later. Her second marriage to Cylos William Dunsmoore produced a son, Charles. The marriage ended in divorce in 1947. The next year, Trevor married Milton Bren, another film producer and soon after moved to Newport Beach, California.
In 1978 her only biological child, her son Charles Dunsmoore, died in an airliner crash and her last husband, Milton Bren, died from a brain tumor in 1979. Trevor retired from acting in 1987. She made a special Academy Awards Appearance in 1998 at the 70th Academy Awards.
She died of respiratory failure in Newport Beach, April 8, 2000 at the age of 90, survived by several stepchildren by her marriage to Bren. Claire Trevor was cremated and her remains were scattered at sea.
Dante’s Inferno (1935)
15 Maiden Lane (1936)
Dead End (1937)
The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)
I Stole a Million (1939)
Allegheny Uprising (1939)
Dark Command (1940)
Honky Tonk (1941)
Street of Chance (1942)
Murder, My Sweet (1944)
Johnny Angel (1945)
Born to Kill (1947)
Raw Deal (1948)
The Velvet Touch (1948)
The Babe Ruth Story (1948)
Key Largo (1948)
Raw Deal (1948)
The High and the Mighty (1954)
The Mountain (1956)
Marjorie Morningstar (1958)
How to Murder Your Wife (1965)
Pee Wee King, born Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski (February 18, 1914 – March 07, 2000), was an American country music songwriter and recording artist. He was born in Milwaukee to a Polish American family and lived in Abrams, Wisconsin, during his youth.
King’s songs included "The Tennessee Waltz", "Slow Poke", and "You Belong to Me". His songs introduced waltzes, polkas, and cowboy songs to country music. King joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1937
He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1974. He died of a heart attack in Louisville, Kentucky, at age 86.
Charles Monroe Schulz (November 26, 1922 – February 12, 2000) was a 20th-century American cartoonist best known worldwide for his Peanuts comic strip.
Charles M. Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and grew up in Saint Paul. He was the only child of Carl Schulz, who was German, and Dena, who was Norwegian. His uncle nicknamed him "Sparky" after the horse Spark Plug in the Barney Google comic strip.
Schulz attended St. Paul’s Richard Gordon Elementary School, where he skipped two half-grades. He became a shy and isolated teenager, perhaps as a result of being the youngest in his class at Central High School.
Charles Schulz’s death. Charles Schulz died in Santa Rosa of complications from colon cancer at 9:45 p.m. on February 12, 2000. Charles Schulz was 77 years old at the time of his death. He was interred in Pleasant Hills Cemetery in Sebastopol.
After his mother died in February 1943, he was drafted into the United States Army and was sent to Camp Campbell in Kentucky. He was shipped to Europe two years later to fight in World War II as an infantry squad patrol with the U.S. 20th Armored Division.
After leaving the army in 1945, he returned to Minneapolis where he took a job as an art teacher at Art Instruction, Inc. — he had taken correspondence courses before he was drafted. Schulz, before having his comics published, began doing lettering work for a Catholic comic magazine titled Timeless Topix, where he would rush back and forth from dropping off his lettering work and teaching at Art Instruction Schools, Inc.
Schulz’s drawings were first published by Robert Ripley in his Ripley’s Believe It or Not!. His first regular cartoons, Li’l Folks, were published from 1947 to 1950 by the St. Paul Pioneer Press; he first used the name Charlie Brown for a character there, although he applied the name in four gags to three different boys and one buried in sand. The series also had a dog that looked much like Snoopy. In 1948, Schulz sold a cartoon to the Saturday Evening Post; the first of seventeen single-panel cartoons by Schulz that would be published there. In 1948, Schulz tried to have Li’l Folks syndicated through the Newspaper Enterprise Association. Schulz would have been an independent contractor for the syndicate, unheard of in the 1940s, but the deal fell through. Li’l Folks was dropped in January, 1950.
Later that year, Schulz approached the United Feature Syndicate with his best strips from Li’l Folks, and Peanuts made its first appearance on October 2, 1950. The strip became one of the most popular comic strips of all time. He also had a short-lived sports-oriented comic strip called It’s Only a Game (1957 – 1959), but abandoned it due to the demands of the successful Peanuts. From 1956 to 1965 he also contributed a single-panel strip ("Young Pillars") featuring teenagers to Youth, a publication associated with the Church of God (Anderson).
Charlie Brown, the principal character for Peanuts, was named after a co-worker at the Art Instruction Schools; he drew much of his inspiration, however, from his own life:
Like Charlie Brown, Schulz’s father was a barber and his mother a housewife.
Schulz had a dog when he was a boy. Unlike Snoopy the beagle, it was a pointer. Eventually, it was revealed that Snoopy had a desert-dwelling brother named Spike.
Spike’s residence, outside of Needles, California, was likely influenced by the few years (1928 – 1930) that the Schulz family lived there; they had moved to Needles to join other family members who had relocated from Minnesota to tend to an ill cousin.
Schulz was also shy and withdrawn.
Schulz’s "Little Red-Haired Girl" was Donna Johnson, an Art Instruction Schools accountant with whom he had a relationship. She rejected his marriage proposal, but remained a friend for the rest of his life.
Linus and Shermy were both named for good friends of his (Linus Maurer and Sherman Plepler, respectively).
Lucy was inspired by Joyce Halverson, his first wife.
Peppermint Patty was inspired by Patricia Swanson, one of his cousins on his mother’s side.
Schulz moved briefly to Colorado Springs, Colorado. He painted a wall in that home for his daughter Meredith, featuring Patty, Charlie Brown and Snoopy. The wall was removed in 2001 and donated to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California. The restored artwork by Schulz is printed in the paperback edition of Chip Kidd’s book Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz.
Schulz’s family returned to Minneapolis and stayed until 1958. They then moved to Sebastopol, California, where Schulz built his first studio. It was here that Schulz was interviewed for the unaired television documentary A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Some of the footage was eventually used in a later documentary titled Charlie Brown and Charles Schulz. The original documentary is available on DVD from The Charles M. Schulz Museum.
Schulz’s father died while visiting him in 1966, the same year his Sebastopol studio burned down. By 1969, Schulz had moved to Santa Rosa, California, where he lived and worked for more than 30 years.
Schulz had a long association with ice sports, as both figure skating and ice hockey featured prominently in his cartoons. In Santa Rosa, he was the owner of the Redwood Empire Ice Arena, which opened in 1969. Schulz’s daughter Amy served as a model for the skating in the 1980 television special She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown. Schulz also was very active in Senior Ice Hockey tournaments; in 1975, he formed Snoopy’s Senior World Hockey Tournament at his Redwood Empire Ice Arena, and in 1981, Schulz was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to the sport of hockey in the United States. In 1998, he hosted the 1st ever Over 75 Hockey Tournament (although goalies could be younger – 60). In 2001, Saint Paul renamed The Highland Park Ice Arena the "Charles Schulz Arena" in his honor.
The first full-scale biography of Schulz, Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography, by David Michaelis, was released in October 2007. The book has been heavily criticized by the Schulz family, while Michaelis maintains that there is "no question" his work is accurate. However, fellow artist Bill Watterson (creator of Calvin & Hobbes) feels that the biography does justice to Schulz’s legacy, while giving insight into the emotional impetus of the creation of the strips.
In light of David Michaelis’ biography and the controversy surrounding his interpretation of the personality that was Charles Schulz, responses from his family reveal some intimate knowledge about the Schulz’s persona beyond that of mere artist.
Peanuts ran for nearly 50 years without interruption and appeared in more than 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries. In November 1999 Schulz suffered a stroke, and later it was discovered that he had colon cancer that had metastasized to his stomach. Because of the chemotherapy and the fact he could not read or see clearly, he announced his retirement on December 14, 1999. This was difficult for Schulz, and he was quoted as saying to Al Roker on The Today Show, "I never dreamed that this would happen to me. I always had the feeling that I would stay with the strip until I was in my early eighties, or something like that. But all of sudden it’s gone. I did not take it away. This has been taken away from me."
Schulz died in Santa Rosa of complications from colon cancer at 9:45 p.m. on February 12, 2000, at age 77. He was interred in Pleasant Hills Cemetery in Sebastopol.
The last original strip ran the day after his death. In it, a statement was included from Schulz that his family wished for the strip to end when he was no longer able to produce it. Schulz had previously predicted that the strip would outlive him, with his reason being that comic strips are usually drawn weeks before their publication. As part of his will, Schulz had requested that the Peanuts characters remain as authentic as possible and that no new comic strips based on them be drawn. United Features has legal ownership of the strip, but his wishes have been honored, although reruns of the strip are still being syndicated to newspapers. New television specials have also been produced since Schulz’s death, but the stories are based on previous strips.
Schulz had been asked if, for his final Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown would finally get to kick that football after so many decades. His response: "Oh, no! Definitely not! I couldn’t have Charlie Brown kick that football; that would be a terrible disservice to him after nearly half a century."
He was honored on May 27, 2000, by cartoonists of 42 comic strips paying homage to him and Peanuts.
Schulz received the National Cartoonist Society Humor Comic Strip Award in 1962 for Peanuts, the Society’s Elzie Segar Award in 1980, their Reuben Award for 1955 and 1964, and their Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. He was also a hockey fan; in 1981, Schulz was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding contributions to the sport of hockey in the United States, and he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993. On June 28, 1996, Schulz was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, adjacent to Walt Disney’s. A replica of this star appears outside his former studio in Santa Rosa. Schulz is a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest adult award given by the Boy Scouts of America, for his service to American youth.
On June 7, 2001 the United States Congress posthumously awarded Schulz the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor the US legislature can award. Schulz’s widow, Jean, accepted the award on behalf of her late husband.
Schulz was inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2007.
In 2000, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors rechristened the Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport in his honor. The airport’s logo features Snoopy in goggles and scarf, taking to the skies on top of his red doghouse.
The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa opened on August 17, 2002, two blocks away from his former studio and celebrates his life’s work and art of cartooning. A bronze statue of Charlie Brown and Snoopy stands in Depot Park in downtown Santa Rosa.
The Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center at Sonoma State University is one of the largest libraries in the CSU system and the state of California with a 400,000 volume general collection and with a 750,000 volume automated retrieval system capacity. The $41.5 million building was named after Schulz and his wife donated a large sum of the money, $5 million, needed to build and furnish the structure. The library opened in 2000 and now stands as one of the largest buildings in the university.
Peanuts on Parade has been Saint Paul, Minnesota’s tribute to its favorite native cartoonist. It began in 2000 with the placing of 101 five-foot tall statues of Snoopy throughout the city of Saint Paul. Every summer for the next 4 years statues of a different Peanuts character were placed on the sidewalks of Saint Paul. In 2001 there was Charlie Brown Around Town, 2002 brought Looking for Lucy, then in 2003 along came Linus Blankets Saint Paul, ending in 2004 with Snoopy lying on his doghouse. The statues were auctioned off at the end of each summer, so some remain around the city but others have been relocated. Permanent, bronze statues of the Peanuts character are also found in Landmark Plaza in downtown Saint Paul.
For the past five years, Forbes Magazine has rated Schulz the second "highest paid deceased person" in America (after Elvis Presley), with his estate continuing to garner income totaling more than $32 million since his passing. According to the book "Where Are They Buried?" (as well as other sources), Charles M. Schulz’s income during his lifetime totaled more than $1.1 billion, a true testament to the impact Schulz had on three generations of Americans who grew up with the Peanuts gang and "good Ol’ Charlie Brown."
Schulz touched on religious themes in his work, including the classic television cartoon, A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), which features the character Linus van Pelt quoting the King James Version of the Bible Luke 2:8-14 to explain "what Christmas is all about." In personal interviews Schulz mentioned that Linus represented his spiritual side.
Schulz, reared in the Lutheran faith, had been active in the Church of God (Anderson) as a young adult and then later taught Sunday school at a United Methodist Church. But, he remained a member of the Church of God (Anderson) until his death.
In an interview in the late 1980s, however, Schulz stated that his philosophical views had evolved over the years:
I do not go to church anymore… I guess you might say I’ve come around to secular humanism, an obligation I believe all humans have to others and the world we live in."
In the 1960s, Robert L. Short interpreted certain themes and conversations in Peanuts as being consistent with parts of Christian theology, and used them as illustrations during his lectures about the gospel, and as source material for several books, as he explained in his bestselling paperback book, The Gospel According to Peanuts.
Jalacy Hawkins, best known as Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (July 18, 1929 – February 12, 2000) was an African-American singer. Famed chiefly for his powerful, operatic vocal delivery & wildly theatrical performances of songs such as "I Put a Spell on You" and "Constipation Blues," Hawkins sometimes used macabre props onstage, making him perhaps the first shock rocker.
"I Put A Spell On You" His most successful recording, "I Put a Spell on You" (1956), was selected as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
Death of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Hawkins died on February 12, 2000 after surgery to treat an aneurysm. He left behind many children by many women; about 55 were known (or suspected) upon his death, and upon investigation, that number "soon became perhaps 75 offspring", according to this website. News of Hawkins’ death was largely overshadowed by the deaths of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, Dallas Cowboys football coach Tom Landry, and pop singer Oliver on that same day.
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Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ discography & biography continues on next page.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Hawkins originally set out to become an opera singer, and has regularly cited Paul Robeson as his idol. When his initial ambitions failed, he began his career as a conventional blues singer and pianist.
He served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Ocean during World War II, primarily as an entertainer, although he claimed to have been a POW. Hawkins was an avid and formidable boxer: in 1949, he was the middleweight boxing champion of Alaska.
In 1951, he joined guitarist Tiny Grimes for a while, and recorded a few songs with him. When Hawkins became a solo performer, he often performed in a very stylish wardrobe, featuring leopard skins, red leather and wild hats.
Later career Hawkins had several further hits, including "Constipation Blues", "Orange Colored Sky", and "Feast of the Mau Mau". Nothing he released, however, had the monumental success of "I Put a Spell on You".
He continued to tour and record through the 1960s and 1970s, particularly in Europe, where he was very popular, but his career was not advancing in America until filmmaker Jim Jarmusch featured "I Put a Spell on You" on the soundtrack – and deep in the plot – of his film Stranger Than Paradise (1983) and then Hawkins himself as a hotel night clerk in his Mystery Train. This led to a few other movie performances, such as Álex de la Iglesia’s Perdita Durango and Bill Duke’s adaptation of Chester Himes’ A Rage In Harlem.
His 1957 single "Frenzy" (found on the early 1980s compilation of the same name) was included in the compilation CD, "Songs in the Key of X: Music From And Inspired By The X-Files", in 1996. This song was featured in the show’s season 2 episode "Humbug". It was also covered by the band Batmobile
In July 1991, Hawkins released his album Black Music for White People. The record features covers of two Tom Waits compositions; "Heart Attack and Vine" (which, later that year, was used in a European Levi’s advertisement without Waits’ permission, resulting in a lawsuit), and "Ice Cream Man" (which, contrary to popular belief, is a Waits original, and not a cover of the John Brim classic. Incidentally, Hawkins also covered the Waits tune "Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard" for his album Somethin’ Funny Goin’ On.)
Hawkins also toured with The Clash and Nick Cave during this period, and not only became a fixture of blues festivals, but appeared at many film festivals as well.
His performance style earned him a loyal following — the use of a skull, a moving arm and, in his early days — a coffin added to his charisma.
Hawkins died on February 12, 2000 after surgery to treat an aneurysm. He left behind many children by many women; about 55 were known (or suspected) upon his death, and upon investigation, that number "soon became perhaps 75 offspring", according to this website. News of Hawkins’ death was largely overshadowed by the deaths of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, Dallas Cowboys football coach Tom Landry, and pop singer Oliver on that same day.
Selected Singles 1956 I Put a Spell On You/Little Demon
1957 You Made Me Love You/Darling, Please Forgive Me
1957 Frenzy/Person to Person
1958 Alligator Wine/There’s Something Wrong With You
1958 Armpit #6/The Past [Red Top 126]
1962 I Hear Voices/Just Don’t Care
1962 Ashes/Nitty Gritty – w/ Shoutin’ Pat
1966 Poor Folks / Your Kind of Love
1970 Do You Really Love Me/Constipation Blues
1973 Monkberry Moon Delight/Sweet Ginny
1958 At Home with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (Okeh/Epic) – other editions entitled Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and I Put a Spell on You
1965 The Night and Day of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (Planet) – also entitled In the Night and Day of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
1969 What That Is! (Philips)
1970 Because Is in Your Mind (Armpitrubber) (Philips)
1972 Portrait of a Man and His Woman (Hotline) – also entitled I Put a Spell on You and Blues Shouter
1977 I Put a Spell on You (Versatile–recordings from 1966-76)
1979 Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Koala)
1979 Screamin’ the Blues (Red Lightnin’) – also entitled She Put the Wammee on Me
1983 Real Life (Zeta)
1984 Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and The Fuzztones Live (Midnight Records) – live
1988 At Home with Jay in The Wee Wee Hours (Midnight Records) – live
1988 Live & Crazy (Blue Phoenix) – live
1990 The Art of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (Spivey)
1991 Black Music For White People (Bizarre/Straight Records/Planet Records)
1991 I Shake My Stick at You (Aim)
1993 Stone Crazy (Bizarre/Straight/Planet)
1994 Somethin’ Funny Goin’ On (Bizarre/Straight/Planet)
1993 Rated X (Sting S) – live
1998 At Last (Last Call)
1998 Live (Loudsprecher/Indigo) – live
1999 Live at the Olympia, Paris (Last Call) – live with one studio new song
2004 Live (Fremeaux & Associés) – live with two studio new songs
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James Albert Varney Jr. (June 15, 1949 – February 10, 2000) was an American actor. He was best known for his character Ernest P. Worrell, originally created by Nashville advertising agency Carden and Cherry in the 1980s. The character was used in numerous television commercial campaigns and movies in the following years, giving him fame worldwide. He is best known for his slapstick style and his portrayal of "redneck" stereotypes in a friendly, approachable way.
Death of James Varney
James Varney died of lung cancer on February 10, 2000 at 4:45 a.m. in his White House, Tennessee home as the movie Ernest the Pirate neared completion and when Atlantis: The Lost Empire was still in production.He is interred at Lexington’s cemetery.
James Varney was 50 year old at the time of his death
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James Varney’s biography & Fimography continues on next page
Varney was born in Lexington, Kentucky, where he grew up. He began his interest in theater as a teenager, winning state titles in drama competitions while a student at Lafayette High School (which he graduated from with the class of 1968) in Lexington. At the age of 15, he portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge in a local children’s theater production, and by 17, he was performing professionally in nightclubs and coffee houses. He listed a former teacher, Thelma Beeler, as being one of the main contributing factors in his becoming an actor.
Television commercial career The first commercial as Ernest, filmed in 1980, was to advertise an appearance by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders at Beech Bend Park, an amusement park located near Bowling Green, Kentucky. The character was franchised for use in markets all over the country, and was often used by dairies to advertise milk products. For example, the Midwestern dairy bar chain Braum’s ran several advertisements using Ernest’s catch phrase, "KnoWhutImean, Vern?" (as it was spelled in his registered trademark). Purity Dairies, based in Nashville, and Oakhurst Dairy in Maine ran commercials that were nearly identical, but with the dairy name changed.
For the same agency, Varney created a different character, "Sgt. Glory", a humorless drill instructor who harangued cows of the client’s dairy into producing better milk. In another spot, Glory’s home was shown as he had a date, and was so heavily decorated with the products of the sponsor and advertising specialty items for it that it was essentially devoid of any other decor. The Sgt. Glory character also appeared in an advertisement for a southern grocery chain, Pruitt’s Food Town, in which he’s drilling the checkout clerks on proper behavior. ("Bread on top. Repeat: Bread on top.") He approaches one of them at the end of the commercial with a look of menace and says, "You’re not smilin’." The checkout bagger gives a very nervous and forced smile.
Varney also starred as Ernest in a series of commercials that ran in the New Orleans area, and throughout the Gulf South, as a spokesman for natural gas utilities. In one, he is seen kneeling down in front of Vern’s desk under a lamp hanging from the ceiling, stating "Natural gas, Vern; it’s hot, fast and cheap. Hot, fast, cheap; kinda like your first wife, Vern, you know, the pretty one!?" Vern then knocked the lamp into Ernest’s head, knocking him down. Those same TV ads were also featured on TV channels in the St. Louis area for Laclede Gas, during the mid-1980s.
He was also noted for doing commercials for car dealerships across the country, most notably Cerritos Auto Square in Cerritos, California, Tyson’s Toyota in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and Audubon Chrysler in Henderson, Kentucky. Another favorite Ernest vehicle was promotions for various TV stations around the nation, including the news team and the weather departments.
Varney also portrayed another character, "Auntie Nelda", in numerous commercials long before he resurrected the character for the movies Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam, Ernest Goes to Jail and Ernest Goes to Camp. Dressed in drag and appearing to be a senior-citizen, the commercials gave off the tone of a motherly lady encouraging you to do what was right – in this case, buy whatever product was being promoted. This character, along with the "Ernest" character, ran a couple of years in Mississippi and Louisiana in commercials for Ledco Aluminum Siding, a company that would come out and give you an estimate for placing aluminum siding on your home. Ledco often bought 2 hour slots in local markets. During the 2 hour slot, a movie was televised and Varney, as one of his characters, and a Ledco representative, would be the only commercial breaks during the movie to promote Ledco.
During the 1990s, Jim reprised his role as Ernest for Blake’s Lotaburger, a fast food chain in New Mexico. During these commercials, Ernest would typically be trying to get in to Vern’s house to see what food Vern was eating. After a lengthy description of whatever tasty morsel Vern had, Ernest would get locked out, but continue to shout from outside.
An interesting fact about the commercials is how universal they were. For example, the dairy spots would be the same situation and script, changing only the name of the dairy. The same situations would be used (varying the script for the product, but resulting in the same punchline) for countless other products. The end result was that a finite number of commercials could sell a wide variety of products. However, all the commercials were not based on those cookie-cutter premises, and original commercials were shot for specific products/sponsors.
Ernest’s popularity Varney’s character Ernest P. Worrell proved so popular that it was spun off into a TV series, Hey Vern, It’s Ernest! and a series of movies in the 1980s and 1990s. Ernest Goes to Camp earned Varney a nomination for "Worst New Star" at the 1987 Golden Raspberry Awards (he "lost"). The movie was a huge hit; however, grossing $25 million at the box office.
Other Ernest movies included Ernest Saves Christmas, Slam Dunk Ernest, Ernest Goes to Jail, Ernest Goes to Africa, Ernest Goes to School, Ernest Scared Stupid, and Ernest in the Army. The Walt Disney World Resort’s Epcot theme park featured Ernest. Epcot’s Cranium Command attraction used the Ernest character in its preshow as an example of a "lovable but not the brightest person on the planet" type of person. And in addition to his Ernest Goes to… series, he starred as Ernest in several smaller movies for Carden & Cherry such as Ernest P. Worrell’s Family Album, Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam, and Your World as I See It, all of which showcased his great facility with assuming a wide variety of characters and accents.
Non-"Ernest" work Varney played a recurring guest on faux late-night-talk show Fernwood 2 Night
He also lent his voice to the character "Slinky Dog" in Disney’s Toy Story film series, and to the character "Cookie" Farnsworth, from Atlantis: The Lost Empire, which was released the year after his death.
Varney provided the guest voice for the carny character "Cooder" for "Bart Carny" episode of The Simpsons.
Varney played the character "Walt Evergreen" in the Duckman episode "You’ve Come a Wrong Way, Baby".
Varney played the prince that Roseanne’s sister Jackie started dating near the end of the 1990s television series Roseanne.
Varney played the villain Lothar Zogg in the 1998 film 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain.
Varney is in Hank Williams, Jr. ‘s video for "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight," where he is briefly shown casually riding a bull.
Varney also played the part of Jed Clampett in the 1993 production of The Beverly Hillbillies.
Varney also played the entertainer/watch guard Rudy James in the movie Snowboard Academy.
He also has a small part in an independent production 100 Proof. Just prior to his stint as Ernest P. Worrell, Varney was a cast member on the notorious television flop Pink Lady and Jeff.
Varney was a special guest, appearing as himself, in the Bibleman Genesis Series Bibleman Jr..
Varney starred in three videos The Misadventures of Bubba, The Misadventures of Bubba II, and Bubba goes Hunting in which he played himself and taught young kids important safety rules about hunting and guns. He illustrated the rules with the help of his bumbling and accident prone cousin Bubba (also played by varney) and Bubba’s imaginary hunting pal Billy Bob. The videos were distributed as part of a membership pack from Buckmasters’ Young Bucks Club.
Varney was married twice, to Jacqueline Drew (1977-1983), and Jane Varney (1988-1991). Both marriages ended in divorce, though he remained friends with Jane until his death.
He would visit hospitals, and entertain sick children in his "Ernest" persona.
Death Varney died of lung cancer on February 10, 2000 at 4:45 a.m. in his White House, Tennessee home as the movie Ernest the Pirate neared completion and when Atlantis: The Lost Empire was still in production. He is interred at Lexington’s cemetery.
Daddy and Them (2001) Hazel Montgomery
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) Jedidiah Allardyce "Cookie" Farnsworth (voice)
Toy Story 2 (1999) Slinky Dog (voice)
Treehouse Hostage (1999) Carl Banks
Existo (1999) Marcel HRowitz
3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998) Lothar Zogg
Ernest in the Army (1998) Pvt. Ernest P. Worrell/Captain Ernest P. Worrell/Operation Sandtrap Arab
Annabelle´s Wish (1997) Mr. Gus Holder (voice)(video)
Ernest Goes to Africa (1997) Ernest P. Worrell/Hey You, the Hindu/Auntie Nelda/African woman dancer
100 Proof (1997) Rae’s Father
Blood, Friends and Money (1997) The Older Mariner
Snowboard Academy (1996) Rudy James
Toy Story (1995) Slinky Dog (voice)
The Expert (1995) Snake
Slam Dunk Ernest (1995) Ernest P.Worrell (video)
Your World as I See It (1994) Ernest P.Worrell/Aster Clement/Baby Ernest/Auntie Nelda/Bonnie/Coy
Ernest Goes to School (1994) Ernest P. Worrell
Ernest Rides Again (1993) Ernest P. Worrell
The Beverly Hillbillies (1993) Jed Clampett
Wilder Napalm (1993) Rex
Ernest´s Greatest Hits Volume 2 (1992) Ernest P.Worrell (video)
Ernest Scared Stupid (1991) Ernest P. Worrell
Ernest Goes to Jail (1990) Ernest P. Worrell/Mr. Felix Nash/Auntie Nelda
Fast Food (1989) Wrangler Bob
Ernest Saves Christmas (1988) Ernest P. Worrell/Aster Clement/Auntie Nelda/The Snake Guy
Ernest Goes to Camp (1987) Ernest P. Worrell
Hey, Vern, Win $10,000 (1987) Ernest P. Worrell (voice)
Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam (1986) Dr. Otto/Rudd Hardtact/Laughin’ Jack/Guy Dandy/Auntie Nelda/Ernest P. Worrell
The Ernest Film Festival (1986) Ernest P. Worrell (video)
Knowhutimean? Hey Vern, It’s My Family Album (1983) Ernest P. Worrell/Davy Worrell & Company/Ace Worrell/Lloyd Worrell/Billy Boogie Worrell/Rhetch
Worrell/Pop Worrell (video)
Spittin’ Image (1982) Sheriff
The Simpsons episode – Bart Carny (1998) Cooder (voice)
Roseanne (1996) Prince Carlos of Moldavia
Hey Vern, It’s Ernest! (1988) Ernest, Dr. Otto, Auntie Nelda, Sergeant Glory, Baby Ernest
The Rousters (1983) Evan Earp
Operation Petticoat (1977-1979) Seaman Broom
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