Gary Brumburgh

Film Articles

SCOTT BRADY * ALICE PEARCE * INGER STEVENS * WILLIAM TALMAN

ROBERT HARRON * JOHN HARRON * PAUL DOUGLAS * ANITA LOUISE

BARBARA BATES * PETER LAWFORD * CYNTHIA PEPPER * HOPE HOLIDAY FRANCHOT TONE * BETTY FIELD * RUTH ROMAN * GIGI PERREAU

BUDDY EBSEN * BILLY GRAY * CARLETON CARPENTERTOMMY COOK

KAYE BALLARD JOANNA BARNES * JACKIE JOSEPH * PEGGY WEBBER

MERCEDES McCAMBRIDGE * ARON KINCAID * RICHARD TYLER

GIG YOUNG * KATHLEEN HUGHES * PIER ANGELI * CHRISTOPHER RIORDAN

NEVA PATTERSON * JAMES DUNN * ANN ROBINSON * GIA SCALA

I have always loved actors!  Having been one myself at one time, I hold the deepest respect for them, especially those wonderful vintage performers of the Golden Age.  Whether they be the great stars of their day, or second tier 'B" level leads, or second leads, or familiar character actors whose names you couldn't place, or even the smallest of bit actors, as exemplified by dear Bess Flowers, (who would be famously dubbed "Queen of the Extras"), all of these fine performers have earnestly contributed to the glory of the Golden Age of films in their own individual way. 

 

I began in the early 1980's with the idea of writing a huge reference book about actors and their stage, film and TV work along with interesting trivia.  I even dreamt up the title for it -- the Jeopardy-inspired "Actors and Their Roles for 1000."  I spent years and years and years researching while gathering tons of information in local libraries and old newspaper articles.  And then came the age of the Internet.  Before you knew it, all my research and hard-sought information was instantly on-line and available at the touch of a hand.  My beloved, all-encompassing labor of love suddenly became obsolete and unneeded.  And so, I scrapped it. 

 

Instead, I found IMDb (the Internet Movie Database).  I discovered I could be of use there by writing IMDb mini-bios on those lesser-known actors that few knew much about except the most hardcore of film buffs -- everyone from Lee Aaker to Vera Zorina.  I wound up writing over 1200 profiles and received some very nice compliments for many of them, along with some very opinionated fiery notes (some admittedly deserved).  Gaining a noticeable following, the mini-bios I posted that received the most attention were about those actors that film fans knew very little about.  Those bios seemed to go over the best and have the most response.   That led me to CLASSIC IMAGES and FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE.

Around the millennium, I had become a loyal subscriber of two wonderful vintage movie magazines CLASSIC IMAGES (monthly, founded in 1960) and its sister magazine, FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGES (quarterly, founded in 1995).  Rich in information, they also treated their subjects with respect and reverence without avoiding or sugar-coating the facts.  They were also dedicated to contributing articles on lesser-known actors.  That was right up my alley!  These two magazines are nearly the last of the cinema magazines still in mail subscription form today.  While I had never had anything ever published, I did have a knack for writing these bios and was prodded by my husband Reece Holland, also a former actor, (TV's "Adventures in Wonderland"), to try and write an in-depth article for the magazines.  After finally getting in touch with Bob King, the long-time editor of both magazines, I was politely discouraged as a result of my lack of writing/publishing experience.  Most of his contributing writers, including Laura Wagner, Tom Weaver and Joe Collura, were already noted historians and had full-length biographies in publication.  I was hardly in their field.

Normally, I would have shrugged my shoulders and accepted the rejection.  In this case, I didn't.  I was compelled to try and prove to Mr. King I was worthy.  I decided to go ahead and write an in-depth article anyway on an actor of my choosing and submit it with no expectations of it being published.  The actor of my choosing came in the form of the handsomely rugged leading actor Scott Brady, best known for his work in post-WWII film noir and action adventures via my communication (through IMDb) with the late actor's son, Tim Tierney.  Gerard Kenneth Tierney was Scott Brady's christened name.  He was the brother of actor Lawrence Tierney but chose "Brady" as a stage moniker to distance himself from his brother's fame (or infamy, in this case).  I asked Tim if I could work alongside him in writing a piece on his father for the above-mentioned magazine(s).  I told him up front there was no guarantee my article would be published.  He consented and, as he was a Los Angeles resident, I could easily work with him face to face.  Tim happened to be the bearer of all his father's magazine articles, family pics and photo stills so I was able to spend several days at his home discussing what Scott was like off-camera as a husband and father, as well as delving into his many boxes of Scott Brady memorabilia for career information.  It was heaven!  I was finding pertinent information no one else had!

 

Being extremely detailed and taking great care to please my subject's son and his family, it took a good month or so to finish.  Upon completion, I submitted to the editor.  In short, Bob King loved it and agreed to publish it along with many of the family pictures and movie stills I uncovered.  Scott Brady: Fighting Irishman was given a generous spread (17 pages with nearly 30 pictures used).  Seeing my very first article published in FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE (Winter 2009/2010 issue) was a source of pride and accomplishment.  This started my over decade-long love affair with editor Bob and his beloved magazines, having now written over 30 biographical sketches for the two prestigious publications!  In addition to writing articles, several years back I began to conduct and publish interviews with some of our favorite Golden Age actors still with us.  They were more than excited to share their Hollywood stories.  These interviews have also led to precious friendships -- Hope Holiday, Cynthia Pepper, Ann Robinson, Billy Gray, Tommy Cook, Joanna Barnes, Richard Tyler, Christopher Riordan and the late Carleton Carpenter.  I was also the last to conduct an in-depth interview with wonderful singer/comedienne Kaye Ballard that was published in FGA just before her passing.  The 93-year-old star tearfully called just to say how grateful she was as no one had ever written such a generous piece on her and her life before. 

And so, it continues!  Below are all the over 30 actors I have completed articles on or interviewed.  The list continues to grow!   I hope you enjoy reading these studies as much as I have enjoyed writing them.  Information for obtaining copies of the CI or FGA issues are listed below.   

 

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The Stars

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Alice Pearce: Beauty Inside

 

Classic Images

Isuue Number 417

March 2010

While character comedienne ALICE PEARCE (1917-1966) was no raving beauty and seemed destined to play the eternal wallflower or homely stepsister in every Cinderella story, this talented funny girl made terrific use of her malleable mug and gawky gait, creating an offbeat career for herself in nightclubs and musical revues until Broadway, TV and comedy films came along.  An avid scene-stealer in her very first film (ON THE TOWN, 1949), she had audiences in stitches with a single sniff, sneeze, gulp or giggle.  She later played the inveterate gossip, nagging wife or beleaguered mom, culminating in her hysterically funny, Emmy-winning turn as Gladys Kravitz on the popular 60's BEWITCHED TV series.

 

 For obtaining the issue or article on ALICE PEARCE, please call Carol at Subscriptions at (563) 262-0539.

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"Playing strange, sweet oddballs is exactly my cup of tea."
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Inger Stevens: Wounded Butterfly

Classic Images

Issue Number 431

May 2011

A riveting and radiant blonde of late 1950s and '60s Hollywood, Stockholm-born INGER STEVENS (1934-1970) seemed to have the whole world in her corner.  Bright and breathtaking, she possessed the cool, classic glamour of a Grace Kelly on screen, yet came off more approachable and inviting. Her warm smile and honey-glazed vocal tones could melt an iceberg.  She was a paradoxical beauty, an intriguing study in contrasts—tender yet elusive, welcoming yet guarded, stunningly attractive yet modest.  Her finest showcases came via light TV comedy (THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER) and film drama (CRY TERROR, 1958) until her vastly unhappy personal life caught up to her.

For obtaining the issue or article on INGER STEVENS, please call Carol at Subscriptions at (563) 262-0539.

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"I felt I was one person at home and the minute I stepped out the door I had to be somebody else.  I had a terrific insecurity and extreme shyness I covered up with coldness."
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Jackie Joseph: Puttin' on the Ditz

 

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 96

Spring, 2019

With her sunburst smile, girlish voice and adorable naivete, JACKIE JOSEPH (1933-    ) enjoyed a five-decade career on stage, film, TV and nightclubs.  Best known for originating the flighty role of Audrey in the Roger Corman lowbudget film THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1960), Jackie could, with relative ease, emit a puerile giddiness reminiscent of an Imogene Coca, project the enchanting bewilderment of a Gracie Allen, or embody a veiled, pert sexiness suggesting an early Doris Day.  Jackie not only has been a constant joy and ditsy delight to watch over the years, but a subtle scene-stealer as well, while in between involving herself smartly in union and animal causes.  

 

For obtaining the issue or article on JACKIE JOSEPH, please call Carol at Subscriptions at (563) 262-0539.

 

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"I've always thought of my career as 'Lucky me!' and not 'Poor me!'  My career wasn't insignificant, but it wasn't a blockbuster either."
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Tommy Cook: Radio's 'Golden Boy'

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 90

Fall, 2017

Radio was this young prodigy's training ground and the deep love he had for the medium never left him.  While TOMMY COOK (1930-  ) went on to have a laudable career on both film and TV, it is abundantly clear that this man's heart would forever belong to the "golden days of radio."  Fondly remembered for his radio and film appearances as "Little Beaver" in the ADVENTURES OF RED RYDER series, Tommy proved to be a real natural in front of a mike, emerging as one of the most gifted child and juvenile stars of late 1930's and 1940's radio.  Tommy also had a natural athleticism and this led to a vitally important creative outlet outside the acting realmas a junior amateur tennis player/champion and promoter. 

 

For obtaining the issue or article on TOMMY COOK, please call Carol at Subscriptions. (563) 262-0539.

 

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"Radio was my training ground.  The best times I ever spent and the most brilliant actors I ever knew were in radio."
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Hope Holiday: Wild and Wilder

 

Classic Images

Issue Number 482

August 2015

In a madly erratic career that encompassed stage, film, TV and radio, the feisty, ribald and highly opinionated HOPE HOLIDAY (1930-  ) had a sexy comedic talent and inimitable "dumb blonde" screech that immediately made her identifiable.   Her hilarious and ineffable casting as the Brooklynesque barfly Mrs. Margie MacDougall, the straw-blowing dame who picks up Jack Lemmon in Billy Wilder's Oscar-winning picture THE APARTMENT (1960), secured her a permanent place in the Hollywood annals.   While her musical theatre background was solid in the early years, her later years was involved with producing low-budget films overseas.  

For obtaining the issue or article  on HOPE HOLIDAY, please call Carol at Subscriptions (563) 262-0539.

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"To my detriment, I was reckless, foolish and self-centered, but I was also young, impatient and impulsive.  I didn't always appreciate what easily came my way."
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Ruth Roman: All Woman

 

Classic Images

Issue Number 494

August 2016

This wildly attractive, hard-looking brunette leading lady of the late 1940 and 1950s, came to the film forefront in 1949, after years in the background, with back-to-back critical hits.  From there RUTH ROMAN (1922-1999) starred opposite Hollywood's most gifted and popular leading men including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, Errol Flynn, Glenn Ford and John Payne, and in tandem with renowned directors Robert Wise, Mark Robson and, notably, Alfred Hitchcock (STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, 1951), among others.  Despite her perseverance, she never found the one role to put her at the top.  Nevertheless, she showed major willpower and hung around the stage and TV arenas for half a century.  

For obtaining the issue or article  on RUTH ROMAN, please call Carol at (563) 262-0539.

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"To be a real star you have to be yourself as well as an actor in the parts you play.  People will forget you as a person if you are completely lost in a role."
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KAYE BALLARD:  The Songs and the Laughs Are On Me

 

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 92

Spring 2018

This legendary funny girl came from vaudeville and joined a historic generation that vastly expanded the boundaries of women in comedy.  On top of her comedic talent, KAYE BALLARD (1925-2019) could sing too, enhancing her prop-filled nightclub routines with a touching ballad or rollicking reminisce.  Kaye too helped pave the way for a new influx of warbling jokesters during World War II and managed, in a long and varied career, to stake out healthy claims on Broadway (CARNIVAL, 1961), Hollywood musicals (THE GIRL MOST LIKELY, 1957) and, especially, the TV medium (CINDERELLA, THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW).  She remained on stage with her one-woman shows until close to the end. 

For obtaining the issue or article on KAYE BALLARD, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

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"I feel like I HAVE lived it all.  I've performed for everyone from Ronald Reagan to Queen Elizabeth, made the cover of Life magazine, had tea with Mother Teresa and sung with the Muppets.  So there you go!"
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SCOTT BRADY:  Fighting Irishman

FIlms of the Golden Age

Issue Number 59

Winter 2009-2010

A fine, durable leading man and disreputable heavy throughout the 1950's, SCOTT BRADY (1924-1985) provided an interesting run of traditional heroes and roughshod villains in action-oriented films.  On film, the handsome Brooklyn-born Brady, of full Irish stock, was definitely a man's man and a ladies' man - both a fighter and a lover.  Men wanted to be like him, and women wanted to be with him on his arm.  He played opposite some of the best female stars in post-WWII Hollywood — Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Jane Russell, Shelley Winters, Alexis Smith and Yvonne DeCarlo, while later taking took his gruff "tough guys" comfortably to TV as both hero and villain. 

For obtaining the issue or article  on SCOTT BRADY, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

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"If I've done well it's because I'm Lawrence Tierney's brother.  Consider the edge.  Larry kept shoving me forward so I could meet people and learn.  Whatever I am, whatever I became, I can thank Larry for."
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ANITA LOUISE:  Depression Era Dreamgirl

Classic Images

Issue Number 468

June 2014

One of the tender beauties of the 1930's and 1940's, ANITA LOUISE (1915-1970), "the gal with two first names," was a cinematographer's dream and ultimate eyeful for Depression-weary males especially in period pieces and stirring melodramas.  Few actresses, before or since, have surpassed the ethereal beauty of this leading lady.  Best recalled for her glistening portrayals of Titania in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (1935) and Marie Antoinette in MADAME DuBARRY (1934), she embraced many a handsome leading man while being protected, saved or adored.  Men like Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn, Henry Fonda, Louis Hayward and Lew Ayres were just a few of the lucky guys to win or lose her. 

For obtaining the issue or article on ANITA LOUISE, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

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"My looks hindered my picture progress.  I just sat and sat and sat, waiting for the studio to cast me in a role into which I could sink my teeth.  None came."
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FRANCHOT TONE: The "Millionaire" Star

Classic Images

Issue Number 488

February 2016

Few actors came off slicker or smoother than FRANCHOT TONE (1905-1968).  A posh, meticulous, shaken-not-stirred representative of the silver screen, Tone's slim, aloof, cultivated-looking actor managed to carve a four-decade niche on stage, film and TV armed with a martini-dry wit, indolent masculinity and elegant exterior.  The pre-Code prototype of the penguin-suited playboy who often lost the girl, his flawed characters often shared a similarly messy, scandalous private life.  Nevertheless, Tone brought customary flair and aplomb to each of his roles opposite such 30's female heavyweights as Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Loretta Young, Katharine Hepburn and one-time wife Joan Crawford.

 

For obtaining the issue or article  on FRANCHOT TONE, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"[I] was the playboy, the white tie and tails, the elegant fellow with the good tailor.  That was my movie image.  But not for the theatre audience.  They saw me as an actor."

PETER LAWFORD: Swinging on a Star

 

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 79

Winter 2014/2015

While his super-slick "Rat Pack" fraternizer, Kennedy hanger-on image and chronic substance abuse diminished his overall standing in Hollywood, the suave, lightweight image of handsome Britisher PETER LAWFORD (1923-1984) fit in quite well during MGM's Golden Age at the time the studio's primo stars were off to war.  Not only was his timing on target as the devil-may-care charmer, Lawford managed to capture the hearts of female bobbysoxers everywhere.  (GOOD NEWS, 1947).  After years of sharing musical comedies, breezy comedies and heart-warming dramas with the likes of June Allyson, Kathryn Grayson and Elizabeth Taylor, he eventually settled in as a hip, rakish bon vivant on TV. 

 

For obtaining the issue or article on FRANCHOT TONE, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"I was a halfway decent-looking English boy who looked nice in a drawing room standing by a piano."
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WILLIAM TALMAN: Film Menace

 

Classic Images

Issue Number 445

July 2012

An unforgettable "B" level bad guy of early to mid-1950's film noir, craggy faced, crinkle-haired WILLIAM TALMAN (1915-1968) was a magnetic, grave-looking actor with a knack for creating downright scary characters that seldom survived by the ending credits.  Noted for his evil work in ARMORED CAR ROBBERY (1950) and THE HITCHHIKER (1953), Talman later became a household name as Raymond Burr's luckless legal opponent, prosecutor Hamilton Burger, on the TV courtroom series PERRY MASON (1957-1966).  Off stage, Talman battled divorces, alcohol abuse, drug scandals and a fatal cigarette addiction, losing the last one but making a frail, lasting impression on a ground-making anti-smoking TV ad. 

 

For obtaining the issue or article on WILLIAM TALMAN, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"The best way to deal with [Hamilton] Burger's proclivity for absorbing punishment was to develop a sense of pride in the consistency of his endeavors.  If you can't win for losing, learn to love that losing streak!"
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CYNTHIA PEPPER: The "Camelot" Blonde

 

Classic Images

Issue Number 477

March 2015

CYNTHIA PEPPER (1940-  ) was a Hollywood by-product of the early 1960's Kennedy era, an innocent moment of time that became idealized as "The Camelot Years."  This petite, lovely, fresh-faced leading lady with a cute, slight overbite became a baby boomer TV star as the titular teenage 1920's flapper MARGIE (1961-1962).  Typically playing the virginal girlfriend every boy's mother wanted her son to marry, Cynthia later co-starred as Elvis Presley's love interest in his musical movie vehicle KISSIN' COUSINS (1964).  By the end of the decade, the actress chose to leave her career in favor of family, but was spotted in later years  on the autograph show circuit and at Presley film festivals. 

 

For obtaining the issue or article  on CYNTHIA PEPPER, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

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"Growing up with parents in show business helped create that so-called 'normal' attitude about achieving and handling fame and the elusiveness of it all.  It didn't turn my head."
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JOANNA BARNES: Belying the Big Chill

 

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 93

Summer 2018

Making an unsympathetic name for herself, JOANNA BARNES (1934-  ) moved effortlessly up the film rung as the gal you loved to hate.  Three of her infamous scene-stealers were as an irrepressibly spoiled debutante (AUNTIE MAME, 1958), a devious gold-digger (THE PARENT TRAP, 1961) and a vain Roman patrician who delighted in sending gladiators to their deaths (SPARTACUS, 1960).  An early professional direction in writing (she was about to start a job with Time magazine) was diverted for a time courtesy of a Columbia screen test and acting career switch.  She later focused on TV where her portrayals seemed less devious and more benevolent.  In the 1970's she returned to writing and became a novelist.

For obtaining the issue or article  on JOANNA BARNES, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"I' am one of those people that once I've done something, I've done it and that's it.  It's history.  I love being in the present and don't need or have the desire to look back.  
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PAUL DOUGLAS: Brute Appeal

 

Classic Images

Issue Number 458

August 2013

Gruff PAUL DOUGLAS (1907-1959) was a rare blue-collar breed.  Not since the unlikely palooka-like stardom of Wallace Beery would such a homely, unrefined lug reach such cinematic leading man stardom.  With gutsy determination, Douglas, a then successful sports commentator, wanted more.  Taking a gamble, he quit radio and pursued his dream of acting.  First conquering Broadway (BORN YESTERDAY, 1946), Hollywood took notice and he earned stardom with A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949).  He lasted but a decade before his untimely death but captured a healthy female audience as a brutish romantic opposite the likes of Linda Darnell, Judy Holliday, Ginger Rogers and Joan Bennett.

For obtaining the issue or article on PAUL DOUGLAS, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"The studio camera man enjoys working with me.  You know why?  It's because he doesn't have to worry about my bad angle.  They are all bad!"
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CARLETON CARPENTER: All-American Innocence

 

Classic Images

Issue Number 506

August 2017

Tall, slim, light-haired CARLETON CARPENTER (1926-2022) first started out in Hollywood in the late 1940's played dreamy-eyed young gents complete with a malleable mug and awkward innocence.  Rex Reed once described him as "the boyish equivalent of an All-American Fourth of July picnicwholesome, delightful and utterly without pretense."  Originally from the Broadway stage, he developed his buoyant bobbysoxer image with a breezy log of 15 films that included musicals, comedy and wartime drama, notably for MGM.  Gracing hundreds of TV and radio shows during his heyday, he later returned to musicals and also made a modest name for himself as a lightweight mystery writer.

For obtaining the issue or article on CARLETON CARPENTER, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"I was truly mortified!  Watching yourself on the big screen for the first time can be a huge jolt ... like hearing yourself on radio for the first time.  It just doesn't seem like you."
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BARBARA BATES: All About Barbara

 

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 78

Fall 2014

BARBARA BATES (1925-1969) made an unorthodox but stellar impression in the film ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) in which her conniving, self-indulgent character, never appearing until the final scene, shares a breathtaking ending closeup with a three-way mirror.  It became one of film's most magnificent fadeouts.  The sad fact is that, despite a handful of subsequent glamorous leads and bobbysoxer second leads, this memorable bit would become Barbara's sole cinematic trump card.  The actress came to Hollywood on the heels of beauty contests and pin-up modeling work, but her crippling shyness resulted in chronic depression and mental breakdowns, triggering an early retirement and suicide.  

For obtaining the issue or article on BARBARA BATES, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"Every Hollywood newcomer goes through a sex school.  They have regular exercises to bring out your ... uh … fire."
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BILLY GRAY: Little Rascal

 

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 88

Spring 2017

A pint-sized, cinematic scene-stealer from the get-go, young BILLY GRAY (1938-  ) showed off his early professional mettle in 1950's musical comedies opposite Doris Day and Gordon MacRae and an anti-war sci-fi classic, usually displaying a penchant for mischief.  A wholesome TV sitcom, FATHER KNOWS BEST (1954-1960), triggered a wave of female teen madness, but a reckless, rebellious nature off-screen led to a drug arrests, scandal and the evisceration of an already struggling adult career.  With only TV reunions and a spray of low-budget films to subsist on, he was forced to move elsewhere, finding a secondary but personally satisfying existence as a pro motorcyclist racer and inventor.

For obtaining the issue or article  on BILLY GRAY, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"My ups and downs have been well publicized.  Looking back I realize I have been incredibly fortunate.  As a kid I became a significant part of Hollywood."
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BUDDY EBSEN: To Dad with Love

Classic Images

Issue Number 499

January 2017

At age 54, tall, rangy vaudeville hoofer and musical vet BUDDY EBSEN (1908-2003) became an "overnight" star with his grizzled, folksy portrayal of poor mountaineer-cum-multimillionaire Jed Clampett, whose unrefined Tennessee mountain folk wreaked hilarious havoc on Beverly Hills society.  The rural sitcom THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES (1962-1971) was bookended by popular TV series runs as DAVY CROCKETT's sidekick and unretired detective BARNABY JONES.  Prior to this, Buddy was a popular MGM song-and-dance man who nearly achieved film immortality as the Tin Woodman in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) until a severe allergic reaction to makeup forced him to relinquish the role.

For obtaining the issue or article on BUDDY EBSEN, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"I had a mother who taught me there is no such thing as failure.  It is just a temporary postponement of success."
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PEGGY WEBBER: Marvelous Maven of Radio Theatre

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 97

Summer 2019

Her versatility as a lead/character player was verified on films, TV and the stage, but radio would always have a indefatigable appeal for PEGGY WEBBER (1925-    ).   Active into her mid-90's, she singlehandedly kept the art form of radio theatre alive with the California Artists Radio Theatre (CART).  In a professional career that surpasses an astounding 90 years (stage debut at age 2-1/2 and radio debut at 12), Peggy tallied up a total of over 8,000 network appearances, receiving dozens of national and international awards in the process.  She worked with Orson Welles throughout much of her career and her minor output of films included those for Welles and Alfred Hitchcock.

 

For obtaining the issue or article  on PEGGY WEBBER, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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On radio I was able to portray all sorts of ages and ethnic types.  Not on TV, unless they were Anglo, Austrian or Scandinavian."
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BETTY FIELD: Bicoastal Actress

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 84

Spring 2016

One of the finest stage actresses of her day, BETTY FIELD (1913-1973) became an award-winning Broadway star with her complex performance in DREAM GIRL (1945).  Her complete dedication to the theater also explains why she never reached top stardom in Hollywood.  More authentic than powerfully alluring, Betty managed to find the time to appear in a number of 1940s and 1950s film classics in both comely leads and as a dowdy support.  Roles in OF MICE AND MEN (1939), KINGS ROW (1942), THE GREAT GATSBY (1949), PICNIC (1955) and BUS STOP (1957), assured her a place in the Hollywood annals. She also made a strong impression with a number of complex character parts on TV.

 

For obtaining the issue or article on BETTY FIELD, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"Optimists claim that working on both the stage and screen will make each career healthier.  Pessimists say you can't do both without hurting yourself.  I'm an optimist!"
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GIGI PERREAU: The Major Little Minor

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 86

Fall 2016

The emergence of Depression-era child superstar Shirley Temple triggered an avalanche of WWII-era cinemoppets eager to succeed the titanic tyke once she outgrew her pedestal.  Topped with both trademark pigtails and (later) a pageboy crop, young freckle-faced GIGI PERREAU (1941-  ) was a gifted little natural on camera and rivaled the likes of Margaret O'Brien in the spontaneous tears department.  Holding her own opposite Hollywood's elite (Colbert, Dunne, Hepburn, Stanwyck, Hudson), she later parlayed her precocious popularity into a modest young adult career on both film and TV before abruptly phasing out for family.  Two sisters and a brother were also working child actors.

For obtaining the issue or article  on GIGI PERREAU, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

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I loved working in this business and all the talent I got to rub elbows with.  My body of work is very acceptable.  I may not have been Shirley Temple but I was a good, solid, dedicated little actress!"
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ROBERT HARRON: Fame and Misfortune

Classic Images

Issue Number 453

Summer 2013

A gopher/assistant for legendary D. W. Griffith before given a chance to appear in front of the camera, boyishly handsome ROBERT HARRON (1893-1920) evolved into the voiceless "Golden Boy" of the silent screen.  An adorable natural who seldom fell victim to exaggerated theatrics, he earned acclaim during his brief heyday and his visage graced some of the era's most powerful and enduring masterpieces (THE BIRTH OF A NATION, 1915), INTOLERANCE, (1916) opposite top female stars (Mary Pickford, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Mae Marsh).  Bobby grew despondent after outgrowing Griffith's interest and leaving the studio.  He died at 27 from a self-inflicted gunshot.

For obtaining the issue or article on ROBERT HARRON, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"In those days an acting career was looked down upon as rather plebeian.  I remember thinking there was no future in that kind of work and I'd go and get another job.  But I never did."
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JOHN HARRON: Fame and Misfortune

Classic Images

Issue Number 453

Summer 2013

When older brother Bobby Harron, a huge star of the silent screen, suddenly died by his own hand in September of 1920, shocked audiences clamored for more Harron movie magic.  As a result, lookalike kid brotherJOHN HARRON (1903-1939), whose only contribution to film was extra parts in his brother's films, was chanced by Bobby's close friend, Mary Pickford, to co-star in her next picture and fill the Bobby Harron void.  Extremely likeable and camera-friendly, slim Johnny grew in stature with minor posh "jazz age" leads, but forever remained in his brother's shadow.  He lost ground with the advent of sound and was relegated to the world of extras.  Died of meningitis at age 36.

For obtaining the issue or article on JOHN HARRON, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

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"[I] worked around with [my brother] Bob a little.  Just bits.  Never any real partstoo young. [I] had to go to school.  I'm eighteen now.  This part with Mary [Pickford] is my first one."
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MERCEDES McCAMBRIDGE: No Mercy

 

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 98

Fall 2019

From the highly esteemed ranks of World War II radio (Orson Welles considered her "the greatest"), MERCEDES McCAMBRIDGE (1918-2004), of Irish stock, ventured into post-war Hollywood films and made a stunning, Oscar-winning debut as a grasping political aide de camp in ALL THE KING'S MEN (1949).   From there, she sank her teeth into a series of scene-chewing villains, neurotics and opportunists, all with notorious intensity and flair.  Off camera, Mercedes fought personal demons -- chronic alcoholism and family tragedy -- but survived and capped her strong, formidable career with one of cinema's most demonic vocalizations in THE EXORCIST (1973).

For obtaining the issue or article on MERCEDES McCAMBRIDGE, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"My best teachers have been the ones who have been hardest on me … who kept insisting I had more to give … who believed it wasn't so important that I'd make a fool of myself by overdoing something."
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ARON KINCAID: Tall, Blond and Beachworthy

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 99

Winter 2019/2020

Clean-cut, hirsutely handsome, blue-eyed blond actor and model ARON KINCAID (1940-2011) earned a minor teen following in the mid-1960's when he became part of the frolicking "beach party" movie scene. Usually playing the snobby, self-involved foil to leading men Frankie Avalon, Tommy Kirk and Dwayne Hickman, he enjoyed several years of sand-and-surfing fun with AIP International, then went on to essay other comedic and dramatic parts on both the large and small screens.  He left Hollywood behind in the 1970's, finding more fulfillment as a male model, artist and poster designer.  Suffering from rheumatic fever as a child, he died of a heart ailment at age 70.

For obtaining the issue or article on ARON KINCAID, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"I'm continually told I am too 'glamorous' for supporting roles.  Whatever that means.  Well, I'd rather die a good-looking corpse than try for a "just one of the lugs down on the corner" image."
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RICHARD TYLER: Problem Child, Successful Adult

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 100

Spring 2020

Slight (5'8"), athletic, ginger-haired child actor RICHARD TYLER (1932-    ) began on the stage at age 8 and appeared on Broadway before moving to films.  He was equally adept at playing cute rascals ("boxing" with nun Ingrid Bergman in THE BELLS OF ST. MARY'S (1945)) and bullies (Margaret O'Brien's young nemesis in TENTH STREET ANGEL (1946)).  Adjusting moderately well to teen roles, he saw the light ever dimming by the time he reached adulthood.  He wisely closed the book on acting and focused on bodybuilding (later a writer/editor for muscle magazines) and, more successfully, opened up a long-term L.A. chiropractic business to the stars (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Burt Reynolds). 

For obtaining the issue or article on RICHARD TYLER, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"I'm very proud of what I was able to accomplish ... I look back now with great fondness, and not with the hurt, regret or bitterness that others in my circumstances later developed."  
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GIG YOUNG: Master Farceur

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 101

Summer 2020

Debonair GIG YOUNG (1913-1978) had the 1940's matinee looks that could have rivaled Robert Taylor or Tyrone Power given half the chance at Warner Bros.  Instead, WWII mortally wounded his WB leading man career and, when he returned to the studio, found himself relegated to post-war "B" leads and/or a third wheel in "A" plush dramas.  Given a second life as a master of stylish, screwball comedy playing the unlucky loser of Doris Day to the likes of Rock Hudson, Cary Grant and Clark Gable, Gig was nominated for three Oscars and won the trophy late in life (THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY?, 1969).  Alcoholism left his career in ruins, leading to a tragic murder-suicide. 

For obtaining the issue or article on GIG YOUNG, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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""There are few great second leads in this business.  It's easier to play a lead -- you can do whatever you want.  If I'm good it always means the leading man has been generous."
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KATHLEEN HUGHES: Bad, Blonde and Beautiful

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 102

Fall 2020

She began her film career at 20th Century-Fox as a pert, eye-catching brunet starlet but came into her own at Universal as a ravishing, often lethal blonde co-star of "B" level film noir, sci-fi and costumed drama.  Statuesque KATHLEEN HUGHES (1928-   ) would create quite a "bad girl" stir in her most popular Universal movies enticing such male stars as Paul Henreid in FOR MEN ONLY (1952), Rock Hudson in THE GOLDEN BLADE (1953) and both Edward G. Robinson and John Forsythe in THE GLASS WEB (1953).  Major 3-D publicity gave her widespread attention in her best-known film, IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953), though she had mere minutes of screen time!    

For obtaining the issue or article  on KATHLEEN HUGHES, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"Villains are much more fun and interesting to play.  They are often better written too.  Perhaps I enjoyed the "nice girl" parts less because I was such a good girl off camera."
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PIER ANGELI:  Little Garbo

FIlms of the Golden Age

Issue Number103

Winter 2020/2021

Unlike fellow native Italian bombshells Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida, docile PIER ANGELI (1932-1971) attracted major Hollywood attention with her soft, delicate beauty.  A teenage star in her homeland following her debut in TOMORROW IS TOO LATE (1949), she became an entrancing MGM figure throughout most of the 1950s starting with her title role as an Italian war bride in TERESA (1951).  From there she captured hearts in the arms of Paul Newman, Kirk Douglas, Stewart Granger, Danny Kaye and others before breaking her studio contract and falling from grace.  Returning to Italy in an effort to recapture her former cinematic glory, she failed and died a probable suicide at age 39. 

For obtaining the issue or article on PIER ANGELI, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"We grew up too fast during the war in Italy.  I saw many things before I was 13 that nobody saw in their whole life ... Now I just want to be young and have fun."
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CHRISTOPHER RIORDAN:  An Unorthodox Career

Films of the Golden Age                    

Issue Number 105

Summer 2021

Actor/dancer/choreographer CHRISTOPHER RIORDAN (1937-    ), on stage from age four, enjoyed a six-decade Hollywood career on stage, film and TV.  A musical performer, he earned a notable break when selected by Fred Astaire and eventual mentor Hermes Pan to appear in dancer Barrie Chase's 1960's nightclub act.  Assisting Pan in such films as MY FAIR LADY (1964) and THE GREAT RACE (1965), he went on to be glimpsed in a number of Elvis Presley movies and standard 60's TV programs.   An assistant choreographer of numerous "Beach Party" flicks, he was featured in a few exploitation films (THE GAY DECEIVERS (1969), BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1970)).

For obtaining the issue or article on CHRISTOPHER RIORDAN, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"I think of [my career] as sort of a wild tapestry that was patched and sewn together in crazy bits and pieces.  It hasn't been all roses, but I survived the challenge."
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NEVA PATTERSON:  Liberated Lady

FIlms of the Golden Age               

Issue Number 106

Fall 2021

While her first love was the theatre, the career of actress NEVA PATTERSON (1920-2010) would encompass radio, band singing, modeling, film and TV.   Versatile at playing unsympathetic characters both strong-willed and neurotic, Neva came rather late to films following a string of comedic and dramatic Broadway parts.  Best remembered as Cary Grant's spurned socialite fiancée in the classic Grant/Deborah Kerr romantic tearjerker AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957), Neva would remain a stronger presence on the smaller screen with three minor series to her credit and an enviable number of guest roles.  A social activist and Actor's Equity unionist in her spare time.

For obtaining the issue or article on NEVA PATTERSON, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

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"Nothing could stop me.  I wouldn't be discouraged.  My parents weren't well-to-do and there was no thought of my going to college so I came to New York."
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JAMES DUNN: Irish Charmer

Classic Images                    

Issue Number 557

January 2022

A gregarious song-and-dance man and light leading film star of pre-Code Hollywood, JAMES DUNN (1901-1967) found Depression-era popularity as the cheerful co-star of brisk comedies/smooth dramas opposite Sally Eilers (notably BAD GIRL, 1931)) and splashy Fox Film musicals alongside Alice Faye.  The height of his early fame perhaps came as little Shirley Temple's loyal guardian in several films (notably, BRIGHT EYES, 1934).  Sadly, chronic alcoholism put a damper on his reliability as a star and, aside from one brilliant, Oscar-winning moment as a sad but charming dipsomaniac in A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (1945), his career slid into obscurity with low-budget fare.   

For obtaining the issue or article on JAMES DUNN, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"It was all just a mistake.  I had started at the top and couldn't possibly work my way in any other direction than down."
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ANN ROBINSON: Just a Girl from Hollywood

Films of the Golden Age                    

Issue Number 108

Spring 2022

Bright, vivacious, statuesque, flame-haired ANN ROBINSON (1929-  ) is best known as the plucky damsel in distress in one of cinema's most enduring sci-fi classics, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953), a role that solidified her place in the Hollywood film books.  Taught by her father to ride horses at age 9, she entered films as a stunt double in westerns before moving into leading lady roles in "B" oaters and secondary parts in suspensers and melodramas.  She focused strongly on TV guest parts in later years before winding her career down following a 1957 marriage and two children.  She subsequently became an attractive fixture on the autograph show and sci-fi convention circuits.   

For obtaining the issue or article on ANN ROBINSON, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

 

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"People don't understand that you are only important for the moment, so don't get accustomed to it.  Those who think otherwise are in for a rude awakening."
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GIA SCALA:  More Than a Beautiful Face

 

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 109

Summer 2022

This ravishing Italian/Irish beauty of the late 1950s/early 1960s came to Hollywood along with a flux of other foreign-born pedestal worthies.  Although GIA SCALA (1934-1972) would not make the incendiary mark of a Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg or Brigitte Bardot, she certainly turned heads while also turning in several intense, touching performances, notably THE GARMENT JUNGLE (1957) and THE GUNS OF NAVARONE (1961).  Born in Liverpool but raised in Sicily, her dazzling beauty and capricious nature masked debilitating inner demons that led her to substance abuse and suicide.  With her film career over within a half a decade, Gia turned briefly to TV before fading away. 

For obtaining the issue or article on GIA SCALA, please call Carol at Subscriptions.  (563) 262-0539.

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"I'd rather act from the neck up. I feel very sorry for those who try to get by on beauty alone because when the beauty is gone, what will they have left to build a career upon?
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