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

I have always loved actors!  Having been one myself, 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 character actors, 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 people 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 suddenly on line at the touch of a hand.  My beloved, all-encompassing labor of love suddenly became obsolete, unneeded and so I scrapped it. 

 

Instead I found IMDb (the Internet Movie Database) and discovered I could be of use there by writing IMDb mini-bios on lesser known actors that few knew 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 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 sugar-coating it.  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 to try and write an in-depth article for the magazines.  After 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 such as 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 some 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.  I had been in touch (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.  I asked Tim if I could work with him in gathering information and writing a piece on his father for the 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 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 eagerly talking to him about what Scott was like as a husband and father and his personally off stage as well as delving into his many boxes of Scott Brady memorabilia for career information.  It was heaven!  I was finding information on him that no one else had!

 

Being extremely detailed and taking great care to please my subject's son Tim, 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 such a source of pride and accomplishment.  This started my over decade-long love affair with Bob and his magazines, having now written nearly 30 biographical sketches for these prestigious publications!  In addition to writing articles, several years back I began conducting and publishing interviews with some of our favorite Golden Age actors still with us and who were more than excited to share their Hollywood stories.  These interviews have also led to friendships -- Hope Holiday, Cynthia Pepper, Scott Brady Billy Gray, Tommy Cook, Joanna Barnes, Richard Tyler, Christopher Riordan and Carleton Carpenter.  I was also the last to conduct an in-depth interview with wonderful 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. 

Below are all the actors I have completed articles on or interviewed and the list continues to grow!   I hope you enjoy reading these studies as much as I have enjoyed writing them.  Information for obtaining copies are listed below.   

 

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Alice Pearce: Beauty Inside

 

Posted: Friday, April 16, 2010

by Gary Brumburgh

"Being beautiful has never been one of my problems. There are compensations, though. If you don't start out being beautiful, you don't have anything to lose."

 

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 there was, this talented funny girl made terrific use of her malleable mug and gawky gait, creating a spectacular career for herself in nightclubs and musical revues until Broadway, TV and comedy films came along.  An avid scene-stealer, she had audiences convulsing with laughter with a single sniff, sneeze, gulp or giggle.  In later years, she played the inveterate gossip, nagging wife or beleaguered mom, culminating in her hysterically funny, Emmy-winning turn as Gladys Kravitz on the popular BEWITCHED TV series.

 

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

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

Classic Images

Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011

By Gary Brumburgh

One of the most riveting and radiant of blondes in 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, a study in contrasts—tender yet elusive, welcoming yet guarded, stunningly attractive yet modest—and this kept audiences intrigued. Her finest showcases came via light TV comedy (THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER) and film drama until her unhappy personally life caught up with her.

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

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 role of Audrey in the Roger Corman lowbudget film THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1960), Jackie could, with relative ease, could 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.  

 

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."

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 his deep love for the medium never altered.  While TOMMY COOK (1930-  ) went on to have a laudable career on both film and TV, it is abundantly clear that his 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 realm -- as a junior amateur tennis player and champion. 

 

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."

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 inefficeable casting as the Brooklynesque barfly Mrs. Margie MacDougall, the straw-blowing 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 on stage was put into good use in the early years, her later years had her producing  lowbudget 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."

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, after years in the background, came to the film forefront in 1949 with back-to-back critical hits.  From there RUTH ROMAN (1922-1999)  starred opposite some of 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 such as Robert Wise, Mark Robson and Alfred Hitchcock.  Despite her perseverance, Ruth was unable to find that one significant role to put her at the very 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."

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 the vaudeville stage and joined a truly 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), Hollywood musicals (The Girl Most Likely) and, especially, the medium of television (Cinderella, The Mothers-In-Law).  She remained on stage with 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!"

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 on his arm.  He co-starred with  some of the best in post-WWII Hollywood -- Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Jane Russell, Shelley Winters, Alexis Smith and Yvonne DeCarlo.  He later took his gruff, character "tough guy" comfortably to TV. 

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."

ANITA LOUISE:  Depression Era Dreamgirl

Classic Images

Issue Number 468

June 2014

One of the great 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 and Marie Antoinette in Madame DuBarry,  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."

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, 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 displayed a similarly messy private life.  Nevertheless, he brought customary flair and aplomb to each of his roles, usually 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 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 and Kennedy hanger-on image and chronic substance abuse diminished his overall standing in Hollywood, PETER LAWFORD's (1923-1984) suave, lightweight English-born image fit in quite well during MGM's Golden Age as the studio's primo stars were off to war.  Not only was his timing to be discovered right on target as the posh, devil-may-care charmer, but he managed to capture the hearts of female bobbysoxers everywhere.  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 settledd 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."

WILLIAM TALMAN: Film Menace

 

Classic Images

Issue Number 445

July 2012

One of the most unforgettable "B" level bad guys of 1950's film noir, craggy faced, crinkle-haired WILLIAM TALMAN (1915-1968) was a fine, grave-looking actor with a knack for making his characters look downright scary, particularly in the films Armored Car Robbery (1950) and The Hitchhiker (1953).  Seldom did any of them survive the ending credits.  Talman eventually became a household name as Perry Mason's luckless legal opponent, prosecutor Hamilton Burger, in the popular TV courtroom series Perry Mason (1957-1966).  Off stage, Talman battled divorces, cigarette addiction, alcohol abuse and drug scandals, making one frail but lasting impression on a groundmaking 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!"

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' Couisins (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."

JOANNA BARNES: Belying the Big Chill

 

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 93

Summer 2018

Making an unsympathetic name for herself after being cast in a series of icy snobs, JOANNA BARNES (1934-  ) easily moved up the film rung as the gal you loved to hate.  Three of her most engaging, early career scene-stealers, be it comedy or drama, were as an irrepressibly spoiled debutante, a devious gold-digger and a cruel-eyed Roman patrician who sent gladiators to their deaths.  An early interest in writing (she was about to start a job with Time magazine) led to an isolated studio audition and a sudden career switch when she won a studio contract.  Joanna later focused on TV where her portrayals seemed less devious, more benevolent and more complex.  In the 1970's she turned 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.  

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 heights.  With brash, gutsy determination, Douglas, who already enjoyed a career as an established sports commentator, wanted more.  Taking a gamble, he quit the radio and pursued his dream of acting.  First conquering Broadway, Hollywood took quick notice and he achieved movie stardom with his very first part.  His film career lasted only a decade but he captured a dedicated female audience playing roughhewn romantics opposite such lovelies as 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!"

CARLETON CARPENTER: All-American Innocence

 

Classic Images

Issue Number 506

August 2017

Tall, slim, light-haired CARLETON CARPENTER (1926-  ) 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 picnic - wholesome, delightful and utterly without pretense."  Originally from the Broadway stage, he developed a buoyant bobbysoxer image in a breezy log of 15 films that included spry musicals, comedy fluff and wartime drama, notably for MGM.  Gracing hundreds of TV and radio shows during his heyday, he later returned to musicals and also turned author, making 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."

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 Above Eve (1950) in which  her conniving, self-indulgent character, never appearing in the film until the final scene, is given 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 depression, mental breakdowns and an early retirement.  

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."

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 both 1950's musical comedies opposite Doris Day and Gordon MacRae and an anti-war sci-fi classic, usually displaying a penchant for mischief.  A single 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 arrest, major scandal and the evisceration of an already struggling adult career.  With only TV reunions and a spray of lowbudget films to subsist on, he was forced to move elsewhere, finding a secondary existence as a professional 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."

BUDDY EBSEN: To Dad with Love

Classic Images

Issue Number 499

January 2017

At age 54, tall, rangy vaudeville hoofer and MGM 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 wreak havoc on Beverly Hills society.  The rural sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971) was bookended by popular TV series runs as Daniel Boone's sidekick and whodunnit detective Barnaby Jones..  Prior to all this, however, 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."

PEGGY WEBBER: Marvelous Maven of Radio Theatre

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 97

Summer 2019

Her versatile acting talent 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 (she made her 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."

BETTY FIELD: Bicoastal Actress

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 84

Spring 2016

One of the finest stage actresses of her day, she became an award-winning Broadway star with her complex performance in DREAM GIRL (1945).  Her complete dedication to the theater helps explain, then, why BETTY FIELD (1913-1973)  never reached top stardom in Hollywood.  Authentic if not extremely alluring, Betty managed to find the time to appear in a number of 1940's and 1950's film classics in both comely leads and 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 earned a number of strong, 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!"

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.  A gifted little natural on camera topped with both trademark pigtails and (later) 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.  She held her own opposite  Hollywood's elite (Colbert, Dunne, Hepburn, Stanwyck, Hudson, Webb, Sothern), then parlayed her precocious popularity into a modest young adult career on film and TV before abruptly phasing it out for family.

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!"

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 and metamorphisize into a voiceless "Golden Boy" of the silent screen, boyishly handsome ROBERT HARRON (1893-1920) was adorably natural on camera and seldom fell victim to exaggerated theatrics  An acclaimed young actor during his brief heyday, Bobby's visage graced some of the era's most powerful and enduring masterpieces (The Birth of a Nation (1915), Intolerance (1916)) opposite the finest of leading ladies (Mary Pickford, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Mae Marsh).  Bobby grew despondent when he outgrew Griffith's interest and died at 27 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

 

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."

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 void.  Extremely likeable and camera-friendly, slim Johnny grew in stature with scores of posh "jazz age" leads, but forever remained in his brother's shadow.  He lost major 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 parts -- too young. [I] had to go to school.  I'm eighteen now.  This part with Mary [Pickford] is my first one."

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 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."

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-surf 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."

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 (1945)) and bullies (Margaret O'Brien's 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 later focused on bodybuilding (as 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."  

GIG YOUNG: Master Farceur

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 101

Summer 2020

He had the 1940's matinee looks that could have rivaled Robert Taylor or Tyrone Power had he been given the chance at Warner Bros.  Instead, WWII interrupted the leading man career of GIG YOUNG (1913-1978) and, when he returned to the studio, found himself relegated to "B" leads or a third wheel in "A" plush dramas.  Somehow, the actor was given a second life as a master of stylish, screwball comedy, usually playing the unlucky loser of  Doris Day and others to the likes of Rock Hudson, Cary Grant and Clark Gable.  Nominated for three Oscars, Gig won late in life (They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1972).  Alcoholism left his career in ruins, followed by 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."

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), among others.  Major 3-D publicity gave her widespread attention in her best known film, It Came from Outer Space (1953), though she had only 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."

PIER ANGELI:  Little Garbo

Films of the Golden Age

Issue Number 103

Winter 2020/2021

Unlike fellow native Italian bombshells Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida, PIER ANGELI (1932-1971) attracted major Hollywood attention with her soft, delicate, demure 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 1950's starting with her title role as an Italian war bride in Teresa (1951).  From there she captured hearts in the arms of Stewart Granger, Kirk Douglas, Danny Kaye and others before abruptly 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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