Tragic Hollywood

Stars we lost in 2016 – Pt 2.

January 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

  In the previous post I looked at the passing of Carrie Fisher, Michael Massee, Jon Polito, Florence Henderson, David Bowie, Patty Duke, Alan Rickman, Alan Thicke, Charmian Carr, Dan Haggerty, Kenny Baker, Robert Vaughn, Gene Wilder and Ronnie Corbett. Here are some more unique individuals who failed to see out 2016.        Andrew Sachs (1930-2016) as Manuel      in later years [...]

Stars we lost in 2016 – PT 1.

January 23, 2017 // 0 Comments

  Every year the movie world loses irreplaceable talent to the ravages of time, illness and mishap, and 2016 was no exception. Here is a brief look at some of the performers whose unique personas will no longer grace our screens. Fortunately, unlike most of us, their best works will live forever on celluloid. I shall look at the others in a couple of days. The two-part list begins with the [...]

Mackenzie Phillips – ‘High on Arrival’.

January 19, 2017 // 2 Comments

  In 2009 Mackenzie Phillips launched her autobiography High on Arrival, a no-holds-barred look at her incredible drug-filled life as the daughter of the iconic John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas sixties singing group. It is an extraordinary story in every way, by far the most interesting (and candid) biography I have read. She makes no excuses for her journey, nor does she entirely [...]

On-set fatalities in Hollywood movies.

November 22, 2016 // 0 Comments

Movie-making has cost the lives of quite a few of those involved in the process. Stuntmen, cameramen, assistants, extras, plus the occasional director and actor have lost their lives down the decades. This is not a definitive list, not by a long shot, but it does demonstrate the perils that have always dogged the pursuit of excellence in the film industry. I have limited my list to actors, [...]

A few Hollywood substance abusers PT 2.

November 4, 2016 // 9 Comments

    Anthony Hopkins Anthony Hopkins opted to join Alcoholics Anonymous after he awoke in another state without having any idea how he got there. Until then he had struggled with alcoholism since the beginning of his acting career. It turned him into a loner and destroyed several relationships.   Veronica Lake Veronica Lake died at the age of 51 in 1973. Acute alcoholism and mental [...]

A few Hollywood substance abusers. PT 1.

November 2, 2016 // 11 Comments

  John Barrymore John Barrymore became famous for playing sympathetic drunks on film, no great stretch for him given he was a fully-fledged, dedicated alcoholic off-camera all his life. As a Shakespearian stage actor he was brilliant in his youth, able to memorize and deliver extraordinarily long speeches effortlessly and without a blemish. But as the years caught up with him, so did his [...]

The Mike Todd saga.

September 19, 2016 // 9 Comments

  In 1958 Kirk Douglas accepted an invitation from film producer Mike Todd to accompany him on a flight to New York aboard Mike’s private plane dubbed The Lucky Liz, in honor of his wife Elizabeth Taylor. ‘As I was packing my bags I suddenly felt a painful knotting in my stomach’, recalled Douglas. ‘At that moment – and I couldn’t understand why – I felt more frightened and [...]

The O J Simpson fiasco -where are they now?

August 10, 2016 // 5 Comments

  Back in June, I wrote a piece here on O J Simpson. Further research and the viewing of a brilliant 5 part TV special titled OJ: Made in America have led me to pen a few brief notes on the principals involved in his 1995 trial, what has become of them since that time, and how they impacted individually on the outcome back then. Judge Lance Ito (1995) In 2013 Judge Ito walked into [...]

OJ Simpson – Did he do it?

June 11, 2016 // 5 Comments

  I wonder how many people outside American football fans know what the ‘O.J.’ stands for in Simpson’s name? He was born ‘Orenthal James’ in San Francisco in July 1947. His father was a well-known drag queen in San Francisco who separated from the boy’s mother in 1952. Mr. Simpson would later announce he was gay before dying from AIDS in 1986. OJ suffered from rickets and wore [...]

Johnny Stompanato – Stud to the Stars.

June 9, 2016 // 6 Comments

    The quaint little town of Woodstock, Illinois has produced several interesting individuals, prominent among them actors Orson Welles and Jessica Biel, cartoonist Chester Gould the creator of Dick Tracy, and gangster, mob enforcer Johnny Stompanato. It was also the location for the 1993 film Groundhog Day that starred Bill Murray. It should not, however, be confused with the 1969 [...]
1 2 3 5