Hollywood’s real-life war heroes ( PT 2 )

March 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

Because of the research I do on movie stars and Hollywood in general, friends have asked me whether or not John Wayne was a draft dodger in the Second World War. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t the faintest idea. For every comment I have read that described him as a coward and a shirker, there are just as many who vow and declare that he did everything in his power to get into uniform. It all [...]

Hollywood’s real-life war heroes ( Pt 1 )

March 27, 2015 // 0 Comments

  It is impossible to accurately assess Hollywood’s contribution to the winning of World War 2, but it would be fair to say that it was substantial. Apart from the thousands of industry people (including many actors and directors) who actually got into uniform, it was the impact on national morale made by not only feature films, but documentaries, training films and propaganda material, [...]

Lana Turner – murderer?

March 25, 2015 // 0 Comments

Lana Turner began her Hollywood career as ‘the Sweater Girl’, and for many of her critics that seemed to be the extent of her thespian ability. Quite a few of them revised their opinions, however, following her real life performance on the stand during her daughter’s murder trial. Single handed, she succeeded in convincing a jury of her peers that daughter Cheryl had inadvertently ended the [...]

Ronald Reagan – FBI spy in Hollywood?

March 24, 2015 // 0 Comments

  One of the funnier exchanges that takes place in the 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future occurs when Dr Emmett Brown questions Marty’s statement that he is from the future: ‘Then tell me, future boy’, he says. ‘Who’s President of the United States in 1985?’ ‘Ronald Reagan’, Marty replies. ‘Ronald Reagan? The actor? Then who’s vice-president? Jerry Lewis? One can [...]

MACAULAY CULKIN – A great child actor… or not?

March 23, 2015 // 2 Comments

  Nine year old Macaulay Culkin pretty much came out of nowhere in 1990 when he scored the lead in the monstrously successful Home Alone, a movie that turned over an amazing $285 million in the USA alone, and for which he received a paltry $100,000. He had gained a little recognition a year earlier alongside John Candy in Uncle Buck, but it was scarcely a precursor of the enormous popularity [...]

MARLON BRANDO – A flawed legend?

March 22, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Michael Caine hit the nail right on the head when asked about his feelings on Brando’s protest at the 45th Academy Awards in 1973 in support of the American Indians Movement (AIM). ‘I think if the man wants to make a gesture, I agree entirely with what he did. But I think he should have stood up and done it himself instead of sending some poor little Indian girl to take the ‘boos’. [...]

MAMIE VAN DOREN – Sex siren survivor.

March 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

  The totally unfair label ‘blonde bimbo’ evolved in the 1950s, probably because of the antics of a trio of blonde actresses known to the media as ‘the three ‘M’s’. I refer to Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Mamie van Doren. Two of these women, Marilyn and Jayne, died young and in tragic circumstances, but what happened to the third one, Mamie? Well, as of 2015 she is alive [...]

George Reeves – who killed Superman?

March 19, 2015 // 6 Comments

  Today, to the younger generations, the name George Reeves means nothing. To baby-boomers (those born just after the end of World War Two) he was just a TV actor whose face became instantly recognizable because he portrayed Superman in 102 episodes of the hit TV series The Adventures of Superman, which ran from 1952 until 1958. Older cinema-goers would have seen him in the opening scene [...]

Bill Cosby – serial predator?

March 18, 2015 // 0 Comments

  In January 1997 comedian Bill Cosby’s only son, 27 year-old Ennis, was murdered by a man who attempted to rob him as he changed a tire on the freeway in Los Angeles. His killer was caught and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. In the same year that his son died, Cosby was accused by a woman named Autumn Jackson of being her natural father. He admitted in court to having had [...]

Jaws ( 1975 )

March 17, 2015 // 8 Comments

  Peter Benchley wrote Jaws after reading about the great New Jersey shark scare of 1916. The grand-son of Hollywood wit Robert Benchley, he even scored a cameo in the movie playing the reporter on the beach. He strongly resented the finale planned for the picture, so strongly in fact that he was ordered off the set. He felt the exploding gas tank idea was unrealistic. And he was right. A [...]
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