Artist Jane Boyd Behind the Scenes of Lady and the Tramp
Since the beginning of time… okay, maybe that’s a stretch, regardless of what my grandbabies may think, I never actually met Adam OR Eve… I have been obsessed with Disney. While I like some of their recent films and projects (Their live action films based on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Maleficent have been AMAZING!) my heart is most drawn to the Classic Disney animated films.
Robin Hood, The Aristocats, Lady and the Tramp, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Dumbo, Bambi, Peter Pan… you get the idea. I’m simply obsessed with all of them and even collect memorabilia, toys, books, and anything I can get my hands on associated with them.
In fact, you can find me in toy aisles without my grandbabies as often as I’m there WITH them!
Which all makes it so bizarre that I’ve never blogged about this particular fixation of mine on Hollywood Yesterday. I post a lot about them on social media (a LOT actually), but simply haven’t brought that overwhelming love, respect, and adoration here.
Taking care of that here and now!
(continued below the iconic Walt Disney, himself…)
Walt Disney, Lady and the Tramp Promotional Photo
The adorable Behind the Scenes pictures shown here are from the extraordinary Lady and The Tramp (1955). The photos feature Verna Felton (Aunt Sarah), writer Joe Rinaldi, artist Jane Boyd, Walt Disney, and more cuteness than you could even begin to hope for.
Verna Felton (Aunt Sarah) Behind the Scenes of Lady and the Tramp
You can find Disney’s classic Lady and the Tramp (Amazon affiliate link) on dvd, Prime Video, and Blu-ray on Amazon.
Writer Joe Rinaldi behind the scenes of Lady and the Tramp
Grace Kelly behind the Scenes of Green Fire (1954)
Today we celebrate the life and career of iconic actress and Princess Grace Kelly, She was born on November 12, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While her career was comparatively short, she has a really lovely filmography. My personal favorite Grace Kelly movies are Dial M for Murder, High Noon, Rear Window, High Society, Green Fire, and To Catch a Thief.
Grace Kelly on the Set of The Country Girl
You can watch Green Fire on Amazon’s Prime Video (affiliate link)
Click here for the Grace Kelly Collection (Amazon affiliate link). This particular collection includes:
- The Swan
- Rear Window
- High Society
- High Noon
- The Country Girl
- To Catch A Thief
Grace Kelly, To Catch a Thief
Jerry Lewis on the set of Who’s Minding the Store
With the possible exception of his own family, you’ll not find a bigger fan of Jerry Lewis than me. Absolutely adore him. Along with other favorite comedians such as Abbott and Costello, Lucille Ball, and Carol Burnett…. he has brought (and continues to bring) so much joy and laughter to my life, how could I NOT love them all?!?
One of his many enjoyable films is the wonderful 1963 comedy Who’s Minding the Store. This marked the seventh (of eight) films the comedy legend made with director Frank Tashlin.
Agnes Moorehead and Jerry Lewis
The FUN film also stars Agnes Moorehead, Jill St. John (stunningly beautiful as always!), John McGiver, Nancy Kulp, and Ray Ralston.
Jerry Lewis and Jill St. John on the set of Who’s Minding the Store
And, finally, a wonderful photo of two comedic legends together (on the set of Lewis’ Who’s Minding the Store), Carol Burnett and Jerry Lewis.
Carol Burnett and Jerry Lewis
You can find Who’s Minding the Store (Amazon Affiliate Link) on Prime Video, DVD, and Blu-ray on Amazon.
Ginger Rogers, Kitty Foyle
An actress I somehow don’t talk nearly enough about happens to be one of my favorite stars. I love her filmography, admire the person she was (tremendously), believe her to be one of the great talents from old Hollywood, love her charisma, and find her to be terribly beautiful and fascinating.
How in the world does that even happen?!?! How can you feel so strongly about a star and not talk nearly enough about them?
No idea, but I have a few stars like that. Maybe I take them for granted. If that’s the case, I owe a huge apology to Ginger Rogers, Melvyn Douglas, Fred Astaire, and Audrey Hepburn a huge apology.
I think part of the reason is.. and this may seem crazy… but these stars are universally loved and, within the old Hollywood community anyway, very well known. I guess I tend to talk more about stars who I feel need the publicity or who I hope will win fans over.
At any rate, I vow never to take stars like this for granted again!
One of my favorite Ginger Rogers films (and roles) is Kitty Foyle (1940). Directed by Sam Wood, the drama also stars Dennis Morgan… now that I think about it, another star I love but take for granted!
I need to get my house in order, y’all.
Ginger Rogers very deservedly won a Lead Actress Oscar for her performance as the lead character, Kitty Foyle, and the film was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture but lost to Rebecca. No one’s asking me, of course, but I think Kitty Foyle should have won!
Dennis Morgan and Ginger Rogers, Kitty Foyle
You can find Kitty Foyle on dvd, Blu-ray, or Prime Video on Amazon (Amazon affiliate link).
“When casting people have a call for a woman who looks like the wrath of God, I’m notified.” ~ Virginia Gregg
I absolutely LOVE this quote! The wonderfully talented Virginia Gregg had a film and television career that spanned 40 years, yet many of us are most familiar with her PROLIFIC work on classic radio.
Leaving a lasting legacy of so much entertainment is about as wonderful as it gets. I’m such a fan of this woman!
I LITERALLY just now discovered there’s a biography about Virginia Gregg and I hope it isn’t too late to tell Santa I want it very much. It’s written by Lona Bailey and, Santa or not, I’ll be adding it to my library soon!
Uncredited: The Life and Career of Virginia Gregg by Lona Bailey
Uncredited: The Life and Career of Virginia Gregg (Amazon Affiliate Link)
She had one of the most recognizable faces and voices in American media for over 40 years. In radio, television, and film, Virginia went largely uncredited for many of her legendary performances including “Norma Bates” from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho. In radio she was a favorite on classics like Dragnet, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, and Richard Diamond, Private Detective. On television she was a regular guest on shows such as Dragnet, Gunsmoke, and The Twilight Zone. In film she gave her most memorable performances in productions including Psycho, Operation Petticoat, and Spencer’s Mountain.
Read the incredible story behind the familiar face and voice that until now has never been told. Virginia’s is a story of great tragedy, resilience, and perseverance far more compelling than that of any character she ever portrayed. Discover the great lady behind the hundreds of unforgettable characters she gave our world. Through the pages of this biography, I invite you to meet legendary actress Virginia Gregg.
Charlie Chaplin vs America by Scott Eyman (Amazon link)
As I often say, I love reading old Hollywood biographies and autobiographies as much as I love watching old movies – and that is truly saying something.
I especially love it when a biography is as edge-of-your-seat spellbinding as a Boris Karloff film, as compelling as a Humphrey Bogart film, and as fascinating as old school Godzilla.
Are you kidding me? Sign me up to read this type of biography every single week!
I also love doing old Hollywood biography book reviews as much as I love watching old movies, and that isn’t just saying something, that’s saying everything.
After reading this particular biography, I was reminded of a question someone asked me many years ago… “Does reading a biography or a star ever make you less of a fan of their work if you read negative things OR, on the flip side, make you more a fan if you read positive things?”
I thought it was a great question THEN and, over the years, as I’ve read countless biographies and autobiographies (which, well, you know… tend to point out that these were actual blood and bone human beings!) I think it’s a great question NOW.
Here’s the answer, bullet-point style, because I love bullet points like I invented them:
- I may lose or gain respect for an individual after reading more about them. Case in point, I gained more respect for Ann Dvorak and Olivia de Havilland after reading all that they fought against.
- I may even like a star more or less, on a personal level after “meeting them” through the pages of a great biography. Example: I honestly like Cary Grant even better after reading a biography by the author of this particular Charlie Chaplin bio, Scott Eyman.
- I NEVER judge people.. I leave that to the One who is actually able to so lovingly and accordingly. If we haven’t walked in their shoes, we surely cannot tell them how they should have stepped or in which direction they should have pointed their feet. (In the same vein… I absolutely detest a judgmental attitude.. one of the ugliest traits in a human in my opinion).
- Something I always remind people, too, is never draw conclusions from one book (especially if it’s one old Hollywood star about another… sometimes emotions get in the way of accuracy!). If it’s a thorough book, by an exceptional author, sure… draw conclusions from that. But, even then, to get the most accurate profile of an individual, the best thing to do is to read quotes by them, quotes about them, and as many books on the star as you can find.
- I am able to enjoy an actor’s, actress’, or directors work without so much as thinking a single time, “He was a scoundrel…,” “She was a terrible mom!”, or “What a nasty tempered director he was! Never watching his work again!” Please. People who say things like that need to get out more.
Scott Eyman’s Definitive Charlie Chaplin Biography
I’ve read a great, great deal about Charlie Chaplin, as he is one of my favorite stars. His films, his acting, his passion, and the man, himself, fascinate me. Always have.
I realized just how exceptional Charlie Chaplin vs America by Scott Eyman (Amazon link) was when, after finishing the last page, I found myself more fascinated by him than ever.
Was he perfect? Heck no… but where’s the fascination in that? To be fascinated by someone is to mean you wonder what made them tick, what made them act the way they did or say the things they said, how did they go from “where they started” to “where they ended” – things like that.
I am, truth be told, often even fascinated by their weaknesses. I always ask myself, “How can someone who was such a genius about this and that be so blitheringly wrong about so many other things??” Like so many stars, Charlie Chaplin often (quite often) got in his own way.
If it were to come down to a contest between Ann Dvorak and Charlie Chaplin over who got in their own way the most, I think I’d give her the edge, but that’s just because her self-harming choices (which only affected her I might add) harmed her career more. Our dear Chaplin managed to have a successful career and is, to this day, a household name in spite of his terrible.. okay, very terrible.. weaknesses and misfires.
There were many times, while reading this wonderfully engaging biography, that I had to simply close the book to process what I’d read. The research that went into this definitive biography astounds me and I would imagine that the author had, himself, many times he had to pause and process what he was uncovering. Eyman paints as perfect a profile of an individual any one person can of another in the pages of this extraordinary book and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone interested in old Hollywood, silent films, biographies.. and, most certainly, to other fans of Charlie Chaplin’s work.
The actor was an absolute genius and I cannot imagine either silent films or comedies without what he meant to either.
Many times – MANY TIMES – while reading Charlie Chaplin vs America, I thought of one of my all-time favorite quotes. It’s from Mary Pickford, about Charlie Chaplin, and it couldn’t possibly sum up this particular actor any better: “That obstinate, suspicious, egocentric, maddening and lovable genius of a problem child.”
Charlie Chaplin vs America by Scott Eyman (Amazon link) will be available on Halloween Day – October 31, 2023 and I think the timing would amuse Chaplin. He may have been a problem child, as his friend Mary Pickford said, but by gosh he was a fascinating one.
You’re going to love this book,
~ Joi (“Joy”)
Charlie Chaplin vs America by Scott Eyman (Amazon link)
One of my personal favorite actresses… we’re talking top four, here… Rita Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Cansino on October 17, 1918 in Brooklyn, New York. She was born into a family of talented dancers, which explains why she was always able to light up the screen with her dancing.
Fred Astaire once referred to her, in fact, as his favorite dancing partner. HIGH PRAISE!
Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth, You Were Never Lovelier
Seven of my favorite Rita Hayworth performances and films (along with a few unsolicited opinions because why not) include:
Gilda (1946) – One of Rita Hayworth’s best films, this wonderful film-noir showcases the perfect chemistry between Glenn Ford and Rita.
Only Angels Have Wings (1939) – One of my most “unpopular” opinions is that the roles of Rita and Jean Arthur should have been switched. The reaction paid to Jean Arthur’s character and level of adoration Cary Grant’s character heaped upon her would have been more believable with Rita in the role. Jean would have been perfectly wonderful in the role Judy. Director Howard Hawks could not (no matter how hard he tried) to convince Jean Arthur to bring more razzle dazzle to the role and, in my opinion, the film suffered a bit because of it. She simply was not believable in the role. Likable, fun, and “cute” absolutely.. but not what the character was supposed to have been. Years later, she even admitted to Howard Hawks that he had been right and that she should have brought more to the role.
The Strawberry Blonde (1941) – One of my favorite movies of all time. This comedy is the very definition of charming, enjoyable, and delightful – from the first scene to the last, it’s perfectly delicious.
You Were Never Lovelier (1942) – One of my favorite musicals of all time. Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth are extraordinary together. It honestly caught me off guard, to tell you the truth. Before I first watched it, I didn’t expect much in the way of sparks or chemistry. Why? No idea! I just didn’t think they would make a believable couple – one that the viewer gets invested in and “pulls for.” I was dead wrong.. and, no, it wasn’t the first or last time.
Tales of Manhattan (1942) – I absolutely LOVE this movie. It’s unique, spellbinding, creative, intelligent, and completely engrossing. When you have an all star cast, you expect each star to step up to the plate and do they ever.
Miss Sadie Thompson (1943) – Whenever anyone has doubted Rita’s acting talent, I immediately point them to this film and demand that they (1) watch it and (2) report back! She was an extremely talented and verstile actress who just happened to be ridiculously beautiful and charismatic and this role gave her a chance to absolutely prove it.
Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935) – One of her earlier films (pre-redhead!), her magic was already on display with charisma you couldn’t look away from.
There are many more Rita Hayworth films and performances I love, but due to time constraints, I have to set a limit. Otherwise I’d be here all day and my cats would begin to worry about their daily meals… all 8 of them (I swear, my cats eat more than any self respecting pig does!).
Rita Hayworth, Miss Sadie Thompson
A Few Rita Hayworth Quotes
In many ways, the best way to get to know a person is to read their own words. Obviously, much depends on the mood the individual was in when giving the quote and we don’t always know the context in which the words were said. Having said that, I think Rita Hayworth’s quotes point to a very kind, sweet person.. somewhat insecure (more in real life than her career), and very much in need of love and approval.
She was just so special and I hope she realizes, now, just how many of us adore her!
“I like having my picture taken and being a glamorous person. Sometimes when I find myself getting impatient, I just remember the times I cried my eyes out because nobody wanted to take my picture…”
“Sensitive, shy– of course I was. The fun of acting is to become someone else.”
“I guess the only jewels of my life were the pictures I made with Fred Astaire.”
“When you’re in love, you are living, you matter.”
“When I look back on my marriages, or the breakups, sure I know the pain I went through, but that’s part of life and it has its own value.”
“I was certainly a well-trained dancer. I’m a good actress: I have depth. I have feeling. But they don’t care. All they want is the image.”
“Whatever you write about me, don’t make it sad.”
The Films of Rita Hayworth Collection (Amazon paid link)