Lindsay Wagner, The Bionic Woman
I have always been a huge Lindsay Wagner fan – mainly because of her outstanding role as Jaime Sommers on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. I can still remember when she first showed up as a guest-star on The Six Million Dollar Man (one of my favorite shows – I never missed a minute!) – as soon as she arrived, I was smitten. She was beautiful, funny, and as likable as any character I had ever seen on tv or in movies.
I wanted her to stick around for every episode. Fortunately, the network went one better and gave me The Bionic Woman! Needless to say, it became a huge obsession – never missed an episode and OF COURSE I had the lunch box and doll. I would give just about anything to still have them!
Happiest of birthdays to Lindsay Wagner!
Lindsay Wagner, The Bionic Woman
Ross Martin and Robert Conrad: The Wild Wild West
Today’s Picture of the Day is a publicity photo for The Wild Wild West with Ross Martin and Robert Conrad. As my confession in the post’s title admits, I am obsessed with this tv series. Oddly enough – in spite of growing up with a father who LIVED for Westerns, I’d never seen a single episode until recently.
I guess my dad couldn’t fit it in with Gunsmoke, western movies, Bonanza, The Lone Ranger, and The Big Valley. Heck, a fella only has so many hours in the day, right?!
My husband introduced me to The Wild Wild West recently and we’ve been plowing through the episodes – thanks to a great channel, FETV, that shows a lot of great classic television shows.
The Wild Wild West ran for four seasons from 1965-1969.
You can find the complete series on dvd on Amazon (See: The Wild Wild West) – this is one extra special series. I’m so sorry my dad missed it!
I love my family. Okay, that should probably go without saying, but seriously… I really, really love my family.
Not only because they’re the coolest, most colorful, and lovable group of people you could ever hope to meet but also because they’re uncommonly thoughtful, kind, generous, and… well…. DARN good. Not just good. DARN good.
The book you see here is an early Christmas gift from my youngest daughter Stephany. She and her two sisters (Emily and Brittany) have contributed to my Old Hollywood book and dvd collections tremendously and I love that they love supporting my obsessive habit!
They’ve helped create the monster behind these words.
Renegade Women in Film & TV is an absolutely remarkable book. Not only is it gorgeous (hardcover and packed with colorful illustrations of the women it celebrates), it is an exceptionally inspiring read.
Within the pages I was reminded of just how remarkable some of my favorites are (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Dorothy Dandridge, Hedy Lamarr, Hattie McDaniel, Dorothy Arzner, Mary Pickford, Rita Moreno, Anna May Wong, Marlo Thomas, Oprah…). I also learned a lot about some ground-breaking women I knew very little about (Ida Lupino, Mae West, Edith Head, Barbra Streisand, Susan Harris, Mary Tyler Moore, Lesley Visser, Barbara Walters, Geena Davis…) and met ladies I knew nothing about and a few I’d never heard of before but will never forget now.
(Continued Below Lucille Ball… how mesmerizing are those eyes??)
As expected, there are outstanding women who are missing that I’d have LOVED for them to have included..
- Olivia de Havilland
- Bette Davis (she gets a mention at the end)
- Greta Garbo
- Betty White
However, the ones who AREN’T there should not and do not detract from the ones who are. Besides, maybe there’ll be a follow-up. I certainly hope so!
Renegade Women in Film & TV would make the most wonderful gift for fans of Old Hollywood and/or Classic TV imaginable. You will, however, want to get your hands on a copy for yourself, too, trust me.
But, here’s the thing… you may want TWO copies. I know I do. One for enjoying and keeping whole (it would make a perfect coffee table book) and one for removing the gorgeous photos for framing. They are truly stunning.
See Renegade Women in Film & TV for more information.
Like any Lucille Ball fanatic, I love every single series the legendary actress made – but, my favorite Lucille Ball post I Love Lucy series is The Lucy Show. I think the reason may be that, for me anyway, it seems like a wonderful continuation of I Love Lucy. Sure, there are added characters and (unfortunately) missing characters, but Lucy and Viv seem so much Like Lucy and Ethel to me that it has an extra special place in my heart.
The Lucy Show lasted six seasons, from 1962–1968. Ironically, the series was originally intended to air for just one season. Desilu (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s studio), was losing money after the glory days of I Love Lucy. He persuaded her to return to series television to help the studio out of its rut. Lucille agreed to do the show under three conditions:
- It aired on Monday nights as I Love Lucy had done.
- She had her beloved co-star Vivian Vance on board.
- The I Love Lucy writers were also on board.
The lady wasn’t just incredibly talented, she was incredibly smart. The arrangement she laid out worked.
You can find the complete Series of The Lucy Show on Amazon for a lot less than it’s worth. I’d pay over twice that much… but let’s not tell Amazon that.
One of my favorites is Samantha and the beautiful actress who brought her to life, Elizabeth Montgomery.
She was born on April 15, 1933 in Hollywood, California. Ironically, one of my favorite film actors, Robert Montgomery, is her father and her mother was stage actress Elizabeth Allen. Talk about a talented family.
Fast Facts About Elizabeth Montgomery
- She lost out on the part of Edie Doyle in the iconic On the Waterfront (1954) to Eva Marie Saint. In his autobiography “A Life,” director Elia Kaza writes that the choices were narrowed down to Montgomery and Saint. Although Montgomery was fine in her screen test, there was an air of finishing school about her. He felt this wouldn’t bode well for Edie, who was raised on the waterfront in Hoboken, NJ.
- She never actually twitched her nose as her “Bewitched” character Samantha. Instead, she twitched her upper lip, which caused her nose to follow and thus gave the impression she was twitching her nose.
Elizabeth appeared on The Flintstones episode, The Flintstones: Samantha in 1965 – voicing the beloved character she is best-known for.
She turned down the role of “Krystle Carrington” on Dynasty.
Elizabeth Montgomery and Lizzie Borden were sixth cousins once removed, both descending from 17th-century Massachusetts resident John Luther. Elizabeth (powerfully!) portrayed Lizzie in the 1975 film The Legend of Lizzie Borden.
- She was 5′ 6½.”
- Acting mentor and friend of Erin Murphy (Tabitha).
- (About her father, actor Robert Montgomery) “He told me ‘If that’s what you want to do, you’re gonna really want to have to do it because there’s no room out there for some gutless wonder wandering around, you know, there are too many talented people’. And he said it’s one of the most horrifyingly, ego-blasting, destructive, awful, businesses that you can possibly get into, and he said ‘I really wouldn’t really wish it on anyone I care even a little bit about’. So knowing he cared more than a little bit about me, I thought ‘Whoops, this is really tough a one’. However after that conversation, he did say to me that when it is rewarding and it is good, it is such a high you can’t imagine it, and he’s right.”
- Her famous nose twitch was actually a nervous habit. When they were trying to figure out a trademark for the character Samantha the director William Asher noticed that when she got nervous she would twitch her upper lip, so they used that.
- Bewitched Pop Vinyls will be released this month (October 2019). I collect Pop Vinyls of my favorite movies, TV shows, actors, and actresses and I am as excited as a kid at Christmas about this! You can order the Bewitched Pops on Amazon. They will have Samantha, Endora, and Darrin. No doubt about it, they’ll have to have their own shelf.
A personal quote: “The minute someone says ‘Oh God, you could never do that; you can’t get that kind of stuff on the air’…that’s the kind of stuff I want to do.”
The Lucy Show: The Complete Series is available on Amazon and if you don’t already own it, you should do something about that asap. In fact, what are you waiting for?!
Okay, that was pushy… I apologize, but what can I say, no one loves Lucy quite like I love Lucy!
The Lucy Show ran from 1962-1968 and, in my opinion, was nothing short of delightful. The cast worked beautifully together and the dialogue and acting were hilarious.
Plot: After the death of her husband, Lucy Carmichael (Lucille Ball) and her newly divorced friend Vivian Bagley (Vivian Vance), move their families under one house. Two high-spirited women and a houseful of kids makes for a lot of fun.
Sometimes you almost feel sorry for Lucy’s cranky boss Mr. Mooney (Gale Gordon) as he helplessly watches Lucy get into one thing after another.
Find The Lucy Show: The Complete Series on Amazon – it makes a perfect gift for the Lucille Ball fan in your life.
These are deliciously fun commercials from (let’s face it) long ago. I don’t like saying it any more than you like hearing it, but there you have it. I hope you get as big a kick out of these as I did. They are beyond precious.
If you’ll excuse me, now, I have to get up from my desk and have a bowl of Lucky Charms…. “Gotta get those Lucky Charms!”
Credit: Commercials compiled by 8thManDVD.com
Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer Boris Karloff
You are looking at a picture of one of my greatest obsessions – Abbott and Costello. I could watch their movies and/or routines daily and laugh as though it were the first time EACH time. As someone who loves few things as much as laughing, I guess it’s only expected that they’d float my boat so perfectly.
There was a lot more to Bud Abbott and Lou Costello than most of us realize. They were much more intellectual (and certainly more serious) than we envision them. In fact, off screen, the men barely resembled the characters they played.
Below are a few fast facts about these brilliant men.
Facts about Bud Abbott
- William Alexander Abbott was born in 1895.
- Both of his parents (Rae and Harry) at one time worked for the Barnum and Bailey Circus.
- Bud worked in carnivals, as a child, and dropped out of school in 1909.
- In 1931, he stood in for comic Lou Costello’s straight-man who was ill. The two clicked almost immediately and… the rest is history!
In 1940 he made his film debut in One Night in the Tropics, which was also his first film pairing with his partner Lou Costello.
Bud has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio (6333 Hollywood Boulevard), Motion Pictures (1611 Vine Street), and Television (6740 Hollywood Boulevard).
Bud Abbott was a lifelong epileptic.
His twin sister, Olive Victoria Abbott, was in vaudeville and lived to be 101 years old!
He was an avid gun collector and once owned an Adolf Hitler shotgun.
One story has it that, at Lou Costello’s insistence, the monies earned from the their act were split 60/40, favoring Bud Abbott. Lou Costello reasoned that “…comics are a dime a dozen. Good straight men are hard to find.”
After Abbott and Costello broke up, Bud Abbott said, “I never understood Lou.”
Married Betty Smith in 1918. They adopted two children.
- A favorite Bud Abbott Quote was, “You never heard of a comedy team that didn’t fight, did you?“
Died in 1974 (prostate cancer).
Facts About Lou Costello
- Born in 1906 in New Jersey.
- His parents were Helen and Sebastiano Cristillo. His father was from Calabria, Italy, and his mother was an American of Italian, French, and Irish ancestry.
- Before teaming with Bud Abbott, Lou Costello worked as a stuntman.
- Lou Costello was married to Anne Battler from January 1934 – March 1959 (his death)
- Lou mentioned his hometown (Paterson, New Jersey) in virtually every episode of his TV show and in many of his films – listen for it, it’s amazing (and touching) how he works it in.
- Tragically, his only son, Lou Jr., drowned in the family’s swimming pool just days before his first birthday.
- Lou Costello simply took home any prop or furniture from a set that he took a liking to. Once, during filming of Hit The Ice, the director was reshooting a scene when he noticed all the furniture was gone! Sure enough, Lou had hauled it off to his place – so an arrangement was made for him to bring it back just long enough to reshoot the scenes.
- Costello wanted to change the name of the duo to “Costello and Abbott.” Naturally, Universal Pictures wasn’t for the idea. The result was a “permanent chill” between the partners that lasted until their split in the late 1950s.
- After the death of his son, Lou Costello Jr., he somehow performed the “Who’s On First” routine as usual, but with tears running down his face.
- Lou was an amateur boxer.
He was awarded three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: for Motion Pictures at 6438 Hollywood Blvd., for Radio at 6780 Hollywood Blvd. and for Television at 6276 Hollywood Blvd.
- In 1943, Lou developed rheumatic fever. The disease damaged his heart and led to the heart attack that killed him – three days before his 53rd birthday.
Bud’s one starring role in a feature film, without Bud Abbott, was in The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959). He died before it was released.
Facts About the Team…
- Abbott and Costello are known in Italy as “Gianni and Pinotto”, Abbott being Gianni and Costello being Pinotto.
Abbott and Costello are the only two non-sportsmen honored in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, for their “Who’s On First” routine. They aren’t, of course, members of the Hall of Fame, but the fact that their wonderful routine is so appreciated is priceless.
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were so popular that there was an “Abbott and Costello” comic book that was published for about ten years until their partnership ended in 1956.
They performed the “Who’s on first” routine for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret (but only because I like you so much): I’m more obsessed with the classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Amazon dvd link) and its adorable characters than most kids are with Santa Claus.
The movie came out the year I was born (1964), so I guess it’s fitting that I’m its biggest fan. I’d hate to even try to count the number of times I’ve seen it because not only have I watched it every year, In the VCR’s heyday, I recorded it and watched it multiple times and since getting the dvd, I’ve been known to pop it in several times during the Christmas season.
In fact, I think it’s high time I watch it today…
I’ve also been collecting Rudolph memorabilia over the years and its one of the funnest collections I have going. People get almost as big a kick shopping for these collectibles as I get receiving them.
Below are some cool facts about this classic and the people who made the magic happen.
Santa’s reindeer are all seen and even mentioned, by name, in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The three reindeer with “speaking roles” are all voiced by Paul Kligman. These reindeer (along with their roles) are:
- Donner – Rudolph’s father
- Comet – Coach of the infamous Reindeer Games
- Dasher – One of the other buck’s (at the games) dad
Sam the Snowman is the Narrator of the movie. Burl Ives was the speaking and singing voice behind Sam. The face of Sam the Snowman was designed to resemble Mr. Ives.
The Abominable Snow Monster of the North is also called The Bumble in the movie.
Rudolph was voiced by Billie Mae Richards and, yes, this was a female. In addition to voice overs in quite a few Care Bear movies, she was also the voice of Rudolph in the movies Rudolph’s Shiny New Year and Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July.
Yukon Cornelius was voiced by Larry D. Mann. In the 1964 TV movie Return to Oz, Mann was Rusty the Tin Man. He was also in episodes of Get Smart, The Big Valley, Bewitched, and several other classic television series. Watch for him, it’s a real hoot to hear Yukon Cornelius’ voice coming out of someone else.
Corinne Conley provided the voice for the adorable doll on the Island of Misfit Toys. She (the actress… not the doll) went on to play the second Phyllis Anderson on Days of Our Lives.
The original Misfit Toys didn’t have their happy ending. Although it’s hard to imagine, in the original TV version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rudolph, Hermey the elf (who wants to be a dentist instead of an elf), and Yukon Cornelius visit the Island of Misfit Toys and promise to help them. However, the original movie ended without the Misfits ever being seen again… let alone helped.After it aired, the producers were SWARMED with letters from upset children who wanted to know why the Misfit Toys weren’t helped! A new scene was produced and added to the end of the show – the adorable scene where Santa and his reindeer (led, of course, by Rudolph) land on the Island of Misfit Toys, pick them up and take them to their new homes.
The main Misfit Toys were comprised of:
- Charlie in the Box – a Misfit simply because he’s named Charlie instead of Jack.
- Spotted Elephant – Seemingly a misfit because of the spots?
- A Toy Train – The back wheels were square instead of round.
- A Bird – Able to swim but not fly.
- “Dolly for Sue…” or just “Dolly” – One of the questions most people have always asked about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is, “Why is the doll a misfit toy?” One of the producers, Arthur Rankin Jr., finally addressed the subject. He said Dolly’s “problem” was psychological! He said she was abandoned by her human and it left her feeling depressed and unloved. OK, is that priceless or what?
Santa’s magic works wonders. If you watch closely, at the end of the movie, when the toys are “delivered,” the train’s wheels are all round. Also, the bird doesn’t need a parachute like the other toys for his trip from the sky – he simply flies!
Rudolph isn’t as big as he appears. While the Rudolph puppet, on screen, appears to be about three feet tall, in reality “Rudolph” is actually much smaller. He’s really the size of a newborn kitten.
They used to laugh and call him names… and that’s never okay. Author and special education professor, George Giuliani, recognized the behavior of some of the characters toward Rudolph as qualifying for bullying. In In December 2011, he decided to wrote a book titled No More Bullies at the North Pole!