Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Lauren Bacall, today's birthday girl (1924) may be the only Hollywood figure to ever win the award for Prettiest Usher, a distinction Ms. Bacall garnered in 1942 while working on Broadway. Incidentally, she made the acquaintance of ace thespian Gregory Peck while toiling in this capacity.
We may best know Bacall from her "bogey and fame", but she is now of course a legend in her own right, known not just for her elegance and beauty but for her considerable acting chops.
Her electrifying voice played no small part in this, and it is what caused her to translate to radio so well. Let's not forget that the dynamic duo of Bogey and Bacall also starred in a radio program called Bold Venture. It was sort of about Bogart's characters' love for his small boat, but Bacall co-starred, and actors like William Conrad, David Rose, and Jester Hairston were also involved.
Ms. Bacall was also a gas on such radio programs as Command Performance and Let's Playwright. In 1997, she gave an introduction to a broadcast fundraising event for Bill Clinton. How's that for versatility?
Lauren Bacall passed away earlier this year (2014) at the age of 89. Happy Birthday, Lauren Bacall!
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Hey, thrill seekers, did you know that superstar Gene Kelly appeared in several episodes of Suspense? One of today's birthday boys did just that, lending his considerable acting chops to such episodes as "Thieves Fall Out," "The Man Who Couldn't Lose," and "The Most Dangerous Game."
But what's just as thrilling is that in 1946 Cresta Blanca wines launched its radio program Cresta Blanca's Hollywood Players, on which it very proudly rolled out its stable of top Hollywood stars. Bette Davis, Gregory Peck, Joan Fontaine, and Gene Kelly were among the players. The show brought to listeners recently-written productions, both dramas and comedies. These included "Heaven Can Wait," "Kitty," "Pride of the Yankees," and "The Glass Key." The latter, in November of '46, presented Kelly's debut on the show.
This show's Kelly's versatility, since no one dances on the radio. Best known for Singin' In the Rain, Kelly is the only Pittsburgh-born dancer of which we are aware. He would've been one hundred and one today!
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Peck was born in La Jolla, CA, and schooled first at St. John's Military Academy and then at the University of California, Berkeley. Without really knowing why, the English major took a role in a stage production of Moby Dick, and a promising career was born. Happy Birthday, Gregory Peck!