Friday, October 17, 2014
A dancer as a child and actress and sex symbol as an adult, Rita Hayworth was born Margerita Carmen Cansino on this day in 1918.
Star of Gilda, Pal Joey, and Separate Tables, the stunning brunette was also once married to Orson Welles and romantically involved with Prince Aly Khan, Aga Khan's son.
But let's allow others to worry about her lovelife, her scandals and intrigues. We're here to celebrate her radio performances: there were many. She appeared on The Lux Radio Theatre, Gulf Screen Guild Theatre, The Pepsodent Show (hosted by Bob Hope), Suspense, and Command Performance. On these top-flight shows, she acted alongside Cary Grant, Cecil B. DeMille, George Burns, and Angela Lansbury.
Hayworth was dashing and sensual, and has been recognized by collective memory as one of the great film actresses of all time.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
People can debate whether it was "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup," or "I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille," but there can be no dispute over the fact that the film director was also a huge figure in oldtime radio.
Cecil DeMille was a regular actor and frequent host of The Lux Radio Theatre, working alongside such greats as Loretta Young, Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable, and Geraldine Peck. His run on the show stretched from 1936-1945.
DeMille was amazing in his ability to adapt to media after media. Born--today--in 881, he began as a stage actor and writer. He met the new medium of film and began directing silent films in 1914. When radio began crackling over the airwaves, he became a virtuoso in that form, also becoming a legend in talkies--motion pictures with sound.
We salute a paragon of versatility, a man known as a filmmaker whose legacy also includes great work in front of the microphone.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
January 29: Happy Birthday, W.C. Fields
Raise your glass to toast a playboy, a consort of the likes of John Barrymore, Anthony Quinn, Cecil B. DeMille, and a hard drinker, comedy icon W.C. Fields.
Fields is known for his acerbic, biting persona, which includes sexism and a general misanthropy. He was a vaudeville and Broadway one-man act, a silent film star, a talkie star, and a radio star.
In 1937, Fields joined the cast of The Chase and Sanborn Hour, popularly remembered as "The Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy" show. One of Fields' niches was trading insults with the dummy, Charlie. "Is that your nose or are you eating (insert a vegetable here)" was a standard line from Charlie to Fields, whose nose was not small.
A shorter-lived stint for Fields was as emcee of Your Hit Parade, briefly known as Your Hit Parade With W.C. Fields. His particular brand of comedy kept him on the show for just a month.
If you're looking for a quote for the day, try this one from Fields: "I never drink water because of the disgusting things fish do in it."