Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Keshia Knight Pulliam is 35 years old today!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

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Keshia Knight Pulliam (born April 9, 1979) is an American actress. She is best known for her childhood role as Rudy Huxtable on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show and as reformed con artistMiranda Lucas-Payne on the TBS comedy-drama Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.

Personal life

Keshia Knight Pulliam was born in Newark, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Denise and James Pulliam, Sr., a manager.[1] She has three younger brothers.

Pulliam attended Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, New Jersey. After The Cosby Show ended her family moved to Virginia, where Pulliam attended the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia and Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia. She received a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology from Spelman College in 2001.[citation needed] She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.[citation needed]

Career

Pulliam became the youngest actress ever to be nominated for an Emmy at age six for best supporting actress. Even before that – at age three – she played “Keshia” on Sesame Street. She also played in the movie “Polly” with Phylicia Rashad. Her character on The Cosby Show, “Rudy”, was known for being the “baby” of the family.

She is ranked at 19 in VH1‘s list of the “100 Greatest Kid Stars”. In a 2008 interview, she revealed that when she read for the role of Rudy, when she was only five, she kept looking away from the director (Jay Sandrich), who finally asked her what she was looking at. She said when pointing to a monitor, “How can you make me on the TV?”[2] Throughout the show’s eight seasons, Pulliam had an on-and-off-screen chemistry with Bill Cosby, as the two shared their own friendship when not filming. For example, she related how “Mr. Cosby and I, we had a competition going on to see who would do a better job at lip-syncing. That was our little inside thing. I think I did a better job.” She also appeared on a 1997 episode of Bill Cosby’s follow-up sitcom Cosby, playing a guitar-player. She has remained friendly with Cosby.

Pulliam won a celebrity version of Fear Factor in September 2002. She also won a celebrity version of The Weakest Link, and participated inCelebrity Mole 2: Yucatan. In 2004, she performed in Chingy‘s music video for “One Call Away“. In 2005, she played Darnelle in Beauty Shopwith Queen Latifah.

Pulliam performed in Donald Gray’s play The Man of Her Dreams in the fall of 2006 in St. Louis.[3] In 2008, she joined the cast of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne as Miranda, the new wife of Calvin Payne. The role earned her the 2009 and 2010 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

In 2009, she portrayed “Candy” in the film Madea Goes To Jail.[4]

Pulliam appeared in Tank‘s 2010 music video for his cover of “I Can’t Make You Love Me“, playing his love interest.

In 2011, commenting on the fact that only white actors had won Golden Globe Awards that year, she said:

I think that there is definitely work to be done. It can always be more diverse. We live in a very multicultural and global society. More needs to be done to increase the representation of all people and really show the world for what it is. It’s not just one color.[5]

In 2013, she was a contestant on the ABC celebrity diving show Splash. She was first to be eliminated.

Michael “Olivia Walton” Learned is 75 years old today!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

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Michael Learned (born April 9, 1939) is an American actress known for her role as Olivia Walton onThe Waltons.

Personal life

Learned was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter and oldest child of Elizabeth Duane “Betti” (née Hooper) and Bruce Learned, a diplomat.[2] Her maternal grandfather was an attaché for the United States Embassy in Rome.[3] She lived on a Connecticut farm with her five sisters for the first ten years of her life. Learned said that her parents never explained why she got her masculine given name although she mentioned that other people she conferred with didn’t believe her when she said “Michael” was her real name.[4] When she was 11, Learned moved to Austria, where her father worked for the U.S. State Department. At this time, she attended Arts Educational School, Tring now Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in TringHertfordshire, England. During this time, she discovered the theater and decided to make acting her life’s work.[5] In a 2002 article she wrote for Daily Word, a publication of the Unity Church, Learned states that at the time she was cast in The Waltons, she had “hit rock bottom”. It was then, at age 32, that Learned realized she was an alcoholic. Taking herself to ex-husband Peter Donat’s cabin on the California coast, Learned states she decided to “get sober” and that her time there was the beginning of a spiritual journey. Learned further stated in the article that she has been sober since 1977.[1]

Learned has been married four times. Her first husband was Canadian-American actor Peter Donat, whom she married in 1956, when she was 17 years old. The marriage was dissolved in 1972. She had three children by the marriage; Caleb, Christopher and Lucas. Her second marriage, to Glenn Chadwick, lasted from 1975–1977, and ended in divorce. In 1979, she married actor/screenwriter William Parker. That marriage ended and in 1988 she married lawyer John Doherty; they reside in California.

Career

Television

She was billed as “Miss Michael Learned” on The Waltons because she was relatively unknown at the time, and producers did not want confusion among viewers about her gender. By the sixth season, as the show continued its success and after the departure of co-star Richard Thomas, producers’ fear of gender confusion had alleviated and the “Miss” was dropped from Learned’s billing. She was nominated for sixEmmy Awards and won three for her role of Olivia Walton.

In 1979, her contract was not renewed; some sources indicate that she opted not to re-sign with the show to avoid typecasting as an “Olivia Walton” character.[6] Her character’s abrupt disappearance was explained by Olivia developing tuberculosis and entering a sanatorium in Arizona. She made occasional guest appearances until the show’s cancellation and later appeared in four of the six Waltons reunion movies made during the 1980s and 1990s. For her portrayal of Olivia Walton, Learned was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards.

During her run as Olivia Walton, Learned and The Waltons co-star, Will Geer, appeared together in the 1974 made-for-TV movie, Hurricane.

Learned later starred as Nurse Mary Benjamin in the hospital drama Nurse, which ran on CBS during the 1981–82 season. Though the series was well received critically, it was not a ratings success and lasted only two seasons. Learned was nominated for two Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Lead Actress” and won yet another Emmy for this role in 1982.

She later had a starring role in the unsuccessful 1989 sitcom Living Dolls and reprised her Waltons role for a number of TV movies and reunions in the 1990s.

Learned played “Judge Helen Turner” on the ABC soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live as part of the “baby switch” storyline on both shows. In The Secret World of Alex Macks second season, she guest starred as a ghost who regretted the decisions of her long-estranged granddaughter, revealed at the end to be the show’s main villain, Danielle Atron (Louan Gideon). She also guest-starred in Scrubsas Mrs. Wilk in five episodes from the show’s fifth season. She also played Shirley Smith on ABC’s General Hospital.

In the fall of 2011, Learned played Katherine Chancellor on the CBS daytime drama, The Young and the Restless, filling in for Jeanne Cooper, who was on extended medical leave from the series.[7]

Theatre

In the late 1960s, Learned and her husband (Peter Donat) appeared in various roles with the American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.) in San Francisco.

She has appeared in many stage productions on Broadway, Off Broadway, and elsewhere, including the 2006–2007 national touring production of On Golden Pond. In the fall of 2008 she starred in Innovation Theatre Works’ production of Driving Miss Daisy, playing the title role of Daisy Werthen opposite Willis Burks II as Hoke and Dirk Blocker as Daisy’s son Boolie.

John “Bo Duke” Schneider is 54 years old today!

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

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John Richard Schneider III (born April 8, 1960) is an American actor and singer.[1] He is best known for his portrayal of Bo Duke in the 1970s–1980s American television series The Dukes of Hazzard,[1] Jonathan Kent in the 2001–11 TV series Smallville (an adaptation of Superman).[1] and of James “Jim” Cryer on the television series The Haves and the Have Nots, created by Tyler Perry.

Alongside his acting career, Schneider performed as a country music singer in the 1980s, releasing nine studio albums and a greatest hits package, as well as eighteen singles. This total includes “I’ve Been Around Enough to Know“, “Country Girls“, “What’s a Memory Like You” and “You’re the Last Thing I Needed Tonight“, all of which reached the top of the Billboard country singles charts.[citation needed]

Early life

Schneider was born April 8, 1960, in Mount Kisco, New York. His family included an older brother Robert, an artist living in up-state New York. John’s life as an entertainer began at the age of eight, when he put on magic shows for his peers and their families. This once got him into trouble, when he had himself chained up and tossed into a swimming pool with the intention of re-creating Harry Houdini‘s legendary escape act. When he was 14, he and his mother moved to Georgia, where his love for performing continued. John graduated from North Springs High School in 1977.[citation needed]

Career

Acting career

Schneider at the 2005 Superman Festival, Metropolis, IL

Schneider (left) with Smallville co-stars Tom Welling and Brian Peterson

He briefly attended the Georgia School of High Performance, hoping to become a race-car driver. His prowess behind the wheel enabled him to land his Dukes of Hazzard role as “Bo Duke” (from 1979 to 1985).

Beginning in 2001, he portrayed Jonathan Kent, the adoptive father of Clark Kent on Smallville, starring in 100 episodes before his character was killed off. Schneider directed some episodes of Smallville, including “Talisman”. Some episodes contain references to Schneider’s work in The Dukes of Hazzard, i.e. the season five episode “Exposed” is notable for reuniting Schnieder with his former Dukes co-star Tom Wopat. Schneider guest starred for the latter half of season five appearing in the episodes “Void” and “Oracle”. Schneider returned for the season 10 premiere of Smallville, reprising his role as Jonathan Kent in a recurring role.[2]

Schneider has appeared in many films and TV series, including five guest spots on Hee Haw and the miniseries 10.5. He had a recurring role on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and made guest appearances on such shows as Diagnosis: MurderTouched by an AngelJAG and Walker, Texas Ranger. He appeared in the national tour of the musical The Civil War, playing a Confederate soldier.[citation needed]

In 2009, Schneider made an appearance on CSI in an episode titled “Kill Me If You Can”. He appeared in the first season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, in which his real-life son Chasen Schneider had a recurring role. During the summer of 2008 and early 2009, John portrayed “Marshall Bowman”. He declined to continue through the second season and his character was killed off.

In 2010, Schneider appeared in the series Leverage as a corrupt music executive in the season three episode “The Studio Job”, and in several episodes of Desperate Housewives as a retired military man and father of Keith Watson (Brian Austin Green), the love interest of Bree Van de Kamp. In May 2013, he began the role of Jim Cryer on the The Haves and the Have Nots.[citation needed]

In 2011, he starred in the film Doonby, as a drifter who comes into a small town and makes it better. However, a menacing force stalks him. “It’s It’s a Wonderful Life without the wonderful part,” Schneider explains. “‘Reach down into the throat of It’s a Wonderful Life, pull it inside out and make a movie out of it.”[3]

Music career

Schneider performing in 2008

During the 1980s, Schneider parlayed his success as Bo Duke with a string of country music hits. His biggest hits include: “It’s Now or Never” (#4 country and No. 14 pop, 1981; a remake of the Elvis Presley hit); “I’ve Been Around Enough to Know” (#1 country, 1984); “Country Girls” (#1 country, 1985); “What’s a Memory Like You (Doing in a Love Like This)” and “You’re The Last Thing I Needed Tonight” (both No. 1 country, 1986); “At the Sound of the Tone” (#5 country, 1986); and “Love, You Ain’t Seen the Last of Me” (#6 country) in 1987.

Schneider has recorded 10 albums to date, including works on Scotti Brothers Records and MCA Nashville. His co-star (on The Dukes of Hazzard), Tom Wopat, also enjoyed success on the country music charts. Schneider and Wopat sang several duets on the TV series, sometimes with co-star Catherine Bach. In fact, in the season 7 DVD boxset, the trio performed a remake of the show’s theme song “Good Ol’ Boys” in a music video as a tribute to their friend Waylon Jennings.

Personal life

Schneider became a born-again Christian while living with Johnny and June Carter Cash for a short time and speaking with Johnny about Christianity.[4] In 1982, he co-founded, with Marie Osmond, the Children’s Miracle Network to help suffering children. In 1995, he founded FaithWorks Productions in order to produce family-oriented videos and recordings.

Schneider has become involved in animal advocacy. He read from Karen Dawn‘s book Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking The Way We Treat Animals at its New York book launch. In a Washington Post article he discussed the effects of the book and the people he met through the event on his life.[5] He was moved to record a personal video, which is available on YouTube and on the book’s website, in which he talks of his shock upon learning about the way animals are treated by human society, and mentions the award winning documentary Earthlings, which is about the human dependence on animals for a variety of resources.[6]

John was married to former Miss America Tawny Elaine Godin from 1983 to 1986. John married his second wife, Elly Castle, on July 11, 1993. In 2014 they are still happily married. [7] They have three children, Leah and Chasen, both of whom are Elly’s children from her first marriage,[8]and their daughter Karis.[9]

In March 2008, Schneider auctioned off his “General Lee” Dodge Charger with the winning bidder being a car dealer and collector living inHardy County, West Virginia.

James “Jim Rockford” Garner is 86 years old today!

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Garner

James Garner (born James Scott Bumgarner; April 7, 1928) is an American film and television actor, one of the first Hollywood actors to excel in both media. He has starred in several television series spanning a career of more than five decades. These included his popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western-comedy series, Maverick, andJim Rockford in the 1970s detective dramaThe Rockford Files. He has starred in more than fifty films, including The Great Escape (1963), Paddy Chayefsky‘s The Americanization of Emily (1964), Blake Edwards‘ Victor Victoria (1982),Murphy’s Romance (1985), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, and The Notebook (2004).

Early life

Garner, the youngest of three children, was born in Norman, Oklahoma, the son of Mildred Scott (née Meek) and Weldon Warren Bumgarner, a carpet layer.[1][2] His two older brothers were actor Jack Garner (1926–2011) and Charles Bumgarner, a school administrator who died in 1984.[3][4] His family was Methodist.[5] His mother, who was of part Cherokee descent, died when he was five years old.[6][7] After their mother’s death, Garner and his brothers were sent to live with relatives. Garner was reunited with his family in 1934, when Weldon remarried.

Garner grew to hate his stepmother, Wilma, who beat all three boys, especially young James. When he was fourteen, Garner finally had enough of his “wicked stepmother” and after a particularly heated battle, she left for good. James’ brother Jack commented, “She was a damn no-good woman”.  Garner stated that his stepmother punished him by forcing him to wear a dress in public and that he finally engaged in a physical fight with her, knocking her down and choking her to keep her from killing him in retaliation. This incident ended the marriage.[9]

Shortly after the breakup of the marriage, Weldon Bumgarner moved to Los Angeles, while Garner and his brothers remained in Norman. After working at several jobs he disliked, at sixteen Garner joined the United States Merchant Marine near the end of World War II. He fared well in the work and with shipmates, but suffered from chronic seasickness. At seventeen, he joined his father in Los Angeles and enrolled at Hollywood High School, where he was voted the most popular student. A high school gym teacher recommended him for a job modeling Jantzen bathing suits.[10] It paid well, $25 an hour, but in his first interview for the Archives of American Television,[11] he said he hated modeling and soon quit and returned to Norman. There, he played football and basketball, as well as competed on the track and golf teams, for Norman High School.[12] He never graduated from high school, explaining in a 1976 Good Housekeeping magazine interview: “I was a terrible student and I never actually graduated from high school, but I got my diploma in the Army.”[7]

Later, he joined the National Guard serving seven months in the United States. He then went to Korea for 14 months in the Regular Army, serving in the 5th Regimental Combat Team in the Korean War. He was wounded twice, first in the face and hand from shrapnel fire from a mortar round, and second on April 23, 1951 in the buttocks from friendly fire from U.S. fighter jets as he dived headfirst into a foxhole. Garner was awarded the purple heart in Korea for the first injury. For the second wound, he received a second Purple Heart (eligibility requirement: “As the result of friendly fire while actively engaging the enemy”), although Garner received the medal in 1983, 32 years after his injury.[10][13][14][15] Garner was a self-described “scrounger” for his company in Korea, a role he later played in The Great Escape[16] and The Americanization of Emily.

In 1954 a friend, Paul Gregory, whom Garner had met while attending Hollywood High School, persuaded Garner to take a non-speaking role in the Broadwayproduction of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial,[17] where he was able to study actor Henry Fonda night after night. Garner subsequently moved to television commercials and eventually to television roles. His first movie appearances were in The Girl He Left Behind and Toward the Unknown in 1956.

He changed his last name from Bumgarner to Garner after the studio had credited him as “James Garner” without permission. He then legally changed it upon the birth of his first child, when he decided she had too many names.[11] His brother Jack also had an acting career and changed his surname to Garner, too. His non-actor brother, Charlie, kept the Bumgarner surname.

Acting career

Maverick

With Louise Fletcher in 1958

Garner as Bret andJack Kelly as Bart Maverick

Garner was closely advised by financial adviser Irving Leonard, who also advised Clint Eastwood in the late 1950s and 1960s.  After several feature film roles, including Sayonara with Marlon Brando, Garner got his big break playing the role of professional gambler Bret Maverick in the comedy Western series Maverick from 1957 to 1960.

Garner was earlier considered for the lead role in another Warner Brothers Western series, Cheyenne, but that role went to Clint Walker because the casting director couldn’t reach Garner in time (according to Garner’s autobiography), and Garner wound up playing an Army officer in the pilot instead.

Only Garner and series creator Roy Huggins thought Maverick could compete with The Ed Sullivan Show and The Steve Allen Show. The show almost immediately made Garner a household name. Various actors had recurring roles as Maverick foils, including Efrem Zimbalist, Jr as “Dandy Jim Buckley,” Richard Long as “Gentleman Jack Darby,” Leo Gordon as “Big Mike McComb,” and Diane Brewster as “Samantha Crawford” (Huggins’ mother’s maiden name) while the series veered effortlessly from comedy to adventure and back again. The relationship with Huggins, the creator and original producer of Maverick, would later pay dividends for Garner.

Garner was the lone star of Maverick for the first seven episodes but production demands forced the studio, Warner Brothers, to create a Maverick brother, Bart, played by Jack Kelly. This allowed two production units to film different story lines and episodes simultaneously. The series also featured popular cross-over episodes featuring both Maverick brothers, including the famous “Shady Deal at Sunny Acres“, upon which the first half of the 1973 movie The Sting appears to be based, according to Roy Huggins‘ Archive of American Television interview. Garner and Clint Eastwood staged an epic fistfight in an episode entitled “Duel at Sundown“, in which Eastwood plays a vicious gunslinger. Critics were positive about Garner and Jack Kelly’s chemistry, but Garner quit the series in the third season because of a dispute with Warner Brothers.

The studio attempted to replace Garner’s character with a Maverick cousin who had lived in Britain long enough to pick up an English accent, played by Roger Moore, but Moore quit the series after filming only 14 episodes as Beau Maverick. Warner Brothers also dressedRobert Colbert, a Garner look-alike, in Bret Maverick’s outfit and called the character Brent, but Brent Maverick did not have a chance to catch on with viewers since Colbert made only two episodes toward the end of the season, leaving the rest of the series run to Kelly (alternating with reruns of episodes with Garner).

When Charlton Heston turned down the lead role in Darby’s Rangers before Garner’s departure from Maverick, Garner was selected and performed well in the role. As a result of Garner’s performance in Darby’s Rangers, coupled with his Maverick popularity, Warner Brothers subsequently gave him lead roles in other films, such as Up Periscope and Cash McCall.

 

With Jack Kelly in 1957

With Suzanne Storrs in 1960

With Connie Stevens in 1959

With Diane Brewster in 1957

With Diane McBain in 1959

With Jean Willes in 1960

With Connie Stevens in 1959

With Kaye Elhardt in 1959

1960s: Movie career peak

Reprising his Maverick role for a Bob Hope Buick special in 1961, Garner breaks up at rehearsal.

After his acrimonious departure from Warner Bros., in the 1960s he starred in such films as The Children’s Hour (1962) with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaineBoys’ Night Out (1962) with Kim Novak and Tony RandallThe Thrill of It All (1963) with Doris Day;Move Over, Darling (a 1963 remake of My Favorite Wife also starring Doris Day in which Garner played Cary Grant‘s role); The Great Escape (1963) with Steve McQueenThe Americanization of Emily (1964) with Julie AndrewsThe Art of Love (1965) with Dick Van DykeDuel at Diablo (1966) with Sidney Poitier; and as Wyatt Earp in Hour of the Gun (1967) with Jason Robards, Jr. as Doc Holliday, along with nine other theatrical releases during the decade.

In the smash hit war movie The Great Escape, Garner played the second lead for the only time during the decade, supporting fellow ex-TV series cowboy Steve McQueen among a cast of British and American screen veterans including Richard AttenboroughDonald PleasenceDavid McCallumJames Coburn, and Charles Bronson in a film depicting a mass escape from a Nazi prisoner of warcamp based on a true story.

The Americanization of Emily, a literate anti-war D-Day comedy, featured a screenplay written by Paddy Chayefsky and has remained Garner’s favorite of all his work.[20][21] In 1963 exhibitors voted him the 16th most popular star in the US.[22]

The cult racing film Grand Prix, directed by John Frankenheimer, left Garner with a fascination for car racing that he often explored by actually racing during the ensuing years. The expensive Cinerama epic did not fare as well as expected at the box office.

In 1969, Garner joined a long list of actors to play Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe in Marlowe, a detective drama featuring an early karate scene with Bruce Lee. The same year, Garner scored a hit with the comedy Western Support Your Local Sheriff! featuring Walter Brennan and Jack Elam.

1970s

In 1971, Garner returned to television in an offbeat series, Nichols. The network changed the show’s title to James Garner as Nichols during its second month in a vain attempt to rally the sagging ratings. The motorcycle-riding character was killed in what became the final episode of the single-season series. Garner was re-cast as the character’s more normal twin brother, in the hopes of creating a more popular series with few cast changes. According to Garner’s videotaped Archive of American Television interview, Garner had Nichols killed in the last episode so that a sequel could never be made.

The year 1971 also saw him star in the comedies Support Your Local Gunfighter!, similar to the earlier Support Your Local Sheriff! but not really a sequel, and the frontier comedy Skin Game, featuring Louis Gossett, Jr. and Garner as con men pretending to be a slave and his owner during the pre-Civil War era. The following year, Garner played a modern sheriff investigating a murder in the suspense drama They Only Kill Their Masters with Katherine Ross. He appeared in two movies co-starring Vera Miles as his leading ladyOne Little Indian (1973) featuring Jodie Foster in an early minor role and The Castaway Cowboy (1974) with Robert Culp, before returning to television with a new detective series.

The Rockford Files

“Tall Woman in Red Wagon” episode (1974)

In the 1970s, Roy Huggins had an idea to remake Maverick, but this time as a modern-day private detective. Huggins teamed with co-creator Stephen J. Cannell, and the pair tapped Garner to attempt to rekindle the success of Maverick, eventually recycling many of the plots from the original series. Starting with the 1974 season, Garner appeared as private investigator Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files.

He appeared for six seasons, for which he received an Emmy Award[23] for Best Actor in 1977. Veteran character actor Noah Beery, Jr. (Wallace Beery‘s nephew) played Rockford’s father, Joseph “Rocky” Rockford, whileGretchen Corbett portrayed Rockford’s lawyer and sometime lover, Beth Davenport, until she left the series over a salary dispute with the studio. Garner also invited yet another familiar actor, Joe Santos, who played Rockford’s friend in the Los Angeles Police Department, Detective Dennis Becker. Rounding out the cast was a character actor and friend of Garner’s who had previously co-starred with him on NicholsStuart Margolin, playing Jim’s ex-cell mate and treacherous “friend” Angel Martin. In the first episode of Season Six, Paradise CoveMariette Hartley guest-starred as Court Auditor Althea Morgan. Garner had previously appeared with Rockford Files co-star Hartley in a series of Polaroid Camera commercials. Garner ultimately ended the run of the show, despite consistently high ratings, because of the high physical toll on his body.[24] Appearing in nearly every scene of the series, doing many of his own stunts — including one that injured his back — was wearing him out.[24] A knee injury from his National Guard days worsened in the wake of the continuous jumping and rolling, and he was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer in 1979.[24]

Margolin said of his longtime colleague that despite Garner’s health problems in the later years of The Rockford Files, he would often work long shifts, unusual for a starring actor, staying to do off-camera lines with other actors, doing his own stunts despite his knee problems.[24] When Garner made The Rockford Files television movies, he said that 22 people (with the exception of series co-star Beery, who died late in 1994) came out of retirement to participate.[24]

In July 1983, Garner filed suit against Universal Studios for US$16.5 million in connection with his on-going dispute from The Rockford Files. The suit charged Universal with “breach of contract; failure to deal in good faith and fairly; and fraud and deceit”. It was eventually settled out of court in 1989. As part of the agreement Garner could not disclose the amount of the settlement.[8][25]

Garner sued Universal again in 1998 for $2.2 million over syndication royalties. In this suit he charged the studio with “deceiving him and suppressing information about syndication”. He was supposed to receive $25,000 per episode that ran in syndication, but Universal charged him “distribution fees”. He also felt that the studio did not release the show to the highest bidder for the episode reruns.[25]

1980s

Garner returned to his earlier TV role in 1981 in the revival series Bret Maverick, but NBC unexpectedly canceled the show after only one season despite reasonably good ratings. Critics noted that most of the scripts did not measure up to the first series. Jack Kelly (Bart Maverick) was slated to become a series regular had the show been picked up for another season, and he appeared in the last scene of the final episode in a surprise guest role.

During the 1980s, Garner played dramatic roles in a number of TV movies, including Heartsounds (with Mary Tyler Moore), Promise (with Piper Laurie) and My Name Is Bill W. In 1984, he played the lead in Joseph Wambaugh‘s The Glitter Dome for HBO Pictures, which was being directed by his Rockford Files co-starStuart Margolin. The film generated a mild controversy for a bondage sequence featuring Garner and co-star Margot Kidder.[26]

He was nominated for his first Oscar award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the movie Murphy’s Romance opposite Sally Field. Field, and director Martin Ritt, had to fight the studio, Columbia Pictures, to have Garner cast, since he was regarded as a TV actor by then (despite having co-starred in the box office hit Victor Victoria opposite Julie Andrews two years earlier). Columbia didn’t want to make the picture at all, because it had no “sex or violence” in it. But because of the success ofNorma Rae (1979), with the same star (Field), director, and screenplay writing team (Harriet Frank Jr. and Irving Ravetch), and with Field’s new production company (Fogwood Films) producing, Columbia agreed. Columbia wanted Marlon Brando to play the part of Murphy, so Field and Ritt had to insist on Garner.[27][28][29] Part of the deal from the studio, which at that time was owned by The Coca-Cola Company, included an eight line sequence of Field and Garner saying the word “Coke”, and also having Coke signs appear prominently in the film.[30][31] In A&E‘s Biography of Garner, Field reported that her on-screen kiss with Garner was the best cinematic kiss she had ever experienced.[32]

Garner played Wyatt Earp in two very different movies shot 21 years apart, Hour of the Gun in 1967 and Sunset in 1988. The first film was a realistic depiction of theO.K. Corral shootout and its aftermath, while the second centered around a fictional adventure shared by Earp and silent movie cowboy star Tom Mix; the real-life Earp actually was a consultant on some early silent Westerns toward the end of his life. The film featured Bruce Willis as Mix in only his second movie role. Although Willis was billed over Garner, the film actually gave more screen time and emphasis to Earp. Malcolm McDowell played a villainous silent comedian.

1990s

In 1991, Garner starred in Man of the People, a television series about a con man chosen to fill an empty seat on a city council, with Kate Mulgrew and Corinne Bohrer. Despite reasonably fair ratings, the show was canceled after only 10 episodes. In 1993, Garner played the lead in another well-received TV-movie,Barbarians at the Gate, and went on to reprise his role as Jim Rockford in eight The Rockford Files made-for-TV movies beginning the following year. The powerfully frenetic opening theme song from the original series was rerecorded and slowed to a mournfully funereal pace, and practically everyone in the original cast of recurring characters returned for the new episodes except Noah Beery, Jr., who had died in the interim. For the second half of the 1980s, Garner appeared in several of the North American market Mazda television commercials as an on screen spokesman.

In 1994, Garner played Marshal Zane Cooper in a movie version of Maverick, with Mel Gibson as Bret Maverick (in the end it is revealed that Garner’s character is the father of Gibson’s Maverick) and Jodie Foster as a gambling lass with a fake southern accent. In 1995, he played lead character Woodrow Call, an ex-lawman, in the TV miniseries sequel to Lonesome Dove entitled Streets of Laredo, based on Larry McMurtry‘s book. In 1996, Garner and Jack Lemmon teamed up in My Fellow Americans, playing two former presidents who uncover scandalous activity by their successor Dan Aykroyd and are pursued by murderous NSA agents. In addition to a major recurring role during the last part of the run of TV series Chicago Hope, Garner also starred in a couple of short-lived series, the animated God, the Devil and Bob and First Monday, in which he played a Supreme Court justice.

2000–present

In 2000, after an operation to replace both knees, Garner appeared with Clint Eastwood (who had played a villain in the original Maverick series) as astronauts in the movie Space Cowboys, also featuring Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland. During a group appearance by the cast on television’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Leno ran a brief clip from Garner and Eastwood’s lengthy saloon fistfight during Eastwood’s Maverick appearance in “Duel at Sundown” over forty years earlier; Tommy Lee Jones and Eastwood also stage a brief bar brawl in Space Cowboys, and Leno is shown interviewing the four astronauts in the film.

In 2001, Garner voiced the main antagonist, Commander Rourke, in Disney‘s Atlantis: The Lost Empire. In 2002, following the death of James Coburn, Garner took over Coburn’s role as TV commercial voiceover for Chevrolet’s “Like a Rock” advertising campaign. Garner continued to voice the commercials until the end of the campaign. Upon the death of John Ritter in 2003, Garner joined the cast of 8 Simple Rules as Grandpa Jim Egan (Cate’s father). Originally intended to be a one-shot guest role, he stayed with the series until its end in 2005.

In 2004, Garner starred in the movie version of Nicholas Sparks‘ The Notebook alongside Gena Rowlands as his wife (portrayed in flashbacks by Rachel McAdams, while the younger version of Garner’s character was played by Ryan Gosling, who bore no physical resemblance to Garner while two other characters in the film’s flashback sequences were portrayed by young Garner lookalikes), directed by Nick Cassavetes, Rowlands’ son. The Screen Actors Guild nominated Garner as best actor for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.”

In 2010, Garner voiced the wizard Shazam in the direct-to-video animated feature Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam.

In 2011, the PBS television documentary series Pioneers of Television briefly profiled Garner’s contribution to the television series Maverick and other Westerns, illustrated with film clips, rare stills, and interviews with Garner and Stephen J. Cannell, and a voiceover narration read by Kelsey Grammer touching on Garner’s difficult childhood and his impact when Maverick dominated Sunday night television.

On November 1, 2011, Simon & Schuster published Garner’s autobiography “The Garner Files: A Memoir.” In addition to recounting his career, the memoir co-written with non-fiction writer Jon Winokur, detailed the childhood abuses Garner suffered at the hands of his stepmother. It also offered frank, unflattering assessments of some of Garner’s co-stars like Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson.

In addition to recalling the genesis of most of Garner’s hit movies and television shows, the book also featured a section where the star provided individual critiques for every one of his acting projects accompanied by a star rating for each.

Garner’s three-time co-star Julie Andrews wrote the book’s foreword. Lauren Bacall, Diahann Carroll, Doris Day, Tom Selleck and Stephen J. Cannell and many other Garner associates, friends and relatives provided their memories of the star in the book’s coda.

Awards

For his contribution to the film and television industry, Garner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6927 Hollywood Boulevard). In 1990, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was also inducted into theTelevision Hall of Fame that same year. In February 2005, he received the Screen Actors Guild‘s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role that year, for The Notebook. When Morgan Freeman won that prize for his work in Million Dollar Baby, he led the audience in a sing-along of the original Maverick theme song, written by David Buttolph and Paul Francis Webster. In 2010, the Television Critics Association gave Garner its annual Career Achievement Award.

Statue of James Garner

On April 21, 2006, a 10-foot-tall (3.0 m) bronze statue of Garner as Bret Maverick was unveiled in Garner’s hometown of Norman, Oklahoma, with Garner present at the ceremony.

Personal life

Marriage and family

The Garners in 1961. Greta is on Garner’s lap; Kim is looking out between Garner and his wife, Lois.

Garner is married to Lois Clarke, whom he met at an “Adlai Stevenson for President” rally in 1956. They married 14 days later on August 17, 1956. “We went to dinner every night for 14 nights. I was just absolutely nuts about her. I spent $77 on our honeymoon, and it about broke me.”  According to Garner, “Marriage is like the Army; everyone complains, but you’d be surprised at the large number of people who re-enlist”.

When Garner and Clarke married, her daughter Kim from a previous marriage was seven years old and recovering from polio.  Garner has one daughter with wife Lois: Greta “Gigi” Garner.  In an interview in Good Housekeeping with Garner, his wife, and two daughters conducted at their home that was published in March 1976, Gigi’s age was given as 18 and Kim, 27.

Health issues

Garner’s knees would become chronic problems during the filming of The Rockford Files in the 1970s, with “six or seven knee operations during that time.” In 2000 he had both knees surgically replaced.[10]

On April 22, 1988, Garner had quintuple bypass heart surgery.[35] Though he rapidly recovered, the doctors insisted that he stop smoking. Garner complied—17 years later.

Garner underwent surgery on May 11, 2008, following a minor stroke he had suffered two days earlier.[36] His prognosis was reported to be “very positive.”[36]

Racing

Garner was an owner of the “American International Racers” (AIR) auto racing team from 1967 through 1969. Famed motorsports writer William Edgar and Hollywood director Andy Sidaris teamed with Garner for the racing documentary “The Racing Scene,” filmed in 1969 and released in 1970.[37] The team fielded cars at Le MansDaytona, and Sebring endurance races, but is best known for Garner’s celebrity status raising publicity in early off-road motor-sports events.[38] Garner signed a three-year sponsorship contract with American Motors Corporation (AMC).[39] His shops prepared ten 1969 SC/Ramblers for the Baja 500 race.[40] Garner did not drive in this event because of a film commitment in Spain that year. Nevertheless, seven of his cars finished the grueling race, taking three of the top five places in the sedan class.[41] Garner also drove the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 race in 1975, 1977, and 1985 (see: list of Indianapolis 500 pace cars).

Golf

Garner was an avid golfer for many years. Along with his brother, Jack, he played golf in high school.[12] Jack even attempted a professional golfing career after a brief stint in the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball farm system.[42] Garner took it up again in the late 1950s to see if he could beat Jack.[10] He was a regular for years at Pebble Beach Pro-Am.[42] In February 1990 at the AT&T Golf Tournament he won the Most Valuable Amateur Trophy.[6]

University of Oklahoma

James Garner is a supporter of the University of Oklahoma, often returning to Norman for school functions. When he attended a game, he frequently could be seen on the sidelines or in the press box at Oklahoma Sooners football games. Garner received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at OU in 1995.[43] In 2003, to endow the James Garner Chair in the School of Drama, he donated $500,000, half of a pledged $1 million, for the first endowed position at the drama school.[43][44] Tom H. Orr, the Director for the School of Drama (Acting/Camera Acting) and the Artistic Director University Theatre, currently holds the James Garner Chair at the university.[45][46]

Politics

Garner is a strong Democratic Party supporter, contributing over $7,500 to Democrats running for federal office the past seven years, including Dennis Kucinich (for Congress in 2002), Richard GephardtJohn KerryBarbara Boxer, and various Democratic committees and groups. Since 1982 Garner has given at least $29,000 to Federal campaigns, of which over $24,000 has been to the Democrats.[47]

On August 28, 1963, Garner was one of several celebrities to join Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” In his autobiography, Garner recalled sitting in third row listening to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

For his role in the 1985 CBS miniseries Space, the character’s party affiliation was changed from Republican as in the book to reflect Garner’s personal views. Garner said, “My wife would leave me if I played a Republican”.[48]

Prior to the entry of ex-San Francisco Mayor (later U.S. SenatorDianne Feinstein, there was an effort by Democratic party leaders, led by state Senator Herschel Rosenthal, to persuade James Garner to seek the 1990 Democratic nomination forGovernor of California

 

 

 

Wayne”Trapper John” Rogers is 81 years old today!

Monday, April 7th, 2014

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William Wayne McMillan Rogers III[1] (born April 7, 1933) is an American film and television actor, best known for playing the role of “Trapper John” McIntyre in the CBS television series, M*A*S*H.

He is a regular panel member on the Fox News Channel stock investment television programCashin’ In, as a result of having built a highly successful and lucrative second career as an investor, investment strategist and advisor, and money manager.

Life and career

Rogers was born in BirminghamAlabama. He attended Ramsay High School in Birmingham and is a graduate of The Webb School in Bell BuckleTennessee. In 1954, he graduated from Princeton University with a history degree and was a member of the Princeton Triangle Club and the Eating Club Tiger Inn. Rogers served in the United States Navy before he became an actor.

Prior to the role of Trapper John, Rogers appeared on television in various roles in both dramas and sitcoms such as The InvadersThe F.B.I.,GunsmokeGomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.The Fugitive, and had a small supporting role in the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke.

In 1959, he played Slim Davis on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow. Rogers also played a role in Odds Against Tomorrow which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1960 as Best Film Promoting International Understanding. He guest starred on an episode of the CBS western, Johnny Ringo.

Rogers co-starred with Robert Bray and Richard Eyer in the western series Stagecoach West, on ABC from 1960 to 1961.

M*A*S*H (1972–1975)

When Rogers was approached for M*A*S*H, he planned to audition as Hawkeye Pierce. However, he found the character too cynical and asked to screen test as Trapper John, whose outlook was brighter. Rogers was told that Trapper and Hawkeye would have equal importance as characters.

This changed after Alan Alda, whose acting career and résumé up to that point had outshone that of Rogers, was cast as Hawkeye, and proved to be more popular with the audience. Rogers did, however, still enjoy working with Alda and the rest of the cast as a whole (Alda and Rogers quickly became close friends), but eventually chafed that the writers were devoting the show’s best humorous and dramatic moments to Alda.

When the writers took the liberty of making Hawkeye a thoracic surgeon in the episode “Dear Dad” (December 17, 1972) even though Trapper was the unit’s only thoracic surgeon in the movie and the novel, Rogers felt Trapper was stripped of his credentials.

On the M*A*S*H* 30th Anniversary Reunion Television Special aired by Fox-TV in 2002, Rogers once spoke on the differences between the Hawkeye and Trapper characters, “Alan (Alda) and I both used to discuss ways on how to distinguish the differences between the two characters as to where there would be a variance… my character (Trapper John McIntyre) was a little more impulsive (than Hawkeye)”.

Rogers considerably reduced his Alabama accent for the character of Trapper.[2]

He succeeded Elliott Gould, who had played the character in the Robert Altman movie MASH, and was himself succeeded by Pernell Robertson the M*A*S*H spin-off Trapper John, M.D..

Preceded by
Elliott Gould
“Trapper John” Actor
17 September 1972 – 18 March 1975
Succeeded by
Pernell Roberts

Departure from M*A*S*H

After three seasons, Rogers grew weary of the Trapper character being treated as more of a sidekick than an equal to Hawkeye, and decided to leave the show (as had McLean Stevenson, who had played Lt. Colonel Blake).

House Calls (1979–1982) and other roles

Later he appeared as a Federal agent in the critically acclaimed 1975 NBC-TV movie Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan, and ascivil rights attorney Morris Dees in 1996′s Ghosts of Mississippi. He also starred in the short-lived but critically lauded 1976 period detective series City of Angels and the 1979–1982 CBS series House Calls, first with Lynn Redgrave, and then later with actress Sharon Gless, who went on to co-star in the CBS-TV crime drama series Cagney and Lacey with actress Tyne Daly (coincidentally, one of the House Calls co-stars wasRoger Bowen who played the original Colonel Henry Blake in the MASH movie). Rogers also appeared in the 1980s miniseries Chiefs.

Rogers then guest-starred five times on CBS’s Murder, She Wrote. He has served as an executive producer and producer in both televisionand film, and as a screenwriter, and a director. In addition, he has achieved some recognition as an investor, appearing frequently on Fox News Channel business shows. He also starred in Race Against the Harvest.

He also starred in the movie The Gig (1985), alongside Cleavon Little, as a jazz musician-hobbyist whose group has an opportunity to play a Catskills resort and must confront failure. Also in 1985, he starred opposite Barbara Eden in the televised reunion movie I Dream of Jeannie… Fifteen Years Later based on the 1960s situation comedy I Dream of Jeannie. Rogers took on the role of Major Tony Nelson which was originally portrayed by Larry Hagman (of the CBS-TV soap opera Dallas fame) in the television series when Hagman was unavailable to reprise the character he had originated. In 1986, Rogers hosted the short-lived CBS television series High Risk.

Fox News’ Cashin’ In

Rogers, who began to test the stock and real estate markets during his tenure as a M*A*S*H cast member, appears regularly as a panel member on the Fox Business Network cable TV stocks investment/stocks news program Cashin’ In, hosted by Fox News anchor Eric Bolling. In August 2006, Rogers was elected to the Board of Directors of Vishay Intertechnology, Inc.,[3] a Fortune 1000 manufacturer of semiconductorsand electronic components. He is also the head of Wayne Rogers & Co., a stock trading investment corporation.

Later developments

On April 23, 2012 Wayne Rogers signed on as the new spokesman for Senior Home Loans, a direct reverse mortgage lender headquartered onLong Island, New York. The national campaign is headed by industry veteran Jason Levy, CEO. Levy’s past experience includes managing theRobert Wagner reverse mortgage campaign.[citation needed]

Awards

Rogers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.[4]

Personal life

As a young actor, Rogers met actress Mitzi McWhorter in New York City in the late 1950s. They married in 1960 and divorced in 1983, producing two children from the relationship. They had been separated for almost four years prior to the divorce. In 1986, Rogers fathered a child, a boy named Luigi Calabrese, with then-girlfriend Melinda Naud.[5] Rogers has been married to his second wife, the former Amy Hirsh, since 1988.

His two children from his marriage to McWhorter are Laura Rogers and William (Bill) Rogers IV. Both reside in California. Wayne’s grandchildren include Laura’s children: Xander and Daniel Bienstock, and Bill’s children: William V and Anaïs.

 

 

Marilu “Elaine Nardo” Henner is 62 years old today!

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Marilu-Henner-Roger-Kisby-Getty-Images

Mary Lucy Denise “Marilu” Henner (born April 6, 1952) is an American actress, producer and author. She is best known for her role as Elaine O’Connor Nardo on the sitcom Taxi from 1978 to 1983.

Early life

Born in Chicago, Illinois, to a Greek mother and Polish father, Henner was raised on the northwest side of Chicago in the Logan Square neighborhood. She is the third of six children. Her mother, Loretta, was president of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts and ran the Henner Dance School for 20 years. Henner took her first dance class at age two then went on to teaching dance at her family’s studio when she was 14 and choreographed shows at local high schools and colleges until leaving the Chicago area during her third year of college.

Career

While a student at the University of Chicago in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Henner originated the role of “Marty” in the Kingston Mines production of Grease in 1971. When the show was discovered and moved to Broadway, she was asked to reprise the role; however, she chose instead to play “Marty” in the national touring company alongside John Travolta, who played “Doody”. Additional Broadway credits for Henner include Over Here!, with Travolta, revivals of Pal JoeyChicagoSocial Security, and The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. Her first film appearance was in the 1977 sleeper-hit Between the Lines, co-starring then-unknowns Jeff GoldblumLindsay CrouseJohn Heard, and Jill Eikenberry. Her second role was opposite Richard Gere in the 1978 film Bloodbrothers.

Henner came to prominence with the role of Elaine Nardo in the situation comedy Taxi.

She was the leading lady in the 1982 film Hammettdirected by Wim Wenders, produced by Francis Ford Coppola and starring her first husband Frederic Forrest. In 1983, Henner starred opposite Burt Reynolds in The Man Who Loved Women, directed by Blake Edwards. Reynolds then asked Henner to join the cast ofCannonball Run II later that year along with Shirley MacLaine and Dom DeLuise. She was the leading lady in the 1984 film Johnny Dangerously, playing love interest to Michael Keaton. In 1985 she once again appeared alongside John Travolta in Perfect. In 1991 she appeared oppositeSteve Martin in L.A. Story as Trudi, a role for which she received a nomination for an American Comedy Award as the Funniest Supporting Female in a Motion Picture. From 1990 through 1994, she appeared opposite Burt Reynolds in the situation comedy Evening Shade, which also starred Ossie Davis and Hal Holbrook. She also appeared in Noises Off (1992) and in Man on the Moon (1999), a film about her Taxi co-starAndy Kaufman. Henner played herself (as well as herself playing her Taxi character).

Henner at the 1991 Emmy Awards

Henner guested on Match Game and Hollywood Squares. She provided the voice for Gotham City socialite Veronica Vreeland in Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1999), reprising the role in the animated filmsBatman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) and Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998). In 1994, she hosted her own daytime talk show, Marilu, for 165 episodes.

Henner starred as the domineering mother of the bride in the Brooks & Dunn video “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl” in 2003.

In 2006 and 2007, Henner was the host of the television series America’s Ballroom Challenge. Henner said on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in early 2008, that she has never actually danced ballroom and would like to go on a season of Dancing with the Stars. She later hosted FitTV and The Discovery Channel‘sShape Up Your Life, which is based on her books.

Henner was a contestant on NBC‘s first The Celebrity Apprentice, in 2008. She was fired by Donald Trump in the eighth episode, but was brought back to help fellow contestant Trace Adkins in the final task of the show.

Henner, who has highly superior autobiographical memory, was a consultant for the CBS drama Unforgettable, which starred Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, a woman with the same ability. Henner guest-starred as Carrie’s aunt.[1]

In August 2012, Henner won $25,000 for the charity Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) as a celebrity contestant on Live! with Kelly “Grilling with the Stars” contest for her Healthy/Easy Grilled Mushroom and Heirloom Tomato dish.

Henner has written nine books on diethealth and memory, the most prominent being Total Health Makeover, in which she explains the virtues of a non-dairy diet in conjunction with food combining and exercise. She leads monthly classes on her website, www.marilu.com, designed to help people integrate these steps into a healthier, more active lifestyle. Both of her parents died in their 50s, which prompted her to lead a healthier lifestyle. Henner has also been host of television’s The Art of Living, produced by United States Media Television.

Henner rejoined the cast for its 13th season on The All-Star Celebrity Apprentice where she is joined by fellow Apprentice alumni. She played for her charity The Alzheimer’s Association and won over $50,000 for the cause. She returned, after being eliminated, for the final task to assist Trace Adkins.

Henner is now the host “The Marilu Show”. It airs every weekday morning on the GCN Live network or at Marilushow.com where she features guest physicians, health experts and celebrity guests and friends.

Personal life

In her autobiographyBy All Means, Keep on Moving, Henner discussed her romances with actor John Travolta and Taxi costars Judd Hirschand Tony Danza. Her first two marriages, to actor Frederic Forrest and director Robert Lieberman, ended in divorce. She married Michael Brown, a former college classmate, on December 21, 2006, before 100 people in her Los Angeles home. It was the second marriage for Brown, who has three children (Cassia Brown, Carine Brown and Michael Brown). Henner has two children, Nicholas Morgan and Joseph Marlon, from her marriage to Lieberman.

Henner has hyperthymesia and can remember the specific details of her everyday life since she was a small child.[2][3] On December 19, 2010, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a segment which featured six individuals thought to have this condition. A longtime friend of 60 Minutes correspondentLesley Stahl, Henner was included on the show. She discussed her memory further on CBS’ The Early ShowNBC’s The Today Show, ABC’sThe View and Howard Stern‘s Sirius XM show. Her ninth book, Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future, is a New York Times best-seller and offers instruction on how people might access their own autobiographical memories; it was released on April 24, 2012. To promote Total Memory Makeover, she appeared on Anderson Live (Then known as simply Anderson), The ViewPiers Morgan TonightGood Morning AmericaCBS This MorningThe TalkThe Dr. Oz Show and numerous other radio and TV media outlets.

 

Max “Detective Stan “Wojo” Wojciehowicz” Gail is 71 years old today!

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

max-gail-barney-miller

Maxwell Trowbridge “Max” Gail, Jr.[1] (born 5 April 1943) is an American actor who has starred in stage, television, and film roles. He most notably portrayed the role of Detective Stan “Wojo” Wojciehowicz on the television sitcom Barney Miller.

Life and career

Gail was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Mary Elizabeth (Scanlon) and Maxwell Trowbridge Gail, a businessman,[1] and he was raised in Grosse Ile, Michigan. He attended Williams College, and was later an instructor for the University Liggett School before becoming an actor. His acting debut came in 1970 for The Little Fox Theatre in San Francisco, California, playing Chief Bromdenin the original stage production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In 1973, he reprised this role in his New York stage debut.

He is best known for his television role as Det. Stan “Wojo” Wojciehowicz in the sitcom Barney Miller (1975-1982).

Gail’s best known feature film role is in D.C. Cab (1983) as Harold, the owner of the D.C. Cab taxi company.

In 1984, Gail was featured in the monodrama “The Babe” on Broadway. This stage play was filmed and later featured on PBS.

Gail has starred in other TV series including Whiz Kids (1983) as “Llewellan Farley, Jr.”, an investigative reporter who is friends with a group of teenage computer hackers. He worked on the short-lived Normal Life (1990). He has appeared on the TV series Sons & Daughters (2006).

Gail has made many guest appearances on TV shows such as CannonDr. Quinn, Medicine WomanDue SouthThe Streets of San Francisco,Paul Sand in Friends and LoversThe Drew Carey ShowQuantum LeapPsychGary Unmarried and NCIS (Episode “Murder 2.0″).[2]

Gail appeared as Brooklyn Dodgers manager Burt Shotton in the 2013 film 42, a film about Jackie Robinson‘s first 2 years as a member of theDodgers organization, including his first year of playing at the Major League level in 1947

Gail runs Full Circle, a production company which has featured documentaries on such subjects as Agent OrangeNative Americans, andnuclear issues.

Gail’s first wife, Willie Bier, died of cancer in 1986; they have a daughter, India. He and his second wife, Nan, have two children, Maxwell and Grace. Gail has a twin sister, actress Mary Gail.

Happy birthday to Robbie “Cousin Oliver” Rist. He’s 50 years old today!

Friday, April 4th, 2014

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Robert Anthony “Robbie” Rist (born April 4, 1964) is an American actor and musician.[1]

Acting and voiceover work

As a child, Rist played Cousin Oliver in the final six episodes of The Brady Bunch.

With the regular children all getting older, his inclusion was intended to reintroduce cute younger children to the series. With his Dutch Boy haircut and wire-rimmed glasses, his resemblance to pop singer John Denver and juvenile appeal, he seemed ideal; however the plan became moot as the network had opted to not renew the series before his debut anyway. This gave rise to the term “Cousin Oliver Syndrome,” also known as “add a kid.” Several subsequent TV series in the 1970′s and ’80′s used “add a kid” hoping to revitalize ratings. Rist’s character, Oliver, uttered the final line of the final episode: “Me! Cousin Oliver!”; but the character was subsequently omitted from all future original-cast revivals of the series.

After The Brady Bunch he co-starred in a Saturday morning show called Big John, Little John, was Glendon Farrell on the David Hartman vehicle Lucas Tanner, and in 1976 and 1977 played Ted Baxter‘s son David on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. In 1980, Rist played “Dr. Zee” on Galactica 1980.[2] He made four guest appearances on CHiPs and the short-lived CBS series Whiz Kids, and also played Booger in a failed Revenge of the Nerds TV pilot. In 1986, Rist had a notable supporting role as Milo in the action film, Iron Eagle which was a box-office hit despite being critically panned.[3]

As an adult, Rist has worked as a voice actor, such as in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film series (as the voice of Michaelangelo); from 1984 to 1986, he starred in the Saturday morning cartoon Kidd Video, playing the character Whiz both in live-action music videos and animated sequences. He was the voice of Star, a Siberian husky, in the 1995 Universal Studios film Balto. He was also the voice of Aaron in the PC game Star Warped. An episode of Batman: The Animated Series titled “Baby Doll” contained a character called Cousin Spunky that was intended to boost sagging ratings of the fictional Baby Doll sitcom, a clear reference to Cousin Oliver (Rist lent his voice to the episode, but did not play Cousin Spunky; his character was an adult).

Rist also voices characters Choji Akimichi from Naruto, Itsuki “Iggy” Takeuchi from Initial D and Bud Bison from Megaman Starforce.

Robbie Rist is currently the voice of Stuffy, Doc’s overly proud stuffed dragon, in Disney Junior’s new animated series Doc McStuffins.

Recently, he voiced Griffin in Terminator Salvation. He also provided additional voices in Final Fantasy XIII, as well as reprising his role as Michelangelo in a fan-made movie about Casey Jones.[4]

Music

Rist is also a musician and producer. He has performed as the lead singer, guitarist, bassist and/or drummer for several Los Angeles rock bands, including WonderboyThe Andersons (band)Cockeyed Ghost, Nice Guy Eddie, and Steve Barton and the Oblivion Click. The list ofwest coast pop bands Rist has performed with numbers in the hundreds. He divides his time between film and music production, performing with Los Angeles alt-country band KingsizeMaybe and rock band Jeff Caudill & The Goodtimes Band (with Jeff Caudill of Orange County punk band Gameface and Michael “Popeye” Vogelsang of Orange County punk band Farside). Rist has also produced a number of records for bands, including Suzy & Los Quattro, Backline, Ginger Britt and the Mighty, Jeff Caudill, Steve Barton and the Oblivion Click, Nice Guy Eddie, Kingsizemaybe and The Mockers. Rist produced the Rubinoos album Automatic Toaster[5] and played drums on that album.[6] He currently is the drummer for the rock formation Your Favorite Trainwreck.[7]

Film

As of 2009, Rist is acting, working with music and also working in film production. Rist’s latest project is a horror/comedy film he produced,Stump The Band, directed by William Holmes and JoJo Hendrickson.[8]

A trailer for a project with the working title, “Robbie Rist: The Time Thief” in conjunction with Thonghead Productions is set to be released soon.

In 2013, he also appeared as the school bus driver in the camp film, Sharknado.

Luke Halpin is 67 years old today!

Friday, April 4th, 2014

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Luke Austin Halpin (born April 4, 1947) is an American actor. Beginning a prolific career as a child actor at the age of eight, Halpin is perhaps best known for his role as Sandy Ricks in the feature films Flipper andFlipper’s New Adventure, as well as for reprising his role for the television series adaptation, also titledFlipper.

Early life

Halpin was born in Astoria, QueensNew York City to parents, Helen and Eugene Halpin, and grew up with his family in Long Island City.[1] He has one older brother, Eugene, Jr., and an older sister, Joan, and was raised in a Roman Catholic household.[2][3]

Career

Early career

Halpin’s career began when a music teacher, impressed by Halpin’s “all-American” look, encouraged him to try acting.[4] In 1955 he co-starred with Natalie Wood in an episode of Studio One entitled Miracle at Potter’s Farm. Numerous roles followed, and by his mid-teens, Halpin had appeared on many of the major TV series of the day: Armstrong Circle TheatreUnited States Steel HourStudio OneKraft Television TheatreHallmark Hall of FameThe Phil Silvers ShowThe DefendersRoute 66Naked City, and had a recurring role for six months on the soap opera Young Doctor Malone.

Halpin’s early career also included several stage roles. He made his Broadway debut in Take Me Alongstarring Jackie Gleason, and appeared with Mary Martin in both Annie Get Your Gun and Peter Pan.

Flipper

Halpin’s most famous role came when he was picked to play Sandy Ricks in producer Ivan Tors‘ 1962 (released 1963) feature Flipper. The successful film spawned a sequel, Flipper’s New Adventure (1964); and a TV series which co-starred Brian Kelly as Porter Ricks, a young widowed father to Sandy (although Halpin was only sixteen years younger than Kelly) and Bud, played by Tommy NordenCharacter actorAndy Devine also appeared in the series.

Flipper ran for eighty-eight episodes from 1964 to 1967 and is still in syndication. The series made Halpin a teen idol among adolescent viewers. He was often featured in such magazines as BravoTeen Life16 Magazine, and the earliest issues of Tiger Beat. On the basis of his appearance in the original Flipper movie, Halpin was a guest “contestant” on the CBS panel show To Tell The Truth prior to Flipper’s move to television.

In the interim between the early Flipper films, Halpin also made an appearance in another Ivan Tors TV series with a Florida marine setting, The Everglades, a syndicated program starring Ron Hayes.

Later work

After Flipper ended, Halpin appeared in feature films, including Island of the Lost (1967), If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969), andShock Waves (1977). TV guest appearances in the years shortly after Flipper included Carl Betz‘s Judd for the DefenseThe Dating Game, andBracken’s World.

On Death Valley Days, he played Sandy King, a young member of the Curly Bill Brocius gang, who is befriended by a United States Armylieutenant, played by Sam Melville.[5]

A notable later appearance was in the role of “Herrold” in the 1980 television movie The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd, a dramatization of Samuel Mudd, the Maryland physician who was imprisoned as an accomplice to John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The part of Mudd is played by Dennis Weaver.[6]

After acting

Following an acting career that spanned three decades, Halpin began working as a stuntman, marine coordinator, diver, and speedboat pilot for such feature films as Never Say Never AgainPorky’s Revenge!Flight of the Navigator and Speed 2: Cruise Control as well as for the television series Miami Vice.[7][8] He also continued to make cameo appearances, most notably, on the television series Key West, and in the 1996 feature film remake, Flipper, starring a 15-year-old Elijah Wood as Sandy Ricks.[7][9]

Halpin lives in Rotonda West in Charlotte County on the west coast of Florida with his third wife, Deborah.[10] He has three sons, Kyle Austin Halpin (born October 1980), Blair Luke Halpin (born December 1982), and Courtney Luke Halpin (born April 1990)

Doris Day is 90 years old today!

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

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Doris Day (born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff; April 3, 1924) is an American actress, singer, and animal rights activist.

Day began her career as a big band singer in 1939. Her popularity began to rise after her first hit recording, “Sentimental Journey“, in 1945. After leaving Les Brown & His Band of Renown to try a solo career, she started her long-lasting partnership with Columbia Records, which would remain her only recording label. The contract lasted from 1947 to 1967, and included more than 650 recordings, making Day one of the most popular and acclaimed singers of the 20th century. In 1948, after being persuaded by Sammy CahnJule Styne and her agent at the time, Al Levy, she auditioned for Michael Curtiz, which led to her being cast in the female lead role in Romance on the High Seas.

Over the course of her career, Day appeared in 39 films. She was ranked the biggest box-office star, the only woman on that list, for four years (1960, 1962, 1963 and 1964) ranking in the top 10 for ten years (1951–1952 and 1959–1966). She became the top-ranking female box-office star of all time and is currently ranked sixth among the top 10 box office performers (male and female), as of 2012.[1] She received an Academy Award nomination for her performance inPillow Talk, won three Henrietta Awards (World Film Favorite), received the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s Career Achievement Award and, in 1989, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures. Day made her last film in 1968.

Day has also released 31 albums, and her songs have spent a total of 460 weeks in the Top 40 charts.[2] She has been awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Legend Award from the Society of Singers. In 2011, she released her 29th studio album, My Heart, which debuted at No. 9 on the UK Top 40 charts. As of January 2014, Day is the oldest living artist to score a UK Top 10 with an album featuring new material.

Her strong commitment to animal welfare began in 1971, when she co-founded “Actors and Others for Animals”. She started her own non-profit organization in the late 1970s, the Doris Day Animal Foundation and, later, the Doris Day Animal League. Establishing the annual observance Spay Day USA in 1994, The Doris Day Animal League now partners with the Humane Society of the United States and continues to be a leading advocacy organization. In 2004, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in recognition of her distinguished service to the country.

Day has since retired from acting and performing, but has continued her work in animal rights causes and animal welfare. She currently lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Early life

Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff[3] was born in Cincinnati to Alma Sophia (née Welz, a housewife) and William Kappelhoff (a music teacher and choir master) on April 3, 1922.[4] All of her grandparents were German immigrants.[5]

The youngest of three siblings, she had two older brothers: Richard (who died before her birth) and Paul, several years older.[6] Due to her father’s alleged infidelity,[7] her parents separated. She developed an early interest in dance, and in the mid-1930s formed a dance duo with Jerry Doherty that performed locally in Cincinnati.[8] A car accident on October 13, 1937, injured her legs and curtailed her prospects as a professional dancer.[9][10]

Career

Early career (1938–1947)

While recovering, Day started to sing along with the radio and discovered a talent that she didn’t know she had. Day said: “During this long, boring period, I used to while away a lot of time listening to the radio, sometimes singing along with the likes of Benny GoodmanDuke EllingtonTommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller [...]. But the one radio voice I listened to above others belonged to Ella Fitzgerald. There was a quality to her voice that fascinated me, and I’d sing along with her, trying to catch the subtle ways she shaded her voice, the casual yet clean way she sang the words.”[11] Observing her daughter rekindled Alma’s interest in show business, and she decided to give Doris singing lessons. She engaged a teacher, Grace Raine.[12] After three lessons, Raine told Alma that Doris had “tremendous potential”, which led Alma to give her daughter three lessons a week for the price of one. Years later, Day said that Raine had the biggest effect on her singing style and career.[11] During the eight months of singing lessons, Day had her first professional jobs as a vocalist in the WLW radio program, Carlin’s Carnival and in a local restaurant, the Charlie Yee’s Shanghai Inn. [13] It was during her radio performances that Day first caught the attention of Barney Rapp, who sought a girl vocalist and asked if Day would like to audition for the job. According to Rapp, he had auditioned about 200 singers when Day got the job.[14]

It was while working for Rapp in 1939 that she adopted the stage name “Day” (at Rapp’s suggestion).[15] Rapp felt that “Kappelhoff” was too long for marquees, and he admired her rendition of the song “Day After Day.” This was the origin of her stage name[16]

After working with Rapp, Day worked with bandleaders Jimmy James,[17] Bob Crosby,[18] and Les Brown.[19] It was while working with Brown that Day scored her first hit recording, “Sentimental Journey“, released in early 1945. It soon became an anthem of the desire of World War II demobilizing troops to return home.[20] This song is still associated with Day, and she re-recorded it on several occasions, including a version in her 1971 television special.[21] At one point in 1945–46, Day (as vocalist with the Les Brown Band) had six other Top Ten hits on the Billboard chart: “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time,” “‘Tain’t Me,” “Till The End of Time,” “You Won’t Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart),” “The Whole World is Singing My Song,” and “I Got the Sun in the Mornin’.” By the time she left Brown’s band in August 1946, she was the highest paid female band vocalist in the world.

Early film career (1948–1954)

Main article: Doris Day filmography

With Gordon MacRae in Starlift(1951)

Doris Day and Howard Keel,Calamity Jane (1953)

While singing with the Les Brown band and for nearly two years on Bob Hope’s weekly radio program,[10] she toured extensively across the United States. Her popularity as a radio performer and vocalist, which included a second hit record “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time“, led directly to a career in films. Already in 1941 Day appeared as a singer with the Les Brown band in a soundie (a Cinemasters production).[22] During her separation from her second husband, George Weidler, in 1947, Day reportedly intended to leave Los Angeles and return to her mother’s home in Cincinnati. Her agent Al Levy convinced her to attend a party at the home of composer Jule Styne.[23] Her performance of the song “Embraceable You” impressed Styne and his partner, Sammy Cahn, and they recommended her for a role in Romance on the High Seas, which they were working on forWarner Brothers.[24] The withdrawal of Betty Hutton due to pregnancy left the main role to be re-cast, and Day got the part after auditioning for Michael Curtiz.[25][26] The film provided her with her first #1 hit recording as a soloist, “It’s Magic,” which followed by two months her first #1 hit (“Love Somebody” in 1948) recorded as a duet with Buddy Clark.[citation needed]

In 1950, U.S. servicemen in Korea voted her their favorite star. She continued to make minor and frequently nostalgic period musicals such as StarliftThe West Point StoryOn Moonlight BayBy the Light of the Silvery Moon, and Tea For Two for Warner Brothers. Her most commercially successful film for Warners was “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” which broke box-office records of 20 years’ standing during its premiere engagement at Radio City Music Hall in 1951. In 1953, Day appeared as the title character in the comedic western-themed musical, Calamity Jane, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Secret Love” (her recording of which became her fourth #1 hit single in the U.S.).[27] Between 1950 and 1953, the albums from six of her movie musicals charted in the Top 10, three of them at #1. After filming Lucky Me with Phil Silvers and Young at Heart (both 1954) with Frank Sinatra, Day chose not to renew her contract with Warner Brothers.[28] She elected to work under the advice and management of her third husband, Marty Melcher, whom she married in Burbank on April 3, 1951.[8][10]

Motion picture breakthrough (1955–1958)

Day in the trailer for Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

Day appeared as a mystery guest on What’s My Line? on January 23, 1955. Day subsequently took on more dramatic roles, including her 1955 portrayal of singer Ruth Etting in the biographical film of Etting’s life, Love Me or Leave Me, in which she co-starred with James Cagney.[29] Day would later call it, in her autobiography, her best film. The film garnered critical and commercial success, becoming Day’s biggest hit so far. Producer Joe Pasternak said, “I was stunned that Doris didn’t get an Oscar nomination.” The sound track album from that movie was a #1 hit that stayed charted for 28 weeks and became the recording industry’s third biggest selling album of the entire decade. Day starred in Alfred Hitchcock‘s suspense film, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) with James Stewart. She sang only two songs in the film, “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)“, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song,[27] and “We’ll Love Again”. During the filming, Day became concerned about Hitchcock’s lack of direction.[30] She recalled being worried if she was pleasing him and confronted him on her performance.[31] He told her, “If you weren’t doing what I liked, you’d know”.[citation needed] At the premiere, Hitchcock was asked how he got such a great performance from Day. He replied, “It wasn’t me; it was Doris.” The film was Day’s 10th movie to be in the Top 10 at the box office. Day played the title role in the thriller/noir Julie (1956) with Louis Jourdan. The film received poor press acclaim and was unpopular with audiences.

After three successive dramatic films, Day returned to her musical/comedic roots in 1957′s The Pajama Game with John Raitt. The film was based on the Broadwayplay of the same name. She worked with Paramount Pictures for the comedy Teacher’s Pet (1958), alongside Clark Gable and Gig Young (for the second time). Day co-starred with Richard Widmark and Gig Young in the romantic comedy film, The Tunnel of Love in 1958. She found meager success opposite Jack Lemmon in It Happened to Jane, a comedy film released in 1959. Billboard’s annual nationwide poll of disc jockeys had ranked Day as the #1 female vocalist nine times in ten years (1949 through 1958), but her success and popularity as a singer was now being overshadowed by her box office appeal.

Box office success (1959–1968)

Day in publicity portrait forMidnight Lace (1960)

In 1959, Day entered her most successful phase as a film actress with a series of romantic comedies.[32][33] This success began with Pillow Talk (1959), co-starring Rock Hudson, who became a lifelong friend, and Tony Randall. Day received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress.[34] Day, Hudson, and Randall made two more films together, Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964).[35] These two films are lesser known of their film pairings and weren’t as successful critically or commercially. In 1962, Day appeared with Cary Grant in That Touch of Mink, the first film in history ever to gross $1 million in one theatre (Radio City Music Hall). Day was in the Top 10 at the box office 10 times. During 1960 and the 1962 to 1964 period, she ranked No. 1 at the box office, the only woman to be #1 four times. She set an unprecedented record that has yet to be equaled, receiving seven consecutive Laurel Awards as the top female box office star.[36]

Day teamed up with James Garner, starting with 1963′s The Thrill of It All, followed by Move Over, Darling, later the same year.Move Over, Darling was originally titled Something’s Got to Give, a 1962 comeback vehicle for Marilyn Monroe, also featuringDean Martin. Filming was suspended following Monroe’s dismissal and her subsequent death.[37] A year later, filming was resumed and Day was recast as the lead character.[38] This was the 21st and final of Day’s 39 movies to be in the Top 10 at the box office. The film’s theme song, “Move Over, Darling”, was co-written by her son specifically for her and charted at #8 in the U.K.[39] In between these comedic roles, Day co-starred with Rex Harrison in the movie thriller Midnight Lace, an updating of the classic stage thriller Gaslight.[40]

By the late 1960s, the sexual revolution of the baby boomer generation had refocused public attitudes about sex. Times changed, but Day’s films did not. Day’s 1965 film, Do Not Disturb, was a box office failure and was unpopular with critics as well. Critics and comics dubbed Day “The World’s Oldest Virgin”,[41][42] and audiences began to shy away from her films. As a result, she slipped from the list of top box office stars, last appearing in the top ten in 1966 with the hit film The Glass Bottom Boat. One of the roles she turned down was that of “Mrs. Robinson” in The Graduate, a role that eventually went to Anne Bancroft.[43] In her published memoirs, Day said that she had rejected the part on moral grounds; she found the script “vulgar and offensive.”[citation needed]

She starred in the western film The Ballad of Josie (1967). That same year, Day recorded The Love Album, though not released until 1994.[44] The following year (1968), she starred in the comedy film Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? which centers on the Northeast blackout of November 9, 1965. Her final feature, the comedy With Six You Get Eggroll, was released in 1968.[45] From 1959 through 1970, Day received nine Laurel Award nominations (and won four times) for best female performance in eight comedies and one drama. From 1959 through 1969, she received six Golden Globe nominations for best female performance in three comedies, one drama (“Midnight Lace”), one musical (“Jumbo”), and her television series.

Bankruptcy and television career

When third husband Martin Melcher died on April 20, 1968, a shocked Day discovered that Melcher and his business partner Jerome Bernard Rosenthal had squandered her earnings,[Note 1] leaving her deeply in debt.[46] Rosenthal had been her attorney since 1949, when he represented her in her uncontested divorce action against her second husband, saxophonist George W. Weidler. In February 1969, Day filed suit against Rosenthal and won the then-largest civil judgment (over $20 million) in the state of California. (She later settled for about one-quarter of the amount originally awarded.)[47]

Day also learned that Melcher had committed her to a television series, which became The Doris Day Show.

“It was awful”, Day told OK! Magazine in 1996. “I was really, really not very well when Marty [Melcher] passed away, and the thought of going into TV was overpowering. But he’d signed me up for a series. And then my son Terry [Melcher] took me walking in Beverly Hills and explained that it wasn’t nearly the end of it. I had also been signed up for a bunch of TV specials, all without anyone ever asking me.”

Day hated the idea of doing television, but felt obliged to it.[45] “There was a contract. I didn’t know about it. I never wanted to do TV, but I gave it 100 percent anyway. That’s the only way I know how to do it.”[citation needed] The first episode of The Doris Day Show aired on September 24, 1968, and, from 1968 to 1973, employed “Que Sera, Sera” as its theme song. Day grudgingly persevered (she needed the work to help pay off her debts), but only after CBS ceded creative control to her and her son. The successful show enjoyed a five-year run (its second season finished in the Top 10 of the Nielsen ratings), and functioned as a curtain-raiser for The Carol Burnett Show. It is remembered today for its abrupt season-to-season changes in casting and premise. It was not widely syndicated as many of its contemporaries were, and was re-broadcast very little outside the United States, Australia and the UK.[48] By the end of its run in 1973, public tastes had changed and her firmly established persona regarded as passé. She largely retired from acting after The Doris Day Show, but did complete two television specials, The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special (1971) and Doris Day to Day (1975). She appeared in a John Denver TV special in 1974.


In the 1985–86 season, Day hosted her own television talk show, Doris Day’s Best Friends, on CBN.[49] The network canceled the show after 26 episodes, despite the worldwide publicity it received.

1970s

On September 18, 1974, courts awarded Day $22,835,646 for fraud and malpractice in an hour-long oral decision by Superior Judge Lester E. Olson, ending a 99-day trial that involved 18 consolidated lawsuits and countersuits filed by Day and Rosenthal that involved Rosenthal’s handling of her finances after she terminated him in July 1968.[47] The civil trial included 14,451 pages of transcript from 67 witnesses. Represented by attorney Robert Winslow and the law firm of Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP, courts awarded Day $1 million punitive damages, $5.6 million plus $2 million interest for losses incurred in a sham oil venture; $3.4 million plus $1.2 million interest over a hotel venture; $2.2 million plus $793,800 interest for duplicate or unnecessary fees paid to Rosenthal; more than $2 million to recoup loans to Rosenthal; $3.9 million plus $1 million interest for fraud, and $850,000 attorney fees for Day. Olson enjoined Rosenthal from filing any further lawsuits against Day or her business operations. (Rosenthal had filed more than 20 suits from 1969 to 1974). Olson, an expert in complex financial marital settlements, read every page of 3,275 individual exhibits and 68 boxes of miscellaneous financial records. In October 1979, Rosenthal’s liability insurer settled with Day for about $6 million payable in 23 annual installments.[50]

Rosenthal filed an appeal in the 2nd District Court of Appeal. He filed another half-dozen suits related to the case. Two were libel suits, one against Day and her publishers over comments she made about Rosenthal in her book in which he sought damages. The others sought court determinations that insurance companies and individual lawyers failed to defend Rosenthal properly before Olson and in appellate stages. In April 1979, he filed an unsuccessful suit to set aside the $6 million settlement with Day and recover damages from everyone involved in agreeing, supposedly without his permission, to the payment.[citation needed]

1980s and 1990s

In October 1985, the California Supreme Court rejected Rosenthal’s appeal of the multimillion-dollar judgment against him for legal malpractice, and upheld conclusions of a trial court and a Court of Appeal that Rosenthal acted improperly. In April 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the lower court’s judgment. In June 1987, Rosenthal filed a $30 million lawsuit against lawyers he claimed cheated him out of millions of dollars in real estate investments. He named Day as a co-defendant, describing her as an “unwilling, involuntary plaintiff whose consent cannot be obtained”. Rosenthal claimed that millions of dollars Day lost were in real estate sold after Melcher died in 1968, in which Rosenthal asserted that the attorneys gave Day bad advice, telling her to sell, at a loss, three hotels, inPalo Alto, CaliforniaDallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia and some oil leases in Kentucky and Ohio. Rosenthal claimed he had made the investments under a long-term plan, and did not intend to sell them until they appreciated in value. Two of the hotels sold in 1970 for about $7 million, and their estimated worth in 1986 was $50 million. In July 1984, after a hearing panel of the State Bar Court, after 80 days of testimony and consideration of documentary evidence, the panel accused Rosenthal of 13 separate acts of misconduct and urged his disbarment in a 34-page unsigned opinion.[50] The State Bar Court’s review department upheld the panel’s findings, which asked the justices to order Rosenthal’s disbarment. He continued representing clients in federal courts until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against him on March 21, 1988. Disbarment by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals followed on August 19, 1988. The Supreme Court of California, in affirming the disbarment, held that Rosenthal had engaged in transactions involving undisclosed conflicts of interest, took positions adverse to his former clients, overstated expenses, double-billed for legal fees, failed to return client files, failed to provide access to records, failed to give adequate legal advice, failed to provide clients with an opportunity to obtain independent counsel, filed fraudulent claims, gave false testimony, engaged in conduct designed to harass his clients, delayed court proceedings, obstructed justice and abused legal process. Rosenthal died August 15, 2007, at the age of 96.[51]

Terry Melcher stated that Melcher’s premature death saved Day from financial ruin. It remains unresolved whether Marty Melcher had himself also been duped.[52]Day stated publicly that she believed her husband innocent of any deliberate wrongdoing, stating that he “simply trusted the wrong person”.[53] According to Day’s autobiography, as told to A. E. Hotchner, the usually athletic and healthy Martin Melcher had an enlarged heart. Most of the interviews on the subject given to Hotchner (and included in Day’s autobiography) paint an unflattering portrait of Melcher. Author David Kaufman asserts that one of Day’s costars, actor Louis Jourdan, maintained that Day herself disliked her husband,[54] but Day’s public statements regarding Melcher appear to contradict that assertion.[55]

Day was scheduled to present, along with Patrick Swayze and Marvin Hamlisch, the Best Original Score Oscar at the 61st Annual Academy Awards (March 1989) but she suffered a deep leg cut and was unable to attend.[56] She had been walking through the gardens of her hotel when she cut her leg on a sprinkler. The cut required stitches.[57]

Day was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1981 and received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement in 1989. In 1994, Day’s Greatest Hits album became another entry into the British charts.[44] The song “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” was included in the soundtrack of the Australian film Strictly Ballroom,[58] and became a theme song for the British TV show Coupling, with Mari Wilson performing the song for the title sequence.[59]

2000s

In 2000, Day received the Ohio Medal of Honor, that state’s highest civilian award. In 2006, Day recorded a commentary for the DVD release of the fifth (and final) season of her television show. Day has participated in telephone interviews with a radio station that celebrates her birthday with an annual Doris Day music marathon. In July 2008, she appeared on the Southern California radio show of longtime friend, newscaster George Putnam, reported in the Los Angeles Times. Day turned down a tribute offer from the American Film Institute and from the Kennedy Center Honors because they require attendance in person. In 2004, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush for her achievements in the entertainment industry and for her work on behalf of animals.[60] President Bush stated, “It was a good day for our fellow creatures when she gave her good heart to the cause of animal welfare.”[61] Day declined to attend the ceremony due to her fear of flying.[62]

Both columnist Liz Smith and film critic Rex Reed have mounted vigorous campaigns to gather support for an honorary Academy Award for Day to herald her film career and her status as the top female box-office star of all time.[63] Day received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in Music in 2008, albeit again in absentia.[64]She has received three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards, in 1998, 1999 and 2012 for her recordings of “Sentimental Journey”, “Secret Love”, and “Que Sera, Sera”, respectively. Day was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007,[65] and in 2010 received the first Legend Award ever presented by the Society of Singers.[44]

2010s

Day released My Heart in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2011, her first new album in nearly two decades, since the release of The Love Album, which, although recorded in 1967, was not released until 1994. The album is a compilation of previously unreleased recordings produced by Day’s son, Terry Melcher, before his death in 2004. Tracks include the 1970s Joe Cocker hit “You Are So Beautiful“, The Beach Boys‘ “Disney Girls” and jazz standards such as “My Buddy“, which Day originally sang in her 1951 film I’ll See You in My Dreams. Day dedicates this song to her son. The disc was released in the US via City Hall Records on December 6, and within two weeks had climbed to No. 12 on Amazon’s bestseller list in spite of being priced over 25% higher than most CDs to raise funds for theDoris Day Animal League. It debuted at 135 on the Billboard 200, Day’s first entry on that chart since 1963′s Love Him.[66]

Day became the oldest artist to score a UK Top 10 with an album featuring new material, according to the Official Charts Company, entering at Number 9. (British singer Vera Lynn reached the top of the chart in August 2009 at age 92, but with the greatest hits album, We’ll Meet Again – The Very Best of Vera Lynn.)[67]

In January 2012, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association presented Day with a Lifetime Achievement Award.[68]

Personal life

Since her retirement from films, Day has lived in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She lives with her many pets and also adopts stray animals.[69] Day owns a hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea, The Cypress Inn, which her late son had co-owned with her.[70]

Day is a Republican.[71] Her only child, music producer and songwriter Terry Paul Melcher, died of melanoma in 2004, about five months after Day had received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Marriages

In 1975, Day released her autobiography, Doris Day: Her Own Story, an “as-told-to” work with A. E. Hotchner. The book detailed her first three marriages:

  • To Al Jorden, a trombonist whom she first met in Barney Rapp’s Band, from March 1941 to 1943. Her only child, son Terrence “Terry” P. Jorden, resulted from this marriage. Husband Jorden, who was reportedly physically abusive to Day, committed suicide in 1967 by gunshot.
  • To George Weidler (a saxophonist), from March 30, 1946 to May 31, 1949. Weidler, the brother of actress Virginia Weidler, and Day met again several years later. During a brief reconciliation, he helped introduce her to Christian Science.
  • To Martin Melcher, whom she married on April 3, 1951. This marriage lasted until Melcher’s death in 1968. Melcher adopted Day’s son Terry, who, with the nameTerry Melcher, became a successful musician and record producer.[72] Martin Melcher produced many of Day’s movies. She and Melcher were both practicingChristian Scientists, resulting in her not seeing a doctor for some time after symptoms that suggested cancer. This distressing period ended when, finally consulting a physician, and thereby finding the lump was benign, she fully recovered. After publishing her autobiography, Day married one last time.
  • Her fourth and latest marriage was to Barry Comden (born March 30, 1935 – died May 25, 2009),[73] who was roughly a decade younger, from April 14, 1976, until 1981. Comden was the maitre d’ at one of Day’s favorite restaurants. Knowing of her great love of dogs, Comden endeared himself to Day by giving her a bag of meat scraps and bones on her way out of the restaurant. When this marriage unraveled, Comden complained that Day cared more for her “animal friends” than she did for him.[73]

Animal welfare activism

Day’s interest in animal welfare and related issues apparently dates to her teen years. While recovering from an automobile accident, she took her dog Tiny for a walk without a leash. Tiny ran into the street and was killed by a passing car. Day later confessed guilt and loneliness about Tiny’s untimely death. In 1971, she co-founded Actors and Others for Animals and appeared in a series of newspaper advertisements denouncing the wearing of fur, alongside Mary Tyler MooreAngie Dickinson, and Jayne Meadows.[74] Day’s friend, Cleveland Amory, wrote about these events in Man Kind? Our Incredible War on Wildlife, 1974.

In 1978, Day founded her own Doris Day Pet Foundation, now the Doris Day Animal Foundation.[75] A non-profit 501(c)(3) grant-giving public charity, DDAF funds other non-profit causes throughout the US that share DDAF’s mission of helping animals and the people who love them. The Doris Day Animal Foundation continues to operate independently under Day’s personal supervision.[76]

To complement the Doris Day Animal Foundation, Day formed the Doris Day Animal League in 1987, a national non-profit citizen’s lobbying organization whose mission is to reduce pain and suffering and protect animals through legislative initiatives.[77] Day actively lobbied the United States Congress in support of legislation designed to safeguard animal welfare on a number of occasions and in 1995 she originated the annual Spay Day USA. The Doris Day Animal League merged into The Humane Society of the United States in 2006.[78] Staff members of DDAL took positions within The HSUS, and Day recorded public service announcements for the organization. The HSUS now manages World Spay Day, the annual one-day spay/neuter event that Day originated.[79]

A facility to help abused and neglected horses opened in 2011 and bears her name — the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center, located in Murchison, Texas, on the grounds of an animal sanctuary started by her late friend, author Cleveland Amory.[80] Day contributed $250,000 toward the founding of the center