Friday, November 27, 2020


There isn't much to this recipe, but if you wanted a light snack or a diet idea, then this recipe from the kitchen of Gloria Swanson is for you!


8 cups spring water, bottled water or purified water
1 cup Swiss chard or kale
1 cup zucchini
1 cup fresh string beans
1 cup celery
However much or however little garlic you like

Wash all vegetables thoroughly, preferably with a veggie brush, and then chop them well. Finely mince the garlic. Pour water into a large pot and add everything. Cover and simmer about 40 minutes, or until the celery is tender. Serve immediately, or turn off the heat and allow the broth to cool on the stove, pour into covered containers and refrigerate. Reheat to serve later.

Okay, a confession: I added the garlic to Gloria’s recipe. I am a total garlic hound. When I recently ordered pasta with garlic and oil from the local pizzeria, this was my plaintive cry: “Extra garlic, please. And then if you look at it and say, whoa, that was too much garlic, just add more garlic.” (My husband was away at the time.)

In this recipe, the garlic not only adds much-needed flavor, but tons of nutrition—and packs a wallop against winter cold and flu germs. If you’re not a garlic fan, you can add any herbs (or other vegetables) you like, or perk it up with chili powder, paprika, curry powder or other spices. Take it in any direction you choose!

This is a great way to start a meal or to serve as a little something to tide you over in middle of the afternoon. And if you close your eyes and use a little imagination, it will make you feel like a movie star prepping for a glamorous role, getting ready for your close-up…

Tuesday, November 24, 2020


2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, so now more than ever we need some good hearted family entertainment. Director and composer Tim Janis has defintely supplied us with some great entertainment that is suitable for the whole family.

Firstly he directed Buttons: A Christmas Tale in 2018, which starred such legendary actors Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury. Also Mr. Janis has put out a CD, titled "All Is Bright". If this does not get you into the Christmas spirit then you are a scrooge. 

You can buy the DVD of Buttons: A Christmas Tale HERE.

You can buy the CD "All Is Bright" HERE.

However, Tim Janis himself has been kind enough to donate a few copies of each, and I would love to give them away to readers of my blog. All you need to do is email me at and share with me your favorite Christmas memory. I will pick winners on December 7, 2020 and also use your memories in a future blog story.

Again, we need to share great heart warming memories more than ever! Also please support the work of Tim Janis. He is a brilliant entertainer that deserves our support. You can learn more about Tim Janis HERE

Happy Holidays and get your entries in!

Friday, November 20, 2020


Forgotten jazz diva Lee Wiley died on December 11, 1975, and here is her obituary from the New York Times on December 12, 1975...

Lee Wiley, whose gently husky voice and sensuous phrasing made her one of the outstanding jazz singers of the 1930's and 40's, died yesterday of cancer at Sloan‐Kettering Memorial Hospital. She was 60 years old. Her last public performance was at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 1972.

Miss Wiley's voice—warm and easy and with a wide vibrato—was often remarked on for its erotic effect. Such comments were invariably associated with admiration for her ability to choose superior matetrial and to deliver it with unusual sensitivity.

“Although she sings with devastating sex appeal,” George Frazier, one of her more ardent admirers, once wrote, “she does so in an exalted way.”

But Miss Wiley found nothing unusual about the way she sang.

“I don't sing gut‐bucket,” she once said. “I don't sing jazz. I just sing. The only vocal trick I've ever done is putting in the vibrato and taking it out. I don't believe in vocal gimmickry and I had never had the commercial instincts to concentrate on visual mannerisms.”

Although she broke into the top rank of pop singers while she was very young, her lack of “commercial instincts” kept her from following a path that might have brought her a large popular following. She was, instead, known primarily for her interpretation of the songs of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart and George Gershwin with accompaniment by such jazz musicians as Bunny Berigan, Bobby Hackett, Fats Waller, Bud Freeman and Eddie Condon.

“I always sang the way I wanted to sing,” she once said. “If I didn't like something, just wouldn't do it. Instead, I'd take a plane to California and sit in the sun.”

Miss Wiley, who was part Cherokee Indian, a tall, striking‐looking woman with olive skin and corn‐color hair, was born in Port Gibson, Okla., on Oct. 9, .1915. She ran away from home at 15 and, with the help of a friend of her mother's, found work in nightclubs in Chicago and here. By the time she was 17, she was singing with Leo Reisman's Orchestra, one of the big names in the New York music world of the late 20's, and playing dramatic roles on radio.

During the early 30's, Miss Wiley was featured on radio on the Paul Whiteman show and the Kraft show with Victor Young, with whom she wrote several songs including “Any Time, Any Day, Anywhere,” which became closely associated with her. Later she was featured on the Willard Robison Show on CBS with orchestrations by William Grant Still.

In the late 30's, she made a series of record albums for small labels (Liberty, Rabson, Schirmer) of show tunes with jazz accompaniment that became her prime identification as a singer In 1944 she was married to Jess Stacy, the jazz pianist, and sang with the big band that he led for a year or two. The marriage lasted five years, after which she returned to working as a single, a career in which she was constantly requested to sing “Sugar,” which she recorded in 1940 on the back of her own favorite recording, “Down to Steamboat Tennessee.”

Miss Wiley was married to Nat Tischenkel, a retired businessman, in 1966. In addition to her husband, she is survived by a sister, Pearl Pegler, widow of Westbrook Pegler, and a brother, Ted Wiley of Somerset, N.J....

Friday, November 13, 2020


Ed Wynn loved to laugh, and he loved making others laugh.

His career spanned six decades, taking him from the vaudeville stage, to radio, and then on to the golden lights of Hollywood. His trademark voice has been imitated by countless actors over the years, including Alan Tudyk in Disney’s 2012 film Wreck-It-Ralph. Walt Disney was an ardent fan of Wynn’s work, referring to him as “our good luck charm.”

Here are ten facts about the remarkable career of the man dubbed the Perfect Fool.

1. Wynn began his career on the vaudeville stage. Born in 1886, he began performing in 1903 after running away from home to join the theater. His trademark act, The Boy With the Funny Hats, involved transforming a Panama hat into a variety of odd shapes. In 1962, Wynn revived the act for an appearance on Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color for the Golden Horseshoe Revue’s 10,000th performance special.

2. Wynn’s iconic voice was created for his title character in the 1921 Broadway Show, The Perfect Fool, which he also wrote and produced. The show opened in November and ran for 275 performances, closing in July of 1922. The show included bits like an eleven foot pole (for when you wouldn’t touch something with a ten foot pole) and a piano mounted to a bicycle. The piano bit also appeared in the 1962 episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, with Wynn playing the piano and riding the bicycle while Betty Taylor sang the song Tea For Two.

3. In the 1930s, Wynn starred in the Texaco sponsored radio comedy, The Fire Chief. The show ran on Tuesday nights and was performed in front of a live audience. Each show ran a half hour long and featured a mix of comedy and music.

4. In 1961, Wynn appeared in the live action musical Babes in Toyland, alongside teen stars Annette Funicello and Tommy Sands. Wynn described his character, the Toymaker, as a combination of his Perfect Fool and Fire Chief characters. The film also led to Wynn’s appearance in the Backstage Party episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. The party, a staged promotion for the film, featured special performances by members of the Babes in Toyland cast. Wynn was celebrated in the episode, receiving a Mouse-car award for his sixty years in show business.

5. Walt Disney was planning a role for Wynn in Disney’s 19th animated feature, The Jungle Book. He did not end up acting in the film. He died in 1966 of esophageal cancer, a year before the movie’s release. His gravestone at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale reads, “Dear God, Thanks…Ed Wynn.”

6. Disney named Wynn a Disney Legend in 2013. Tom Bergeron spoke briefly, recapping Wynn’s career and Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger wished the audience a happy Un-Birthday in celebration of Wynn’s first Disney role. Wynn’s granddaughter Hilda Levine accepted the award on his behalf...

Monday, November 9, 2020


On this day in 1923 the beautiful Dorothy Dandridge was born. She is perhaps one of the most famous African-American actresses to have a successful Hollywood career and the first to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1954 film Carmen Jones. Dandridge performed as a vocalist in venues such as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. During her early career, she performed as a part of The Wonder Children, later The Dandridge Sisters, and appeared in a succession of films, usually in uncredited roles.

Dorothy Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, to aspiring entertainer Ruby Dandridge (née Butler) (March 3, 1900 – October 17, 1987) and Cyril Dandridge (October 25, 1895 – July 9, 1989), a cabinetmaker and Baptist minister, who had separated just before her birth. Ruby created a song-and-dance act for her two young daughters, Vivian and Dorothy, under the name The Wonder Children, that was managed by Geneva Williams. The sisters toured the Southern United States almost nonstop for five years (rarely attending school), while Ruby worked and performed in Cleveland.

The Dandridge Sisters continued strong for several years, and were booked in several high-profile nightclubs, including the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. Dandridge's first on-screen appearance was a small part in an Our Gang comedy short, Teacher's Beau in 1935. As a part of The Dandridge Sisters, she also appeared in The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1936) with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, A Day at the Races with the Marx Brothers, and It Can't Last Forever (both 1937) with the Jackson Brothers.  Although these appearances were relatively minor, Dandridge continued to earn recognition through continuing her nightclub performances nationwide.

 Dandridge appeared as part of a Specialty Number, Chattanooga Choo Choo, in the hit 1941 musical Sun Valley Serenade for 20th Century Fox. The film marked the first time she performed with the Nicholas Brothers. (She would be married for a time to one of the Nicholas Brothers). Aside from her film appearances, Dandridge appeared in a succession of "soundies" – film clips that were displayed on jukeboxes, including "Paper Doll" by the Mills Brothers, "Cow, Cow Boogie", "Jig in the Jungle", and "Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter's Rent Party" aka "Swing for my Supper", among others. These films were noted not only for showcasing Dandridge as singer and dancer and her acting abilities, but also for featuring a strong emphasis on her physical attributes.

In May 1951, Dandridge spectacularly opened at the Mocambo nightclub in West Hollywood after assiduous coaching and decisions on style with pianist Phil Moorex. This success seemed a new turn to her career and in a couple of years she would be an Oscar nominee for her role in Carmen Jones (1954). Sadly, even with that nomination, Dorothy would not become the star that she would deserve to be. She died at the age of 42 in 1965...

Thursday, November 5, 2020


Charlie Chaplin kept making silent films for as long as he possibly could. Modern Times, the last feature in which he played his wordless tramp character, was released in 1936, seven years after Hollywood had largely converted to sound; it was only with 1940’s The Great Dictator that Chaplin finally caved in and started talking. Even then, he remained well aware of his strengths as a performer, and did his best to fashion extended sequences that didn’t rely on dialogue, like Dictator’s famous bit in which Hitler (okay, “Adenoid Hynkel”) treats a globe as if it were a beach ball at a rock concert. So it’s no surprise that Limelight (1952), set in 1914, stars Chaplin as a washed-up vaudevillian and features lengthy flashbacks to the character’s silent act. It is a surprise, however, that these comedy routines are less effective and memorable than are the many scenes in which Chaplin just quietly converses with a young woman.

The young woman in question is Terry (Claire Bloom), a ballerina suffering from what’s eventually determined to be a psychosomatic illness that prevents her from walking. Despondent, she attempts suicide, but is saved when her upstairs neighbor, the once-famous clown Calvero (Chaplin), smells the gas emanating from her apartment and breaks down her door. Calvero immediately takes Terry under his wing, giving her regular pep talks about why life is very much worth living. She, in turn, eventually uses her influence to get Calvero hired as Harlequin in her new ballet (invented for the film). She also falls in love with him, though he refuses to consider marrying her and does his best to steer her toward a young composer (Sydney Chaplin, Charlie’s son). Eventually, Calvero abandons Terry altogether to ensure that she’ll make a life without him, though she tracks him down years later and persuades him to headline a benefit concert.

Even for Chaplin, this is a saccharine wish-fulfillment fantasy: At age 63, he wins the enduring love of the ingénue—Bloom, in one of her earliest film roles, was only 21—nobly sacrifices his own happiness for hers (while pairing her with someone who shares half of his DNA), and redeems himself professionally with one final boffo performance. Thankfully, Calvero’s tender relationship with Terry, which is the heart of the movie, feels much more paternal than romantic, even as she keeps insisting that she loves him and only him. What’s more, Chaplin handles dialogue superbly, as if he’d devoted his lengthy career to Shakespeare and Ibsen rather than pantomime. Some of the speeches he’s written himself are a bit too floridly theatrical, but he sells them with a relaxed, casual delivery, demonstrating that he might well have been one of cinema’s towering figures even had he been born half a century later.

Alas, Limelight fails to make a case for Calvero as one of vaudeville’s towering figures. His big routine, in which he pretends to be working with trained fleas, is painfully unfunny, and while the initial flashback suggests that this is by design—that Calvero, by that point, had lost his gift and thus his audience—subsequent events make it clear that Calvero is meant to be a genius, and that it was the fickle public that ended his career. Sadder still, Limelight’s climactic benefit concert features the sole onscreen collaboration between Chaplin and Buster Keaton, with the latter in the tiny role of Calvero’s former partner. It’s a total bust. Keaton, who was six years younger than Chaplin (so only 57 at the time), is given little to do apart from fumble endlessly with a sheaf of sheet music, and Chaplin-the-director rarely even puts himself and Keaton in the same shot. In short, everything that sounds potentially magnificent about Limelight disappoints, while the aspect that sounds potentially dreary—Chaplin playing earnest life coach to a sickly ballerina—works like a charm. The man was full of surprises...

Sunday, November 1, 2020


It is November now so there is one thing we are sure of - it is football season! Here are some great classic Hollywood football pictures. All of these photos are touchdowns...






Sir Sean Connery has died at the age of 90, his family has said.

The Scottish actor was best known for his portrayal of James Bond, being the first to bring the role to the big screen and appearing in seven of the spy thrillers.

Sir Sean died peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas, having been "unwell for some time", his son said.

His acting career spanned seven decades and he won an Oscar in 1988 for his role in The Untouchables.

Sir Sean's other films included The Hunt for Red October, Highlander, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Rock.

Jason Connery said his father "had many of his family, who could be in the Bahamas, around him" when he died overnight in Nassau. Much of the Bond film Thunderball had been filmed there.

He said: "We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time.

"A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor."

His publicist Nancy Seltzer said: "There will be a private ceremony followed by a memorial yet to be planned once the virus has ended."

He leaves his wife Micheline and sons Jason and Stephane.

Daniel Craig, the current James Bond, said Sir Sean was "one of the true greats of cinema".

"Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more," he said.

"He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in megawatts; he helped create the modern blockbuster.

"He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones."

Dame Shirley Bassey, who sang the themes to three Bond films including Goldfinger, paid tribute saying: "I'm incredibly saddened to hear of Sean's passing."

He first played James Bond in Dr No in 1962 and went on to appear in five other official films - and the unofficial Never Say Never Again in 1983.

He was largely regarded as being the best actor to have played 007 in the long-running franchise, often being named as such in polls.

Connery made the character of James Bond his own, blending ruthlessness with sardonic wit. Many critics didn't like it and some of the reviews were scathing. But the public did not agree.

He was knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in 2000. In August, he celebrated his 90th birthday.

Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were "devastated by the news" of his death.

They said: "He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words 'the name's Bond... James Bond'.

"He revolutionized the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him."

Star Wars director George Lucas, who also created the Indiana Jones character, said Sir Sean "left an indelible mark in cinematic history"...