Wednesday, June 29, 2022


Carol Burnett is 89 and still working!

The comedy legend will appear as a guest star in the sixth and final season of “Better Call Saul,” portraying a character named Marion, AMC announced. It’s unclear at this point how Marion fits into the denouement of the complicated journey and transformation of series antihero Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) into Albuquerque’s notorious criminal lawyer Saul Goodman.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of my favorite show,” Burnett, a six-time Emmy Awards winner, said in a statement.

In addition to Burnett, as previously announced, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul will appear in “Better Call Saul” Season 6 reprising their “Breaking Bad” roles of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, respectively, as the show draws to its conclusion.

Carol Burnett recently appeared at the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award for her good friend Julie Andrews. Burnett is also posed to return to television in an Apple Network series with fellow comedian Kristen Wiig.

Burnett is best known for hosting variety sketch series “The Carol Burnett Show,” which aired on CBS from 1967-1978 and won 25 Emmys over its run. Burnett most recently won an Emmy for guest actress in a comedy series for her work on “Mad About You.” She also has won seven Golden Globes, a Grammy and a Tony. She is a two-time Peabody Award winner as well as a recipient of both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Burnett is repped by ICM and Media Four.

Sunday, June 26, 2022


On this day - June 26th, the great character actor Peter Lorre was born. Peter Lorre was born László Löwenstein in Rózsahegy in the Slovak area of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the son of Hungarian Jewish parents. He learned both Hungarian and German languages from birth, and was educated in elementary and secondary schools in the Austria-Hungary capitol Vienna, but did not complete. As a youth he ran away from home, first working as a bank clerk, and after stage training in Vienna, Austria, made his acting debut at age 17 in 1922 in Zurich, Switzerland.

 He traveled for several years acting on stage throughout his home region, Vienna, Berlin, and Zurich, including working with Bertolt Brecht, until Fritz Lang cast him in a starring role as the psychopathic child killer in the German film M (1931). After several more films in Germany, including a couple roles for which he learned to speak French, Lorre left as the Nazis came to power, going first to Paris where he made one film, then London where Alfred Hitchcock cast him as a creepy villain in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), where he learned his lines phonetically, and finally arrived in Hollywood in 1935. In his first two roles there he starred as a mad scientist in Mad Love (1935) directed by recent fellow-expatriate Karl Freund, and the leading part of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment (1935), by another expatriate German director Josef von Sternberg, a successful movie made at Lorre's own suggestion. He returned to England for a role in another Hitchcock film, Secret Agent (1936), then back to the US for a few more films before checking into a rehab facility to cure himself of a morphine addiction.

After shaking his addiction, in order to get any kind of acting work, Lorre reluctantly accepted the starring part as the Japanese secret agent in Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937), wearing makeup to alter his already very round eyes for the part. He ended up committed to repeating the role for eight more "Mr. Moto" movies over the next two years.

Lorre played numerous memorable villain roles, spy characters, comedic roles, and even a romantic type, throughout the 1940s, beginning with his graduation from 30s B-pictures The Maltese Falcon (1941). Among his most famous films, Casablanca (1942), and a comedic role in the Broadway hit film Arsenic and Old Lace (1943). Due to years of addiction, Lorre's health began to fade in the 1950s, and he ended his career starring in many low budget horror films. He died in 1964 at the young age of 59, and his birthday is worth celebrating due to all the great films he made that audiences still love...

Wednesday, June 22, 2022


URBAN LEGEND: Was actress Fay Wray supposed to appear in Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong?

ANSWER: According to Peter Jackson - YES!

In 2004, Wray was approached by director Peter Jackson to appear in a small cameo for the 2005 remake of King Kong. She met with Naomi Watts, who was to play the role of Ann Darrow. She politely declined the cameo, and claimed that the original "Kong" was the true "King." However, according to director Peter Jackson, he implored on her to make an appearance in his movie. Fay Wray was supposed to appear at the very end of the movie and say the iconic line "It was not the airplane that killed Kong, it was beauty that killed the beast".

Before the filming of the remake commenced, Wray died in her sleep of natural causes on August 8, 2004, in her apartment in Manhattan, five weeks before her 97th birthday. The movie was released on December 14, 2005...

Saturday, June 18, 2022


It is hard to believe that Vera Lynn has been gone now for two years. Her voice still lives on...

Monday, June 13, 2022


Merman ended the original run of Dolly on December 27th, 1970. It had played 2,844 performances. Skip Koenig was a caregiver to "Pop" Zimmermann [Ethel's Dad that she called "The Father"] for seven years and the best line that Merman said to Skip referred to her HELLO, DOLLY! closing. [She knew that Skip was there.] He praised the performance especially and she said: "I always give the same performance-- sometimes I give a little more.

With her bag of songs from I GOT RHYTHM through ROSES, she definitely had infinite respect for BEFORE THE PARADE PASSES BY. She chose it for 1978's SALUTE TO THE AMERICAN IMAGINATION on CBS; for TEXACO OPENING NIGHT 1982 on NBC; and of course in syndication when she re-enacted receiving the Pied Piper Award on Merv Griffin. June 24, 1982. "ASCAP presents its Pied Piper Award to Ethel Merman whose unique interpretations of some of the greatest songs in the history of the American musical theatre have earned her a following worthy of a true Pied Piper."Quite an ending to a career that began on October 14, 1930 at The Alvin Theater. The marquee was modest enough: GIRL CRAZY-- NEW MUSICAL COMEDY. But from atop The Alvin the title GIRL CRAZY was so emblazoned that it could be seen by every passerby on Broadway at 52nd Street. And there were many as 52nd Street in those Prohibition days was the Speakeasy capital of New York!

Merman’s last night on a stage anywhere was at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach, Florida. Merman’s last scheduled song became Before The Parade Passes By. She had two encores of There’s No Business Like Show Business and What I Did For Love. She thanked the audience from the “bottom of my heart.”Through the entire revival Merman's NEW YORK TIMES review was on a billboard illuminating Shubert Alley. As Marie Marchesani said, "Merman was a dame-- a Broad from Astoria with a lot of class."

So ended the original run of HELLO, DOLLY! Merman's CURTAIN SPEECH: "I don't know about you, but I'm going out for some Neapolitan ice cream!" Pearl Bailey would revive the show as her swan song, descending the Harmonia Gardens staircase-- twice. And Carol Channing would end her last Broadway revival on January 28, 1996: the run had been extended and for the final performance folding chairs were added to the rear of the orchestra. Channing's CURTAIN SPEECH: "But you're just standing there-- you're not going anywhere."




I am a huge dinosaur and disaster fan. I have seen every movie in the Jurassic Park franchise in movie theaters since 1993. I was a young college student when the first film came out. Now watching this sixth movie, I had the pleasure of taking my children to go see it. The movie might not be the greatest film ever made, but it still was AMAZING! Jurassic World Dominion is a 2022 American science fiction action film directed by Colin Trevorrow, written by Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael and based on a story by Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. It is the sequel to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), the sixth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, the final film in the Jurassic World trilogy, and the conclusion to the storyline started in the original Jurassic Park trilogy. As with its predecessors, Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley produced the film with Trevorrow and Jurassic Park (1993) director Steven Spielberg acting as executive producers.

The film stars an ensemble cast including Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Isabella Sermon, Justice Smith, and Daniella Pineda reprising their roles from previous films in the franchise, and are joined by DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, Campbell Scott (the son of George C. Scott), Scott Haze, and Dichen Lachman. Dern, Goldblum and Neill reprise their roles from the Jurassic Park trilogy, appearing together for the first time since the 1993 film. The film is set four years after the events of Fallen Kingdom, with dinosaurs now living alongside humans around the world.

I don't want to ruin the plot of the film for people that did not see it, but next to the dinosaurs, the best feature of the movie was Jeff Goldblum. He really stole the movie away, and it was great how they incorporated the stars of the first Jurassic Park series with the new trilogy stars. It was really gratifying. As of June 12, 2022, Jurassic World Dominion has grossed $143.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $245.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $389.1 million.

In the U.S. and Canada, Dominion was initially projected to gross around $125 million from 4,676 theaters in its opening weekend. After making $59.55 million on its first day (including $18 million from Thursday night previews, just below the first Jurassic World's $18.5 million and above Fallen Kingdom's $15.3 million), weekend estimates were raised to $142 million. It went on to debut to $143.4 million, topping the box office.

I have to admit that I was sad at the end of the movie. Like I said I was 19 when the first Jurassic Park movie came out, and here I am 29 years later. Where has the time gone? I see an older Sam Neil, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum, and I find that I ask myself if I have become a dinosaur as well? It's a great movie though,so don't listen to the reviews. Just go and have fun...


Thursday, June 9, 2022


Remembering Frances Gumm (aka Judy Garland) on what would have been her 100th birthday...

Sunday, June 5, 2022


The Ethel Merman Dolly dynasty reigned from March 28, 1970 – December 27, 1970. On November 30th, The New York Times announced that she was closing on December 26–then, the Sunday matinee was added!

Merman had signed for three months and after two months, Mr. Merrick said, “Look: if you play it into the middle of December 1970-at that time we will have established being the longest-running show on Broadway.” She later said, “What can I say? He was a nice man!” The Merman saga had begun at Phyllis Diller's Opening Night on December 26, 1969. Diller was excellent. She did, however, go up on a line during the restaurant scene but covered impeccably, looking at her stage left prompter in the front row: "Ha! Anybody got a line??!" The audience loved it, but Merrick in gray watch plaid suit stood stoically behind the last three rows of the orchestra which were untouched, completely empty. He was approached and Ethel Merman was suggested.

THE NEW YORK TIMES celebrated the announcement of Merman joining HELLO, DOLLY! and the record-setting performance with three headlines: "Ethel Merman Agrees to Take HELLO, DOLLY! Lead for 3 Months"; on September 8, 1970 "Dolly Replacing Liza as Fairest Lady; Show's Matinee Tomorrow to Set Record"; on September 10, 1970 "HELLO, DOLLY! Cuts Longest- Run Cake." A section of the orchestra was saved for Merman's friends and Marie Marchesani had the definitive line: "It was Merman with an extra kick." Outside the St. James a plaque was installed: "David Merrick's Production HELLO, DOLLY! celebrated its 2.718th Performance on September 9, 1970." It was the longest running musical in Broadway history.

The role of Dolly Levi in the musical was originally written for Ethel Merman, but Merman turned it down; as did Mary Martin (although both eventually played it).

Eventually, he hired Carol Channing, who ultimately created Dolly her signature role. Director Gower Champion was not the producer’s first choice, as Hal Prince and others (among them Jerome Robbins and Joe Layton) all turned down the job of directing the musical.

Merman retired from Broadway in 1970, when she appeared as the last Dolly Levi from the original Broadway ru nIn Brian Kellow’s biography of Ethel Merman, A Life, he states that Herman made a study of all of Merman’s recordings, concluding that the role of Dolly was perfectly tailored to her talents. Herman was in Merrick’s office the day the producer made the call pitching the show to Ethel. Jerry saw Merrick go completely ashen.When Merrick hung up, he told Jerry that Merman said she would never do another Broadway show because she had spent her life in dressing rooms.

She was tired of doing Broadway and wanted to focus on film and television. If Merrick thought he could persuade her, he was wrong. Ethel never regretted her decision...