Friday, April 23, 2010

4/29 - Hugh O'Brian,

Hugh O'Brian (born April 19, 1925) is an American actor best known for his starring role in the ABC television series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955–1961). O'Brian was born Hugh Charles Krampe in Rochester, New York, the son of Hugh John Krampe, a career United States Marine Corps officer, and his wife Edith Krampe. He attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois (as did Rock Hudson, Charlton Heston, Ann-Margret and many other future stars) and later Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri. He lettered in football, basketball, wrestling, and track. O'Brian dropped out of the University of Cincinnati after one semester to enlist in the Marine Corps during World War II. Only 17, he become the youngest Marine drill instructor. After World War II, O'Brian moved to Los Angeles to study at UCLA. He was discovered on the stage by Ida Lupino who signed him to a film she was directing Never Fear that led to a contract with Universal Pictures. He was chosen to portray legendary lawman Wyatt Earp on ABC, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp which debuted in 1955. Alongside Gunsmoke, which debuted the same year, these shows spearheaded the "adult western" TV genre, where the emphasis is on character development as opposed to mere moral sermonizing. It soon became one of the top-rated shows on television. During its seven-year run, Wyatt Earp consistently placed in the top 10 in the United States. He also appeared regularly on other programs in the 1960s, including Jack Palance's ABC circus drama, The Greatest Show on Earth, and as a 'guest attorney' in an episode of Perry Mason when its star Raymond Burr was sidelined for a spell after minor emergency surgery. He was a guest celebrity panelist on the popular CBS prime-time programs Password and What's My Line? and even served as a mystery guest on three occasions. Filmography: In Harm's Way (1965), The Shootist (1976), Broken Lance (1954), Tombstone (1993), Gunsmoke: The Last Apache (1990), The Game of Death (1978), Saskatchewan (1954) American actor Hugh O'Brian accrued his interest in acting while dancing with movie starlets at the Hollywood Canteen during his wartime Marine days. O'Brian attended the University of Cincinnati briefly, and later supported himself selling menswear door-to-door. He made his first film, Never Fear, in 1950, working but sporadically during the next five years; what few acting parts he received were on the basis of his broad shoulders and six-foot height. In one film, Fireman Save My Child (1954), O'Brian was cast because he and costar Buddy Hackett physically matched the previously filmed long shots of Fireman's original stars, Abbott and Costello. Answering a cattle-call tryout for the new ABC TV western Wyatt Earp in 1955, O'Brian was almost instantly chosen for the leading role by author Stuart Lake, who'd known the real Wyatt and had been his biographer for many years (reportedly Earp's widow also okayed O'Brien after a single glance). O'Brian became a major TV star thanks to Wyatt Earp, which ran for 249 episodes until 1961. The series was not only tough on the actor but on his fans; reportedly there was a sharp increase in gun accidents during Wyatt Earp's run, due to young would-be Earps who were trying to emulate Wyatt's fast draw (this despite the fact that the TV Earp, like the real one, used his firearms only when absolutely necessary). Like most western TV stars, O'Brian swore he was through with shoot-em-ups when Earp ceased production, and throughout the '60s he worked in almost every type of film and theatrical genre but westerns. He showed considerable skill in the realm of musical comedy, and became a top draw in the summer-stock and dinner theatre circuit. In 1972, O'Brian starred in the computer-happy secret-agent TV series Search, which lasted only a single season. As he became the focus of hero worship from grown-up Baby Boomers, O'Brian relaxed his resistance toward Wyatt Earp and began showing up on live and televised western retrospectives. The actor reprised the Earp role in two 1989 episodes of the latter-day TV western Paradise, opposite Gene Barry in his old TV role of Bat Masterson. He was Earp again in the 1991 TV movie The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, in which he managed to shine in the company of several other cowboy-show veterans (including Barry, again) and was permitted to walk into the sunset as an offscreen chorus warbled the Wyatt Earp theme music! Hugh O'Brian's most recent turn at Ol' Wyatt was in a hastily assembled CBS movie mostly comprised of clips from the old Earp series, and released to capitalize on Kevin Costner's big-budget Wyatt Earp film of 1994. Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (March 19, 1848 – January 13, 1929) was an American officer of the law in various Western frontier towns, farmer, teamster, buffalo hunter, gambler, saloon-keeper, miner and boxing referee. He is best known for his participation in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, along with Doc Holliday, and two of his brothers, Virgil Earp and Morgan Earp. He is also noted for the Earp Vendetta. Wyatt Earp has become an iconic figure in American folk history.

Friday, April 16, 2010

4/22 - Jennifer O'Neill

Bob welcomes his favorite movie actress, the beautiful Jennifer O' Neill, star of many films including the classic "Summer of 42". Internationally acclaimed actress, film and television star, entrepreneur, spokeswoman, author, proud mother of three, and noted among the most beautiful women in the world, by any definition, Jennifer O’Neill is one of a kind. With thirty-plus feature films, numerous television movies and series to her credit, she continues to be a major force in the industry.  Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to an English mother and a Spanish-Irish father, Ms. O’Neill’s career first began when her family moved from Connecticut to New York City. Blessed with great energy and beauty, Jennifer quickly entered international modeling at age fifteen while still a student at the prestigious Dalton School in Manhattan. Having developed a passion for horses while visiting her grandparents in Brazil, Jennifer saw modeling as a way to own her first steed. The world of magazine covers quickly lead to other goals, and, after auditioning, she was accepted into the Neighborhood Playhouse, New York’s esteemed school of acting. It only took a short while before her unique qualities were noticed by the great director Howard Hawks, who cast her to star opposite John Wayne in Rio Lobo. Jennifer was a leading actress, married and a mother by age twenty-one.  After her film debut, and against the advice of her agents, Jennifer accepted a role in the “small” film, Summer of ‘42. Her hauntingly beautiful portrayal of Dorothy made Jennifer O’Neill a household name, and today Summer of ‘42 is one of home videos’ most popular titles. The film has become a true classic with Jennifer’s performance hailed as legendary, not only by the public, but by her peers.  Stimulated by creative opportunities that lie behind the camera, Ms. O’Neill soon moved to Europe and placed herself under the tutelage of master Italian director Luchino Visconti, where she turned in an award winning performance in his final film, The Innocent, costarring Giancarlo Giannini. More importantly, with Visconti, she expanded her range as an actress and began to learn the art of film making from this world-renowned auteur. Returning home, Ms. O’Neill continued to star in a succession of profitable films such as Blake Edward’s The Carey Treatment, with James Coburn, Caravans, with Anthony Quinn, The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, with Michael Sarrazin, A Force of One, with Chuck Norris, Lady Ice, with Robert Duvall and Donald Sutherland, and the David Cronenberg blockbuster Scanners.  The first television Movie of the Week in which she starred, Love’s Savage Fury, scored a 39 share, making it ABC’s top-rated movie of the year. Her next television project, The Other Victim, costarring William Devane for CBS, was hailed as one of the years Top 10 films, followed by her own series Cover-Up (CBS). And of course, we’ve all seen her impressive spokeswoman campaign for CoverGirl - Jennifer’s unprecedented thirty-year endorsement of the product catapulted CoverGirl into the top selling makeup line in the country.  As if all this activity weren’t enough to fill the day, Ms. O’Neill is also a constant worker for charitable causes, having served as chairperson for the American Cancer Society as well as being a staunch supporter of the Retinitis Pigmetosa Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation. Most recently, she hosts a one hour special for World Vision shot in Africa concerning the HIV epidemic. In addition, she remains actively involved with her childhood love of animals, sponsoring the Jennifer O’Neill Tennis Tournament to benefit the ASPCA, and fund-raiser for Guiding Eyes for the blind. To date, Jennifer continues to successfully train and show champion horses and resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  As an author, Ms. O’Neill penned her autobiography, Surviving Myself, with the updated version, Finding Love That Lasts . . . Candid Conversations, to be released in 2009. Her other published works include; From Fallen To Forgiven, You’re Not Alone and her fiction series - Circle of Friends: Just Off Main. Jennifer’s newest novels,All That Glitters and Life Savers are also set for publication and film production.  Along with her books’ rave reviews have come corporate and testimonial speaking engagements that are both inspirational and practical in nature. By adding this new dimension to her roster of talents, Jennifer embraces the “one on one” sharing of life’s experiences with a passion and enthusiasm that resonates with all generations.

Monday, April 12, 2010

4/15 - Tony Dow, "Wally"


TONY DOW  -   "Wally"  "Leave it to Beaver"
Even though his mother was Clara Bow’s double, a Mack Sennett bathing beauty and one of Hollywood’s first stuntwomen, Muriel Montrose Dow had no aspirations for her son Tony to have a career in the entertainment industry. At an early age he had earned many national swimming records and the reputation as the best junior diver in the country, which made him a strong Olympic candidate. In 1956, his Olympic quest was interrupted when a long time family friend asked if Tony could accompany him to Screen Gems to meet with the producers of a new TV series, Johnny Wildlife, and he landed the part. The pilot never sold, but within a couple of months he had to choose between the role of “Boy” in Tarzan, being a Mouseketeer or playing the big brother on Leave it to Beaver. For over 40 years Tony Dow has played a variety of characters and has directed many more. He starred in four television series and has had numerous co-starring roles and guest appearances in film, television and theatre. Tony has spent the last 18 years behind the camera. In his directing career he’s been able to cross over from comedy to drama in both the hour and half-hour format. In addition to his work in the entertainment industry, Tony has always maintained his interest in the arts. As a painter and sculptor, he has had pieces displayed in a number of shows and is currently working on a series of figurative bronzes that originate from burl wood collected near his home. The Dow’s live in a handcrafted home in the rustic Santa Monica Mountains with their dog, Bodie. Most of Tony’s spare time is spent in his workshop creating his sculpture or any one of numerous projects in progress around their home. Tony’s directing credits include over sixty hours of network
 television which include multiple episodes of the hit comedy, Coach, the sci-fi classics Babylon 5 and Star Trek, Deep Space 9, Cover Me, the True Life Adventures of an FBI Family, and television versions of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids and Harry and the Hendersons, to name a few. He has also shot many commercials and recently completed shooting a documentary focusing on progressive education in the 21st century with JPL and NASA. In the theater world Tony received a Dramalog award for directing the theatrical presentation of K-2, in Hollywood.  In the producing arena, Tony completed production on a remake of the sci-fi classic It Came From Outer Space for Universal Studios for which he was also the uncredited writer. He produced and supervised visual effects for the two-hour television movies, The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space, and Doctor Who, for Universal, Fox and the BBC. He and his wife, Lauren, and Melissa Gilbert were Executive Producers on a special two-hour documentary, CHILD STARS: Their Story, which airs continuously on A & E.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

4/8 - Robert Conrad visits with Tiffany


Tiffany was singing at a Los Angeles club named El Palomino when she was discovered by Hoyt Axton and his mother Mae Axton. Mae took her to sing in Nashville, Tennessee, where she performed at the Ralph Emery Show, singing Juice Newton's "Queen of Hearts" and Tammy Wynette's "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad".

In 1982, Tiffany toured several cities in Alaska. Also that year, she performed on the same bill as Jerry Lee Lewis and George Jones. At that time, she was managed by George Tobin.  In 1984, Tiffany was signed to a recording contract by George Tobin who heard a demo tape she recorded and liked it.

In 1985, Tiffany appeared on Star Search with Ed McMahon, where she came in second place that year.  In 1986, Tiffany signed a contract that gave Tobin total control over her career. Then, she went into the studio to record her first album, and a contract was signed with MCA. Tiffany's eponymous album, Tiffany, was released in 1987.  A cover of the Tommy James & the Shondells hit, "I Think We're Alone Now", became a number one smash hit on the Billboard chart, propelling Tiffany to international stardom.

Friday, April 2, 2010

4/8 - Raquel Welch -

Raquel Welch  - Movie Actress, sex symbol   "Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage"

Jo Raquel Welch (née Tejada, born September 5, 1940) is an American actress, author and sex symbol.
Welch was born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago, Illinois, the oldest of 3 children and the daughter of Josephine Sarah (née Hall) and Armando Carlos Tejada Urquizo. Her father, an aeronautical engineer, immigrated from La Paz, Bolivia; her mother was American, the daughter of architect Emery Stanford Hall (1869–1939) and wife Clara Louise Adams.  In 1959, Welch played the title role in the famous Ramona Pageant, a yearly outdoor play at Hemet, California, which is based on the novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson and Bob Biloe.  She became a weather forecaster at KFMB, a local San Diego television station. Because of her heavy schedule, she decided to leave college. Her marriage broke up and she moved with her two children, Damon and Latanne, to Dallas, Texas, where she modeled for Neiman Marcus and worked as a cocktail hostess, intending to move on to New York City from there.  Instead, Welch moved back to California and found a place in Los Angeles and started making the rounds of the movie studios. She was cast in bit parts in two films and in the television shows Bewitched, McHale's Navy, and The Virginian, as well as on the weekly variety series The Hollywood Palace as a billboard girl and presenter of acts.  Welch's first featured role came in the beach film A Swingin' Summer, which led to a contract with 20th Century Fox. She was subsequently cast in a leading role in the sci-fi hit Fantastic Voyage (1966), which made her a star. She was the last star created under the studio.  On loan out to Hammer Studios in Britain, Welch starred in the remake of One Million Years B.C. striking an iconic pose in a prehistoric animal-skin bikini. After her appearance as lust incarnate in the hit Bedazzled, she returned to the U.S. and appeared in the Western film Bandolero!, with James Stewart and Dean Martin, which was followed by the private-eye drama Lady in Cement with Frank Sinatra.  Welch's most controversial role by far came in the notorious Myra Breckinridge with Mae West. She took the part as the film's transsexual heroine in an attempt to be taken seriously as an actress, but the movie turned out to be a dismal failure.  Welch became one of the leading sex symbols of the 1960s and 1970s. Her most memorable publicity still for One Million Years B.C. became a bestselling poster. Playboy called her the "Most Desired Woman" of the 1970s.  In 1970, Welch teamed up with Tom Jones and producer/choreographer David Winters of Winters-Rosen Productions[4] for the TV special Raquel!, considered by some viewers to be a classic pairing together of 1970s pop-culture icons in their prime. The multi million-dollar TV song-and-dance extravaganza was filmed around the world, from Paris to Mexico. The show featured lavish production numbers of classic songs from the era, extravagant costumes, and notable guest performances, including John Wayne and Bob Hope in the Wild West.  Welch at the 39th Emmy Awards - Governor's Ball - Sept. 1987 The actress was due to star in an 1982 adaptation of John Steinbeck's Cannery Row, but was fired by the producers a few days into production (allegedly, she was taking too long to get ready each day). She was replaced with Debra Winger. Welch successfully sued, collecting a $15 million dollar settlement  In addition to her TV special, Raquel!, her television appearances include the TV movies The Legend of Walks Far Woman and Right to Die in which she turned in a stirring performance as a woman stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease, and in the PBS series American Family, about a Mexican American family in East Los Angeles. She has appeared in the night-time soap opera Central Park West and made infomercials and exercise videos.  In 1987, she flirted with a pop singing career, releasing the dance single "This Girl's Back In Town." She has performed in a one-woman nightclub musical act in Las Vegas and has starred on Broadway in Woman of the Year, receiving praise for following Lauren Bacall in the title role, and in Victor/Victoria, having less success following Julie Andrews and Liza Minnelli in the title roles.  In a 1997 episode of the comedy series Seinfeld entitled The Summer of George, Welch played a highly temperamental version of herself, assaulting series characters Kramer and Elaine, the former because he fired her from an acting job and the latter because Welch mistakenly thought that Elaine was mocking her.  She also appeared as a guest on the popular American TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch, as Sabrina's flamboyant Aunt Vesta.  She appeared in Welcome to the Captain, which premiered on CBS television on February 4, 2008.  The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program was published in 1984. The book, written by Welch herself with photographs by André Weinfeld, includes a Hatha Yoga fitness program, her views on healthy living/nutrition, as well as beauty and personal style. As a businesswoman, Welch has had success with her signature line of wigs. She also began a jewelry and skincare line although neither of those ventures compared to the success of her wig collection, the Raquel Welch Signature Wig Collection from HAIRuWEAR.  In January 2007, Welch was revealed as the newest face of MAC Cosmetics Beauty Icon series. Her line features several limited edition makeup shades in glossy black and tiger print packaging.  Welch has been married to  James Welch (1959–1964), publicist and agent; divorced  Patrick Curtis (1967–1972), director and producer; divorced   Andre Weinfeld (1980–1990); divorced  Richard Palmer (1999), from whom she is currently (2010) separated.  Welch is the mother of Damon Welch (born November 6, 1959) & actress Tahnee Welch (born Latanne Rene Welch, December 26, 1961). Tahnee followed her mother's December 1979 example and appeared on the cover of Playboy in the November 1995 issue   Welch is a fan of Chelsea FC, or was "in the seventies."   In 1974, Welch won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy for The Three Musketeers. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the TV drama Right to Die (1987).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

4/1 - Stephen J. Cannell

Stephen Joseph Cannell is an American television producer, writer, novelist and occasional actor who is also the founder of Stephen J. Cannell Productions.

Cannell has created or co-created nearly 40 television series, mostly crime dramas, including The Rockford Files, The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, Wiseguy, 21 Jump Street, Silk Stalkings, and The Commish. In the process he has, by his own count, scripted more than 450 episodes, and produced or executive produced over 1,500 episodes.

Stephen Cannell created & produced Baa Baa Black Sheep (later syndicated as Black Sheep Squadron) is a television series that aired on NBC from 1976 until 1978. Its premise was based on the experiences of United States Marine Corps aviator Pappy Boyington and his World War II "Black Sheep Squadron".  Robert Conrad starred as Greg "Pappy" Boyington on the series.