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Archive for the ‘Classic movies’ Category

“Good night, folks…”

In his essential reference encyclopedia of old-time radio, On the Air, author John Dunning notes that actor William Gargan’s presence on the detective drama Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator “was an interesting bit of typecasting.”  “As a young man he had worked in a real detective office,” Dunning continues, “and had once confessed amusement at the blunders of […]

Happy Birthday, Barton Yarborough!

Despite the fact that radio’s I Love a Mystery had closed up shop over CBS Radio on December 29, 1944, Columbia Pictures wanted to adapt the popular “blood-and-thunder” melodrama for the silver screen…and did so by paying creator Carlton E. Morse a princely sum for the rights for a three-picture deal in 1945.  Since Morse had written the third […]

“Howdee, Straight Shooters! Howdee!”

The man born Thomas Hezikiah Mix in Mix Run, Pennsylvania in 1880 became a Western legend during the 20th century…and he did it using the same good old fashioned skill as Buffalo Bill Cody: salesmanship!  Tom Mix would be recognized as a genuine cowboy and soldier of fortune — even those some of his exploits were a bit exaggerated. […]

Happy Birthday, June Foray!

In 2009, Bear Manor Media published Did You Grow Up with Me, Too?: The Autobiography of June Foray.  The titular performer—born June Lucille Forer in Springfield, Massachusetts on this date in 1917—collaborated on the book with cartoon historians Jerry Beck and Earl Kress. (At the risk of being facetious, we’re surprised that the tome – it’s 164 pages – isn’t the size of ten […]

Happy Birthday, Lauren Bacall!

The woman born Betty Joan Perske in New York City on this date in 1924 had a burning ambition to become an actress.  After all, she took lessons at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (before the age of 18), where one of her classmates was a fellow thespian who would also achieve silver screen […]

Happy Birthday, Lurene Tuttle!

“The First Lady of Radio.”  That’s the fitting appellation given to actress Lurene Tuttle, born Lurene Susie Tuttle in Pleasant Lake, Indiana on this date in 1907.  Lurene was, without question, a consummate character performer, achieving fame in the aural medium, in films and on TV. She even used her acting gifts to coach others so that they perfected their craft.  […]

Happy Birthday, Charles Boyer!

Any self-respecting impressionist attempting to imitate actor Charles Boyer—born in Figeac, Lot, France on this date in 1899—had only to utter this phrase: “Come wiz me to the Cazbah…”  It’s a reference to one of Charles’ best-known movie roles: that of master thief Pepe le Moko, a fugitive hiding out in the famed Casbah section (Casbah […]

Happy Birthday, Wally Maher!

In the annals of movie animation, there was never a cartoon character quite like Screwball “Screwy” Squirrel.  Described by author-historian Leonard Maltin in Of Mice and Magic as possessing “all the brashness associated with such recent stars as Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker,” the manic creation of legendary director Tex Avery had a short life in motion […]