Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tony Curtis - R.I.P. (1925-2010)

Tony Curtis (

I just heard the sad news this morning that Tony Curtis has passed away (1925-2010) which is a great loss for all fans of old Hollywood. Curtis was not only an entertaining actor, but an entertaining personality. Anyone who has had the chance to be in his presence or see him do an interview knows that Curtis could really tell a story, which he had many.

One of my favorite things about Curtis is that he was so willing to share many of his stories and the stories of the people he has encountered throughout his life. To read some of the stories he would share pick up a copy of one of his two autobiographies. Because of Curtis's openness, he was like a link to the past, a portal to another era in film and Hollywood.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet Tony Curtis in person last year at a dinner. He was such a friendly person with all in attendance, taking time with everyone.

Tony Curtis's films will always be around to watch and cherish, but my wife and I will miss the amazing man who starred in the films. R.I.P. Tony!

Robby, Zinnia, Tony Curtis (2009)

Your thoughts?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Warner Breaks James Cagney's Contract

Warner Bros. Publicity Still for Ceiling Zero

Around the time James Cagney was making the film The Crowd Roars, he started having troubles with the Warner Brothers studio brass. By now, Cagney had a few films under his belt which had earned the studio a decent profit, although, the studio still paid Cagney like a regular contract player. Cagney has said, "I realized that there were roughly two classes of stars at Warner's: those getting $125,000 a picture - and yours sincerely, who was getting all of $400 a week." Cagney, recognizing his value to the studio, decided to walk out. 

Warner Bros. Hollywood Theatre

A few years later, Cagney would again walk out on the studio when he learned that Warner's broke his contract. According to Cagney's contract he was to get top billing in his films. When the movie Ceiling Zero was released Cagney found out from his friend and co-star, Pat O'Brien, that Warner had placed O'Brien's name above his on the marquee of the Warner Bros. Hollywood Theater. Cagney sent a photographer to take a picture of the marquee and then took Warner to court. This was not about ego, but about money.

These were the studio days when actors worked six and seven days a week, from first thing in the morning until late in the evening or even the next day, with not much for breaks. So, Cagney's walkouts, although financially motivated, were also about being treated fairly.

In the above photo is the marquee of what used to be the Warner Bros. Hollywood Theatre, now owned by the Pacific Theatre company and operating as a church. It is this marquee that Cagney sent a photographer to capture Warner's breach of contract. The theater opened in 1928 and in 1951 was converted to showcase Cinerama films. The theatre was converted again in 1978 into a triple-screen theatre and finally closed for good in 1994, after the Northridge Earthquake.

In the 1940s, Carol Burnett, who grew up in Hollywood, worked as an usher at the Warner Theatre.

Looking East down Hollywood Blvd. at the Warner Theatre

On another note, maybe someone out there can help me out with the photo below. I picked up the photograph from an antique store. I know the man on the left is actor Pat O'Brien, but can anyone tell me the names of the two men on the right? Also, does anyone know any background on this image? I know that during the 1940s, O'Brien participated in USO events supporting the troops, so I'm guessing this is around that time.

Pat O'Brien on left looking at weapons.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Louise Pedersen - Amica Italy - Aug 2010

Marta Berzkalna - Amica Italy - July 2010


Flo Gennaro - Amica Italy - July 2010

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Emily Wake - Amica Italy - July 2010

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Imogen Newton & Nina Porter - Amica Italy - July 2010

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Suzie Bird - Amica Italy - July 2010

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Ramona Chmura - Amica Italy - July 2010

Marta Berzkalna - Amica Italy - June 2010

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Vanessa Hegelmaier - Amica Italy - June 2010

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Sophie Holmes - Amica Italy - June 2010

Kim Cloutier - Cosmopolitan UK - Oct 2010

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Christina Aguilera - Cosmopolitan UK - Oct 2010