Archive for July 1st, 2009

Karl Malden Obituary

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009


Oscar-winning actor Karl Malden dies at 97


Karl Malden


Malden starred in TV’s ‘The Streets of San Francisco’ and made famous the American Express catchphrase ‘Don’t leave home without it.’ He appeared in more than 50 films over his long career.


By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
July 1, 2009


Karl Malden, one of Hollywood’s strongest and most versatile supporting actors, who won an Oscar playing his Broadway-originated role as Mitch in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” died today. He was 97.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Karl Malden


Bette Davis – Queer Icon

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009


Queer Icon: The Cult of Bette Davis


Queer Icon


Queer Icon: The Cult of Bette Davis

Date/Time:Thu., July 2, 6:00pm, Thu., July 2, 8:10pm, Thu., July 2, 10:20pm

Price: $15


Fasten Your Seatbelts

San Francisco Weekly

By Michael Fox


We all have our favorite screen actresses, but none are more steadfast in their affections than gay men. Ask Doris Day, Elizabeth Taylor, or Cher, whose gay fans never wavered (unlike those fickle heteros) after the stars stepped away from the spotlight. But even these goddesses bow before the queen (or queen bitch) of gay esteem, Bette Davis. Her appeal derives from her ambisexuality in combination with such timeless personas as the holy-terror diva, the stalwart solitaire, and the camp heroine. Bay Area filmmaker Mike Black’s new documentary, Queer Icon: The Cult of Bette Davis, considers this fascinating phenomenon through a mix of vintage film clips and fresh interviews with a wealth of mostly local figures, such as impresario Marc Huestis and historian Matthew Kennedy. Actor Matthew Martin, who channels the star of All About Eve and Dark Victory onstage, supplies his unique perspective on the special place she has in gay men’s hearts. More than simply a lovefest, Queer Icon questions whether gays still need a role model like the fabulous Miss D. The film will surely find an enthusiastic audience when it plays the queer capitals of New York and Los Angeles, but tonight’s world premiere is bound to be an only-in-San-Francisco event. It won’t be tedious, darling.



Rudolph Valentino and Michael Jackson Comparison

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009


The Circus of death


Line waiting to view Valentino's body

Line of fans and mourners waiting to view
the body of actor Rudolph Valentino in 1926


Fellow blogger and Rudolph Valentino expert, Donna Hill, has posted an interesting comparison between the lives and the deaths of silent film idol Rudolph Valentino and the recently deceased “King of Pop” Michael Jackson. Check out her blog, Strictly Vintage Hollywood.


“The recent and very sudden death of the pop icon Michael Jackson gave me pause to reflect on interesting parallels between two events 80 years apart: the uncanny similarity to the “Circus of Death” that accompanied the untimely passing of silent screen idol Rudolph Valentino.”


Click here to continue reading Donna’s article



Michael Jackson’s Will

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009


Michael Jackson’s will


Michael Jackson


Click here to read Michael Jackson’s Will




Harve Presnell Obituary

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009


California-born Broadway star Harve Presnell dies


 Harve Presnell


By Jana J. Monji –
LA Theater Reviews Examiner
July 1, 2009


Harve Presnell might not be as well known as Michael Jackson or Farrah Fawcett, but in 1960, he created the role of Johnny Leadville Brown in the musical “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” opposite Tammy Grimes (who won a Tony) and went on to star opposite Debbie Reynolds in the 1964 movie version.  He was 75.


The Richard Morris (book) and Meredith Wilson (music and lyrics) musical ran from November 1960 to February 1962 for a total of 532 performances according to the Internet Broadway Database. He would return to Broadway in the 1970s as a replacement in the musical “Annie” as Oliver Warbucks.


Born in Modesto, California on September 14, 1933, Presnell had operatic training. Besides Daddy Warbucks and Brown, he played Rhett Butler in the musical “Scarlett” on the West End.

Presnell wasn’t in the original Broadway cast of the 1951 Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical “Paint Your Wagon,” but when it was made into a film with Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin in 1969, he sang “They Call the Wind Maria.” “On film, he was played William H. Macy’s father-in-law in the 1996 “Fargo,” and General George C. Marshall in Steven Spielberg’s 1998 “Saving Private Ryan.”


On TV, he was in the 1996-2000 series “The Pretender” as Mr. Parker, in the 1993-1997 “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” as Sam Lane (five episodes), and the 1998-2003 “Dawson’s Creek” as Arthur “A.I.” Brooks. He was also one of the stars of the short-lived 2007 “Andy Barker, P.I.” series. He made appearances on “Monk” and “ER” and other TV series.


Presnell had a beautiful baritone voice and warm and winning presence. It’s a shame we don’t have more footage of him in musicals. In 1965, he won a Golden Globe award together with George Segal and Topol as the most promising newcomers. Presnell arrived when the so-called Golden Age of Musicals was over, but was a popular character actor.