Archive for April, 2010

Dixie Carter Obituary

Sunday, April 11th, 2010


Dixie Carter, TV Actress, Dies at 70



By Anita Gates
New York Times
April 11, 2010


Dixie Carter, an accomplished actress who gave strong, opinionated Southern women a good name in the television series “Designing Women” in the 1980s and 1990s, and later enjoyed success as a cabaret singer, died on Saturday in a Houston hospital. She was 70 and lived in Beverly Hills, Calif. Her death was announced by her husband, the actor Hal Holbrook, who said that the cause was complications of endometrial cancer.


In “Designing Women,” which ran for seven seasons on CBS, Ms. Carter’s character, Julia Sugarbaker, was the head of an four-woman interior design business in Atlanta and specialized in sarcasm. “If sex were fast food, there’d be an arch over your bed,” she once snapped at her sister Suzanne (played by Delta Burke). Yet when Julia went into a theatrical tirade, which was often, it usually was in the service of some higher social or political principle.


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Meinhardt Raabe Obituary

Saturday, April 10th, 2010


Meinhardt Raabe, famous Munchkin, Is dead at 94




By Margalit Fox
New York Times
April 10, 2010

As coroner, I must aver
I thoroughly examined her.
And she’s not only merely dead,
She’s really most sincerely dead.


When Meinhardt Raabe, an unknown 23-year-old from Wisconsin, sang those lines in his first and only Hollywood feature film, he little suspected that they would shape the course of his life for the next seven decades.


The lines, of course, belong to the Munchkin coroner in the classic 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Mr. Raabe’s brief appearance in the film — about 13 seconds of uncredited screen time — made him an internationally recognized pop-cultural figure, if not precisely a household name.


Mr. Raabe, who was also a wartime aviator and the first Little Oscar, the mascot of the Oscar Mayer meat company, died Friday in Orange Park, Fla., at 94. Bob Rigel, president of the Penney Retirement Community in Penney Farms, Fla., where Mr. Raabe had lived since 1986, said that the cause had not been officially determined but that it was presumed to be a heart attack.


At his death, Mr. Raabe was one of a handful of surviving Munchkins from the film.


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Shirley Mills Obituary

Saturday, April 10th, 2010


Shirley Mills Hanson; Child actress in ‘Grapes of Wrath’




Los Angeles Times 


Shirley Mills Hanson, 83, a former child actress who played young Ruthie Joad in “The Grapes of Wrath,” director John Ford’s classic 1940 film based on the John Steinbeck novel, died March 31 of complications of pneumonia at a convalescent hospital in Arcadia, said stepdaughter Deniece Zwick.


Born April 8, 1926, in Tacoma, Wash., Hanson moved with her family to Southern California in 1937 to break into the movies. A crying scene with Gloria Jean in the 1939 musical “The Under-Pup” prompted Ford to test her for the role of Ruthie Joad.


Among other films in which she appeared as Shirley Mills are “Young People” and “Miss Annie Rooney,” both starring Shirley Temple. Hanson also was a teenage member of Universal’s jitterbug dance troupe the Jivin’ Jacks and Jills in the ’40s and worked as a fashion and advertising model.


After later working as a nightclub performer and stage personality, Hanson became a female pioneer in selling data-processing services in the 1960s and became the first female president of the Data Processing Management Assn. in Los Angeles.


She then became vice president of marketing and public relations for Management Applied Programming, a major data processing center, for which she started a division for nonprofit organizations.


Hanson also launched her own wedding planning company, A Party for All Seasons. She married Mel Hanson in 1977; he died in a car accident 18 years later.



Norma Talmadge talks

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010


An autobiography by Norma Talmadge




This following article appeared in the Los Angeles Times in 1917.  


By Norma Talmadge


I am 20 years of age and therefore much too young to write an autobiography. However, my short life has been a stage of many interesting, and, I might well say, happy occurrences, and of these I am quite willing to make you my confidant.


I was born at Niagara Falls, where I spent the first ten years of my childhood amid most pleasant scenes. Indeed, when I am in a pensive mood my earliest and fondest recollections go back to the days I spent at the most beautiful spot in the whole world, the objective of all globe-trotters, the origin of the slogan, “See America First.”


Through force of circumstances our family moved to New York City. The contrast between Niagara Falls and the noisy city was indeed great. But as time wore on I soon grew to like my new home almost as well as my old one.


At school, one of those little private schools where men are barred from the premises, I had great fun. Pillow fights, night parties, secret smuggling of love letters and private theatricals. These were but a few of the many happy events of my boarding school days.


How I chose motion pictures as a profession is still a wonder to me. If I remember correctly, the nucleus of my ardent desire was formed at a show six years ago, when I was impressed by a picture I saw that I made up my mind to apply for a job the very next day. Accordingly, bright and early Saturday morning – you see I even remember the day – I was up just as determined as the night before.


I was literally jostled onto the screen, for when I reached the studio numerous stage hands were vigorously shifting scenery and I was caught in a whirlpool of white-overalled humanity and scenic flats, with their backgrounds of gorgeous ornamentations embracing interior sets, and pushed into the heart of studio activity.


I was only a little girl then and therefore had to put on a long skirt to make me look older, and I was so excited I got all tangled up in its folds.


But I felt quite at ease when a woman scenario writer was so kind as to notice me and help me get an extra part. They seemed to like me, for I was put in stock at once at a salary of $25 per week.


Since then I have made several important advances which have finally terminated in what I consider my greatest achievement – my marriage to Joseph M. Schenck and the formation of my own producing company.


Check out the new Norma Talmadge DVD release from KinoThe Norma Talmadge Collection featuring Kiki (1926) and Within the Law (1923). Click here for more information.




John Forsythe Obituary

Friday, April 2nd, 2010


John Forsythe dies at 92; actor known for roles on TV series ‘Bachelor Father,’ ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and ‘Dynasty’



His silvery hair and smooth voice were familiar to millions. He also had success on the stage, with ‘Teahouse of the August Moon,’ and films such as ‘The Trouble with Harry’ and ‘And Justice for All.’



By Claudia Luther
Los Angeles Times
April 2, 2010


John Forsythe, the suave actor with the silvery hair and mellifluous voice who was familiar to millions of TV viewers for starring roles in the popular television series “Bachelor Father,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Dynasty,” died Thursday. He was 92.


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