36 YEARS AGO TODAY
Miriam Hopkins, Veteran Of Film and Stage, Dies
October 18, 1902 – October 9, 1972
Diminutive blond actress Miriam Hopkins, who left the ranks of Broadway hoofers to gain stardom in Hollywood in the 1930s, died thirty-six years ago today at the Hotel Alrae (37 East 64th Street), apparently of a heart attack. She was 69.
She made her first film, Fast and Loose, in 1930, and for the next 35 years starred in an average of one a year. Her last major motion pictures were The Chase (1963) and Fanny Hill: A Memoir of a Woman of Pleasure (1964). Some of Hopkins’ more memorable movies included Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), The Story of Temple Drake (1933), Design for Living (1933), Becky Sharp (1935), These Three (1936) and The Heiress (1949).
“Me temperamental?” she once remarked concerning a reputation she gained on the movie lots. “I never was. Proof of that is that I made four pictures for Willie Wyler, who is a very demanding director. I made two with Rouben Mamoulian, who is the same.
“When you are asked to work again with such directors, you cannot be temperamental.”
As for her rumored feuds with Bette Davis, with whom she costarred in The Old Maid (1939), and Old Acquaintance (1943), Hopkins declared:
“Utter rubbish. The Warners’ publicity department tried to dream that one up. They even wanted us to pose with boxing gloves on (see below). Bette and I got along fine.”
Bette Davis, Edmund Goulding and Miriam Hopkins
Between movies, Hopkins returned to Broadway to appear in such productions as Jezebel, The Skin of Our Teeth, A Perfect Marriage, and Look Homeward Angel.
Hopkins came to New York in mid-July of 1972 to help inaugurate a showing of old movies at the Museum of Modern Art, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Paramount Studios. The first film shown was The Story of Temple Drake, in which she starred.
Taken ill, Hopkins was treated at Harkness Pavilion of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, until September 2 when she was released. After that she remained in her suite at the Hotel Alrae.
A native of Savannah, Georgia, Hopkins attended Goddard, a small private college in Plainfield, Vermont, and Syracuse University. Stage struck, she headed for Broadway in the waning 1920s. She got a job in the inaugural chorus of The Music Box Revue (1921) and later danced at the Garrick Theater.
She first won recognition in 1926 in An American Tragedy. Among her other plays were Lysistrata (1930) and The Batchelor Father (1929).
She was married to actor, Brandon Peters in 1926, to writer, Austin Parker in 1931, to director, Anatole Litvak in 1937 and to New York Times correspondent, Ray Brock in 1945. She remained single after her last marriage ended in divorce in 1951.
Funeral services for Hopkins were held on October 13th in the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, Madison Avenue at 35th Street.
At the time, Hopkins was survived by a sister, Ruby Welch; a niece, actress, Margot Welch; an adopted son, Air Force Sgt. Michael Hopkins and his wife, Christine, and a grandson, Thomas.
Miriam Hopkins was cremated and buried in the family plot at Oak City Cemetery in Bainbridge, Georgia, where she spent a portion of her childhood.
Hollywood ‘paid fortune to smoke’
Tobacco firms paid huge amounts for endorsements from the stars of Hollywood’s “Golden Age”.
September 25, 2008
Industry documents released following anti-smoking lawsuits reveal the extent of the relationship between tobacco and movie studios.
One firm paid more than $3m in today’s money in one year to stars.
Researchers writing in the Tobacco Control journal said “classic” films of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s still helped promote smoking today.
Virtually all of the biggest names of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s were involved in paid cigarette promotion, according to the University of California at San Francisco researchers.
They obtained endorsement contracts signed at the times to help them calculate just how much money was involved.
According to the research, stars prepared to endorse tobacco included Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford, John Wayne, Bette Davis and Betty Grable. (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)
‘She would have been tremendously thrilled,’ her son says
The Associated Press
Wed., Sept. 17, 2008
WASHINGTON – “She did it the hard way.”
That’s how Bette Davis wanted to be remembered, and a new U.S. postage stamp honoring her does that iron-willed image justice.
The 42-cent commemorative stamp, being released Thursday in Boston, features a portrait of Davis as she appeared in the 1950 film All About Eve, in which she played Margo Channing, an aging stage actress battling to save her career as a younger woman schemes to replace her. (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)
Jimmy Bangley in front of the grave of his idol, Bette Davis
AMERICAN ACTOR, WRITER & FILM HISTORIAN
BORN: July 11, 1956, Suffolk, Virginia
DIED: December 8, 2004, West Hollywood, California
My friend Jimmy Bangley would be 52 years-old today. Jimmy left us more than three years ago — much too early — and he is still missed. To celebrate here are some snap shots (Jimmy was never without a disposable camera) of Jimmy with a few of his celebrity friends who also cared about him.
With Academy Award nominated actress, Sally Kirkland
With Academy Award nominated actress, Linda Blair and friend
With comedian Rip Taylor
With actress Marsha Hunt who is holding an article that Jimmy
wrote on her for Classic Images
With actor, Esai Morales and friends
With silent-film actress, Anita Page
May 3, 2008
By Allan R. Ellenberger
LOS ANGELES – Last evening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (LACMA) Bing theater, the new Bette Davis stamp was officially unveiled by the U. S. Postal Service. TCM host, Robert Osborne, hosted the event which also began the museums month-long-tribute series of films to the actress: Fasten Your Seat Belts: The Essential Bette Davis.
On the 100th anniversary of her birth, the Davis commemorative stamp will be the 14th in the Legends of Hollywood Series by the U.S. Postal Service. The stamp is a beautiful portrait of Davis from the classic film, All About Eve (1951).
LACMA’s film series began with screenings of her Academy Award winning Jezebel (1938) and The Old Maid (1939) with Miriam Hopkins. This was an interesting combination of films and I wonder if it was a conscious effort on the museums part or simply a coincidence. The Old Maid of course co-starred Davis’ long-time nemesis Miriam Hopkins, who also appeared in the original Broadway version of Jezebel (1933-34). Hopkins originally wanted to star in the film version and even owned a piece of the play, however, Warner Bros. made promises that they never kept and she was ultimately pushed out of the film. This was just one of the many reasons for Hopkins dislike for Davis.
Miriam Hopkins (l) and Bette Davis (r) in The Old Maid (1939) (© Allan R. Ellenberger)
Kathryn Cermak, Davis’ long-time companion at the end of her life, also attended the event. After the stamps unveiling, Osborne, in his introduction of Cermak, revealed that she had never seen All About Eve or Jezebel. That is remarkable considering the years she spent with the actress.
LACMA’s salute to the legendary Bette Davis continues until May 31 and includes screenings of All About Eve (1950) and Of Human Bondage (1934) (May 3), The Letter (1940) and Beyond the Forest (1949) (May 9), Now, Voyager (1942) and Old Acquaintance (1943) (May 10), The Little Foxes (1941) and Payment on Demand (1951) (May 17), Dark Victory (1939) and Marked Woman (1937) (May 23), The Star (1942) and The Catered Affair (1956) (May 24), and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) and The Nanny (1965) (May 31). All screenings begin at 7:30 p.m.
For a complete listing of films, showtimes and ticket prices, please see LACMA’s site for more information.
Check out photos from Thursday’s (May 1) Centenial Tribute to Bette Davis at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Alternative Film Guide:
Bette Davis Centennial Tribute
Tonight, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in association with the Film Department of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will present “A Centennial Tribute to Bette Davis” at 8 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The event, hosted by Robert Osborne, will feature film clips and discussions with several of Davis’ friends, colleagues, and family members. Among those scheduled to take part in the tribute are Joan Leslie, James Woods, Kathryn Sermak, Gena Rowlands, and Michael Merrill, Davis’ son with Gary Merrill.
At the Alternative Film Guide there is an informative article on tonight’s tribute.
Check it out HERE
Tart-tongued and independent, Bette Davis was one of America’s biggest movies stars in the years surrounding World War II. After several supporting roles in the early 1930s, she began getting more notice and bigger roles in such films as Of Human Bondage (1934) and Dangerous (1935, for which she won an Oscar). In 1938 she won another Oscar for Jezebel (with Henry Fonda), and throughout the 1940s and ’50s appeared in mostly dramas and costumers (including a memorable 1955 turn as Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen). Not a typical screen beauty, Davis made up for it with spunk and flamboyance, and off-screen she earned a reputation as a “difficult” star. During the 1960s her career was revived somewhat by a string of horror movies, including What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, in which she played opposite fellow screen legend Joan Crawford. Late in her career she made television movies, winning three Emmy awards between 1979 and 1983.
Davis’s tombstone reads: “She did it the hard way”… In All About Eve (1950) she utters the famous line, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!” — Source: Who2 Biography
Crypt of Bette Davis at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills
New York Times, March 30, 2008
Today is also the birthday of Jim Shippee, a very dear friend of mine. I won’t reveal his age but I believe he is a few years younger than Ms. Davis and not as bitchy.
Happy Birthday Jim!
Bette Davis Birthday Schedule on
Turner Classic Movies
Today, in celebration of Bette Davis’ 100th Birthday, TCM is showing the following schedule of her films.
(all times are Pacific)
|3:00 AM||Cabin In The Cotton, The (1932)|
|A sharecropper fighting for better working conditions succumbs to the boss’s seductive daughter. Cast: Richard Barthelmess, Bette Davis, Dorothy Jordan. Dir: Michael Curtiz. BW-78 mins, TV-G, CC|
|4:30 AM||Petrified Forest, The (1936)|
|An escaped convict holds the customers at a remote desert cantina hostage. Cast: Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart. Dir: Archie Mayo. BW-82 mins, TV-G, CC|
|6:00 AM||Corn Is Green, The (1945)|
|A dedicated teacher sacrifices everything to send a young miner to Oxford. Cast: Bette Davis, Nigel Bruce, John Dall. Dir: Irving Rapper. BW-114 mins, TV-G, CC, DVS|
|8:00 AM||Bride Came C.O.D., The (1941)|
|A pilot and a temperamental heiress are stranded in the desert together. Cast: James Cagney, Bette Davis, Harry Davenport. Dir: William Keighley. BW-92 mins, TV-G, CC|
|9:45 AM||Letter, The (1940)|
|A woman claims to have killed in self-defense, until a blackmailer turns up with incriminating evidence. Cast: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson. Dir: William Wyler. BW-95 mins, TV-PG, CC|
|11:30 AM||Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The (1939)|
|Elizabeth I’s love for the Earl of Essex threatens to destroy her kingdom. Cast: Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland. Dir: Michael Curtiz. BW-106 mins, TV-G, CC|
|1:30 PM||Now, Voyager (1942)|
|A repressed spinster is transformed by psychiatry and her love for a married man. Cast: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains. Dir: Irving Rapper. BW-118 mins, TV-G, CC, DVS|
|3:30 PM||Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2005)|
|TCM original documentary that explores the life and career of legendary actress Bette Davis. BW-88 mins, TV-14, CC|
|5:00 PM||All About Eve (1950)|
|An ambitious young actress tries to take over a star’s career and love life. Cast: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders. Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz. BW-138 mins, TV-PG, CC|
|7:30 PM||Jezebel (1938)|
|A tempestuous Southern belle’s willfulness threatens to destroy all who care for her. Cast: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Fay Bainter. Dir: William Wyler. BW-104 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS|
|9:30 PM||Dark Victory (1939)|
|A flighty heiress discovers inner strength when she develops a brain tumor. Cast: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart. Dir: Edmund Goulding. BW-104 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS|
|11:30 PM||Dangerous (1935)|
|A young fan tries to rehabilitate an alcoholic actress he’s fallen in love with. Cast: Bette Davis, Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay. Dir: Alfred E. Green. BW-79 mins, TV-G|
|1:00 AM||Pocketful Of Miracles (1961)|
|A good-hearted gangster turns an old apple seller into a society matron so she can impress her daughter. Cast: Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, Hope Lange. Dir: Frank Capra. C-137 mins, TV-G, Letterbox Format|
Jimmy Bangley (1956-2004)
On December 8, 2004, our friend Jimmy Bangley sadly passed away from our lives. He was returned to his family in Suffolk, Virginia to be interred next to his beloved grandmother. The memorial service the following January was a standing-room-only event. Since then, his friends have made donations to purchase a cenotaph niche at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. A place where we can visit and remember. Yesterday, that dream came true when more than 30 friends gathered at the cemetery’s Cathedral Mausoleum to unveil the decorated niche to his memory.
For those who did not know him, Jimmy Bangley was an accomplished actor, writer and film historian. He appeared in numerous plays both here in Los Angeles and his hometown in Virginia. His film credits included roles in the films Rollercoaster (1977), Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel (2000) and the Faye Dunaway short film, The Yellow Bird (2001). He also appeared in more than 200 television programs representing Hollywood memorabilia and film costumes since the early 1990s. Although his first love was acting, he was also a successful writer. He wrote numerous articles for Collecting magazine, Classic Images and Films of the Golden Age.
Over the years Jimmy waited tables, performed stand-up comedy and sold celebrity memorabilia. For a while he worked at the Writers Guild and spoke at the yearly Rudolph Valentino Memorial at Hollywood Forever. He was also working on a biography of the “Too beautiful” silent screen siren, Barbara La Marr, with his close friend Margaret Burk. Jimmy was multi-faceted and had his hands in many pies during his brief life.
For more about Jimmy, please click on CONTINUE READING…