Posts Tagged ‘superman’

Phyllis Thaxter Obituary

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012


Actress Phyllis Thaxter, Superman’s Mom, Dies at 90




She played Ma Kent in the 1978 superhero film after appearing years earlier in such classics as “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” and “Act of Violence.”


By Mike Baxter
Hollywood Reporter
August 15, 2012


Phyllis Thaxter, the wholesome actress who played Ma Kent in 1978’s Superman and the faithful girlfriend to vengeful POW Robert Ryan in the 1948 film noir classic Act of Violence, has died. She was 90.


Click here to continue reading the Hollywood Reporter’s obituary for Phyllis Thaxter



Tom Mankiewicz Obituary

Monday, August 2nd, 2010


Writer-director Tom Mankiewicz dies in LA at 68


Rosemary Mankiewicz and writer Tom Mankiewicz attend
AMPAS’ centenial salute celebration of Joseph L. Mankiewicz
on May 21, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California.
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images) .


Associated Press (AP)
August 2, 2010


LOS ANGELES — Tom Mankiewicz, the screenwriter of such James Bond films as “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Live and Let Die” and the first two “Superman” movies, has died in Los Angeles at 68.


Mankiewicz died Saturday at his home after battling cancer. He underwent the Whipple operation, which is used to treat pancreatic cancer, three months ago.


A cause of death was not immediately known.


He was a member of Hollywood’s legendary Mankiewicz family: His father was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, director of classics including “All About Eve,” “A Letter to Three Wives” and “The Barefoot Contessa.” He was also the nephew of “Citizen Kane” co-writer Herman J. Mankiewicz.


Tom Mankiewicz directed the 1987 movie “Dragnet,” starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, and several episodes of the TV series “Hart to Hart.”


His cousin, Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz, said Monday that Tom Mankiewicz was in good spirits when they had lunch last week and was looking forward to returning this fall to Chapman University in Orange, Calif., where he taught filmmaking to graduate students.


“He was hopeful,” Ben Mankiewicz said. “He left lunch in a very good mood. He told stories about John Wayne and Michael Curtiz, and how he was going to get me to appreciate John Ford’s `The Searchers’ more.”


The Palm restaurant, where he ate daily, held his regular booth empty Monday in his honor.


Mankiewicz began his career as an assistant director on Curtiz’s last film, “The Comancheros” in 1961, in which Wayne starred.


In 1970, he was hired to rewrite “Diamonds Are Forever,” which was the beginning of a longtime association with the Broccoli family and the Bond franchise. He also wrote “The Man With the Golden Gun” and made uncredited contributions to “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker.”


Director Richard Donner asked Mankiewicz to rewrite and condense the scripts for 1978’s “Superman” and the 1980 sequel “Superman II,” for which he received credit as a creative consultant but not as a writer.


“Making `Superman’ was only possible because when Tom came in, he brought his sense of humor and brought those characters to life,” Donner said in a family statement. “A lot of people in this town have `the gift of gab.’ Tom’s was unique; there was always a true emotional center.”


Mankiewicz again went by the “creative consultant” credit on “Hart to Hart,” which aired from 1979-84, even though he was a writer and director on the series.


“I don’t think it’s easy trying to succeed in Hollywood as a Mankiewicz, and especially as Joe Mankiewicz’s son,” Ben Mankiewicz said of the four-time Oscar winner. “But Tom carved out his own sort of realm of success, and I think it was pretty impressive.”


Tom Mankiewicz is survived by his brother Christopher, a film producer; his sister, Alexandra; his nephew, Jason; and many cousins working in film, television or journalism.



Joan Alexander Obituary

Thursday, June 4th, 2009


Joan Alexander dies at 94; ’40s radio actress played Lois Lane in ‘Superman’



After an early modeling and stage career, she became a versatile performer on dozens of programs, notably as secretary Della Street in ‘Perry Mason.’


By Adam Bernstein
Los Angeles Times
June 4, 2009


Joan Alexander, a leading radio actress in the 1940s best known for playing Lois Lane, the ace reporter who was constantly being rescued from peril by Superman, died of an intestinal ailment May 21 at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She was 94.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angles Times obituary for Joan Alexander



A Job for Superman?…

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009


Costumed characters on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame allege attacks by music vendors, seek officials’ help


Hollywood Blvd. characters


Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
Actors dressed as Cleopatra, Tinker Bell and Batman hang out on Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Hollywood & Highland shopping complex. Dozens of costumed characters work a short stretch of the street, charging passersby who want to snap photos. There is said to be increasing tensions between the characters and music vendors who work the same area.

A series of assaults near Grauman’s Chinese Theatre has led to a plea for a city licensing system that costumed actors who pose for photos hope will protect them.

By Bob Pool
Los Angeles Times
February 11, 2009


Holy Hollywood ending, Batman! Maybe this is a job for Superman!


That’s what Robin was probably thinking after the superhero sidekick was attacked and pummeled as he strolled in his mask, cape and tights among tourists on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.


A series of assaults near Grauman’s Chinese Theatre has led to a plea for a city licensing system that costumed characters who pose for visitors’ photos hope will protect them.    (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)



Hollywood Boulevard Characters…

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

Character building on Hollywood Boulevard


 Costumed characters stand in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater to entertain the tourists (AFP/Getty Images)


Hollywood is full of wannabes. The nearest most of them will get to fame is Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame, dressed as Superman or Wonder Woman. The characters are a big tourist attraction and are now the subject of a documentary. David Willis went to meet some of them.


August 1, 2008


Superman stubbed out a cigarette and started searching for his keys. Adjusting his blood-red cape, he flashed a final glance at a web camera pointed at Hollywood Boulevard.


It was a hot summer’s day and tourists were spilling out of gaily painted buses and flooding the strip.


The superhero descended from his one-bedroomed apartment two stairs at a time, stopping briefly to banter with his Mexican neighbours before striding for the boulevard a block away.


Christopher Dennis was once an unemployed actor working at a hamburger joint across the street.


After several diners told him he looked like Christopher Reeve, he made himself a Superman costume and spent a day posing for pictures on the Walk of Fame.


That was 17 years ago. He earned $600 in tips that day alone and has not worked as a waiter since.


It was not long before Superman was joined by Elvis Presley and Charlie Chaplin, and nearly two decades later, the community that Chris founded has mushroomed to more than 80 characters. (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)