Friday, February 26, 2010

8433 Sunset

From 1940 through the late 1950s, Ciro's nightclub was "the" Hollywood hot spot frequented by Tinseltown's elite. But it was also a hangout for the local mob. Crime boss Mickey Cohen ran more than a few illicit businesses out of Ciro's back room and basement, with several other types of "acts" and "hits" being performed regularly. Even Cohen himself received a bullet wound while on the premises.

The whitewash of mirth
now roars through yesterday's halls,
but rooms hold secrets.

Today, the building houses The Comedy Store, a world famous comedy club owned by Mitzi Shore and her son, comedian Pauly Shore. On numerous occasions, staff, talent and guests have reported inexplicable and, at times, frightful goings on. It seems that laughter raises all sorts of spirits.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Milt Larsen's Castle

The Magic Castle is one of Hollywood's most exclusive private clubs, as well as the home of the Academy of Magical Arts. There's only one way in, and it's not through the door.

Where greeting an owl
is your passage to wonder,
as if by magic.

Who goes there?  Yes, here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This Book Belongs To...

This 1915 photoplay edition book belonged to Wardrobe Designer Ralph Jester (1901-1991) who received an Oscar nomination for his costumes in Cecil B. DeMille's, "The Ten Commandments" (1956). Considering the costumes, he may have used the book for research purposes.

The silent stills spoke
to his creative nature,
commanding attire.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Not Another One!

Actor Alec Baldwin

Al Baldwin on pills?
From his looks, he should be on
an exercycle.

(For details, click HERE. And for the record, I love Baldwin's work.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

John Mayer

John Mayer's reply to the question, "How many brain cells do you have?"

His thoughtless attempts
at staying in the spotlight
have made him a douche.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Carroll O'Connor

Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker in CBS's "All in the Family," the role that made him a household name in the 1970s. (Photo by Michael Roughier)

From "Sunday Showcase"
to "In the Heat of the Night" —
Yep, those were the days.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Lord of the Rings

Apparently, Gollum has never seen jewelry by Harry Winston.

Gollum, just toss it!
You may think the ring's precious,
but it ain't all that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Sign Of The Times

THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN GETS A TEMPORARY FACELIFT: The Trust For Public Land has until April 14 to raise funds to purchase the property surrounding the famous landmark, or the real estate goes up for sale on the open market.

Once, development.
Now, legendary icon.
Soon, high-priced condos?

To learn more, visit

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Alas, Sweet Dreams

Michael Joseph Jackson  (1958 - 2009)

He risked it all for
one night of heavenly sleep.
Rest in peace, EO.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Many Faces of Johnny Depp

He transforms like a
Technicolor chameleon.
Present-day Chaney.

(From the top down) Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland," John Dillinger in "Public Enemies," the Earl of Rochester in "The Libertine," Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean," Willy Wonka in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Sweeney Todd in "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," and as himself.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Phantom Stage

Part of the Paris Opera House set from the 1925 version of "The Phantom of the Opera," starring Lon Chaney. The set is preserved inside its original stage, a historical landmark, on the Universal Studios backlot.

Do I hear the wind
or the whisper of genius?
Echo the spirit.

The same piece of scenery (at right) as it appeared in the film.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton as Johnny Gray, taking on the Union Army from the front end of a moving train, in "The General" (1926).

War, twisters, the sea...
There exists no foe too grand
for The Great Stoneface.


Anything for a laugh!

Hit play to view the following:

CAMERAS WERE HAND CRANKED: The performance sequences were achieved through real-time multiple exposures by masking off areas of the lens, backing up the undeveloped film and shooting each position individually, over and over. There was no video playback, no means of checking what was being done. It was all accomplished with an impeccable sense of timing on the part of both subject and cameraman.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cate Blanchett

A publicity photo of Cate Blanchett.

A masterpiece act,
she paints rich characters of
cinematic art.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Thin Man

Actor William Powell played retired (supposedly) detective Nick Charles in six "Thin Man" movies, dating from 1934 to 1947.

Cocktails and intrigue...
It seems this former sleuth can't
sit on his "Asta."

THE PRINCIPAL CAST OF "THE THIN MAN" SERIES: Myrna Loy as Nora Charles, William Powell as Nick Charles and, of course, their dog Asta.

One would never guess that prohibition had been repealed not long before, making the availability of liquor a novelty.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle

Comedian-Writer-Director Roscoe Arbuckle was one of the most beloved performers of the 1910s. He served as a mentor to Charles Chaplin and was instrumental in bringing to film the talents of Buster Keaton and Bob Hope.

The gossip columns
demonized a gentle soul,
and killed a career.

In 1921, Arbuckle was accused falsely of committing homicidal rape against model-actress Virginia Rappe and became the subject of a gossip-fueled, highly sensationalized scandal that played out on the pages of the tabloid press. Although acquitted of all charges, his career, public image and personal life never recovered. He died of a heart attack in 1933 at age 46.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sign Of Disillusion

On September 16, 1932, Broadway Actress Peg Entwistle (also known by the stage name Mary Cecilia Brown) leaped to her death from The Hollywood Sign's letter H, after her first (and only) film with RKO Pictures, "Thirteen Women," received bad reviews in test screenings.

Somehow, Mary Brown
failed to see the wisdom in,
"Look before you leap."

The Hollywood Sign as it appeared in 1923. The last four letters were removed in 1949.

BROWN/ENTWISTLE'S DEATH CERTIFICATE: Sadly, she never got to read the letter offering her a starring role in a Beverly Hills Playhouse production that arrived only days following her suicide.

A rare clip of Peg Entwistle performing as Hazel Cousins in "Thirteen Women" (1932).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

An Early Start

Every actor reporting to set knows this sight: the back door and liftgate of the wardrobe trailer. For secondary performers, it is often the next stop after check-in.

Four a.m. call time.
Gotta be ready to roll
just before first light.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Christina Ricci

A publicity photo of Christina Ricci.

The doe-eyed wonder —
brilliant each day of the week
and not just Wednesday.

Friday, February 5, 2010


A publicity photo of Pink.

Tattooed butterfly —
The poise of a graceful bird,
with a wildcat's verve.

(Clip Copyright © 2010 NARAS)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire as he appeared in "You'll Never Get Rich" (1941), a film in which he co-starred opposite Rita Hayworth.

He floats 'cross the floor
like poetry in motion.
Gravity defied.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Saw A Werewolf

(L to R) Makeup Artist Rick Baker and Actor Benicio Del Toro in a test photo for "The Wolfman."  (Photo by Kazuhiro Tsuji)

What thesp does not dream
of rising to the challenge
of a Chaney role?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mae West

The sultry Mae West as Lady Lou in "She Done Him Wrong," 1933.

The chickadee who
had all the fellows coming
to see her sometime.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Say It Ain't So, Joe Black

Brangelina done?
Rumors abound of a split.
Who could have foreseen!?

(Written on 1/26/09)