July 22, 1990
Ellis Thackery, 87, who created special effects for the classic films "King Kong" and "The Jazz Singer." Thackery is credited with developing new uses for a technique to shoot background scenes called the "glass shot." The technique involves placing a painted glass scene in front of the camera lens and shooting through it. The American Society of Cinematographers said Thackery used the technique in the 1933 RKO Pictures version of "King Kong" and also in Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer."
September 3, 1988
Kitty Doner, 92, probably the last of the male impersonators who were popular in vaudeville in the 1920s. She was a headliner on the old Keith-Orpheum circuit and played the Palace and Winter Garden theaters in New York with Jack Benny and Al Jolson, respectively. In her day, girls and young women were frequently cast as boys in various musical productions.
November 28, 2007
With Hanukkah starting next week, KCRW-FM (89.9) will broadcast a five-part series about the history of Jews in America, from their early presence in the British colonies to their central role in the creation of the Hollywood movie studios. "Only in America" will air in five hourlong installments, Monday through Friday at 2 p.m. It includes readings of historical letters by actors such as John Lithgow and Jerry Stiller, and sound clips of Al Jolson and other Jewish entertainers.
October 30, 1994
Marie Duval, 98, a featured performer in "The Drunkard," the perennial melodrama-olio stage feature that was seen at the old Theater Mart in Los Angeles from 1933 to 1959. She was a former Ziegfeld Girl who also sang on radio with Al Jolson and appeared at the Palace Theatre in New York, vaudeville's premier performance house.
March 20, 1998
Ruth Easton, a former Broadway stage and radio star and a benefactor of her native Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Easton, who inherited her money from her two businessmen brothers, performed on Broadway in the 1920s and '30s before moving to Los Angeles, where she was a featured guest on "The Rudy Vallee Hour," "The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour" and many other network radio shows. Over the years she worked with Ethel and Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable, Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor.
April 6, 2005 |
Astronaut Neil Armstrong's first words from the moon, speeches by President Woodrow Wilson and Gen. Douglas MacArthur and songs by Al Jolson, Muddy Waters and Nirvana are among 50 recordings being set aside for special preservation by the Library of Congress. The library on Tuesday announced the new selections for its National Recording Registry. News broadcasts include Wilson's speech of Nov. 11, 1923, celebrating the fifth anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.
December 25, 2002 |
Out with the yuletide, in with the "Yentl": The cable network Turner Classic Movies is airing four Jewish-themed movies today, beginning with "Fiddler on the Roof" at 5 p.m. In a programming block dubbed "A Very Jewish Christmas," TCM will air "Yentl," starring Barbra Streisand at 8:30, "Cast a Giant Shadow," featuring Kirk Douglas, and the original version of "The Jazz Singer," starring Al Jolson.
May 26, 1990
The passing of my old friend Sammy Davis Jr. will leave a huge void in the scope of entertainment. I don't believe, since Al Jolson, there has been a performer more respected for his all-around talent than Davis. The man gave all he could give every moment in front of an audience. He was a consummate entertainer in every sense of the word. But Sammy was also a person of strong personal beliefs, and never did he fail to give of his time and great talent to humanitarian causes.
February 1, 1997
Gerald Marks, 96, a composer whose best-known songs were "All of Me" and "Is It True What They Say About Dixie?" A native of Saginaw, Mich., Marks began writing songs when he was 10 years old and continued until near his death. Unquestionably, his biggest hit was "All of Me," which he co-wrote with bandleader and frequent collaborator Seymour Simons in 1931. The song has been recorded in about 2,000 different versions, including four by Frank Sinatra.