CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 10, 2006
June 10, 1938: A crowd of 40,000 turned out for opening day at the Hollywood Turf Club, now known as Hollywood Park. Barbara Stanwyck crowned W.E. Boeing's horse Air Chute after it won the first race. The audience included a galaxy of Hollywood stars, many of them shareholders of the club, whose first chairman was Jack L. Warner. "The Bob Hopes, Milton Berle, the Ernst Lubitsches," Al Jolson and Ruby Keeler were there, The Times reported.
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.
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.
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.
March 4, 2014 |
We were just settling in the other evening for some utterly inoffensive television viewing (reruns of "The Big Bang Theory," if memory serves) when our living room was invaded by a zombie. Yes, it was Audrey Hepburn, dead these 21 years, digitally dug up from the grave and reanimated to shill for Dove chocolates . You may already have seen this commercial, which began running on Oscars night and is now moving into wider rotation. (Check it out at the bottom of this post.) Dove and the commercial producers are inordinately proud of their achievement.
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.