October 17, 2011
There are few remnants left of the venerable Ambassador Hotel, the site of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's shooting in 1968, after it was demolished to make way for the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools that opened last year. There's still the east wall, which was the location of the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub. Designed by Pasadena architect Myron Hunt, the glitzy spot opened on New Year's Day 1921 and quickly became a Hollywood favorite. During its first decade, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson were frequent visitors.
September 12, 2011 |
Veteran impressionist Rich Little admits it's tough getting a handle on contemporary stars. "How are you going to imitate Ashton Kutcher or Brad Pitt or Matt Damon?" asked Little over a cup of coffee at the Beverly Hilton. "Jack Nicholson is larger than life, so is Clint Eastwood. But there are not many people like Nicholson who are around today -- larger than life, with very distinctive voices. How do you do George Clooney? I have worked at it. If you do Tom Hanks, you have got to do 'box of chocolates,' and even that is kind of old now. Good actors, but not voices.
April 11, 2011 |
The late Glenn Ford's 8,800-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion has a curious octagon shape that had just one official bedroom -- a huge master bedroom on the main floor. "There are very few right angles in this house," said his only child, 66-year-old Peter Ford, who has lived there with his wife, Lynda, for the last 17 years. They moved in 12 years before Ford's death in 2006 at age 90 to take care of the ailing actor. "The reason was, he didn't want to be fenced in. This house is kind of a metaphor for his life.
March 21, 2011 |
Alibi Ike Athletic, rubber-faced comic actor Joe E. Brown hit a home run with this 1935 baseball comedy based on the short story by Ring Lardner. In real life, Brown almost played with the New York Yankees and formed his own studio team at Warner Bros. Rhubarb Orangey, the cat in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," has the title role in this clever 1951 baseball comedy about a rich eccentric who dies and leaves his pro baseball team, the Brooklyn Loons, to his pampered cat. Ray Milland costars.
December 23, 2010
It's easy to forget that Frank Capra's 1946 Christmas classic, "It's a Wonderful Life," was initially a modest flop. The heartwarming film starring Jimmy Stewart as a despondent everyman saved by an unlikely angel became a cultural touchstone only after countless TV screenings. Now the Egyptian offers a chance to see it on the big screen in all its glory. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., L.A. 7:30 p.m. Thu. $11. (323) 466-3456. http://www.americancinematheque.com.
December 5, 2010 |
My 12-year-old son recently informed me that he didn't much see the point of black-and-white movies, and I realized this horrifying state of affairs could be blamed only on television. The fact that there's so much good television, that is. My son and his 10-year old sister can now intelligently debate the relative merits of the three modern Doctors of "Dr. Who," but they do not (choked sob and how did I fail them?) know who Abbott and Costello are. Why would they? Even in the dog days of summer, once considered a TV wasteland, new shows are stacked up in our DVR queue like so many accusatory back issues of the New Yorker.