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Thursday, January 10, 2008

RIP: Johnny Grant


It is with great sadness that I discuss the death of the Honorary Mayor of Hollywood, Johnny Grant. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Mr. Grant many times over the years & I'm delighted that I was able to have a long conversation with him last Friday as he unveiled his last star on Hollywood Blvd: Elizabeth Montgomery's. I'd like to share a story he told me about his first trip to Hollywood. Johnny came to California from North Carolina in the 1940's to serve in the Army in World War II. He was in Santa Monica & asked one of the guys how he could get to Hollywood. They told him to walk outside & stick out his thumb. The first car that drove by picked him up & the driver asked "Where you going Sarge?". He said "Take me to Hollywood!". The car dropped him off at Schwab's Drugstore, where he was greeted by Charlie Chaplin. He told me that the number one thing that got him through the war, was the thought of getting back to the place where he wanted to spend the rest of his life: Hollywood. He was a class act, who was sharp as a tack to the very end. He will be fondly remembered & greatly missed.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sisters At Heart

Bewitched - Minisode - Sisters At Heart

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In honor of Elizabeth Montgomery receiving her star on the Walk of fame, I'm posting the minisode of her favorite episode of Bewitched: Sisters at Heart. It's one of my favorites as well! I love the story behind the story: the episode was written by an English class at Thomas Jefferson High School. Their teacher asked the class one morning, about the reading assignment from the night before. No one had done their homework, but they'd all watched Bewitched. The teacher came up with the idea for the class to write an episode of the show as a class project. They presented the completed episode to Liz & Bill Asher (who loved it & decided to flm it!). The entire class came to the set & even as a child, I knew how special it was.
For those interested in the star ceremony, there are some great photos & videos on the Harpies Bizarre site:
http://www.harpiesbizarre.com/star.htm

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Star is Born!



I thought I'd share the press release for Elizabeth Montgomery's Star Ceremony tomorrow. If you're in Southern California, please stop by & say "Hi".
Thanks to "SamSarah" & Melanie at http://www.harpiesbizarre.com/ for the photo.

OH MY STARS!

ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY TO BE HONORED WITH POSTHUMOUS STAR ON THE

HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME


WHO: The late Elizabeth Montgomery

Honorary Mayor of Hollywood Johnny Grant

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO Leron Gubler

Guest speakers: Actors Robert Foxworth and Elizabeth Sheridan

Accepting the star will be Montgomery’s children, Rebecca Asher and Bill Asher.


WHAT: 2,353rd Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

WHERE: 6533 Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Hillview Apartments

WHEN: Friday, January 4, 2008 at 11:30 a.m.

COMMENTS:

The late Elizabeth Montgomery will be awarded the first star of the year when she will be honored posthumously on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, January 4, at 11:30 a.m.. Her star will be unveiled at 6533 Hollywood Boulevard.

Montgomery was born on April 15, 1933 in Los Angeles, the daughter of screen actor and TV star Robert Montgomery and former stage actress Elizabeth Allen. She and her younger brother Skip were raised in Hollywood, but were kept from the glare of the spotlight.

After her parents divorced in 1950, Elizabeth lived in New York. Her father had begun his successful television series Robert Montgomery Presents and it was here that Elizabeth made her television debut playing opposite her father in an episode entitled “Top Secret.”

Montgomery quickly became a prolific and hard-working television actress, making appearances on dozens of dramatic anthology shows of the 1950’s. She made her big screen debut in 1955 in The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell and although she would make more feature films, it would be television that would make her a star. In 1960 she earned her first Emmy nominations for her performance as prostitute Rusty Heller in an episode of ABC’s landmark drama The Untouchables. She also guest starred on a classic episode of the Twilight Zone.

In November 1963, Elizabeth starred in the pilot episode of Bewitched as the beautiful, good-hearted witch Samantha. The first episode aired in 1964 and the show was an immediate success. By the end of the season, Bewitched was ABC’s biggest hit ever and made ABC the #1 television network in the top 50 urban markets worldwide. Produced by her husband William Asher, Bewitched featured sophisticated writing and one of the best casts in television history. The show immediately became a part of the national popular culture. Catch phrases such as “Oh my stars!,” “you son-of-a gun”, and “what’s his name?” are specific to Bewitched, as well as hundreds of mesmerizing incantations, side-splitting humor, and of course, that famous “twitch”. Above all, Bewitched became a classic because Elizabeth’s character, Samantha, was so believable.

Bewitched was still ABC’s top show at the end of the decade. Unfortunately, ABC’s success demanded the show create nearly 40 episodes a year, placing a tremendous work load on the cast, writers and crew. Near the show’s end, Bewitched was rewriting earlier episodes to keep up. By the final season, the show was burning out. Mid-way through the final year, ABC moved the show to Saturday night opposite All in the Family, a stop-gag measure to block CBS’s gaining momentum. Bewitched held steady and the network requested two more years, but Elizabeth decided it was time to move on to other projects.

Montgomery continued to work in television, becoming the first and foremost “TV Movie Queen”. She created a string of classic TV films, including Mrs. Sundance, Belle Starr, The Legend of Lizzie Borden, The Awakening Land and A Case of Rape. Her final film Deadline for Murder was one of the highest rated movies of 1995. During the filming of that movie, Elizabeth fell ill, and after a short bout with cancer, she passed away in her home on May 18, 1995.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!



January first is the one day of the year where everyone gets a fresh start. It's time to reflect on last year, admit any bad mistakes or decisions you made & move on. It's time to choose a resolution that will somehow change your life, make you a better person & positively affect those around you. I usually pick something relatively simple (like drink more water) that I can stick to long after the Rose Bowl is over (Fight On SC!!). This year my goal is to learn to play the piano. I've wanted to take lessons since I was a kid.
For those who sent e-mails asking about my "wild" New Years Eve plans: I fell asleep watching Spiderman 3, had my hubby wake me up at 11:55, so I could watch the ball drop & kiss everyone. My life's not as glamorous as you may think (but it is happy).