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Tributes To Your Favorite Classic TV Stars (1 Viewer)

Flashgear

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Fearing the worst, the lone survivor of a crash-landing on Mars finds the native inhabitants, to his relief, very hospitable indeed, but there's a catch.​

Great selections from Roddy McDowell's filmography, and nicely chosen screen caps Neal! He seemed to have slipped easily between television and back to theatrical films for much of his career, and his TZ episode is one of my earliest TV memories as a child. In Naked City, it's nice to see Macy's and yet another weird early '60s Beatnik coffee house full of reprobates including Bruce Dern, ha, ha. Good episode, and yet another rooftop chase that this series was so fond of!
This concludes the Roddy McDowall Birthday Tribute
He left quite a legacy on film, and through his legal battles with the mindless and absurd MPAA that verged on persecution, Roddy McDowell helped to establish the rights of collectors to their home video collections. And his lifelong friendship with fellow child star Elizabeth Taylor is legendary. Not long ago, I watched a 1984 episode of Hotel in which they co-starred together.
Then, in 1975, CBS commissioned a weekly series based on the premise

While the series was cancelled after only 15 episodes, McDowall had very fond memories of the series and always spoke highly of it. He hosted the superb documentary on the series, Behind the Planet of the Apes, while suffering from cancer. He succumbed to his illness shortly following.

Interesting post script: I won a CD compilation of Hugo Friedhofer film score re-recordings that I was looking for over a long time. The seller claimed it was from the estate of Roddy McDowall. I don't have any proof, but it was a cool thought and I prefer to believe it.
Wonderful fan appreciation for Roddy and his lengthy association with Planet of the Apes, Scott! I have the original theatrical films on Blu, and also got the 1975 TV series on DVD a couple years ago. I've only watched a few episodes from that set, but it proved to be much better than I expected. Being overseas at the time, I missed that series when it first aired.

I have fond memories of Roddy's guest appearances on Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Combat!, 12 O'clock High, Run For Your Life and The Invaders, all of these on disc in my collection. During the same period, he was making big movies like Cleopatra, Inside Daisy Clover and Lord Love a Duck...all of this just his mid-60s stuff in his extensive career.

Your newly acquired CD of the great Hugo Friedhofer's music must be a humdinger! He's one of the greats with an amazing body of work. Where do you start in recounting his music? I'd just start with The Best Years of Our Lives and The Bishop's Wife, among many other immortal film scores!
 

Jeff Flugel

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Agreed, excellent tributes, Neal and Scott!

Like Scott, my earliest memories of Roddy McDowell are from his various appearances in the Planet of the Apes franchise, but of course I soon learned of his vast body of work as both a child actor of uncommon skill in films such as the ones Neal spotlights (and especially in John Ford's wonderful How Green Was My Valley), as well as his very busy career as an adult. He could always be relied upon to bring some acid-tongued wit to many of his adult roles, such as the conniving scandal sheet writer in the Agatha Christie adaptation Evil Under the Sun. Not to mention all of his memorable TV work. He also seems to have been a tried-and-true friend, by all accounts, which speaks well of the man.

My absolute favorite role of Mr. McDowell's, though, was as horror host turned real-life vampire killer Peter Vincent in the '80s horror classic, Fright Night.

c429d8167916c8002f5e9ffa942aa149--fright-night-horror-films.jpg
 
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ScottRE

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Your newly acquired CD of the great Hugo Friedhofer's music must be a humdinger! He's one of the greats with an amazing body of work. Where do you start in recounting his music? I'd just start with The Best Years of Our Lives and The Bishop's Wife, among many other immortal film scores!
Not so newly, it was shortly after he died, but it was the end of a long search for (at that time) missing cues from The Rains of Ranchipur. Thanks to Irwin Allen's use of the Fox library for background music on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The Time Tunnel, I was exposed to a lot of classic scores I never would have been otherwise. I wound up enjoying a lot of 50's film scores. If I had to choose favorites of Friedhofer's catalog:

Rains of Ranchipur
Soldier of Fortune
Above and Beyond
Between Heaven and Hell
The Young Lions
 
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Flashgear

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Not so newly, it was shortly after he died, but it was the end of a long search for (at that time) missing cues from The Rains of Ranchipur. Thanks to Irwin Allen's use of the Fox library for background music on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The Time Tunnel, I was exposed to a lot of classic scores I never would have been otherwise. I wound up enjoyed a lot of 50's film scores. If I had to choose favorites of Friedhofer's catalog:

Rains of Ranchipur
Soldier of Fortune
Above and Beyond
Between Heaven and Hell
The Young Lions
Interesting that you mention The Rains of Ranchipur, Scott! It's only because you mentioned this 1950's Cinemascope melodrama that I'll tell this little bit of associated family related trivia...The Rains of Ranchipur debuted December 14, 1955, and my parents were in attendance in my hometown's most ornate cinema, the 'Capitol' watching it in the first week of 1956 when my Mom went into labor with me and they had to be rushed to the hospital where I myself debuted on Elvis' birthday! I don't know if the earthquake scene triggered her labor or if she ever saw the rest of the film years later, ha, ha!

I have the Twilight Time Blu-ray of The Rains of Ranchipur and Hugo Friedhofer's music is the best thing about it, although the movie (itself a remake of 1939's The Rains Came) is a typical mid-50s big budget spectacular with second unit location filming in Pakistan and a big name cast that otherwise never left the comfortable Fox studios lot! I like your top five list of your favorite Friedhofer scores. Although I'm no expert, I really like his score for Above and Beyond too. So much immortal film music in the 1950s!

I'll have to listen for the select cues used in VTTBOTS and Time Tunnel. Thanks for the info on Hugo Friedhofer!
 

The 1960's

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Happy Birthday Bud Abbott (October 2, 1895 - April 24, 1974)

William Alexander "Bud" Abbott was an American comedian and actor. He was the straight man half of the comedy duo Abbott and Costello. Abbott was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey on October 2, 1897, into a show business family. His parents, Rae Fisher and Harry Abbott, had met while working for the Barnum and Bailey Circus. She was a bareback rider of German Jewish background and he was a concessionaire and forage agent. Bud was the third of the couple's four children. When Bud was a toddler, the family relocated to Harlem, then to the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, and his father became a longtime advance man for the Columbia Burlesque Wheel. During the summer, when burlesque was on hiatus, his father worked at Dreamland Park in Coney Island. Bud dropped out of grammar school to work at the park. In his teens, Abbott signed on as a cabin boy on a Norwegian steamer, but was soon forced to shovel coal. He worked his way back to the United States a year later.

In his late teens, Abbott began working in the box office of the Casino Theatre in Brooklyn, a burlesque house on the Columbia wheel. He spent the next few years in burlesque box offices, rising to treasurer. In 1918, while working in Washington, D.C., he met and married Jenny Mae Pratt (1902–1981), a burlesque dancer and comedienne who performed as Betty Smith. They remained together until his death 55 years later. Betty performed on the Columbia Wheel, while Bud mostly remained behind the scenes. In 1923, he produced a cut-rate vaudeville tab show called Broadway Flashes, which toured on the small-time Gus Sun circuit. Abbott began performing as a straight man in the show when he could no longer afford to pay one.[1] He continued producing and performing in burlesque shows on the Mutual Burlesque wheel, and as his reputation grew, he began working with veteran comedians like Harry Steppe and Harry Evanson.

Abbott crossed paths with Lou Costello in the early 1930s, when Abbott was producing and performing in Minsky's Burlesque shows in New York, and Costello was a rising comic. They worked together for the first time in 1935 at the Eltinge Theatre on 42nd Street, after an illness sidelined Costello's regular partner. They formally teamed up in 1936, and performed together in burlesque, minstrel shows, what was left of vaudeville, and stage shows. In 1938, they received national exposure as regulars on the Kate Smith Hour radio show, which led to roles in a Broadway musical, The Streets of Paris in 1939. In 1940, Universal signed the team for their first film, One Night in the Tropics. Despite having minor roles, Abbott and Costello stole the film with several classic routines, including an abbreviated version of "Who's On First?" Universal signed the team to a two-picture deal, and the first film, Buck Privates (1941), became a major hit and led to a long-term contract with the studio. Arthur Lubin, who directed the team's first five starring films, later said: "I don't think there has ever been a finer straight man in the business than Bud Abbott. Lou would go off the script – because he was that clever with lines – and Bud would bring him right back." During World War II, Abbott and Costello were among the most popular and highest-paid stars in the world. Between 1940 and 1956, they made 36 films and earned a percentage of the profits on each. They were among the Top 10 box office stars from 1941 through 1951, and placed No. 1 in 1942. They also had their own radio program (The Abbott and Costello Show) throughout the 1940s, first on NBC from 1942 to 1947, and from 1947 to 1949 on ABC. During a 35-day tour in the summer of 1942, the team sold $85 million worth of War Bonds.

In the 1950s, they introduced their comedy to live television on The Colgate Comedy Hour, and launched their own half-hour filmed series, The Abbott and Costello Show (1952–54).
I've chosen to highlight two feature films and The Abbott and Costello Show.​


Two sidewalk salesman enlist in the army in order to avoid jail, only to find that their drill instructor is the police officer who tried having them imprisoned.​

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The 1960's

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The Abbott and Costello Show (1951-1954)
Stars Bud Abbott Lou Costello Sid Fields Gordon Jones Bobby Barber Hillary Brooke Joe Kirk Milt Bronson Joe Besser

The Abbott and Costello Show is an American television sitcom starring the popular comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. The program premiered in syndication in the fall of 1952 and ran two seasons, to the spring of 1954. Each season ran 26 episodes.
The series is considered to be among the most influential comedy programs in history. In 1998, Entertainment Weekly praised the series as one of the "100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time". In 2007, Time magazine selected it for its "The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME." Jerry Seinfeld has declared that The Abbott and Costello Show, with its overriding emphasis upon funny situations rather than life lessons, was the inspiration for his own long-running sitcom, Seinfeld.

The show, which was put into production soon after Abbott and Costello joined the roster of rotating hosts of The Colgate Comedy Hour, was conceived as a vehicle to bring the duo's tried-and-true burlesque routines to television in a format that the team could control. There were none of the musical interludes or love stories that marked most of their feature films. Basically, if a situation or gag was funny, the team filmed it with little regard to plot, character or continuity. As a result, the show became a valuable record of classic burlesque scenes performed by the duo.
Abbott and Costello portrayed unemployed actors sharing an apartment in a rooming house in Los Angeles. The supporting cast included Sidney Fields as Sidney Fields, their landlord; Hillary Brooke as Hillary Brooke, their neighbor and sometime love interest for Costello; Gordon Jones as Mike the Cop, a dimwitted foil for the boys and sometime rival for Hillary; and Joe Kirk (Costello's brother-in-law) as Mr. Bacciagalupe, an Italian immigrant caricature who held a variety of jobs depending upon the requirements of the script. Joe Besser appeared as Stinky, a "little boy" dressed in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit, as a guest star. Bobby Barber and Joan Shawlee also appeared frequently in small roles. Several episodes featured a pet chimp named "Bingo", who was dressed exactly the same as Costello; she was later "fired" from the show after biting Costello. Brooke, Kirk and Besser did not appear in the second season.

First season shows opened with a title sequence over a montage of scenes from Abbott and Costello's early Universal films. Each episode began with a framing sequence on a stage, where the pair would share gags with the audience and occasionally a fellow cast member, and often set up the episode's plot. They would reappear halfway through the episode and discuss what had just occurred or hint at things to come. These stage portions were dropped in the second season, which followed a more traditional sitcom format. A simpler opening title sequence, without film clips or cast credits, was also introduced. The series did not employ a laugh track in the strictest sense; completed episodes were screened for an audience in a theater and their reactions were recorded and added to the soundtrack. In the 2021 4k restoration release, some episodes have the option to be viewed with and without an audience track.

The following images focus on Bud Abbott from and assortment of Season One episodes originating from the 2021 ClassicFlix BluRay release.​

_The Abbott and Costello Show S01E02 The Dentist's Office (Dec.12.1952)-0000.jpg
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Capt D McMars

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The 1960's

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Happy Birthday Inger Stevens (October 18, 1934-April 30, 1970)

Back on September 22nd John aka SkyKing sent me a pm and suggested doing an Inger Stevens tribute. Both he and I decided to celebrate the life and the achievements of Miss Stevens and not the morbidity of her tragic death at age 35. Today she would have been 88 years of age.

Inger Stevens, born Ingrid Stensland, was a Swedish-American film, stage and Golden Globe-winning television actress. She was born in Stockholm, Sweden, the eldest child of Per Gustaf and Lisbet Stensland. When she was six years old, her mother abandoned the family, taking her youngest son Peter with her. Soon after, her father moved to the United States, leaving both Stevens and her brother Ola in the custody of the family maid and then later with an aunt in Lidingö, near Stockholm. In 1944, Stevens and her brother moved to the United States and lived with their father and his new wife in New York City where he was completing his PhD in Education at Columbia University. At age 13, she moved with her family to Manhattan, Kansas, where her father taught at Kansas State University. Stevens attended Manhattan High School. At 16, Stevens fled to Kansas City, where she worked in burlesque shows. At 18, she returned to New York City, where she worked as a chorus girl and in the Garment District while taking classes at the Actors Studio.

Miss Stevens appeared on television series, in commercials and in plays until she received her big break in the film Man on Fire, starring Bing Crosby. Roles in major films followed, including a starring role opposite Harry Belafonte in 1959's The World, the Flesh and the Devil, but she achieved her greatest success in the television series The Farmer's Daughter (1963–1966) with William Windom. Previously, Stevens had appeared in episodes of Bonanza, Route 66, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Eleventh Hour, Sam Benedict, The Aquanauts and The Twilight Zone.

Following the cancellation of The Farmer's Daughter in 1966, Stevens appeared in several films: A Guide for the Married Man (1967), Hang 'Em High, 5 Card Stud and Madigan. At the time of her death, Stevens was attempting to revive her television career with the detective drama series The Most Deadly Game. (Wikipedia)
 

Jeff Flugel

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I've always been rather smitten with blond, blue-eyed Swedish-born Inger Stevens, ever since first watching her performance in Hang 'Em High, as a widow who nurses a sick Clint Eastwood back to health. From that point on, if I saw her name in the credits of a film or television episode, I would try to seek it out. For a woman of such beauty and talent, she reportedly had an unhappy life, becoming yet another in the long line of actors who left us much too soon...in Ms. Stevens case, at the tragically young age of 35. But she left behind an impressive body of work for fans to enjoy, preserved forever on celluloid for our entertainment and delight. The following is my humble tribute to the gorgeous Ms. Stevens, featuring her guest star appearance on an episode from the earliest days of what would soon become a TV western perennial:

Bonanza – 1.3 “The Newcomers”
An early love story for Hoss (Dan Blocker), as he falls for a sickly young woman (fragile beauty Inger Stevens) who, along with her brother, is accompanying a group of interlopers who want the gold on Ponderosa land and will stop at nothing, including murder, to get it. John Larch plays the heavy, with memorably slimy support from Charles Maxwell. The tragic romance aspect (soon to become a Bonanza staple) is kept on a low simmer, without falling into maudlin territory, and is enlivened by plenty of fights, gunplay, skullduggery and scenic location work. A memorable episode, this, and a good showcase for Blocker, who completely embodies gentle giant Hoss Cartwright. I love how Hoss, seeing his pa and brothers about to be ambushed at the climax, fearlessly roars down the hillside unarmed, swatting bad guys left and right like an enraged bear. Ms. Stevens does fine, delicate work as the consumptive young woman who first recoils at Hoss' homely appearance, but soon falls for the tender heart and strong moral character within.

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And, lest you think I'm skimping on the "cheesecake factor" this time out, here's Ms. Stevens in less dowdy garb, truly a sight to behold:

52921825.jpg
 
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ScottRE

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The Twilight Zone
“The Lateness of the Hour”
Season 2 Episode 8

Written by Rod Serling
Directed by Jack Smight


Starring Inger Stevens & John Hoyt

Dr. Loren (Hoyt) enjoys the faultless robot servants he has invented. His daughter, Jana (Inger Stevens)., however feels imprisoned by them – and soon learns just how right she is!

There were a handful of episodes in the second season which were shot on tape to save budget. These episodes, while occasionally having the benefit of intriguing stories, are stiff and stage bound. They come across very much like recorded plays or, worse, old Doctor Who episodes. A couple are classics but most are just part of a weird little experiment in an otherwise solid season.

Here, Rod Serling pens a story based on a fascinating concept…and does little with it. His dialog runs amok with repetition and exposition. Most of the actors are rightly cold, but even John Hoyt is rather unlikable even if his motives are understandable. The mom overdoes the pleasure reaction as she gets a shoulder rub by one of the “robuts” as Serling says the word. It was so over the top, my wife in the other room thought I was watching porn.

Anyway…

It’s Inger Stevens who shines here as she plays every emotion Jana feels convincingly and with conviction. She’s beautiful and fragile and the final twist, even though it’s telegraphed by a country mile, is still impactful because she gave a well-considered, three-dimensional and, well, extraordinary performance. The advantage of this episode being confined to nearly a single set is that the stage is an actor’s playground. Inger gets the meatiest part. She starts off annoyed, transitions to loneliness, then desperation and then shock. Anger. Crumbling into sadness. It’s a tour de force for her and she does not let the home team down. More than simply a pretty face, this lady. One is even able to forgive the conceit that she says she can’t feel love…yet she can feel (or at least express) every other emotion.

The mark of a fine actor is the ability to transcend the limitations of a script and the annoyances of the final product. Inger did this easily and is the most memorable performer in the cast (well – okay – the robut maid who took the tumble down the stairs was very impressive). Inger Stevens: a beautiful woman and a fine performer who left us far too soon.
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Credit to @The 1960's - Neal - for the screencaps.
 
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Sky King

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Hi all,

This was one of six Twilight Zone episodes recorded on 2 inch videotape instead of 35 mm film, as a cost saving measure for CBS. The videotape was then transferred to 16mm film for syndication.

John
 

Capt D McMars

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The Twilight Zone
“The Lateness of the Hour”
Season 2 Episode 8

Written by Rod Serling
Directed by Jack Smight


Starring Inger Stevens & John Hoyt

Dr. Loren (Hoyt) enjoys the faultless robot servants he has invented. His daughter, Jana (Inger Stevens)., however feels imprisoned by them – and soon learns just how right she is!

There were a handful of episodes in the second season which were shot on tape to save budget. These episodes, while occasionally having the benefit of intriguing stories, are stiff and stage bound. The come across very much like recorded plays or, worse, old Doctor Who episodes. A couple are classics but most are just part of a weird little experiment in an otherwise solid season.

Here, Rod Serling pens a story based on a fascinating concept…and does little with it. His dialog runs amok with repetition and exposition. Most of the actors are rightly cold, but even John Hoyt is rather unlikable even if his motives are understandable. The mom overdoes the pleasure reaction as she gets a shoulder rub by one of the “robuts” as Serling says the word. It was so over the top, my wife in the other room thought I was watching porn.

Anyway…

It’s Inger Stevens who shines here as she plays every emotion Jana feels convincingly and with conviction. She’s beautiful and fragile and the final twist, even though it’s telegraphed by a country mile, s still impactful because she gave a well-considered, three-dimensional and, well, extraordinary performance. The advantage of this episode being confined to nearly a single set is that the stage is an actor’s playground. Inger gets the meatiest part. She starts off annoyed, transitions to loneliness, then desperation and then shock. Anger. Crumbling into sadness. It’s a tour de force for her and she does not let down. More than simply a pretty face, this lady. One is even able to forgive the conceit that she says she can’t feel love…yet she can feel (or at least express) every other emotion.

The mark of a fine actor is the ability to transcend the limitations of a script and the annoyances of the final product. Inger did this easily and is the most memorable performer in the cast (well – okay – the robut maid who took the tumble down the stairs was very impressive). Inger Stevens: a beautiful woman and a fine performer who left us far too soon. View attachment 158521 View attachment 158522 View attachment 158523 View attachment 158524 View attachment 158525 View attachment 158526 View attachment 158527 View attachment 158528 View attachment 158529 View attachment 158531 View attachment 158532 View attachment 158533 View attachment 158534 View attachment 158535 View attachment 158536 View attachment 158538 View attachment 158539 View attachment 158541 View attachment 158542 View attachment 158543

Credit to @The 1960's - Neal - for the screencaps.
That was a great episode!!
 

Capt D McMars

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A nice TCM homage for Inger Stevens -
 

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