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Gone With or Without fanfare

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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby Lzcutter » June 6th, 2014, 10:02 am

Just a few days before the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the last of the Navajo Code Talkers, Chester Nez, passed away.

On this day remembrance for those who fought so valiantly, remembering Chester Nez and all the others.

From the NYTimes:

To the end of his life, Chester Nez recalled the first message he sent over the radio while serving at Guadalcanal: “Enemy machine gun nest on your right. Destroy.”

Receiving the message, American forces eliminated the threat.

Mr. Nez, a former United States Marine who died on Wednesday at 93, had sent the message not in English but rather in a code he had helped create. It originally went much like this: “Anaai (Enemy) naatsosi (Japanese) beeldooh alhaa dildoni (machine gun) nishnaajigo nahdikadgo (on your right flank). Diiltaah (Destroy).”

The code was fashioned from Navajo, the language that Mr. Nez grew up speaking, was later barred from speaking and still later helped craft into a military code so impervious that it helped the United States secure victory in the Pacific in the summer of 1945.

Mr. Nez was the last surviving member of the 29 original Navajo code talkers, who at the urgent behest of the federal government devised an encrypted version of their language for wartime use. They and the hundreds of Navajos who followed them into battle used that code, with unparalleled success, throughout the Pacific theater.

Not fully declassified until 1968, the Navajo code remains the only oral military code that has never been broken.

Mr. Nez’s death, at his home in Albuquerque, was confirmed by Judith Schiess Avila, the co-author of his memoir, “Code Talker,” published in 2011.

For Mr. Nez and his fellows, World War II was quite literally a war of words. Their work, and the safety of tens of thousands of American servicemen, depended crucially on the code that they had created during 13 fevered weeks in 1942, as the prospect of Allied victory in the Pacific seemed increasingly uncertain.

Members of other Native American tribes, including the Comanche, Choctaw and Winnebago, using codes based on their languages, were also recruited for the war effort, serving in Europe and North Africa. But the Navajo, who served in the Pacific, furnished the war’s single largest contingent of code talkers.

About 400 Navajos followed the original 29 to war; of that later group, about 35 are still living, The Navajo Times, a tribal newspaper, reported this week.

Serving on the front lines in the Pacific’s key battles, Mr. Nez and other members of the Marine Corps’s 382nd Platoon — made up entirely of Navajos recruited for their fluency in the language — used the code to relay movements of American and enemy troops, casualty reports, coordinates of strategic targets and other vital intelligence to Marines in the field.

“There were no machines or other devices that could scramble voice communications that could be used on the front lines,” David A. Hatch, the National Security Agency’s historian, said in an interview on Thursday. “What the code talkers did was to provide absolute security for the information we transmitted on the radios, denying to the enemy vital information that we were picking up from their communications.”

In 2001, Mr. Nez and the 28 other creators of the code were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, most posthumously, by President George W. Bush.

For more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/06/us/chester-nez-dies-at-93-his-native-tongue-helped-to-win-a-war-of-words.html?_r=0
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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby Western Guy » June 6th, 2014, 2:51 pm

God bless another true hero. Thank you, Sir.

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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby moira finnie » June 7th, 2014, 7:34 am

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From The Hollywood Reporter:

Actress Mona Freeman, cast as a perpetual teenager throughout the 1940s and '50s in such films as The Heiress, Junior Miss, Dear Ruth and I Was a Shoplifter, has died. She was 87.

Freeman died May 23 in her Beverly Hills home after a long illness, her daughter, actress Monie Ellis, told the Los Angeles Times.
Freeman also was a painter, whose portrait of Mary See has been displayed for years in See's Candies stores across the U.S.
Freeman played Marian Almond, the cousin of Olivia de Havilland's character who gets engaged in William Wyler's acclaimed film The Heiress (1949). In Junior Miss (1945), she starred as 13-year-old Lois Graves, who with her older sister (Peggy Ann Garner) meddle in people's love lives. And she portrayed Ziggy, who learns some terrible habits from her mother in That Brennan Girl (1946).
Freeman also starred as Miriam Wilkins, a teen who has a pen-pal romance with a soldier (William Holden) during World War II but signs her older sister's name to the letters, in Dear Ruth (1947). She then reprised the role in Dear Wife (1949) and Dear Brat (1951).
The blonde and youthful Freeman also appeared in such films as Till We Meet and Again Together Again, both released in 1944; the musical Mother Wore Tights (1947), as the daughter of Betty Grable's character; Streets of Laredo (1949), opposite Holden and Macdonald Carey; I Was a Shoplifter (1950), as a petty thief and daughter of a judge; and Otto Preminger's Angel Face (1952).
Her TV work included episodes of Maverick, Perry Mason, Wagon Train, The Millionaire and Branded. Her final onscreen credit came in the 1972 telefilm Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol.
Always cast as a bobbysoxer even as she approached age 30, Freeman became bored with acting and turned to portrait painting.
Born in Baltimore, Freeman worked as a teenage model in New York City and was named "Miss Subways" in 1941, the first one picked. She was signed to her first movie contract by RKO's Howard Hughes.
In addition to Ellis -- who starred as Gidget in the 1972 TV movie Gidget Gets Married -- survivors include six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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Martha Hyer

Postby clore » June 9th, 2014, 8:53 pm

Academy Award-nominated actress Martha Hyer dies at 89

By Robert Nott
The New Mexican | 0 comments

Martha Hyer, one of the last studio glamour girls of the Golden Age of Hollywood, died May 31 at her Santa Fe home. She was 89 and had lived in Santa Fe since the mid-1980s.

A representative from Rivera Funeral Home confirmed the death and said there was no funeral service or memorial planned.

A striking blonde who once turned down a date request from the young Sen. John F. Kennedy, Hyer was nominated for an Academy Award as best supporting actress for her work in 1958’s Some Came Running, an MGM film starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine. She lost to Wendy Hiller, for her role in Separate Tables. Although she put on a good face during the remainder of the Oscars show, Hyer later recalled that she went home and cried all night.

The Oscar nod did not help Hyer’s career, which started with a three-year contract at RKO in the early 1940s and ended with a series of forgettable cheap films made in both America and Europe.

Martha Hyer was born Aug. 10, 1924, in Fort Worth, Texas, to Julien C. Hyer (a Texas legislator) and Agnes Barnhart. In her 1990 autobiography, Finding My Way, she described her childhood desire to be an actress and her love of film. “Movies were magic, our passport to outside,” she wrote.

She enrolled in the Pasadena Playhouse in California, where she was spotted by a Hollywood talent agent — despite the fact that she was playing a bearded elder in a Greek tragedy. Soon, she was under contract to RKO during the war years, appearing in several B-Westerns. “I was Little Nell in lots of those,” she wrote.

For several years, Hyer was unable to secure a secure toehold in Hollywood, although she worked in everything from Abbott and Costello Go To Mars to the B-adventure Yukon Gold and the African safari film The Scarlet Spear. She married the latter’s director, C. Ray Stahl, but the marriage quickly ended in divorce.

Hyer’s first big break came when she was cast as William Holden’s fiancée in Billy Wilder’s 1954 romantic comedy Sabrina, which starred Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. In her autobiography, she recalled Bogart as being helpful and selfless in his scenes with her.

But ensuing roles in pictures like Red Sundown, opposite Rory Calhoun, and Francis in The Navy, opposite Donald O’Connor and a talking mule, again stalled Hyer’s career. She worked with Rock Hudson — whom she said was shallow and self-centered — in 1956’s Battle Hymn. In quick succession, she found herself playing straight woman to the likes of David Niven, Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis in films that spotlighted their characters, not hers. She liked Niven and Hope, but not Lewis.

Some Came Running, based on the James Joyce novel, briefly rescued Hyer and brought her critical acclaim. She wrote fondly of the experience, noting that MacLaine was “brilliant,” Sinatra “never better” and Martin “marvelous.” MacLaine received a best actress nomination for her work on the film.

But most of Hyer’s 1960s films were weak, including Bikini Beach, House of 1,000 Dolls and Picture Mommy Dead — “all ones I’d rather forget,” she wrote. She did secure a supporting role in Hal Wallis’ 1965 production The Sons of Katie Elder, but she again played second — or in this case, fifth — fiddle to a cast topped by John Wayne and Dean Martin.

She married Wallis in December 1966. In her autobiography, she reflected on both his strong points and his weaknesses, including his tight-fisted approach to spending that left her to finance the couple’s lifestyle.

By her own admission, Hyer became caught up in the high-living culture of the Hollywood lifestyle and began overspending. Shortly after she penned a first-person account of her lifestyle in a 1959 Life magazine article, she came home to find her Hollywood home robbed of all its goods. She later managed to pay ransom money to get some of her paintings back.

Worse was to come. By the early 1980s, Hyer was in debt to loan sharks, to the tune of several million dollars. With her career behind her — her last film roles were in the early 1970s — she turned to God for help and found immediate solace and peace. In her memoir, she wrote: “God poured through me.”

Shortly thereafter, Wallis, as well as some lawyers and the FBI, helped Hyer work her way out of her financial mess.

Hyer first visited New Mexico when Wallis was here filming Red Sky at Morning, the 1971 movie version of Richard Bradford’s 1968 novel. “The Indians say Santa Fe is sacred ground. I believe it,” she wrote.

Wallis died in 1986, and Hyer moved to Santa Fe shortly thereafter. “This country casts a spell and it never lets go,” she wrote.

Hyer became somewhat of a recluse in her later days, preferring to paint, hike and spend time with close friends.

“When you live with fame as a day-to-day reality, the allure of privacy and anonymity is as strong as the desire for fame for those who never had it,” she said.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/l ... e60df.html

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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby moira finnie » June 10th, 2014, 7:55 am

Thanks for this notice about Martha Hyer, clore--if her roller coaster life had been a movie in the '50s, it would have been too incredible. I'd no idea about her financial difficulties. The rather enigmatic Hal Wallis certainly married some different women--first Louise Fazenda and then Ms. Hyer! And in between times he made some of the most memorable films ever.

Here's an interesting blog about the actress' remarkable home and lifestyle back in the day: http://paradiseleased.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/hyer-up-in-the-hills-the-martha-hyer-residence/
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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby Brian McFadden » June 10th, 2014, 11:40 am

So sorry to hear about Martha Hyer and many thanks to Moira for posting the link to that great article with the fabulous pictures. "House of 1,000 Dolls" was an unfortunate low point in the careers of both Martha and Vincent Price. I don't believe either one knew what a poor film they were getting into until they arrived in Spain and began shooting. Price, at least, was able to search for art objects in his spare time, but I believe Martha was just stuck there and couldn't wait to leave.

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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby moira finnie » June 12th, 2014, 3:13 pm

Ruby Dee (1922-2014) R.I.P.

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She left the world a better place because of her life and her art. More here:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/12/showbiz/obit-ruby-dee/
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Carla Laemmle

Postby clore » June 13th, 2014, 2:21 pm

From the L.A.times:

Carla Laemmle, a dancer and actress whose uncle, Carl Laemmle, founded Universal Studios, where she grew up, died Thursday night at her home in Los Angeles. One of the last links to Hollywood’s silent film era, Laemmle was 104.

“Her heart just stopped,” Laemmle’s great niece, Rosemary Hilb, said Friday morning, noting that she had been in good health.

Born in Chicago on Oct. 20, 1909, Laemmle moved to Los Angeles in the early 1920s when her uncle invited his brother Joseph and his family to live in a bungalow on the movie lot.

She became a ballet dancer and actress and appeared in “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925) and “Dracula.” For that 1931 classic she spoke the film’s first lines: “Among the rugged peaks that frown down upon the Borgo Pass are found crumbling castles of a bygone age ... . “

In a 2012 interview with The Times, film historian Scott Essman called Laemmle nearly “the last tie to an era that is pretty much gone. When you talk about these great Universal films of that period — we are at a point now that it is all memory.”

At the time, Laemmle was looking forward to her 103rd birthday party.

"I never thought about age," she told The Times. "I always had a feeling that I was in my 20s."

http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries ... story.html

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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby Lzcutter » June 15th, 2014, 12:13 pm

I suspect the intense, on-going feud in Casey Kasem's family is about to hit overdrive with news that he has died on Father's Day, no less:

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Casey Kasem, the American Top 40 radio host who crafted a long and lucrative career out of counting down to No. 1, has died on Father's Day, his final weeks poisoned by an intense family feud. He was 82.

Kasem, who hosted the syndicated weekend show for nearly four decades, died Sunday of complications from dementia at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Wash.

Danny Deraney, the publicist for daughter Kerri Kasem, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the radio host died at 3:23 a.m. Kerri posted a note on Facebook about the news.

"Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends," she wrote. "Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers. The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our Dad. With love, Kerri, Mike and Julie."

In October, his three eldest children claimed that their stepmother, actress Jean Kasem, wouldn’t allow them to visit their father. They staged a protest outside the couple’s estate, waving signs that read, “Let Casey See His Kids.” Two months later, Julie and Mike reached a confidential settlement with Jean granting them visitation; Kerri refused to sign the agreement.

“I’m not afraid of her; they are,” she said of Jean and her siblings in a story published by THR in February. “This visitation agreement not only treats us like criminals, it treats my dad like an inmate. It’s about money for her. It’s about love for us.”

The situation took another bizarre turn in May when a judge ordered an investigation into Kasem’s whereabouts after an attorney for his wife said he had been removed from the country. Kasem had been in a convalescent hospital in Santa Monica, and he was later found to be with his wife staying with friends at a residence in Washington state. A judge cleared the way for Kerri to have him admitted to the hospital, and Wednesday, doctors, per Kerri's wishes, were allowed to stop artificially feeding and hydrating the radio icon.

Since his first broadcast from Hollywood on seven stations on July 4, 1970, to his finale on the same holiday weekend in 2009, the peppy Kasem ended each American Top 40 show with his signature line: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”
Kasem loosely based his countdown format on the 1950s TV program Your Hit Parade. More than just spinning singles, he blended a mix of trivia, dedications, requests and artist information as he counted down the Top 40 each weekend. His first No. 1 song? Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come.”

Kasem said he wanted to be the “voice of the guy next door,” and his style was to accent the positive, considering each one of the hits a major accomplishment for each act involved. He never focused on the negative, such as a big drop-off for a particular song, and remained family-friendly. His shows also tugged at the heartstrings with such elements as "Long Distance Dedications."

“I feel good that you can be going to synagogue or church and listen to me, and nobody is going to be embarrassed by the language that I use, the innuendo,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 1986. “It’s just not my style ... quite frankly, I think we’re good for America.”
Radio and television personality Ryan Seacrest mourned Kasem's death on Sunday.

"It’s a sad day for the broadcasting community and for radio listeners around the world," Seacrest said in a statement. "When I was a kid, I would listen to Casey Kasem’s AT40 show every weekend, and dream about someday becoming a radio DJ. So when decades later I took over his AT40 countdown show, it was a surreal moment. Casey had a distinctive friendly on-air voice, and he was just as affable and nice if you had the privilege to be in his company. He’ll be greatly missed by all of us."

For more: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/american-top-40-casey-kasem-dies-673058
Lynn in Lake Balboa

"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby Western Guy » June 15th, 2014, 2:13 pm

More sad news. Francis Mathews who appeared with Karloff in CORRIDORS OF BLOOD along with some memorable appearances in early Hammer films has passed. I always admired him. He seemed to have that genuine nice guy quality, which I've since learned he definitely did possess:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/vo ... ws-3698733

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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby moira finnie » June 24th, 2014, 9:08 am

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TCM will be honoring the late Ruby Dee on June 28th with the airing of Martin Ritt’s Edge of the City (1957) at 4:15 p.m. (ET) followed by Daniel Petrie’s film of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (1961) at 5:45 p.m (ET).

Please see above posts for more about this American artist's contributions to life.
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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby Western Guy » June 25th, 2014, 7:19 am

Eli Wallach has passed on.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/e ... bad-714794

A wonderful actor and a true gentleman. But he lived a long and active life.

RIP Mr. Wallach.

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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby RedRiver » June 25th, 2014, 11:31 am

Oh, my goodness. He leaves behind many admirers.

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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby Vecchiolarry » June 25th, 2014, 12:24 pm

Hi,

Sad news indeed, but he had a long and successful life and gave us many, mnay fine performances for decades.

He played everything - comedy, drama, epic and western films and modern day ones too...
I am thankful that a real actor became a star also..

R.I.P. Mr. Wallach

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Re: Gone With or Without fanfare

Postby Lzcutter » June 27th, 2014, 9:12 pm

Lynn in Lake Balboa

"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

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