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Did You Know...?

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Did You Know...?

Postby moira finnie » May 5th, 2007, 10:29 am

Here's a spot to drop in those odd little factoids that you may come across in your pursuit of classic movies. Most of the ones that are the most interesting have little relevance to "serious" film discussion, but can be pretty amusing, and I hope that you might enjoy them, too. Please feel free to drop your favorite tidbits here...

Did you know that ...
Prior to embarking on an acting career, Sig Rumann was trained as an electrical engineer in Germany? How lucky were we that he got out of there before the Nazis came in? Though it might've been a little hard to take a guy who looked like Sig seriously--even Albert Speer might've cracked a smile when greeting him at Pennemunde.

Did you know that ...
Morris Ankrum, familiar as a somewhat unreliable military figure and bureaucrat from numerous films in the '40s & '50s, was a graduate of the USC Law School, a practicing attorney and an economics professor before chucking it all for the hurly-burly of the silver screen and theatre? I guess that the courtroom & classroom was just too dull for Morrie.

Did you know that ...
Bad girl Gloria Grahame, who would etch some pretty lethal noir babes in her time, was actually the descendent of the Plantagenet kings of England and was also related to the distinguished Adams family of revolutionary America? So much for coming from the wrong side of the tracks...though from what I read, Gloria sowed enough wild oats to make both sides of her family tree shiver.

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » May 9th, 2007, 12:56 pm

I did it again - I put a post on the wrong thread. Sorry. What I put on "Movie Trivia" should really belong here:

Did you watch Hepburn's "All About Me" doc last night? An unabashed ego-fest, but I don't mind, since I'm an unabashed Hepburn fan.

She never talked about this incident, although I heard Lucille Ball tell it on a talk show:

Ball was a minor player at RKO and was in their cafeteria for lunch at the same time as Hepburn, who was in costume for Mary, Queen of Scotts. Ball was fooling around with her group, and a minor food fight broke out, during which Ball tossed a meatball. The meatball flew across the room and hit Hepburn square in the face. Everyone at Ball's table quieted down and looked as innocent as possible. Hepburn was really disconcerted, although she didn't express any anger or ask who had done it. Apparently she had been concentrating on lines and trying to stay in character. She got up and went home for the day. Most unusual, since Hepburn was a well-known iron woman on the set and a real trooper.

Ball said she felt guilty all her life, but never owned up to Hepburn until many years later that she was the one who threw the offending meatball.

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Postby Dewey1960 » May 9th, 2007, 1:05 pm

Judith, that's a great yarn about our beloved Audrey taking it in the kisser with a meatball. My heart breaks at the inequity of it all. But...if anyone should ever have such a dubious distinction of heaving said meatball, then I suppose it should be Lucy. Would have made a great I LOVE LUCY in Hollywood episode!

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » May 9th, 2007, 3:57 pm

Dewey1960 wrote:Judith, that's a great yarn about our beloved Audrey taking it in the kisser with a meatball. My heart breaks at the inequity of it all. But...if anyone should ever have such a dubious distinction of heaving said meatball, then I suppose it should be Lucy. Would have made a great I LOVE LUCY in Hollywood episode!


Not frail little Audrey, my friend. It was the Great Kate who got conked. It makes it that much odder that she simply walked out of the place - not yelling, not retaliating, not even doing that snorting laughter thing that sounded so incongruous coming out of her. Ball said she was mortified, and that everyone was surprised that K. Hepburn seemed to take it so hard. Guess it just wasn't her day.

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Postby Dewey1960 » May 9th, 2007, 4:44 pm

>>Not frail little Audrey, my friend. It was the Great Kate who got conked.

Oh wow, that does change the complexion of the story! What an unbelievable catfight that might have been had the Great Kate not put on the brakes. Lucieeeeeee!!

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » May 10th, 2007, 10:10 am

Dewey1960 wrote:>>Not frail little Audrey, my friend. It was the Great Kate who got conked.

Oh wow, that does change the complexion of the story! What an unbelievable catfight that might have been had the Great Kate not put on the brakes. Lucieeeeeee!!


Yes, either one would have been a dangerous enemy to make of the other. It would have been the stuff Hollywood legends are made of.

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Postby MikeBSG » May 11th, 2007, 11:25 am

Isn't "Mary Queen of Scots" around the time that katharine Hepburn was supposedly having an affair with John Ford? I'm sure that was probably giving her some stress at the time of the meatball incident.

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » May 11th, 2007, 11:39 am

MikeBSG wrote:Isn't "Mary Queen of Scots" around the time that katharine Hepburn was supposedly having an affair with John Ford? I'm sure that was probably giving her some stress at the time of the meatball incident.


In the documentary run earlier this week, Hepburn denied that they were having an affair - "just good friends," she said. That ain't the way I've heard it, and I've also heard and read that Ford nursed a lifelong yen for her.

I suppose we will never know what prompted that uncharacteristic behavior on KH's part. In telling the anecdote, Lucille Ball expressed wonderment at Hepburn's reaction. It's the last thing she would have expected Hepburn to do. I guess even the invincible need a day off once in a while.

(My daughter, who does a wicked impression of Hepburn, always alludes to the "meatball incident" in her riffs, even though it's unlikely that any of her contemporaries know anything about it. It just sounds funny.)

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Postby Sue Sue Applegate » May 11th, 2007, 10:34 pm

Hysterical. LOL. I do a Kate impression myself, so I'll have to figure out how to work in the meatball and a Lucy "Wah...."

I've never heard that story...but I did watch the Kate bio the other night.
I also liked Kate Remembered by M. Scott Berg.
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Postby CoffeeDan » May 18th, 2007, 3:07 am

Seems like the incident was in character for Hepburn. I've heard from several people who worked at RKO at that time that Hepburn's nickname around the studio was "Katharine of Arrogance." A great talent, but headstrong as all get out.

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Postby moira finnie » June 6th, 2007, 8:26 am

Did you know that ...
After enduring the loss of both his mother and father at an early age and the horrors of Russia in the throes of the Revolution, 15 year old Mischa Auer eventually landed in NYC , attending the School of Ethical Culture with classmate J. Robert Oppenheimer?

Wow, a master of the doubletake and the father of the Bomb in one classroom together. As the late David Susskind always intoned, "the mind boggles..."

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Postby Sue Sue Applegate » June 6th, 2007, 11:19 pm

Fascinating about Mischa Auer, Moira.

Did you know that character actress Florence Bates seen in Rebecca, Saratoga Trunk, Whistle Stop , and A Letter to Three Wives , was the first woman to earn a law degree in the state of Texas? She and her family also owned an antique shop in downtown San Antonio.
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jdb1

Postby jdb1 » June 7th, 2007, 12:36 pm

Did you know that the mathematical calculations on the blackboard in the professor's study in The Day the Earth Stood Still were purportedly supplied by Sam Jaffe, the actor who played that Einstein-like professor? Jaffe studied engineering at the graduate level at Columbia University, and was a math teacher before he became an actor.


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