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Helen Wills - Tennis Champion Tennis player Helen Wills (later Helen Wills Moody), a California girl, captured the U.S. National Championship at Forest Hills at age 17 in 1923--the second-youngest female to manage the feat at that time. In an era when male sportswriters believed that being a female sports champion and being a beauty were incompatible, Wills proved them wrong. Wills' natural good looks turned heads wherever she played and won. She won often. The fact that Wills captured 19 Grand Slam singles tiles between 1923 and 1938 also enhanced her popularity. One writer said of Wills that "every male between the age of six and 60 was a little bit in love with her." In a six-year period from 1927 to 1933, Wills won every singles match she played without dropping a set! Standing about 5'7" with a muscular frame, Wills rarely showed emotion on the court and was dubbed Miss Poker Face. The nickname was coined by a New York sports journalist named Ed Sullivan. (Yes--that Ed Sullivan!) Charlie Chaplin, an avid tennis fan and a fan of attractive women, said the most beautiful thing on Earth was watching Helen Wills play tennis. Wills struck the ball with great power from an irregular stance: Her body faced forward rather than to the side when she made contact with the ball. Late in her life, Wills was asked if the modern, larger-faced racquets would have improved her game, she said, "No, I always struck the ball in the middle of my racquet, so I don't think a larger size racquet would have made any difference." Wills lived to be 92 years old, passing away on New Year's Day 1998.
Tags: tennis  Helen  Willis 
Added: 19th April 2018
Views: 102
Posted By: Lava1964
The Second Hundred Years - Sitcom Flop The 1960s were famous for producing far-fetched sitcoms. Here is another that aired briefly on ABC: The Second Hundred Years. Starring Monte Markham and Arthur O'Connell, its crazy plot had O'Connell playing Edwin Carpenter, a man whose gold-prospecting father (Luke) was swept by an avalanche into an Alaskan glacier in 1900. Another avalanche 67 years later conveniently exposed Luke's frozen carcass. Miraculously he was revived--without having aged in the intervening years! Thus Luke now physically resembled his 33-year-old grandson, Ken. (Luke and Ken were played by the same actor, of course, Monte Markham.) Furthermore, for national security reasons, the general public was not allowed to know about this remarkable incident. The show's plots frequently focused on Ken and Luke being able to take the other's place in social situations, and in the culture shock Luke experienced in suddenly going from 1900 to 1967. (In one episode Luke saw a go-go dancer in a cage, thought she was being held against her will, and "rescued" her.) The Second Hundred Years premiered on September 3, 1967 to fairly strong ratings, but it was universally panned by TV critics. Within a very short time it dropped into the bottom 25 network shows and was cancelled after 26 episodes. Here is a promotional clip that aired on ABC just before its premier.
Tags: Monte  Markham  The  Second  Hundred  Years  sitcom  Arthur  O 
Added: 5th April 2018
Views: 158
Posted By: Lava1964
Vanishing TV Character - Mr Barnsdahl Fans of The Lucy Show immediately think of Mr. Mooney (played by Gale Gordon) as the tight-fisted banker with whom Lucy Carmichael constantly clashed. However, Mr. Mooney was a second-season replacement for Mr. Barnsdahl, played by Charles Lane. Lane was a longtime character actor who specialized in playing officious, unlikable authority figures. A familiar face for generations of TV and movie fans, Lane's acting career began in 1929. Four years later he was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). He was a favorite of director Frank Capra and became a good friend of Lucille Ball. He had roles in several episodes of I Love Lucy. (He was a fellow expectant father in the 1953 episode when Little Ricky is born.) When Lucy's second sitcom series, The Lucy Show, began in the fall of 1962, she played a widow who lived off a trust fund left to her by her late husband. Lane played Mr. Barnsdahl, the humorless, no-nonsense banker who managed the fund. Lane appeared in just four episodes, however. According to one book about Lucille Ball's sitcoms, Lane had difficulty remembering his lines when performing in front of a live audience and happily stepped aside for Gordon. (Shortly thereafter Lane was cast as heartless railroad official Homer Bedloe on Petticoat Junction--which was not shot in front of a live audience.) Another explanation for Lane's departure is that he was only an interim character until Gale Gordon--Lucy's first choice to play her banker--was freed from other contractual obligations and could become the miserly Mr. Mooney whom every Lucy fan remembers. Lane lived to be a centenarian, dying at age 102 in 2007. His last acting credit was as a narrator at age 101. He was the oldest SAG member at the time of his death.
Tags: Charles  Lane  Lucy  Show  Mr  Barnsdahl 
Added: 4th April 2018
Views: 158
Posted By: Lava1964
Annette Kellermann - First Swimsuit Model Australia's Annette Kellermann had weak legs as a child, so her doctor prescribed a rigorous regimen of swimming exercises to strengthen them. The advice worked wonders. By age 13 in 1900, she was a local swimming champion, having mastered numerous strokes. Kellermann found the pantaloon-type female bathing suits of the era ridiculously restrictive, however, so she designed her own form-fitting one-piece swimsuits (as pictured here). They were both revolutionary and scandalous. In 1908 a Harvard doctor declared Kellerman to be "the perfect woman". Her fame opened up many doors to her. The shapely Kellermann became a silent movie star; in 1916's A Daughter of the Gods she became the first actress in American movie history to do a nude scene. (Her long hair covered most of her body, however.) She also continued advocating the healthful benefits of swimming in books and magazines. She even penned children's books. Kellermann is also credited with being a pioneer in the field of synchronized swimming. She died in 1975 at the age of 88.
Tags: Annette  Kellermann  swimming  model  actress 
Added: 20th March 2018
Views: 194
Posted By: Lava1964
Burt Mustin on Tonight Show - 1974 You might not know his name but you should recall Burt Mustin's face. For years he appeared in movies and TV series as a lovable elderly gentleman. He appeared on The Andy Griffith Show, Leave It To Beaver, Batman, Get Smart, and perhaps most famously on four episodes of All in the Family. (Mustin played Mr. Quigley, a gent who "escaped" from the boredom of the seniors' home where Edith Bunker volunteered.) As this clip shows, as a 90-year-old in 1974, he appeared on The Tonight Show where he recalled attending the 1903 World Series!
Tags: Burt  Mustin  actor  Tonight  Show 
Added: 14th March 2018
Views: 438
Posted By: Lava1964
Kathrine Gabriel - Miss Ohio 1957 Such was the undeniable beauty of Kathrine Gabriel that she appeared on the cover of Photoplay magazine in May 1958 without being a movie star. A beauty queen, Miss Gabriel represented Ohio at various pageants in 1957. Her obvious good looks earned her a contestant's spot on the December 12, 1957 episode of You Bet Your Life. She appeared in her "working clothes"--a swimsuit--and had host Groucho Marx speechless for a few seconds. (Noting that YBYL had been on the air for 11 years, Groucho eventually muttered, "Why couldn't this have happened 11 years ago when I was 30 years younger?") The lovely Kathrine M. Gabriel Dittrick died in May 2016 at the age of 79.
Tags: Kathrine  Gabriel  Photoplay  beauty  queen 
Added: 13th March 2018
Views: 478
Posted By: Lava1964
Michel Lotito - Mr Eats-All One day in 1965, a 15-year-old French youth named Michel Lotito was drinking mint tea in a cafe with friends when his cup unexpectedly shattered. In an act of teenage bravado, Lotito swallowed the glass fragments with no ill effects whatsoever. Thus the odd career of Monsieur Mangetout (Mr. Eats-All) began. Within a short time, much to the amusement of his Grenoble neighbors--and the chagrin of his parents--Lotito began giving bizarre public eating exhibitions in which he would consume a variety of seemingly indigestible objects: coins, beer cans, knitting needles, crockery, and razor blades, to name but a few. He later advanced to devouring more challenging fare such as a television set, a bicycle, and a waterbed. Lotito managed his gastric accomplishments by cutting each object into fingernail-sized portions and washing them down with some sort of liquid--usually mineral water. (A true professional, Lotito always travelled with his cutting instruments nearby.) When nature called, Mr. Mangetout had no trouble "passing" the odd viands. While not performing, Lotito had a fondness for steak dinners. At the height of his career, Lotito was earning $2,000 per public appearance in venues as far away as Hong Kong. The apex of Lotito's gastronomic achievements was eating a Cessna two-seat airplane! After swallowing the last morsel in 1980, Lotito declared the propeller to be "delicious." To honor his achievement as the world's foremost omnivore, the impressed folks at the Guinness Book of World Records presented Lotito with a handsome brass plaque. Lotito ate it, of course. In 2007 Lotito died shortly after his 57th birthday of natural causes.
Tags: Michel  Lotito  omnivore  Mr  Mangetout 
Added: 2nd March 2018
Views: 316
Posted By: Lava1964
Gordie Howe on To Tell The Truth From March 27, 1967, hockey superstar Gordie Howe and two impostors appear on To Tell the Truth.
Tags: hockey  Gordie  Howe  To  Tell  the  Truth 
Added: 24th February 2018
Views: 201
Posted By: Lava1964
Forgotten TV Show - Cades County During the 1971-72 TV season, Glenn Ford was offered a series by CBS. Originally CBS preferred Ford do a sitcom, but then realized Ford was more associated with Hollywood westerns than any other genre. Thus Ford starred in the hour-long series called Cade's County. In it, Ford played Sam Cade, the sheriff of Madrid County somewhere in the American southwest. Edgar Buchanan (of Petticoat Junction fame) played senior deputy J.J. Jackson. The show's plots were a combination of police mysteries and western adventures. Cade's County ran on Sundays at 9 p.m. opposite Bonanza on NBC and ABC's Sunday Night Movie. It fared poorly in the ratings and, after 24 episodes, was not renewed for a second season. Here's the opening montage. (The theme song was composed by Henry Mancini.)
Tags: Cades  County  Glenn  Ford  TV  series  CBS 
Added: 19th February 2018
Views: 229
Posted By: Lava1964
Black Tom Explosion 1916 Even though the United States was neutral nation in 1916, it was still occasionally affected by acts of war. The most notable to happen on land was the Black Tom explosion on July 30, 1916, in Jersey City, NJ. It was an act of sabotage by German agents to destroy American-made munitions that were to be supplied to the Allies in the First World War. Black Tom was originally a man-made island constructed around a large black rock in New York Harbor that was a well-known hazard to naval navigation. It was eventually connected by the Lehigh Valley Railroad to the mainland and was absorbed into Jersey City. It became a major munitions depot even before the war. Shortly after midnight on July 30, 1916, a series of small fires was discovered on the pier. Some guards tried to fight the fires while others fled, fearing an explosion. They had good reason to fear such a calamity as 2 million pounds of explosives and small arms were stored on Black Tom Island awaiting shipment to Czarist Russia. The feared explosion came; actually there were several explosions. The first and biggest occurred at 2:08 a.m. It had the force of an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale. Flying fragments caused more than $100,000 in damages to the Statue of Liberty on its gown and torch. (To date, the torch has never been reopened to the public.) Windows 25 miles were shattered and the explosion was felt as far away as Philadelphia. Four people were definitely killed by the blast--including an infant. Some sources claim the fatality total was seven. Blame originally was directed at Black Tom Island watchmen who had lit small smudge-pot fires to drive away mosquitoes, but they were quickly absolved of blame when the true nature of the fires showed obvious evidence of arson. German saboteurs were blamed for the incident which caused $20 million in damages. The Leigh Valley Railroad successfully sued the German government after the war but had no success in collecting any compensation until 1953 when the West German government agreed to pay $95 million. The final payment was made in 1979.
Tags: Black  Tom  Explosion  1916  German  sabotage 
Added: 13th January 2018
Views: 387
Posted By: Lava1964

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