News from the Archive

Feel Good Friday: A Pick-Me-Up From The Girl Next Door

April 11th, 2014

Dawn Wells, known best for her role as "Mary Ann Summers" on Gilligan's Island, was also a former Miss Nevada and a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press. She also started a clothing line, Wishing Wells, for the elderly and disabled. The actress/beauty queen/interviewer/designer had this little gem of advice to offer in her Archive interview: 

Nothing like a little inspiration from "Mary Ann!" Learn more pearls of wisdom from Dawn Wells in her full Archive interview.

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Remembering Mickey Rooney

April 7th, 2014
Mickey Rooney

We're sad to hear of the passing of actor Mickey Rooney, who died yesterday, Sunday, April 7, 2014, at the age of 93. Rooney was a film, stage, and television star, garnering four Oscar nominations throughout his lifetime and winning one Emmy (for his performance in the TV movie Bill). Though he's perhaps best remembered for his movie roles in the "Mickey McGuire" and "Andy Hardy" films, Rooney made several memorable television appearances, including those on Playhouse 90's "The Comedian" and Alcoa Hour's "Eddie." He also had a short-lived sitcom, Mickey, and appeared on the very first episode of The Judy Garland Show.

Below are some excerpts from his 2001 Archive interview:

On his start in entertainment:

I was back stage and I went out on the stage one day with a little harmonica, with the three notes, and my father was doing what they called a boot box scene - they're sitting getting their shoes shined - and the resin on the stage from the dancers made me sneeze. I sneezed and my father heard it, and he went back at the boot box and he pulled me out in front of the audience, and he said, "what are you doing back there, Sonny?" He called me Sonny, and I said, "I don’t know, Papa." He said, "What’s that on your neck? I said, "this is my harmonica." And he says, "can you play it?" I said, "sure." And then toot-toot-toot-toot and everybody laughed, and I looked over on the side - my mother was over there going, "what are you doing out there?" My father was afraid she was gonna smack my rompers. I went off stage, and Dick Sisler the manager said to him, "Joe, why don’t we leave the kid in the show?" And he said, "no … he’s too young, maybe a little later on." So they waited for about two, three years, and then they put me in the show.

On starring in the "Mickey McGuire" shorts:

We made about 35, 40 or 50 of them, and they were just on reelers. Then that became a reel and half, I think that’s all there were. But there were a lot of dogs and cats, and a lot of goats, and a lot of animals. We made it down by the Los Angeles River in those days. Boy, they had red ants and they used to bite us something terrible.

On the "Andy Hardy" movies:

Well that was when I was under contract with Metro Golden Mayer, and they just got the series put together… Mr. Mayer thought it was a wonderful series to have the family, he was always family oriented, and he wanted to have a family oriented in the "Andy Hardy" pictures. So the first "Judge Hardy" was Lionel Barrymore, and he only did one, and then we had Lewis Stone who continued on, on and on. It was wonderful working with him, and he was a wonderful man.

On working with Judy Garland:

She was a wonderful girl, and we knew what we were going to say before we said it to each other. We were great friends, and I know that the world is saddened by having lost Judy.

On winning an Emmy for his performance in the TV movie Bill:

Bill Sackter was his name, and he was a wonderful man, and he had trouble. Now why they wanted to do it, I don’t know, but I did it, and I won the Emmy for it. My wife was with me - Jan was with me - and that was a wonderful moment for Jan and myself.

On advice to aspiring actors:

On how he'd like to be remembered:

That I was a nice guy and that I tried. I did my work well.

 

Wacth Mickey Rooney's full Archive interview and read his obituary in The New York Times

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Feel Good Friday: Director Delbert Mann on Fate and Following Your Dream

April 4th, 2014
Delbert Mann

Delbert Mann was an Emmy-winning and Oscar-winning director, for the Producers' Showcase episode "Our Town" and the feature film "Marty," respectively. He was also a fighter pilot during World War II. In his Archive interview, Mann shares the touching story of fellow pilot Rufus Burns, and how Burns' fate inspired Mann to pursue his own dream of being part of the theater. Take a look:

Life is short. Take a note from Delbert and follow your dreams!

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Remembering Lorenzo Semple, Jr.

March 28th, 2014
Lorenzo Semple, Jr.

We're sad to hear of the passing of writer Lorenzo Semple, Jr., who died this morning at the age of 91 in Los Angeles, CA. Semple served as a journalist during World War II and broke into Hollywood writing for Burke's Law, The Aloca Hour, The Rogues, and The Rat Patrol before creating the iconic TV show Batman. Semple also enjoyed a successful career in feature films, penning "Papillion," "The Parallax View," "Three Days of the Condor," "Never Say Never Again," and the cult classics "Pretty Poison" and "Flash Gordon."

Below are some selections from his 2008 Archive interview:

On adapting Batman for television:

I read four comics that had each of the famous villains, Riddler, Joker, Catwoman and Penguin and the back story is given very simply: Bruce Wayne's millionaire parents were murdered by criminals. That’s all it said, "murdered by criminals" and you know it’s not by nuns or anybody else. Murdered by criminals. So he decides to devote his life to fighting criminals and a very short amount of research showed the one thing that all criminals were terrified of was bats. That’s Batman. I always said that any series or drama that purports that to be its story cannot possibly be serious. It could not possibly be serious. It is high comedy. It's comedy. I mean it is satirical, camp, whatever you want to call it, and I love the idea and I thought immediately as that. I knew it’d be fun to write.

On writing for Batman:

On advice to aspiring writers:

On his legacy:

Watch Lorenzo Semple, Jr.'s full Archive interview and read his obituary in The Hollywood Reporter.

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Feel Good Friday: Life Advice from Fitness Guru Jack LaLanne

March 28th, 2014
Jack LaLanne

Fitness master Jack LaLanne lived to the ripe old age of 96, following a healthy lifestyle of exercising regularly and avoiding sugar. He was also an incredibly motivating figure, a bodybuilding machine inventor, and host of the syndicated fitness series The Jack LaLanne Show.

Take a look at Jack in action - and pay special attention if you believe you suffer from "pooped-out-itis." 

Though Jack is no longer with us, his words still inspire.

Check out more gems from Jack in his full Archive interview.

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