It would take just a week after the shocking awards ceremony for the response from the big studios to hit the headlines, as they did on the 1st of April, 1949 and read like April's Fool Day jokes, including "Academy Awards May Be Stopped" and "Hollywood Oscars May Be On The Way Out." The first … Continue reading How Hamlet nearly killed Oscar: The big studio revolt that almost ended the Academy Awards
June, 1935: my grandmother, Mitzi in the elegant white hat, with some of Hollywood's hardest working actors at one W.S. Van Dyke's legendary Hollywood parties. There are so many stories in this photo that as I began to research it I was even more convinced that Hollywood's early stars were far more amazing than the … Continue reading W.S. Van Dyke – the trusted director, star maker, party host, and patriot, with one of Hollywood’s saddest endings
You know that incredibly annoying feeling when the answer is on the tip of your tongue? I stared and stared at this photo and thought, "I know who this is. I KNOW who this is!" And then, "Who the hell is this?!" Thankfully, because I had nothing else to occupy me, I thought I would … Continue reading Angela Lansbury – Admiring the mutual admiration society and proud of it
As a child my step-father read a number of classics to me, including David Copperfield. I also watched the old movie on several occasions. I was not only a totally G-rated kid (Mr Rogers' biggest fan) I was particularly fond of the old B&W movies. They were safe, beautifully made, the stories always ended on … Continue reading Mitzi on the set of David Copperfield
In 1934 they knew they had the biggest and the tiniest star on their hands... At five years old she was making $1,250 a week. At first glance, this is a photo of a beloved child star being presented with a "Resolution of Appreciation and Affection" by my great-grandmother Ida Mayer Cummings on behalf of … Continue reading To Shirley Temple with “Appreciation and Affection”
UPDATE: 2 June, 2012 - When I initially added this post I didn't know who the other man is sharing uncle Louis' desk in his office at MGM. Thanks to my aunt who emailed me recently, I now know this is William Powell, a major star who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best … Continue reading Hot-desking with Louis B Mayer
My great-grandmother Ida Mayer Cummings was Louis B Mayer's sister and best friend. They were the middle children of five - Yetta, Ida, LB, Gerald and Ruben. Louis B Mayer's legacy was MGM, AMPAS, the Oscars, the MPAA and other major achievements. What is not as known is that his sister was the same mover and shaker in fundraising, and to this day an event she founded (the same year as LB founded the Academy Awards) is still a fixture in Los Angeles today. She was also the mother of four children, one of whom, Jack Cummings, went on to be a film producer in his own right.