Do You Know Me?

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jdb1

Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by jdb1 »

ChiO wrote:I first remember him as Charlie Halper, noted night club owner, but do some call him Sid Melton?

He makes me smile.
That's the man, all right.

Melton made many, many movies, mostly in the background. However, he had larger roles in such films as The Lost Continent (the dinosaur got him), and Sam Fuller's The Steel Helmet.

On television, Melton was very busy, playing, among others, Charlie Halper on Make Room for Daddy, Sal Petrillo on Golden Girls, and my favorite, the not-so-handyman Alf Monroe on Green Acres. Alf and his sister, Ralph, were two of the worst contractors ever, and they were as surly as New York delicatessen waiters.
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ChiO
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Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by ChiO »

Nebbish, schlemiel or schnook?
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles
jdb1

Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by jdb1 »

ChiO wrote:Nebbish, schlemiel or schnook?
Alf and Ralph would be schlemiels. A schlemiel cons, the nebbish and schnook are conned. There was some old Jewish joke about someone stepping the feet of a schnook and a nebbish -- the schlemiel does the stepping, the schnook says "Ouch"and looks like an injured puppy, and the nebbish says "Oh, excuse me". I forget how it goes now -- sounds something like that joke about Canadians (sorry, Canadians, it's not my joke).
jdb1

Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by jdb1 »

It is raining too hard for me to even contemplate taking a lunchtime walk, so I will turn the floor over to an intrepid Mystery Guest who has braved the elements:

Do you know me?

I attended an Ivy League university, and pursued a course of science studies. But I was also active in college drama, and I loved to sing. In fact, after graduation, I began touring with a band. I was seen and heard by Hollywood scouts, and found myself a contract player at several studios. I started out under my real name, but after a few films, my first name was changed.

My first small role was in a the film of a very famous and successful young star. When I moved to another studio, it was decided that since I was tall, good-looking, athletic and could sing, I'd be a good action star, only with music. I made a series of outdoor with music films. They were well-liked, but I never did get as successful as the two other stars who made such movies. I was supposed to be my studio's "answer" to them, but I never was as popular as they were.

However, although I was thought of as a second lead or singer, I was not limited to one specific type of movie, and I made musicals, comedies, westerns and dramas. In fact, I got an Oscar nomination for one rather grim drama I appeared in early in my career, one that helped to make a minor star into a major one. That star is considered No. 1 on some top 100 Hollywood stars lists. My movie persona rarely changed -- I was almost always the good-natured friend of the lead.

Besides films, I did a lot of radio as a singer, and had my own program for a while. I made the transition to television, and appeared in many comedies, dramas, westerns and anthology series. I had a few recurring roles in some, and I did commercial work as well. I'm not much remembered now, but I was quite popular in my day.

Who am I?
jdb1

Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by jdb1 »

Need a hint?

Our MG made several movies in a particular genre, where he sometimes sang while in motion. As was typical of that genre, he was part of an inter-species couple; and his friend was also in motion while our MG sang.

While our MG used his own name in his first few films, it was decided that the name should be changed, but only one letter of the first name was actually changed.

Our MG was a supporting player in a short-lived TV sitcom featuring a well-known folk singer who was also an Oscar winning actor. The sitcom attempted to satirize the foibles of the upper classes, but it did not catch on with the American public. Our MG played the simple, good-natured best friend of the title character.
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knitwit45
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Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by knitwit45 »

Why do I keep thinking "Dick Foran"? I can see him riding a horse and singing, but I don't think this is the guy????
jdb1

Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by jdb1 »

knitwit45 wrote:Why do I keep thinking "Dick Foran"? I can see him riding a horse and singing, but I don't think this is the guy????

Yes, yes, yes and yes again! Dick Foran, the singing cowboy who was Warners' answer to Autry and Rogers. He started out as Nick Foran, but for reasons unknown was turned into that other guy; maybe to evoke Dick Powell.

Foran made many movies, sang on lots of radio shows, and did lots of TV, almost always the nice guy standing slightly behind the leading man, although he had top billing in quite a few movies. His first film appearance was in a musical sequence in a Shirley Temple vehicle. Foran was cast in Petrified Forest, and got an Oscar nomination for it.

Among his many TV appearances, Foran played the best friend of Burl Ives in the comedy series OK Crackerby!, a program pitting a down to earth (but very rich) Oklahoman played by Ives against the upper class East Coast establishment he though he might like to belong to. As I recall, Brooke Adams (now married to Tony Shaloub) played the daughter. The concept didn't play in 1965. Sounds like the premise for one of today's "reality" shows.
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ChiO
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Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by ChiO »

Did he receive a nomination for PETRIFIED FOREST? My quicky deskside source lists only Walter Brennan, Mischa Auer, Stuart Erwin, Basil Rathbone, and Akim Tamiroff as the 1936 nominees for "Best Supporting Actor".
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles
jdb1

Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by jdb1 »

ChiO wrote:Did he receive a nomination for PETRIFIED FOREST? My quicky deskside source lists only Walter Brennan, Mischa Auer, Stuart Erwin, Basil Rathbone, and Akim Tamiroff as the 1936 nominees for "Best Supporting Actor".
According to everything I read about Foran online he did receive the nod for Petrified Forest. However, as we all know, we can't believe everything we read online. It would be nice to think he did. Frankly, I can't even remember him in the movie. When I think of Dick Foran, I get an image of a burly guy in uniform standing on some kind of platform singing his little heart out while pretty girls in uniform tapdance and grin around him.
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knitwit45
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Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by knitwit45 »

Judith, wasn't he the football player with a crush on Bette? I've never been able to see the entire movie, only bits and pieces here and there, but I remember he was the "big dumb oaf"
jdb1

Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by jdb1 »

knitwit45 wrote:Judith, wasn't he the football player with a crush on Bette? I've never been able to see the entire movie, only bits and pieces here and there, but I remember he was the "big dumb oaf"
Well, now,it's not that I don't remember Dick Foran being in the movie, it's that he just didn't stay with me. To my mind, a lot of those big, lovable lugs in Classic films are fairly interchangeable. The actor needs to give us a little something extra to transcend. Foran was pleasant enough, but he was no Ralph Bellamy. He wasn't even a Nat Pendleton.
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Garbomaniac
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Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by Garbomaniac »

I know what you mean, Judith. But, he was always a welcome sight to me in any film. It is hard to know everyone, and he was one of the first "nobodys" in a Warner film I recognized! In The Sisters with Davis, Bryan and Louise, he was one of the main guys: Flynn, Hale, and Foran.
jdb1

Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by jdb1 »

Wow. I can't believe how long it's been since we played the game. Since Mongo is resting up from all his diligent work of posting photos and making up clues for us on "Sons and Daughters," I thought I'd help us exercise our brains again on this thread. And here comes our Mystery Guest:

Do you know me?

My family had to leave our native country because my father was accused of being a spy. I did well in our adopted land, and got the acting bug while at school. My father insisted I try my hand at a "real" job first, which I did, but I lasted only a year at it before I felt the lure of the stage. I had just gotten started in my career when the Great War broke out, and I served in the army, where I was decorated for bravery.

I was always very athletic, and in the service I honed an athletic skill that was to serve me well throughout my career. In fact, some said I was the best of all onscreen when it came to this. I did well on the stage, progressing from juvenile parts to romantic leads. I performed in my own country and on Broadway as well from time to time.

I decided to try the movies. My interesting looks and distinctive speaking voice soon led me to leading roles, but I was never the hero. Nevertheless, I was extremely popular on both sides of the Atlantic. I had a very long career, and at one point I jumped at the chance to play a famous figure in what evolved into a series of movies. I became forever associated with that role, but although I became bored with it after a time, I always said well, at least it's not the villain.

Family responsiblities obliged me to keep working well into the era of television. I kept up my Broadway career, too, and even won a Tony. I was also active in radio and recording and made many "spoken word" type recordings. Later in my career I did a solo show where I talked about my career and did readings from plays and poetry. Who am I?
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knitwit45
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Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by knitwit45 »

Basil Rathbone!
jdb1

Re: Do You Know Me?

Post by jdb1 »

My, you are decisive.

And you're right! Well done.

I've always wished I could have seen Rathbone in his Tony-winning role as Dr. Sloper in The Heiress. I never cared much for Ralph Richardson in the role.

That one wasn't too terribly challenging for the initiated -- thought I'd ease you all back into the groove. Stay tuned for more.
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