Do You Know Me?

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ken123
Posts: 1807
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 4:08 pm
Location: Chicago

Post by ken123 »

John Agar who was married to Shirley Temple. :)
jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

Correct, Ken.

After being divorced by Temple, Agar's career took a nosedive, and he wound up starring primarily in low-budget sci-fi/monster/horror movies, many of which have a cultish standing today. Agar made quite a few mainstream movies as well, playing minor parts, and he did a lot of TV.

But he is well remembered among underground movie aficiondos for such titles as The Mole People, The Brain from Planet Arous, Women of the Prehistoric Planet, and Zontar: The Thing from Venus. There isn't one title there I wouldn't mind watching on a cold, rainy afternoon.
jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

Please welcome our latest Mystery Guest:

I was born in a venerable old European city, and studied drama there, acting in a few movies as well. When things started to look dangerous for my homeland, my parents urged me to leave the country, which I did, settling in another European country that seemed safer at the time. I was accepted in a drama school there, and also worked as a radio announcer, giving news reports in my native language.

In my new country, I appeared in several stage plays, and did movie work, too. Since I spoke with an accent, I played countless "foreigners" of all kinds, but rarely any from my own land.

I bear a resemblance, in looks and voice, to a very famous and popular European-born romantic leading man, and so I began to get roles as suave types, both good and evil. That actor found greater fame in Hollywood, and I tried my luck there as well. I appeared in quite a few A-level movies, both in the US and in my adopted country. I played a real-life emperor in two movies; I played a famous sea captain, and I appeared in a major big-budget film about a long-ago revolution.

I also appeared in a series of genre films made by a European studio famous for such films. But I am probably best known in America for my recurring role in a series of comedies made by a well-known Hollywood producer-director, starring a very versatile comic actor and fellow citizen.

I have over 100 movies to my credit over a 60-year career, and my last appearance was only recently, in a television version of a story by a world-famous mystery writer.

Who am I?
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ChiO
Posts: 3925
Joined: January 2nd, 2008, 1:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Post by ChiO »

Herbert (twitch, twitch) Lom?
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

Post by jdb1 »

ChiO wrote:Herbert (twitch, twitch) Lom?
That's the man -- well done.

Lom was born in Prague and went to England at the outbreak of WWII. He attended drama school there, and worked at the BBC, doing broadcasts in Czech intended for his beseiged countrymen.

Movie producers thought he looked and sounded like Charles Boyer. He played Napoleon and Captain Nemo, among many others, and had a role as a pirate in Spartacus.

Lom was in many Hammer Studios horror movies and made a lasting impression as Inspector Clouseau's commanding officer in the Pink Panther series. His last screen appearance (to date) was in a British TV version of Agatha Christie's Murder at the Vicarage.

In my research, I learned something I didn't know before, namely that Lom played the King in the London production of The King and I for two years, after he was specifically recruited by Oscar Hammerstein.
jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

Here's a new MG:

I was one of those showbiz kids who was born backstage. I started appearing onstage myself by the age of 12, and spent 20 years in vaudeville as a singer and comic, sometimes performing in drag.

I came to Hollywood at the same time that sound came to the movies. My excellent and versatile speaking voice, and the ability to do dozens of dialect accents, stood me in good stead, and I worked steadily, mostly in comedies, for another 35 years, logging in almost 250 screen appearances.

I made many movies for a famous producer/director who ran his own studio. I wrote scripts and directed for him too. I appeared in quite a few movies which are now considered classics, playing many variations of the same character, instantly recognizable. I also provided voices in animation. I was associated with a particular "shtick," and gave voice to a character who did the same, in a seminal animated film.

You can see me in many of the films of a particularly well-known and long-lasting comedy team.

Who am I?
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ChiO
Posts: 3925
Joined: January 2nd, 2008, 1:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Post by ChiO »

Am I on a roll?

Chester Conklin
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

Post by jdb1 »

Nope, sorry, you've hit a bump in the road.

Our MG did not make any silents. He was a favorite foil in many comedy series, and was usually a bluff and often irate character of various nationalities. Besides working the the famous comedy duo, he made a series of duo shorts himself, paired with an comic actor who was also in movies as part of a trio.

Our MG lived long enough to do television, and appeared on many sitcoms, always playing the same kind of character. He was a semi-regular on an early syndicated children's show that only us old folks remember. Its host was himself a well-known character actor with an unusual voice.

Bear in mind -- the thing most remembered about this actor is his "shtick," which has been imitated many times by other comics, and immortalized in a well-known animated film.
jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

No speculations yet today.

Here's a hint:

Image
melwalton
Posts: 508
Joined: October 14th, 2007, 5:58 pm

mg

Post by melwalton »

Billy Gilbert?
jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

Gesundheit! You got it Mel.

Gilbert's trademark was, of course, the noisy sneeze, and he provided that sound for Sneezy the Dwarft in Disney's Snow White. Gilbert can be seen getting exasperated in numerous Laurel & Hardy movies, and played the same kind of part in dozens of others. He acted, and collaborated on the writing and directing of many of Hal Roach's movies, and had a two-real comedy series of this own co-starring with Shemp Howard. In addition, he was in many full-length movies, almost always blustering and sneezing. One exception is his role as the shy, bumbling, was it process server, or sheriff, who inadvertently saves the day in His Gal Friday.
jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

A new Mystery Guest steps up to the podium:

Do you know me?

Both of my parents were musicians, but I decided I wanted to act on the stage. I had some small success with a few ingenue roles. At the debut of my biggest roles in the most important play I had done so far, I was almost sidelined by a certain not-yet-famous actress. She had been fired from the role I was taking over for being "difficult." She was in the audience as I was about to make my first entrance in an out of town tryout, and she did her best to sabotage me. It didn't work, but she went on to become a far greater star than I did, though she never lost her "difficult" reputation.

I got a movie contract, and appeared in quiet a few early sound movies as a sweet young thing. My biggest role was in a famous fantasy film which had been made as a silent and was remade after my version, each time with a famous leading man in two roles. I was noticed, but I didn't get very far. In another fantasy film, I had the female lead, but the star became ill and the project was stalled, although filming had begun. Because I had other commitments, I was replaced. However, you can still see me in that movie in the long shots.

When my contract ran out I went back to Broadway, and had leading roles in quite a few plays. When Hollywood called me back, it was as a not very sweet thing, and I frequently played vengeful females or the other woman. I made a few movies with one of my frequent Broadway co-stars, Humphrey Bogart.

I ran into big trouble from HUAC. I always maintained that they came after me not for being a Communist, which I maintained I never was, but for being an outspoken supporter of labor -- in this case my fellow actors. I did not work at all during the 1950s, and I did something controversial then: I had a child, at an age which, at that time, was considered unseemly. My son and I managed just fine.

I went back to work after the Blacklist turmoil died down - did a few films, and worked in television, getting a few recurring, minor roles in TV series, and guesting on others. I lived well into my 90s.

Who am I?
feaito

Post by feaito »

Are you Rose Hobart?
melwalton
Posts: 508
Joined: October 14th, 2007, 5:58 pm

mg

Post by melwalton »

Judy

The kleenex was an inspiration,. Also a giveaway. I love those clues, I don't have to do any research, .... m el
jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

feaito wrote:Are you Rose Hobart?
That is correct. Well done. (And Mel, thanks for the compliment.)

As mentioned, Hobart was accomplished as both a stage and screen actress. Her big break came when she was called in to replace Katharine Hepburn in Death Takes a Holiday, which was still in tryouts in Hartford. Hepburn disagreed with the director one time too many, and was fired on a Friday night. Hobart was to go on for her at the Saturday matinee. Hobart was not the understudy - she said she had two days to learn the part. As she was standing in the wings for her first entrance, Hobart said she heard music playing, and saw Hepburn sitting in a box seat with a record player going full blast. But Hobart pressed on, and went to Broadway with the production.
Hobart played Dr. Jekyll's fiance in the Frederic March version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. She made many forgettable films and was dissatisfied with her movie career. She returned to Broadway and worked steadily.

Trying her luck in films again in the 40s, Hobart turned to character roles, and got better parts. She had supporting roles in such films as Susan and God, Nothing but the Truth and Ziegfeld Girl. One of her best roles was as the hateful wife of Humphrey Bogart in Conflict (1945). Bogart plots to murder her, because he decides he likes her sister (Alexis Smith) better. Hobart also had parts in Claudia and David and The Farmer's Daughter. In 1945, Hobart was supposed to play the female lead in Lewton's Isle of the Dead. However, Boris Karloff became ill during the filming, which was put on hold. Because Hobart had other work scheduled she had to leave the production, and she was replaced by Katharine Emery. You can still see Hobart's footage in the long shots.

Throughout her movie career in the 1940s, Hobart was very active in the Screen Actors Guild and other labor organizations protecting the rights of actors. When she was subpoenaed to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committe of Congress, she was convinced that it was because of her work as a labor organizer, and not because they thought she was a Communist, and that studio management was behind it. She refused to cooperate in any way, and was blacklisted.

Married at the time, Hobart kept busy by teaching acting and to her great surprise, having been told by doctors that she would never have children, she found herself pregnant with her first child at the age of 42. Mother and child did fine.

Hobart is still known in the "cinema" community because of an experimental film made by conceptual artist Joseph Cornell in 1936. Cornell bought a copy of the movie East of Borneo (1931) in which Hobart starred. He cut it so that the result is almost entirely scenes of Hobart, because he thought she was the best thing in the movie. He titled his short movie simply Rose Hobart. Hobart's memoirs are called "A Steady Digression to a Fixed Point." Doing this research on her has given me an interest in reading it.

Here is a link to the movie Rose Hobart. The music used is from a piece called "Holiday in Brazil," a recording of which Cornell found in a junk shop.

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