Thursday, October 30, 2008

Captain Haggerty

'Captain' Arthur Haggerty was a well-known and popular dog trainer whose "students" went on to careers as attack dogs, guard dogs, rescue dogs, bomb sniffers, and even actors and actresses.

He was an Army K-9 Unit commander, and when he left the service, he established the Captain Haggerty School for Dogs in NYC. It was there where he became known as dog-trainer to many Hollywood and Broadway stars. He also provided dogs for advertisements as well as movies and tv shows.

Capt. Haggerty was a hulking figure, 6-feet 3-inches and over 300 pounds. He did some acting himself, appearing in "Shamus" (1973) with Burt Reynolds, "Home Movies" (1980), and "Married to the Mob (1988), as well as a few others.

In early 1983, Capt. Haggerty appeared on David Letterman's tv show, talking about his career as a dog trainer, and I recall he had some dogs with him to show how they followed his training techniques. The very next day, I wrote to him, in care of the tv show, and requested a photo.
He replied more than three months later, with this letter and signed photo.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kenneth Williams

Kenneth Williams was an English comic actor who is best remembered for his acting in the series of "Carry On..." movies, beginning in 1958. The "Carry On..." movies are a particular favorite of mine, because of their absurd and double entendre-filled humor. Some of my favorites are "Carry On Sergeant" (1958), "Carry On Nurse" (1958), "Carry On Cleo" (1964), "Carry On Cowboy" (1965), "Carry On Camping" (1968), and "Carry On At Your Convenience" (1971).

Mr. Williams was very active on British tv and stage in between his movie roles. He also had a brief recording career as a folk singer character named 'Rambling Syd Rumpo'.

I wrote to Mr. Williams 1982, requesting a photo. I sent the letter to his residence in England. He replied within one month, sending this post-card size photo.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bill Mumy

One of my favorite tv shows in the 1960s was the sci-fi series "Lost in Space". The show starred June Lockhart and Guy Williams, and among the cast playing their children were Angela Cartwright, Marta Kristen, and Billy Mumy.

Billy Mumy played the role of the youngest child, 'Will Robinson', who was seen usually in the company of the nefarious 'Dr. Zachary Smith' (played by Jonathan Harris) and the 'Robot' as they explored the environs of the uncharted planet on which they'd landed.

A few years earlier, Mr. Mumy came to prominence on an episode of "The Twilight Zone" ("It's a Good Life") in which he played an all-powerful evil child.

In subsequent years, in addition to acting, he has been a musician, instrumentalist, and voice-over artist.

I sent this photo to Mr. Mumy in 1980, to his Los Angeles residence, and he returned it within two weeks.

Billy Mumy has his own website, and it can be viewed here for lots more info about his career and what he's doing today.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner was an actress/comedienne who is best remembered for her five years as a member of the original cast of performers on tv's "Saturday Night Live" beginning in 1975. Among her memorable characters in the sketches are the nasal-voiced broadcaster 'Roseanne Roseannadanna' and a parody of tv interviewer Barbara Walters, 'Baba Wawa'. She appeared in several feature comedies, too, her last being "Haunted Honeymoon" (1986) in which she co-starred with her husband, Gene Wilder.

I sent this photo to Ms. Radner in 1982, and she returned it within two weeks.

Ms. Radner died at the too young age of 42, after a battle with ovarian cancer for several years.

A support group for cancer patients and their families, was founded in Ms. Radner's name. It's called "Gilda's Club" and the website can be visited here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Robby Benson

Robby Benson was one of my favorite young actors of the 1970s. He appeared in many memorable roles in cinema and tv feature movies. Among his early best are: title character in "Jeremy" (1973), 'Johnny Gunther' in "Death Be Not Proud" (1975), 'Billy Joe McAllister in "Ode to Billy Joe" (1976), and 'Henry Steele' in "One on One" (1977). For the latter, he co-wrote the screenplay with his father, Jerry Segal.

I sent Mr. Benson this photo in 1980, to his Los Angeles residence, and he returned it within one month.

Robby Benson has his own website which is updated regularly and has many more details of his extensive career.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Jeanie Roberts - Lost and Found!

This is a guest posting by fellow people-finder, Frank Reighter.
Jeanie Roberts, the giggling/hiccuping nurse in 1934's Academy Award nominated Three Stooges short "Men in Black", has been searched for by Ed Shifres, Bill Cappello and myself, for many years. We have found out what happened to her!

Jeanie (Jeanne) Roberts

She was born in California as Muriel J. Roberts, June 3, 1913, to Cyrus E. Roberts and Muriel Fulcher Roberts. She made 13 films (according to IMDB), beginning with "Men in Black" in 1934, and ending with "Dangerous Holiday" in 1937.

In December, 1936, she married Henry Moeller, Jr., a mortician. According to IMDB, she "Drove from Santa Monica to San Bernardino in an undertaker's ambulance to wed Henry...". She never appeared publicly as Jeanie Roberts again. It was always as Mrs. Henry Moeller. Nothing is known about what happened to the marriage, but when Henry G. Moeller died Feb. 4, 1988, his wife at that time, was Bonnie Ray Moeller.

Through researching various public documents and finding a newspaper death notice for Jeanie's father Cyrus, who died in 1958, it was discovered that Jeanie had a daughter, Barbara Siracusa, who was the informant on both Jeanie's and Jeanie's mother, Muriel Fulcher Roberts (died in 1982), death certificates. She has not, as yet, been located, and we will try to locate her because she should be able to "fill in the blanks" on Jeanie's life.

Muriel J. (Jeanie) Roberts was last married to W. Gordon Garnett, a successful surgeon, sometime around 1960. As Gini Roberts Garnett, she died April 12, 1971 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Los Angeles. She had lived at 2210 Marino Place, in San Marino, CA. She died at age 57, of bronchopneumonia, with conditions of fatty cirrhosis of the liver and subacute and chronic pancreatitis. She was buried April 16, 1971 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA. According to a family member, only 6 people attended the burial.

Eventually an article with more details of her life may be published.

Below is a video clip of two scenes of Jeanie with The Three Stooges in "Men in Black".

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jimmy Durante

Jimmy Durante was an all-around entertainer, from the early 1900s right into the 1970s. He performed on stage, in movies, on radio, and on tv during his very long career.

Mr. Durante was one of my earliest autographed photo requests. I wrote him in 1968, sending the letter to his residence in Beverly Hills, and he responded with this letter and this 5x7 photo.

For a few years following, I sent him a Christmas card. He always sent one in return, always with a theme of 'Santa playing a piano'. Below is one from 1970.

Here's a video clip from 1960 of Jimmy Durante joking and singing along with Steve Allen.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Marjorie White bio now available

This is being posted as a courtesy to Gary Olszewski, who has completed his thoroughly researched biography of 1930s actress Marjorie White, and is now making it available on CD.

Click here for my original blog posting about Gary's research.
Here are a few sample images from the CD, followed by purchasing information:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mary Wickes

Mary Wickes was an actress who began her movie career in the 1930s, and in tv shows from the 1960s into the 1990s. She is known for her supporting and character roles.

Ms. Wickes is probably best remembered for two characters - 'Marie Murkin' in the 1980s tv series "Father Dowling Mysteries" which starred Tom Bosley and Tracy Nelson, and as 'Sister Mary Lazarus' in two comedy feature movies, "Sister Act" (1992) and its sequel "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" (1993), both starring Whoopi Goldberg.

I wrote to Ms. Wickes in 1985, to her Los Angeles residence, requesting a photo, and she sent this photo within two weeks.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wynne Gibson

Wynne Gibson was a beautiful blonde actress who appeared in a few dozen movies of the 1930s. The movies were B-features and she played leading and supporting roles. She left the on-screen part of the movie business to become an agent.

I sent her this photo in 1981, to her residence in Laguna Niguel, California, and she returned it within two weeks.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lowell Thomas

Lowell Thomas was a renowned broadcaster who was a well-traveled person. He broadcast his radio shows from all around the world, wherever he happened to travel. Additionally, he narrated dozens of movie travelogues in the 1930s, as well as wrote many books about his travels.

I'd heard some of his early radio broadcasts when I was collecting 'old-time radio shows' in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He always made everything so very interesting.

In 1980, I wrote to him at his residence in Pawling, New York, sending him two photos I requested he sign. He did, and returned them within one week. They can be seen here and here.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lois January

Lois January was an actress who played leading and supporting roles in many B-movies of the 1930s. She's probably best remembered today, though, for being the leading lady in several B-westerns, co-starring with 'cowboy' actors Johnny Mack Brown, Fred Scott, Bob Steele, and others. I liked her in those features, as she was very pretty and certainly a sight to see among all those rough and tumble cowboys and horses. I'd also seen her in one or two non-westerns.

In 1982, I sent her this vintage portrait, which she signed and returned within two weeks, including two 'contemporary' photos which can be seen here and here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Virginia Sale

Virginia Sale was a character actress who appeared in nearly a couple hundred movies and several tv shows from the late 1920s until she retired in the 1970s. She was adept at playing both dramatic and comedic roles, but it's latter for which she is remembered by fans of old movies.

When I wrote to Miss Sale in 1981, she was a resident of the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, California. I sent her this character pose, which she signed and returned within two weeks.