DCS: virginia o’brien

Virginia O’Brien was at the very top in the 1940s. She was featured in 17 films, most of which showcased her comedic ability and lovely singing voice. But, what made Virginia stand out among her contemporaries was her style. And her style was deadpan. In numerous featured performances, whether fronting a big band or at …

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DCS: maila nurmi

With a sketchy background story involving a family lineage link to Finnish athlete Paavo Nurmi, Maila Nurmi moved from her native Massachusetts to New York to pursue an acting career. While seeking her “big break,” the striking and statuesque Maila posed for pin-up photos as well as for artists like Antonio Vargas and the notorious …

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DCS: gilbert gottfried

My wife and I recently visited the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York. Despite its somewhat remote location, the center houses an impressive and comprehensive collection of all aspects of comedy — including films, props, costumes and awards. Through numerous interactive displays, the world of comedy is explored, reviewed, analyzed and, of course, celebrated. …

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DCS: yvette mimieux

Although her career spanned five decades, Yvette Mimieux flew just under the radar. She was in a number of roles for which she recieved critical praise, but they were in movies that were financial flops, so her efforts were sadly overshadowed and practicalityforgotten. Her most notable and memorable role was in George Pal’s 1960 groundbreaking …

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DCS: bill thompson

The child of vaudeville performers, Bill Thompson’s destiny was show business. At 21, he started singing and doing voices on The Breakfast Club, a popular national morning radio show originating in Chicago. He developed a slow-speaking, mush-mouth character he dubbed “Mr. Wimple.” Bill would nurture this voice for the rest of his career. In 1936, …

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DCS: tommy kirk

A chance audition for the role of “Joe Hardy” on a serialized version of The Hardy Boys was Tommy Kirk’s ticket to stardom. The show, broadcast as part of the popular Mickey Mouse Club, was the first installment in Tommy’s long, productive and lucrative association with the Walt Disney Company. 1957 saw Tommy star in …

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DCS: george mann

Tall, lanky George Mann played center on the Venice Union Polytechnic High High School basketball team. He also served as vice president of the school’s drama club… and that was his true calling. He starred in a production of the farce What Happened to Jones?, along with classmate, future actress (and future mother of singer …

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DCS: heather angel

Heather Angel is one of those actors that I discovered late in their career. I knew Heather from her recurring role in the 1960s sitcom Family Affair. She played the very proper “Miss Faversham,” a nanny who cares for the children of one of Bill Davis’ (Brian Keith) neighbors in the high-rise Manhattan apartment building. …

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DCS: david l. lander

David L. Lander teamed up with his college pal Michael McKean to form the irreverent comedy troupe The Credibility Gap. The ensemble also included LA radio personality Richard Beebe and comedian Harry Shearer. David and Harry Shearer performed an updated twist on the classic Abbott & Costello “Who’s on First?” bit substituting rock band names …

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