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VIDEO: THE FRIENDS OF LAWRENCE TIERNEY, HOLLYWOOD’S REAL-LIFE TOUGH GUY

2022-11-27T18:43:03+00:00November 26th, 2022|True Crime, TV & Film, Video Of The Month|

More than sixty films. More than thirty television roles. More than seventy arrests. Lawrence Tierney was the toughest, meanest, coldest actor in Hollywood, onscreen and off. An overnight sensation in 1945 as Public Enemy #1 in the movie Dillinger, he proceeded to drink and brawl his way out of a career by the early 1950s – or so it seemed. Lawrence Tierney is the great untold story of the dark side of Hollywood – a story of alcoholism, madness and violence, but also survival, loyalty, and genius. Much more than another fall-from-grace-to-the-gutter entry in Hollywood Babylon, Tierney was a truly gifted actor, and after Hollywood had forgotten him as the tall, handsome, fearsome star of its Golden Age, he made a comeback as a craggy, gravel-voiced bald-headed -- and fearsome -- old man who befriended and inspired a new generation of filmmakers and writers, from John Sayles to Quentin Tarantino.

THE MYSTERY OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN TOOK TO HER GRAVE

2022-08-13T01:56:37+00:00August 11th, 2022|Essays|

We mourn the death of Olivia Newton-John. She was a pleasant singer and actress, an icon to a certain generation of fans who grew up with her, most after she made the transition from British-born Aussie country singer to pop star, the little girls wanting to be her, young boys wanting to be with her – and even more boys wanting to be her. Now that she’s gone, after a long and valiant battle with cancer, Olivia Newton-John is receiving well-deserved honors, but she has left this plane with a mystery that dangles and clouds her legacy. It’s a mystery partially of her own making, a question left unanswered: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO PATRICK MCDERMOTT?

EXCLUSIVE! THE LOST INTERVIEW: AL MARTINO & THE FIGHT TO PLAY JOHNNY FONTANE IN THE GODFATHER

2022-10-21T17:20:46+00:00July 16th, 2022|Books We Love, Literature, TV & Film|

Al Martino played crooner (and wedding singer) Johnny Fontane. It was a role that Frank Sinatra tried to rub out. Frank believed the character in Mario Puzo’s novel was based on him, but it was a role Martino knew was his. A popular Italian-American balladeer in the early 1950s, he’d been forced to move to Great Britain after he defied the mobsters who’d bought his management contract. Martino returned to America and fought his way back onto the charts and success in the 1960s.

SUNDAY! ONE NIGHT ONLY! THE MAN WHO KILLED JERRY LEWIS

2022-05-19T01:43:47+00:00May 18th, 2022|Comedy, Essays|

Bobcat Goldthwait comes out and introduces the clips that Jerry brought, and the clips are running. There's the famous dance down the stairs from Cinderfella. There’s him doing the incredibly famous boardroom bit from The Errand Boy. And I'm watching Jerry look at himself. He was seventy-six, overweight and nobody knows who he is anymore, and he's looking at the twenty-six-year-old version of himself when he was super-famous. And I see Jerry look out at the half-full crowd, and then Jerry fell to the ground. And I think he’s dead.

APRIL 29-30, 1992: LET THE L.A. RIOTS BEGIN

2022-04-30T15:55:21+00:00April 29th, 2022|Essays|

On April 29, 1992, jurors in Simi Valley, California acquitted five Los Angeles police officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney King. Los Angeles citizens responded to the news with a display of widespread civil disobedience and destruction that became known as the Los Angeles Riots. The evening the violence began, Burt Kearns, a producer of the syndicated nightly tabloid magazine series, Hard Copy, was sharing a pizza with correspondent Rafael Abramovitz at Santopietro’s restaurant. Thirty years later, the following is adapted from his memoir, Tabloid Baby.

MAKING THE WILDEST SHOW IN LAS VEGAS PART I: SAM

2022-04-29T13:34:15+00:00April 27th, 2022|Music|

Louis Prima, Keely Smith and Sam Butera revolutionized Las Vegas, the lounge scene and 20th century popular music when they launched their spectacular act in December 1954 at the Sahara hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The story of their success has never been told in full, and never accurately – until now. Based on long-hidden interviews with the principals and extensive research, Burt Kearns reveals how all the parts fell into place, long before that historic debut. In Part One, we meet the man who answered the call of The Wildest, the key player without whom this success story would never have happened.

SOMETHING HAPPENED TO FRANK SINATRA’S GRAVE

2022-04-04T20:16:01+00:00April 4th, 2022|Music|

I’d heard that something had happened to Frank Sinatra's grave. That someone defaced the memorial to the most important musical artist of the 20th century. Attacking Sinatra? This was like taking a wrecking ball to Graceland. Reading about it was one thing. I had to see for myself.

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