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The BBC has received a mixed reaction to a spoof documentary broadcast this evening about spaghetti crops in Switzerland.  The hoax Panorama programme, narrated by distinguished broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, featured a family from Ticino in Switzerland carrying out their annual spaghetti harvest. It showed women carefully plucking strands of spaghetti from a tree and laying them in the sun to dry.

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But some viewers failed to see the funny side of the broadcast and criticised the BBC for airing the item on what is supposed to be a serious factual programme. Others, however, were so intrigued they wanted to find out where they could purchase their very own spaghetti bush.

Exotic delicacy

a121305_spaghetti1Spaghetti was not a widely-eaten food in the UK and was considered by many as an exotic delicacy. Mr Dimbleby explained how each year the end of March is a very anxious time for Spaghetti harvesters all over Europe as severe frost can impair the flavour of the spaghetti. He also explained how each strand of spaghetti always grows to the same length thanks to years of hard work by generations of growers.

This is believed to be one of the first times the medium of television has been used to stage an April Fools Day hoax.

In Context

The origins of April Fools Day are not clear but it is known that the tradition of practical joking and mischief-making dates back to Ancient Roman times.  It would appear that the festival is closely related to the coming of Spring.

Ancient Romans and Celts celebrated a festival of practical joking at about the time of the Vernal Equinox, as do millions of India’s Hindus. The French also mark 1 April but instead of April Fools they call it Poisson d’Avril (April Fish).

April Fool or “Aprilspøk” as we call it in Norway has a long tradition both in national radio and television. And they have pulled a few very good ones over the years – Ted

Tekst from BBC’s OnThisDay

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Well, this is Ronnie Barker doing one of his single sketches and anyone who are familiar with The Two Ronnies (Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett) knows how that can turn out.

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jeanne-crain

Jeanne Elizabeth Crain (May 25, 1925 – December 14, 2003) was an American actress whose career spanned from 1943 to 1975. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in the 1949 film Pinky, in which she played the leading role. She was also noted for her ability in ice skating.

Career

a12116_craig_05In 1944, Crain starred in Home in Indiana and In the Meantime, Darling. Her acting was critically panned, but she gained nationwide attention. It resulted in landing the leading role in The Shocking Miss Pilgrim in October 1944, a musical film which was eventually made with Betty Grable as the star.

Crain first received critical acclaim when she starred in Winged Victory (1944). She co-starred in 1945 with Dana Andrewsin the musical film State Fair, in which Louanne Hogan dubbed Crain’s singing numbers. After that, Crain often had singing parts in films, and they were invariably dubbed, in most cases by Hogan. Also in 1945, Crain starred in Leave Her to Heaven with Gene Tierney. Her ice skating ability was on display in the 1946 film, Margie, in which she and Conrad Janis danced around the ice rink as her boyfriend, Alan Young, slipped and stumbled his way along the ice.

a12116_craig_02In 1949, Crain appeared in three films — A Letter to Three Wives, The Fan, and Pinky, the latter earning her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Pinky was controversial, since it told the story of a light-skinned African American woman who passes for white in the Northern United States. Although Lena Horne and other black actresses were considered, producer Darryl F. Zanuckchose to cast a white actress for fear of racial backlash.

Crain starred opposite Myrna Loy and Clifton Webb in the 1950 biographical film Cheaper by the Dozen. Next, Crain paired with Cary Grant in the Joseph L. Mankiewicz film of the offbeat drama People Will Talk (1951). Despite Jeanne heavily campaigning for the female lead, Anne Baxter was initially cast in the part, but when she had to forfeit due to pregnancy, Crain was given the role after all. Shortly after, she starred in Charles Brackett‘s production The Model and the Marriage Broker (1951). Cast in May 1951, Crain was Brackett’s first choice for the role. Crain was reunited with Loy for Belles on Their Toes (1952), the sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen.

a12116_craig_03While still at 20th Century Fox, Crain played a young wife quickly losing her mind amidst high-seas intrigue in Dangerous Crossing(1953), co-starring Michael Rennie. Crain then starred in a string of films for Universal Pictures, including a notable pairing with Kirk Douglas in Man Without a Star(1955).

Crain showed her dancing skills in 1955’s Gentlemen Marry Brunettes co-starring Jane Russell, Alan Young, and Rudy Vallee. The production was filmed on location inParis. The film was based on the Anita Loos sequel to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Gentlemen Marry Brunettes was popular throughout Europe at the time and was released in France as A Paris Pour les Quatre (To Paris for the Four), and in Belgium as Cevieren Te Parijs. Later in the 1950s, Crain, Russell, and another actress formed a short-lived singing and dancing lounge act on the Strip in Las Vegas.

a12116_craig_04In 1956, Crain starred opposite Glenn Ford, Russ Tamblyn, and Broderick Crawford in the Western film The Fastest Gun Alive directed by Russell Rouse. In 1957, she played a socialite who helps a floundering singer and comedian (Frank Sinatra) redeem himself in The Joker Is Wild.

In 1959, Crain appeared in a CBS special television production of Meet Me in St. Louis. Also starring in the broadcast were Loy, Walter Pidgeon, Jane Powell, and Ed Wynn, with top billing going to Tab Hunter. Film roles became fewer in the 1960s as Crain went into semiretirement. She appeared as Nefertiti in the Italian production of Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile (1961) with Edmund Purdom and Vincent Price. During this period, Crain appeared – for the second time – as one of the mystery guests on the CBS game show, What’s My Line?, and made guest appearances on the NBC Western series, Riverboat, with Darren McGavin, and the ABC detective a12116_craig_01series,Burke’s Law, starring Gene Barry.

She starred again with Dana Andrews in Hot Rods To Hell (1967). Her last films were Skyjacked (1972) and The Night God Screamed (1975).

Legacy

Crain’s career is fully documented by a collection of memorabilia about her assembled by Charles J. Finlay, a longtime publicist at 20th Century Fox. The Jeanne Crain Collection resides at the Cinema Archives at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. These archives also hold the papers of Ingrid Bergman, Frank Capra,Clint Eastwood, and others.

Filmography

Film

Year Film Role Notes

1943

The Gang’s All Here

Chorus Girl/Pool Party Guest

uncredited

1944

Home in Indiana

‘Char’ Bruce

 

In the Meantime, Darling

Margaret ‘Maggie’ Preston

 

Winged Victory

Helen

 

1945

State Fair

Margy Frake

a.k.a. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair
also Soundtrack

Leave Her to Heaven

Ruth Berent

 

1946

Centennial Summer

Julia Rogers

also Soundtrack

Margie

Marjorie ‘Margie’ MacDuff

also Soundtrack

1948

You Were Meant for Me

Peggy Mayhew

 

Apartment for Peggy

Peggy Taylor

also Soundtrack

1949

A Letter to Three Wives

Deborah Bishop

 

The Fan

Lady Margaret ‘Meg’ Windermere

a.k.a. Lady Windermere’s Fan

Pinky

Patricia ‘Pinky’ Johnson

Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress

1950

Cheaper by the Dozen

Ann Gilbreth

 

I’ll Get By

Jeanne Crain

uncredited
Cameo appearance

1951

Take Care of My Little Girl

Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Erickson

 

People Will Talk

Deborah Higgins

 

The Model and the Marriage Broker

Kitty Bennett

 

1952

Belles on Their Toes

Ann Gilbreth

a.k.a. Belles on Their Toes: The Further Adventures of the Gilbreth Family

O. Henry’s Full House

Della Young

Segment The Gift of the Magi

1953

Dangerous Crossing

Ruth Stanton Bowman

 

Vicki

Jill Lynn

 

City of Bad Men

Linda Culligan

 

1954

Duel in the Jungle

Marian Taylor

 

1955

Man Without a Star

Reed Bowman

 

Gentlemen Marry Brunettes

Connie Jones/Mitzi Jones

also Soundtrack

The Second Greatest Sex

Liza McClure

also Soundtrack

1956

The Fastest Gun Alive

Dora Temple

 

1957

The Tattered Dress

Diane Blane

 

The Joker Is Wild

Letty Page

a.k.a. All the Way

1960

Guns of the Timberland

Laura Riley

 

1961

Twenty Plus Two

Linda Foster

a.k.a. It Started in Tokyo

Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile

Tenet/Nefertiti

Original title: Nefertiti, regina del Nilo

1962

Madison Avenue

Peggy Shannon

 

Pontius Pilate

Claudia Procula

Original title: Ponzio Pilato

1963

Invasion 1700

Helen

Original title: Col ferro e col fuoco
a.k.a. Daggers of Blood
a.k.a. With Fire and Sword

1967

Hot Rods to Hell

Peg Phillips

a.k.a. 52 Miles to Terror

1971

The Night God Screamed

Fanny Pierce

a.k.a. Scream

1972

Skyjacked

Mrs. Clara Shaw

a.k.a. Sky Terror

Television
Year Title Role Notes

1955

Star Stage

Nancy

1 episode

1956

The Ford Television Theatre

Joyce Randall

1 episode

1958

Playhouse 90

Daisy Buchanan

1 episode

Schlitz Playhouse of Stars

Ruth Elliot

1 episode

1959

Meet Me in St. Louis

Rose Smith

TV movie

Goodyear Theatre

Lila Babrek Barnes

1 episode

Riverboat

Laura Sutton

1 episode

1960-62

G.E. True Theater

Hope/Marion Miller

3 episodes

1963

The Dick Powell Theatre

Elsie

1 episode

1964-65

Burke’s Law

Amy Booth / Lorraine Turner / Polly Martin

3 episodes

1968

The Danny Thomas Hour

Frances Merrill

1 episode

The Name of the Game

Mrs. McKendricks

1 episode

1972

Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law

Lily MacMurdy

1 episode

Text and filmography table from Wikipedia

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In case your TV should suddenly simply call it a day and decide to hibernate and you’re left sitting staring at a dull grey soundless screen, here’s a little something to keep you occupied while you wait for the repair man to arrive. If you combine it with yesterday’s 30 shots it should turn out to be quite an entertaining evening after all – Ted

Image found at TurnOfTheCentury

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a10451_peter weyngard

And he was very popular in Norway in the late sixties because of a TV series I haven’t got a snowballs chance in hell remembering what was called  – Ted

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There are actors who become stars because they strike awe — because they’re imposing, powerful, monumental. And then there was James Garner.

Garner, who died Saturday night of natural causes at age 86, was no toothpick of a man — he was a former high school football and basketball player who kept his rugged, weathered good looks long into life. But the characters he became famous for, especially TV’s Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford, won you over with their minds. They got through trouble with cleverness, charm and subtle wit. Garner wasn’t the kind of star who won love because he seemed so elevated above you: he made you love him by showing you that he was on your level — had in fact 1952_garner_02spent some time down in the dirt, brushed off the dust, and moved on with a rascally smile.

The handsome Garner was a natural for westerns and war pictures and adventure movies. But the characters that proved the best fit for his natural, easygoing charm were anything but typical screen stars. He came of age as an actor in the heyday of the TV western, not by playing an upstanding lawman but as the wily, disarming card shark Bret Maverick in the action-comedy Maverick, a gambler and ladies’ man who had the fastest mind in the West.

Garner’s most famous role, as Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files in 1974, was the perfect meeting of Garner’s talents and the spirit of the age. Like Bret Maverick, Rockford was a screen-hero archetype who became all the bigger for being cut down to size: a private detective who’d spent time in jail on a bad rap, always one step ahead of the bill collectors and one good night’s sleep shy of his peak. He was not a pressed suit; he was a rumpled jacket that could use a dry cleaning. And that was what made him wear so comfortably.

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In the end, charm and humor wear more comfortably than rage and drama. Audiences love that kind of character. Fate loves that kind of character. If you need a quick thumbnail philosophy for living, it would not be a terrible one to simply remember to ask yourself, whenever you face adversity, “What would Jim Rockford do?” For posing that question, and giving it such an entertaining answer, thank you James Garner, and RIP.

Text from TIME

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MacGyver’s Multitool

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I guess a lot of you out there remember MacGyver, that bloody irritating sod who managed to get out of just about any awkward situation with what ever he found laying around. Well, now you can be that irritating sod. MacGyver’s multitool can now be yours – Ted

Image found at lafinlarry

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Fawlty Towers is a British sitcom produced by BBC Television that was first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975 and 1979. Twelve episodes were made (two series, each of six episodes). The show was written by John Cleese and his then wife Connie Booth, both of whom also starred in the show.

The series is set in Fawlty Towers, a fictional hotel in the seaside town of 446_Fawlty Towers_04Torquay, on the "English Riviera". The plots centre around tense, rude and put-upon owner Basil Fawlty (Cleese), his bossy wife Sybil (Prunella Scales), a comparatively normal chambermaid Polly (Booth), and hapless Spanish waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs) and their attempts to run the hotel amidst farcical situations and an array of demanding and eccentric guests.

In a list drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted by industry professionals, Fawlty Towers was named the best British television series of all time.

Origins
446_Fawlty Towers_02In May 1971 the Monty Python team stayed at the Gleneagles Hotel (which is referred to in "The Builders" episode) in Torquay whilst filming on location. John Cleese became fascinated with the behaviour of the owner, Donald Sinclair, whom Cleese later described as "the rudest man I’ve ever come across in my life." This behaviour included Sinclair throwing a timetable at a guest who 446_Fawlty Towers_05asked when the next bus to town would arrive;[citation needed] and placing Eric Idle’s briefcase (put to one side by Idle while waiting for a car with Cleese) behind a wall in the garden on the suspicion that it contained a bomb (Sinclair explained his actions by claiming the hotel had ‘staff problems’). He also criticised the American-born 446_Fawlty Towers_03Terry Gilliam’s table manners for not being "British" (that is, he switched hands with his fork whilst eating). Cleese and Booth stayed on at the hotel after filming, furthering their research of the hotel owner. Cleese later played a hotel owner called Donald Sinclair in the 2001 movie Rat Race.

At the time, Cleese was a writer on the 1970s British TV sitcom Doctor in the House for London Weekend Television. An early prototype of the character that became known as Basil Fawlty was developed in an episode ("No Ill Feeling") of the third Doctor series (titled Doctor at Large). In this edition, the main character checks into a small town hotel, his very presence seemingly winding up the aggressive and incompetent manager (played by Timothy Bateson) with a domineering wife. The show was broadcast on 30 May 1971. Cleese parodied the contrast between organisational dogma and sensitive customer service in many personnel training videotapes issued with a serious purpose by his company, Video Arts.

Cleese said in 2008 that the first Fawlty Towers script, written with then wife Connie Booth, was rejected by the BBC. At a 30th-anniversary event honouring the show, Cleese said:

"Connie and I wrote that first episode and we sent it in to Jimmy Gilbert," the executive "whose job it was to assess the quality of the writing said, and I can quote [his note to me] fairly accurately, ‘This is full of clichéd situations and stereotypical characters and I cannot see it as being anything other than a disaster.’ And Jimmy himself said, ‘You’re going to have to get them out of the hotel, John, you can’t do the whole thing in the hotel.’ Whereas, of course, it’s in the hotel that the whole pressure cooker builds up."

Text from Wikipedia 

I have all episodes of Fawlty Towers both on DVD and video and twice a year I invite friends who love the series as much as me to a Fawlty Towers week-end where we eat well, drink well and do nothing else than watch Fawlty Towers from Friday evening to Sunday evening. Very popular events if I may say so myself – Ted

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209_Orchidea De Santis_001Orchidea De Santis (born 20 December 1948, Bari) is an Italian television and film actress.

Biography
Orchidea De Santis is an Italian actress in cinema, theatre and television. Her films include Il Vizio di Famiglia directed by Mariano Laurenti, Per Amare Ofelia by Flavio Mogherini, Concerto per Pistola Solista by Michele Lupo, Colpo di Stato by Luciano Salce (1969) and Paolo il caldo by Marco Vicario (1973). She appeared briefly in Il Nero by Giovanni Vento (1965) and Una Macchia Rosa by Enzo Muzii (1970). Since the mid-1980s, her film work has declined in favor of other activities.
Her theater work includes comedies such as Morto un Papa se ne fa un Altro, Strega Roma and Chicchignola written by Ettore Petrolini, all of which were directed by Ghigo De Chiara and Fiorenzo Fiorentini.

De Santis appeared in Sottoveste by Castellacci e Ventimiglia and Love and Life by Mike Immordino. She wrote and acted in La Bambola Orchidea featuring the music of maestro Aldo Saitto, as well as Chicchignola with Mario Scaccia, and La cicogna si diverte by Carlo Alighero.

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For the RAI radio, De Santis appeared in many roles, mainly in the serials Barocco a Roma and Racconto Italiano which were broadcast in the late 1970s. In the 1989 she began working in the international broadcasting department where she produced Notturno Italiano, AZ per gli Italiani all’Estero, Italia Canta, Itinerari Italiani, Facile Ascolto.She was producer of the radio show L’Arca di Noè, and 13 episodes of Ciak si esegue. She also developed and produced a program about animals called L’Anello di Re Salomone. She is currently the director of, Due di Notte.

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Her television work includes Roosvelt (Rai Tre 1986), Maga Circe and Lucrezia Borgia (Rai Uno 1987) and Il caso Redoli, a TV series: The Great Trials (Rai Uno 1996).Outside of cinema and theater, she worked with the city government of Rome, organizing a review of 1970s Italian cinema called Italia (de)Genere.

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Promo CardsKathleen Hughes (born November 14, 1928) is an American film, stage, and television actress from Hollywood, California.

Kathleen’s ambition as an actress came from two sources. She saw a film with actor Donald O’Connor which gave her the idea that "acting looked like fun." Also, her uncle, F. Hugh Herbert, was a playwright who authored Kiss and Tell and The Moon is Blue, among other titles

Motion pictures
She was discovered in a Little Theater production in 1948. Signed to a seven-year contract with 20th Century Fox, she made fourteen films for the studio. She appeared in five motion pictures for Universal Studios, including the cult film It Came From Outer Space. Released on May 27, 1953, the sci-fi feature was adapted from the writing of Ray Bradbury. It was Universal’s first entry into the 3D-film medium.

She had scenes in "Ironweed," "Revenge," and "The Couch Trip," all of which were cut before their releases.

189_Kathleen Hughes_008189_Kathleen Hughes_011189_Kathleen Hughes_015

She considers The Glass Web (1953) with Edward G. Robinson her best film. Hughes credits actor Paul Henreid with giving her the major break in her career. This came when he chose her for the role of the stunning blonde in the movie, For Men Only (1952), which also is known as The Tall Lie.

189_Kathleen Hughes_001

Television
By 1956 Kathleen was appearing in television series. She played in episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1956–1957), Telephone Time (1956), The Bob Cummings Show (1958), The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, 77 Sunset Strip (1959), Hotel de Paree (1959), Tightrope (1959), General Electric Theater (1960–1962), The Tall Man (1961), Bachelor Father (1962), Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (1965), and I Dream of Jeannie (1967).

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In 1962, Hughes played the role of murder victim Lita Krail in the 6th season, 1962 episode of Perry Mason, entitled "The Case of the Double-Entry Mind."

She played the recurring role of Mrs. Coburn on the television series The Ghost & Mrs. Muir. She appeared on M*A*S*H as Lorraine Blake, wife of unit commander Henry Blake, in a home movie she sent to him.

189_Kathleen Hughes_013

Her last television credit to date is for an episode of Finder of Lost Loves in which she played Edward’s secretary.

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114_serena_grandi_008Serena Grandi (born on March 23, 1958 in Bologna) is an Italian actress, famous as an icon and sex symbol in Italian cinema of 1980s and 1990s. Known for her junoesque body and voluptuous measurements, she was considered one of the main pin-up girls of Italy. Some films credited her as Vanessa Steiger.

Biography
Serena Grandi is the stage name for Serena Faggioli, born in Bologna. Graduated in computer programming, she was firstly employed in a scientific analysis laboratory. She started her acting career in 1980 playing a supporting role in the comedy film La Compagna di viaggio by Ferdinando Baldi.

In the same year she played the role of Maggie in the controversial film Antropophagus, directed by Joe D’Amato. This film is well known among horror movie fans for its extreme gore sequences. After several minor roles, she took the title role in Tinto Brass’ Miranda, which gave her the status of sex symbol in her native Italy and set the path for her stardom.

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Through the 1980s, she made nearly 20 films, mainly appearing in "Commedie sexy all’italiana" and erotic films, but also starring in sword epics such as The Adventures of Hercules and in some horror films. In 1987 Lamberto Bava gave her the role of Gloria in his film Delirium. In 1991 she married the twenty years older antiquarian Beppe Ercole, with whom she had a son Edoardo; the couple divorced in 1998.

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In the 1990s, she started to back away from the spotlight a bit; during this time she focused her career on television series. In 2003-2004 Grandi spent 157 days under house arrest accused of having sold a few grams of cocaine. The case was later acquitted.

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In 2006, she was candidate in the list of Azione Sociale, a right party led by Alessandra Mussolini, but she was not elected. The same year she published his first novel, L’amante del federale. In 2008, after ten years of break, she returned to acting.

114_serena_grandi_009Filmography
La grande bellezza (2013)
Il papà di Giovanna (2008)
Monella (1998)
Radiofreccia (1998)
Anni ’50 (1998, mini TV series)
Le ragazze di Piazza di Spagna (1998, TV series)
Ladri si nasce (1997, TV)
Gli inaffidabili (1997)
La strana storia di Olga O. (1995)
Delitto passionale (1994)
Il prezzo della vita(1993, TV)
Graffiante desiderio (1993)
Donne sottotetto (1992)
Saint Tropez, Saint Tropez (1992)
Vendetta: Secrets of a Mafia Bride (1991, TV)
Per odio per amore (1991, TV)
In nome del popolo sovrano (1990)
L’insegnante di violoncello (1990)
Delirium (1987)
Les exploits d’un jeune Don Juan (1987)
Teresa (1987)
Rimini Rimini (1987)
114_serena_grandi_013Roba da ricchi (1987)
Abbronzatissima (1987)
Zanzibar(1986, TV)
The Adventures of Hercules (1985)
Miranda(1985)
Sogni e bisogni (1985, TV miniseries )
La signora della notte (1985)
Desiderando Giulia (1985)
Acapulco, prima spiaggia… a sinistra (1983)
Sturmtruppen II (1983)
Malamore (1982)
Pierino la peste alla riscossa (1982)
Pierino colpisce ancora (1982)
Teste di cuoio (1981)
Antropophagus (1980, as Vanessa Steiger)
114_serena_grandi_011Tranquille donne di compagna (1980)
La compagna di viaggio (1980)

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104_Helga Sommerfeld_01German stage and film actress Helga Sommerfeld (1941 – 1991) appeared in more than 35 films and did countless theatre performances. She appeared in several European crime and spy films of the 1960’s.

Heimatfilms and Schlagerfilms
Helga Sommerfeld was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1941. After grammar school in Berlin, she attended the Ufa-Film- und Schauspielschule (The Ufa Film and Theatre Academy). Through mediation by Ada Tschechowa, Helga already played her first film roles during her studies. She appeared in Heimat films and Schlager films like Mein Schatz ist aus Tirol/My Dear is from Tyrol (1958, Hans Quest) with Marianne Hold, Wenn die Conny mit dem Peter/When Conny and Peter Do It Together (1958, Fritz Umgelter) starring Conny Froboess, Freddy unter fremden Sternen/Freddy Under Strange Stars (1959, Wolfgang Schleif) with Freddy Quinn, and Schlagerraketen (1960, Erik Ode), in which she played her first leading part.

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104_Helga Sommerfeld_03Krimis and Eurowesterns
During the 1960’s Helga Sommerfeld appeared mainly in crime and adventure films. Among the Krimis were Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Koffer/The Secret of the Black Trunk (1961, Werner Klingler) based on a novel by Bryan Edgar Wallace (the son of), Die Nylonschlinge/Nylon Noose (1963, Rudolf Zehetgruber) with Dietmar Schönherr, and another creepy Bryan Edgar Wallace adaptation – Das Phantom von Soho/The Phantom of Soho (1964, 104_Helga Sommerfeld_05Franz Josef Gottlieb) with Dieter Borsche. She then appeared in the Eurowesterns Die schwarzen Adler von Santa Fe/Black Eagle of Santa Fe (1965, Alberto Cardone, Ernst Hofbauer) with Brad Harris, and Aventuras del Oeste/Seven Hours of Gunfire (1965, Joaquín Luis Romero Marchent) with Rik Van Nutter. She appeared in more international productions. Her leading men in the Beirut-set suspense film 24 Hours to Kill (1964, Peter Bezencenet) were Mickey Rooney and Lex Barker, in the spy thriller Das Geheimnis der drei Dschunken/Code Name Alpha (1965, Ernst Hofbauer) she appeared with Stewart Granger and Rosanna Schiaffino and in another spy adventure, Corrida pour un espion/Code Name: Jaguar (1965, Maurice Labro) the stars were Ray Danton and Pascale Petit. Other films in which she appeared in supporting parts were the crime comedy Lange Beine – lange Finger/Long Legs, Long Fingers (1966, Alfred Vohrer) with Senta Berger and the spy thriller Da Berlino l’apocalisse/Spy Pit (1967, Mario Maffei) with Roger Hanin and Margaret Lee. She starred in the prostitution crime drama Jungfrau aus zweiter Hand/Second-hand Virgin (1967, Ákos Ráthonyi, Udo N. von Tyrol) with Ingrid von Bergen.

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Theatre and Television
At the end of the 1960’s the spy and horror craze in the European cinema halted, and so did Helga Sommerfeld’s film career. Helga started to focus on the stage and appeared in countless stage plays in the German speaking regions. Her last theatre appearance was in the play Die geliebte Stimme auf der Bühne (The Beloved Voice of the Stage), which toured through Germany from 1986 till 1988. During the 1980’s she often appeared in TV productions by Sender Freies Berlin. Incidentally she appeared in films. She co-wrote and co-edited Der Stromtreiber – Der Mann im roten Kahn/Stream Drifter (1979, Peter Frederik Schneider), in which she also co-starred with Wolf Zehren. Her last leading part in a film was in Der Callboy/The Callboy (1985, Axel Schulz). Helga Sommerfeld died in Berlin in 1991.

Text found at filmstarpostcards.blogspot.no

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117_nancy_kovack_001Nancy Kovack (born March 11, 1936) is an American former actress, known for many film and television roles, mostly in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Biography
She was born in Flint, Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan at age 15 and graduated by 19. At the age of 20 she had won eight beauty titles.

Kovack became interested in acting when she went to New York City to attend a wedding and became one of the Glea Girls for Jackie Gleason. She has appeared on a number of TV episodes, including Star Trek, Bewitched (playing Darrin Stephens‘ catty ex-fiancee and Samantha’s nemesis, Sheila 117_nancy_kovack_006Sommers), Batman, I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, Perry Mason, 12 O’Clock High, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Invaders episode Task Force in season 2/16, and Burke’s Law. In 1969 she was nominated for an Emmy for an appearance on Mannix. On Broadway she appeared in The Disenchanted.

As she gained fame, Kovack began to win roles in Hollywood movies, most notably as the high priestess Medea in Jason and the Argonauts (1963). She also had parts in Strangers When We Meet (1960), The Wild Westerners, Diary of a Madman (1963) with Vincent Price, The Outlaws Is Coming (1965) with The Three Stooges, Sylvia (1965), The Great Sioux Massacre (1965), The Silencers (1966), Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966), and the Elvis Presley film Frankie and Johnny (1966).

Her last film role was in Marooned (1969), a science fiction drama. She played the murder victim in the made-for-TV movie/series pilot Ellery Queen (also known as Too Many Suspects) (1975), "Monica Gray," and was credited as Nancy Mehta.

Personal life
In 1969, Kovack married conductor Zubin Mehta, then music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and later music director of the New York Philharmonic. Thereafter she dedicated herself to her marriage, giving up her stage and screen career in 1976 after making her farewell appearance on Cannon. Kovack and Mehta maintain residences in Brentwood, California and Tuscany, Italy. Nancy and Zubin Mehta do not have any biological children together. Kovack is a devout Christian Scientist. Zubin Mehta is a Zoroastrian.

Until 2006, the Mehtas spent some months of the year in residence in Munich, Germany, where Zubin Mehta was the Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera. Mr. Mehta is currently Music Director for life of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  and the Main Conductor for Valencia’s opera house. Zubin Mehta is also the chief conductor of Florence, Italy’s Maggio Musicale festival.

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Susan McDougal (of Whitewater controversy notoriety) worked as Kovack’s personal assistant in the early 1990s. After her employment ended, Kovack took legal action against McDougal for alleged embezzlement. McDougal was acquitted in 1998 on all twelve charges. A suit by McDougal in 1999 for malicious prosecution ended in a settlement.

Kovack maintains a luxury home rental business catering to the rental needs of the wealthy. Tony Bennett reportedly regularly rents her lavish Tuscan home some months out of the year.

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117_hannelore_elsner_001Hannelore Elsner (born Hannelore Elstner on 26 July 1942 in Burghausen, Bavaria) is a German actress. After finishing drama school she worked in theatres in Berlin and München. Later she starred in films and TV series such as Die Schwarzwaldklinik. She is known for her role as the lead character Inspector Lea Sommer in the German detective series Die Kommissarin.

Selected filmography
Old Heidelberg (1959)
Zur Hölle mit den Paukern (1968)
Willi wird das Kind schon schaukeln (1971)
Grete Minde (1977)
The Tailor from Ulm (1979)
Man Without Memory (1984)
117_hannelore_elsner_002Cherry Blossoms (film) (2008)
Zeiten ändern dich (2010)

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1174898_ml1Margaret Leighton (26 February 1922 – 13 January 1976) was an English actress. She had an exquisite sense of grandeur and refinement. She created the role of Hannah Jelkes in Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana.

Born in Barnt Green, Worcestershire, Leighton made her stage debut as Dorothy in Laugh With Me (1938), which was also performed that year for BBC Television. She became a star of the Old Vic. Her Broadway debut was as the Queen in Henry IV (1946) starring Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson during a visit to America of the Old Vic company, which performed a total of five plays from its repertoire before returning to London.

After appearing in two British films, including the starring role of Flora MacDonald opposite David Niven in Bonnie Prince Charlie (1948), the tall willowy actress played second female lead in Alfred Hitchcock’s Under Capricorn (1949) starring Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, and Michael Wilding. She starred with Walter Pidgeon in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer crime/mystery Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951).

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Leighton had three husbands: publisher Max Reinhardt (married 1947-divorced 1955); actor Laurence Harvey (married 1957-divorced 1961); and actor Michael Wilding (married 1964-her death 1976). She had no children.

She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in Separate Tables (1956); she won another Tony in that category for The Night of the Iguana (1962), playing the luminous Hannah Jelkes (a role played by Deborah Kerr on film) opposite Bette Davis’s Maxine Faulk. Leighton was nominated for Best Actress in a Play for Much Ado About Nothing (1959) opposite John Gielgud and for Tchin-Tchin (1962) opposite Anthony Quinn.

She also had a noteworthy list of TV appearances, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Ben Casey and Burke’s Law. She won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama for Hamlet (1970). And she was nominated for an Emmy in 1966 for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Drama for four episodes of Dr. Kildare. Her last appearance on Broadway was as Birdie Hubbard in a revival of Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes (1967) starring Anne Bancroft as Regina Giddens.

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For her film role as Mrs. Maudsley in The Go-Between (1970), Leighton won the British BAFTA Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. She received a BAFTA nomination for Best British Actress for her role as Valerie Carrington in Carrington V.C. (1955). She received a Hollywood Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for The Go-Between.

Margaret Leighton died of multiple sclerosis, aged 53, in Chichester, West Sussex.

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1174895_blbBettina Le Beau (born 23 March 1932 in Antwerp, Belgium), also known as Bettine Le Beau, is an actress known for her film, radio and television appearances in the UK.

During World War II she was separated from her parents; as she was Jewish, she was held in a concentration camp in southern France. She escaped from Camp DeGurs and was hidden by a family from the Nazis. She went to England in 1945 and attended Pitman’s College. She worked as a model, graphologist and cabaret artist and learned several languages.

As an actress her television appearances include The Benny Hill Show, The Prisoner, Call My Bluff and The Golden Shot. Film appearances include My Last Duchess, A Ferry Ann, Devil’s Daffodil and an uncredited role as Professor Dent’s secretary in the first James Bond film, Dr No. On radio, she was a regular on the BBC World Service programme Animal, Vegetable and Mineral, a version of Twenty Questions.

She worked on a programme for women on radio and wrote a book entitled Help Yourself to Happiness (ISBN 0953421600). She has also lectured on her experience of the Holocaust.

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I was just shy of 16 years old back when Armstrong took his first step on the moon and it was night in Norway. I sat up watching it with my parents on a small b/w TV in our cottage outside Oslo. Magic! Pure magic! Not only that they had landed on the moon, but that we could sit there almost as far from Huston as from the moon and watch him step down the ladder in the same moment he did it.– Ted

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Brum (pronounced /ˈbrʌm/) is a children’s TV programme about the adventures of a car of the same name. It was produced by Ragdoll Productions for HIT Entertainment and first broadcast in 1991. It was initially directed and written by Tom Poole and produced by Anne Wood, latterly directed and written by Vic Finch, Paul Leather, Emma Lindley, Brian Simmons, Nigel P Harris and others. It was initially narrated by Toyah Willcox and later by Tom Wright. The show was also aired in the United States on Discovery Kids as part of the Ready Set Learn kids block on the channel that lasted from 1996-2010.

It was aired in Norway too, a few years later. My daughters loved the series when they were kids, didn’t miss one single episode. (And yes, I loved it too 😉 ) – Ted

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Phyllis Coates (born Gypsie Ann Evarts Stell on January 15, 1927) is an American film and television actress. She is perhaps best known for her portrayal of reporter Lois Lane in the 1951 film Superman and the Mole Men, and during the first season of the Adventures of Superman television series.

117339_pc2Early life and career
After graduating from high school in Wichita Falls, Texas, Coates went to Los Angeles, intending to study at UCLA. However, a chance meeting with entertainer Ken Murray resulted in her working in his vaudeville show as a chorus girl. She later performed as one of Earl Carroll’s showgirls at his Earl Carroll Theatre.

She signed a movie contract with Warner Brothers in 1948, and she co-starred with George O’Hanlon in the studio’s popular Joe McDoakes short-subject comedies. She married the series’ director, Richard L. Bare, and continued to appear in the films after their divorce.

In 1955, Coates played Madge, a neighbor of child psychologist Dr. Tom Wilson, played by Stephen Dunne, in the CBS sitcom Professional Father. Joseph Kearns (1907-1962), later the first Mr. Wilson on CBS’s Dennis the Menace, played Coates’s television husband, Fred. Barbara Billingsley and Beverly Washburn also starred in Professional Father.

117339_pc3Lois Lane
Coates played a strong-willed Lois Lane in the first 26 episodes of Adventures of Superman, where she was given equal billing with George Reeves, even for episodes in which she did not appear. Her powerful "damsel in distress" scream was used to good effect in several episodes.

After shooting for the first season, the Superman producers suspended production until they found a national sponsor. When it came time to film more Superman episodes, Coates had already committed herself elsewhere. Noel Neill, who had played Lois Lane in the 1948-1950 serials opposite Kirk Alyn, succeeded her and became far more identified with the role.

Later years
Coates generally tried to distance herself from the Superman series, fearing it 117339_pc4might limit her roles. She did make a guest appearance as Lois Lane’s mother in the first season finale of the 1990s TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

Her Superman fame has obscured the fact that Coates was one of Hollywood’s most dependable actresses of the period. She freelanced steadily, appearing in low-budget features, westerns, serials, and the "McDoakes" shorts. Her best-remembered films of the 1950s are Blues Busters with The Bowery Boys (in which she has a musical number), Panther Girl of the Kongo, a jungle serial in which she starred, and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein.

Her other television appearances included The Cisco Kid, The Adventures of Kit Carson (twice as June Sanders), It’s a Great Life, Frontier, The Abbott and Costello Show, The DuPont Show with June Allyson (as Penny in the 1960 episode "The Trench Coat", along with David Niven and Lyle Talbot), Leave It to Beaver, Gunsmoke (as a duplicitous villainess trying to have her husband murdered), Rawhide (Season 1/20 as Nora Sage), General Electric Theater, The Lone Ranger , "Perry Mason" and The Patty Duke Show.

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