Monday, August 3, 2020

Auctioning off Julie Newmar #1

A little over $50 to get 5 negatives of Julie lounging in the grass...

Including...

Auctioning Off Julie Newmar #2

UP THE ANTE...

$102 for a strip of five negatives...

including...

Monday, July 27, 2020

Time Machine -- Brett Somers

Rememer this little moment?

Brett Somers on "The Match Game."

Saturday, July 25, 2020

THE DONALD vs THE CATWOMAN

You're right, Donald.

Far right, in fact.

On Facebook, Julie sometimes mentions some outrageous decision or statement from The Donald (as ex-wife Ivana called him). Usually she writes with a sigh or a good-natured quip since she has a great sense of humor.

Too bad the loonies and trolls on Facebook respond with insults, and can't curb their enthusiasm for being obnoxious.

Some can't wait to unload their bile. Recently Julie posted a reminder that photos are for sale on her website. Many respond happily, but that last one? The Trump troll?

Stars get hundreds and thousands of comments on Facebook and Twitter. They don't have the time to read all of it. They are given the highlights if they ask. That's why most of this stuff gets no response or comment. Few stars ever engage or provoke trolls.

Still, it's sad that people think their offensive behavior will be tolerated (there are ways of BLOCKING abuse). It's especially obnoxious when they use profanity or hurtful and highly-charged words.

"Libtard" is a favorite among Trump fans. They've seen Trump mimicking the handicapped, almost as often as he's spewed insults at people, mocked with name-calling, or responded to questions with rudeness.

"Libtard" combines Liberal and Retard. Retard is an antiquated word for someone with Down Syndrome, someone such as Julie's son.

Anyone who checks Julie's Facebook page has seen her loving pictures of John, so using the term is clearly meant with malice.

It's so ignorant of Trump's bottom-feeders to single out anyone who didn't vote for Trump when MORE THAN HALF THE COUNTRY didn't vote for him.

When Julie, or anyone offers an opinion or statement on their Facebook page, the key thing to remember is "THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE."

You're a guest on that page. Be polite. Is that too much to ask?

Perhaps it is, because fans of Donald are only aping his own insensitivity and un-Presidential behavior.

The reporter was Serge Kovaleski who often covered Trump. Trump would claim he never heard of the man, never saw him, and it was just a coincidence that he gestured the way he did. That claim of innocence has been debunked.

If the original post doesn't include profanity or troll-language, the response shouldn't either.

Oh, 1966. "Batman '66."

Simpler times.

The villains were cartoonish but pretty harmless.

Batman took care of jokers.

Catwoman? Don't even THINK about it, Mr. Trump...

Monday, July 20, 2020

Carl Reiner, Howard Morris...Nude Julie and a Bubbly Bathtub

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The passing of Carl Reiner led to many fond recollections of his work as both an actor, writer and director. His connection to Julie Newmar was casting her in an episode of “Good Heavens.” The show only lasted 13 episodes (February 1976-June 1976). He concept, not the most original, was Carl playing an angel granting wishes to suitable mortals.

So far no episodes seem to have turned up via “the usual suspects” in the bootleg world, but who knows, Netflix or some cable channel may re-discover it someday.

I met Carl several times, and he was just as you’ve seen him, a funny, mild-mannered, really nice guy.

He had humility. I was at the press screening for “All of Me.” The audience roared with laughter and applauded as the lights came up, but there was Carl Reiner, standing in the lobby, calling out as people were leaving: “How did you like it? How was it?”

One of the highlights on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” was the episode where Laura Petrie gets her toe stuck in the bathtub spout. It was, Carl said, inspired by a true-life incident. Is there anyone who hasn’t idly stuck their toe in the spout?

Carl said that what that show classic was because of what wasn’t seen: Mary Tyler Moore naked in that bathtub. Every plaintive cry from behind the locked door brought more and more laughs. It was all in the imagination of the audience, until the end when, covered thanks to husband Rob breaking down the door, the plumber could set her free.

Julie Newmar would take it further and longer via an 11 minute segment on “Love American Style.”

The director was Howard Morris, who had not only appeared in a memorable “Dick Van Dyke Show” episode himself (as an eccentric art expert) but had worked with Carl Reiner much earlier on “Your Show of Shows.”

Julie's a famous actress taking a bath before her wedding. She talks to the groom on the phone and idly...gets her toe stuck.

A wise comedy director knows better than to coach Julie Newmar. When you have a formidable living presence like Julie, you just let her be both the “straight” and the “comic.” She’s one of the very few who can get “reaction laughs,” just by facial expression. In this case, it was a collection of stares and glares as Charlie Callas played an inept plumber making odd noises and lapsing into Cary Grant and bird impressions while trying to figure out how to extricate a toe from a faucet. At first he's blindfolded and gets lots of laughs groping around the room and around Julie. He gets even more when he realizes what famous star is now in front of him and behind only bubbles.

It was an interesting comedy exercise; Julie and Charlie didn’t really work together. Director Morris had some two-shots (as you see above), but there were plenty of close-ups. The viewer saw Charlie’s heated excitement and the alternately cool reactions of Julie to his clowning and her cat-like howls of frustration over still being stuck in the tub.

Callas was a gifted clown. Like Jerry Lewis, some found him hard to take and undisciplined. I remember attending a Friars event with both Jerry Lewis and Charlie Callas among the guests. Those two naturally gravitated toward each other, like a mugging showdown. They drew their weapons: their faces, and “gurned” at each other, seeing who would break up first. It was a social situation, there were no video cameras or reporters around. This is something they did naturally.

It ended in a draw, when Howard Cosell came over to tell them that the banquet was starting. They both attacked him with oddball expressions till he helplessly laughed and turned away.

The big difference between Mary Tylor Moore’s bathtub scene and Julie’s, is that Julie was in front of the camera the whole time. You didn’t have to imagine her. As fantastic a comedy talent as Mary was, the laughs would’ve been ruined if she’d been in view. Laura Petrie in that kind of trouble is cringeworthy. Julie’s never played “mortified,” and her character here is a sophisticated actress. The longer the scene lasted, the better, with a few added twists (the groom arriving, and a cop played by always droll Richard Stahl) keeping the scene and the bathtub bubbles frothy. Props to the prop man who had to periodically stir up the suds and add more bubbles. (A tough job, but somebody had to do it…and do it…about two dozen times during the many hours it took to film the sequence).

The very first “stuck in a bathtub” scene involving a fabulous star was in “The 7 Year Itch.” Hangdog sap Tom Ewell frets over Marilyn Monroe needing a plumber’s helper. Another coincidence: Julie knew Marilyn. They were both at 20th Century Fox at the same time, and had a history of studying acting with the top teachers in New York. She discussed Marilyn briefly with my friend Norman Mailer on a classic episode of “The Mike Douglas Show.”

The scene in the movie is less than 30 seconds. As good as Marilyn was, and as much of a pro as Victor Moore was as the plumber, there was no way that scene could’ve been extended. Marilyn was way too vulnerable/sexual and old, doleful Victor could only get a few laughs over his embarrassment and lust. About 15 extra seconds were snipped out of the finished film: a moment where Victor Moore accidentally drops his wrench and has to fish it out of the tub. Did he accidentally touch Monroe in the wrong place while doing it? The way it was filmed just wasn’t funny, it was just…uncomfortable. With Callas in “Love American Style,” director Morris made sure that Charlie got the wrench in one hand and only Julie’s shapely leg in the other.

And so, only Julie Newmar is the memorable actress doing a comical bathtub scene involving a plumber trying to get her unstuck — in full view of the audience. Julie would appear in two more segments of “Love American Style” as well as in a segment of a pilot film (“Fools, Females and Fun”) that was intended to be a rival as a saucy short story collection. This one remains her favorite.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

A 50's or 60's PANDEMIC? "It could've happened!"

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It was predicted.

From the locusts of the Bible to the plagues of Europe mere mortals have worried about pandemics caused by nature-gone-nuts.

After the "Spanish Flu" (which sickened 500 million people and lasted from February 1918 to April 1920), the question was: "when will it happen again?" Albert Camus wrote "The Plague" in 1947.

"Panic in the Streets" (1950) was a film about a "pneumonic plague" spreading through a city.

Books and newspaper editorials cautioned "better hygiene" and "vegetarianism."

It may be a modest surprise that after SARS and EBOLA, this COVID-19 packed more of a wallop?

What would've happened if this thing happened a few decades earlier?

Perhaps one of Julie's movies would've been about the problem!

What if Dorcas or Katrin or Stupefyin' Jones had to be concerned about a lethal form of flu??

Maybe the script would've been Abbott & Costello silly ("When the flu flies, we must flee" - yes the actually did such a routine). We do need comedy to help cope with tragedy. Late night talk show hosts tell Covid jokes and we've all seen a variety of comical mask memes on social media.

How about a moment...where the citizens of Dogpatch, USA start acting SMART, and wear masks, and don't wait for 10,000 to be infected in one day!

A film might point out that if there's a paper shortage, ladies can make masks out of underwear or nightgowns...

And finally, a film might instruct sophisticated city people to stay safe!

Katrin: "What if, after the pandemic, we take off our masks and make a baby? A genius and a blonde get together to have the perfect child!"

Professor Delville: "Yes, but what if the child ended up a boy with blonde hair and no intelligence? What would happen?"

Katrin: "He might grow up to be Donald, the President of the United States!"

Nuts and Bolts -- "Rhoda" and "Catwoman"

An amusing Photoshop artist recently added nuts and bolts and various cast-off junk to one of Julie's Catwoman portraits. She was delighted, and put it on Facebook:

As she always does, she made sure to give "credit to the clever," and who knows, the publicity might help this guy do for junk-garbage what Warhol did for soup cans.

The image recalls another artwork of metallic objects: Rhoda the Robot as envisioned in the opening "My Living Doll" credits:

It's been said that a great performer could get attention "reciting the phone book."

Yes, and a bombastic beauty like Julie Newmar can look good even wearing hunks of metal junk!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Some DOLLS are still Lost....

Julie recently posted a photo from a lost episode of "My Living Doll."

Were the missing episodes of "My Living Doll" destroyed, in some weird act of vandalism? No.

Were they crushed under the rubble of some mythical earthquake at CBS? No, wrong again.

While there was a fire at the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot, it happened in 2008, and most of what was destroyed involved audio masters of recordings issued by their subsidiary and acquired labels including MCA, ABC, A&M and Geffen.

As best as can be determined, "My Living Doll" is simply among the misfiled. With a generally sloppy attitude toward preserving TV shows for future use (most quiz shows, soap operas and talk shows were on videotape which was ERASED to re-use), it's no surprise that a one-season program with little chance for re-run life, would be lost.

Quiz shows? Of about 1750 episodes of "The Match Game" broadcast in the 60's, less than a dozen exist. "Pyramid" quiz shows hosted by Dick Clark are gone. From "Joe Pyne Show" to "Les Crane" and "Wally George," few thought to keep topical talk shows, and what survives is often just a Kinescope made by somebody who was guest on the show and hired someone to preserve it. Quiz host Dennis James kept copies of most of the shows he was on, but when he passed on, all that material disappeared. Sometimes items are willed to libraries or TV museums, but they're for "viewing only," at the locale, and by appointment.

There wasn't home video yet (home VCR's weren't affordable till around 1980) so nobody was thinking, "we can sell these shows..."

Huge chunks or small portions of various filmed TV series are missing, from "Andy's Gang" and "The Goldbergs" to "Have Gone Will Travel." When the latter was finally licensed for DVD, complete seasons had to be cobbled from both 35mm and 16mm prints.

With "My Living Doll," there SHOULD be a set of 35mm masters and a set of 16mm copies in two separate locations. So far, these have not been found. We're talking about vast storerooms, and possibly cans moved to storage areas no longer even known about. One day somebody might unlock a long-forgotten storage facility bought by a new landlord, and there it is, a cache of video treasures.

Back in the day, some "affiliate" TV stations weren't on the network feed, and required 16mm prints that could be screened at some other time, and then returned. These 16mm prints were sometimes returned, sometimes kept at the station for emergency use, discarded, or secretly sold to local collectors. In New York City, Willoughby's camera shop on 32nd Street was notorious for selling 16mm prints of everything from "My Little Margie" to "What Are the Odds."

16mm prints are legal to sell on eBay and not long ago, Julie's episode of "Greatest Show on Earth" was scooped up by somebody for $100 or so. Whether that person is keeping it as an "I have it YOU DON'T" literal "collectors item," or will convert it to DVD or stream it via YouTube, literally remains to be seen.

As for "MY LIVING DOLL," Chertok Productions and Julie are hoping that wayward 16mm prints will turn up at memorabilia shows, thrift shops, or online, and fans will sound the alert so these can be gathered for an official DVD release: "My Living Doll PART TWO."

The show is remembered fondly.

In some cases, weirdly. It's always a bit peculiar to see the "comments" on Julie's Facebook page. One is reminded that while 90% of fans are intelligent and respectful, quite a few are bent in unusual ways.

Some are a bit too sexual (which they can't disguise behind a load of professorial multi-syllable words). Then you have self-admitted mental patients and uber-fans who dress up in costumes and who one hopes can stay in control of themselves. And some are just going to post inappropriate photos or say inappropriate off-topic things no matter what. Celebs do understand that "curb your enthusiasm" is just the name of a sitcom, and not something that fans (a term short for "fanatics" always understand.

Julie does know that when she posts a Catwoman picture, thousands will view it, hundreds will share it, and hundreds more will leave gaga comments and post their own favorite Catwoman (or cheesecake) shots. But when she's discussing politics or serious spiritual or ecological issues, it's a bit much to not only get "show us more photos and don't write anything," but pin-up pictures as well. It would be helpful if randy men and obsessed women remember this is her page and she's discussing things she cares about. She's not Catwoman 24/7.

Thanks to the ones who leave brief, pleasant comments, like the first one below, and a muttered WTF to the other three. Four random samples, with names, of course, removed to protect the innocent.

Behind the Scenes

ACTING...involves a special talent for not letting reality interfere.

To viewers of "FOR LOVE OR MONEY," Gig Young is suffering knee pain, but...

He's not in pain, he's on a cramped sound stage, and Kirk is really thinking about what he can say or do to convince Julie to have lunch with him.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

AUTOGRAPHED JULIE PHOTOS? SIGN IN....

That's Julie, signing in as the celebrity guest on a "What's My Line" episode.

She's still signing in, and being very nice about the price.

On eBay, a personalized autographed photo is about $100.

Yes, people are willing to buy a photo with somebody else's first name on it. Over at http://julienewmar.com/shop/ you can get one personalized to YOU for $40.

I mention this as a public service. Julie doesn't need the money. She's even mentioned to her Facebook friends that she's in that elite 99% category -- but she only mentioned it to point out that being wealthy doesn't mean one supports Trump.

The President often boasts that the stock market has been stable under his leadership. And you know what a stable smells like.

All seriousness aside, as Steve Allen would say, no politician can really take credit for the stock market, high or low. The stock market can rise and fall on whims, wars and rumors. Some would tell you that a much safer investment is in memorabilia.

Certainly, some people who have been lucky enough to acquire a signed Julie Newmar photo have quadrupled their investment, or better, when they had to sell. (And does Trump take any blame when people lose their jobs and suddenly start hocking stuff??)

How...HIGH...do the prices go on images that savvy people like YOU can find on Julie's website for $40??

Pretty high...

And higher...

And higher...

That's quite a bit higher than what an eBay seller wants for my book with that chapter on Julie in it!

Oh. Donald Trump. If a Julie Newmar autographed photo on eBay can fetch $100, $150, $300 or more...how much did Trump signed photos sell for recently? Oh.