WHO’S WHAT AND WHAT’S WHERE
PPB NEWSLETTER EDITED BY
SUE CLARK CHADWICK
The September luncheon saluted one of our own PPB Board members, the legendary JUNE FORAY, First Lady of Cartoon Voices…And what a salute it was. New President GIL STRATTON introduced the dais and Entertainment Chair JEANNE DeVIVIER BROWN read heartwarming messages from friends and admirers of JUNE’s who couldn’t attend, including Academy Award winner Tom Hanks, who called JUNE a "vocal Diamond"; Johnny Grant; Academy Award winner Kathy Bates, who has served in the Motion Picture Academy with JUNE; Casey Kasem and Frank Sinatra, Jr. A tape of some of JUNE’s work from "Bugs Bunny," "The Smurfs," "The Bullwinkle Show" on which she played Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha, "Space Jam" and others.
HAL KANTER, literary giant of Hollywood and PPB Resident Humorist, kicks off the tributes to JUNE with funny and tender accolades; others on the dais singing JUNE’s praises and reminiscing about her long and prestigious career are: Leonard Maltin, one of the busiest men in Hollywood with his Movie and Video Guide of 2003 and his new newsletter website called "MovieCrazy"; Maltin says JUNE is not just a voice, but a wonderful actress; immediate past PPB President TOM HATTEN—the pride of KNX sings, "I Like Miss June Foray, How About You?"—a parody on the popular tune; Arthur Hiller, director of such TV hits as "Ben Casey" and "Gunsmoke," and movies Love Story and Man of La Mancha and recipient of the Motion Picture Academy’s Jean Hersholt Award, talks of his friendship with JUNE; Faye Kanin, who served four terms as president of the Motion Picture Academy, one of only two women to hold that office, and a member of the American Film Institute Board; Milt Larsen, comedy writer ("Truth or Consequences"), songwriter and creator of the Magic Castle in Hollywood, tells the "magic" of watching JUNE many years ago when she was doing a daily radio show, "Smile Time," on the Mutual Don Lee Network, with Steve Allen and Wendell Noble; Roger Mayar, President and Chief Operations Officer for Turner Entertainment Co. for twenty years, and prior to that an executive at MGM. Fifty years after graduating from Yale Law School, he is a member of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress and Vice President of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Mayar says that when he was at MGM he worked with top animator and cartoonist Chuck Jones, and also with Joe Barbera. He says they were totally dependent on JUNE FORAY. When they planned How the Grinch Stole Christmas, they would not make any plans before they found out if JUNE was available…A real tribute; Charles Solomon, internationally respected critic and historian of animation—his recent books include The Prince of Egypt, The Disney That Never Was and The New York Times Notable Book of the Year, The History of Animation, the first film book to be nominated for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award. Solomon says he admired JUNE as an actress long before they became friends; Mark Evanier, creator of comic books and cartoons, started writing comic books in 1969, and his credits include a who’s who of animation’s most popular shows from "Scooby Doo" to "Garfield the Cat." Evanier said he directed JUNE on several shows…but adds that no one has to direct JUNE. "You say, ‘June, you are playing this role, and this, and this, and this,’ and hand her the mike and you are through directing."
President GIL STRATTON says that Stan Freberg was to be on the dais today, but has the flu. He has written a letter for GARY OWENS to read. GARY OWENS gives a few accolades of his own, and tells of being with Stan Freberg and Steve Allen when JUNE got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "Stan’s letter tells how we all feel about JUNE FORAY." OWENS reads in part, "The best of all possible wishes to my friend, JUNE, who is truly unique—a one-woman voice machine and much more." The letter continues recounting his first meeting with JUNE and the many years they worked together on many projects.
GIL STRATTON introduces the first Honoree of the season, JUNE FORAY, to a standing and loudly applauding audience. JUNE gives her thanks in her Marjorie Main voice, which she says was the favorite of Walt Disney and Jay Ward. JUNE says she would like to thank everyone, and if she was not so short, she would genuflect to them all and thank them for the kind words; but there were some people she would have liked to see on the dais and she is going to mention them—the late Paul Frees, Bill Conrad, Walter Tetley, Bill Scott, Steve Allen, Hobart Donovan, "who not only hired me, he married me," and Chuck Jones, "who hired me away from Walt Disney." GIL presents JUNE with the special PPB clock which delights her. A truly wonderful luncheon, and I have no words to say it all, because as HAL KANTER said, JUNE’s Warner Brothers biography is one paragraph—fifteen pages long. A hearty thanks to JUNE and all those on the dais.
GIL STRATTON announced that charter member DAVE DRUBECK was in the audience and would be celebrating his 101st birthday next week. GIL asked DAVE to stand for a round of applause.
PPB Chairman of the Board and Founding President ART GILMORE presents the Diamond Circle Award to a Navy veteran who took the GI Bill as a student at the Pasadena Playhouse School of Theatre. He landed his first job in broadcasting as a staff member at KTLA. He was assigned to host the classic Fleisher Brothers Popeye Cartoons where he utilized his hobby of sketching and cartooning. They liked it—for 14 years on the family film festival. In the ’60s and ’70s he was an actor on "Hogan’s Heroes," "Hawaii Five O" and "The Man from UNCLE," plus such films as Sweet Charity with Shirley MacLaine and Easy Come, Easy Go with Elvis Presley. His most recent film was as a four-star general, co-starring with Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd in Spies Like Us. As a producer of concerts, he included Bobby Short, Barbara Cook and Marian McPartland. He sports three Emmy nominations, two Press Club awards and is involved at KNX twice daily with reporting show business happenings. Two years ago he became President of this wonderful organization—PPB—serving us all with his charm and talent. Guess Who? We welcome into the Diamond Circle fraternity—none other than Past President TOM HATTEN!
Nostalgia Night co-chairs LINA ROMAY and RAY BRIEM have started this season in full swing. Honorary Mayor of Hollywood, Johnny Grant, was the September guest and kept his audience asking for more as he told of his years at KTLA, the history of The Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Santa Claus Parade and his USO tours with and without Bob Hope. Johnny showed film of some outings. On October 5, PPB Board member CHUCK SOUTHCOTT was the guest, and made it on time even though it took 45 minutes to get from Sunset and Fairfax to Sunset and Vine. CHUCK formerly was Program Director and Air Personality at KGIL, KPRZ, KJQI and KMPC in Los Angeles. CHUCK is now Program Director and Air Personality with the "Music of Your Life" Radio Network, providing adult standard music to radio stations in 180 cities throughout the United States. CHUCK’s cohorts on "Music of Your Life" include GARY OWENS, Wink Martindale, Peter Marshall, PAT BOONE, PATTI PAGE and Les Brown, Jr. The closest affiliate carrying the programming is KWRP (96.1 FM) in the Riverside area.
CHUCK’s guests during his "Nostalgia Night" presentation (of taped segments) included Mel Torme, Pat Buttram, Vic Damone, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Willie Nelson, Johnny Mathis, Steve Allen and Milton Berle, among others. SOUTHCOTT’s National Awards include both the Gavin and Billboard "Major Market Program Director of the Year." Thanks, CHUCK, there was certainly music in the air.
Our in-house musician, HERM SAUNDERS, guests November 7, and is sure to have some interesting stories about his years as producer of "Dragnet," and his close friendship with Jack Webb…Past President FRANK BRESEE will guest December 6 and promises a Christmas-themed program. So, don’t forget Nostalgia Night, the first Thursday of every month in our Clubroom on the lower level of Washington Mutual, Sunset and Vine. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and close promptly at 7:30 p.m.
MEMBER NEWS: After serving eleven years as Secretary of the Audio Engineering Society, PPBer RON STREICHER has been elected as its new president elect. Former Board member GEORGE FISCHBECK is recovering nicely from heart valve replacement surgery at UCLA Medical Center…Hurry back, GEORGE. ROBERT S. LEVINSON’s latest novel, Hot Paint, is receiving great reviews. The Charlotte Observer said, "Levinson’s prose snaps, crackles and pops." Want reviews, comments or photos? Check the web, atrobertslevinson.com. PPBer ELAYNE BLYTHE, Founder/President of Film Advisory Board, Inc. is at home recuperating after surgery.
TRAVELS: FRANCES ROBERTS took the New York Theatre Guild annual "Theatre Cruise," directed by Philip Langner, president of the guild. This year’s performers on board were Jerry Orbach, Patricia Neal, Gena Rowlands, Dick Cavett and many others, with a jazz orchestra, dance troupe, operatic singers and original musicals staged almost nightly. Cavett and Rowlands did Love Letters; Orbach proved his early Broadway musical roots. The cruise went from Southampton to Gibraltar to Taormina, Messina, Pompeii, Rome, Naples, Barcelona, Cartagena and Cadiz. Lectures on board about theatre history, plus movies every night after live performances. Afterwards in London, FRANCES took in the National Theatre Vincent in Brixton and the D’Oyly Carte Yeoman of the Guard. Later in the summer, ROBERTS went to the William Faulkner Conference at Oxford, Miss. From there on to New York for The Producers and Alan Rickman’s Private Lives.
Card from LOUISE ARTHUR (Penn) with an Alaskan moose on the cover. LOUISE wrote, "this fella actually crossed our path; later, one just like him caused the train we were on in the wilderness to slow down and stop to let Mr. Moose cross the tracks. I saw bears catching salmon in large streams of water. The trip was wonderful, eagles flying overhead and otters laughing and scratching as they floated on their backs. And oh so much more." Nancy and ED WILLIAMS took the Ryndam Inside Passage Cruise to Alaska in the spring, and sailed into summer with visits to ED’s 103-year-old mother in Los Gatos, and an annual clan camp out at New Brighton Beach State Park. GINI COLVIG spent two weeks in August on Whidbey Island, Washington. She learned about crab trapping and clam digging and even attended the Island County Fair.
BUSY MEMBERS: EDITH JEFFERSON flew to Las Vegas in June for the debut of the film Bubba Hotep. EDITH plays an old lady in a nursing home who has a big fight with a beetle and a mummy. The picture played at the Las Vegas Film Festival, and also at the Toronto Film Festival. The film stars Ossie Davis and Bruce Cunningham, and EDITH got fifth billing. Then it was off to San Francisco for a Yahoo commercial…and there is more—EDITH just finished a role in The Crawl Space, the true story of John Wayne Gacey, who murdered 32 boys, and dumped them in a crawl space in his Chicago home. EDITH plays the "darling boy’s" devoted and loving mother. She also had a small part in the picture Envy, now shooting at Dreamworks. She plays a funny old lady. Not to be outdone, husband JOE JEFFERSON, has been doing a lot of commercials—his latest for Hershey candy bars. EDITH writes, "in our sunset years, we are having so much fun going to auditions and working in the business. Son David is now West Coast Editor for Newsweek; bought a home in the Hollywood Hills and is rediscovering his birthplace."
Past (two times) PPB President JEANNE DeVIVIER BROWN and hubby EWING M. BROWN, a Board member, eschewed the casting couch when setting the personnel for Dismembered, the new movie they’re producing right here in Los Angeles. Instead, they turned to the PPB directory to people their picture after setting Lee ("Matt Houston") Horsley, Judson ("Walker, Texas Ranger") Mills, William ("Murder She Wrote") Windom, Bernie ("Love Boat") Kopell and Leslie ("Police Academy") Easterbrook in the lead roles. So, when the picture opens, we’ll be able to recognize current President GIL STRATTON, who says he hasn’t made a movie in 44 years; Past President JACK BROWN (no relation, no nepotism), HERM SAUNDERS, TOM SHELLEY and perhaps a few others romping through the epic.
JOE HARNELL, recovered from a recent surgery, has now scheduled two upcoming concerts sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. The show, featuring JOE and the Joe Harnell Quartet, is called "Mostly Cole." Performances will be Monday, November 25, at the Madrid Theatre in Canoga Park, at 3:00 p.m. and Thursday, December 5 at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, at 2:00 p.m. Admission to both shows is free.
Our out-of-town member, RAY ERLENBORN, is now a "local" member. He and wife, Meridy, qualified for the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, and have moved in. RAY says thanks to SAG and AFTRA joining forces, his 27 years at CBS-TV gave him the tenure he needed. RAY has been busy…he attended the October Audio Engineering Society’s re-creation of The Jazz Singer, hosted by JOHN MILTON KENNEDY at the L.A. Convention Center…he joined AAF First Motion Picture Unit (Ft. Roach) veterans October 30 for their 60th anniversary at Warner Brothers Studio (WWII, 1942–1946). On November 15 he will attend the celebration of CBS-TV’s fifty years at Television City. He also was here for the JUNE FORAY tribute, September 27. Welcome back, RAY.
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Membership Chairman MARGOT EWING reports:
Correction to the August Newsletter
Please send your news and that of your PPB friends to:
SUE CLARK CHADWICK
1841 Outpost Drive
Hollywood, CA 90068-3721
Fax (323) 851-2401
THE DEADLINE FOR THE NEXT NEWSLETTER IS
November 21, 2002