Ginger Kitty Memorial Fund

Our Beloved Ginger Kitty RIP 7-18-2012

 

If you want to help a worthy cause, please consider tossing a few sheckels the way of the Ginger Kitty Memorial Fund on ChipIn.com.

Named in honor of my Ginger Kitty who was killed by a coyote in July, we are accepting monetary gifts that we are disbursing to various animal charities including Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. If you have a pet you would like to memorialize with your donation, just let me know. Click here to visit the site.

Somewhere a grateful little kitty is thanking you for your generosity – meow!

Lisa

My So-Called Hollywood Life: Heather Menzies

Heather Menzies and other children in The Sound of Music

Watching the original “Sound of Music” children on television today (who are now all in their 50s-60s) took me back to 1965 when I saw this film every weekend for the entire summer in my small town of Eastbourne in England.

My parents had separated and my English mother had whisked me back to her family; we ended up not returning to the States for four years.  Life was very confusing to me then, so when I saw the ads for this film which had children (like me), AMERICAN children (like me) singing and dancing (like I wanted to do), I insisted my family take me to see the Grand Premiere at the large theater in Brighton. I was hooked.

When the film finally came to Eastbourne in the summer of ’65, I went every Saturday for three months where I could lose myself in the fantasy of being a Von Trapp child, escaping to a new life over the mountains of Austria. Of all the children, the one I was most admired was Louisa, played by actress Heather Menzies (center in photo).She was everything I wasn’t – graceful, tall, blonde, freckled – I thought she was a goddess.

When I got to finally meet my “idol” nearly 20 years later, it was pretty funny. I was hanging out with friends at a local Beverly Hills restaurant called Nibblers. It was just an upscale coffee shop but it was great for celebrity sightings (I’ll share my Alan Alda story another time). We had just finished lunch when I looked over and saw a couple sitting down side by side in an adjacent booth. It was Heather Menzies, I knew her in a heartbeat! She was with a cute dark haired man, actor Robert Urich who at that time was starring in “Vegas” as Dan Tana.

I found myself jumping up and marching over to their booth. They stopped eating and looked up at me expectantly.

“Aren’t you Heather Menzies?” I said.

“Yes…” she replied with a shy smile.

“Oh My God, you are my idol. I saw Sound of Music like fifty five times and it and you meant so much to me, it’s just so amazing to finally meet you…” I was babbling. I was also completely ignoring Urich, who seemed bemused and amused at this fan worship. Heather thanked me profusely for my words and just to throw him a bone, I said to Urich “And you’re doing pretty well yourself…but Heather! She’s amazing!” He took her hand, squeezed it and agreed with me.

They eventually married and started a family, son Ryan and daughter Emily. Sadly, Robert Urich died much too young of cancer and Heather has gone on to create  the Robert Urich Foundation dedicated to cancer research, in particular sarcoma.

Funnily enough, years later I ended up working for the producers of “Gavilan,” one of the series Robert starred in for MGM-TV back in the 1980s and he was a terrific guy, as was his brother David who was also on the crew.

This was one of the times when meeting one’s idol was truly a “dream come true” instead of a disappointment. Thanks for the memories, Heather!

Actress Heather Menzies

Until next time, hooray for Hollywood!

Lisa

My So-Called Hollywood Life: Warren Beatty


Warren Beatty, Lauren Bacall, Jack Nicolson

Photo: All rights reserved by Viih :3

Was anyone more emblematic of the glamorous Hollywood life in the 1970s than Warren Beatty? Mr. “Hairspray” was riding high, “Heaven Can Wait” was a huge hit and “Reds” was just around the corner.

But, like most celebrities, Warren had to do the things we all do – pick up his dry cleaning, go shopping, get his teeth cleaned. Turns out his dentist was in the same building where I worked at Rogers & Cowan in Beverly Hills. One night, we were all piling into the elevator down to the parking area when the doors opened and there was WB in the flesh!

The elevator was really full so we assumed he would wait for the next one; but no, he squeezed in right next to me. Then he tried to reach for the elevator button since he was going to a different floor than us working stiffs. But my extremely generous bazooms were in the way. He tried to move his hand forward and sideways a little but hesitated and so I, without even looking at him, said “Which floor” and he smiled and said “P1 please”. I hit the button, still staring down at the floor which he found very amusing. He smiled that killer smile, dipped his head down a little and said “Thank you!” I mumbled something and when the doors opened, he got off and smiled again. I breathed again.

As soon as the doors closed, everyone started screaming and saying “That was Warren Beatty, right? Oh My God!!!”

This encounter taught me two things: one, that Warren Beatty had good manners and a sense of humor; and two, that you never know when you will run into someone famous and it will usually be at the most mundane of spots.

Until next time – hooray for Hollywood!

My So-Called Hollywood Life: Barbra Streisand

I was working for writer-producer Rick Edelstein at MGM Studios in the 1980s and he told me that a friend of his was stopping by and they were going to lunch but he wanted me to meet her. Imagine my surprise when in walks…Barbra Streisand!  I was pleased to see that she was not at all a “diva” but was dressed casually in white jeans, a pink shirt and hair tousled. She is much more delicate and pretty in person than her normal glamorous image. I remember clearly she had beautiful, translucent skin and her eyes bored right into me when we shook hands.

Apparently, she and Rick had been friends for years; in fact, he had introduced her to Eastern philosophy and alternative medicine which she swore cured some serious internal problems she had suffered from. She was on the lot that day editing “Yentl” a film that had a lot riding on it for her and the studio. They left to go eat Thai food at a small restaurant on Washington Blvd. in Culver City.

About 90 minutes later, I got a call from Rick saying that they had walked to the restaurant, but now they were too full and tired to walk back, so could I come pick them up?  OMG – I am driving a small car, my prized Pinto, and it probably needed a good wash (some things never change).

I drove to the restaurant (which was only about 3 blocks away) and picked them up. Rick climbed in the back and Barbra got in the front seat next to me. We started chatting about the film and she expressed her nerves and excitement about the film which she had been her labor of love for years. I told her I was looking forward to it and she smiled, saying “I think you will really like it!”  She was right.

Until next time, hooray for Hollywood!

Lisa

My So-Called Hollywood Life: George Clooney

actor george clooney

George Clooney, Actor/Activist

So today, George Clooney and his father Nick Clooney were arrested at the Sudanese embassy protest, practicing their right to civil disobedience. Clooney is one of the rare birds who combines acting talent, personal charm and dedicated activism for human rights. He uses his fame for good and usually without a lot of fanfare, but the recent situation in the Sudan has made him go more public.

My own close encounters with George occurred back in 1986 when he was cast on “The Facts of Life” and I was the unit publicist. He brought that inimitable breezy charm to the set right away and was universally adored by cast and crew. He was a buddy for young Mackenzie Astin, just one of da guys for the crew, and an object of admiration and amusement to the ladies of the show.

He was as self-deprecating and charming then as he remains today and I enjoyed being around him. We all sensed he was going to be a big star and would tell him so, eliciting the usual eye-rolling followed by a quip. We particularly liked to tease him about his love life. He was casually dating an actress who we could never remember if she was Sheena, Starla, something with an S…

He and I used to talk about our neighborhood, since we both lived in the Fairfax/Melrose trendy part of Hollywood at that time. He lived in a place on Oakwood near Harper while I was on Spaulding and Rosewood. I remember the building was blue with white trim and had the most awesome black/white tile floors. After having lived in the pool cabana at his aunt Rosemary Clooney’s house for a while when he first came to LA, he was thrilled to have his own cool apartment. Now, he’s has a very cool villa on Lake Como and south of the boulevard home in Studio City (I think).

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!

I hear there was a line of women around the block to bail George and papa Nick out of the hoosegow this morning…
;)

Until next time, hooray for Hollywood!

Lisa

I’m Moderating Social Media Panel at LA Femme Film Festival

Hey all, I have been blessed to attract three amazing women to my social media panel at the LA Femme Film Festival in Hollywood this Saturday morning at 10 am: Ellen Treanor, Eli Davidson and Sharon Hardee Jimenez.

We will provide a 360 degree look at how filmmakers can use social media to help promote their film and themselves. It’s at the Renberg Theater, 1125 N. McCadden Place, just north of Santa Monica Blvd. Street parking is metered (sorry!) and panel will be about 2 hours, but please stick around and watch some of the incredible films that will be screening on Sat and Sun.

And the closing night award ceremony will be star-studded with our honorees Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 2), Patty Jenkins (Monster), Tasha Smith (Jumping the Broom) and legendary entertainer Lainie Kazan.

Visit the website at http://www.lafemme.org for all details and to purchase tickets. Hope to see you there!

Clients in the News: In the Booth at Skyboat Media

This week in the Beeman Deemon

Rebecca Wisocky finished reading MIND GAMES, the first novel in The Disillusionists Trilogy by Carolyn Crane, and launches right into reading the second novel DOUBLE CROSSED. For Audible.com.

Clients in the News: In the Booth at Skyboat Media

This week in Studio A
Look at the Harlequins!
Stefan Rudnicki read Vladimir Nabokov’s last book LOOK AT THE HARLEQUINS for Brilliance Audio. Stefan has read 4 other Nabokov works, including Nabokov’s memoir SPEAK MEMORY. Stefan has been selected specifically by the Nabokov Estate to read each of these works. He said of this work, “Probably the most dense prose I’ve ever encountered, not to mention the verses. An amazing experience to once again live in his world of ever-present memory and fantasy.”

 

The Tardis is taking a well-deserved maintenance break before the Skyboat Media Audiobook Narrators Overview and Practicum the weekend of Aug. 27-28 – have you signed up yet?

Clients in the News: In the Booth at Skyboat Media

This week in Skyboat Media’s Studio A, there was a double dose of star power.

Jimpressionist and YouTube viral superstar Jim Meskimen still found time to record an audiobook with Skyboat – some guys have all the luck!  Jim came in to read Zondervan’s PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE penned by Republican Congressman Frank Wolf.

Also for Zondervan, talented veteran narrator Mark Bramhall was directed by the equally talented veteran Stefan Rudnicki reading GOD’S STORY, YOUR STORY by Max Lucado for Zondervan Press.