Thursday, July 27, 2023

"Diary of Anne Frank" Actress Dodie Heath 1926-2023 Memorial Video

Rowena Dolores Heath (August 3, 1926 – June 24, 2023), also known as Dodie Heath and Dody Heath, was an American actress of stage, film, and television. 

From 1954 to 1959, Heath was linked in gossip columns with circus owner John Ringling North, who was twenty five years older. A public engagement announcement was put out in May 1955 by her parents, which some sources have mistaken for a wedding notice. However, by August 1955 it was reported that Heath did not want to marry him and give up her career. North wrote a song for her called Dody which was published in summer 1956 by Frank Loesser's Frank Music Company and licensed under ASCAP. The couple had an on-again/off-again relationship and never did marry.

Heath married agent turned producer Jack Cushingham (1919-1985) in Rome, Italy in November 1962. They lived in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles and remained married until his death in 1985. Following his death, Heath married British producer Richard M. Soames. That union was later dissolved.

Heath died on June 24, 2023, at the age of 96.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Singer Tony Bennett 1926-2023 Memorial Video

Anthony Dominick Benedetto (August 3, 1926 – July 21, 2023), known professionally as Tony Bennett, was an American jazz and traditional pop singer. He amassed many accolades, including 20 Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Primetime Emmy Awards. Bennett was named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree and founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, New York. He sold more than 50 million records worldwide and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bennett began singing at an early age. He fought in the final stages of World War II as a U.S. Army infantryman in the European Theater. Afterward, he developed his singing technique, signed with Columbia Records and had his first number-one popular song with "Because of You" in 1951. Several popular tracks such as "Rags to Riches" followed in early 1953. He then refined his approach to encompass jazz singing. He reached an artistic peak in the late 1950s with albums such as The Beat of My Heart and Basie Swings, Bennett Sings. In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." His career and personal life experienced an extended downturn during the height of the rock music era. Bennett staged a comeback in the late 1980s and 1990s, putting out gold record albums again and expanding his reach to the MTV generation while keeping his musical style intact.

Bennett continued to create popular and critically praised work into the 21st century. He attracted renewed acclaim late in his career for his collaboration with Lady Gaga, which began with the album Cheek to Cheek (2014); the two performers toured together to promote the album throughout 2014 and 2015. With the release of the duo's second album, Love for Sale (2021), Bennett broke the individual record for the longest run of a top-10 album on the Billboard 200 chart for any living artist; his first top-10 record was I Left My Heart in San Francisco in 1962. Bennett also broke the Guinness World Record for the oldest person to release an album of new material, at the age of 95 years and 60 days.

In February 2021, Bennett revealed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016. Due to the slow progression of his illness, he continued to record, tour, and perform until his retirement from concerts due to physical challenges, which was announced after his final performances on August 3 and 5, 2021, at Radio City Music Hall.

Bennett died at his home in New York City on July 21, 2023, following a seven-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. His family said he kept singing to the end, lastly "Because of You." He was hailed as the "champion" and "legendary interpreter" of the Great American Songbook.

-- wikipedia

Saturday, July 22, 2023

"Horror Hotel" Actress Betta St. John 1929-2023 Memorial Video

Betta St. John (born Betty Jean Striegler, November 26, 1929 – June 23, 2023) was an American actress, singer, and dancer who worked on Broadway, the West End, and in Hollywood films. She started her career aged 10 as a child actress in uncredited movie parts in her native USA, as an adult actress her first starring role was in the MGM film Dream Wife opposite Cary Grant in 1953, later residing in England she appeared in starring roles in British films including High Tide at Noon, two Tarzan films, and the horror features Corridors of Blood with Boris Karloff and Horror Hotel with Christopher Lee. 

She was an inductee into the Hawthorne Hall of Fame in 2019. 

Betty Jean Striegler was born in Hawthorne, California, on November 26, 1929. St. John, alongside Shirley Temple, was part of the Meglin Kiddies troupe of actors, singers, and dancers. St. John made her film debut at age ten in an uncredited part in Destry Rides Again (1939) starring James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich. She then played an orphan in Jane Eyre (1943), starring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine, also uncredited. St. John played a small role in the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical Carousel from 1945 until 1947. She was a member of the show's touring company until 1949. Later that year, she created the role of Liat in the musical South Pacific, first on Broadway and then London. 

St. John appeared in the 1953 films The Robe, Dream Wife, and All the Brothers Were Valiant, as well as 1954's The Student Prince. Betta St. John starred in two Tarzan films the first in 1957 Tarzan and the Lost Safari which was the first Tarzan film to be filmed in colour, she returned to the franchise in Tarzan the Magnificent in 1960. She continued to act in films and appear in TV series until 1965 before leaving the entertainment industry.

St. John was married to English actor Peter Grant from 1952 until his death in 1992. They had three children. Betta St. John died at an assisted living facility in Brighton, England, on June 23, 2023, at the age of 93.

Monday, July 17, 2023

"Phantom From Space" Actress Noreen Nash 1924-2023 Memorial Video

Noreen Nash (born Norabelle Jean Roth; April 4, 1924 – June 6, 2023) was an American film and television actress, who after working as a model, had a two-decade long career during the Classical Hollywood Cinema era. In the beginning of her career, she had uncredited parts at MGM. In 1945, she appeared in The Southerner, after which she had mostly leading roles in B movies of the late 1940s and 1950s, such as The Red Stallion (1947), The Checkered Coat (1948), and Phantom from Space (1953). After leaving the acting profession in 1962, she attended college and became a writer, publishing several books. Nash married Dr. Lee Siegel on December 12, 1942, in Las Vegas, after only having known each other for little over a month. They had two sons, Lee Siegel Jr., a novelist and religion professor, and Robert James Siegel, a cardiologist. Dr. Siegel worked as a medical director at the film studio 20th Century Fox. He died on May 7, 1990. In 2001, she married actor James Whitmore, who died in 2009. Noreen Nash died at her home in Beverly Hills, California, on June 6, 2023, at the age of 99.

The music for this video is Kevin MacLeod's "Fantastic A,' which he has given to the public domain.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Visiting Marilyn 8/6/2017

A few days after the 2017 anniversary of Marilyn's passing, fans continue to visit her crypt at Westwood Village Cemetery, seeing gorgeous floral displays, photos, cards, notes, coins, and other items of remembrance.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Visiting Marilyn 7/9/2023

As delightfully usual, devoted fans have left an adorable visual display at the Westwood Village Cemetery crypt of actress Marilyn Monroe.

Visiting Marilyn 6/6/2023

A few days after Marilyn Monroe's birthday (June 1st), her Westwood Village Cemetery crypt remains decorated with items left by her adoring fans.