Hollywoodland Nov 15 2022
CANDY GIRL
Fresh from the factory.


The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair brought eighty nations, almost fifty corporations, and a hundred restaurants together to occupy one hundred and forty pavilions built across more than six hundred acres in the borough of Queens. To say that sounds fun is an understatement. We'd love to have been there, especially to see the New York City of that era, but nobody has invented a time machine yet. If we could have gone to the Fair, though, we'd have made sure to run across U.S. actress, model, and singer Joi Lansing, above, who made a publicity appearance as the Queen of Candy outside the Chunky Candy Pavilion.

By the fall of 1964, which is when she posed for the photo, she was a longtime celebrity who had never quite made it big. That's easy to guess, because a big star wouldn't have been slogging through New York's autumn rain trying drum up publicity for herself and a candy brand. Lansing had started in movies in 1947 when she was eighteen, and bounced between cinema and television, with many stops in the pages of tabloids. She never quite became a movie star, but she did forge a major television presence, and was eventually honored for her contributions to that medium by receiving a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

We find her interesting because she had an unconventional sort of beauty, and she seems to pop up all the time in the materials we accumulate. Sadly, she died of cancer in 1972 when she was only forty-three. We have a fair amount of material on her in the website, including some interesting bikini shots here made when she was thirty-seven but looking twenty-five, an interesting paperback cover she appeared on here, a movie poster for one of her starring roles here, and a brilliant promo image showing her at her very best here.

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Femmes Fatales Oct 20 2022
LEGGY MATSUYAMA
Yes, we all saw your new boots, and for the last time—we all love them.


If you've never watched Japanese television but this person still seems familiar, it may be either because we used her in a collage several years ago, or because there are lots of high kicking images in Japanese posters and promo shots, and she reminds you of those. Either way, this is a fun image of Lisa Komaki, who rose to fame playing the character of Peggy Matsuyama the Momo Renjā, or Pink Ranger, on the hit tokusatsu series Himitsu Sentai Gorenger, which debuted in 1975. Komaki appeared in several short films and one other series, all along the same lines as Himitsu Sentai Gorenger, and was out of show business by 1979. But tokusatsu series represent a cult niche in popular Japanese culture, which means she's well remembered. 

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Femmes Fatales Oct 5 2022
RULES AND REGULATIONS
I heard this was a no Parkins zone. I'd like to have a word with you about that.


Canadian actress Barbara Parkins strikes a couple of fun poses in the above two promo images made when she was co-starring in The Kremlin Letter in 1970. She was mostly a television actress and is best remembered today for the soapy series Peyton Place, but she also appeared in the mostly forgotten but very interesting horror movie The Mephisto Waltz, and the Hollywood takedown Valley of the Dolls, which has become a cult fave. In total, she acted for almost forty years before retiring in 1998. We've seen quite a few shots of her, but we think these are the best.

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Femmes Fatales Jul 24 2022
THE SMOKING GUN
It isn't conclusive proof she's responsible for the guy on the floor with a bullet hole in him. But it's highly suggestive.


We were thrilled when we found this photo of Jane Wyatt with a gun because she's one of those actresses that usually played good girls. But in 1951's The Man Who Cheated Himself, which is where this photo comes from, she's pretty bad. We won't say more because we plan to discuss the film, but we haven't spoiled it—she's bad early on, and her escapade with the smoking gun is the premise for what follows. Wyatt later became a veteran television actress and earned a special place in the hearts of Star Trek fans for playing Spock's mom in the 1967 episode “Journey to Babel.” In that episode her name was—we love this—Amanda. You'd expect something, maybe, spacier. But nope. She was plain old Amanda. But she was never a plain old Jane.

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Femmes Fatales Jul 4 2022
HOW DO YOU HAIRDO
I came up with it all by myself. Totally groovy, right?


These shots show U.S. actress Teresa Graves today in 1970, and despite the fact that her bizarro hairdo makes her look counterculture, she was in Washington, D.C. attending the Honor America Day celebration. If you've never heard of Honor America Day, that's because it was a one-off, hastily cobbled together by then-president Richard Nixon, who was under pressure due to his decision to send U.S. troops into Cambodia during the Vietnam War, a move which precipitated a protest at Kent State University at which Ohio National Guard troops shot and killed students.

Graves was a minor television star at the time, a recurring guest on the show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, however she was a natural for the D.C. event because she had built her career partly by touring Southeast Asia as a singer with Bob Hope's USO show. She would eventually become a major star on the police drama Get Christie Love! By then she'd ditched the hairdo that looked like it picked up signals from space for something conventional, as you can see at this link. But whatever shape her hair took, she was quite beautiful. 

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Femmes Fatales Feb 4 2022
DOUBLE TEAM
Gotham bank robbed. Witnesses describe thieves as tall, blonde, and festive.


This amusing photo shows June Wilkinson and Inga Neilsen and was made when they appeared on the television series Batman. We've seen most episodes of the show, thanks to the miracle of streaming, and we think it's one of the better television products of its era. This episode, which aired during season three, had the fun title, “Nora Clavicle and the Ladies' Crime Club,” but neither Wilkinson nor Neilsen played Nora Clavicle. That was Barbara Rush. These two were her henchwomen Evelina and Angelina. Below you see them planning to where to spend their loot. The shots are from 1968.

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Femmes Fatales Jan 27 2022
CASUAL VIOLENCE
I've shot enough people now that it doesn't really faze me anymore.


Carolyn Jones is known to most people for her turn as Morticia Addams on The Addams Family, but this chilled out photo was made when she was filming the gangster drama Baby Face Nelson in 1957. It wasn't her only crime thriller. She also appeared in The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Man in the Net, and Johnny Trouble. We've actually never seen an episode of The Addams Family, but we knew it was a bit of a cultural phenomenon, and after learning it started as a cartoon in The New Yorker all the way back in 1938, we may have to check it out.

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Femmes Fatales Dec 8 2021
DULY NOTED
You're the new secretary? Take a memo. Recommendation: bonuses for everyone in the HR department.


We've been making our way through the old television show Bewitched, which has been entertaining and surprisingly funny. As always, such series had numerous guest stars, some of whom would later become famous themselves. Beverly Adams, who you see above, guest starred on the show in 1965, episode 30, as a character named Danger O'Riley, and rarely has an actress made such a splash. It wasn't her first Hollywood credit, but it was one of her most memorable. See what we mean here. Adams went on to appear in such films as The Silencers, Murderer's Row, and The Ambushers, as well as television shows like Police Story and Quincy M.E. She was never a big star, but she was certainly a rare beauty. This photo dates from 1967. 

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Femmes Fatales Nov 18 2021
SUPERSIZE HER
I do everything big—guns, smokes, uh, pockets. Acting, of course. Everything is over the top.


Above: a cool shot of Betty Lou Gerson, made when she was starring in the 1949 anti-communist scare flick The Red Menace. We talked about it many years ago. Shorter version: the real menace was toward the filmgoers. Gerson, who is known today for narrating the Disney film Cinderella and voicing Cruella de Vil in One Hundred and One Dalmatians, did most of her acting on television, appearing on such shows as Gang Busters and Adventures of the Falcon. Looking at the above image, we actually aren't sure whether the gun was big, or Betty Lou was small, but either way, it makes her look pretty menacing.

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Femmes Fatales Oct 11 2021
CAT SCRATCH FEVER
Don't believe the folk tale. Crossing my path is the very best luck.


Lee Meriwether poses in costume as Catwoman in this shot made during the filming of the 1966 movie Batman: The Movie, one of the goofiest products of the era. It also produced one of the funniest extended gags in cinematic history, involving Batman trying to dispose of a bomb. We go into more detail on that classic comedy moment here. Meriwether also appeared on the Batman television show, and though known mainly for playing Catwoman, amassed more than one hundred film and television credits during her career, which was still going strong up until 2019. With that kind of résumé it's certainly possible she'll show up here again. 

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Next Page
History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 02
1954—Joseph McCarthy Disciplined by Senate
In the United States, after standing idly by during years of communist witch hunts in Hollywood and beyond, the U.S. Senate votes 65 to 22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for conduct bringing the Senate into dishonor and disrepute. The vote ruined McCarthy's career.
December 01
1955—Rosa Parks Sparks Bus Boycott
In the U.S., in Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott resulted in a crippling financial deficit for the Montgomery public transit system, because the city's African-American population were the bulk of the system's ridership.
November 30
1936—Crystal Palace Gutted by Fire
In London, the landmark structure Crystal Palace, a 900,000 square foot glass and steel exhibition hall erected in 1851, is destroyed by fire. The Palace had been moved once and fallen into disrepair, and at the time of the fire was not in use. Two water towers survived the blaze, but these were later demolished, leaving no remnants of the original structure.
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