“The Tall Man” – RIP Angus Scrimm

Everyone’s Favorite Phantasm Villain

Angus Scrimm & Bill NelsonAngus Scrimm (Lawrence Rory Guy) with What Up Hollywood writer Bill Nelson

Click Here for IMDB Biography

Posted in Celebrities, Hollywood People | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

RIP Star Trek Writer George Clayton Johnson, 86

Famous Hollywood Writer Dies Christmas Day

George Clayton Johnson with Bill Nelson

George Clayton Johnson with Bill Nelson

Besides writing the first episode of Star Trek and the story that became the film “Ocean’s Eleven” as well as “Logan’s Run”, he also wrote a few of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes “Nothing in the Dark”, “Game of Pool” & :”Kick the Can”. I had the pleasure of meeting him a number of times at various book signing events, but the most memorable time was when he gave a wonderfully fascinating and informative talk on his writing career upstairs at the Bookfellows store in Glendale.

–Bill Nelson

Posted in Celebrities, Hollywood People | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Classic TV Preservation Society Holiday Party

Join Us at Barnes & Noble Burbank December 3rd for a Gala Event With Over 20 Television Stars!

6pm – 9pm

Special-Guest List

A Very Merry Classic TV Holiday Event

Hosted by Herbie J Pilato and Caryn Richman (“The New Gidget”)

Featuring performer Gloria Loring (“Days of Our Lives”)

Burbank Barnes & Noble Media Center * Thursday, December 3, 2015 * 6:00 to 9:00 PM

Dear Butler (“Little House on the Prairie”)

Katherine Cannon (“Father Murphy”)

Kathy Coleman (“Land of the Lost”)

Lydia Cornell (“Too Close for Comfort”)

Joel Eisenberg (writer/author/producer – Chronicles of Ara/Joe Lewis biopic)

Kathy Garver (“Family Affair”)

Jimmy Garrett (“The Lucy Show”)

Jerry Houser (“The Bradys”)

Geri Jewell (“The Facts of Life”)

Patricia Kara (supermodel)

Bruce Kimmel (actor, author, screenwriter, director, “Tabatha”)

Karen Sharp Kramer (actress and wife of director Stanley Kramer)

Katherine Kat Kramer (actress and daughter of Stanley Kramer)

Lawrence H. Levy (TV writer/mystery author)

Stanley Livingston (“My Three Sons”)

Pierre Patrick (author, The Doris Day Companion)

Thaao Penghlis (“Days of Our Lives”)

Eric Scott (“The Waltons”)

Tom Watson (producer/author)

Michael Stern (Lucille Ball’s knighted “No. 1 Fan” and author of I Had A Ball)

William Wellman, Jr. (actor, son of famed director, author of Wild Bill Wellman)

Eileen Wesson (daughter of producer/director Dick Wesson)

Larry Wilcox (“CHiPs”)

Anson Williams (“Happy Days”)

Posted in Celebrities, Events, Hollywood People | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Lucy Show” Comming to Burbank

Join Classic TV Preservation Society at Barnes and Noble on November 19th Celebrating

*****Lucille Ball*****

Lucy 2The Classic TV Preservation Society is presenting Thomas J. Watson and Michael Stern.  The Show starts at 7pm and is hosted by Herbie J Pilato.  If you are a Lucy fan, you do not want to miss this presentation, which is free, but seating is limited.

Michael SternMichael Stern is known as Lucille Ball’s number one fan.  Here he is when he was just a kid, hanging out with Lucy!

Thomas Watson

Thomas Watson, author of I Love Lucy: The Classic Moments, Loving Lucy: An Illustrated Tribute to Lucille Ball (with author Bart Andrews), The Quotable ‘I Love Lucy’, and Color Me Lucy.  Mr. Watson does much more, including his Still in Love with Lucy newsletters on the LucyFan.com website.

and ?????? Possible Mystery Guest ??????

If you are a Lucy fan you might want to show up…….

Barnes and Noble Burbank is located across the street from Ikea in Downtown Burbank at 731 San Fernando Blvd., Burbank.

Posted in Celebrities, Events | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Francesca Lia Block Coming to Echo Park

Stories Books & Cafe Hosts Francesca Lia Block and other authors on Friday, November 13th at 7:30pm

Stories Books & Cafe

Stories Books & Cafe

 

Francesca Lia Block

Francesca Lia Block

Francesca Lia Block is the author of more than twenty-five books of fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry. She received the Spectrum Award, the Phoenix Award, the ALA Rainbow Award and the2005 Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as other citations from the American Library Association and from the New York Times Book ReviewSchool Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly. Her work has been translated into Italian, French, German Japanese, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Portuguese. Francesca has also published stories, poems, essays and interviews in The Los Angeles TimesThe L.A. Review of BooksSpinNylonBlack Clock and Rattle among others. In addition to writing, she teaches fiction workshops at UCLA ExtensionAntioch University Writing Pad and privately in Los Angeles where she was born, raised and currently still lives.

Now on Kindle

Now on Kindle

Her new book, Rough Magick, at the present a Kindle Edition, is a collection of stories by other writers, that was edited by Francesca and Jessa Marie Mendez. Francesca: ” In Rough Magick, we have gathered together a collection of haunting, sometimes chilling, short stories and poems about the darker side of love and sex. Some of the stories are magical; some are more realistic and the “magic” comes through in language and lyricism. Some protagonists are teens and some are adults. There is romanticism and eroticism and even horror. What unites the stories is that the writers have boldly faced love’s shadows in unique and gripping ways.”  The writers are Amanda Yates Garcia, Jessa Marie Mendez, Ashley Inguanta, Daniel Weizmann, Mary Pauline Lowry, Justina Aura Nemoy, Sarah Herrington, Francesca Padilla, Alise Wascom, Tracy DeBrincat, Denise Hamilton, and Manuel Chavarria.  At this event, some of the authors will be reading from the book.

Stories Books & Cafe is at 1716 Sunset Blvd., in Echo Park.  For further information call 213-413-3733

Posted in Books, Celebrities, Events | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Frank and Ava In Love and War

Join us at Larry Edmunds Bookshop on Wednesday, November 11th at 7:30pm

Authors John Brady and Lawrence Grobel

Frank & Ava

Join us as author John Brady signs & discusses his new book, “Frank & Ava-In Love and War” with author Lawrence Grobel.

*** BONUS***Also, as part of the evening festivities, Ava’s original recording of “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man,” which was deleted from the Show Boat movie track when MGM execs decided to dub Ava’s songs. The program also includes a home movie (in color) of Frank and Ava at their wedding reception on November 7, 1951, in a private home outside Philadelphia, with Frank’s March 1951 recording of “We Kiss in a Shadow” as quite appropriate background music.

“If I had to go back in Hollywood history and name two people who were most desperately and passionately in love with each other, I would say Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner were It.”—Liz Smith.

It began in Hollywood’s golden age when Ava was emerging as a movie star. But she fell in (and out of) love too easily. Mickey Rooney married her because he wanted another conquest. Artie Shaw treated her like a dumb brunette, giving her a reading list on their honeymoon. Neither marriage lasted a year. Then, after being courted by Howard Hughes and numerous others, along came Frank Sinatra. His passion for Ava destroyed his marriage and brought him close to ruin. Their wild affair broke all the rules of the prudish era as Frank left his wife and children and pursued Ava on an international stage. They became romantic renegades, with the press following them from location to location. “Oh, God, Frank Sinatra could be the sweetest, most charming man in the world when he was in the mood,” said Ava. They married, but then came the quarrels, separations, infidelities, and reconciliations. Eventually, there was a divorce, and they thought it was over. It wasn’t. Through all of the tortured years of separation and splintered affairs with others, they maintained a secretive relationship known only to those who recognized that this was the love of a lifetime. Over the years, they attempted to reconcile, romanced and nurtured each other, right to the end. The love story of this couple has never been fully explored or explained—until now. Frank & Ava delves deeply into the lives of these two iconic stars and their turbulent lifelong relationship. More than anything else, this is the story of a romance lived out under battlefield conditions.

Two authors who have written books about Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra meet and discuss the origins of their books, and how they how they overcame problems on the road to publication. Lawrence Grobel, author of Conversations With Ava Gardner, was one of the last American journalists to interact with the actress (when she was in LA for medical treatment shortly before her death in 1990).

John Brady

John Brady

John Brady, author of Frank & Ava in Love and War, met Sinatra and worked for his recording company in the ’70s when Frank was reinventing himself as Ol’ Blue Eyes. (Brady and Grobel have known each other since 1976 when John was editor-in-chief at Writer’s Digest — and put master interviewer Larry on the cover with one of his numerous Playboy subjects: Barbra Streisand.) This program will explore the byways of the celebrity biography and the uncertain credibility of sources, including “as lied to” memoirs. John Brady’s Frank & Ava in Love and War is the first book to tell the full story of the rocky road to romance traveled by Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner. Their encounter in Hollywood’s so-called golden age led to an affair that broke all the rules of the prudish era. Frank was married with children. Their reputations could be ruined if this got out — and it did, as Frank left his family and pursued Ava across Europe while she taunted him. They married, but then came quarrels, separations, and occasional truce between emotional wars. Eventually there was a divorce, but afterward they maintained their long, hot, messy, glorious, painful romance right to the finish line.

Publishers Weekly: “Veteran editor and author Brady approaches the love-hate history of Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner with reliable thoroughness. He knows how to keep readers turning pages all the way to the end of Sinatra’s career, when everything that he had collected was sold at auction. Anyone remotely curious about either of these larger-than-life characters will want to read Brady’s book.” John Brady is the author of five books, including The Craft of Interviewing, Craft of the Screenwriter, and Bad Boy: The Life and Politics of Lee Atwater. He has been editor-in-chief at Boston Magazine, Writer’s Digest, and founding editor of The Artist’s Magazine. His byline has appeared in scores of publications, and he conducted the Playboy interview with naughty-naughty TV host Jerry Springer. After Sinatra’s death in 1998, Brady started work on a book about the man and his music, conducting interviews with many of Frank’s colleagues. After visiting the Ava Gardner Museum in North Carolina, he shifted to a dual biography. “She was the most important woman in his life,” says Brady. Thus, Frank & Ava in Love and War, after years of research and occasional interruptions. Brady lives and writes in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He is currently working on a book about Marilyn Monroe.

Lawrence Grobel

Lawrence Grobel

Lawrence Grobel is a freelance writer who has written 24 books and hundreds of articles for national magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Newsday, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Reader’s Digest, American Way, Parade, Details, TV Guide, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Penthouse, Diversion, Writer’s Digest, and AARP. His 1985 book Conversations with Capotere received a PEN Special Achievement award and reached the top of several bestseller lists. Grobel’s books include: The Hustons; Conversations with Brando; Talking with Michener; Above the Line: Conversations About the Movies; Endangered Species: Writers Talk About Their Craft, Their Visions, Their Lives; Climbing Higher with Montel Williams (a N.Y. Times bestseller and Publisher’s Weekly Best Book in 2004); The Art of the Interview: Lessons from a Master of the Craft (also a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book in 2004); Al Pacino: In Conversation with Lawrence Grobel(French Film Critics Award for Best International Book of 2009); Conversations with Robert Evans;The Book of Shmoga (a yoga satire); Icons (a collection of 15 celebrity profiles); I Want You in My Movie! Al Pacino’s 5 Year Obsession with Wilde Salome; a memoir, You Show Me Yours; Celebrity Salad: Close Encounters for the Verse Inclined (152 poems about celebrities); and the novels Catch a Fallen Star and Begin Again Finnegan. From 2001—2011 he taught seminars on The Art of the Interview, The Literature of Journalism, His blog, books and articles can be found on his website: www.lawrencegrobel.com.

Larry Edmunds Bookshop is located at 6644 Hollywood Blvd.  just a few blocks east of the Metro Red Line Station at Hollywood and Highland.  Phone 323-463-3273 for additional information.

Posted in Books, Celebrities, Events | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writer Lawrence H. Levy at Classic TV Night November 12th

Join Us At Barnes & Noble Burbank Thursday November 12th at 7pm For Another Classic TV Preservation Society Special Event

Note:  If you have Periscope we will be live streaming the event!  Click on the red dot Los Angeles and look for ottofocus44.  Go to Twitter and follow @ottofocus44 to be notified of streaming events.

Lawrence H. Levy

Lawrence H. Levy

Lawrence H. Levy

Lawrence H. Levy is a two-time Emmy nominee and a WGA Award winner for SEINFELD. His credits include SEINFELD, ROSEANNE, FAMILY TIES, SAVED BY THE BELL… and the list goes on. Mr. Levy has also written for hour shows like SEVENTH HEAVEN, SAVANNAH, TRAPPER JOHN, and many more. He has run animation shows and has sold features to Columbia and Disney. Needless to say, he has had a very eclectic career and has just started on a new chapter. His first novel, SECOND STREET STATION, was published by Random House/Broadway Books this year. It is an historical fictional mystery based on a real story about a young woman, Mary Handley. During the late 1800’s when there were no policewomen, she was asked by the Brooklyn Police Department to help sleuth a high profile murder. During her investigation, she comes upon Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, J.P. Morgan, the inventor of Coca-Cola, etc, all of whom are suspects and about whom certain interesting, little known facts are revealed. His second book in the Mary Handley series, BROOKLYN ON FIRE, will be out on January 19th.

Barnes and Noble Burbank is located at 731 N. San Fernando Blvd, in Burbank.  It is across the street from Ikea, 1 block south of Burbank Blvd.  Plentiful free parking!  Call 818-558-1383

Posted in Books, Celebrities, Events | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Comedy Writers Laugh-In at Tonight’s Event

Barnes & Noble Burbank – Thursday Nov 5th – 7:00pm

Classic TV Preservation Society Presents

Great Moments in Television Comedy

Import_356

Herbie J Pilato moderates tonight’s event with several of the greatest television comedy writers, including:

Sam Bobrick

Sam Bobrick

Sam Bobrick, award winning playwright who from the late 1950s to the 1990s wrote for scores of television shows.  Click here to go to his website for a list of his shows and his biography.  He says about his shows:

” Most of them were on the air before many of you were born. I think some of them were on the air before I was born.”

He’s written and co-written over thirty-five plays, many of them performed throughout the world, including: Murder At The Howard Johnson’sWeekend Comedy, Getting Sara Married, and Hamlet II (Better Than The Original). Twenty four of them have been published by Samuel French.

Born in Chicago in 1932 he joined the Air Force after his first year in college following a futile attempt at accounting. It was in the Service that he commenced a writing career as the editor and sole contributor to “The Tribe Scribe” – a bi-monthly politically incorrect base newspaper which, while very popular with the troops, was not held in the highest esteem by the military bureaucracy. After three years, nine months and twenty eight days in the Air Force he was honorably discharged and attended and graduated from the University of Illinois.

He soon made his way to New York where after several years of living on hot dogs and jelly donuts he landed his first big job as a writer for the legendary Captain Kangaroo children’s program. His TV writing career is long and varied, and includes The Andy Griffith Show, Get Smart, and The Smother’s Brothers Comedy Hour.

It was while doing The Kraft Music Hall in New York that he became involved with theatre, co-writing his first play NORMAN, IS THAT YOU? which has been produced throughout the world.

A prolific talent, he has also composed songs which have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Brian Ferry, and Los Lobos. He also co-wrote all the songs for the two MAD Magazine albums, MAD Twists Rock ‘N’ Roll and Fink Along With MAD – both of which have become collector’s items.

Recently – he and his son Joey wrote and released a hilarious but wickedly rude CD called Totally Twisted Country sung by the great country and western group The Cow Pies.

He is married and lovingly-devoted to playwright Julie Stein with whom he co-wrote several plays (including THE OUTRAGEOUS ADVENTURES OF SHELDON & MRS. LEVINE and LENNY’S BACK (a one man show about the legendary comedian Lenny Bruce).

Besides his son he has two fantastic daughters Lori and Steffy, two wonderful son-in-laws, Caleb and Geoff, one magnificent daughter-in-law, Linda and two outstanding grand-children, Ariel and Joshua.

Ed Scharlach

Ed Scharlach

Ed Scharlach, another multi-talented writer who wrote for both television comedies and more serious stuff, like Mike Hammer.  Click here for a list of his extensive television writing credits.

He has written and produced more than 300 episodes of TV comedy, including: segments for classic shows such as “The Odd Couple,” “Happy Days,” “Mork and Mindy,” and “Love American Style.” He also penned pristine episodes of acclaimed variety shows like “The Dean Martin Show” and shows for Steve Martin, Bette Midler, and Jay Leno.

He is also worked for several TV hour mystery dramas include writing/producing for “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” and writing for sci-fi classics such as “Quantum Leap.”

Scooby-DooHis writing/producing also include such acclaimed animated series as “Duckman,” “The Wild Thornberrys”, “Pinky and the Brain,” the pilot for the cult favorite, “Invader Zim, as well as producing the TV series revival of the famed “Scooby-Doo” franchise.

His work as been heralded in TV Guide’s “101 Best Written TV Series,” as well as in TV Guide’s “100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.” He is an Emmy, Annie, and Writer’s Guild Award nominee and the winner of a Cable ACE award.

He also happens to be one of the kindest and most beloved human beings in the entertainment industry.

Arnie Kogen

Arnie Kogen

Arnie Kogen, another major comedy writer and producer joins the group tonight.  Mr. Kogen has written for many of the major stand-up comedians, including Don Adams, Soupy Sales, Jackie Gleason and Johnny Carson.  Not only did he write for many television shows, but he wrote for years for our favorite Mad Magazine.  Click Here for a list of his credits, and Click Here for the list of Mad Magazine pieces.

He’s written and/or produced for The Carol Burnett Show, The Tonight Show, Newhart, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Empty Nest, Mad TV, The Dean Martin Show, Sinbad, Donnie & Marie, The Jackson Five, Evening At The Improv, The Bob Newhart Show, Tim Conway, Candid Camera, The Golden Globes and The Academy Awards.

Has also written comedy material for Phyllis Diller, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Shelley Berman, Debbie Reynolds, Connie Stevens, Totie Fields, Jackie Vernon, Diana Ross, Flip Wilson, Ann Margret, Sammy Davis, Morty Gunty, Mal Z Lawrence and Freddie Roman.

Mad MagFor over five decades he has been one of the leading contributors to Mad Magazine.

He has won three Emmy Awards (seven nominations) and one Writers Guild Award (three nominations)

He has been planning on writing a novel but doesn’t have enough material. He feels he has a “leaflet” in him. 

Periscope fans:  We will broadcast live stream from time to time during the show.  Click on L.A on the map and find ottofocus44 between 7:30 and 9pm.

 

Posted in Celebrities, Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Partially Streaming Live on Periscope -Classic TV Preservation Society Gala Event

We Will Stream Parts of the Event Live – Look for Ottofocus44 in Los Angeles Between 7pm-9pm This will be intermittent – not the whole show.

Bewitched TT

 

Posted in Celebrities, Events, Hollywood People | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classic TV Preservation Society

Schedule for Television Stars at Barnes & Noble Burbank for Upcoming “Throwback Thursdays”

All Events start at 7 pm.  Seating is Limited.  Event is Free

Events hosted by Herbie J Pilato

Anson Williams

Anson Williams

September 24, 2015:  Happy Days star Anson Williams will be discussing and signing his new book Singing To A Bulldog.

***********************************************************************************

 

William Wellman, Jr

William Wellman, Jr

October 1, 2015:  William Wellman Jr. will be discussing and signing his book, Wild Bill Wellman, the biography about his iconic film director dad.

**************************************************************************************

 

Kathy Garver

Kathy Garver

October 8, 2015:  Family Affair star Kathy Garver will be discussing and signing her book Surviving Cissy.

**************************************************************************************

 

Ron Dante

Ron Dante

October 15, 2015:  Pop-icon Ron Dante (producer of Cher, Barry Manilow, and others) singing his legendary super hit Sugar Sugar (from The Archies) and singing selections from his new music CD.

************************************************************************************

 

Dawn Wells

Dawn Wells

October 22, 2015:  The one and only Dawn Wells, star of Gilligan’s Island, who will be signing copies of What Would Mary Ann Do?

*************************************************************************************

October 29, 2015:  A Bewitched Night of Magic

Chris York

Chris York

Chris York, son of Bewitched actor Dick York (the first Darrin)

David Bloch-Mandel

David Bloch-Mandel

David Bloch-Mandel, who played little Adam Stephens (Samantha and Darrin’s warlock son)

Pop Haydin

Pop Haydn

Pop Haydn, the magician (and former Vice-President of the Magic Castle).

***********************************************************************************

Posted in Celebrities, Events, Hollywood People | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment