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October 27, 2013

Susan Marg

5 Ways to Enjoy a Hollywood-Style Halloween

Hollywood is haunted.  Make no bones about it. There are skeletons in the closet and rumors rattling the actors.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell the living from the walking dead. So, do as the fear-mongers on Sunset Boulevard do, and have a spirited Halloween.

Gloria Swanson and William Holden in Sunset Boulevard. Now that's scary.

Gloria Swanson and William Holden in Sunset Boulevard. Now that’s scary.

1. Rent a costume.

Are you having trouble deciding to be traditional or original?  Dressing as a gangsta like James Cagney or a rapper such as Jay-Z? Then visit the Western Costume Company. They rent thousands of costumes from major motion pictures for Halloween. Even if you’re located in another part of the country, their website has some great ideas.

2. Wear makeup instead of a mask.

If you go this route, take some advice from Oscar-winning makeup effect artist Rick Baker: “Painting on a face is like painting on a canvas.  You have to understand the principles of highlight and shadow.”  To participate in the zombie zeitgeist, that’s so today, “Use oil-based paint sticks for the black shadow and a black eyebrow pencil to add lines and highlights.”

3. Put on your dancing shoes.

At Hollywood Forever Cemetery the party to celebrate Dia de los Meurtos, on November 2 this year, starts rockin’ after dark with hundreds of Aztec Ritual Dancers in full costume and musical performances on three stages.  What’s happening at your local burying grounds?

4. Visit a haunted house.

If the current residents of the house where Ozzie and Harriet and their sons David and Rickie lived in Hollywood have experienced unusual phenomenon, who’s to say that the dwelling down the street wouldn’t make the perfect place to hold a séance.

5. Watch a movie.

Heads will roll and bodies will pile up, whether you’re into icky, creepy, bloody, gutsy, scary or all of the above.  After all, movies are what Hollywood does best.

Halloween: it’s not just about the candy anymore.

© 2013 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

 

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Press Release

October 23, 2013

Susan Marg

Cowgirl Jane Press

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FACEBOOK “LIKES” BENEFIT MPTF.

FB thank pink2To launch her Facebook fan page for Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown, Susan Marg pledged a dime for every “like” to the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF).  Receiving eleven hundred “likes” in a couple of weeks, Marg sent the fund a check for $110.

Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith, also founders of United Artists, started MPTF, a private, non-profit charity, over 90 years ago  to help those in the movie industry who had fallen on hard times.  “It hasn’t gotten any easier.” Marg notes.  “Today the fund serves more than 150,000 people annually with healthcare and other social services.”

Charlie Chaplin once said, “We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.”

Marg is renewing her pledge and aims to garner another 1000 “likes” by the end of the year. If you love silents, film noir, westerns, or some other genre on the silver or small screen, “like” her Facebook fan page and ask your friends to ask their friends. It will make a difference.

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Susan Marg is the author of Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide, published by HarperCollins.  Since she has moved her field of focus from the City of Lights to the City of Angels, her interest in popular culture has only intensified.

For more information on MPTF, visit: http://www.mptf.com

 

Blog

October 17, 2013

Susan Marg

On Hollywood Boulevard:

Something Old, Something New

Some of the cast of Ocean's Eleven? No, it's Harpo, Groucho, Zeppo, and Chico Marx with Sid Grauman - 1933.  Photo from: Dennis Amith

Some of the cast of Ocean’s Eleven? No, it’s Harpo, Groucho, Zeppo, and Chico Marx with Sid Grauman – 1933. Photo from: Dennis Amith

Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre was reopened in September after a four-month renovation.  Now called TCL, rather than Grauman’s, after a Chinese television manufacturer bought naming rights, the venue now has one of the country’s largest IMAX screens and almost a thousand stadium seats, once again spacious enough to host movie premieres and accommodate the attendant paparazzi.

But the best news for movie fans?  The iconic imprints of our favorite superstars are still in place.

In 1927 Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford, the King of Hollywood and America’s Sweetheart, as well as co-owners of the theater with Sid Grauman, were the first to officially step in wet cement.  They each had their own square smack dab in front of the entrance.

Many others, by themselves, as a couple, or in a group, have followed.

It must be lonely on the range because singing cowboys signed for themselves and their horse. If you look around, you’ll find Tom Mix and Tony, Gene Autry and Champion, Roy Rogers and Trigger.  “Happy trails” to you and your four-legged partner, too.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are co-located, although he got his square in 1938 and she followed, as usual, one year later.

Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy share space, as do Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Harpo, Zeppo, Chico, and Groucho, who also left an imprint of his cigar, fell all over themselves to get their hands dirty.

When Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was released in 1953, Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe were memorialized in adjoining areas, writing the movie title above their signatures. Three years later in honor of the movie Giant, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and director George Stevens left their mark on the same day. If this was some sort of stunt to publicize their movies, who cares?

Certainly not Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Matt Damon fans. A big crowd greeted them and producer Jerry Weintraub of Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen at their signing-in ceremony in 2007. As Clooney said, “If I had to be on my hands and knees with three other guys, I can’t think of three better guys to do it with.”

Do you think the Star Trek cast plus creator Gene Roddenberry were thinking the same thing when they were honored with a square in 1991? After all, together they had gone “where no man has gone before.” They are to the right of the box office. Star Wars stars Darth Vader, R2D2, and C3PO are on the left.

More recently the Twilight Saga‘s Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner celebrated the release of Breaking Dawn — Part 1 by participating in this Hollywood tradition.  Stewart summed up the experience exclaiming, “I think this is the coolest thing ever.”

If the past is a guide to the future, as an ancient Chinese proverb divines, the popularity of the Chinese Theatre, regardless of its name, is ensured for a long time to come.

© 2013 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

Press Release

October 13, 2013

Susan Marg

Cowgirl Jane Press

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FACEBOOK “LIKES” TO BENEFIT MPTF.

800px-Chaplin_the_gold_rush_bootSusan Marg is launching a Facebook fan page for Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown.

For every “like”, comments count, too, she is donating a penny to the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF).  Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith, also founders of United Artists, started this private, non-profit charity over 90 years ago to help those in the movie industry who had fallen on hard times.  It hasn’t gotten any easier.  Today the fund serves more than 150,000 people annually with healthcare and other social services.

Charlie Chaplin once said, “We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.”

If you love silents, film noir, westerns, or some other genre on the silver or small screen, Marg asks you to like her Facebook page and to ask your friends to ask their friends. The pennies will add up.

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Susan Marg is the author of Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide, published by HarperCollins.  Since she has moved her field of focus from the City of Lights to the City of Angels, her interest in popular culture has only intensified.

For more information on MPTF, visit: http://www.mptf.com

Blog

October 9, 2013

Susan Marg

Five Years Ago in Pop Culture:

The Death of a Gentleman

Newman and Woodward 1960

Newman and Woodward 1960

Unflappable, Unbeatable. Unforgettable. Paul Newman, also known as King Cool, died five years ago at the age of 83.  Known for his philanthropic generosity and passion racing cars, as well as his stage and screen presence, his career spanned decades.

Newman made his movie debut in 1954 in The Silver Chalice, a historical drama, for which he later apologized for his performance.  No matter.  By 1958 he was one of the hottest new stars in Hollywood, going tête-à-tête with Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Eva Marie Saint in Exodus (1960).

Newman also went mano a mano with his equally celebrated male costars. In 1961 he appeared on the silver screen in The Hustler with Jackie Gleason.  Twenty-five years later he reprised his role as “Fast Eddie” in The Color of Money with Tom Cruise.

Fellow actor Robert Redford and Newman formed a special bond.  Their easy-going camaraderie, in evidence in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973), spilled over to life itself.

When asked if he would make a sequel with Redford following Redford’s Indecent Proposal (1993), Newman replied, “”Like a rocket!” Then he added, “I’d shack up with anyone for a million dollars. I’d shack up with a gorilla for a million, plus 10 percent.”

Redford might not have been as pleased to be on a set with Newman again.  “He tells the worst jokes.  And that wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t keep repeating them over and over.”

Newman’s relationship with actress Joanne Woodward also began on a movie set.  Their marriage, his second, reached the fifty-year mark, one of Hollywood’s longest lasting.  Although they briefly separated because Newman had an affair during the filming of Butch Cassidy, he famously paid her the ultimate compliment: “Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?”

If those aren’t the words spoken by a gentleman, what are?

© 2013 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

 

Blog Photos

October 3, 2013

Susan Marg

Big Feet. Big Hands. Big Heart.*

Arnold Schwarzenegger wears size 12 boots.

He means it when he says,

“I’ll be back.”

Photo by: Susan Marg. Taken at Grauman's Chinese Theatre; Hollywood Boulevard.

 

“In this industry, there are only two ways up the ladder.

Rung by rung or claw your way to the top.

It’s sure been tough on my nails.”

— Jack Nicholson

Photo by: Susan Marg. Taken at Grauman's Chinese Theatre; Hollywood Boulevard.

 

“Everybody, no matter how old you are, is around 24, 25 in their heart.”

— Bruce Willis

Photo by Susan Marg. Taken at Grauman's Chinese Theatre; Hollywood Boulevard.

 

 

* Photos by: Susan Marg.  Taken at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre;

Hollywood Boulevard; Hollywood, CA.