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Category Archives: Women

Book Review – Unsinkable: A Memoir: Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher on wedding day in 1955.

Her second autobiography Unsinkable: A Memoir: Debbie Reynolds is a book about her life after her marriage to her third husband Richard Hamlett, who turned out to be a dirty rotten scoundrel, who took her money just like her first husband Harry Karl had done in her previous marriage.

The earlier autobiography Debbie: My Life dealt with her marriage and subsequent divorce from Eddie Fisher. It also tells of her second husband Harry Karl gambling away his money and hers, in an uncontrollable gambling habit. She wound up homeless and living in a car, by the time he was through spending her money.

She married her new husband Richard Hamlett on May 25, 1984.

Richard Hamlett was no better, even though Debbie had him sign a pre-nup. He just took her money before the marriage ended, instead of waiting till it was over, so the pre-nup was a non-factor.

Collected Hollywood Memorabilia

Debbie built up a huge collection of Hollywood memorabilia, by going to auctions and buying costumes, props, posters and other movie memorabilia. Eventually, she had bought millions of dollars worth of memorabilia and her dream was to build a museum to house her collection.

Her husband Hamlett was helping her build a museum for the collection, but it is better to read about it in her last book, since it is filled with too many details and machinations, to reveal them all in this article.

The same thing goes for the way Hamlett wasted and stole her money, by taking Debbie’s name off of legal documents and making himself the owner. He even went so far as to have his girlfriend listed as owner of some of Debbie’s properties.

Debbie Reynolds with her third husband Richard Hamlett.

Marriage To Hamlett Ends

Debbie found out that Hamlett was having an affair behind her back and went to confront him about it and his financial dealings. He tried to get her to go out to the balcony and discuss their problems, but Debbie was wary of her being thrown off the balcony and him claiming it had been a terrible accident. So she notifies the landlord to never let him back in the building, since she didn’t feel safe, with him around after the argument.

The 12 year marriage ended in 1996. Debbie has never remarried after her first husband Eddie Fisher left her for Elizabeth Taylor. Her second husband Harry Karl cheated on her and took all her money, while the third husband Richard Hamlett also took her money and cheated on her while doing it.

Eighteen years later Debbie has not remarried. She finally learned an expensive lesson. She is back in control of her finances and Celebrity Net Worth website lists her as being worth $60 million, mostly because of her selling most of her movie memorabilia, when it was evident she would never realize her dream of having a museum to house the memorabilia.

Debbie Reynolds

Rundown of Her Movies

The next part of the book has Debbie giving a rundown of some of the movies she appeared in. She shares anecdotes of her experiences, while filming those movies and has some unkind things, to say about some well-known actors, actresses and directors. She names Walter Brennan, Walter Matthau and Thelma Ritter as expert scene stealers.

One director even slapped her in the face and that would not be allowed today, but he got away with it back then.

Aftermath

Debbie is now 82 years old and  appeared in the TV movie Behind the Candelabra, which was a movie about Liberace that was released in 2013. She may be the movie The Big Finish in 2016, but so far that is only a rumor.

66 years have passed since Debbie was a 16 year-old girl riding her bicycle onto the movie lot, after she won Miss Burbank 1948, which led to her being cast in the movies.

Her daughter, Carrie Fisher will be 58 tomorrow (October 21) and her son Todd is now 56 years old. She was pregnant with two children with Harry Karl, but neither lived.

Debbie apparently has sold even more of her movie memorabilia collection earlier this year:

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/debbie-reynolds-set-auction-historical-hollywood-memorabilia-article-1.1794715

Trivia From IMDB.com

She was born Mary Frances Reynolds

Debbie is the ex mother-in-law of Paul Simon, who was once married to her daughter Carrie.

She was awarded a star on Hollywood  Walk of Fame in 1997. Strange that it took them almost 50 years to honor her, since she made her first movie in 1948.

 

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Phyllis Diller: Pioneer Stand-Up Comedienne Dies at 95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phyllis Diller has died at the age of 95 in Los Angeles California. Diller died Monday, August 20 at her home.

Diller paved the way for female stand-up comediennes when she took up comedy at the age of 37.

She was born Phyllis Ava Driver in Lima, Ohio on July 17, 1917. Her mom Frances Ada Driver was born in 1881 and her father Perry Marcus Driver was born during the Civil War in 1862.

She pursued a career as a pianist attending Sherwood Music Conservatory in Chicago for three years, but eventually gave up on a career as a musician.                                              

Diller launched her career in an unlikely place, the neighborhood laundromat as she told stories of her life at home and eventually was asked to do her comedy act at PTA meetings.

When she made her comedy club debut in 1938 at the Purple Onion in San Francisco, her two-week engagement lasted a year-and-a-half.

She was seen in many television shows and movies over the years:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0226887/

Phyllis Diller appearing on Ed Sullivan Show 43 years ago in 1969.

She has appeared with 100 symphony orchestras across the United States as a guest piano soloist.

Female comediennes today like Joan Rivers, Ellen Degeneres and others owe a debt of gratitude to Diller, since there were very few female stand-up comediennes when Diller hit the comedy circuit.

Plastic surgery became another source for comedy material, after she had fifteen surgical procedures done according to her 2005 autobiography.

Since Diller has been out of the spotlight for many years, we may have forgotten just how good of a comedienne that she was.

The world has lost another voice of laughter, at a time when the world could use more laughter, instead of less.

 

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World of Kardashians Crumbling?

The Kardashian family franchise may be showing signs of crumbling in the last few months. First of all there was the backlash, after Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from NBA player Kris Humphries. There are questions now if their wedding was genuine or a made for television sham that had nothing to do with reality.

Kourtney Kardashian is having a second baby born out-of-wedlock with Scott Dissick the father. That only shows a weakening of family values in American society, when a family with one child out-of-wedlock has another one on the way. Apparently Kourtney is still waiting for Dissick to prove his worth as a father for the children, but to me that should have been decided long ago. Of course Ryan Seacrest who produces Keeping Up With the Kardashians wants this kind of tension between Kourtney and Scott to continue, since drama drives ratings and the more drama the better for the E network.

 

Khloe and Lamar Move To Dallas

The relationship of Lamar Odom and his wife Khloe is being tested by the trade, that sent Odom to the Dallas Mavericks from the Los Angeles Lakers. Odom has not played well since joining the Mavericks and it could be that he is still incensed over being traded, so is not the player he was with the Lakers. He is too good of a player, to suddenly become a terrible player.

Odom is earning over $8 million this season and will continue to be paid his salary. The situation can’t be helped by the filming of Khloe and Lamar. All the drama during the filming may make for good television, but it can’t be good for the relationship or for Odom’s basketball career.

The situation became even worse last week when Odom was demoted to the developmental team but in the last 22 minutes that move has been rescinded. The same player who was voted the best sixth man in NBA last year is having a season to forget.

 A quick look at Odom’s percentage numbers this season compared to last season show badly he is playing this year. His field goal percentage has dropped from .530 last season to .357 this season. His free throw percentage fell from .675 to .577 and his scoring has almost been cut in half from 14.4 points per game last season to only 7.7 points per game this season.

 

Back To Lawsuit

Meanwhile back to the lawsuit, it raises the question, of if celebrities who endorse products should be financially liable, if that product is not as advertised. Assuming that the Kardashians actually used QuickTrim, they should have some idea of whether it is a good product or not. If they knew it was not as advertised and continued to endorse it, then they may be liable. However, it may be impossible to prove in a courtroom, that they knowingly endorsed a less than effective product, while knowing that product was not worthy of their endorsement.

One positive outcome from the suit is that it may warn celebrities, to really check out the products they are endorsing and not just assume they are as advertised.

This situation is reminiscent of when Pat Boone appeared in commercials touting Acne-Statin which was supposed to clear up skin blemishes. This Wikipedia entry tells about what happened to Boone, when it was proved that Acne-Statin was not what it was cracked up to be:

In 1978, Boone became the first target in the Federal Trade Commission‘s crackdown on false claim product endorsements by celebrities. He had appeared with his daughter Debby in a commercial to claim that all four of his daughters had found a preparation named Acne-Statin a “real help” in keeping their skin clear. The FTC filed a complaint against the manufacturer, contending that the product did not really keep skin free of blemishes. Boone eventually signed a consent order in which he promised not only to stop appearing in the ads but to pay about 2.5% of any money that the FTC or the courts might eventually order the manufacturer to refund to consumers. Boone said, through a lawyer, that his daughters actually did use Acne-Statin, and that he was “dismayed to learn that the product’s efficacy had not been scientifically established as he believed.”[14

It will be interesting to follow the class action suit against the Kardashians, to see if they have to make restitution or whether they can emerge from the lawsuit, without having to pay anyone.

There are plans for even more Kardashian spin-off shows on the E channel. It is surprising that people still watch these shows knowing there is very little reality involved in the so-called reality shows. Ryan Seacrest is getting richer and is making all the Kardashians richer from these shows. 

Maybe the Kardashian family will be more cognizant of the fans that buy the products they endorse and make more of an effort to insure that those products do what the Kardashians say they will do.

Their world may not be crumbling, but there are signs of cracks in the foundation.

 

 

 

 

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Prohibition: Died At the Age of 13 in 1933

The pledge signed by many children and adults to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages.

 

Frances Willard died on February 17, 1898, which was 22 years before the 18th amendment, also known as the Volstead Act went into effect in 1920.

She had a firsthand knowledge of the effects of alcohol, when her brother became an alcoholic in the 1860’s. Willard would be one of the founders of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in 1874 and then became the president of the worldwide WCTU in 1888.

While concentrating mostly on her fight against the use of alcohol, Willard also became active in the fight against the international drug trading.

Her life came to an end at the age of 58 due to being an influenza victim. However, she had laid the groundwork for both the 18th amendment, which would prohibit the use of alcohol in the United States and the 19th Amendment which also was known as the Women’s Suffrage amendment.

Prohibition Becomes Law

Congress passed the Volstead Act (18th Amendment) on October 28, 1919, over-riding the veto of President Woodrow Wilson. 36 of the 50 states had ratified the 18th Amendment and went into effect on January 17, 1920.

While prohibition was a good idea, it was almost impossible to enforce with 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasies, in New York City in 1925. A speakeasy could be closed in one location, then would pop up in another location, within days of last place being closed.

The amendment was not only not being obeyed, but the U.S. government lost millions of dollars in tax revenue, while the bootleggers were keeping all the money for themselves and the speakeasy owners and patrons also avoided paying any tax.

Al Capone's power was at its heights during Prohibition with him drawing $60 million in alcohol sales in 1927 and bribing politicians with his profits to keep his machine going.

Organized crime saw that Prohibition would be a huge moneymaker for them and would deliver the alcohol and take payments, upon delivery of that alcohol, unless other arrangements had been made, prior to the delivery.

Gangsters like Al Capone saw a chance to take their cut from the illicit alcohol sales. Capone raked in $60 million in alcohol sales in 1927.

Prohibition Turns Citizens Into Criminals

The same citizens that patronize legal bars, now flocked to speakeasies to drink their alcohol, which turned them into criminals. The magnitude of lawbreakers was too much for law enforcement to contend with. Women started drinking in larger numbers, than ever before.

These speakeasy patrons from the Prohibition era don't look too concerned about being raided by law enforcement officials.

We have seen videos of the Roaring 20’s, showing women dancing the Charleston and other dance of that era. Problem is that almost all of those women were violating the 18th amendment, but in the PBS series Prohibition, by Ken Burns, these women didn’t seem to be worried about being caught by law enforcement agencies.

Why Prohibition Didn’t Work

The main reason is that Americans who wanted to drink, found ways to purchase alcohol, whether it be from an individual selling from their home, from a speakeasy where alcohol was readily available and some resorted to making their own alcohol through the moonshining process.

Moonshine stills being destroyed by law enforcement officials.

The failure to prevent organized crime, from becoming involved in sale of bootleg alcohol, may have been one of the major reasons, that bootlegging operations were so successful, despite the bootleggers, sometimes only being neighbors supplying moonshine to their neighbors in rural America.

Joseph Kennedy, the father of President John F. Kennedy and the patriarch of the Kennedy family, has been rumored for years to have gotten rich in the bootlegging industry. Frank Costello of the Mafia even testified that Joseph and him had been partners in the bootlegging industry. However, no concrete evidence of Kennedy being involved in bootlegging, has never been made public.

Law enforcement officials could only pick and choose which speakeasies to close and what moonshine stills to destroy, but the problem was that there were thousands of criminals, violating the 18th amendment and there was not enough jails and prisons, to house all the violators.

Prohibition ended when it was evident that there were millions of Americans, who were going willing to risk, although not a serious risk in most cases, going to jail, rather than stop drinking.

75 Bible References Regarding Drinking

The 75 Bible references from the Signal Press in Evanston, Illinois clearly show that God’s laws prohibit drinking. Here are just a few of them from the tract:

1) Genesis 9:20-26 – Noah became drunk; the result was immorality and family trouble.

3) Leviticus 10:9-11 – God commanded priests not to drink so that they could tell the difference between the holy and the unholy.

6) Deuteronomy 29:5-6 – God gave no grape juice to Israel nor did they have intoxicating drink in the wilderness.

10) 1 Samuel 25:32-38 – Nabal died after a drunken spree.

11) 2 Samuel 11:13 – By getting Uriah drunk, David hoped to cover his sin.

12) 2 Samuel 13:28-29 – Amnon was drunk when he was killed.

13) 1 Kings 16:8-10 – The king was drinking himself into drunkenness when he was assassinated

14) 1 Kings 20:12-21 – Ben-Hadad and 32 other kings were drinking when they were attacked and defeated by the Israelites.

17) Proverbs 4:17 – Alcoholic drink is called the wine of violence.

18) Proverbs 20:1 – Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging.

20) Proverbs 23:21 – Drunkenness causes poverty.

21) Proverbs 23:29-30 – Drinking causes woe, sorrow, fighting, babbling, wounds without cause and red eyes.

22) Proverbs 23:31 – God instructs not to look at intoxicating drinks.

23) Proverbs 23:32 – Alcoholic drinks bite like a serpent, sting like an adder.

24) Proverbs 23:33 – Alcohol causes the drinker to have strange and adulterous thoughts, produces wilfulness, and prevents reformation.

There are too many to list them all, but the entire list can be found at:

http://www.scionofzion.com/drinking.htm

 

 

 

 

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Jackie Kennedy Wanted to Die With JFK During Cuban Missile Crisis

Jackie Kennedy with President John F. Kennedy in background.

 

Jackie Kennedy reveals in the book “Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy,”  that she wanted to die with her husband, President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962. She said she would rather die with him, than to leave Washington for safety.

It was clear that Jackie was a devoted wife and mother, since she would rather the family die together, than being separated at death. Her statement also reflects the seriousness of the situation, during the Cuban missile crisis. Crisis is the right word, since nobody knew how the crisis would end, until Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev ordered the missiles dismantled and returned to Russia.

The 400 page book published by Hyperion will be released on Wednesday, September 14 along with a 8 CD set of audio discs.It is already #4 in sales at Amazon, two days prior to the release.

Arthur M.  Schlesinger Jr. conducted the interviews with Jackie, starting in March of 1964, just a few months after the assassination of her husband. The taped interviews weren’t to be released for many more years. However, Caroline Kennedy, gave her consent for them to be published, in connection with this year being 50 years. since President Kennedy took office.

Jackie Calls Martin Luther King “Phony”

One of the revelations during the interviews, was that Jackie considered Martin Luther King a phony, since surveillance caught him contacting women for dates.

She had short descriptions for many other world leaders and politicians:

Charles DeGaulle, the French president: “That egomaniac”.

Indira Ghandi, future prime minster of India: “a real prune — bitter, kind of pushy, horrible woman.”

Reveals JFK’s Thoughts on LBJ, FDR

Jackie says that JFK thought of his vice president Lyndon B. Johnson this way, “Oh, God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon was president?” And Mr. Kennedy on Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Charlatan is an unfair word,” but “he did an awful lot for effect.”

She had this to say of why women liked Adlai Stevenson: She suggests that “violently liberal women in politics” preferred Adlai Stevenson, the former Democratic presidential nominee, to Mr. Kennedy because they “were scared of sex.”

Of Madame Nhu, the sister-in-law of the president of South Vietnam, and Clare Boothe Luce, a former member of Congress, she tells Mr. Schlesinger, in a stage whisper, “I wouldn’t be surprised if they were lesbians.”

It was quotes like the last one, that prompted these interviews to be kept secret for 47 years.

Assassination, Extramarital Affairs Not Mentioned

Not surprisingly, there is no mention of the assassination or any extramarital affairs, that her husband was involved in. Jackie does reveal that her husband shed tears, over the Cuban missile crisis. That is only natural, considering the magnitude of the crisis, that could have ended in a nuclear war, but instead ended with the removal of the missiles from Cuba.

Listen to Jackie Kennedy In Her Own Words

These tapes let you hear in Jackie’s own words what it was like during the Cuban missile crisis, telling how she convinced her husband the president to not send her to a safe place.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/09/12/us/2011_JACKIE_CLIPS.html?scp=3&sq=jackie%20kennedy&st=cse

Should Be Best Seller

This book should sell well with the enormity, of the curiosity of both fans of  Jackie and her husband the president, but also should receive interest from their enemies who may be mentioned in the book. Jackie Kennedy, however transcends partisan politics and this book should interest those,of all political persuasions.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Did Nancy Grace Go Overboard After Casey Anthony Verdict?

Nancy Grace: Covered Casey Anthony trial for HLN.

It seemed like to me that Nancy Grace went overboard with her criticism of the not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony trial.

I can understand her disappointment in knowing that Casey Anthony who probably did kill her daughter Caylee is going to walk free, maybe as early as this week.

Reasonable Doubt

However, the American justice system still specifies that a juror must not vote guilty if  there is a reasonable doubt. There was more than enough reasonable doubt to not send Casey Anthony to her death.

The prosecution erred in asking for death penalty, given the fact that there was no slam dunk evidence presented to the jury.

If the prosecution had asked for a life sentence, the jury may have even come  back with a guilty verdict.

Not Enough Evidence

The jury simply did not have enough concrete evidence to support a death penalty.

If the jury had rendered a guilty verdict and a death sentence was given and carried out, there would be no recourse, if it later became known that Ms. Anthony had not committed the crime.

Grace Went Overboard With Comments

The reaction of Nancy Grace to the verdict went way overboard in my opinion. It was like she was waging a personal vendetta against Casey Anthony.  I can understand why she would emphasize that Caylee Anthony’s killer went unpunished. The one thing both sides can agree on is that  Caylee Anthony is dead.

It didn’t take long yesterday to tire of hearing Grace call Casey tot mom. She has a name and it is Casey, not tot mom. When Graces says tot mom, it has a derogatory sound to it.

No Fingerprints Or DNA Linking Anthony

It is one thing to want justice for a murderer. However, it is another thing to want justice so much that someone like Nancy Grace would send Casey Anthony to death row, with no fingerprints or DNA linking Casey to the crime.

Grace may be correct in saying that Casey’s lies may have led to the not guilty verdict by the jury. If she had told the truth to the detectives, she would likely either be on death row now or serving a life sentence.

Lying May Have Kept Anthony Off Death Row

The Miranda law says Casey had the right to remain silent, but by lying she may receive a four-year sentence, instead of the death penalty or a life sentence.

There was an abundance of circumstantial evidence presented during the trial by the prosecution. However, you can’t send someone to their death on circumstantial evidence.

Wanted to Stay on Good Side of Grace

It was evident that the reporters and legal analysts on the program with Grace, were being careful to not get on the wrong side of Grace with their comments,

except for  Dr. Drew saying that the prosecution did not prove motive, which I don’t think Grace agreed with.

A professional reporter and legal analyst like Grace are entitled to their opinion, but yesterday we think the professionalism gave way to a personal vendetta by Grace, against Casey Anthony.

Personally, I think the jury made the correct verdict, when considering the physical evidence didn’t link Casey to the crime. If one person is sent to death row because of circumstantial evidence, it is one person too many.

Poll Questions

The following polls ask if the jury made the correct decision and if Nancy Grace went overboard with her comments after the verdict.

 

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Tanya Tucker: From Las Vegas At 11, To Nashville At 13

Tanya Tucker shown early in her career.

Tanya  Tucker was born on October 10, 1958 in Seminole, Texas.

13 years later she would sing Delta Dawn, but she had already been singing in Las Vegas at the age of 11.

She sent a demo tape to Billy Sherrill a producer for CBS Records and he was so impressed he signed her to a recording contract with Columbia Records.

Tucker was offered Happiest Girl in the USA, but turned it down passing it to Donna Fargo which launched Fargo’s career.

Instead she chose Delta Dawn which she had heard Bette Midler sing on the Tonight show.

The song would rise to No.6 on the country music chart, but Helen Reddy recorded it and it went to No. 1 on the pop chart.

By the age of 18 Tucker would have six No.1 hits, but it would be ten years later in 1986 before she had another No.1 hit. She recorded her last No.1 hit Strong Enough to Bend in 1988. She had nine songs which peaked at No.2 including Love Me Like You Used To.

Even though she was on top of the country music world, her personal life became unraveling as a teenager when she would sing in front of thousands, then go back to an empty hotel room as she describes it. Since she was bored and not allowed to drink in bars, she started drinking.

Tanya Tucker singing later in her career.

When she moved to Los Angeles in 1978, her world really began to unravel as she encountered the nightlife and began dating Hollywood celebrities like Don Johnson, singer Andy Gibb and country singers like the much older Merle Haggard. She is most famous for dating Glen Campbell which turned out to be a turbulent relationship, which is well documented in this People magazine article:

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20079182,00.html

She returned to Nashville in 1982, but was till drinking and using cocaine. Her family intervened and helped her get the help she needed.

Tanya Tucker singing Delta Dawn.

An older Tanya Tucker singing Delta Dawn.

Tanya Tucker video of her singing Strong Enough To Bend her last No.1 hit in 1988.

Even though Tanya Tucker has been through a lot of ups and downs since Delta Dawn made her a star, she has been a survivor and still very active in country music.

Tucker has several tour dates coming up with concerts in several U.S. cities and stops in Canada, Norway and France starting June 24 and ending September 23.

October 10 will mark her 53rd birthday which also will be the 40th anniversary of her recording Delta Dawn.

 

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