With Burgess Meredith (1908-1997) at his
Pasadena, California book signing in 1994. A truly great talent with
a unique personality and a style all his own, an actor and director
whose career encompassed the best in film, theatre and television. His
performances were unforgettable: "Winterset" (1936), "Of
Mice And Men" (1939); later the famous "Twilight Zone"
episode as the last man on earth; Batman's The Penguin is a lasting
contribution to pop art; and his pathetic old vaudeville trouper in
John Schlesinger's "Day Of The Locust" (1975) is a masterly
portrayal of a sordid but ever-game loser. Oh yeah, he also played an
inspiring gruff old coach in a few boxing movies too.
With Fayard Nicholas of the
famous Nicholas Brothers dance team in 2000. Along with his late brother
Harold (who passed away just months before this photo was taken) the
Nicholas Brothers were a dancing sensation. They were hits at the Cotton
Club in the early '30s and made their Broadway debut in "The Ziegfeld
Follies of 1936" with Bob Hope, Eve Arden, Fanny Brice and Josephine
Baker. Then they presented their fantastic dance routines in dozens
of great movie musicals during Hollywood's Golden Age including "Down
Argentine Way" (1940), "Tin Pan Alley" (1940), "Stormy
Weather" (1943) and "The Pirate" (1948). Some of these
dance numbers appear in the compilation movies "That's Entertainment!"
(1974) and "That's Dancing!" (1985). The Nicholas Brothers
were Kennedy Center Honorees in 1991. What a great pleasure to have
met Fayard Nicholas.
On January 24, 2006 Fayard, 91, joined his brother
Harold in the heavenly dance.
Eva Marie Saint, "On The Waterfront,"
"North By Northwest," etc. visited The Actors Studio West
in March 2003.
Jonathan Harris (1914-2002),
Dr. Smith of "Lost In Space" in 2000.
"The Wizard Of Oz" Lollipop Kid Jerry Maren
Another diminutive star, Billy Barty
(1924-2000) stood 3'9". He appeared in nearly 100 movies
from "Mickey's Detective" with Mickey Rooney in 1928 to "I/O
Error" released in 2001. He founded Little People Of America in
1957 and The Billy Barty Foundation in 1975.
Don Knotts (1924-2006) the
one and only Barnie Fife.
The lovely Virginia Mayo in
the 1940s. Her dramatic roles in "The Best Years Of Our Lives"
(1946) and "White Heat" (1949) are unforgettable. She was
also a fantastic dancer and could play comedy with the best of them.
Virginia Mayo in 2000. She
passed away on January 17, 2005.
I met Annie ("Designing Women,"
"Ghostbusters") Potts soon after
she arrived in Hollywood from Kentucky. We performed in several productions
of The Shakespeare Society of America together in 1976. The above
photo is from "The Merchant Of Venice." She played Shylock's
Debralee Scott (1953-2005) delightfully droll and
understated on that zany '70s sitcom "Mary Hartman Mary Hartman."
We will miss you!
Jack Wild, the Artful Dodger (1952-2006)
Here's Hal Roach and Laurel
& Hardy, happy winners at the 1932 Academy Awards.
Fifty years later, with Hal Roach, an incredibly
robust 90-year-old at his home in Bel Air, California in 1982.
Ten years after that, Hal Roach was 100-years
young. He was in excellent spirits and proud as could be at reaching
the centenary mark. I had met him in 1973; this was our last meeting.
Hooray for a great Hollywood Pioneer and one of the best human beings
I have ever known.
The Boss's employees are sneaking away from the Hal
Roach Studios, aka "The Lot Of Fun."
Hal Roach with Laurel &
Hardy on the set of "Our Relations" in 1936. Both
comics had been working separately for years before they first teamed
in 1926. When their comedies reached the screens in 1927 they became
instant world-wide hits. Laurel & Hardy created their classic
silent and sound shorts and later feature films at the Roach Studio
until 1940. Those were their golden years. In the mid '50s they were
planning a TV series in color with Hal Roach, Jr. but unfortunately
ill health prevented that dream from being realized. Oliver Hardy
passed away in 1957. Stan Laurel was given an Honorary Academy Award
in 1961 for "creative pioneering in the field of cinematic comedy."
He made his final joke (off screen, to a nurse in his hospital room)
Roach Senior was a true pioneer: he came to Hollywood in 1912;
began producing films in 1914; installed sound equipment in 1928;
started producing television shows in 1948. When I first met him in
1973 he was the first to tell me about the coming revolution in television:
cable. We stayed in touch over the years and in 1988 I was invited
to stay at his home to help to create "PUNCH & HOODY"
which was to have been his "comeback comedy." Alas, it was
At least I was able to show Mr. Roach (when he was 100) the "Laurel
& Hardy" film I made for General Motors playing James Finlayson,
his star comic in the early silent days and later number one comic
foil for Laurel & Hardy in both silents and talkies. Here I am
as "Finn" surrounded by Hal Roach character actors, including
a young Jean Harlow (lower left) who appeared in three Laurel &
Hardy silent shorts before becoming a star.
The original one-and-only JAMES FINLAYSON
Born in Scotland in 1887 "Finn" appeared
in dozens of Laurel & Hardy comedies from 1927 to 1940.
(The only way I know for sure that I'm NOT Finn's
reincarnation is because of the fact that I was born four months before
Speaking of Finn, I actually played him myself in
a Laurel & Hardy short made by General Motors in 1990. I had the
great pleasure of screening "Teamwork" for Hal Roach when
he was 100. Here's the link:
Former Hal Roach employees Dorothy "Echo"
DeBorba and Eugene Gordon "Porky"
Lee, two of the Our Gang kids. Echo appeared in 24 shorts from
1930 to 1933 and Porky was in 42of them from 1935 to 1939. Here they
share their Hollywood memories at a recent celebrity convention. Porky
passed away October 16, 2005 still a little rascal at 71 and Echo
joined him in that celestial playground on June 2, 2010 a mere lass
Tommy "Butch" Bond (1926-2005)
from Our Gang & Laurel & Hardy's "Blockheads" (1938).
Richard W. Bann, author of a book about the
Our Gang comedies and a long time associate of Hal Roach, shows the
article published by the Laughing Gravy Tent in England about my dealings
with Mr. Roach. It includes the photo taken by Mr. Bann in May 1992
with yours truly and the Comedy Maker. Photo taken August 19, 2008.
At the August 19, 2008 Way Out West meeting
I had the great pleasure of meeting Lois Laurel, Stan Laurel's daughter,
and Addison Randall, grandson of Hal Roach.
John Reynolds, grandson of that wonderful comedienne
and actress Zasu Pitts, with two of Ms. Pitts' great-grandkids.
With Rory Flynn, Errol Flynn's daughter at Larry
Edmund's Cinema Bookshop. She has published a book about her father
entitled "King Of Mulholland Drive." Photo taken May 29, 2008.
Inside the great Larry Edmund's Bookshop on
A 1920s portrait of Sid Grauman (of Grauman's
Chinese Theatre fame) as Blue Boy painted by notorious artist John Decker
of the Hellfire Club.
William Powell ala Rembrandt, painted by John
Decker. "Hollywood's Hellfire Club" a book by Gregory William
Mank with Charles Heard and Bill Nelson has recently been published,
all about the Bundy Drive Boys, that hard drinking gang who would gather
at Decker's house and carouse. W.C. Fields, John Barrymore, John Carradine,
Thomas Mitchell, Sadakichi Hartmann, Gene Fowler, Erroll Flynn and Anthony
Quinn were the Bundy Drive Boys, who made the Rat Pack look like Cub
Bette Davis in the 1940s.
I first met Bette Davis backstage after her one woman show in
1978 where she graciously agreed to read a feature length screenplay
I had written while at UCLA with her in mind. (At film school I had
seen her in "The Letter" (1940) and "Now Voyager"
(1942). Realizing she was still actively pursuing acting roles I became
inspired.) Soon after our backstage meeting I received a handwritten
letter from the Grand Actress Of The Silver Screen. In her missive,
on lady bug stationery, was the pronouncement: "you are a very
accomplished writer at a very early age." However, she felt she
was too old to play the character I had created for her. "You
may not realize it, but I've just turned 70."
A few years later I had an age-appropriate role: the 100-year-old
Shakespearean star Lady Eulalia Winceworth. I called Ms. Davis up.
"I have written a play called 'THE TURN OF THE CENTURY' with
the perfect role for you. And you can't tell me now that you're too
old to play her!"
Ms. Davis laughed. She read the play and loved the part. In fact,
she graciously offered her advise during its adaptation to the screen.
Alas, Ms. Davis passed away in October 1989, the very month I
completed the feature length screenplay.
Frank Gorshin, "Batman's"
Riddler, in 2000. He appeared on Broadway as George Burns in 2002
and passed away May 17, 2005 age 71.
With legendary jazz singer Anita
Miss O'Day warbled away Thanksgiving Day 2006
Jon Provost played Timmy
on "LASSIE" from 1957 to 1964. Now he's in real estate.
Margaret O'Brien, MGM child
star of the '40s.
Another child star, Jay North,
"DENNIS THE MENACE" on television from 1959 to 1963. When
his show was on the air, he was the character and personality I related
to the most. Thank God there's more than one!
Would you believe? Don ("Get
Smart") Adams who passed away September 25, 2005 at 82.
What would the '70s have been without Karen
I met Alyce Faye in 1993.
Rose Marie in 2000.
Buddy Hackett (1924-2003)
Troy Donahue (1937-2001) at
a Hollywood convention shortly before his passing.
ROY ROGERS (1911-1998)
"When my time comes just skin me and put me right up there
on Trigger, just as though nothing has ever changed."*
* This philosophy expressed by America's great
singing cowboy is in keeping with the creed espoused by the Humanistic
Taxidermy Society of America. Please peruse the HTSA page on this website.
John Agar, star of "Fort Apache"
and "The Brain From Planet Arous" passed away on April 7,
TV's Wyatt Earp, Hugh O'Brian,
looking great at 75+.
Julie Newmar -- Cat
Yvonne Craig -- Batgirl
With Ed Asner, May 2006
Virginia Mayo and
Red Buttons share a sentimental moment.
George Clayton Johnson, author
of original "Twilight Zone" episodes and "Logan's Run"
(1976). This photo was taken in 2000 though it looks as though could
have been in 1967. Well, Mr. Johnson is, if anything, a time traveler.
I recently saw a documentary made in the early '70s in which he ACCURATELY
predicted many of the details of life 30 years into the future --
the turn of the New Millennium. Gee, that's NOW!
The irrepressible & unsinkable Debbie
[Okay, I'll confess. I've never met Debbie Reynolds.
Though I feel I've known her all my life. A friend of mine took this
photo of her and I love it. -CC]
With 100-year-old English star Estelle Winwood
at her Studio City home in 1983 showing her "The Turn of the
Century," a play about a 100-year-old English star living in
In 1958 Joan Blondell, Estelle Winwood and her dear
friend since the '20s, the wild Tallulah Bankhead, starred in the
theatre in "Crazy October."
Gloria Stuart was only a young thing of
88 when she played a centenarian in "Titanic" in 1997. Her
credits go back to "The Old Dark House," one of my favorite
films, in 1932.
Another great film of 1932 Greta Garbo and John Barrymore in "Grand
Hotel." My idea of true Hollywood Glamour!
The standard by which all Hollywood greatness should be measured:
I was blessed to have seen the Legendary Marlene Dietrich
perform in concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles in
April 1974. I understood then what star magic was all about.
The glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood still beats in the
romantic hearts of certain courageous individuals who defy time and
fleeting fads to retain the true glamour and the real tinsel. One
such heroic figure is the legendary ALEXIS DEL LAGO,
one-time courtesan at ANDY WARHOL'S FACTORY in the '60s; now the terror
South of Sunset and former proprietress of the lovely Scarlet Empress
shop on Santa Monica Boulevard:
Speaking of horror, I am happy to report that old fashioned horror
movies have not become extinct. Not long ago "HOLLYWOOD MORTUARY"
slithered into existence and has the distinction of featuring ANITA
PAGE, star of the very earliest talkies including "BROADWAY
MELODY OF 1929" which was the first talkie to win a Best Picture
Academy Award as well as former child star MARGARET
O'BRIEN AND (where did they dig him up from?) charismatic film
star RANDAL MALONE.
Another incident of solid evidence that HORROR
is alive and well in Hollywood:
Anna Nicole Smith is starring in her first motion
Looks like EVERYBODY wants to get into the act of "Wasabi Tuna."
The top Anna Nichole wannabe is Arturo Gil, Hollywood's newest favorite
little person, followed by 'Brown Sugar,' then Alexis Arquette and supporting
them all, soon-to-be-Hollywood legend Mark ("Candice Cash")
Alfa. This zany comedy unleashed upon the world May 2005.
CARROLL BORLAND (1914-1994) was Bela Lugosi's
protege who appeared with him in "Mark Of The Vampire" (1935).
I met Miss Borland at a Hollywood party in 1985 and she said to
me "You remind me of a young Bela Lugosi." What else could
I do but sink my fangs into her pearly white neck?
Ms. Borland was a life long friend of my very dear friend and
colleague Don Higdon, who gave me her hauntingly lovely portrait.
And lest you think
I'm an old fogey only interested in the stars of yesteryear;
may I present former lead singer of the rock band Skin; now
actively working as an actor in Hollywood: super-star of the future:
SEAN NILES lead singer of the L.A. based electro-synthcore band
EXHIBITION certainly has star quality.
on the distaff side:
The lovely and winsome Karen Kolton.
And for those who like 'em HOT:
super-sensational Dillon who makes Bettie Page turn and Marily M smile:
Dillon recently posed for Bettie Page's original photographer
Bunny Yeager in Miami.
August 31, 2002: Why do I look so delirious?
Because on that fateful evening I met and received the authentic autograph
of Hollywood's newest diva, the self-proclaimed "queen of weirdo
comedy shows" PEPPER CHILDS aka Rachel Arieff.
Her songs "Smoking Grandma," "How To Be Happy All The
Time," "Internet Porn Polka," etc. are destined to
become classics ("Weird Al" Yankovic, take heed!). Renowned
for her very strange sensibilities, this scintillating, still nascent
personality and sit-down comedienne has no equal. A few years ago
Rachel set off to conquer Spain and today she is a star, performing
her outrageous comedy and cabaret show from Barcelona to Madrid.
Driving along Sunset Blvd. one day I was startled to see the huge
image of my New York actress friend CATHIE HAYES
decked out as a Viking Maiden holding a cherry tomato on a fork in
front of the famous Virgin Records store on Sunset Strip.
Catherine Anne Hayes, a larger-than-life
personality is now in Hollywood. Move over, Mae West!
Ms. Hayes can be seen in John Waters' "Serial
Mom" and in "Party Monster" with Macauly Culkin. She
has some hilarious scenes as lustful Sadie putting the make on a fey
Father of The Church played by Dom De Luise in "My X Girlfriend's
Wedding" (2001). Television appearances include "Tales of
the Darkside," "7th Heaven" and "My Name Is Earl."
In my own video feature "The Calistra Zipper Story" Cathie
plays Francine Delvecchio McKissick, the title character's grandmother.
With Cathie during one of her guest appearances on
TV Hollywood, California.
June 27, 2005: Yours truly and Cathie Hayes perform
with Edward ("Lou Grant") Asner in a play reading of my
comedy "SKIDOO RUINS" for First Stage Hollywood.
Actor CHARLIE ROBINSON best known as 'Mac' on the TV
series "Night Court" 1984-1992 appeared as Sgt. O'Malley
in my reading of "Skidoo Ruins." Charlie has just completed
filming "Jump Shot," a feature film directed by Mark Rydell
which also stars Kim Basinger, Kelsey Grammer and Danny Devito.
And for future musical compositions and lyrics, we
With lovely chanteuse and Broadway performer KT
Sullivan at the Gardenia Room, Hollywood, California. A superb
interpreter of the classic songs of Arlen, Gershwin, Harburg, Hart,
Hammerstein, Rodgers, etcetera, she sings, as reviewer Steve Callahan
so aptly put it, "effortlessly, her well-trained voice utterly
comfortable in finding that precise pitch at the precise instant.
On the last note of a song she'll strike it absolutely dead center,
with no vibrato at all. She'll hold that shaft of purity, let it swell,
then, at the very last, decorate it with just the littlest garland
From a swank Manhattan supper club to a notorious
underground nightclub is just a cab ride away...
Taking "A Walk
On The Wild Side" with Holly Woodlawn, 1996
Woodlawn's birthday, 2010
And limo riding with the psychedelic
SHAM who defies all categories.
Joe Sedelmaier, famed director of all those classic
TV commercials from the '80s including "Where's The Beef?"
(Wendy's), Federal Express (The Fast Talking Man), Alaskan Airlines,
etc. was given a special night at Hollywood's Silent Movie Theater
on March 24, 2009. Here I am between John (The Fast Talking Man) Moschiotto,
Jr. (left) and Joe Sedelmaier himself. I appeared in one of those
classic Federal Express commercials in 1981 (see below):
In 2000 I had the great pleasure of meeting Fayard Nicholas
of the famous Nicholas Brothers. As we were chatting he said "I'd
like you to meet my new bride," and in walked Katherine Hopkins.
I snapped this photo and little did I know that eight years later
(two years after Fayard's passing) Katherine and I would become fabulous
and wonderful friends.
On September 20, 2009 Katherine Hopkins-Nicholas gave
a wonderful one woman show at Vitello's in Studio City. In the audience
was a dazzling array of Broadway musical talents who came on stage
to support Katherine, including, left to right, Betty Garrett, Jane
Keane, Beryl Davis, Carol Lawrence and Francine York.
What a glittering night filled with celebrities! Included
in this photo are Betty Garrett in the light blue blouse, with pianist
Ron Snyder next to her and Jane Keane behind her, Richard Fox in front
of Ron, Nooch next to him and behind her are Carol Lawrence and Beryl
Davis. At the far left next to Katherine in blue top and turquoise
earrings is the late Fayard Nicholas's sister Dorothy.
What a joy to meet the great Betty Garrett, famous Broadway
and Hollywood musical star. She understudied Ethel Merman in the '40s
and later appeared in such MGM musicals as "Words And Music,"
"Take Me Out To The Ball Game," "Neptune's Daughter"
and "On The Town." Her co-stars were Frank Sinatra, Red
Skelton, Esther Williams and Margaret O'Brien. In 1955 she had one
of her best roles in "My Sister Eileen" and in the '70s
she appeared on TV in "All In The Family" and "Laverne
And Shirley." Ms. Garrett has recently celebrated her 90th birthday!
The lovely Dorothy, Fayard Nicholas's sister, can be seen behind Ms.
Katherine Hopkins-Nicholas with the great blues singer
Linda Hopkins (left) who starred in "Me And Bessie" on Broadway
in the '70s, the longest running one-woman show in Broadway history.
To Katherine's right is the wonderful Carol Lawrence, the original
Maria of "West Side Story."
Here I am with two great ladies of song, Katherine Hopkins-Nicholas
and Linda Hopkins.
With Jeffrey Combs (aka "Reanimator's" Dr.
Herbert West) backstage on November 13, 2009 after his riveting one-man
show as Edgar Allan Poe at the Steve Allen Theatre in Los Angeles.
As young actors just starting out, Jeffrey and I performed together
at the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego in 1978.
A birthday party in November 2009 for Alexis Del Lago
(star of "The Calistra Zipper Story") where Hollywood Artiste
Anthony Feathers presented her with a show biz poster he created especially
It was also a birthday party for Catherine Anne Hayes,
looking elegant and completely recovered from her final disheveled
appearance in the mental ward as Francine Delveccio McKissack in "The
Calistra Zipper Story." And I'm not looking too bad myself --
proof that in real life I am NOT Anthony Zipper!
With Daniel DiCriscio, "The Messiah of Make Over"
to the Stars, 2010
At Mr. Black's Madonna Party, Hollywood 2012 with hot
new pop stars Chad Siwick and Jeffrey Space.
Lovely actress and philanthropist Marsha Hunt, a youthful
90 in 2012.
Gospel and blues singer and Broadway star Linda Hopkins
received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.
On New Year's Day 2013 at Linda Hopkin's Hollywood Hills
Craig meets Sally Kellerman, April 20, 2013
Close friends and/or theatrical colleagues, who have
"shuffled off this mortal coil"
"TRIXIE" SHERMAN-CRAIG BROOKS (1950-1985)
My East Village cohort, inspiration, best friend
who was and is out of this world.
What kind of character was Trixie? Think Seth Green
in "Party Monster" mixed with Eudora Welty and more than a
hint of Salvador Dali.
DON HIGDON 1950-1993
A super dear friend of many years. We shared so
much, including a love of classic Hollywood movies. Don was an expert
in so many areas, including The Elizabethan Era, Hollywood history
and ALL its movies, England, literature, fencing.
OMAR SHAW 1965 - 2000
An intense actor with a deep, melodious voice. Omar's
life was tragically cut short even as he seemed to be recovering well
from a motorcycle accident. He was a most even tempered and serene actor,
yet he could convey any emotion Master Shakespeare had to dish out.
1905 - 1989
Beaumont Bruestle, character
actor extraordinaire, director and drama teacher. He taught Rue McClanahan
a thing or two -- so rumor has it and he was the author of a number
Pamela Gordon (1937-2003)
L.A. actress devoted to new plays "of the non-linear variety."
She was wonderful as Miss Pittstop in a reading of my "LIFE WITHOUT
FATHER" at the Actors Studio in 2001.
A poet, Shakespearean scholar, delightful friend and
mentor. Bill did not begin acting until the age of 50 and then he never
stopped, performing for repertory theatres all over the United States
from Alaska to Alabama. His screen appearances include "The Fisher
King," "Far And Away," "Waterworld," "The
Crucible," "I'm Not Rappaport" and "Illuminata."
In the '80s and '90s Bill achieved his greatest dream:
performing on Broadway. He was in marvelous productions of "Arsenic
And Old Lace," "Our Town" and "Ivanov." From
1993 to 1998 he amused TV audiences on "The Conan O'Brien Show"
as Carl 'Oldy' Olsen.
Fabulous comic actor and director HOWARD MORRIS (1919
November 7, 1950 - August 15, 2012
Katherine and her hubby Fayard Nicholas visit President
Clinton at the White House.
Visiting The Gravesite of Bela Lugosi, December 6, 2012
Sean Connery with Catherine Zeta-Jones at his foot
print ceremony at the Chinese Theatre,
Hollywood, April 1999. Photo by Craig Calman
The Ambassador Hotel 2006: Ruins of Hollywood's
Built in 1921, home to the famous Coconut Grove nightclub.
The Academy Award dinners were first presented at the Ambassador in
1930. A tragic assassination in 1968 spelled doom for this once life-affirming,
glittering monument to Hollywood and the good life. Photo by
Who Killed Hollywood?
That's the title of Peter Bart's 1999 collection of essays
about Hollywood post-Golden Age, movie-making in the era of the "megapic"
"The studios have lost their identities as seedbeds
of pop culture. They've been relegated to a new role as mere appendages
of vast multinational corporations grinding out 'content' for their
global distribution mills....movies have all too often become special-effects
odysseys devoid of personal story or point of view....
"Welcome to the world of movies-as-merchandise. In
the era of the event picture, no one has time to worry about anachronistic
issues like whether the story works or the characters are believable....Who
decreed that the primary responsibility of filmmakers is to provide
the equivalent of a theme-park ride rather than relating a personal
story about believable characters?"
He does end on a hopeful note:
"The movie business has long since shown its talent
for reinventing itself. The studios may some day emerge from their corporate
cocoons and phoenix-like, take on a fresh identity. After all, the old
tycoons who founded them once called them 'dream factories.' All they
require is a new dream."
In a more universal vein, Ian Grey in his chilling book
of 1997 "Inside The American Movie Industry: Sex, Stupidity And
Greed" he equates the corporatization of all forms of mass media,
including movies, with the state of our very lives:
"The ultimate effect of corporate monopolization
of information is that you get a system that is not only invested in
the dumbing-down of movies, but of the entire culture. Anything that
rises an inch above the mediocrity-line and exposes the usual crap to
be just that, crap, is either sound-bited into moronic levels or, worse,
not covered at all by the press. This hastens the atrophying of intelligent
conversation about reported events and the mutation of news gathering
into simply another forum for the fine art of spin doctoring....
"Meanwhile, 'adult discourse' is systematically squelched
in favor of 'entertainment,' which is considered sacrosanct, as well
as being this country's second largest export (just behind military
hardware). In this process of cultural erosion, the ability to examine,
critique or even take an extended look at any part of real life is worn
away by the steady profusion of mediated idiocy. Not to be depressing
Well, that's looking at it from a corporate,
media-centered perspective. As for the lone creative individual living
in Hollywood, unbeholden to corporate interests, one novelist and film
critic has this observation:
"Hollywood promises everybody that they can write
their own mythology. Nothing is imposed upon people. The advantage of
L.A., if you kind of know what you want to do, it allows you to do it.
It gets out of the way. I think the disadvantage for people who have
no idea what they want to do is that L.A. can make you crazy. But it
leaves everybody to their own devices or to their own fantasies. It
encourages the individual fantasy instead of this overriding civic fantasy."
-Steve Erickson, 2008
A new building goes up behind the venerable Grauman's Chinese Theatre
in 2000. This shopping mall, entertainment complex and home to the Academy
Awards ceremonies opened November 9, 2001. Originally called the Kodak
Theatre it became The Dolby Theatre in 2012. Note the billboard of Angelyne,
who still can be seen riding around Hollywood in her pink Corvette.
Photo by Craig Calman.