Dina Merrill was an American actress, socialite and philanthropist. Merrill was born in New York City on December 29, 1923, although for many years her date of birth was given as December 9, 1925, she was the only child of Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and her second husband, Wall Street stockbroker Edward Francis Hutton, founder of E. F. Hutton & Co. Merrill had two older half-sisters, Adelaide Breevort Hutton and Eleanor Post Hutton, by her mother's first marriage to Edward Bennett Close, grandfather of actress Glenn Close. Merrill attended George Washington University in Washington, D. C. for one term dropped out and enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She studied acting at HB Studio under Uta Hagen, she received a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in April 2005. On advice from her half-sister's husband, she adopted the stage name Dina Merrill, borrowing from Charles E. Merrill, a famous stockbroker like her father.
Merrill made her debut on the stage in the play The Mermaid Singing in 1945. During the late 1950s and 1960s, Merrill was believed to have intentionally been marketed as a replacement for Grace Kelly, in 1959 she was proclaimed "Hollywood's new Grace Kelly". Merrill's film credits included Desk Set, A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed, Don't Give Up the Ship, Operation Petticoat, The Sundowners, Butterfield 8, The Young Savages, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, I'll Take Sweden, The Greatest, A Wedding, Just Tell Me What You Want, Anna to the Infinite Power, Caddyshack II, True Colors, The Player and Shade, she appeared in made-for-TV movies, such as Seven in Darkness, The Lonely Profession, Family Flight and The Tenth Month. Merrill appeared in numerous television series in the 1960s, such as playing the villain, "Calamity Jan," in two 1968 episodes of Batman alongside then-husband Cliff Robertson, she made guest appearances on Bonanza, The Bold Ones, The Love Boat, Quincy, M. E. Murder, She Wrote and The Nanny, as Maxwell Sheffield's disapproving and distant British mother.
Her stage credits include the 1983 Broadway revival of the Rodgers and Hart musical On Your Toes, starring Russian prima ballerina Natalia Makarova. In 1991, she appeared in the rotating cast of the off-Broadway staged reading of Wisdom. In 1991, Merrill and her third husband, Ted Hartley, merged their company, Pavilion Communications, with RKO to form RKO Pictures, which owns the intellectual property of the RKO Radio Pictures movie studio. In the 1960s and 1970s, Merrill was a recurring guest on several network television game and panel shows including The Match Game, To Tell the Truth, What's My Line, Hollywood Squares. Merrill was a presidential appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a trustee of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, a vice president of the New York City Mission Society. In 1980, Merrill joined the board of directors of her father's E. F. Hutton & Co. continuing on the board of directors and the compensation committee of Lehman Brothers when it acquired Hutton, for over 18 years.
Merrill was married three times. In 1946 she wed Stanley M. Rumbough Jr. an heir to the Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste fortune and entrepreneur. They had three children, Nedenia Colgate Rumbough, David Post Rumbough, Stanley Rumbough III before divorcing in 1966; that year, she wed Oscar-winning actor Cliff Robertson, with whom she had a daughter, Heather Robertson. The couple divorced in 1986. In 1989, she married producer Ted Hartley. Two of Merrill's four children predeceased her. On May 22, 2017, Merrill died at her home in New York, she had been suffering from dementia with Lewy bodies. Dina Merrill on IMDb In Step with: Dina Merrill, news.google.com. Cliff Robertson & Dina Merrill Take Stock and Are Bullish on the Outcome People Magazine 1981-07-31
John Michael Frankenheimer was an American film and television director known for social dramas and action/suspense films. Among his credits were Birdman of Alcatraz, The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May, The Train, Grand Prix, French Connection II, Black Sunday, Ronin. Frankenheimer won four Emmy Awards—three consecutive—in the 1990s for directing the television movies Against the Wall, The Burning Season and George Wallace, the latter of which received a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film, he was considered one of the last remaining directors who insisted on having complete control over all elements of production, making his style unique in Hollywood. Frankenheimer's 30 feature films and over 50 plays for television were notable for their influence on contemporary thought, he became a pioneer of the "modern-day political thriller," having begun his career at the peak of the Cold War. He was technically accomplished from his days in live television, he developed a "tremendous propensity for exploring political situations" which would ensnare his characters.
Movie critic Leonard Maltin writes that "in his time... Frankenheimer worked with the top writers and actors in a series of films that dealt with issues that were just on top of the moment—things that were facing us all." Frankenheimer was born in Queens, New York, the son of Helen Mary and Walter Martin Frankenheimer, a stockbroker. Frankenheimer once speculated, his father was of German Jewish descent, his mother was Irish Catholic, Frankenheimer was raised in his mother's religion. He became interested in movies at an early age. In 1947, he graduated from La Salle Military Academy in Long Island, New York. In 1951, he graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, where he had studied English, he developed an interest in acting as a career while in college but began thinking about directing when he was in the Air Force. This led him to join a film squadron based in Burbank, where he shot his first documentary, he began studying film theory by reading books about other famous directors, such as Sergei Eisenstein along with how-to books about the craft of film making.
Frankenheimer began his directing career in live television at CBS. Throughout the 1950s he directed over 140 episodes of shows like Playhouse 90, Climax!, Danger, including The Comedian, written by Rod Serling and starring Mickey Rooney as a ragingly vicious television comedian. Frankenheimer's first theatrical film was The Young Stranger, starring James MacArthur as the rebellious teenage son of a powerful Hollywood movie producer, he directed the production, based on a Climax! episode, "Deal a Blow", which he directed when he was 26. Frankenheimer returned to television during the late 1950s, moving to film permanently in 1961 with The Young Savages, in which he worked for the first time with Burt Lancaster in a story of a young boy murdered by a New York gang, his departure from television is considered to signal the end of the Golden Age of Television. Roger Ebert considered Frankenheimer to have had a special gift as a filmmaker and to have been a "master craftsman", he stated that Frankenheimer made some of the "most distinctive films of his time" and that he was " one of the most gifted directors of drama on television".
Production of Birdman of Alcatraz began under director Charles Crichton. Burt Lancaster, producing, as well as starring, asked Frankenheimer to take over the film; as Frankenheimer describes in Charles Champlin's interview book, he advised Lancaster that the script was too long, but was told he had to shoot all, written. The first cut of the film was four-and-a-half hours long, the length Frankenheimer had predicted. Moreover, the film was constructed. Frankenheimer said the film would have to be rewritten and reshot. Lancaster was committed to star in Judgment at Nuremberg, so he made that film while Frankenheimer prepared the reshoots; the finished film, released in 1962, was a huge success and was nominated for four Oscars, including one for Lancaster's performance. Frankenheimer was next hired by producer John Houseman to direct All Fall Down, a family drama starring Eva Marie Saint and Warren Beatty. Due to production difficulties with Birdman of Alcatraz, All Fall Down was released first.
Frankenheimer followed this with The Manchurian Candidate. Frankenheimer and producer George Axelrod bought Richard Condon's 1959 novel after it had been turned down by many Hollywood studios. After Frank Sinatra committed to the film, they secured backing from United Artists; the story of a Korean War veteran, brainwashed by the Communist Chinese to assassinate a candidate for President, co-starred Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, James Gregory, John McGiver, Angela Lansbury. Frankenheimer had to fight to cast Lansbury who had worked with him on All Fall Down and was only three years older than Harvey, who would play her son in the film. Sinatra's preference had been for Lucille Ball; the film was nominated for two Oscars, including one for Lansbury. The film was unseen, either theatrically or on broadcast, for many years. Urban legend has it that the film was pulled from circulati
Barbara Rush is an American actress. In 1954, Rush won the Golden Globe Award as most promising female newcomer for her role in the 1953 American black-and-white science fiction film, It Came From Outer Space. In her career, Rush became a regular performer in the television series Peyton Place, appeared in TV movies, a variety of other programs, including the soap opera All My Children, as well as starring in films including The Young Philadelphians, The Young Lions and the 7 Hoods and Hombre. Rush was born in Denver, her father, was a lawyer for a Midwest mining company. She grew up in California, she attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated in 1948. Rush performed on stage at the Pasadena Playhouse before signing with Paramount Pictures, she made her screen debut in 1951. In 1952 she starred in Flaming Feather with Victor Jory. In 1954 she won the Golden Globe Award for "Most Promising Newcomer – Female" for her performance in It Came from Outer Space. Rush starred as the wife of James Mason in the acclaimed 1956 drama Bigger Than Life, in which a school teacher's use of an experimental drug results in his threatening harm to his family.
She was the love interest of reluctant soldier Dean Martin in the war story The Young Lions and of ambitious lawyer Paul Newman in The Young Philadelphians. Rush began her career on stage and it has always been a part of her professional life. In 1970, she earned the Sarah Siddons Award for dramatic achievement in Chicago theatre for her leading role in Forty Carats and brought her one-woman play A Woman of Independent Means to Broadway in 1984, she began working on television in the 1950s. She became a regular performer in TV movies, a variety of other shows including Peyton Place and the soap opera All My Children. In 1962, she guest-starred as Linda Kinkcaid in the episode "Make Me a Place" on the NBC medical drama about psychiatry, The Eleventh Hour starring Wendell Corey and Jack Ging. In 1962 -- 63, she appeared three times as Lizzie Hogan on Sinners. In 1965, she appeared in a 2-part episode of The Fugitive entitled "Landscape with Running Figures" as Marie Gerard. In 1967, she guest starred on the ABC western series Custer.
She played a willful woman of means or a polished, high-society doyenne. Rush was cast in an occasional villainess role, as in the Rat Pack's gangster musical Robin and the 7 Hoods and in the Western drama Hombre, as a rich, condescending wife of a thief who ends up taken hostage and tied to a stake, she portrayed the devious Nora Clavicle in the TV series Batman. In 1976, Rush played the role of Ann Sommers/Chris Stewart, the mother of female sci-fi action character Jaime Sommers, in The Bionic Woman. After appearing in the 1980 disco-themed Can't Stop the Music, Rush returned to television work, she was a cast member on the early 1980s soap opera Flamingo Road as Eudora Weldon. In 1998, she was featured in an episode called "Balance of Nature" on the television series The Outer Limits. In 1989, Rush toured on stage in the national company of Steel Magnolias as the character "M'Lynn", she has continued to make guest appearances on television. In 2007, she played the recurring role of Grandma Ruth Camden on the series 7th Heaven.
Rush married actor Jeffrey Hunter in 1950 and divorced in 1955. She married publicist Warren Cowan in 1959, but divorced in 1969. Rush married sculptor Jim Gruzalski in 1970 after meeting at an Engelbert Humperdinck concert at the Greek Theatre, they divorced in 1973. Rush has Christopher Hunter and Claudia Cowan; the latter is a journalist with the Fox News television channel. As of May 1997, Rush lived in the Harold Lloyd Estate in California. Barbara Rush on IMDb Barbara Rush at the Internet Broadway Database
Robert Reiniger Meredith Willson was an American flautist, conductor, musical arranger and playwright, best known for writing the book and lyrics for the hit Broadway musical The Music Man. He wrote three other Broadway musicals, composed symphonies and popular songs, his film scores were twice nominated for Academy Awards. Willson was born in Mason City, Iowa, to John David Willson and Rosalie Reiniger Willson, he had a brother two years his senior, John Cedrick, a sister 12 years his senior, the children's author Dixie Willson, he attended Frank Damrosch's Institute of Musical Art in New York City. He married his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth "Peggy" Wilson, on August 29, 1920. A flute and piccolo player, Willson was a member of John Philip Sousa's band, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini. Willson moved to San Francisco, California, as the concert director for radio station KFRC, as a musical director for the NBC radio network in Hollywood, his on-air radio debut came on KFRC in 1928 on Blue Monday Jamboree.
His work in films included composing the score for Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, arranging music for the score of William Wyler's The Little Foxes. During World War II, he worked for the United States' Armed Forces Radio Service, his work with the AFRS teamed him with Gracie Allen and Bill Goodwin. He would work with all three as the bandleader, a regular character, on the Burns and Allen radio program, he played a shy man, always trying to get advice on women. His character was ditsy as well a male version of Gracie Allen's character. In 1942, Willson had his own program on NBC. Meredith Willson's Music was a summer replacement for Fibber Molly. Sparkle Time, which ran on CBS in 1946–47, was Willson's first full-season radio program. Returning to network radio after WWII, he created the Talking People, a choral group that spoke in unison while delivering radio commercials, he became the musical director for The Big Show, a prestigious comedy-variety program hosted by actress Tallulah Bankhead and featuring some of the world's most respected entertainers.
Willson himself became part of one of the show's few running gags, beginning replies to Bankhead's comments or questions with "well, Miss Bankhead..." Willson wrote the song "May the Good Lord Keep You" for the show. Bankhead spoke the lyrics over the music at the end of each show, he worked on Jack Benny's radio program, hosted his own program in 1949. For a few years in the early 1950s, Willson was a regular panelist on the Goodson-Todman game show The Name's the Same. In 1950 Willson served as Musical Director for The California Story, the Golden State's centennial production at the Hollywood Bowl. Through working on this production, Willson met writer Franklin Lacey who proved instrumental in developing the story line for a musical Willson had been working on, soon to be known as The Music Man; the California Story spectacular was followed by two more state centennial collaborations with stage director Vladimir Rosing: The Oregon Story in 1959 and The Kansas Story in 1961. Willson's most famous work, The Music Man, premiered on Broadway in 1957, was adapted twice for film.
He referred to the show as "an Iowan's attempt to pay tribute to his home state". It took Willson some eight years and thirty revisions to complete the musical, for which he wrote more than forty songs; the cast recording of The Music Man won the first Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album. In 1959, Willson and his wife Rini recorded an album called "...and Then I Wrote The Music Man", in which they review the history of, sing songs from, the show. In 2010, Brian d'Arcy James and Kelli O'Hara played Willson and Rini in an off-Broadway entertainment based on this album, his second musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, ran on Broadway for 532 performances from 1960 to 1962 and was made into a 1964 motion picture starring Debbie Reynolds. His third Broadway musical was an adaptation of the film Miracle On 34th Street, called Here's Love, his fourth and least successful musical was 1491, which told the story of Columbus's attempts to finance his famous voyage. It was produced by the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Association in 1969, but was never produced on Broadway.
His Symphony No. 1 in F minor: A Symphony of San Francisco and his Symphony No. 2 in E minor: Missions of California were recorded in 1999, by William T. Stromberg conducting the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra. Other symphonic works include O. O. McIntyre Suite, Symphonic Variations on an American Theme and Anthem, the symphonic poem Jervis Bay, Ask Not, which incorporates quotations from John F. Kennedy's inaugural address. In tribute to the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, he composed In Idyllwild for orchestra, vocal solo and Alphorn. Willson's chamber music includes A Suite for Flute. In 1964, Willson produced three original summer variety specials for CBS under the title Texaco Star Parade; the first special starred Willson and his wife, Rini. The second special starred Debbie Reynolds singing selections she had introduced from Willson's production, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown". Willson and Rini hosted the third special in July and it featured a Willson production number with 1,00
Mary Virginia Martin was an American actress and Broadway star. A muse of Rodgers and Hammerstein, she originated many leading roles over her career including Nellie Forbush in South Pacific and Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music, she was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1989. She was the mother of actor Larry Hagman. Martin was born in Texas, her life as a child as she describes it in her autobiography My Heart Belongs was happy. She had close relationships with both father as well as her siblings, her autobiography details how the young actress had an instinctive ear for recreating musical sounds. Martin's father, Preston Martin, was a lawyer, her mother, Juanita Presley, was a violin teacher. Although the doctors told Juanita that she would risk her life if she attempted to have another baby, she was determined to have a boy. Instead, she had Mary, her family had a orchard that kept her entertained. She played with her elder sister Geraldine, riding ponies. Martin adored her father. "He was good-looking, silver-haired, with the kindest brown eyes.
Mother was the disciplinarian, but it was Daddy who could turn me into an angel with just one look." Martin, who said "I’d never understand the law", began singing outside the courtroom where her father worked every Saturday night at a bandstand. She sang in a trio with Marion Swofford, dressed in bellhop uniforms. "Even in those days without microphones, my high piping voice carried all over the square. I have always thought that I inherited my carrying voice from my father." She remembered having a photographic memory as a child. School tests were not a problem, learning songs was easy, she got her first taste of singing solo at a fire hall, where she soaked up the crowd's appreciation. "Sometimes I think that I cheated my own family and my closest friends by giving to audiences so much of the love I might have kept for them. But that's the way. Martin's craft was developed by becoming a mimic, she would win prizes for looking and dancing like Ruby Keeler and singing like Bing Crosby. "Never, never can I say I had a frustrating childhood.
It was all joy. Mother used to say she never had seen such a happy child --. I don't remember that, but I do remember that I never wanted to go to bed, to go to sleep, for fear I'd miss something." During high school, Martin dated Benjamin Hagman before she left to attend finishing school at Ward–Belmont in Nashville, Tennessee. During that time, she enjoyed imitating Fanny Brice at singing gigs, but she found school dull and felt confined by its strict rules, she was homesick for her family and Hagman. During a visit and Benjamin persuaded Mary's mother to allow them to marry, they did, by the age of 17, Martin was married, pregnant with her first child and forced to leave Ward–Belmont. She was, happy to begin her new life, but she soon learned that this life as she would say was nothing but "role playing", their honeymoon was at her parents' house, Martin's dream of life with a family and a white-picket fence faded. "I was 17, a married woman without real responsibilities, miserable about my mixed-up emotions, afraid there was something awfully wrong with me because I didn't enjoy being a wife.
Worst of all, I didn't have enough to do." It was "Sister", suggesting that she should teach dance. "Sister" taught Martin her first real dance—the waltz clog. Martin imitated her first dance move, she opened a dance studio. Here, she created her own moves, imitated the famous dancers she watched in the movies and taught "Sister's" waltz clog; as she recalled, "I was doing something I wanted to do—creating." Wanting to learn more moves, Martin went to California to attend the dance school at the Franchon and Marco School of the Theatre and opened her own dance studio in Mineral Wells, Texas. She was given a ballroom studio with the premise. There, she learned how to phrase blues songs. One day at work, she accidentally walked into the wrong room, they asked her in what key she would like to sing "So Red Rose". Having no idea what her key was, she sang regardless and got the job, she was hired to sing "So Red Rose" at the Fox Theater in San Francisco followed by the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles.
There would be one catch—she had to sing in the wings. She scored her first professional gig unaware. Soon after, Martin learned that her studio had been burnt down by a man who thought that dancing was a sin, she began to express her unhappiness. Her father gave her advice saying. Martin left everything behind including her young son and went to Hollywood while her father handled the divorce for her. In Hollywood, Martin plunged herself into auditions—so many that she became known as "Audition Mary", her first professional audition and job was on a national radio network. Among Martin's first auditions in Hollywood, she sang, "Indian Love Call". After her singing the song, "a tall, craggly man who looked like a mountain" told Martin that he thought she had something special, it was Oscar Hammerstein II. This marked the start of her career. Martin began her radio career in 1939 as the vocalist on a short-lived revival of The Tuesday Night Party on CBS. In 1940, she was a singer on NBC's Good News of 1
Jason Nelson Robards Jr. was an American stage and television actor. He was a winner of two Academy Awards and an Emmy Award, he was a United States Navy combat veteran of World War II. He became famous playing works of American playwright Eugene O'Neill and performed in O'Neill's works throughout his career. Robards was cast both as well-known historical figures. Robards was born July 26, 1922, in Chicago, the son of Hope Maxine Robards and Jason Robards Sr. an actor who appeared on the stage and in such early films as The Gamblers. Robards was of German, Welsh and Swedish descent; the family moved to New York City when Jason Jr. was still a toddler, moved to Los Angeles when he was six years old. Interviews with Robards suggested that the trauma of his parents' divorce, which occurred during his grade-school years affected his personality and world view; as a youth, Robards witnessed first-hand the decline of his father's acting career. The elder Robards had enjoyed considerable success during the era of silent films, but he fell out of favor after the advent of "talkies", leaving the younger Robards soured on the Hollywood film industry.
The teenage Robards excelled in athletics, running a 4:18-mile during his junior year at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles. Although his prowess in sports attracted interest from several universities, Robards decided to enlist in the United States Navy upon his graduation in 1940. Following the completion of recruit training and radio school, Robards was assigned to the heavy cruiser USS Northampton in 1941 as a radioman 3rd class. On December 7, 1941, Northampton was at sea in the Pacific Ocean about 100 miles off Hawaii. Contrary to some stories, he did not see the devastation of the Japanese attack on Hawaii until Northampton returned to Pearl Harbor two days later. Northampton was directed into the Guadalcanal campaign in World War II's Pacific theater, where she participated in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. During the Battle of Tassafaronga in the waters north of Guadalcanal on the night of November 30, 1942, Northampton was sunk by hits from two Japanese torpedoes. Robards found himself treading water until near daybreak, when he was rescued by an American destroyer.
For her service in the war, Northampton was awarded six battle stars. Two years in November 1944, Robards was radioman aboard the light cruiser USS Nashville, the flagship for the invasion of Mindoro in the northern Philippines. On December 13, she was struck by a kamikaze aircraft off Negros Island in the Philippines; the aircraft hit one of the port five-inch gun mounts, while the plane's two bombs set the midsection of the ship ablaze. With this damage and 223 casualties, Nashville was forced to return to Pearl Harbor and to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, for repairs. Robards served honorably during the war, but was not a recipient of the U. S. Navy Cross for bravery, contrary to what has been reported in numerous sources; the inaccurate story derives from a 1979 column by Hy Gardner. Aboard Nashville, Robards first found a copy of Eugene O'Neill's play Strange Interlude in the ship's library. While in the Navy, he first started thinking about becoming an actor, he had emceed for a Navy band in Pearl Harbor, got a few laughs, decided he liked it.
His father suggested. Robards was awarded the Good Conduct Medal of the Navy, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal. Robards got into acting after his career began slowly, he moved to New York City and found small parts – first in radio and on the stage. His first film was Follow That Music, a short movie from 1947, his big break was landing the starring role in José Quintero's 1956 off Broadway theatre revival production and the 1960 television film of O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, portraying the philosophical salesman Hickey. He portrayed Hickey again in another 1985 Broadway revival staged by Quintero. Robards created the role of Jamie Tyrone in the original Broadway production of O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning Long Day's Journey into Night, directed by Quintero. Other O'Neill plays directed by Quintero and featuring Robards included Hughie, A Touch of the Poet, A Moon for the Misbegotten.
He repeated his role in Long Day's Journey into Night in the 1962 film and televised his performances in A Moon for the Misbegotten and Hughie. Robards appeared onstage in a revival of O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! Directed by Arvin Brown, as well as Lillian Hellman's Toys in the Attic, Arthur Miller's After the Fall, Clifford Odets's The Country Girl, Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, he made his film debut in the two-reel comedy Follow That Music, but after his Broadway success, he was invited to make his feature debut in The Journey. He became a familiar face to movie audiences throughout the 1960s, notably for his performances in A Thousand Clowns repeating his stage performance, Hour of the Gun as Doc Holliday, The Night They Raided Minsky's, Once Upon a Time in the West, he appeared on television anthology series, including two segments in the mid-1950s of CBS's Appointment with Adventure. Robards played three different U. S. presidents in film. He played the role of Abraham Lincoln in th