Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Latest HuffPost:Jonathan Frid:Truly A Vampire's Vampire!

Actor Jonathan Frid: Truly a Vampire's Vampire! By Dr.Franklin Ruehl,Ph.D. Posted: 04/24/2012 5:42 pm Vengeful! Ruthless! Cruel! Romantic! Compassionate! Regretful! These are among the adjectives that describe the vast spectrum of emotions that actor Jonathan Frid most capably incorporated into his rendition of vampire Baranbas Collins on the Gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows. For me, every episode of that series was a special treat when he was included in the cast! Hearing his voice and seeing him on screen made that day memorable. Sadly, Frid just passed away at age 87, only a few weeks before the new cinematic version of Dark Shadows starring Johnny Depp will be hitting the theaters, including a cameo appearance by him as a party guest (along with 3 other co-stars from the series, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, and David Selby). Of course, I would have wanted him to have a more substantial role, but I am grateful that he was at least invited for a walk-on. Without a doubt, Frid was responsible for the program's success. It was floundering in the ratings when Fate moved its huge hand! In April of 1967, he had his bags packed and was planning to move from New York to California to become a drama professor. But, as he left his apartment, he heard the phone ring, and raced back in to answer it. The caller was his agent who convinced him to audition for the role of a vampire, a part that tentatively would last only a few weeks and provide him with some additional wherewithal. Fortunately, Frid consented and the rest is TV history! Had he left a few minutes earlier, we would probably have never heard of him, and the soap opera might have been cancelled that year. His centerpiece role invigorated the show and made it a cult hit. He was indeed born to portray Barnabas Collins! He starred in the first theatrical version, House of Dark Shadows in 1970. Unfortunately, he was locked in a coffin and not seen on the TV series while filming his cinematic scenes. Although he was dispatched in this film, the writers could have devised a way to revitalize him for the 1971 sequel, Night of Dark Shadows, but that would have taken him away once again from the soap opera, so the production did not include his character, which was a profound disappointment. For the record, the series was cancelled in April of 1971. In recent years, Frid had been attending Dark Shadows conventions. Indeed, he was slated to be a key guest at the upcoming convention in July in New York , which indubitably will now be dedicated to his memory. In conclusion, may the Power of the Cosmos be with you, Jonathan, wherever you may now be! You will not be forgotten by your vast legion of devoted fans!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

13 Intriguing Friday The 13th Factoids!

13 Intriguing Friday the 13th Factoids!

-- The fear of Friday is skeviphobia, the fear of the number 13 is triskaidekaphobia, and the fear of Friday the 13th is paraskevidekatriaphobia (aka friggatriskaidekaphobia).

-- While both Friday(because Judas was thought to have been the 13th guest at the Last Supper) and 13(because it is an uneven number following the even number 12 widely considered beneficial) had independently been considered unlucky for centuries, the dark nature of Friday The 13th appears to have only originated in the West in the 19th century, possibly with Henry Sutherland Edwards' 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini wherein the date is termed unlucky!

-- Apollo 13, which barely escaped becoming a doomed flight, was launched on 13:13 CST, April 11,1970, with the explosion that disabled the craft occurring on April 13(a Monday).

-- In Spanish-speaking nations, Tuesday The 13th is regarded as unlucky!

-- Oklahoma bandit Crawford "Cherokee Bill" Goldsby murdered 13 victims, and was captured with a reward of $1300, At his trial, 13 eyewitnesses testified against him, the jury took 13 hours to render a verdict of guilty, and he was hanged on April 13,1896 on a gallows with 13 steps!

-- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would never host a dinner party with 13 guests in attendance and refused to travel on the 13th day of any month!

-- Cuban leader Fidel Castro was born on Friday, August 13,1926, while celebrated outlaw Butch Cassidy was born on. Friday, April 13,1866!

-- Miami Dolphin Quarterback Dan Marino wore No. 13 throughout his distinguished football career. In his one and only trip to the Super Bowl(1985), the San Francisco 49ers clobbered his team, 38-16!

-- The majority of skyscrapers in America do not have a 13th floor, while some hospitals avoid rooms numbered 13, and a few airline terminals bypass gates numbered 13!

-- Every calendar year has at least one Friday The 13th. The most Fridays The 13th that can occur in any given calendar year is three, such as in 2012(January, April and July)!

-- The longest period that can occur without a Friday The 13th is 14 months, either from July through September of the following normal year, or from August through October of the following leap year!

-- In the 1960 cinematic thriller, 13 Ghosts, director William Castle, known for creating innovative PR gimmicks, introduced "Illusion-O" and offered audience members "ghost viewers" to enable them to see the invisible spirits(unfortunately, his on-camera appearance is often deleted from TV airings of the film).

-- On Friday April 13, 2029, the asteroid 99942 will make its closest encounter with the Earth!

Here are 2 Friday The 13th related video links:

Follow Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My latest HuffPost Blog: Did A German Sub Sink The Titanic?

Huffington Post(April 10,2012)

Did a German U-Boat Sink the Titanic?
Posted: 04/10/2012 9:56 am

Is it possible, just possible, that a German submarine, rather than an iceberg, sank the mighty Titanic?

When the sunken Titanic was discovered in 1985, its starboard (right) side was embedded in sand. This was the side that had struck the iceberg off of Newfoundland 100 years ago on April 14,1912. So-called "subprofiler" digital images revealed that six rivets has popped off, suggesting that shoddy workmanship led to the ship's demise. But, this covered only a relatively small area of just 12 square feet, hardly enough to cause the huge luxury liner to sink with such rapidity.

Significantly, several survivors including both passengers and crew members, when questioned by a U.S. Senate inquiry panel, testified that they never felt any impact or heard any sound when the collision occurred, suggesting it was minor in nature. However, they reported having heard four "reports," or explosions, deep in the bowels of the Titanic AFTER it had scraped the iceberg! These could conceivably have been torpedoes launched by a German submarine.

Moreover, a number of survivors huddled in lifeboats observed a searchlight in the distance, encouraging them that a rescue vessel was approaching. This light had been attributed to the Californian. But, that ship's captain, Stanley Lord, insisted that it was not his, that there was another vessel between his and the Titanic. Indeed, his craft was mired in a colossal ice field and forced to remain there until daylight. Several sailors on watch asserted that they witnessed an unidentified vessel approximately 5 to 6 miles away until about 2 a.m., possibly a submarine that had surfaced to assess the damage it had caused, after which time it skulked off. For the record, this was not the Carpathia, which arrived on the scene later to assist in rescuing survivors.

Most assuredly, that mystery craft could well have been a German sub, as their U-boat technology was highly perfected by that time and their subs were scanning the North Atlantic then. The sub may have deliberately targeted the luxury liner or possibly accidentally collided with it. It should be noted that a German U-boat did indeed sink the famed Lusitania just three years later in 1915.

Will the Titanic ever be resurrected to assess the destruction and determine if this hypothesis could be viable? Probably not, as it took two years just to recover a relatively small 20-ton section from the 46,000-ton craft. which is in an extremely fragile state. It will most likely remain in place as a lasting memorial to the most dramatic oceanic tragedy on record.

Here is a video of the German sub hypothesis:

Premonitions of the Titanic's sinking:

Did a missing key sink the Titanic?:

Prophecies concerning the Titanic:

Follow Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D. on Twitter:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Latest HuffPost Blog:"Tribute To Actor Warren Stevens"

Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D..

Host, 'Mysteries From Beyond the Other Dominion'

A Tribute to Versatile Actor Warren Stevens!

Posted: 04/ 4/2012 4:28 pm

Alien! Scientist! Gunslinger! Detective! Lancer! Criminal!

These are among the numerous roles veteran character actor Warren Stevens handled most ably during his long and extensive movie and TV career. Sadly, Stevens passed away last week at the age of 92. He had been quite active until recently, having appeared in The Trail to Hope Rose (Hallmark Channel, 2004) and ER (2006). And, he had been a regular figure at Hollywood conventions where fans gather to meet their favorite stars of yesteryear.

As a sci-fi buff, I was especially enamored of his many roles in this genre, such as Rojan, an alien from the Andromeda galaxy bent on conquering the Milky Way galaxy in the Star Trek episode, "By Any Other Name" (1968), professor Eric Plummer possessed by an alien presence in the The Outer Limits episode, "Keeper of the Purple Twilight" (1964), and scientist Dr.Carl Zellar encountering a time traveler (Michael Rennie) from earth's future attempting to prevent the creation of cyborgs in Cyborg 2087 (1966).

He also guested on The Time Tunnel, Men Into Space, Land of the Giants (twice), Science Fiction Theater (twice), and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (thrice).

In each instance, Stevens delivered a solid, credible performance. He was indeed a consummate actor.

Of course, he is probably best remembered for his role as Doc Ostrow in the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet where he is destroyed by a "monster from the id" of brilliant professor Edward Morbius (portrayed by Walter Pidgeon). Unfortunately, he is the 3rd principal actor from that cinematic gem to die recently (the other two being Leslie Nielsen in 2010 and Anne Francis in 2011).

Actually, I felt that that his best part career-wise was as a bum who steals a murdered club owner's exquisite loafers and is subsequently possessed by his spirit in a superb 1962 Twilight Zone episode, "Dead Man's Shoes."

When I had the high honor of interviewing Stevens on my cable TV show, Mysteries From Beyond the Other Dominion, a few years ago, he concurred with my assessment of the role. He jokingly complained that his recent residual checks from the episode had diminished to only a few cents!

One other part that deserves special commendation is his role in 1958's Intent To Kill as the mastermind of a plot to subtly assassinate a South American leader (Herbert Lom) who is at a Montreal hospital for brain surgery, This was a remake of 1950's Crisis starring Cary Grant and José Ferrer. But, the screenplay by Jimmy Sangster was much more involved and absorbing, featuring several intriguing subplots and powerful acting by all involved. Among those featured in the cast were Betsy Drake (one of Grant's wives) and Jackie Collins (Joan Collins' younger sister who went on to become renowned as the author of several exotic novels).

Considering his diverse plethora of roles, Stevens will not be forgotten by his many fans. And, on a personal note, I say, "May the power of the cosmos be with you, Warren, wherever you may now be!"

Monday, April 2, 2012

Warren Steven's Finest Role!

Actor Warren Stevens recently passed away at age 92. While he probsbly is best remembered for his role as Doc Ostrow in the classic 1954 sci-fi flick,"Forbidden Planet,"I felt that that his best part was as a bum who steals a murdered club owner's exquisite loafers and is subsequently possessed by his spirit in a superb 1962 Twilight Zone episode,"Dead Man's Shoes."

When I had the high honor of interviewing him on my cable TV show,"Mysteries From Beyond the Other Dominion," a few years ago,he concurred with my assessment of the role. He jokingly complained that his recent royalty checks from the episode had dimnished to only a few cents.Now, please enjoy this intriguing TZ entry: