Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Latest HuffPost Blog:"Frightway to Stardom"(Pt.4)

Frightway to Stardom (Part IV)

Posted: 09/27/2013 7:13 am


Farrah Fawcett living as a citizen of a futuristic society! Peter Falk undergoing mesmerization by a supernatural mirror! Ava Gardner being menaced by Bela Lugosi!

These are three more notables who commenced their climb to fame and fortune on a veritable "Frightway to Stardom":

-Farrah Fawcett: In "Logan's Run"(1976), the gorgeous blonde soon-to-be member of TV's Charlie's Angels" (1976-77) was a resident of a 23rd century society which ordered the automatic execution of anyone who reached the age of 30, conning them into entering the "Carousel" for supposed rejuvenation where they were actually liquidated!

Ruehl Fact: George Pal, highly respected sci-fi producer and director, was originally slated to direct "Logan's Run," but was replaced by Michael Anderson, who had earlier directed what turned out to Pal's final production, "Doc Savage, Man of Bronze"(1974).

-Peter Falk: Before essaying the classic role of TV sleuth "Columbo," he portrayed Ramos Clemente, a Castroesque revolutionary who was entranced by a paranormal mirror in the 1961 "Twilight Zone" episode aptly entitled, "The Mirror."

Ruehl Fact: He lost his right eye to cancer at just age 3. His character, "Columbo," was never officially graced with a first name, contrary to one widely circulated report that it was "Philip." Actually,his name as "Frank Columbo" appeared in 2 episodes on his badge and one episode on his LAPD I.D. card. Amazingly, his daughter Catherine is a real-life detective!

-Ava Gardner: This legendary screen beauty had a minor role as a newlywed menaced by the unknown in the 1944 "Bowery Boys" entry, "Ghosts On The Loose"...on a downer, the "phantoms" were merely foreign agents led by Bela "The Count" Lugosi trying to spook the occupants of a house they were using for their nefarious deeds.

Ruehl Fact: Lugosi also appeared with the Bowery Boys in 1941's "Spooks Run Wild," another programmer with no actual supernatural elements!
Except for "The Killers"(1946), when she was loaned out to Universal, Gardner's singing voice was always dubbed in her MGM films, such as "Show Boat"(1951).

Video excerpt: Bela Lugosi in "The Corpse Vanishes"



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