Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Declassified ads

Longtime Thrilling Days of Yesteryear reader/supporter Philip Schweier sent me an e-mail this morning re: the funny-looking little mook that played “Harold” in yesterday’s Mayberry Mondays installment, “The Copy Machine”:

So I read yesterday of the extremely young boxer who was featured on Mayberry R.F.D., and as you described him as lisping, I somehow had a premonition that it would be a child actor we knew collectively around our house as "Fishface." Where the name came from, whether it was the character the boy played, I know not, but sure enough, if it wasn't him, it was his brother. A little research revealed that there may have been two Fishfaces - one played by Richard S. Steele, the other featured on such shows as Courtship of Eddie's Father and The Brian Keith Show (aka The Little People). He may have also played Earl J. Waggedorn on the Diahann Carroll sit-com, Julia, but I'll be the first to admit my memory of those years may be flawed.

The part of “Earl J. Waggedorn” was played by Michael Link on Julia, the sitcom that was created by Savannah native Hal Kanter. (Little trivia I threw in there for the Savannah folks.) But I think Philip’s right on the first part—the Wikipedia entry for R.F.D. identifies Emmy Award-winning sound engineer Richard S. Steele as a former child actor, and the individual who played Harold. No mention of the Keith series, but he was apparently in episodes of My Three Sons, My World and Welcome to It, Green Acres, Adam-12 and Emergency! (he was in the episode “Peace Pipe” as…wait for it…”Gumball Machine Boy”). Dipping into the dusty TDOY archives for the episodes of Acres and Sons (if I could find a set of World available for sale, I’d snap it up in a heartbeat) I confirmed that it is the same kid. From Green Acres’ “The Confrontation” (02/14/70):

And from My Three Sons’ “Came the Day” (11/22/69):

So there needs to be a little housecleaning done over at the IMDb. (Yes, I know—you’re stunned beyond belief.) (Update: While I was working on this post, Chuckie Award-winning blogger Stacia Jones also confirmed the mix-up in the comments section of the “The Copy Machine” post.)

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of director John Huston’s penultimate film, Prizzi’s Honor (1985), to theaters—and Edward Copeland asked me if I would write a little essay commemorating the occasion…which I was only too happy to do. Honor remains one of my favorite Huston films, and even my Mom (who hated it the first time she saw it) has come around to my way of thinking. Ed’s pounded out another essay to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of Men Don’t Leave (1990) today (“Where have you gone, Paul Brickman?”) that’s also worth a look-see. Leave is a really wonderful little film that is fortunately available (unfortunately, it’s MOD) from the Warner Archive.

Speaking of which, here’s the lineup of the new Warner Archive releases—I like how they combined Hell’s Heroes (1930) and Three Godfathers (1936) into a double feature disc…even though I already have these recorded. (I did put Bureau of Missing Persons [1933] on my wish list—and I’d probably invest in a purchase had they thought to combine it with Fog Over Frisco [1934].)

This article at Moviefone.com was pretty hooty—several individuals ‘fess up to some of the classic movies they haven’t seen. Of the list, the only one I haven’t seen is La Dolce Vita (1959)—but then again, my foreign film education has always been a bit deficient. Over at USA Today’s Pop Candy the question is “Are these the 10 funniest lines from classic movies?” I would affirm they aren’t, though you could make a strong case they’re among the best-known.

I meant to post this the other day—singer-songwriter Crispian St. Peters, who achieved musical immortality with his 1966 Top Ten pop hit The Pied Piper, has passed on at the age of 71. R.I.P, Mr. Peters. (Thanks to Bill “When they die, you’ll be the first to know” Crider for passing this along.)

I thought this post by Fred Burdsall over at Movies Unlimited’s MovieFanFare blog was very funny—Fred muses that David Vincent (Roy Thinnes) from the classic cult sci-fi television series The Invaders could have saved himself a good deal of trouble if he had only invested in a GPS system. This allows me to fortuitously segueway into the next giveaway here at TDOY

…I have a set of The Invaders that I purchased online several years back and because CBS-Paramount saw fit to release the short-lived 60’s phenom officially on DVD in 2008 and 2009, I really don’t need the duplicate set. Now, I need to stress that if you’re expecting pristine copies of these episodes, you’re going to be sadly disappointed—but if you’re strapped for fundage and would like to own the complete series, I’ll send it off to some lucky individual who simply sends me an e-mail with “Invaders Giveaway” in the subject header and “I want it!” in the body of the missive. You don’t have to include your snail-mail address—but if you do, it will enable me to get it out a lot faster should you win.

This set includes all forty-three episodes of The Invaders…and as an added bonus, the 1969 feature film Journey to the Far Side of the Sun and the 1973 TV-movie The Norliss Tapes are also in the collection (both of these movies star Invaders’ own Roy Thinnes). So drop me an e-mail at igsjrotr(at)gmail(dot)com before midnight EDT next Tuesday (June 22), and I’ll pick a name at random the next morning…that person will be the winner. (Remember—you can’t win if you don’t enter.)

Speaking of winners (smooth as glass, I tells ya…), The Large Association of Movie Blogs are announcing the winners of the 2010 LAMMY Awards on a day-by-day basis all the way to Friday, when the coveted Best Blog trophy will be handed out. While I’m no handicapper (though I did play one on television on the short-lived Ivan the Greek) I’d like to give a shout-out to a few individuals that I actually voted for and they emerged triumphant. Our good friend Matt at Chuck Norris Ate My Baby snagged the prize for Best Blog Name (he won it, suffice it to say, in a walk—which proves the LAMMYs are on the up-and-up) and “Professor” Mark of Where Danger Lives did a Wallace Beery-Fredric March by copping the accolade for Best Random Banner (he tied with Reel Whore for the honor, and will apparently share the award on a six-months-in, six-months-out setup).

But the largest kudos and victory laps go to our homegirl Stacia, proprietor of the always-excellent She Blogged by Night for once again victoriously triumphing in the Best Design category—you may remember that she won this accolade last year as well. Stacia’s up for another award, Best Classic Film Blog—not to mention TDOY faves Only the Cinema, Out of the Past, Silent Volume and Where Danger Lives—so I have my fingers crossed for whoever wins this baby. LAMMY fever—catch it!

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Stacia said...

Awesome Fishface information! I didn't even bother with Wikipedia, I just knew the IMDb gets "confused" about people who share the same name. If I had a few minutes I'd sit down and try to submit corrections... but then again, as I mention every 3-5 months, the IMDb still has Marie Prevost as "roomate" in "Locked Door" so maybe I wouldn't bother trying to correct them.

Also, I've never seen "Star Wars" or any of the movies in either trilogy.

Linda said...

Richard Steele, the kid is in two eps of MY WORLD, including the Christmas one, which is on YouTube. (Search on MY WORLD AND WELCOME TO IT Christmas.) There are two other episodes on YouTube, "The War Between Men and Women," and the ep with Lee Meriwether (based on "Mr. Monroe and the Moving Men," with really bad color--possibly a camera copy). Steele is also in "Christabel," which I have on DVD, one of six paltry eps I happened to catch while the show was running years ago on WGN.

Kim said...

If the sound designer and former child actor are the same person, I believe Richard Steele played Richard on the television show, "Julia." He was also in "With Six You Get Eggroll."