Mrs. Disney

Written by Stephen Schochet

Continued from page 1

Lillian didn't worry about Walt cheating on her with another woman but would sometimes get jealous of his work. Often he would come home late, choosing instead to spendrepparttar night atrepparttar 124153 studio prowling around his animator's desks, even going through their trash cans to pull out their best ideas. One time he arrived late for a date and drunk. Angrily she locked him out ofrepparttar 124154 house. He made amendsrepparttar 124155 next day by presenting her with a female puppy in a hat box. That event later becamerepparttar 124156 basis forrepparttar 124157 Disney classic Lady And The Tramp (1955).

The Disney's were world travelers. Lillian was thrilled to getrepparttar 124158 call from Walt to pack up for their next surprise vacation and marvel how he would turn their experiences into Disneyland attractions. They fell in love with skiing in Switzerland and it lead torepparttar 124159 Matterhorn Bobsled Ride. They enjoyed buying antiques inrepparttar 124160 French Quarter, inspiringrepparttar 124161 creation of New Orleans Square. They learned about hidden treasure on a island near Cuba sparkingrepparttar 124162 construction of The Pirates Of The Caribbean, which Walt did not live to see completed.

Lillian fell short of her own dream. She did not share Walt's love of classical music, preferring to listen to Lawrence Welk. But she felt his pain when Fantasia (1940) failed atrepparttar 124163 box office. In 1987, 21 years after he passed on, she donated fifty million dollars to buildrepparttar 124164 Walt Disney Concert Hall which would berepparttar 124165 new home forrepparttar 124166 Los Angeles Philharmonic. What better legacy than to bring Beethoven and Mozart torepparttar 124167 masses just like Walt wanted. But she became discouraged when her idea for a simple brick building became much more elaborate inrepparttar 124168 hands of architect Frank Gehry. Soonrepparttar 124169 fifty million was gone and she wanted it back fearing she had wasted her money on an incomplete boondoggle. Her daughter Diane convinced her that Gehry's design was wonderful but she died six years beforerepparttar 124170 hall opened.

One great thing about Walt building Disneyland was that he and Lillian got to play tour guide to world leaders. But Mrs. Disney was very disappointed whenrepparttar 124171 head of Russia Nikita S. Khrushchev and his wife failed to come torepparttar 124172 park in 1960. The Anaheim police said they could not provide enough security. The Soviet Prime Minister grumpily settled for a star studded luncheon at Twentieth Century Fox instead. Duringrepparttar 124173 meal Frank Sinatra was informed of Mrs. Khrushchev's disappointment at missing out on The Magic Kingdom. Old Blue Eyes slammed his fist onrepparttar 124174 table. "Screwrepparttar 124175 cops. I'll takerepparttar 124176 old broad down there and watch her myself." He grabbed her byrepparttar 124177 hand and was nearrepparttar 124178 door when he was stopped byrepparttar 124179 KGB. Back at Disneyland Walt made Lillian smile by telling her he was just as disappointed as she was. He was dying to showrepparttar 124180 Communist ruler his new submarine fleet.

Stephen Schochet is the author and narrator of the audiobooks Fascinating Walt Disney and Tales Of Hollywood. The Saint Louis Post Dispatch says," these two elaborate productions are exceptionally entertaining." Hear realaudio samples of these great, unique gifts at

Tales Of The Broke And Famous

Written by Stephen Schochet

Continued from page 1

A celebrity's money trouble can spill over to others that they work with. Judy Garland was a popular guest on television talk shows inrepparttar 1960s. The problem with booking her was in cities where she appeared hotels were reluctant to put her up. She was famous for abusingrepparttar 124152 help and skipping out on her bills. One time New York based Host Merv Griffin called uprepparttar 124153 Waldorf to see if she could stay there. Absolutely not, he was told. She owes far too much money. What if Merv paid her outstanding bills? He was told he could pay double what she owed and she still wouldn't get a room there.

Comedian Stan Laurel found money so tight he ended up in a sixty dollar a month apartment in Santa Monica inrepparttar 124154 early 1960s. He was listed inrepparttar 124155 phone book and people would call him up. Are yourepparttar 124156 Stan Laurel? Can we come over and meet you? Charlie Chaplin's former vaudeville understudy would warmly welcomerepparttar 124157 fans who visited his residence. But what happened to all his money? Laurel would joke about his three wives getting it all, then explain that Producer Hal Roach owned allrepparttar 124158 Laurel and Hardy films. He and Oliver Hardy, (or Babe, as his friends called him) had been scared to death whenrepparttar 124159 silent films had ended in 1928. When Director Leo McCarey came up withrepparttar 124160 idea of teamingrepparttar 124161 skinny English comic withrepparttar 124162 rotund Georgia born actor,repparttar 124163 two were happy just to keep getting a weekly check. Who knew thatrepparttar 124164 two reelers that they were only paid once for would be shown to new generations on television? Stan often toldrepparttar 124165 story about how he and Babe had gone touring in Europe. While browsing in an airport gift shop in London they saw some miniature Laurel and Hardy figurines. To take them back as gifts they had been forced to pay full price.

Comebacks abound inrepparttar 124166 movie business. Frank Sinatra, who had not served in World War II due to a punctured eardrum, was very unpopular with American fighting men who were jealous of him being back home crooning to their girlfriends. As our military forces began returning his popularity began to wane. By 1949 both his film and singing career had bottomed out torepparttar 124167 point he was telling his manager to pay people to attend his concerts. His voice was in bad shape, his marriage was ending, his weight had gone down to 118 pounds and there were reports of suicide attempts. Four years later he was back on top, winning an Academy Award for his performance inrepparttar 124168 film From Here To Eternity (1953). He decided to enjoy his accomplishment by taking a solitary moonlight walk throughrepparttar 124169 quiet streets of Beverly Hills, just him and his Oscar. After ten minutesrepparttar 124170 Chairman Of The Board was stopped by two police officers who rained on his parade by not recognizing him, and asking hard questions about where he had gotten that statue.

Being broke in Hollywood is often a matter of perspective. One time at a party Martin Scorsese was lamenting to his fellow director Frances Ford Coppola," Frances I'm broke. They've torn up my credit cards. I have nothing, do you understand me, nothing!" "Marty, will you shut up? I owe fifty million dollars."

Want to hear more stories? Stephen Schochet is the author and narrator of the audiobooks Fascinating Walt Disney and Tales Of Hollywood. The Saint Louis Post Dispatch says," These two elaborate productions are exceptionally entertaining." Hear RealAudio samples of these great, unique gifts at

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