Can I Have Your Autograph?

Written by Stephen Schochet

Can I Have Your Autograph?

By Stephen Schochet

Being a celebrity means dealing with fan demands for autographs, ranging from polite and appropriate to rude and overbearing. One time Katherine Hepburn was performing on Broadway and tried to exit backstage through a crowd of jostling autograph hounds. Bodyguards helped her to her limo and once safely insiderepparttar very private star rolled downrepparttar 118235 window and shouted," Run em down! We'll clean uprepparttar 118236 blood later!" The crowd scattered andrepparttar 118237 limousine sped away, pausing long enough for Hepburn to roll downrepparttar 118238 window and wave goodbye to her fans, accompanied by an evil laugh. Strangely enough, when she lived in Beverly Hillsrepparttar 118239 seclusion loving Hepburn developedrepparttar 118240 habit of sneaking into her neighbor's houses as a hobby. She became expert at climbing trees, avoiding alarms and dogs, and revealing herself just before her nervous neighbors calledrepparttar 118241 police.

Walt Disney hadrepparttar 118242 strange experience inrepparttar 118243 1930s of having his name famous aroundrepparttar 118244 world when his face was not. Often he would forget his identification and that combined with his casual attire sometimes kept him out of fancy restaurants. Later inrepparttar 118245 50's he became a recognized figure because of his television hosting duties. The lack of anonymity made it increasingly difficult for him to walk through Disneyland without being badgered for autographs. Disney struggled not to be brusque while explaining he didn't have time, he was trying to makerepparttar 118246 park a better place. Inrepparttar 118247 60's whenrepparttar 118248 company was trying to purchase Florida marshland for a second amusement park, he was warned by his advisors to stay away fromrepparttar 118249 state,repparttar 118250 real estate prices would go up oncerepparttar 118251 identity ofrepparttar 118252 buyer was known. But Disney couldn't resist. Eating in a Orlando diner Walt was approached by a curious waitress,"Pardon me. Aren't you Walt Disney?" Walt who was known for being brutally honest, replied," Hell no! And if I see that sob, I'll give him a piece of my mind."

Stars making movies at Universal Studios often try to avoid tour guides leading autograph hounds. One particular fellow became ingenious at tracking down Michael Caine, who toyed withrepparttar 118253 idea of havingrepparttar 118254 young man fired, then decided, "Whatrepparttar 118255 hell, I'll just sign" and was gracious. It turned out to be a good move,repparttar 118256 tour guide was Mike Ovitz who later becamerepparttar 118257 most powerful talent agent in Hollywood.

The Warner Brothers Make Noise

Written by Stephen Schochet

Hollywood was an attractive place forrepparttar early filmmakers to settle, full of good weather, orange and lemon trees. For producers who owed money on borrowed camera equipment if a creditor came after them, they could hide amongrepparttar 118234 trees. It was a hard business full of causalities and took a pirate's mentality to survive. Most ofrepparttar 118235 studio heads were from poor backgrounds, with limited English skills and never forgot their childhood or a personal slight. Included were Jack, Harry, Albert and Sam,repparttar 118236 four Warner Brothers from Youngstown, Ohio. They had begun with showing movies offrepparttar 118237 side of a tent in Youngstown, borrowing allrepparttar 118238 chairs fromrepparttar 118239 local undertaker. Every time there was a funeral in Youngstown, they had to give allrepparttar 118240 chairs back andrepparttar 118241 film patrons were forced to stand.

As a boy Jack Warner wished to be a singer and a comedian. His brothers, recognizing his lack of talent instructed him to sing inrepparttar 118242 tent when they wantedrepparttar 118243 audience to leave. He was later advised thatrepparttar 118244 money was not in performing, it was in paying performers. Amongrepparttar 118245 stars that would be under contract to him would be Betty Davis, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Errol Flynn.

The silent days were a struggle for Warner Bros. Rin Tin Tin, a German shepherd that according to his publicity was born in a foxhole in World War I, was their biggest star. Heroic as he might have been onrepparttar 118246 screen, he proved to be, like many stars, cantankerous in person. Jack Warner tookrepparttar 118247 dog on a publicity tour. As he introduced him torepparttar 118248 crowd, his ungrateful employee bit him onrepparttar 118249 behind, leading torepparttar 118250 dog's dismissal. It proved to be a prelude to Warner's many future battles with stars.

Trying to make a name for themselves,repparttar 118251 four brothers got great publicity by announcing thatrepparttar 118252 renowned opera tenor Caruso would be arriving from Italy to make a film for them. They paid him 25,000 dollars and then put him in a silent movie.

The movie studios hadrepparttar 118253 technology to make talking films years before they made them. One ofrepparttar 118254 reasons why they resistedrepparttar 118255 idea was that they didn't want to risk losing their overseas market. Stars like Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford rarely ever had a flop as their films were shown aroundrepparttar 118256 world and knew no language barriers. But in 1926repparttar 118257 silent films faced their biggest competition with a new device calledrepparttar 118258 radio. As movie attendance dwindledrepparttar 118259 studio heads shut their eyes and pretendedrepparttar 118260 radio was not there. Butrepparttar 118261 Warners lead byrepparttar 118262 ambitious Sam, decided to pushrepparttar 118263 envelope and try to save their sinking studio by experimenting with movie sound.

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