Tales Of The Broke And Famous

Written by Stephen Schochet

"Beverly Hills is a place where you spend a lot of money you don't have to impress a lot of people you don't like!"- - Anonymous Hollywood Producer

Ifrepparttar rumors are true that Michael Jackson's lavish life style has left him broke, he would not berepparttar 124152 first famous celebrity in financial straights. John Wayne found himself in hock after 150 movies. Three wives, seven children, investing his own money inrepparttar 124153 box office troubled The Alamo (1960) combined with an exceedingly generous nature leftrepparttar 124154 Duke completely wiped out. He would often walk into bars and shout,"Drinks for everybody on me!" He would get fan letters full of wild pleas for money, from people who had tax problems to mothers who asked for help to pay for their daughter's braces. Wayne would agonize over them but send financial aid if he thoughtrepparttar 124155 requester was really needy. One time his second wife Chata, with whom he was about to divorce hired a private detective to getrepparttar 124156 goods on him. Down in Mexico near where Wayne was filmingrepparttar 124157 western Hondo (1953)repparttar 124158 investigator forgot his identification one day and got locked up in a Chihuahua jail. Not knowing anyone in a foreign landrepparttar 124159 desperate P.I. called Wayne himself. The Cowboy Star arrived with his buddy and frequent co-star, a disbelieving Ward Bond. "Duke, this guy is trying to ruin you! Let him rot!" Wayne reached into his pocket and pulled outrepparttar 124160 necessary coin to payrepparttar 124161 bail. "Ah come on Ward,repparttar 124162 poor man was only doing his job."

Stars can find themselves in money trouble before they know it. While performing in Las Vegas with Dean Martin atrepparttar 124163 Flamingo hotel in 1953, twenty-seven-year old Jerry Lewis ran up $137,000 dollars in gambling debts. The mobsters who ranrepparttar 124164 casino confronted him to ask how he planned to pay it off. The nervy Lewis told them it was their fault for letting a kid run up such a large tab. How irresponsible! The gangsters, a bit bewildered, agreed, then repeated their question. Realizing that these nice gentlemen could whack him, Jerry asked them what they suggested. After a hasty conference they told him he would work it off. The gambling addicted Lewis asked if he could win it back atrepparttar 124165 card table instead, he was told a firm no. The debt took a year and half forrepparttar 124166 comedian eliminate. He would have retired it quicker butrepparttar 124167 card games continued during train rides with former Blackjack Dealer Martin, who kept puttingrepparttar 124168 volatile clown further inrepparttar 124169 red.

Another star who suffered through money trouble inrepparttar 124170 fifties was Marilyn Monroe. Tired of playing dumb blondes, she bolted from her studio Twentieth Century Fox to start Marilyn Monroe Productions. Actors are often advised not to use their own name in their personal ventures, it makes other ego-driven stars less willing to work with them. Marilyn's film output slowed down and by 1959 her husband, playwright Arthur Miller, was telling her she should acceptrepparttar 124171 dumb blonde role in Some Like It Hot, they neededrepparttar 124172 money. "I can't see through Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in drag? Oh my God, I've been dumb before but never that dumb." She went to her well renowned acting teacher,repparttar 124173 revered Lee Strasberg to ask how she could makerepparttar 124174 audience believe her character. Strasberg suggested that Marilyn, always a man's woman, playrepparttar 124175 part as someone so desperate for female friendship, she simply didn't pay attention to her co-star's masculine features. She took his advice andrepparttar 124176 result was a comedy classic.

Walt Disney's Psychedelic Movie

Written by Stephen Schochet

Chasen's restaurant in old Hollywood was a legendary hangout were movie stars expected to dine in peaceful private booths on barbecued chili without putting up with celebrity gawkers. There were occasional breaks inrepparttar quiet. Jimmy Stewart's bachelor party was thrown there complete with midgets clad only in diapers jumping out of cakes. Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre got drunk one night and stolerepparttar 124151 restaurant's safe, carrying it out ontorepparttar 124152 street until they were caught. WC Fields once caused his girlfriend Carlotta Monti great anguish by dining at Chasens with another woman. She called up nearby Cedar Sinai Hospital and told them thatrepparttar 124153 comedian was having a heart attack, resulting in an ambulance coming to fetch him inrepparttar 124154 middle of dinner. And in 1938repparttar 124155 conductor ofrepparttar 124156 Philadelphia Orchestra,repparttar 124157 long haired, flamboyant Leopold Stokowski, in town to carry on a discreet love affair with Greta Garbo, had his dinner interrupted by a note from a waiter saying that Walt Disney wanted to meet him.

The cartoon maker andrepparttar 124158 maestro were surprised that both were fans of each other. As always Walt saw meetings with talent as an opportunity to pushrepparttar 124159 creative envelope. In fifteen years of running his animation studio, Disney had used music to supplement gags and stories, now he wanted to reverserepparttar 124160 formula. While recently attending a symphony atrepparttar 124161 Hollywood Bowl he had been enthralled listening to The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas. What if it were combined with a state ofrepparttar 124162 art, twenty minute animated cartoon? It could raise animation to a higher art form and introduce new audiences to classical music who had never appreciated it before. Stokowski lovedrepparttar 124163 idea so much he volunteered to conduct it for free. He also suggested several other pieces that could be presented with animation as well. And so Fantasia (1940) was born.

Disney's other reason to make Sorcerer was to saverepparttar 124164 career of Mickey Mouse. A superstitious man, who like many in Hollywood consulted fortune tellers, he felt that if Mickey died, his whole organization would go down with him. The problem was that Mickey like many stars was now type cast. He had gone from being mischievous to bland. It had gotten torepparttar 124165 point where Walt would get letters of complaint every timerepparttar 124166 little guy would misbehave onrepparttar 124167 screen. He had been surpassed in popularity byrepparttar 124168 mean-spirited but more versatile Donald Duck. Walt also felt thatrepparttar 124169 high pitched voice that he himself provided forrepparttar 124170 mouse was not exciting for audiences to hear, his role in Fantasia would be silent. Disney remained Mickey's strongest advocate, despite his artist's suggestionsrepparttar 124171 four foot rodent was a dumb character who should be replaced inrepparttar 124172 film by Dopey. Their disdain lead torepparttar 124173 phrase,"A Mickey Mouse Operation" used to describe things that are second rate.

At that time, flush withrepparttar 124174 huge success of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937)repparttar 124175 37-year-old Walt Disney was atrepparttar 124176 height of his creative powers. Visitors torepparttar 124177 studio were amazed by his boundless energy, they would have more surprised to find out he had suffered a nervous breakdown eight years earlier. His anything is possible attitude carried over to many of his artists who were zany characters to begin with. Working on Fantasia with highbrow types like Stokowski and music critic Deems Taylor, Walt would sometimes feel embarrassed by their immature behavior. Don't be, he was told, Your cartoonists are likerepparttar 124178 elves in Santa's workshop.

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