Happy 122nd Birthday Aldous Huxley

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Today is the 122nd birthday of the author, Aldous Huxley.  I first started reading his books at Interlochen Center for the Arts the summer of 1989.  The library was in a stone building, cool in temperature and cool in aesthetics.  That summer, I read Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited.  I was transported.  Later, I read somewhere that his writing has inspired a lot of people that I find to be visionaries, it was great to understand a bit more of their inspirational foundations.  The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

aldous huxley

NAME: Aldous Huxley
OCCUPATION: Author
BIRTH DATE: July 26, 1894
DEATH DATE: November 22, 1963
EDUCATION: Eton, Balliol College
PLACE OF BIRTH: Godalming, United Kingdom
PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California

REMAINS: Buried, Compton Village Cemetery, Guildford, Surrey, England

BEST KNOWN FOR: Author Aldous Huxley expressed his deep distrust of 20th-century politics and technology in his sci-fi novel Brave New World, a nightmarish vision of the future.

Aldous Huxley, was a British writer. He was born on July 26, 1894 and died on November 22, 1963. He would become most specifically known to the public for his novels, and especially his fifth one, Brave New World, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Aldous Huxley was born on July 26th 1894 in Godalming in the Surrey county in southern England. He would be the son of the English schoolteacher and writer Leonard Huxley (1860 – 1933) and of Julia Arnold (1862 – 1908). More than literature, however, Aldous Huxley would in fact be born into a family of renowned scientists, with two of his three brothers, Julian and Andrew, who would be eminent biologists and a grandfather, Thomas Henry Huxley, who would be a famous, controversial naturalist in his time, nicknamed as “Darwin’s Bulldog”.

Aldous Huxley would come to be known mostly as a novelist and essayist but he would also write some short stories, poetry, travelogues and even film scripts. In his novels and essays Aldous Huxley would always play the role of a critical observer of accepted traditions, customs, social norms and ideals. Importantly, he would be concerned in his writings with the potentially harmful applications of so-called scientific progress to mankind.

At the age of 14 Aldous Huxley would lose his mother and he himself would subsequently become ill in 1911 with a disease that would leave him virtually blind. As if all of this was note enough, his other brother, Noel, would kill himself in 1914. Because of his sight he would not be able to do the scientific research that had attracted him earlier. Aldous Huxley would then turn himself to literature. It is important to note that in spite of a partial remission, his eyesight would remain poor for the rest of his life. This would not, however prevent him from obtaining a degree in English literature with high praises.

While continuing his education at Balliol College, one of the institutions at Oxford University in England, Aldous Huxley would not longer be financially supported by his father, which would make him having to earn living. For a brief period in 1918, he would be employed as a clerk of the Air Ministry, which would convince him that he does not want a career in either administration or business. As result, his need for money would lead him to apply his literary talents. It is around those days that he would become friends with the famous writer D.H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930) at Oxford.

Aldous Huxley would finish his first novel, which he would never publish, at the age of seventeen, and he would decisively turn to writing at the age of twenty. At that point he would publish poems and also become a journalist and art critic. This would allow him to frequently travel and mingle with the European intelligentsia of the time. He would meet surrealists in Paris and would as a result of all of this write many literary essays. Aldous Huxley were to be deeply concerned about the important changes occurring at the time in Western civilization. They would prompt him to write great novels in the 1930s about the serious threats posed by the combination of power and technical progress, as well as about what he identified as a drift in parapsychology: behaviorism (as in his Brave New World). Additionally he would write against war and nationalism, as in Eyeless in Gaza (1936), for example.

One of his most known novels, and arguably his most important, would be Brave New World. Aldous Huxley would write it in only four months. It is important to note that at that time Adolf Hitler (1889 – 1945) was not yet in power in Germany and that the Stalinist purges had not yet begun. Aldous Huxley had therefore not been able to tap into the reality of his time the dictatorial future he would have the foresight to write about before it had happened. Indeed here Aldous Huxley imagined a society that would use genetics and cloning in order to condition and control individuals. In this future society all children are conceived in test tubes. They are genetically conditioned to belong to one of the five categories of populations, from the most intelligent to the stupidest.

Brave New World would also delineate what the perfect dictatorship would look like. It would have the appearance of a democracy, but would basically be a prison without walls in which the prisoners would not even dream of escaping. It would essentially be, as Aldous Huxley tells us, a system of slavery where, through entertainment and consumption the slaves “would love their servitude”. To many this would and still does resonate with the contemporary status quo. The title of the book comes from Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1610 – 1611), Act 5 Scene 1. Aldous Huxley’s novel would in fact eventually be made into a film in 1998. Although this one contains many elements from the book, the film would however portray a rather different storyline.

In 1937 he would write a book of essays entitled Ends and Means: an Enquiry Into the Nature of Ideals and Into the Methods Employed for Their Realization in which he would explore some of the same themes:

A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.

In 1958 Aldous Huxley would publish Brave New World Revisited, a collection of essays in which he would think critically about the threats of overpopulation, excessive bureaucracy, as well as some hypnosis techniques for personal freedom. While Aldous Huxley’s early works would clearly be focused on defending a kind of humanism, he would become more and more interested in spiritual questions. He would particularly become interested in parapsychology and mysticism, which would be a subject matter on which he would also write a lot about. It is not really surprising, therefore, that in 1938 Aldous Huxley would become a friend of religious philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986), considered by some to be a mystique himself, largely because of his early association with the Theosophical Society, from which he would powerfully break away from. In any case, Huxley would become a great admirer of this one’s teachings and would encourage him to put his insights in writings. Aldous Huxley would even write the forward for Jiddu Krishnamurti’s The First and Last Freedom (1954). Tellingly, Huxley would state after having listened to one of Krishnamurti’s talks:

… the most impressive thing I have listened to. It was like listening to a discourse of the Buddha – such power, such intrinsic authority…

In 1937, the writer would move to California and became a screenwriter for Hollywood. At the same time he would continue writing novels and essays, including the satirical novel After Many a Summer (1939) and Ape and Essence (1948). In 1950 the American Academy of Arts and Letters would award him the prestigious Award of Merit for the Novel, a prize that had also been bestowed to illustrious writers such as Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961) and Thomas Mann (1875 – 1955). Aldous Huxley would also be the author of an essay on the environment that would greatly inspire future ecological movements.

The 1950s would be a time of experiences with psychedelic drugs for him, especially LSD and mescaline, from which he would write the collection of essays The Doors of Perception (1954), which would become a narrative worshipped by hippies. The book would also inspire the famous singer Jim Morrison (1943 – 1971), to call his band “The Doors”. Aldous Huxley himself had found the title of the book in William Blake’s (1757 – 1827) The Marriage of Heaven and Hell:

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.

By the end of his life Aldous Huxley would be considered by many as a visionary thinker. The so-called “New Age” school of thought would often quote his mystical writings and studies of hallucinogens, and in fact it continues to do so today. Considered one of the greatest English writers having written 47 books, Aldous Huxley would die at the age of 69 in Los Angeles on November 22 1963, the same day as President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Aldous Huxley would be cremated and his ashes would be buried in the family vault in the UK.

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement (1-Nov-2007) · Himself

Author of books:
The Burning Wheel (1916, poems)
Jonah (1917, poems)
The Defeat of Youth and other poems (1918, poems)
Leda (1920, poems)
Crome Yellow (1921, novel)
Antic Hay (1923, novel)
On the Margin: Notes and Essays (1932, essays)
Those Barren Leaves (1925, novel)
Selected Poems (1925, poems)
Along The Road: Notes and Essays of a Tourist (1925, travel)
Jesting Pilate: An Intellectual Holiday (1926, travel)
Essays New and Old (1926, essays)
Proper Studies (1927, essays)
Point Counter Point (1928, novel)
Arabia Infelix and other poems (1929, poems)
Do What You Will (1929, essays)
Brief Candles (1930, short stories)
Vulgarity in Literature (1930, essays)
Brave New World (1931, novel)
Music At Night (1931, essays)
The Cicadas and other poems (1931, poems)
Texts and Pretexts: An Anthology of Commentaries (1932, essays)
T. H. Huxley as a Man of Letters (1932, biography)
Beyond the Mexique Bay (1934, travel)
Eyeless in Gaza (1936, novel)
The Olive Tree and other Essays (1937, essays)
What Are You Going To Do About It? The Case for Reconstructive Peace (1936, essays)
Ends and Means: An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideas and into the Methods Employed for Their Realization (1937, essays)
The Elder Peter Bruegel (1937, novel)
The Most Agreeable Vice (1938, essays)
After Many a Summer Dies The Swan (1939, novel)
Words and Their Meanings (1940, essays)
Grey Eminence: A Study in Religion and Politics (1941, essays)
The Art of Seeing (1942, essays)
The Perennial Philosophy (1942, essays)
Orion (1943, poems)
Time Must Have A Stop (1944, novel)
Science, Liberty and Peace (1946, essays)
Ape and Essence (1948, novel)
Food and People (1949, essays, with John Russell)
Themes and Variations (1950, essays)
A Day in Windsor (1953, essays, with J. A. Kings)
Doors of Perception (1954, essays)
The Genius and the Goddess (1955, novel)
Heaven and Hell (1956, essays)
Brave New World Revised (1958, novel)
On Art and Artists (1960, essays)
Island (1962, novel)
The Politics of Ecology: The Question of Survival (1963, essays)
Form and Substance (1963, essays)
New Fashioned Christmas (1968, essays, posthumous)
America and the Future: An Essay (1970, essay, posthumous)

Wrote plays:
The Discovery (1924)
The World of Light (1931)
The Gioconda Smile (1948)
The Ambassador of Captripedia (1965, posthumous )
Christmas Sketch (1972, posthumous)

Source: Aldous Huxley – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Aldous Huxley – Author, Screenwriter, Writer – Biography.com

Source: Aldous Huxley

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Happy 107th Birthday Vivian Vance

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Today is the 107th birthday of the actress Vivian Vance.  She didn’t make Lucy funny, she made her funnier.  She was the point of reference, the voice of reason, the control group with which we were able to judge just how crazy Lucy was.  She was doing what we would be doing if we were in the scene:  questioning and cautioning, but eventually being persuaded to join in the scheme.  The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

NAME: Vivian Vance
OCCUPATION: Television Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress
BIRTH DATE: July 26, 1909
DEATH DATE: August 17, 1979
PLACE OF BIRTH: Cherryvale, Kansas
PLACE OF DEATH: Belvedere, California
ORIGINALLY: Vivian Roberta Jones
EMMY 1954 Best Supporting Actress, for I Love Lucy
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME 7000 Hollywood Blvd (television)

BEST KNOWN FOR: Vivian Vance was an actress chiefly known as Ethel Murtz on the 1950s TV sitcom I Love Lucy.

Actress. Born Vivian Roberta Jones on July 26, 1909, in Cherryvale, Kansas. Vivian Vance is best known as Ethel Mertz, the neighbor, friend, and partner in crime, to Lucy Ricardo (played by Lucille Ball) on the long-running comedy series I Love Lucy. She took to acting at an early age, studying in her native Kansas and later New Mexico.

Moving to New York City in the early 1930s, Vance found work in the theater, landing her first Broadway role in the musical comedy Music in the Air in 1932. Several more musical comedies followed, including Anything Goes with Ethel Merman and Let’s Face It with Danny Kaye and Eve Arden.

In the late 1940s, Vance had a nervous breakdown and went back to New Mexico for a time. After taking a break from working, she moved to California and returned to the stage there. Little did she know that her performance in The Voice of the Turtle at the La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California, would lead to her most famous role. A friend of hers, director Marc Daniels, had recommended her for the part of Ethel Mertz on Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s new television show. Accompanied by Daniels, Arnez went to see Vance in the show and decided that she was a perfect fit for the role.

Initially, Vance was not sure she wanted the part. In the early 1950s, television was an emerging media, and she was working on a film career, with roles in The Secret Fury (1950) with Claudette Colbert and Robert Ryan and The Blue Veil (1951) with Jane Wyman and Charles Laughton. Eventually she decided to pursue the role and wore unflattering clothes and make-up to better fit the character of Ethel.

I Love Lucy premiered in the fall of 1951, and soon the show was a huge hit. It focused on Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, a Cuban bandleader and his wife, played by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. Their best friends, neighbors, and landlords were Fred and Ethel Mertz. William Frawley was Vance’s on-screen husband despite a substantial age difference – Vance was 39 years old and Frawley was 64 years old when the two were first cast in their roles. That fact reportedly irritated Vance, having said once that he should play her father, not her husband.

Often focused Lucy’s wacky misadventures, some of the show’s most memorable moments featured Ball and Vance entangled in some type of scheme gone wrong, such as trying to make money or fool their husbands. Her considerable talents as a comedic sidekick did not go unnoticed. She received four Emmy Award nominations, winning once for best supporting actress in 1954.

After the show ended in 1957, Vance appeared on several specials featuring the characters of I Love Lucy. When Lucille Ball returned to series television without Desi Arnaz in 1962, she convinced Vance to join the cast. This time Vance again played best friend to Ball, but with some notable differences. Vance co-starred as Vivian who had a slimmer figure and more glamorous look than the frumpy Ethel. In the series, The Lucy Show, Ball was a widow with two children who shared her home with Vance, a divorcee, and her son. At the time, Vance was living on the East Coast so she commuted to California to film the show. Eventually, she tired of all the travel and became an occasional guest star instead of a series regular in 1965. The Lucy Show ended in 1972.

Vance returned to California in the mid-1970s. She died on August 17, 1979, in Belvedere, California. At the time of her death, she was married to literary agent John Dodds.

TELEVISION
I Love Lucy Ethel Mertz (1951-57)
The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour Ethel Mertz (1957-60)
The Lucy Show Vivian Bagley (1962-65)
Here’s Lucy Vivian Jones (1968-72)

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
The Great Race (1-Jul-1965) · Hester Goodbody
The Blue Veil (26-Oct-1951)
The Secret Fury (21-Feb-1950) · Leah

Is the subject of books:
The Other Side of Ethel Mertz: The Life Story of Vivian Vance, 1998, BY: Frank Castelluccio and Alvin Walker

Source: Vivian Vance – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Vivian Vance – Film Actress, Television Actress – Biography.com

Source: Vivian Vance

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Happy 88th Birthday Stanley Kubrick

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Today is the 88th birthday of the film director Stanley Kubrick.  You know and love his films, I specifically love 2001 and The Shining, but Clockwork Orange is great, and, and…  His vision and direction gave us something different and very interesting. The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

NAME: Stanley Kubrick
OCCUPATION: Director, Producer, Screenwriter
BIRTH DATE: July 26, 1928
DEATH DATE: March 7, 1999
PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
PLACE OF DEATH: Childwickbury Manor, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom
REMAINS: Buried, Childwickbury Manor, Hertfordshire, England
OSCAR Special Visual Effects on 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968

BEST KNOWN FOR: Stanley Kubrick was an American filmmaker best known for directing Dr. Strangelove, Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining and Full Metal Jacket.

Famed filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was born in New York City on July 26, 1928, and grew up in the Bronx, New York, where his father, Jacques Kubrick, worked as a doctor and his mother, Sadie (Perveler) Kubrick, was a housewife. He had a younger sister, Barbara.

Kubrick never adjusted to or did well in school. In elementary school, his attendance record was evenly split between days absent and present. In high school, he was a social outcast and the prototypical underachiever, ranking at the bottom of his class, despite his intelligence. “I never learned anything at school, and I never read a book for pleasure until I was 19,” he once said.

Kubrick’s early ambitions were to become a writer or play baseball. “I started out thinking if I couldn’t play for the Yankees, I’d be a novelist,” he later remembered. Seeking creative endeavors rather than to focus on his academic status, Kubrick played the drums in his high school’s jazz band; its vocalist later became known as Eydie Gorme. Kubrick also displayed early promise as a photographer for the school paper, and at age 16, began selling his photos to Look magazine. A year later, he was hired for the staff of the magazine. When not traveling for Look, he spent most of his evenings at the Museum of Modern Art.

Toward the end of his high school career, Kubrick applied to several colleges, but was turned down for admission by all of them.

Kubrick began to explore the art of filmmaking in the 1950s. His first films were documentary shorts financed by friends and relatives. His first feature, the 1953 military drama Fear and Desire, was made independently of a studio—an uncommon practice for the time. Early into his filmmaking career, Kubrick acted as cinematographer, editor and soundman, in addition to directing. Later, he would also write and produce.

Kubrick made 10 feature films from 1957 to 1998, with early releases including the acclaimed films Spartacus (1960); Lolita (1962), based on the novel by Vladimir Nabokov; and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). Denied official cooperation from the U.S. armed services during the filming of Dr. Strangelove, Kubrick went on to construct sets from photographs and other public sources.

Kubrick released his most popular film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, in 1968, after working diligently on the production for a number of years—from co-writing the script with sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke to working on the special effects, to directing. The film earned Kubrick 13 Academy Award nominations; he won one for his special effects work.

While Odyssey was an enormous success, its first public screening was an unmitigated disaster. The film was shown on the same night that Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek re-election; coincidentally, it was rumored that the studio head would lose his job if the film wasn’t a hit. When the audience left the theater in droves, the studio’s publicity department said, “Gentlemen, tonight we have lost two presidents.” The film subsequently garnered a great deal of media coverage and soon became a massive hit; it was still in theaters in 1972, four years after its release.

Kubrick went on to win further acclaim with the films Clockwork Orange (1971); the costumer drama Barry Lyndon (1975), for which he personally approved each costume for thousands of extras in battle scenes; The Shining (1980), which evidenced his predilection for multiple takes (he shot one scene with star Jack Nicholson 134 times); and the popular drama Full Metal Jacket (1987), starring R. Lee Ermey, Adam Baldwin and Vincent D’Onofrio.

After moving to England in the early 1960s, Kubrick slowly gained a reputation as a recluse. He gradually reduced the time he spent anywhere other than on a studio set or in his home office, refused most interview requests and was rarely photographed, never formally. He kept to a schedule of working at night and sleeping during the day, which allowed him to keep North American time. During this time, he had his sister, Mary, tape Yankees and NFL games, particularly those of the New York Giants, which were airmailed to him.

Stanley Kubrick died in his sleep after suffering a heart attack at his home in Childwickbury Manor, Hertfordshire, England, on March 7, 1999, hours after delivering a print of what would be his last film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999), to the studio. The film, starring Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, went on to earn both commercial and critical acclaim, including Golden Globe and Satellite award nominations.

Kubrick married three times. His first union, to Toba Etta Metz, lasted from 1948 to 1951. He and second wife Ruth Sobotka wed in 1954 and divorced in 1957. The following year, he married his third wife, painter Christiane Harlan (also known as Susanne Christian). Their union lasted 41 years and produced two of Kubrick’s three daughters: Anya and Vivian. (Kubrick also had a stepdaughter, Katharina, Harlan’s daughter from a prior relationship.)


FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
Eyes Wide Shut (13-Jul-1999)
Full Metal Jacket (26-Jun-1987)
The Shining (23-May-1980)
Barry Lyndon (18-Dec-1975)
A Clockwork Orange (19-Dec-1971)
2001: A Space Odyssey (2-Apr-1968)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (29-Jan-1964)
Lolita (13-Jun-1962)
Spartacus (6-Oct-1960)
Paths of Glory (25-Dec-1957)
The Killing (20-May-1956)
Killer’s Kiss (28-Sep-1955)
Fear and Desire (31-Mar-1953)

Source: Stanley Kubrick – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Stanley Kubrick – Screenwriter, Director, Producer – Biography.com

Source: Stanley Kubrick

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Happy 146th Birthday Maxfield Parrish

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Today is the 146th birthday of the artist and illustrator Maxfield Parrish. I think that I was first ‘introduced’ to him through going to junk shops. There would be magazines that had individual pricing with the added indication that they contained Maxfield Parrish advertisements. Mostly from the 20s and 30s, these were the magazines that I found interesting anyway, so I would look through them and see these absolute works of art selling laundry soap or something similar. So different from the way products are marketed today through guilt or lust, these ads were simply beautiful vistas with the name of the product in the lower corner. The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

NAME: Maxfield Parrish
OCCUPATION: Illustrator, Painter
BIRTH DATE: July 25, 1870
DEATH DATE: March 10, 1966
EDUCATION: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Drexel Institute of Art
PLACE OF BIRTH: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
PLACE OF DEATH: Plainfield, New Hampshire
FULL NAME: Frederick Maxfield Parrish

BEST KNOWN FOR: Maxfield Parrish was an American painter and illustrator who was the highest-paid commercial artist in the United States by the 1920s.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was the son of painter and etcher Stephen Parrish. He began drawing for his own amusement as a child. His given name was Frederick Parrish but he later adopted the maiden name of his paternal grandmother, Maxfield, as his middle name, and later as his professional name. His father was an engraver and landscape artist, and young Parrish’s parents encouraged his talent. He attended Haverford College, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Drexel Institute of Art, Science & Industry. He entered into an artistic career that lasted for more than half a century, and which helped shape the Golden Age of illustration and the future of American visual arts.

He lived in Philadelphia until age 28, at which time he purchased land opposite the valley from his parents’ home in New Hampshire, where over a number of years he designed and built his own home and eventual studio, The Oaks. He spent the rest of his life there with his wife, Lydia, who died in 1953, and his mistress and model, Sue Lewin, who survived his death in 1966 at age 95.

Launched by a commission to illustrate L. Frank Baum’s Mother Goose in Prose in 1897, his repertoire included many prestigious projects, among which were Eugene Field’s Poems of Childhood in 1904 and such traditional works as Arabian Nights in 1909. Books illustrated by Parrish, in addition to those that include reproductions of Parrish’s work—including A Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales in 1910, The Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics in 1911  and The Knave of Hearts in 1925 —are highly sought-after collectors’ items.

He had numerous commissions from popular magazines in the 1910s and 1920s, including Hearst’s, Colliers, and Life. He was also a favorite of advertisers, including Wanamaker’s, Edison-Mazda Lamps, Fisk Tires, Colgate and Oneida Cutlery. In the 1920s, Parrish turned away from illustration and concentrated on painting for its own sake. Androgynous nudes in fantastical settings were a recurring theme. He continued in this vein for several years, living comfortably off the royalties brought in by the production of posters and calendars featuring his works. An early favorite model was Kitty Owen in the 1920s. Later another favorite, Susan Lewin, posed for many works, and was employed in the Parrish household for many years.

In 1931, he declared to the Associated Press, “I’m done with girls on rocks”, and opted instead to focus on landscapes. Though never as popular as his earlier works, he profited from them. He would often build models of the landscapes he wished to paint, using various lighting setups before deciding on a preferred view, which he would photograph as a basis for the painting. He lived in Plainfield, New Hampshire, near the Cornish Art Colony, and painted until he was 91 years old. He was also an avid machinist. He often referred to himself as “a mechanic who loved to paint.”

Parrish was one of the most successful and prolific of the illustrators and painters of the Golden Age of Illustration. He was earning over $100,000 per year by 1910, at a time when a fine home could be purchased for $2,000. Norman Rockwell referred to Parrish as “my idol.” Parrish, although unique in his execution and never duplicated, exhibited considerable influence upon other illustrators and artists, an influence which continues through the present. His original paintings are highly sought-after when they come to market, as well as his first-edition prints, which continue to command high prices at both auction and through private sales. His exacting attention to detail preceded the Photorealist and Hyper-Realist art movements, and his abundant imagination and love of fantasy elements have also influenced artists in myriad media.

Is the subject of books:
Maxfield Parrish, 1870–1966, 1999, BY: Sylvia Yount

Source: Maxfield Parrish

Source: Maxfield Parrish – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Maxfield Parrish – Painter, Illustrator – Biography.com

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Happy 119th Birthday Amelia Earhart

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Today is the 119th birthday of aviatrix Amelia Earhart.  Mystery surrounding her last trip exists to this day, with theories and evidence leading to the belief that she survived the on an island well off her intended course.  The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

NAME: Amelia Earhart
OCCUPATION: Pilot
BIRTH DATE: July 24, 1897
DEATH DATE: c. January 05, 1939
EDUCATION: Hyde Park High School, Columbia University

BEST KNOWN FOR: Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic and the first person to have flown both oceans. Her mysterious disappearance occurred in 1937.

Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas, in America’s heartland. She spent much of her early childhood in the upper-middle class household of her maternal grandparents. Amelia’s mother, Amelia “Amy” Otis, married a man who showed much promise, but had never been able to break the bonds of alcohol. Edwin Earhart was on a constant search to establish his career and put the family on a firm financial foundation. When the situation got bad, Amy would shuttle Amelia and her sister Muriel to their grandparents’ home. There they sought out adventures, exploring the neighborhood, climbing trees, hunting for rats, and taking breathtaking rides on Amelia’s sled.

Even after the family was reunited when Amelia was 10, Edwin constantly struggled to find and maintain gainful employment. This caused the family to move around, and Amelia attended several different schools. She showed early aptitude in school for science and sports, though it was difficult to do well academically and make friends. In 1915, Amy separated once again from her husband, and moved Amelia and her sister to Chicago to live with friends. While there, Amelia attended Hyde Park High School, where she excelled in chemistry. Her father’s inability to be the provider for the family led Amelia to become independent and not rely on someone else to “take care” of her.

After graduation, Amelia Earhart spent a Christmas vacation visiting her sister in Toronto, Canada. After seeing wounded soldiers returning from World War I, she volunteered as a nurse’s aide for the Red Cross. Earhart came to know many of the wounded who were pilots. She developed a strong admiration for aviators, spending much of her free time watching the Royal Flying Corps practicing at the airfield nearby. In 1919, Earhart enrolled in medical studies at Columbia University. She quit a year later to be with her parents, who had reunited in California.

Amelia Earhart’s public persona presented a gracious, if somewhat shy, woman who displayed remarkable talent and bravery. Yet deep inside, Earhart harbored a burning desire to distinguish herself as different from the rest of the world. She was an intelligent and competent pilot who never panicked or lost her nerve, but she was not a brilliant aviator. Her skills kept pace with aviation during the first decade of the century but, as technology moved forward with sophisticated radio and navigation equipment, Earhart continued to fly by instinct.

She recognized her limitations and continuously worked to improve her skills, but the constant promotion and touring never gave her the time she needed to catch up. Recognizing the power of her celebrity, she strove to be an example of courage, intelligence, and self-reliance. She hoped her influence would help topple negative stereotypes about women, and open doors for them in every field.
Sometime before their marriage, Earhart and Putnam worked on secret plans for a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. By early 1932, they had made their preparations. They announced that on the fifth anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic, Amelia would attempt the same feat. On the morning of May 20, 1932, she took off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, with that day’s copy of the local newspaper to confirm the date of the flight.

Almost immediately, the flight ran into difficulty as she encountered thick clouds and ice on the wings. After about 12 hours the conditions got worse, and the plane began to experience mechanical difficulties. She knew she wasn’t going to make it to Paris as Lindbergh had, so she started looking for a new place to land. She found a pasture just outside the small village of Culmore, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and successfully landed. The nearly 15-hour flight established her as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. As a result, Earhart won many honors, including the Gold Medal from the National Geographic Society as presented by President Hoover, the Distinguished Flying Cross from the U.S. Congress, and the Cross of the Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French government.

In 1935, Amelia Earhart joined the faculty at Purdue University as a female career consultant, and technical advisor to the Department of Aeronautics. This partnership helped finance the purchase of a Lockheed Electra L-10E plane. While she would not be the first person to circumnavigate the earth, she decided she would be the first to do it around the equator. She pulled together a top-rated crew of three men: Captain Harry Manning, Fred Noonan, and Paul Mantz. Manning had been the captain of the President Roosevelt, which brought her back from Europe in 1928, and would become Earhart’s first navigator. Noonan had vast experience in both marine and flight navigation, and was to be the second navigator. Mantz, a Hollywood stunt pilot, and was chosen to be Earhart’s technical advisor.

The original plan was to take off from Oakland, California, and fly west to Hawaii. From there, the group would fly across the Pacific Ocean to Australia. Then they would cross the sub-continent of India, on to Africa, then to Florida, and back to California.
On March 17, 1937, they took off from Oakland on the first leg. They experienced some periodic problems flying across the Pacific, and landed in Hawaii for some repairs at the United States Navy’s Field on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. After three days, the Electra began its takeoff, but something went wrong. Earhart lost control, and looped the plane on the runway. How this happened is still the subject of some controversy. Several witnesses, including an Associated Press journalist, said they saw a tire blow. Other sources, including Paul Mantz, indicated it was pilot error. Though no one was seriously hurt, the plane was severely damaged and had to be shipped back to California for extensive repairs.

In the interim, Earhart and Putnam secured additional funding for a new flight. The stress of the delay and the grueling fund-raising appearances left Amelia exhausted. By the time the plane was repaired, weather patterns and global wind changes required alterations to the flight plan. This time Earhart and her crew would fly east. Captain Harry Manning would not join the team, due to previous commitments. Paul Mantz was also absent, reportedly due to a contract dispute.

After flying from Oakland to Miami, Florida, Earhart and Noonan took off on June 1st from Miami with much fanfare and publicity. The plane flew toward Central and South America, turning east for Africa. From there, the plane crossed the Indian Ocean and finally touched down in Lae, New Guinea, on June 29, 1937. About 22,000 miles of the journey had been completed. The remaining 7,000 miles would take place over the Pacific.

In Lae, Earhart contracted dysentery that lasted for days. While she recuperated, several necessary adjustments were made to the plane. Extra amounts of fuel were stowed on board. The parachutes were packed away, for there would be no need for them while flying along the vast and desolate Pacific Ocean.

The flyer’s plan was to head to Howland Island, 2,556 miles away, situated between Hawaii and Australia. A flat sliver of land 6,500 feet long, 1,600 feet wide, and no more than 20 ft. above the ocean waves, the island would be hard to distinguish from the similar looking cloud shapes. To meet this challenge, Earhart and Noonan had an elaborate plan with several contingencies. Celestial navigation would be used to track their route and keep them on course. In case of overcast skies, they had radio communication with a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, Itasca, stationed off Howland Island. They could also use their maps, compass, and the position of the rising sun to make an educated guess in finding their position relative to Howland Island. After aligning themselves with Howland’s correct latitude, they would run north and south looking for the island and the smoke plume to be sent up by the Itasca. They even had emergency plans to ditch the plane if need be, believing the empty fuel tanks would give the plane some buoyancy, as well as time to get into their small inflatable raft to wait for rescue.

Earhart and Noonan set out from Lae on July 2, 1937, at 12:30 PM, heading east toward Howland Island. Though the flyers seemed to have a well thought-out plan, several early decisions led to grave consequences later on. Radio equipment with shorter wavelength frequencies were left behind, presumably to allow more room for fuel canisters. This equipment could broadcast radio signals farther distances. Due to inadequate quantities of high-octane fuel, the Electra carried about 1,000 gallons—50 gallons short of full capacity.

The Electra’s crew ran into difficulty almost from the start. Witnesses to the July 2 take off reported that a radio antenna may have been damaged. It is also believed that due to the extensive overcast conditions, Noonan might have had extreme difficulty with celestial navigation. If that weren’t enough, it was later discovered that the flyers were using maps that may have been inaccurate. According to experts, evidence shows that the charts used by Noonan and Earhart placed Howland Island nearly six miles off its actual position.

These circumstances led to a series of problems that couldn’t be solved. As Earhart and Noonan reached the supposed position of Howland Island, they maneuvered into their north and south tracking route to find the island. They looked for visual and auditory signals from the Itasca, but for various reasons radio communication was very poor that day. There was also confusion between Earhart and the Itasca over which frequencies to use, and a misunderstanding as to the agreed upon check-in time; the flyers were operating on Greenwich Civil Time and the Itasca was operating on the naval time zone, which set their schedules 30 minutes apart.

On the morning of July 3, 1937, at 7:20 AM, Amelia reported her position, placing the Electra on course at 20 miles southwest of the Nukumanu Islands. At 7:42 AM the Itasca picked up this message from the Earhart, “We must be on you, but we cannot see you. Fuel is running low. Been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet.” The ship replied but there was no indication that Earhart heard this. The flyers’ last communication was at 8:43 AM. Though the transmission was marked as “questionable,” it is believed Earhart and Noonan thought they were running along the north, south line. However, Noonan’s chart of Howland’s position was off by five nautical miles. The Itasca released its oil burners in an attempt to signal the flyers, but they apparently did not see it. In all likelihood, their tanks ran out of fuel and they had to ditch at sea.

 

Source: Amelia Earhart – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Biography.com

Source: Amelia Earhart

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Happy 116th Birthday Zelda Fitzgerald

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Today is the 116th birthday of Zelda Fitzgerald. Even as I type, I can identify several biographies on my bookshelf where she is either the main subject or a key player. I can see a paperback copy of her only published novel Save Me The Waltz and an entire set of novels written by her husband. Today, I learned that she went to school with Tallulah Bankhead. Two women I admire being childhood friends makes me feel consistent. The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

zelda-scott-fitzgeraldNAME: Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald
DATE OF BIRTH: June 24, 1900
PLACE OF BIRTH: Montgomery, AL
DATE OF DEATH: March 10, 1948
PLACE OF DEATH: Asheville, NC
RESTING PLACE: St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Rockville Maryland, USA
OCCUPATION: Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet, Dancer, Painter, Socialite

BEST KNOWN FOR: Zelda Fitzgerald was an American socialite and novelist, and the wife of American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose work she strongly influenced.

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was an artist, writer, and popular-culture icon who helped to establish the Roaring Twenties image of liberated womanhood. She and her husband, novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, embraced the freedoms and excesses of the 1920s Jazz Age, and Zelda was an icon of the “flapper” lifestyle and a symbol of the emerging cultural fascination with youth, conspicuous consumption, and leisure. Although she is best known for her extravagant public persona and descent into mental illness, she is also remembered as an artist and author in her own right, and both her vivacity and tragedy live on in the many characters she inspired in her husband’s novels and short stories.

Born on July 24, 1900, in Montgomery, Zelda Sayre was the youngest child of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Anthony Dickson Sayre and Minnie Buckner Machen Sayre, a prominent middle-class couple with roots in both Montgomery and Confederate history. (Judge Sayre’s uncle William was a prominent Montgomery merchant whose home eventually became Jefferson Davis’s first White House; Mrs. Sayre’s father was a Kentucky senator in the Confederate Congress). By her early adolescence Zelda—named after the gypsy heroine of an obscure 1874 novel—was already a formidable presence in Montgomery social circles, starring in ballet recitals and basking in the glow of elite country club dances. At such a dance in July 1918, barely a month after graduating from Sidney Lanier High School, Zelda met F. Scott Fitzgerald, a 21-year-old army second lieutenant stationed at nearby Camp Sheridan. Despite Scott’s claim that he was on the verge of literary fame, Zelda doubted his financial prospects and entertained several other suitors, much to the chagrin of the aspiring author, who continued to press for an engagement. Zelda’s tactics fueled Scott’s insecurities, and the motif of a young man pursuing an elusive and conniving woman would later come to define his fiction.

I don’t want to live — I want to love first, and live incidentally.

In early 1920 prominent New York publisher Charles Scribner’s Sons accepted Scott’s first novel, This Side of Paradise, and Zelda finally accepted his proposal of marriage. The couple wed in New York on April 3, 1920, just as the book began to ignite a scandal for its portrayal of the free-wheeling lifestyle and relaxed morals of what became known as the “Lost Generation.” As the presumed inspiration for character Rosalind Connage, Zelda became an instant celebrity; and for the first half of the 1920s, she frequently contributed her opinions on modern love, marriage, and childrearing to an eager media. In 1921, Zelda gave birth to the couple’s only child, Frances “Scottie” Fitzgerald. Her reaction to the birth is purported to have been used by Scott in The Great Gatsby, in which Daisy Buchanan states in response to the birth of her daughter: “I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

Zelda’s influence on Scott’s fiction in this period is inestimable. In addition to inspiring his major heroines, she supplied him with many other memorable lines, including an evocative description of Montgomery’s Oakwood Cemetery that appears in his short story “The Ice Palace.” When Scott’s novel The Beautiful and Damned was published, the New York Tribune hired Zelda to review it, and she hinted that a passage in the book was lifted straight from her missing diary. Such statements have fueled scholarly debate that Zelda was Scott’s de facto collaborator and that he appropriated her personal experiences in his work. Such charges were given additional weight by the frequent addition of his name to her bylines on nearly two dozen stories and articles she produced between 1922 and 1934. In fact, Scott’s agent or editors added his name in several instances without his knowledge because the joint byline increased the price that these works received from leading magazines. Claims that Zelda “co-authored” her husband’s writing certainly are exaggerated, but few would deny that her personality was (and remains) key to its appeal.

By the late 1920s, the Fitzgeralds’s highly publicized and often stormy relationship began to break down as Zelda sought outlets for her own creativity. In addition to writing, she returned to two childhood passions—art and dance. In 1930, stress resulting from her frustrated attempts to become a professional ballerina led to the first of what would be many psychological breakdowns. (Although Zelda was treated for schizophrenia, mental-health experts later would contest both the diagnosis and recovery regimen prescribed by her main physician, Dr. Oscar Forel). From June 1930 to September 1931, Zelda lived at Les Rives de Prangins Clinic in Nyon, Switzerland. After her release, the couple returned to Montgomery and rented a home in the city’s Old Cloverdale neighborhood (the home is now the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum). Scott soon left for Hollywood, and in February 1932 Zelda entered Johns Hopkins University’s Phipps Clinic, where she completed her only novel, Save Me the Waltz, an autobiographical recounting of her unstable marriage. Scott deeply resented the book, blaming the financial burden of her hospitalization for his inability to complete Tender Is the Night, and he also accused Zelda of poaching its plot for her novel. When her novel failed to garner critical or commercial interest (royalties amounted to a paltry $120), Zelda abandoned her literary aspirations. She then tried writing for the stage and produced the unsuccessful comedy Scandalabra, mounted by an amateur drama troupe in Baltimore in 1933. It was her last public writing effort. Zelda next turned to painting, but she fared no better. A 1934 show of her work in New York inspired a condescending notice in Time magazine that described the event as her “latest bid for fame” and her canvases as “the work of a brilliant introvert.”

The Fitzgeralds parted ways in 1934, although they never divorced. (Their daughter was largely raised by nannies before entering boarding school). From 1936 to 1940, Zelda resided at Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, and Scott descended into alcoholism and literary obscurity, eventually relocating to Hollywood in the hope of establishing himself as a screenwriter. He died of a heart attack there on December 21, 1940. That year, Zelda returned to Montgomery, where she lived under the care of her mother. In addition to painting, she took occasional dance lessons and began a second novel entitled Caesar’s Things, which remains unpublished. She returned occasionally to Highland Hospital when her depression became debilitating and was one of nine women killed on the night of March 10–11, 1948, when a fire swept through the hospital’s main wing.

Zelda’s final years coincided with her husband’s posthumous rediscovery as a significant American writer. Early F. Scott Fitzgerald biographers and critics tended to depict Zelda as equal parts liability and inspiration. Negative opinion culminated with the 1964 publication of Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, in which he portrays a fictionalized Zelda as a harridan who derailed her husband’s career. In Nancy Milford’s 1970 bestselling biography Zelda, she is a symbol of thwarted artistry, however—a theme echoed by many feminists, who see her frustrated attempts to establish herself as an artist as exemplifying the struggle women face in finding outlets and acceptance for their creativity. In recent years, scholars have both taught and written about Save Me the Waltz with increasing frequency, and exhibitions of Zelda’s surviving artwork regularly travel the United States. The Fitzgeralds’ story—of which Alabama is an indelible part—continues to fascinate scholars and the general public and has inspired an array of academic studies, movies, documentaries, and even musicals.

Source: Zelda Fitzgerald – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Zelda Fitzgerald, Wall Art and Home Décor at Art.com

Source: Zelda Fitzgerald: Beneath the Glittering Surface | Legacy.com

Source: Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald | Encyclopedia of Alabama

Source: As Big as the Ritz – The New Yorker

Source: Zelda Fitzgerald Biography – Childhood, Life Achievements & Timeline

Source: The History Chicks Zelda Fitzgerald Archives – The History Chicks

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Myra Hindley – Monster

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John Steinbeck wrote in Travels with Charley: In Search of America “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” Meaning how do we know how to celebrate the light without experiencing the dark? Nothing exists without its opposite. I have for years celebrated the people who I found had lived or are living inspiring lives. I highlight their examples, their struggles, their successes and failures. Their beauty. Their longevity or brevity to accomplish everything they did. Something about them inspires me. All of the choices they made put them on the list, they chose to create art.

There are people that choose the opposite and will go down in history as the worst of the worst. Weak. Possibly mentally ill victims of their circumstances. When the cards were stacked against them, still in possession their free will, they chose to be monsters.

Maybe focusing on all the good has made us take it for granted and to expect it. Maybe we have to be reminded that monsters are real and walking among us?

myra hindleyNAME: Myra Hindley
OCCUPATION: Murderer
BIRTH DATE: July 23, 1942
DEATH DATE: November 16, 2002
PLACE OF BIRTH: Manchester, England

BEST KNOWN FOR: Myra Hindley was a serial killer of small children, murders she committed in partnership with boyfriend Ian Brady.

Born on July 23, 1942 in Manchester, England, Myra Hindley grew up with her grandmother. After the drowning death of a close male friend when she was 15, Hindley left school and converted to Roman Catholicism. In 1961, she met Ian Brady, a stock clerk who was recently released from prison. She fell in love with him, and soon gave herself over to his total control.

Testing her blind allegiance, Brady hatched plans of rape and murder. In July 1963, they claimed their first victim, Pauline Reade. Four months later, 12-year-old John Kilbride disappeared, never to be seen again. In June 1964, 12-year-old Keith Bennett followed. On the afternoon of Boxing Day, 1964, 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey disappeared from a local fairground.

Finally, in October 1965, police were alerted to the duo by Hindley’s 17-year-old brother-in-law, David Smith. Smith had witnessed Brady killing 17-year-old Edward Evans with an axe, concealing his horror for fear of meeting a similar fate. Smith then went to the police with his story, including Brady having mentioned that more bodies were buried on Saddleworth Moor.

Hindley and Ian Brady were brought to trial on April 27, 1966, where they pleaded not guilty to the murders of Edward Evans, Lesley Ann Downey, and John Kilbride. Brady was found guilty of the murders of Lesley Ann Downey, John Kilbride, and Edward Evans, while Hindley was found guilty of the murders of Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, and also for harboring Brady, in the knowledge that he had killed John Kilbride. They were both jailed for life.

In 1970, Hindley severed all contact with Brady and, still professing her innocence, began a lifelong campaign to regain her freedom. In 1987, Hindley again became the center of media attention, with the public release of her full confession, in which she admitted her involvement in all five murders. Her subsequent applications for parole were denied. She died of respiratory failure on November 16, 2002.

Source: Moors murders – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Myra Hindley – Murderer – Biography.com

Source: Myra Hindley

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Happy 128th Birthday Raymond Chandler

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Today is the 128th birthday of the writer Raymond Chandler.  If you are a fan of film noir and/or crime dramas set in Los Angeles in the first half of the last century, he is the guy for you.  The world is a better place because he is in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

raymond-chandler

NAME: Raymond Chandler
OCCUPATION: Entrepreneur, Author, Screenwriter
BIRTH DATE: July 23, 1888
DEATH DATE: March 26, 1959
EDUCATION: Dulwich School
PLACE OF BIRTH: Chicago, Illinois
PLACE OF DEATH: La Jolla, California

Best Known For:  Raymond Chandler was an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and author known for seminal detective novels like The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye.

Today the birthday of Raymond Chandler, born in Chicago (1888). His parents were Irish, and after his father left the family, his mother moved them back to Ireland, and he grew up there and in England. Later, he moved back to America and settled in California.

He wrote pulp fiction about the city of Los Angeles and a detective there named Philip Marlowe. Chandler’s first novel was The Big Sleep (1939), which sold well and was made into a movie in 1946 with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall — William Faulkner co-wrote the screenplay. Chandler wrote seven more novels featuring Philip Marlowe, who became the quintessential “hard-boiled” private eye, tough and street-smart and full of wise cracks. In Farewell, My Lovely (1940), Marlowe says: “I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun.”

Chandler was never any good at coming up with plots. He had to study and steal from other mystery writers like Dashiell Hammett. But he knew how to create atmosphere. One of his early stories, “Red Wind” (1938), begins: “There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that . meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen.”

Chandler is famous for his metaphors. In one novel he wrote, “She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looked by moonlight.” In another he wrote, “She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.”

Author of books:
The Big Sleep (1939, novel, Marlowe)
Farewell, My Lovely (1940, novel, Marlowe)
The High Window (1942, novel, Marlowe)
The Lady in the Lake (1943, novel, Marlowe)
The Long Goodbye (1954, novel, Marlowe)
Playback (1958, novel, Marlowe)

Source: Raymond Chandler – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Raymond Chandler – Author, Screenwriter – Biography.com

Source: Raymond Chandler

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Happy 100th Birthday Sandra Gould

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Today is the 100th birthday of Sandra Gould.  Who doesn’t love Gladys Kravitz, the nosy neighbor from “Bewitched?”  Always peeking through the curtains, seeing something she cannot wrap her head around and screaming “ABNER!”  That poor, poor Abner. The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

NAME: Sandra Gould
DATE OF BIRTH: July 23, 1916
PLACE OF BIRTH: New York City, New York
DATE OF DEATH: July 20, 1999
PLACE OF DEATH: Burbank, CA

BEST KNOWN FOR:  Sandra Gould was an American actress, who appeared mainly in television. Among her many credits was a regular role on the sitcom Bewitched as the second Gladys Kravitz.

Gould began acting in films with an uncredited role in T-Men (1947). She appeared in several uncredited roles for the remainder of the decade, and received her first screen credit with The Story of Molly X (1949).

In 1953, Gould appeared as a guest in an episode of Letter to Loretta with Loretta Young. She continued to guest star in the 1950s and 1960s in such television series as I Love Lucy, December Bride, Maverick, The Flintstones, The Twilight Zone, The Lucy Show, Burke’s Law, I Dream of Jeannie, Love, American Style , Gilligan’s Island and Mister Ed. She played a prominent supporting role in the film The Ghost and Mr. Chicken in 1966.

In 1963, Gould released a comedy single record entitled Hello Melvin (This Is Mama) as an answer to Allan Sherman’s hit “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh“.

In September 1966, Gould replaced actress-comedienne Alice Pearce in the role of Gladys Kravitz, the nosy neighbor of Samantha Stephens (played by Elizabeth Montgomery) on the ABC-TV situation comedy Bewitched. Although Gould had no physical resemblance to Pearce, her over-the-top performance and shrill voice helped her land the role, and she remained with the series throughout the rest of its run. After Bewitched was canceled in 1972, she reprised the role of Gladys five years later in a spin-off of the series called Tabitha.

Gould also made appearances on TV shows including The Brady Bunch, Adam-12, Punky Brewster, Friends and Veronica’s Closet. She also appeared in the movie, Skatetown U.S.A., in 1979.

Gould wrote two books, “Always Say Maybe” and “Sexpots and Pans”, published by Golden Press.

Source: Sandra Gould – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Sandra Gould (1916 – 1999) – Find A Grave Memorial

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Happy 84th Birthday Oscar de la Renta

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Today is the 84th birthday of the fashion designer Oscar de la Renta.  His contribution to fashion put American fashion designers on the same level as Europeans for the first time.  The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

NAME: Oscar de la Renta
OCCUPATION: Fashion Designer, Philanthropist
BIRTH DATE: July 22, 1932
DEATH DATE: October 20, 2014
EDUCATION: Academy of San Fernando, Madrid
PLACE OF BIRTH: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
PLACE OF DEATH: Kent, Connecticut
FULL NAME: Oscar de la Renta

BEST KNOWN FOR: Oscar de la Renta was one of the world’s leading fashion designers. Famous for his women’s evening wear and suits, his line is distinctly modern yet feminine.

Born on July 22, 1932, Oscar de la Renta was raised alongside six sisters in a middle-class household in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At the age of 18, he left the Caribbean island to study painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. While in Spain, he dreamed of becoming an abstract painter but instead became wooed by the world of fashion design. His obvious talent for illustration opened doors for him, and he quickly landed an apprenticeship with Spain’s most renowned couturier, Cristobal Balenciaga.

In 1961, while on vacation in Paris, he was hired for his first real fashion job at Lanvin-Castillo. Within two years, he had moved to New York and joined the American design house of Elizabeth Arden. Firm in his footing, he began his own signature ready-to-wear label in 1965.

De la Renta married Francoise de Langlade, an editor-in-chief of French Vogue, in 1967. Francoise introduced her husband to some of the most influential members of fashion society and invited many of the rich and famous to his shows. His line—identified by its delicate silk prints, use of ruffles, soft silhouettes and vibrant palette—soon became synonymous with casual luxury. Women of means couldn’t get enough of his distinctly modern yet romantic looks, and for those who couldn’t afford his gowns, he offered a scent. His first perfume debuted in 1977.

Respected by his contemporaries, de la Renta served as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America from 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988.

De la Renta suffered a great tragedy when his wife Francoise died in 1983 of bone cancer. Shortly after her death, he adopted a son he found in an orphanage in his native country. De la Renta married for a second time in 1990, to philanthropist and socialite Annette Engelhard Reed.

While de la Renta expanded his lines and took them in a new direction in the 1990s, his pieces remained feminine and flattering. By the late ’90s and early 2000s, his work became the preferred wear of American first ladies. He dressed first lady Nancy Reagan in the 1980s, and then provided the gowns for inaugural events for both Hillary Clinton in 1997 and Laura Bush in 2005.

Besides his passion for haute couture, de la Renta has been a tireless patron of the arts. At one time or another, he has served on the boards of The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and Channel Thirteen/WNET. He also supports several cultural institutions, including New Yorkers for Children, the Americas Society and the Spanish Institute.

In 2002, de la Renta added his name to a whole new business venture: furniture. His 100 pieces for Century Furniture featured dining tables, upholstered chairs and couches. In 2004, despite the risk of lessening the value of his brand as a whole, he added a less expensive line of clothing called O Oscar. He said he wanted to attract new customers whom he could not reach before.

De la Renta had been diagnosed with cancer during the first decade of the 2000s. He died of complications from the disease on October 20, 2014 at the age of 82 in Kent, Connecticut.

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s (3-May-2013) · Himself
The September Issue (16-Jan-2009) · Himself

Source: Oscar de la Renta – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: Oscar de la Renta – Fashion Designer, Philanthropist – Biography.com

Source: Oscar de la Renta, Who Clothed Stars and Became One, Dies at 82 – The New York Times

Source: Oscar de la Renta

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