After attending this year’s TCM Film Festival, here are 13 things I learned about Hollywood:
(1) The career defining role that Gloria Swanson made famous in Sunset Boulevard, was originally offered to………….Mae West. Mae turned it down because, “I’m not a washed up actress, and don’t want to be.”
(2) Wilshire Boulevard, where CBS Radio is located, was the first paved road in Los Angeles.
(3) TCM host Ben Mankiewicz not only has a famous grandfather (Herman J.) who co-wrote Citizen Cane with Orson Welles, his brother Josh is a popular correspondent on “Dateline,” and his father was Robert Kennedy’s press secretary.
(4) The Cobb Salad was named after Robert Cobb, former owner of the Hollywood Brown Derby.
(5) Talented actress Angela Lansbury who appeared in iconic films such as Gaslight, The Manchurian Candidate, and “Murder She Wrote” on TV, was at one time a clerk working at the high end Bullocks On Wilshire.
(6) Writer Raymond Chandler wrote many of his great works at the Bryson Hotel, also on Wilshire.
(7) The gorgeous blue art deco Eastern Building in downtown LA, has a bungalow in the possession of Johnny Depp, who seldom stays there, but lets his out of town pals hang out there when filming in LA.
(8) When Downtown’s LA’s City Hall was closed for remodeling for 2 years, a box was discovered containing the Charles Lindberg Beacon, it had been there for at least 75 years going unnoticed. It is now atop City Hall, and used on special civic occasions.
(9) Songwriter Jim Webb actually wrote “Mac Arthur Park,” in Mac Arthur Park.
(10) The original Captain Marvel, and his physical features, were based on actor Fred Mac Murray. (“Double Indemnity” & “My three Sons”)
(11) Shortly before taking the role of Batman, Adam West witnessed hundreds of bats exiting a cave while he was riding his horse in Spain. A week later, he got the role that make him famous for half a century.
(12) Actress Faye Dunaway was once married to rockstar Peter Wolf, of the J. Geils Band.
(13) Alec Baldwin will soon host a new version of the classic TV game show, “The Match Game.”