Friday, January 31, 2014

Harrison Held's SceneAroundTown.... Loretta Young Centennial Tribute.... Alex Theater

The magic of award winning screen & television legend Loretta Young was rekindled Thursday nite at the well attended Loretta Young Centennial Birthday Tribute at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.  The very enjoyable evening was dedicated to the memory of the late casting director, celebrity liaison & Hollywood historian Marvin Paige who was working on the event at the time of his car accident late October.  Stan Taffel & Bryan Cooper were stellar hosts presenting never-before-seen home movie clips, close family, colleague & friend testimonials, live on stage dramatizations, industry awards plus film & television montages of the beautiful star ranging from her early days in silent movies to her breakthrough roles in film & TV.   On hand to personally sing her praises were her son Christopher Lewis & his wife Linda, relatives Betty Jane Hermann Tornstrom & Patrick Lindley plus actresses Anne Jeffreys, Marsha Hunt & Kathleen Hughes who starred with "LY" in the 1949 Fox feature "Mother is a Freshmen".  Also appearing were actors H.M. Wynant who played her husband twice & Johnny Crawford who played her son on her acclaimed Emmy winning TV series in the 1950's.  Beverly Washburn, Sandy Descher & Celia Kaye her daughters on "The New Loretta Young Show" in the early '60s also appeared as well as "Grease" director Randall Kleiser, a family friend who directed TV commercials early in his career for LY.  Loretta's longtime agent Joel Brokaw from the William Morris Agency graciously talked about LY's charm, beauty & business acumen & read remarks from his father Norman Brokaw who was her agent previously.   Kudos to writer/director Tegan Summer of Prospect House Entertainment & Glendale Arts on an excellent evening & to Stan Taffel for written contributions. Great work from cast members Joanna Tiwald as Adult Loretta, Danielle Soibelman as Young Loretta, Samantha Stewart as mentor Colleen Moore (who was instrumental in changing her name from Gretchen to Loretta) & Jaret Sacrey as co-star Clark Gable. Director Crystal Us the recipient of the Innovative Women In Film Award created in honor of LY was introduced at the end of the event.  Thanks to Linda & Christopher Lewis for the invitation - it was a great evening! HH

Photos by Billy Bennight & Harrison Held

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