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

Monday, January 27, 2014

Marvin Paige Memorial... "Goodbye To A Dear Friend... Goodbye Mr. Hollywood"

Marvin Paige: "It was business doing pleasure with you"  Artwork by Rick Carl

A Tribute To The Legendary Marvin Paige R.I.P.

Over 700 friends, colleagues & loved ones gathered to honor the memory of the late Marvin Paige - renown casting director, Hollywood historian, loyal friend & celebrity liason for many notable Hollywood film & television organizations.  Last October while en route to an event at the Academy a car's brakes failed colliding head on with Marvin's car heading southbound on Laurel Canyon.  Marvin spent 3 weeks at Cedars Sinai Hospital where he had a few procedures & was making progress.  Eventually he developed internal bleeding and sadly left us on November 13th.  He will be fondly remembered & never forgotten by countless individuals worldwide including myself.  A wonderful memorial & celebration of  life for this kind, talented, intelligent, loyal & caring man was held on his birthday January 26th at the beautiful  Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard where Marvin enjoyed watching countless movies & coordinated countless celebrity appearances & special events celebrating the Golden Age of Hollywood.  The love, admiration & camaraderie was obvious as guests enjoyed remarks from host Stan Taffel, Randy Haberkamp, Dennis Bartok, Bryan Cooper, Karen Sharpe Kramer, Alan Rode, Foster Hirsch, Tyler Cassity, H.M. Wynant, Anne Jeffreys, Nichelle Nichols, Bruce Garrick, Bob Birchard, Garret Boyajian, Brent Zacky & Ed Lozzi.  Kat Kramer & Tom Cooper provided wonderful heartfelt musical performances & remarks.  Remarks by Rona Barret, Tony Turano & George Pennacchio who were unable to attend were also included.  Beautiful slideshows & video presentations honoring Marvin were produced by Garret Boyajian & Kevin Jordan.  Marvin began his career in New York where he did some acting & went on to produce & host the popular radio show "Luncheon at Sardi's".  He was a natural working with talent which segued into his first gig in casting on "Breakfast at Tiffany's".  For decades he was a leading casting director in film & television casting shows like  "General Hospital", "Star Trek - The Motion Picture", Mae West's last film "Sextette", "Take the Money & Run" & "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex" (both for Woody Allen), "Harlow",  "Planet of the Apes" (tv series), "Lassie" (tv series), "The Mickey Rooney Show" and many many many more. His last feature film was "Edith" in 2013.  He never stopped working & always kept busy. "Age is nothing but a number... & mine is unlisted" he used to joke.  Guests in attendance at the memorial included Shirley Jones, Marty Ingels, Stefanie Powers, Francine York, Terry Moore, Mike Clifford, Robert Uher, Lois Aldren, Ruta Lee, Diane Ladd, Piper Laurie, Buck Waterfield, Kathleen Hughes, Monica Henreid, Margaret O'Brien, Kym Karrath, Diane Baker, Millie Perkins, Diana Herbert Markes Levitt, Kristina Wayborn, Joey Heatherton, Francine York, Monica Matulich,  Daniel Selznick, Julie Adams, Colleen Gray, Roy Mosley, Brenda Dickson, Ron Gilbert, Teresa Ganzel, Kate Linder,  Patti McCormick, Sybil Danning,  Leonard & Alice Malton, Harlan Boll, Roz Wolf, Hilary Helstein, Christopher Mitchum,  Christopher Riordan, Kathe Orrison, France Nuyen, Jeff Mantle, Christopher Rion, Marsha Hunt, Talisa Noris, Barbra Hale, George Tekai, Michael Schlesinger, Harry Dimas, Pete Hammond, Sally Kirkland, Rebecca Holden, Andre Champagne, David Hyatt, Joseph Csongei, Margot Gerber, Rick Carl, Stephanie Hibler, Anthony Tringali & many more.  Kudos to the committee that organized the event which included A.M.P.A.S., American Cinematheque, Garret Boyajian, Lisa Cahan Davis, Mike Cahill, Rick Carl, Bryan Cooper, Josef Csongei, Lee Davis, Margot Gerber, Randy Haberkamp, Hollywood Heritage, The Hollywood Reporter, Kevin Jordan, Ed Lozzi,  Frank Miceli/Miceli's Restaurant, Nonstop Printing, George Ridjaneck, Barbara Smith, Tegan Summer, Stan Taffel & Robert Uher.  Special thanks to Brandon T. Contreras for helping my family friends with their seating.

Captions Soon... Photos by Bob Delgadillo, Harrison Held, Rob Coatney & Billy Bennight

This tribute to Loretta Young in a few days was one of the last things Marvin was working on at the time of his accident.  Linda Lewis, Loretta Young's lovely daughter-in-law has offered me 10 free tickets to give to friends & readers so if you'd like to attend please email me asap at or contact me on  Facebook - It will be great! Thanxs - RIP Dear Marvin you will always be in our hearts.  Report by Harrison Held.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Harrison Held's SceneAroundTown... Marvin Paige Memorial....Egyptian Theater

Marvin Paige, Harrison Held, Kat Kramer & Jane Fonda

Dear Friends....  This Sunday February 26 is the memorial for the late great Marvin Paige a good friend to so many people including myself.  Marvin was a king in the casting world, renown Hollywood historian & celebrity liason for A.M.P.A.S. & many other noted organizations.  The memorial  will be held from 2 pm to 4 pm @ The Egyptian on Hollywood Boulevard.  All friends & colleagues are welcome to attend.  Please spread the word.  It also is his birthday.  Hope to see U there - Doors open @ 1pm.   Marvin died @ Cedars Sinai Hospital 3 weeks following a car accident on Laurel Canyon when a car's brakes failed  & collided with his.  He will always be missed & will always be fondly remembered...  RIP Dear Friend...    HH

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

SceneAroundTown... "A Picasso"... Promenade Playhouse... Santa Monica

"A Picasso" is a very good play which opened recently at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica.  Art & history lovers will definitely enjoy it.  The production features  two very skilled performers - Vincent Lappas is terrific as famed Spanish artist/ladies man Pablo Picasso as is feisty sexy Natalia Lazarus as his German interrogator Miss Fischer.  Ms. Lazarus does double duty directing very well also.  Spanish born Picasso is living in Paris when he is taken into custody by German authorities who consider his work deviant & degenerate.  Much of his work is confiscated including 3 pieces owned by Jewish residents. Miss Fischer is assigned the task of questioning the artist  to determine if they are real.  She tells him they are planning an exhibition but along the way he realizes they are actually planning to burn his work and being the egotistical artist he is he will do anything he can to save his work from being destroyed.  "A Picasso" is about 100 minutes long & is performed without an intermission.  As a bonus the beautiful program for the production includes 5 Picasso images of people who were an integral part of his life.  Tickets cost $20 and the play runs til mid February. For more information visit  - A very enjoyable play!  HH

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Harrison Held's SceneAroundTown... "Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me..." & Happy Birthday Marion Davies...

Harrison Held & Kat Kramer - photo by Billy Bennight

Yolanda Pulakis, Don Rose, Kat Kramer, Devai Pearce, Dan Tirman & Emilio Renteria - photo by Billy Bennight

Kat Kramer, Bob Delgadillo, Karen Sharpe Kramer, Dan Tirman & Robert Uher - photo by Harrison Held

The food at Seasons 52 is delicious - photo by Bob Delgadillo

Harrison Held & Karen Sharpe Kramer - photo by Bob Delgadillo

Delicious Dessert Time at Seasons 52!  Karen Sharpe Kramer, Kat Kramer, Harrison Held & Robert Uher -  Thanxs to Karen Sharpe Kramer for bringing a few "golden guests" - Karen won a Golden Globe in 1952 as best newcomer in John Wayne's "The High & The Mighty" -  when her original award was accidentally broken the Hollywood Foreign Press generously gave her a new one -  photo by Bob Delgadillo

Dan Tirman, Harrison Held, Season 52's Monica Challingsworth & Robert Uher - photo by Bob Delgadillo

Billy Bennight, Don Rose & Devai Pearce - photo by Bob Delgadillo

Diana Herbert Markes Levitt & bf Arthur - photo by Bob Delgadillo

Harrison Held & Pamela Herbert Chais - photo by Bob Delgadillo

I had a great time celebrating my birthday early this year with friends at the beautiful Seasons 52 in Century City - last month I was notified by the restaurant's Monica Challingsworth that I'd won a complimentary cocktail party for up to twenty guests...  what a nice surprise!  Soon after that I was contacted by a friend in the Philippines struggling with his family post typhoon.  At that point in time his appointment to be a teacher had been postponed because of the disaster & jobs for many were very scarce so I decided that in lieu of birthday gifts & cards my guests could donate to something I called "Operation Shelter" to help his family fix the roof of their house, buy food & get things for the household.  Thanks to everyone for the donations - the money I collected will have a very positive effect on their lives.  Also thanks to everyone at Seasons 52 for the great hospitality - the eats, treats & drinks were delicious & enjoyed by all!  The service  there is terrific as well as the ambiance.  HH

Marion Davies

William Randolph Hearst & Marion Davies

Marion Davies

Marion Davies' Guest House

Actresses in character as Marion Davies' sister & Carole Lombard

Guest & actor depicting William Randolph Hearst

Marion Davies' friend & colleague 1930's film star Mary Carlisle with friends in the guest house living room

Special guest Mary Carlisle is joined by guest, Dan Tirman & Harrison Held- photo by Darin Barnes

A friend of Mary Carlisle brought her 99 flowers & will give her 1 more on her 100th birthday early February

A great performance by Janet Klein & John Reynolds, one of her Parlor Boys

Janet Klein & John Reynolds, one of her Parlor Boys

The gang's all here - guests dress in period clothing to celebrate the birthday of Marion Davies

Guests enjoy the entertainment  for Marion Davies' birthday

Janet Klein & Dan Tirman

Photos of Marion Davies Birthday Party by Harrison Held except where noted

It was a beautiful Sunday in Santa Monica when I attended the annual birthday celebration for the late great actress Marion Davies at her former luxurious guest house at the Annenburg on PCH close to the ocean.  It was my first visit there & I wasn't disappointed  - the pictures I'd seen online of previous birthday parties had piqued my interest & the guest house, grounds & pleasant beach environment are even more beautiful in person.  I saw Marion's movie "Show People" at the Academy about a year ago which I greatly enjoyed & had gone to a great art party in the sprawling former apartment of  her lover William Randolph Hearst in the Los Altos on Wilshire Boulevard where her movie posters & photos were on display.  I love the films & history of classic Hollywood & at the guest house I had the pleasure of meeting 99 year old Mary Carlisle a movie star from the 1930's & friend & colleague of Marion's.  She shared with me what a nice kind & engaging person Marion was & how William Randolph Hearst was the perfect gentleman.  Noted entertainer Janet Klein performed with one of her Parlor Boys adding a great touch to the day.  What a nice event! HH