The Hollywood Trivia Closet: First Celebrity & Movie Star Jobs – Part 2

The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show on YouTube:
The Hollywood Trivia Closet – First Movie Star and Celebrity Jobs Part 2-Cary Grant & more

Welcome to this month’s edition of The Hollywood Trivia Closet, featuring celebrities and movie stars and their first jobs –
Loretta Young
Gary Cooper
Marlene Dietrich
Olivia de Havilland
Cary Grant

Text, video and audio editing: Lorraine Dmitrovic


The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show 4 has landed!


Show 4 - Main promo post for facebook

The Show 4 podcast has landed!
Lorraine D in Canada and Mats Finnborn of Sweden host The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show, highlighting the best of the world of film – past and present, the classic and offbeat, including once-minor films and genres that have stood the test of time and are gaining new audiences today.

Featured this month:
*Short Bits – film news, a special HAPPY BIRTHDAY, films in production, new releases for June/July 2016 and upcoming later releases

Show 4 - Lorraine and Mats Intro and Short Bits

NEW segment! This month premiering The Adventures of Herr Mann & Portulaca. Episode 1: “Where Shall We Eat Tonight?” The Adventures of Herr Mann and Portulaca: created and written by Lorraine Dmitrovic © : April 2016

Show 4 -Herr Man & Portulaca Show -Episode One -where eat tonight

Many kind thanks to accordionist Matt Tolentino for permission to use an excerpt from a performance at the Bavarian Grill in Plano, Texas in 2011 as theme and background music for the podcast serial The Adventures of Herr Mann & Portulaca. Matt is also leader of the 4-piece ensemble, The Matt Tolentino Band, a 7-piece polka band The Royal Klobasneks, and an 18-piece orchestra called The Singapore Slingers, which has been named the “Best Pre-Swing Jazz Orchestra” in Dallas.

*Mats, host of the Classic Horror segment, reviews the 1958 “B” movie, “The Screaming Skull” starring Peggy Webber

Show 4 - Mats Horror promo The Screaming Skull

*The Hollywood Trivia Closet – Celebrity First Jobs! Part 2

Show 4 - Hollywood Trivia Closet-Celebrity first jobs-part2

*In the feature interview, Lorraine speaks with Joan Van Houten, who works with The Voice of Innocence group, and is the stepdaughter of a wrongfully convicted man. Mike Johnson, whose case is included in the upcoming The Reporters Inc. documentary, The Innocent Convicts. The documentary is scheduled to air on PBS and other stations/venues at some point in the future.

Show 4 - Feature Interview part one- Joan Van Houten promo

*Mike Pearl’s musical choice in the first comment of the Show 4 album on facebook’s The Ultimate Movies Page – Silents to New Releases

Join us on Twitter:

-Creative & text: Lorraine Dmitrovic
-Creative and text, Classic Horror Segment: Mats Finnborn
-The Ultimate Broadcast Show theme, intro and bridge music composed and performed by: Trevor Giampieri
-Sound editing/mixing: Trevor Giampieri

First Celebrity Jobs Part 1 – The Hollywood Trivia Closet


Show 3 Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show-HollywoodTriviaCloset-first celebrity jobs

Written and narrated by Lorraine Dmitrovic

To link to The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show 3, featuring The Hollywood Trivia Closet segment highlighting Celebrity First Jobs Part 1

Welcome to this month’s edition of The Hollywood Trivia Closet, featuring celebrities and their first jobs. Some had a long road to Hollywood, others seemed to take the fast train. They all eventually arrived in Tinsel Town and found the fame and fortune they had been seeking.

Phil Silvers, well before becoming known as The King of Chutzpah and Sergeant Bilko, was influenced by comedy greats Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx. Silvers started clowning around – I mean entertaining – at age 11, taking his cue to sing in theaters when the film projector broke down, which was pretty common back then. As it worked out, he was allowed to attend some theaters free of charge, so long as he sang at future breakdowns. By age 13, he was a singer in the Gus Edwards Revue, and then worked in vaudeville and as a burlesque comic. His comedy future was sealed. As his Bilko character once said, “All I ever wanted was an honest week’s pay for an honest day’s work.”

In the 1930s, Jackie Gleason got a tip from a friend for a one-week job in Reading, Pennsylvania paying $19, a huge sum during The Great Depression. The booking agent advanced him bus fare for the trip against his salary. As it turned out, that first job as a professional comedian was a success, and led him to regular work in a number of small clubs. Gleason soon worked his way up to a job at New York’s “Club 18, “ where insulting patrons was the order of business. On one memorable occasion in his loud stage voice, Gleason greeted world-famous skater Sonja Henjie by handing her an ice cube, saying, “Okay, now do something.” When Jack L. Warner first saw Gleason at the club, the studio mogul quickly signed him to a film contract for $250 a week.

Around 1922, Clark Gable toured with stock companies in stage plays, at the same time working as a logger and an oil field horse manager. Later in Portland he found work as a necktie salesman at the Meier & Frank department store. While there he met stage and film actress Laura Hope Crews, who encouraged him to go back into acting and join a theater company. Many years later, Crews and Gable would together as Aunt Pittypat and Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind (1939). So, returning to the stage, Gable soon married his acting coach, Josephine Dillon, who groomed him physically as well as for future acting stardom. Now we all know why he looked so good in those ties and ascots and bowties in the Southern saga. What’s that saying? Once a necktie salesman, always a necktie salesman? Maybe Gable could do a fancy tie knot in his sleep.

As a young lad, Laurence Olivier attended All Saints School in London. His older brother was already a pupil. Laurence felt himself to be an outsider, and didn’t like the church’s Anglo-Catholic ritual and incense. The theatricality of the services, however, did appeal to him, and the vicar encouraged students to appreciate secular as well as religious drama. In a school production of Julius Caesar in 1917, ten-year-old Olivier’s performance as Brutus impressed an audience that included Lady Tree, the young Sybil Thorndike, and the legendary stage actress Ellen Terry, who later who wrote in her diary, “The small boy who played Brutus is already a great actor.”

At age 15, having never thought about going into acting, one of Gloria Swanson’s aunts took her to visit the small Essanay Studios in Chicago. She must have made quite an impression because Gloria was asked to come back to work as an extra. After a few months as an extra working with stars like Charlie Chaplin, and making $13.50 a week, Swanson left school to work full-time at the studio.

After her parents separation, and she and her mother moved to California in 1916 so she could appear in Mack Sennett’s Keystone comedies. In 1919, Gloria signed with Paramount Pictures and worked often with Cecil B. DeMille. In the still popular Male and Female (1919), she posed as “the Lion’s Bride” with a real lion, and she went on to make many other silent classics. By 1922 she was a star, and people went to the theatres not only to watch her movies but to see what Gloria would be wearing, as she was as famous for her trendsetting fashions as her acting.

Coming full circle in 1950, Gloria was re-united with DeMille, and another of her directors, Erich Von Stroheim in scenes from Billy Wilder’s, Sunset Boulevard.

Mother DeDe tried to end an early romantic relationship of Lucille Ball by turning her attention to her daughter’s desire to be in show business. Despite meager finances, Dede arranged for Lucille to go to the John Murray Anderson School for the Dramatic Arts in New York City, where Bette Davis was a fellow student. Ball later said about that time in her life, “All I learned in drama school was how to be frightened.”

Ball was determined to prove her teachers wrong and returned to New York City in 1928. Among her other jobs, she landed work as a fashion model for Hattie Carnegie.Her career was thriving when she became ill, either with rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, or an unknown illness, and she was unable to work for two years.She moved back to New York City in 1932 to resume her pursuit of a career as an actress and supported herself by again working for Carnegie and as the Chesterfield cigarette girl.

Using the name Diane (sometimes spelled Dianne) Belmont, she started getting some chorus work on Broadway but the work was not lasting. Ball was hired– but then quickly fired– by theatre impresario Earl Carroll from his “Vanities,” and then by Florenz Ziegfeld, from a touring company of “Rio Rita.”

She soon started to have bit parts in films and became an RKO contract player in the 1930s. In the 1940s she signed with MGM, but then found she was more often than not being cast in “B” films.

In 1948 she was starring on a radio show My Favorite Husband, a radio program for CBS Radio. When an offer came to re-create the role and show for TV in a comedy series.

Lucy wanted real-life husband Desi as the husband for the TV show and after a so-so pilot they produced as their company Desilu, Lucy and Desi toured the concept until they found the right comedy rhythm that would work for television. They succeeded, and show known as I Love Lucy was picked up by CBS, and it has flourished internationally and turned “Lucy and Ricky” into comedy icons.

Once she had “made it,” later in her career she gave acting classes. Ball was quoted as saying, “You cannot teach someone comedy; either they have it or they don’t.

And coming from one of the the grand dams of comedy, Lucy, I believe her 100 percent. Many other stars in front of and behind the camera who also made their marks in Hollywood, earned their paychecks another way before that. We’ll have a look at their stories, too. See you then, next month, with another installment of First Celebrity Jobs on the Hollywood Trivia Closet.

Copyright © April 2016: Lorraine Dmitrovic

Actor Errol Flynn pre-fame in Australia, the debut segment from The Hollywood Trivia Closet

Errol Flynn, Captain Blood (1935)

Errol Flynn as Captain Peter Blood, Captain Blood (1935)

Written and narrated by Lorraine Dmitrovic

To listen to the debut segment of The Hollywood Trivia Closet featuring Errol Flynn, from the Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show 1:

Welcome to the first segment of the Hollywood Trivia Closet on The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show. This week’s feature tale takes a peek back at actor Errol Flynn the Tasmanian hunk – before becoming world famous.

In 1933, Errol Flynn had made a brief splash as Fletcher Christian in Australia with The Wake of the Bounty, but he soon found himself looking for work off-screen. With the tough times of the Great Depression, a number of odd jobs helped to pay the bills, and in an impulsive moment, he also stole his mistress’ diamonds. He dug wells for awhile in Diamond Downs in Queensland, Australia’s interior, and then he joined a mate to work 80 miles away on Stirling’s ranch, which could herd up to 100,000 sheep. Can you even imagine 100,000 sheep? For this job, Flynn found himself as second lowest man on the assembly line – of gelding young rams.

How exactly did this work? you may ask. Well, The first man had to clear away the mess from the ram’s posterior. Flynn would then take the ram, hold it upside down, and with the precision of a surgeon, cleanly bite off its walnuts with his teeth. The procedure was commonly known to Australian farmers as “dagging the boggets.” By the end of the day there would quite a collection of Ozzie prairie oysters. The job went without mishap for awhile, although Flynn could never quite totally wash off or cover up the smell of he-goat completely. Admittedly, his dating life suffered a bit for that, yet he wasn’t deterred long from seeking out a suitable filly, one closer to the scents hanging around the ranch. But Flynn couldn’t balance the job with his love life. He was officially run off the ranch when the owner discovered him with one of his daughters in her bedroom.

According to Flynn’s autobiography, My Wicked, Wicked Ways, while the owner went in search of a shotgun, Flynn grabbed his clothes and his hidden diamonds from that previous mistress, and high-tailed it. Not much later, a gold claim he’d once put in with a partner would be granted, but that’s another story for another day…. See you then, a month from now, with another tale from the Hollywood Trivia Closet.

Copyright © February 2016: Lorraine Dmitrovic

Show 1 – The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show – Take 2

Show 1 -The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show podcast-Show 1 Premiere-feb28-2016

To link to the podcast:

Show 1 – The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show -Take 2 – the revamp

The podcast has landed!
Lorraine and Mats host the fun, new podcast, The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show featuring….

*Short Bits – news, new releases, Stan Lee, Val Kilmer,  report by author Peggy Dymond Leavey about a possible 2017 international film festival in Trenton, Ontario

*In memoria – Angus Scrimm, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and Pat Harrington

*Mats hosts the Film Noir segment talking about 1948’s “The Scar”

*The Hollywood Trivia Closet looks at Errol Flynn

*Lorraine interviews author Peggy Dymond Leavey about one of the world’s first superstars, Mary Pickford

*Mike Pearl‘s musical choice in the first comment of the show’s album on facebook’s The Ultimate Movies Page – Silents to New Releases

To follow The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show on Twitter:

-Creative & text: Lorraine Dmitrovic
-Creative and text, Fim Noir Segment: Mats Finnborn
-Theme and bridge music composed and performed by: Trevor Giampieri
-Sound editing/mixing: Trevor Giampieri