Oscar History

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Entries in Carol Channing (10)


The Furniture: Thoroughly Modern Millie

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...

Thoroughly Modern Millie opened 50 years ago this week, in the spring between San Francisco’s Human Be-In and the Summer of Love. None of 1967’s Best Picture nominees, immortalized as the birth of the New Hollywood in Mark Harris’s Pictures at a Revolution, had yet opened, but there was already something in the air.

Director George Roy Hill capitalized on this countercultural moment with an extravagant show of concentrated nostalgia. Thoroughly Modern Millie leaps back to the Roaring 20s, America’s last moment of liberated sexuality and conspicuous consumption before the Great Depression. Its flamboyant, frenetic ode to the flappers and their world was a big hit, making more than $34 million and landing 10th at the yearly box office. The film was nominated for seven Oscars including Art Direction-Set Decoration.

Yet its portrayal is not without contradictions...

Click to read more ...


RPDR S8.5: Like a *Blank*

Chris here, filling in for Nathaniel's weekly recap of RuPaul's Drag Race. This week was everyone's perennial favorite: Snatch Game! Past seasons have made this celebrity impersonation challenge a complete game changer, catapulting contenders like Jinkx Monsoon and Chad Michaels straight to the finals. In fact, only one Snatch Game winner has ever placed less than fifth place: season three's Stacy Layne Matthews (performing as Mo'Nique via her Oscar-winning Precious performance).

You could easily argue that this challenge is more anticipated than the season finale's crowning, and after last season's unmemorable edition, fans were hungry for this year's queens to bring the laughs.

S8.05 "Supermodel Snatch Game"

And it brings me no joy to tell you that the episode was an unfortunate dud.

Click to read more ...


50 Years Ago Right Now ~ An Evening With Carol Channing !

Imagine your parents or maybe your grandparents gathered 'round a 21 inch television on February 18th, 1966 on ABC to watch this.  If you were born in October 1966 I apologize that the weirdest things got your parents frisky.

Wowee Wow. Here's Our Dolly now! 🎵 

There were only three channels in 1966 and, I mean, why would ANYONE have been watching anything else? She was on Broadway at the time with Hello Dolly. Broadway had such a cache back then. Can you imagine a Broadway star getting a whole hour of television to promote their celebrity today?

Some highlights...
04:10 Wanna hear where Lady Bunny got her voice. It's right here. 
12:22 David McCallum (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) reads T.E. Lawrence and speaks multiple languages with Carol, cracking each other up
24:20 Mona Lisa musical comedy sketch. The takeaway: the 1960s were a very strange and alien time from an alternate Earth. Possibly another Galaxy altogether
33:00 Los Angeles, skewered. Must see if you've ever hated on L.A.
50:30 George Burns & David McCallum join Carol for the finale. "The Monkey Rag"


Well "Hello, Dolly!" ...Again (Feat: Channing, Pearl, Bette, and Babs) 

Bette on the Tonight Show in 2014Bette Midler basically gave the game away in a tweet last night but today it's official: The Divine Miss M will be taking over Carol Channing's signature role Dolly Levi in a Broadway revival of "Hello, Dolly!" due in the Spring of 2017. Carol Channing made a huge enduring career out of the role, of course, playing it three different times across four decades on Broadway and touring with it, too. Barbra Streisand tried to wrestle the role away from her in the movie musical adaptation in 1969 -- there are multiple catty anecdotes about this in the trivia-filled gossipy book "Roadshow! The Fall of the Film Musicals in the 1960s" that do not paint a pretty picture of Babs --  but despite the plentiful Oscar nominations thrown that movies way, it didn't really stick and no one thinks of Dolly as anyone's but Channing's.

Babs, Bette, Carol Channing & Pearl Bailey after the jump...

Click to read more ...



Empire Bryan Singer and his writing team working on X-Men: Apocalypse already. My only objection to this article is the conditional phrase for X2 "one of the best of the franchise" I'm sorry... one of... I think they meant to type "the best by such a significant margin it's actually kind of embarrassing"
Pajiba wonders if movie reviews matter anymore 
The Wire plays goldilocks with Martin Scorsese classics and their running times: "too long, not enough or just right?"
Dorkly imagines George RR Martin (Game of Thrones) as Santa Claus  

In Contention I neglected to share the London Film Critics Circle nominations because I forgot that unlike virtually every other critics organization, they don't announce their winners a few days after the nominations and instead save it for their actual ceremony... (which begs the question: how do they get the recipients to show up? tipped off?) so in case you missed it, read away 
Deadline on the struggle to shift the dialogue on August: Osage County. I have to say that I find this piece both telling and bizarre. Telling because Tracy Letts himself refers to Barbara (Julia Roberts) repeatedly as the "protagonist"  (and yet she's "supporting?" oy!) and even how he beefed up her role to justify the new ending. Bizarre because the piece ends with the implication that Streep is doing more promotional work for this film than she usually does (I see no evidence of this but, okay?) culminating in this absolute untruth: 

...when Streep shows up for a film that has her in Oscar contention, she usually wins.

The great lady has won 3 times out of 17. And it's not like she didn't "show up" for a number of those other 14 Oscar nominated films. She is as good as any big star at promoting her work.

The Gays
People awww, Sharon Needles and Alaska from RuPaul's Drag Race broke up. But very amicably it seems so good on them
David Kawena [NSFW] the popular web artist is at it again with his Disney characters as underwear hunks. This time it's Kristoff from Frozen. What would Jonathan Groff think of this?!
Theater Mania on the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 7 Carol Channings 

Buzzfeed 23 most important 'selfies' of the year
Hey U Guys 10 Best Comic Book Movie Moments of 2013
i09 thinks these are the best comic books of the year
The Wire Joe Reid's top ten list and...The Act of Making Them
The Dissolve's top ten list. I like seeing All is Lost and Gravity together with All is Lost slightly higher. They really do make good companion pieces. Neither will make my list so I'm not a champion of either really but I prefer the Redford. As for Her. You know, it's funny. As soon as I knew the subject matter long before we'd seen a frame of it, I just knew it would be a huge deal on critics top ten lists, topping many of them. I should've written a prediction piece on that so you could all marvel at my psychic ways.


Hello Linky

In Contention talks to Saoirse Ronan about Grand Budapest Hotel, How I Live Now and acting for Ryan Gosling
DP/30 Chiwetel Ejiofor from 12 Years a Slave
Instagram James Franco's 'all the kids are doing it' selfie. (I love seeing celebrity mirror shots because that's how they see themselves. Ever notice how different you look in photos -how other people see you- versus how you look to yourself in the mirror?)
The Hollywood Reporter TIR wins the top prize and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) and Scarlett Johansson (Her) the acting awards at the Rome Film Festival

In Contention doublestuffed Oscar season coming at'cha
Pajiba on the highest grossing black directors. I expect Lee Daniels will keep moving up this list since he's prolific.
Coming Soon the German trailer to a new animated Tarzan

Playbill Carol Channing and Justin Bond for a little Hello Dolly 50th anniversary special? YES PLEASE
Salon are confused earnest celebrities the best at Twitter?
Variety Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark will (finally) close on Broadway in early 2014
Television Blend Arrow could lead to The Flash getting his own tv series. (I wish I liked this show but I've given it more than a fair try and it's dull/lame.)
Towleroad Warren & The Bening's son Stephen is so adorable (and totally looks like a blend of them if you ask me). Good for him becoming a reliable trans activist these past couple of years.

Today's Watch
The artist Anders Ramsell has "paraphrased" Blade Runner (his words) with 12,597 paintings. 

I've done nothing with my life!


Emmanuelle Riva's Oscar Birthday And The 100 Oldest Living Oscar Nominees

Emmanuelle Riva at the NYFCC Awards earlier this weekGuess who has a birthday on Oscar night this year? Emmanuelle Riva! What fortuitous timing.

The legendary French actress of Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) fame, was Oscar-nominated just a few days ago for her haunting downward spiral in Michael Haneke's Amour (2012) and on her 86th birthday she could become the oldest winner of any competitive acting Oscar. Christopher Plummer, who turned 83 last month, currently holds that record for his win last year for Beginners. Riva's abundantly well deserved nomination makes her, at this writing, the 64th oldest living Oscar nominee or winner, just a few days younger than American screen legend Sidney Poitier.

So, as we gear up for Oscar night, I thought it was time to look back with gratitude on our elders. Let's pay homage to the Oscar nominees and winners that are still with us. Investigate these talents with your DVD queues and perhaps they'll feel the vibes of new fans "discovering" their cinematic contributions. That would have to be a sweet (and deserved) sensation. 

I'm posting today, not just due to the discovery that next month's Emmanuelle Riva Birthday Celebration will involve all the biggest stars in the world, but because it's January 12th, on which we always say happy birthday to #1 on this list. I hope you enjoy!

to clarify: I included Honorary Oscars even if the person was never up for a competitive statue

Luise Rainer and Luise Rainer1-10

01 Luise Rainer (1/12/10)
Recently name-checked not so flatteringly in Hitchcock, she was once known as the "Viennese Teardrop" and sits in the record books as the first back-to-back Oscar winning actor for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Good Earth (1937). She's been very vocal about what she thought of Hollywood and "The Oscar Curse" which she doesn't believe in. Her career ended for more complicated reasons. Other key works: Not really. Not films she liked at any rate. Her career was over almost as soon as it began.

99 More Greats After the Jump 

Click to read more ...


Happy 102nd Luise Rainer! Celebrate The Oldest Living Oscar Nominees!

The double Oscar winner (The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth) turns 102 today!  She's the oldest living Oscar nominee or winner! Her most recent appearance was just four short months ago when she showed up for her star ceremony in Berlin. They now have a "Boulevard des Stars" much like Hollywood's walk of fame and as the only German Best Actress winner (Hollywood and the media who nicknamed her "The Viennese Teardrop" promoted her as Austrian for obvious reasons in the 1930s), she was a natural for inclusion.

happy birthday to you
happy birthday dear Luise,
happy birthday to you
.......and many more ♫

Odets and Rainer in Hollywood. Odets also romanced actress Frances Farmer (as seen in the Jessica Lange picture "Frances")Luise is on record as saying that she doesn't believe in the Oscar curse and her short-lived Hollywood career was her own doing.

"The Oscar jinx! There is no Oscar jinx. I couldn't carry the burden of being the middle of the universe. I had to withdraw and find myself".

My favorite anecdote about Luise is that her husband during those heady Oscar years activist / screenwriter / playwright Clifford Odets (Luise was not his only actress romance) was so furious with her for flirting with Albert Einstein at a party that he took a photo of Einstein and chopped off Einstein's head with a pair of scissors. Hee! But also: flirting with Albert Einstein at a party???. What storied lives those Golden Age movie stars lived. You can read a lot more about Luise's life at this comprehensive unofficial fan site

My friend Nick is also discussing Luise's odd legacy and one of her lesser known films today on this historic occassion. As per usual he puts her efforts in brilliant context.

I previously published a list of the oldest living Best Actress nominees which is over here. But the following list casts a wider net. Celebrate these folks while they're still with us by renting their signature films.


  1. Luise Rainer (2 time Best Actress winner) is now 102
  2. Douglas Slocombe (3 time nominee) cinematographer of Raiders of the Lost Ark is 99 next month.
  3. Elmo Williams, also about to turn 99, won his Oscar for editing High Noon(1952) one of the earliest movies (though not the earliest) to be told in "real time."
  4. Oswald Morris recently 96. He received all of his nominations for Best Cinematography for musicals (The Wiz, Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof) but he also worked frequently with legendary director John Huston. Puppet classic The Dark Crystal (1982) was his last job.
  5. Eli Wallach (Honorary) the enduring character actor is recently 96. 
  6. Olivia de Havilland (2 time winner The Heiress & To Each His Own) is 95.
  7. Kirk Douglas (Honorary Oscar and 3 time nominee), Spartacus himself just turned 95.
  8. Ernest Borgnine (Actor winner Marty) turns 95 in two weeks. His next role is a leading one (!) in The Man Who Shook The Hand of Vicente Hernandez.
  9. Celeste Holm (Supporting Actress winner Gentleman's Agreement) is 94.
  10. Joan Fontaine (Actress winner Suspicion) recently turned 94. 
  11. Joyce Redman (2 time nominee most famous for Tom Jones) just turned 93. [Trivia note: Tom Jones is the only film to have ever won three nominations in Supporting Actress. Pity that Robert Altman's Nashville didn't repeat that trick because it was deserving.]
  12. Michael Anderson (nominee, directed Around the World in 80 Days) turns 92 later this month.
  13. Ravi Shankar (nominee, the co-composer for Gandhi) is 91.
  14. Ray Harryhausen (Gordon Sawyer Award recipient), the f/x legend, is 91.
  15. Mickey Rooney (Honorary Oscar and 4 time nominee) is 91.
  16. Carol Channing (nominee Thoroughly Modern Millie) turns 91 later this month. "Razzzzzbbberrries!"

    This new documentary on Carol Channing opens in theaters in a week. It's really fun if you like yourself some Channing.
  17. Ken Adam is almost 91. He's a two time winner for Art Direction and his nominations stretch across 4 decades of cinema.
  18. Hal David (winner "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" fromButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) is 90.
  19. Deanna Durbin (Juvenile Award winner) just turned 90. She was only 18 when she won her Juvenile statue (shared with Mickey Rooney) but she retired from the screen just nine years later.
  20. Eleanor Parker (3 time nominee Caged) in 89. She's best remembered today as the (not totally) wicked would be stepmother in The Sound of Music but that doesn't paint the whole picture at all. Isn't it time for renewed interest in her career?
  21. Norman Lear (television giant who was Oscar nominated for writing Divorce, American Style) is 89.
  22. Juanita Moore (nominee Imitation of Life *see it* It's a beauty) is 89.
  23. Valentina Cortese (nominee Day for Night) turned 89 a week ago. She holds the extremely rare honor of a supporting acting nomination from a foreign language film. Those are so very infrequent.
  24. Franco Zeffirelli (2 time nominee, director of Romeo and Juliet), another Italian (!), turns 89 next month.
  25. Charles Durning (2 time nominee, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) turns 89 next month.
  26. Richard Attenborough (2 time winner, director of Gandhi) is 88.
  27. Glynis Johns (nominee The Sundowners) is 88. Well done, Sister Suffragrette ♪ ! 
  28. Arthur Hiller (Hersholt Huminatarian winner, Director nominee for Love Story) is 88.
  29. Ron Moody (Actor nominee "Fagin" from Oliver!) turned 88 this week! For a previous article on this underappreciated sixties musical, click here.
  30. Doris Day (Actress nominee Pillow Talk) is 87. Some people say 89. There is much dispute but we'll go with IMDb's birthdate.
  31. Stanley Donen (Honorary Oscar) is 87. He's one of the best musicals director of all time, most famous for that thrilling barn sequence in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and the entirety of Singin' in the Rain.
  32. Theodore Bikel (The Defiant Ones) is 87. 
  33. Eva Marie Saint (winner On the Waterfront) is 87.
  34. Martha Hyer (nominee Some Came Running) is 87.
  35. Lauren Bacall Recently won an honorary Oscar and is 87 and going strong. She recently completed Carmel with Josh Hutcherson.
  36. Ruby Dee (Supporting actress nominee American Gangster) is 87.
  37. Dorothy Malone (Supporting Actress winner Written on the Wind) turns 87 later this month. Can she still do a mean mambo?
  38. Hal Holbrook (Supporting Actor nominee Into the Wild) turns 87 next month.
  39. George Kennedy (Supporting Actor winner Cool Hand Luke) turns 87 next month. Bonus Trivia! Funnily enough the oldest living Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actor (that'd be Kennedy) is just one day younger than the oldest Supporting Actor Nominee ever (living or otherwise) which would be Hal Holbrook who was nearly 83 when he was nominated for Into the Wild.
  40. Colette Marchand (Moulin Rouge) is 86.
  41. John Briley (Oscar winner for writing Gandhi) is 86.
  42. Cara Williams (supporting actress nominee The Defiant Ones) is 86.
  43. D.A. Pennebaker (The War Room) is a documentarian. He's 86.
  44. Angela Lansbury (3 time Supporting Actress nominee) is 86 and still a big name to multiple generations. Most people know her as a TV and stage star (she's won 5 Tony Awards) but she had quite an ascendance on the big screen. How many people have won two Oscar nominations within their first three movies? Not too damn many.

    Angela Lansbury is still quite active on Broadway
  45. Julie Harris (Actress nominee Member of the Wedding) just turned 86. 
  46. Haskell Wexler (two time winner) the Cinematographer turns 86 next month.
  47. Andrzej Wazda (Honorary) This 85 year old legendary Polish director who is still working has four Foreign Language Film nominees to his credit including the recent Katyn (2007). 
  48. Jerry Lewis (Jean Hersholt Huminatarian Award) this 85 year old showbiz legend and King of Comedy star rarely won competitive prizes but lots of career honors now.
  49. Roger Corman (Honorary) is 85 and the subject of the new documentary Corman's World. Like many celebrities (and me!!!) he is from Detroit Michigan.
  50. Joan Lorring (Supporting Actress nominee The  Corn is Green) is 85

Cloris Leachman as "Maw Maw" on Raising Hope. Are you watching?Just outside the list: Cloris Leachman (Supporting Actress winner The Last Picture Show

We're super glad they're still with us but they were never Oscar nominated: Manoel de Oliveira (103!!! and still directing feature films in Portugal) Danielle Darieux (94), Zsa Zsa Gabor (94), Maureen O'Hara (91), Louis Jordan (90), Esther Williams (90), Betty White (turns 90 next week!), Christopher Lee (89), Elaine Stritch (almost 87) and Harry Dean Stanton (85).

A smidgeon too young for this list though they are Oscar nominees or winners: Mel Brooks, Norman Jewison, Samuel Goldwyn Jr, Albert Maysles (of Grey Gardens fame), Shirley Temple Black, Sidney Poitier, Rosemary Harris, Lee Grant, and Estelle Parsons.