Archive for the ‘Spot / International News Wire’ Category

Religious fundamentalism could soon be treated as mental illness

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Digital Journal

Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness.

She made the assertion during a talk at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday. She said that radicalizing ideologies may soon be viewed not as being of personal choice or free will but as a category of mental disorder. She said new developments in neuroscience could make it possible to consider extremists as people with mental illness rather than criminals. She told The Times of London: “One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated. Someone who has for example become radicalized to a cult ideology — we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance.” Taylor admits that the scope of what could end up being labelled “fundamentalist” is expansive. She continued: “I am not just talking about the obvious candidates like radical Islam or some of the more extreme cults. I am talking about things like the belief that it is OK to beat your children. These beliefs are very harmful but are not normally categorized as mental illness. In many ways that could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage, that really do a lot of harm.” The Huffington Post reports Taylor warns about the moral-ethical complications that could arise. In her book “The Brain Supremacy,” she writes of the need “to be careful when it comes to developing technologies which can slip through the skull to directly manipulate the brain. They cannot be morally neutral, these world-shaping tools; when the aspect of the world in question is a human being, morality inevitably rears its hydra heads. Technologies which profoundly change our relationship with the world around us cannot simply be tools, to be used for good or evil, if they alter our basic perception of what good and evil are.” [In related news: Atheism a 'suicide risk,' US Marine Corps warns] The moral-ethical dimension arises from the predictable tendency when acting on the problem, armed with a new technology, to apply to the label “fundamentalist” only to our ideological opponents, while failing to perceive the “fundamentalism” in ourselves. From the perspective of the Western mind, for instance, the tendency to equate “fundamentalism” exclusively with radical Islamism is too tempting. But how much less “fundamentalist” than an Osama bin Laden is a nation of capitalist ideologues carpet bombing civilian urban areas in Laos, Cambodia and North Korea? The jihadist’s obsession with defending his Islamic ideological world view which leads him to perpetrate and justify such barbaric acts as the Woolwich murder are of the same nature as the evangelical obsession with spreading the pseudo-religious ideology of capitalism which led to such horrendous crimes as the murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians in four years of carpet bombing operations by the Nixon administration caught in a vice grip of anti-communist paranoia. The power to control the mind will tend too readily to be used as weapon against our jihadist enemies while justifying the equally irrational and murderously harmful actions we term innocously “foreign policy.” Some analysts are thus convinced that neuroscientists will be adopting a parochial and therefore ultimately counterproductive approach if they insist on identifying particular belief systems characteristic of ideological opponents as the primary subject for therapeutic manipulation. On a much larger and potentially more fruitful scale is the recognition that the entire domain of religious beliefs, political convictions, patriotic nationalist fervor are in themselves powerful platforms for nurturing “Us vs Them” paranoid delusional fantasies which work out destructively in a 9/11 attack or a Hiroshima/Nagasaki orgy of mass destruction. What we perceive from our perspective as our legitimate self-defensive reaction to the psychosis of the enemy, is from the perspective of the same enemy our equally malignant psychotic self-obsession. The Huffington Post reports that this is not the first time Taylor has written a book about extremism and fundamentalism. In 2006, she wrote a book about mind control titled “Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control,” in which she examined the techniques that cultic groups use to influence victims. She said: “We all change our beliefs of course. We all persuade each other to do things; we all watch advertising; we all get educated and experience [religions.] Brainwashing, if you like, is the extreme end of that; it’s the coercive, forceful, psychological torture type.” She notes correctly that “brainwashing” which embraces all the subtle and not-so-subtle ways “we make people think things that might not be good for them, that they might not otherwise have chosen to think,” is a much more pervasive social phenomenon than we are willing to recognize. As social animals we are all victims of culturally induced brainwashing whose effectiveness correlates with our inability to think outside the box of our given acculturation.

Joan Rivers

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014


Joan Alexandra Molinsky[1] (previously Rosenberg; born June 8, 1933), known by her stage name Joan Rivers, is an American actress, comedian, writer, producer and television host, best known for her stand-up comedy, for co-hosting the E! celebrity fashion show Fashion Police, and for starring in the reality series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? alongside her daughter Melissa Rivers.

Rivers first came to prominence in 1965 as a guest on The Tonight Show, a pioneering late-night program with interviews and comedy, hosted by Johnny Carson, whom she acknowledges as her mentor. The show established her particular comic style, poking fun at celebrities, but also at herself, often joking about her extensive plastic surgery. When she launched a rival program, The Late Show, he never spoke to her again.

She went on to host a successful daytime slot, The Joan Rivers Show, which won her a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host. However, her insulting style when discussing sensitive or personal matters has sometimes been criticized as controversial by the media.

She is also the author of 12 best-selling memoir and humor books, as well as providing comic material for stage and television. She currently hosts and produces her online weekly talk show on YouTube called In Bed with Joan, and resides in Malibu, California, with her daughter and grandson.

Early life

Rivers was born Joan Alexandra Molinsky in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933,[2] the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants Beatrice (née Grushman; January 6, 1906 – October 1975) and Meyer C. Molinsky (December 7, 1900 – January 1985). Her older sister Barbara died on June 3, 2013, aged 82.[3][4][5] She was raised in Brooklyn, New York, and her family later moved to Larchmont, in Westchester County, New York. She attended Connecticut College between 1950 and 1952 and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature[6] and anthropology. Before entering show business, Rivers worked at various jobs such as a tour guide at Rockefeller Center,[7] a writer/proofreader at an advertising agency[7] and as a fashion consultant at Bond Clothing Stores.[8] During this period, agent Tony Rivers advised her to change her name, so she chose Joan Rivers as her stage name.[9]


Jim Connell, Jake Holmes and Joan Rivers when they worked as the team: “Jim, Jake & Joan”


During the late 1950s, Rivers appeared in a short-run play, Driftwood, playing a lesbian with a crush on a character played by a then-unknown Barbra Streisand. The play ran for six weeks.[10] Rivers performed in numerous comedy clubs in the Greenwich Village area of New York City in the early 1960s, including The Bitter End and The Gaslight Cafe,[11] before making her first appearances as a guest on the TV program The Tonight Show originating from New York, hosted at the time by Jack Paar.[12]

By 1965, Rivers had a stint on Candid Camera as a gag writer and participant; she was “the bait” to lure people into ridiculous situations for the show. She also made her first appearance on The Tonight Show with new host Johnny Carson, on February 17, 1965.[13] During the same decade, Rivers made other appearances on The Tonight Show as well as The Ed Sullivan Show, while hosting the first of several talk shows. She wrote material for the puppet Topo Gigio. She had a brief role in The Swimmer (1968), starring Burt Lancaster. A year later, she had a short-lived syndicated daytime talk show, That Show with Joan Rivers; Johnny Carson was her first guest.[14] In the middle of the 1960s, she released at least two comedy albums, The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album[15] and Rivers Presents Mr. Phyllis & Other Funny Stories.[16]


By the 1970s, Rivers was appearing on various television comedy and variety shows, including The Carol Burnett Show and a semi-regular stint on Hollywood Squares. From 1972 to 1976, she narrated The Adventures of Letterman, an animated segment for The Electric Company. In 1973, Rivers wrote the TV movie The Girl Most Likely to…, a black comedy starring Stockard Channing. In 1978, Rivers wrote and directed the film Rabbit Test, starring her friend Billy Crystal. During the same decade, she was the opening act for singers Helen Reddy, Robert Goulet, Mac Davis and Sergio Franchi on the Las Vegas Strip.


Rivers has spoken of her primary Tonight Show life as having been Johnny Carson’s daughter, a reference to his longtime mentoring of her and, during the 1980s, establishing her as his regular guest host by August 1983. She also hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, on April 9, 1983.[17] In the same period, she released a best-selling comedy album on Geffen Records, What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most? The album reached No. 22 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.[18]

Rivers in 1967

Also in 1984, Rivers published a best-selling humor book, The Life and Hard Times of Heidi Abramowitz, a mock memoir of her brassy, loose comedy character. A television special based on the character, a mock tribute called Joan Rivers and Friends Salute Heidi Abramowitz, was not successful with the public.

The decade was controversial for Rivers. She sued female impersonator Frank Marino for $5,000,000 in 1986, after discovering he was using her real stand-up material in the impersonation of her that he included in his popular Las Vegas act. The two comics reconciled, even appearing together on television in later years.[19]

Also in 1986 came the move that cost Rivers her longtime friendship with Carson, who had first hired her as a Tonight Show writer. The soon-to-launch Fox Television Network announced that it was giving her a late night talk show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers.[20] The new network planned to broadcast the show 11:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time, making her a Carson competitor. Carson learned of the show from Fox and not from Rivers herself. In the documentary Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, Rivers said she only called Carson to discuss the matter after learning he may have already heard about it, and that he immediately hung up on her. In the same interview, she said that she later came to believe that maybe she should have asked for his blessing before taking the job. Rivers was banned from appearing on the Tonight Show, a decision respected by Carson’s first two successors Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. After the release of his 2013 biography on Johnny Carson, Carson’s manager Harry Bushkin revealed that he never received a call from Rivers’s husband Edgar concerning the move to Fox, against Rivers’s prior knowledge.[21] Rivers did not appear on the Tonight Show again until February 17, 2014, when she made a brief appearance on new host Jimmy Fallon‘s first episode.[22] On March 27, 2014, Rivers returned for an interview.

Shortly after Carson’s death in 2005, Rivers said that he never spoke to her again. In 2008, during an interview with Dr. Pamela Connolly on television’s Shrink Rap, Rivers claimed she did call Carson, but he hung up on her at once and repeated the gesture when she called again.

The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers turned out to be flecked by tragedy. When Rivers challenged Fox executives, who wanted to fire her husband Edgar Rosenberg as the show’s producer, the network fired them both. On May 15, 1987, three months later, Rosenberg committed suicide in Philadelphia; Rivers blamed the tragedy on his “humiliation” by Fox.[23] Fox attempted to continue the show with a new name (The Late Show) and rotating guest hosts. A year after the Late Show debacle, Rivers was a guest on TV’s Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special. By 1989, she tried another daytime TV talk show, The Joan Rivers Show,[24] which ran for five years and won her an Daytime Emmy in 1990 for Outstanding Talk Show Host.[25] In 1994, Rivers and daughter Melissa first hosted the E! Entertainment Television pre-awards show for the Golden Globe Awards.[26] Beginning in 1995, they hosted the annual E! Entertainment Television pre-awards show for the Academy Awards.[26] Beginning in 1997, Rivers hosted her own radio show on WOR in New York City. Rivers also appeared as one of the center square occupants on the 1986–89 version of The Hollywood Squares, hosted by John Davidson.

In 1994, Rivers—who was influenced by the “dirty comedy” of Lenny Bruce—co-wrote and starred in a play about Bruce’s mother Sally Marr, who was also a stand-up comic and influenced her son’s development as a comic. After 27 previews, “Sally Marr…and Her Escorts,” a play “suggested by the life of Sally Marr” ran on Broadway for 50 performances in May and June 1994.[27] Rivers was nominated for a Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actress in a Play and a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for playing Sally Marr.[28]


By 2003, Rivers had left her E! red-carpet show for a three-year contract (valued at $6–8 million) to cover award shows’ red carpet events for the TV Guide Channel.[29]

Rivers poses for a photograph at the Pierre Hotel in New York City, May 24, 2001

Rivers appeared in three episodes of the TV show Nip/Tuck during its second, third and seventh season playing herself.[30][31][32] Rivers appears regularly on television’s The Shopping Channel (in Canada) and QVC (in both the United States and the UK), promoting her own line of jewelry under brand name “The Joan Rivers Collection”. She was also a guest speaker at the opening of the American Operating Room Nurses’ 2000 San Francisco Conference. Both Joan and Melissa Rivers are frequent guests on Howard Stern‘s radio show, and Joan Rivers often appears as a guest on UK panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats.

Rivers was one of only four Americans invited to the Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles on April 9, 2005.[33] On August 16, 2007, Rivers began a two-week workshop of her new play, with the working title “The Joan Rivers Theatre Project”, at The Magic Theatre in San Francisco.[34] On December 3, 2007, Rivers performed in the Royal Variety Show 2007 at the Liverpool Empire Theatre, England, with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip present. In January 2008, Rivers became one of 20 hijackers to take control of the Big Brother house in the UK for one day in spin-off TV show Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack. On June 24, 2008, Rivers appeared on NBC-TV’s show Celebrity Family Feud and competed with her daughter, Melissa against Ice-T and Coco.

Rivers performing in her show at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Rivers and daughter Melissa were contestants in 2009 on the second Celebrity Apprentice. Throughout the season, each celebrity raised money for a charity of his or her choice; Rivers selected God’s Love We Deliver.[35] After a falling out with poker player Annie Duke, following Melissa’s on-air firing (elimination) by Donald Trump, Rivers left the green room telling Clint Black and Jesse James that she would not be in the next morning. Rivers later returned to the show and on May 3, 2009, she became a finalist in the series. The other finalist was Duke.[36][37] On the season finale, which aired live on May 10, Rivers was announced the winner and hired to be the 2009 Celebrity Apprentice.

Rivers was featured on the show Z Rock as herself and was also a special so-called pink-carpet presenter for the 2009 broadcast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. She was also roasted in a Comedy Central special, taped on July 26, 2009, and aired on August 9, 2009. From August 2009, Rivers began starring in the new reality TV series How’d You Get So Rich? on TV Land. A documentary film about Rivers, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival at the Castro Theatre on May 6, 2010. In 2011, Rivers appeared in a commercial for Go Daddy, which debuted during the broadcast of Super Bowl XLV.[38] To date, Joan has made two appearances on Live at the Apollo, once as a comedian and once as a guest host.

Rivers performing at a London Udderbelly event in May 2009

Joan and her daughter Melissa Rivers premiered the new show Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? on WE tv. The series follows Joan moving to California to be closer to her family. She moves in with daughter Melissa while searching for a home of her own. WE tv then ordered a new season consisting of 10 episodes, which premiered in January 2012. In 2011, Rivers was featured as herself in Season 2 of Louis C.K.‘s self-titled show Louie, where she performed on-stage. Since September 10, 2010, Rivers has co-hosted the E! show Fashion Police, along with Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos commenting on the dos and don’ts of celebrity fashion. The show started as a half-hour program, but expanded to one hour on March 9, 2012. On August 7, 2012, Rivers showed up in Burbank, California to protest that the warehouse-club Costco would not sell her New York Times best-selling book, I Hate Everyone … Starting with Me. She handcuffed herself to a person’s shopping cart and shouted through a megaphone. The police were called to the scene and she left without incident and no arrests were made.[39] On March 5, 2013, Joan launched a new online talk show called In Bed with Joan through YouTube, in which each week she has a different celebrity guest that “comes out of the closet” and they talk about various topics. The show takes place in Joan’s bedroom, which is in Melissa’s house in Malibu, California.

In 2013, she came under heavy criticism for making jokes about Adele‘s weight. Rivers continued to make jokes about her weight following her Academy Award win for Skyfall.[40] Rivers refused to apologize.[41] Rivers had also come under criticism for making jokes about the Holocaust. The Anti-Defamation League called her remarks “vulgar and hideous”. Despite the criticism of her joke, Rivers, who is Jewish, refused to apologize, and later stated: “This is the way I remind people about the Holocaust. I do it through humor.”[42]

In January 2014, she appeared on Lior Schleien‘s television program called State Of The Nation (Matzav HaUma) on Israeli television stating that she “love[d] Israel.”[43] In April 2014, Rivers made a joke about the victims of the Ariel Castro kidnappings. She came under criticism from the lawyers of two of the kidnapping victims. The lawyers demanded that Rivers apologize for her joke.[44] Rivers defended her comments by saying “I know what those girls went through. It was a little stupid joke.”[45] In July 2014, Rivers walked out of an interview with CNN‘s Fredricka Whitfield while promoting her book Diary of a Mad Diva.[46] She later talked about the incident on The Late Show with David Letterman, where Letterman reenacted the incident.[47] In August 2014, during the Israeli operation in Gaza called Operation Protective Edge, Rivers told a reporter for the TMZ website in video footage that Palestinian civilians “deserve to be dead”.[48][49] Following a critical response on Twitter, Rivers later said her comments had been “taken out of context”.[50]On August 26, 2014, Rivers hosted a taping of Fashion Police with Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic, and George Kotsiopoulos about the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards and the 2014 MTV Movie Awards which would be her last television appearance before her incident.[51] The day before her throat surgery accident, she released her most recent podcast of In Bed with Joan with LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian.[52]

Personal life

Rivers is a member of the Reform synagogue Temple Emanu-El in New York. Rivers’s first marriage was in 1955 to James Sanger,[53] the son of a Bond Clothing Stores merchandise manager. The marriage lasted six months[54] and was annulled on the basis that Sanger did not want children and had not informed Rivers before the wedding.[55] Her second marriage was on July 15, 1965,[56] to Edgar Rosenberg, who committed suicide in 1987. Their only child, Melissa Warburg Rosenberg (now known as Melissa Rivers), was born on January 20, 1968. She has one grandson, Melissa’s son Cooper (born Edgar Cooper Endicott in 2000)[57] who is featured with his mother and grandmother in the WE tv series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?[58]

In her book, Bouncing Back (1997), she described how she developed bulimia and contemplated suicide. Eventually, she recovered with counseling and the support of her family. In 2002, Rivers told the Montreal Mirror that she was a Republican.[59] However, on a 2013 episode of Celebrity Wife Swap, Rivers stated that she was a Democrat. Then on January 28, 2014, during a conversation with Reza Farahan she announced that she was in fact a Republican.[60]

In a June 5, 2012, interview with Howard Stern, Rivers said she had several extramarital affairs when married to Rosenberg. According to Rivers, she had a one-night sexual encounter with actor Robert Mitchum in the 1960s after an appearance together on The Tonight Show. She also had an extended affair with actor Gabriel Dell during the out-of-town and Broadway productions of her play, Fun City, in 1971, for which Rivers told Stern she “left Edgar over” for several weeks.[61] Rivers is open about her multiple cosmetic surgeries, and has been a patient of plastic surgeon Steven Hoefflin since 1983. Her first procedure, an eye lift, was performed in 1965 as an attempt to further her career.[62]

On August 28, 2014, Rivers experienced serious complications—including stopping breathing—during throat surgery at a clinic in Yorkville, Manhattan.[63][64] She was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and was put into a medically induced coma after reportedly entering cardiac arrest.[63] On August 29, her daughter, Melissa, publicly stated that she was “resting comfortably” in the hospital.[65] On August 30, it was reported Rivers had been put on life support.[66]

Reports initially stated that Rivers’ family might face ending her life support if her condition did not improve.[67] However, on September 1, 2014, an unnamed source told Entertainment Tonight that Rivers’ physicians at Mount Sinai Hospital had started the process of trying to bring her out of the coma on August 31.[68] Prior to that, there had been no further medical updates beyond her daughter’s statement.


  • Having a Baby Can Be a Scream. J.P. Tarcher. 1974. (Self-Help/Humour)
  • The Life and Hard Times of Heidi Abromowitz. Doubleday. 1984. ISBN 978-0385293594. (Humour)
  • Enter Talking. Dell Publishing Co. 1986. ISBN 978-0440122449. (Autobiography)
  • Still Talking. Random House. 1991. ISBN 978-0394579917. (Autobiography)
  • Jewelry by Joan Rivers. Abbeville Press. 1995. ISBN 978-1558598089. (Non-Fiction)
  • Bouncing Back: I’ve Survived Everything … and I Mean Everything … and You Can Too!. HarperTorch. 1997. ISBN 978-0061096013.
  • From Mother to Daughter: Thoughts and Advice on Life, Love and Marriage. Birch Lane Pr;. 1998. ISBN 978-1559724937. (Self-Help)
  • Don’t Count the Candles: Just Keep the Fire Lit!. HarperCollins. 1999. ISBN 978-0060183837. (Self-Help)
  • Murder at the Academy Awards (R): A Red Carpet Murder Mystery. Pocket. 2009. ISBN 1416599371. (Fiction)
  • Men Are Stupid…And They Like Big Boobs: A Woman’s Guide to Beauty Through Plastic Surgery. 2009. ISBN 141659924X. (Non-Fiction)
  • I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me. Berkley Trade. 2012. ISBN 978-0425255896. (Humour)
  • Diary of a Mad Diva. Berkley Publishing Group. 2014. ISBN 978-0425269022. (Humour)



Year Title Notes
1965 Once Upon a Coffee House
1968 The Swimmer
1978 Rabbit Test Also director and writer
1981 Uncle Scam
1984 The Muppets Take Manhattan
1987 Les Patterson Saves the World
1987 Spaceballs Voice
1988 Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special
1989 Look Who’s Talking Voice
1993 Public Enemy #2
1994 Serial Mom
1995 Napoleon Voice
1999 Goosed
2000 The Intern
2000 Whispers: An Elephant’s Tale Voice
2002 The Making and Meaning of ‘We Are Family Documentary
2002 Hip! Edgy! Quirky!
2004 Shrek 2 Voice
2004 First Daughter
2007 The Last Guy on Earth
2010 Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work Documentary; herself
2010 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Uncredited
2011 The Smurfs Party Guest
2011 Tower Heist Uncredited
2013 Iron Man 3 Cameo
2014 The Story of the Swimmer The making of The SwimmerDocumentary; herself


Year Title Notes
1968–69 That Show starring Joan Rivers Syndicated daytime talk show[14]
1972–77 The Electric Company Voice
1973 Here’s Lucy
1973 Needles and Pins Guest-starred as Eleanor Karp in episode “The Wife You Save May Be Your Own”
1984 An Audience with Joan Rivers
1986 Joan Rivers: Can We Talk?
1986–87 The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers Host
1988–89 The New Hollywood Squares Hosted by John Davidson, center square
1989–93 The Joan Rivers Show Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host
1990 How to Murder a Millionaire Starred along with Morgan Fairchild
1992 Lady Boss
1994 Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story[69]
1995–present Can We Shop?
1997 Another World Cast member
2001 E! True Hollywood Story: Joan Rivers Parody episode of show aired April 1, 2001[70]
2004, 2007 Jack Dee Live at the Apollo Cast member, guest host in 2007
2004 Dave the Barbarian Voice – Zonthara, Emperess of Evil
2004–05, 2010 Nip/Tuck[71]
2004–06 The Joan Rivers Position
2006 An Audience with Joan Rivers
2006–07 8 Out of 10 Cats
2006 Joan Rivers: Before Melissa Pulls the Plug
2006 Dawn French’s Girls Who Do Comedy In-depth interview with Dawn French for the BBC
2007 Straight Talk
2008 Shrink Rap With Dr. Pamela Connolly – More4
2008 Celebrity Family Feud
2008 Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack Celebrity Hijacker
2008 Z Rock Aunt Joan
2008 Spaceballs: The Animated Series Voice
2008, 2010 Arthur Voice – Bubby (Francine’s Grandmother)
2009 Celebrity Apprentice 2 Herself
2009 How’d You Get So Rich? Herself
2009 The Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers Herself
2009 Celebrity Ghost Stories Herself
2010 Celebrity Apprentice 3
2010–present Fashion Police
2011–present Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?
2011 Louie Herself
2011 The Simpsons Voice – Annie Dubinsky (season 23, episode 8 – “The Ten-Per-Cent Solution“)
2012 Joan Rivers: Don’t Start with Me
2012 Hot in Cleveland Anka
2013–present In Bed with Joan Online talk show

Theater work

Year Show Notes
1972 Fun City An original comedy, co-written with Lester Colodny and Edgar Rosenberg, Morosco Theatre[72]
1988 Broadway Bound By Neil Simon (replacement for Kate, 1988, Broadhurst Theatre)[73]
1994 Sally Marr…and her escorts A play suggested by the life of Lenny Bruce‘s mother (co-written with Erin Ladd Sanders and Lonny Price), May 1994, Helen Hayes Theatre, Broadway.
2008 Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress Geffen Playhouse
2008 Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress Edinburgh Festival Fringe
2008 Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress Leicester Square Theatre, London
2012 Joan Rivers: The Now or Never Tour October 2012, UK tour
2014 Joan Rivers: Before They Close The Lid Tour October 2014, UK tour

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
1984 What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most? Grammy Award Best Comedy Album Nominated
1990 The Joan Rivers Show Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Talk Show Host Won
1991 Nominated
1992 Outstanding Writing – Special Class Nominated
Outstanding Talk Show Host Nominated
1993 Outstanding Writing – Special Class Nominated
Outstanding Talk Show Host Nominated
1994 Sally Marr…and her escorts Tony Award Best Actress in a Play Nominated
2009 Arthur Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program Nominated

Note: Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing – Special Class shared with Toem Perew and Hester Mundis.


Court Ruling in the Steeve Biron case: Stunning!!!

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

By Roger-Luc Chayer (Translation by Google)

Steeve Biron sentenced to 6 years in prison
Amazement at the court of Quebec on ​​August 29, that the case Steeve Biron was more than surprising denouement, 6 years in prison for a user to Gay411 who solicited sexual encounters.

Small reminder of the case Steve Biron is a young man from Quebec who, like many gays, solicited sexual encounters mainly through the famous Gay411 site. Biron essentially sought relationships bareback,” his followers knowing that barebacking is a form of Russian roulette that is having unprotected sex and risky, with individuals who may potentially be carriers of HIV or other sexually transmitted. The kick to his followers is to get greater enjoyment because of the voltage generated by the risk-taking. Knowing HIV, Biron did not mention his status to his acquaintances and like most followers of barebacking, “playing the game” until an ex-fuck decides to violate his privacy and to consult his record hospital, that person being a nurse.

The victim nick is then presented to the police to lodge a complaint, the police started looking for other fucks bareback Biron and 15 people have come forward. Following the filing of charges of sexual assault, Gay Globe investigated and managed to get under a false identity via Gay411, multiple appointments with most pseudo-victims, clearly indicating that it was for bareback without condom use THESE SAME PEOPLE WERE SAYING THEY SIGNED COMPLAINTS HAD NEVER GRANTED tO THIS TYPE oF SEX.

The case was in the bag for our survey at least, but now counsel Biron decided initially not to submit our dossier of thousands of pages in evidence at the original trial, and worse, he decided not to mention during argument, saying while the court did not take into account. But now, in the judgment of Judge Marie-Claude Gilbert, it specifically mentions that the informed consent of the victims did not and they were betrayed. FALSE since our record proved otherwise.

Steeve Biron sees therefore sentenced to six years in prison, he will have to serve in a federal prison. The order banning publication remaining, we can not mention the names of victims. The worst part of this whole thing is that from now on, anyone who knows he is infected with HIV can be arrested and sentenced to prison if she fails to mention her status to relationships.

Quebec back 20 years back in campaigning for HIV!
Because of the refusal on the part of counsel for Steeve Biron produce a journalistic record showing that some victims solicited by knowingly bareback relationships even after filing their complaints, contradicting their claims on informed consent and which can Steeve Biron benefit of reasonable doubt required for acquittal, that the people may benefit from HIV testing to quickly process could now refuse these tests since discovering their new status, they become potentially criminal if they do not comply with certain obligations disclosure to all partners BEFORE having only one sex. Go now to convince young people to get tested! Between ignorance and prison, freedom is worth more !!!

Orson Welles

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014


George Orson Welles (/ˈwɛlz/; May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American actor, director, writer and producer who worked in theater, radio and film. He is best remembered for his innovative work in all three media: in theatre, most notably Caesar (1937), a groundbreaking Broadway adaptation of Julius Caesar; in radio, the debut of the Mercury Theatre, whose The War of the Worlds (1938), is one of the most famous broadcasts in the history of radio; and in film, Citizen Kane (1941), consistently ranked as one of the all-time greatest films.

After directing a number of high-profile stage productions in his early twenties, including an innovative adaptation of Macbeth and The Cradle Will Rock, Welles found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells‘ novel The War of the Worlds performed for the radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It reportedly caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was occurring. Although some contemporary sources claim these reports of panic were mostly false and overstated,[2] they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which he co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles was an outsider to the studio system and directed only 13 full-length films in his career. Because of this, he struggled for creative control from the major film studios, and his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, innovative uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as a major creative force and as “the ultimate auteur.”[3]:6 Welles followed up Citizen Kane with critically acclaimed films including The Magnificent Ambersons in 1942 and Touch of Evil in 1958.

In 2002, Welles was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics,[4][5] and a wide survey of critical consensus, best-of lists, and historical retrospectives calls him the most acclaimed director of all time.[6] Well known for his baritone voice,[7] Welles was a well-regarded actor in radio and film, a celebrated Shakespearean stage actor, and an accomplished magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years.

Early life

George Orson Welles was born May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, son of Richard Hodgdon Head Welles (b. 1873, Missouri, d. December 28, 1930, Chicago, Illinois) and Beatrice (née Ives; b. 1882 or 1883, Springfield, Illinois, d. May 10, 1924, Chicago).[8] He was named after his paternal great-grandfather, influential Kenosha attorney Orson S. Head, and his brother George Head,[9]:37 and was raised Roman Catholic.[10]

Despite the Head family’s affluence, Welles encountered hardship in childhood. His parents separated and moved to Chicago in 1919. His father, who made a fortune as the inventor of a popular bicycle lamp,[11] became an alcoholic and stopped working. Welles’s mother, a concert pianist, played during lectures by Dudley Crafts Watson at the Chicago Art Institute to support her son and herself; the oldest Welles boy, “Dickie”, was institutionalized at an early age because he had learning difficulties. Beatrice died of hepatitis in a Chicago hospital[12]:3–5 May 10, 1924, at the age of 43, just after Welles’s ninth birthday.[13]:326

After his mother’s death Welles ceased pursuing music. It was decided that he would spend the summer with the Watson family at a private art colony in Wyoming, New York, established by Lydia Avery Coonley Ward.[1]:8 There he played and became friends with the children of the Aga Khan, including the 12-year-old Prince Aly Khan. Then, in what Welles later described as “a hectic period” in his life, he lived in a Chicago apartment with both his father and Dr. Maurice Bernstein, a Chicago physician who had been a close friend of both his parents. Welles briefly attended public school[14]:133 before his alcoholic father left business altogether and took him along on his travels to Jamaica and the Far East. When they returned they settled in a hotel in Grand Detour, Illinois, that was owned by his father. When the hotel burned down Welles and his father took to the road again.[1]:9

“During the three years that Orson lived with his father, some observers wondered who took care of whom”, wrote biographer Frank Brady.[1]:9

“In some ways, he was never really a young boy, you know,” said Roger Hill, who became Welles’s teacher and lifelong friend.[15]:24

Welles briefly attended public school in Madison, Wisconsin, enrolled in the fourth grade.[1]:9 On September 15, 1926, he entered the Todd School for Boys,[14]:3 an expensive independent school in Woodstock, Illinois, that his older brother had attended for ten years until he was expelled for misbehavior.[1]:10 At Todd School Welles came under the influence of Roger Hill, a teacher who was later Todd’s headmaster. Hill provided Welles with an ad hoc educational environment that proved invaluable to his creative experience, allowing Welles to concentrate on subjects that interested him. Welles performed and staged theatrical experiments and productions there.

“Todd provided Welles with many valuable experiences”, wrote critic Richard France. “He was able to explore and experiment in an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement. In addition to a theater the school’s own radio station was at his disposal.”[16]:27 Welles’s first radio performance was on the Todd station, an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes that he also wrote.[12]:7

On December 28, 1930, when Welles was 15, his father died at the age of 58, alone in a hotel in Chicago. His will left it to Orson to name his guardian. When Roger Hill declined, Welles chose Maurice Bernstein.[17]:71–72

Following graduation from Todd in May 1931,[14]:3 Welles was awarded a scholarship to Harvard University. Rather than enrolling, he chose travel. Later, he studied for a time at the Art Institute of Chicago.[18] He returned a number of times to Woodstock to direct his alma mater’s student productions.

Early career (1931–1935)

After his father’s death, Welles traveled to Europe using a small inheritance. Welles said that while on a walking and painting trip through Ireland, he strode into the Gate Theatre in Dublin and claimed he was a Broadway star. The manager of Gate, Hilton Edwards, later said he had not believed him but was impressed by his brashness and an impassioned quality in his audition.[19]:134 Welles made his stage debut at the Gate Theatre on October 13, 1931, appearing in Ashley Dukes‘s adaptation of Jew Suss as Duke Karl Alexander of Württemberg. He performed small supporting roles in subsequent Gate productions, and he produced and designed productions of his own in Dublin. In March 1932 Welles performed in W. Somerset Maugham‘s The Circle at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and travelled to London to find additional work in the theatre. Unable to obtain a work permit, he returned to the U.S.[13]:327–330

Welles found his fame ephemeral and turned to a writing project at Todd School that would become the immensely successful, first entitled Everybody’s Shakespeare and subsequently, The Mercury Shakespeare. Welles traveled to North Africa while working on thousands of illustrations for the Everybody’s Shakespeare series of educational books, a series that remained in print for decades.

In 1933, Roger and Hortense Hill invited Welles along to a party in Chicago, where Welles met Thornton Wilder. Wilder arranged for Welles to meet Alexander Woollcott in New York, in order that he be introduced to Katharine Cornell, who was assembling a repertory theatre company. Cornell’s husband, director Guthrie McClintic, immediately put Welles under contract and cast him in three plays.[1]:46–49 The Barretts of Wimpole Street and Candida toured in repertory for 36 weeks beginning in November 1933, with the first of more than 200 performances taking place in Buffalo, New York.[13]:330–331

In 1934, Welles got his first job on radio — on The American School of the Air — through actor-director Paul Stewart, who introduced him to director Knowles Entrikin.[13]:331 That summer Welles staged a drama festival with the Todd School in Woodstock, Illinois, inviting Micheál Mac Liammóir and Hilton Edwards from Dublin’s Gate Theatre to appear along with New York stage luminaries in productions including Trilby, Hamlet, The Drunkard and Tsar Paul. At the old firehouse in Woodstock he also shot his first film, an eight-minute short titled The Hearts of Age.[13]:330–331

Katharine Cornell’s company began a 36-week tour of Romeo and Juliet in the fall of 1934, with Welles playing Mercutio. Opening December 20 at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York,[13]:331–332[20] the Broadway production brought the 19-year-old Welles (now playing Tybalt) to the notice of John Houseman, a theatrical producer who was casting the lead role in the debut production of Archibald MacLeish‘s verse play, Panic.[21]:144–158

On November 14, 1934, Welles married Chicago socialite and actress Virginia Nicolson[13]:332 (often misspelled “Nicholson”)[22] in a civil ceremony in New York. To appease the Nicolsons, who were furious at the couple’s elopement, a formal ceremony took place December 23, 1934, at the New Jersey mansion of the bride’s godmother. Welles wore a cutaway borrowed from his friend George Macready.[17]:182

By 1935 Welles was supplementing his earnings in the theater as a radio actor in Manhattan, working with many actors who would later form the core of his Mercury Theatre on programs including America’s Hour, Cavalcade of America, Columbia Workshop and The March of Time.[13]:331–332 “Within a year of his debut Welles could claim membership in that elite band of radio actors who commanded salaries second only to the highest paid movie stars,” wrote critic Richard France.[16]:172

Theatre (1936–1938)

Federal Theatre Project

Silkscreen poster for Macbeth (Anthony Velonis)
Poster for Project 891′s production of Horse Eats Hat
Poster for Project 891′s production of The Cradle Will Rock


In 1936, the Federal Theatre Project (part of Roosevelt‘s Works Progress Administration) put unemployed theater performers and employees to work. Welles was hired by John Houseman and assigned to direct a play for the Federal Theatre Project’s Negro Theater Unit. He offered Macbeth.[23] The production became known as the Voodoo Macbeth, because Welles set it in the Haitian court of King Henri Christophe, with voodoo witch doctors for the three Weird Sisters. Jack Carter played Macbeth. Canada Lee, who two years before had rescued Welles from a potentially dangerous scrape with an armed theater-goer, played Banquo.[24] The incidental music was composed by Virgil Thomson. The play opened April 14, 1936, at the Lafayette Theatre in Harlem and was received rapturously. It later toured the nation. When the lead actor, Maurice Ellis, fell ill on tour, Welles quickly boarded an airplane to fly to the location and stepped in to the part, playing in blackface.[25] At 20, Welles was hailed as a prodigy. A few minutes of the Welles production of Macbeth was recorded on film in a 1937 documentary called We Work Again.[26]

Horse Eats Hat

After the success of Macbeth, Welles mounted the farce Horse Eats Hat, an adaptation by Welles and Edwin Denby of Eugène Labiche‘s play, Un Chapeau de Paille d’Italie.[15]:114 The play was presented September 26 – December 5, 1936, at Maxine Elliott’s Theatre, New York.[13]:334 Joseph Cotten was featured in his first starring role.[27]

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus

Welles consolidated his “White Hope” reputation with Dr. Faustus, which used light as a prime unifying scenic element in a nearly black stage. Faustus was presented January 8 – May 9, 1937, at Maxine Elliott’s Theatre, New York.[13]:335

The Second Hurricane

In 1937 American composer Aaron Copland chose Welles to direct The Second Hurricane, an operetta with a libretto by Edwin Denby, and one of Copland’s least known works. Presented at the Henry Street Settlement Music School in New York for the benefit of high school students, the production opened April 21, 1937, and ran its scheduled three performances.[13]:337 Among the few adult performers in the production was actor Joseph Cotten, Welles’s longtime friend and collaborator, who was paid $10 for his performance.[28]

The Cradle Will Rock

In 1937, Welles rehearsed Marc Blitzstein‘s political operetta, The Cradle Will Rock. It was originally scheduled to open June 16, 1937, in its first public preview. Because of severe federal cutbacks in the Works Progress projects, the show’s premiere at the Maxine Elliott Theatre was canceled. The theater was locked and guarded to prevent any government-purchased materials from being used for a commercial production of the work. In a last-minute move, Welles announced to waiting ticket-holders that the show was being transferred to the Venice, 20 blocks away. Some cast, and some crew and audience, walked the distance on foot. The union musicians refused to perform in a commercial theater for lower non-union government wages. The actors’ union stated that the production belonged to the Federal Theater Project and could not be performed outside that context without permission. Lacking the participation of the union members, The Cradle Will Rock began with Blitzstein introducing the show and playing the piano accompaniment on stage with some cast members performing from the audience. This impromptu performance was well received by its audience. It afterward played at the Venice for two weeks in the same informal way.

Mercury Theatre

Breaking with the Federal Theatre Project in 1937, Welles and Houseman founded their own repertory company, which they called the Mercury Theatre. The name was inspired by the title of the iconoclastic magazine, The American Mercury.[1]:119–120 Welles became executive producer and the repertory company eventually included actors such as Ray Collins, George Coulouris, Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Río, Agnes Moorehead, Erskine Sanford and Everett Sloane, all of whom worked for Welles for years. The first Mercury Theatre production was a melodramatic edited version of William Shakespeare‘s tragedy Julius Caesar, set in a contemporary frame of fascist Italy. Cinna, the Poet dies at the hands not of a mob but of a secret police force. According to Norman Lloyd, who played Cinna the Poet, “it stopped the show.” The applause lasted more than ten minutes and the production was widely acclaimed.

Caesar opened November 11, 1937, followed by The Shoemaker’s Holiday (January 11, 1938), Heartbreak House (April 29, 1938) and Danton’s Death (November 5, 1938).[29]:344

Radio (1936–1940)

Simultaneously with his work in the theatre, Welles worked extensively in radio as an actor, writer, director and producer, often without credit.[29]:77 Between 1935 and 1937 he was earning as much as $2,000 a week, shuttling between radio studios at such a pace that he would arrive barely in time for a quick scan of his lines before he was on the air. While he was directing the Voodoo Macbeth Welles was dashing between Harlem and midtown Manhattan three times a day to meet his radio commitments.[16]:172

“What didn’t I do on the radio?” Welles reflected in February 1983:

Radio is what I love most of all. The wonderful excitement of what could happen in live radio, when everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I was making a couple of thousand a week, scampering in ambulances from studio to studio, and committing much of what I made to support the Mercury. I wouldn’t want to return to those frenetic 20-hour working day years, but I miss them because they are so irredeemably gone.[14]:53

In addition to continuing as a repertory player on The March of Time, in the fall of 1936 Welles adapted and performed Hamlet in an early two-part episode of CBS Radio‘s Columbia Workshop. His performance as the announcer in the series’ April 1937 presentation of Archibald MacLeish‘s verse drama The Fall of the City was an important development in his radio career[29]:78 and made the 21-year-old Welles an overnight star.[30]

In July 1937, the Mutual Network gave Welles a seven-week series to adapt Les Misérables, which he did with great success. Welles developed the idea of telling stories with first-person narration on the series, which was his first job as a writer-director for radio.[13]:338 Les Misérables was one of Welles’s earliest and finest achievements on radio,[31]:160 and marked the radio debut of the Mercury Theatre.

That September, Mutual chose Welles to play Lamont Cranston, also known as The Shadow. He performed the role anonymously through mid-September 1938.[29]:83[32]

The Mercury Theatre on the Air

After the theatrical successes of the Mercury Theatre, CBS Radio invited Orson Welles to create a summer show for 13 weeks. The series began July 11, 1938, initially titled First Person Singular, with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. Some months later the show was called The Mercury Theatre on the Air.[33] The weekly hour-long show presented radio plays based on classic literary works, with original music composed and conducted by Bernard Herrmann.

An electrical transcription disk of the Orson Welles War of the Worlds broadcast

The War of the Worlds broadcast

The Mercury Theatre’s radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells October 30, 1938, brought Welles instant fame. The combination of the news bulletin form of the performance with the between-breaks dial spinning habits of listeners was later reported to have created widespread confusion among listeners who failed to hear the introduction, although the extent of this confusion has come into question.[2][34][35][36] Panic was reportedly spread among listeners who believed the fictional news reports of a Martian invasion. The myth of the result created by the combination was reported as fact around the world and disparagingly mentioned by Adolf Hitler in a public speech some months later.[37]

Welles’s growing fame drew Hollywood offers, lures that the independent-minded Welles resisted at first. The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which had been a sustaining show (without sponsorship) was picked up by Campbell Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse.[38]

The Campbell Playhouse

As a direct result of the front-page headlines Orson Welles generated with his 1938 Halloween production The War of the Worlds, Campbell’s Soup signed on as sponsor. The Mercury Theatre on the Air made its last broadcast December 4, 1938, and The Campbell Playhouse began December 9, 1938.

Welles began commuting from Hollywood to New York for the two Sunday broadcasts of The Campbell Playhouse after signing a film contract with RKO Pictures in August 1939. In November 1939, production of the show moved from New York to Los Angeles.[13]:353

After 20 shows, Campbell began to exercise more creative control and had complete control over story selection. As his contract with Campbell came to an end, Welles chose not to sign on for another season. After the broadcast of March 31, 1940, Welles and Campbell parted amicably.[1]:221–226

Hollywood (1939–1948)

RKO Radio Pictures president George Schaefer eventually offered Welles what generally is considered the greatest contract offered to an untried director: complete artistic control.

After signing a summary agreement with RKO on July 22, Welles signed a full-length 63-page contract August 21, 1939.[13]:353

RKO signed Welles in a two-picture deal; including script, cast, crew and most importantly, final cut, although Welles had a budget limit for his projects. With this contract in hand, Welles (and nearly the whole Mercury Theatre troupe) moved to Hollywood. He commuted weekly to New York to maintain his commitment to The Campbell Playhouse.

Welles toyed with various ideas for his first project for RKO Radio Pictures, settling on an adaptation of Joseph Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness, which he worked on in detail. He planned to film the action with a subjective camera (a technique later used in the Robert Montgomery film Lady in the Lake). When a budget was drawn up, RKO’s enthusiasm cooled because it was greater than the agreed limit. RKO also declined to approve another Welles project, The Smiler With the Knife, based on the Cecil Day-Lewis novel, ostensibly because RKO executives lacked faith in Lucille Ball‘s ability to carry the film as the leading lady.

Welles’s first experience on a Hollywood film was narrator for RKO’s 1940 production of Swiss Family Robinson.[39]

Citizen Kane


Orson Welles in Citizen Kane (1941)

RKO, having rejected Welles’s first two movie proposals, agreed on the third offer, Citizen Kane, which Welles co-wrote, produced and directed, also performing the lead role.[40]

Welles found a suitable film project in an idea he conceived with screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, (then writing radio plays for The Campbell Playhouse[41]). Initially titled The American, it eventually became Welles’s first feature film (his most famous and honored role), Citizen Kane (1941).

Mankiewicz based the original outline on an exposé of the life of William Randolph Hearst, whom he knew socially and came to hate, having once been great friends with Hearst’s mistress, Marion Davies. Banished from her company because of his perpetual drunkenness, Mankiewicz, a notorious gossip, exacted revenge with his unflattering depiction of Davies in Citizen Kane for which Welles bore most of the criticisms.

Kane’s megalomania was modeled loosely on Robert McCormick, Howard Hughes and Joseph Pulitzer as Welles wanted to create a broad, complex character, intending to show him in the same scenes from several points of view. The use of multiple narrative perspectives in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness influenced the treatment.

Supplying Mankiewicz with 300 pages of notes, Welles urged him to write the first draft screenplay under John Houseman, who was posted to ensure Mankiewicz stayed sober. On Welles’s instruction, Houseman wrote the opening narration as a pastiche of The March of Time newsreels. Orson Welles explained to Peter Bogdanovich about the writers working separately by saying, “I left him on his own finally, because we’d started to waste too much time haggling. So, after mutual agreements on storyline and character, Mank went off with Houseman and did his version, while I stayed in Hollywood and wrote mine.”[13]:54 Taking these drafts, Welles drastically condensed and rearranged them, then added scenes of his own. The industry accused Welles of underplaying Mankiewicz’s contribution to the script, but Welles countered the attacks by saying, “At the end, naturally, I was the one making the picture, after all—who had to make the decisions. I used what I wanted of Mank’s and, rightly or wrongly, kept what I liked of my own.”[13]:54

Charles Foster Kane is based loosely on areas of Hearst’s life. Nonetheless, autobiographical allusions to Welles were worked in, most noticeably in the treatment of Kane’s childhood and particularly, regarding his guardianship. Welles added features from other famous American lives to create a general and mysterious personality, rather than the narrow journalistic portrait drawn by Mankiewicz, whose first drafts included scandalous claims about the death of film director Thomas Ince.

Once the script was complete, Welles attracted some of Hollywood’s best technicians, including cinematographer Gregg Toland, who walked into Welles’s office and announced he wanted to work on the picture. Welles described Toland as “the fastest cameraman who ever lived.”[40] For the cast, Welles primarily used actors from his Mercury Theatre. He invited suggestions from everyone but only if they were directed through him. Filming Citizen Kane took ten weeks.[40]


Mankiewicz handed a copy of the shooting script to his friend, Charles Lederer, husband of Welles’s ex-wife, Virginia Nicolson, and the nephew of Hearst’s mistress, Marion Davies. Gossip columnist Hedda Hopper saw a small ad in a newspaper for a preview screening of Citizen Kane and went. Hopper realized immediately that the film was based on features of Hearst’s life. Thus began a struggle, the attempted suppression of Citizen Kane.

Hearst’s media outlets boycotted the film. They exerted enormous pressure on the Hollywood film community by threatening to expose fifteen years of suppressed scandals and the fact that most studio bosses were Jewish. At one point, heads of the major studios jointly offered RKO the cost of the film in exchange for the negative and existing prints, fully intending to burn them. RKO declined, and the film was given a limited release. Hearst intimidated theater chains by threatening to ban advertising for their other films in his papers if they showed Citizen Kane.

The film was well-received critically, with Bosley Crowther, film critic for the New York Times calling it “close to being the most sensational film ever made in Hollywood”.[42] By the time it reached the general public, the publicity had waned. It garnered nine Academy Award nominations (Orson nominated as a producer, director, writer and actor), but won only for Best Original Screenplay, shared by Mankiewicz and Welles. Although it was largely ignored at the Academy Awards, Citizen Kane is now hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. Andrew Sarris called it “the work that influenced the cinema more profoundly than any American film since The Birth of a Nation.”[40]

The delay in its release and uneven distribution contributed to mediocre results at the box office; it earned back its budget and marketing, but RKO lost any chance of a major profit. The fact that Citizen Kane ignored many Hollywood conventions meant that the film confused and angered the 1940s cinema public. Exhibitor response was scathing; most theater owners complained bitterly about the adverse audience reaction and the many walkouts. Only a few saw fit to acknowledge Welles’s artistic technique. RKO shelved the film and did not re-release it until 1956.

During the 1950s, the film came to be seen by young French film critics such as François Truffaut as exemplifying the “auteur theory“, in which the director is the “author” of a film. Truffaut, Godard and others inspired by Welles’s example made their own films, giving birth to the Nouvelle Vague. In the 1960s Citizen Kane became popular on college campuses as a film-study exercise and as an entertainment subject. Its revivals on television, home video and DVD have enhanced its “classic” status and ultimately recouped costs. The film is considered by most film critics and historians to be one of, if not the, greatest motion pictures in cinema history.

The Magnificent Ambersons

Welles’s second film for RKO was The Magnificent Ambersons, adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Booth Tarkington. George Schaefer hoped to make money with this film, since he lost money with Citizen Kane. Ambersons had been adapted for The Campbell Playhouse by Welles, for radio, and Welles then wrote the screen adaptation. Toland was not available, so Stanley Cortez was named cinematographer. The meticulous Cortez worked slowly and the film lagged behind schedule and over budget. Prior to production, Welles’s contract was renegotiated, revoking his right to control the final cut.

Journey into Fear

At RKO’s request, Welles worked on an adaptation of Eric Ambler‘s spy thriller, Journey into Fear, co-written with Joseph Cotten. In addition to acting in the film, Welles was the producer. Direction was credited to Norman Foster. Welles later said that they were in such a rush that the director of each scene was determined by whoever was closest to the camera.

CBS then offered Welles a radio series called the Orson Welles Show. It was a half-hour variety show of short stories, comedy skits, poetry and musical numbers. Joining the original Mercury Theatre cast was Cliff Edwards, the voice of Jiminy Cricket, “on loan from Walt Disney“. The variety format was unpopular with listeners and Welles soon was forced to limit the content of the show to telling one half-hour story for each episode.

War work

It’s All True

To complicate matters during the production of Ambersons and Journey into Fear, Welles was approached by Nelson Rockefeller and Jock Whitney to produce a documentary film about South America. This was at the behest of the federal government’s Good Neighbor policy, a wartime propaganda effort designed to prevent Latin America from allying with the Axis powers. Welles saw his involvement as a national service, since his physical condition excused him from military service.

Expected to film the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Welles rushed to finish the editing on Ambersons and his acting scenes in Journey into Fear. Ending his CBS radio show, he lashed together a rough cut of Ambersons with Robert Wise, who edited Citizen Kane, and left for Brazil. Wise was to join him in Rio to complete the film, but never arrived. A provisional final cut arranged via phone call, telegram and shortwave radio was previewed without Welles’s approval in Pomona, in a double bill, to a mostly negative audience response, particularly to the character of Aunt Fanny played by Agnes Moorehead. Whereas Schaefer argued that Welles be allowed to complete his version of the film, and that an archival copy be kept with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, RKO disagreed. With Welles in South America, there was no practical means of his editing the film.

As a result of difficult financial circumstances at RKO in 1940–42, major changes occurred at the studio in 1942[43] Floyd Odlum took control of RKO and began changing its direction. Rockefeller, the most significant backer of the Brazil project, left the RKO board of directors. Around that time, the principal sponsor of Welles at RKO, studio president George Schaefer, resigned. The changes throughout RKO caused reevaluations of projects. RKO took control of Ambersons, formed a committee, which was ordered to edit the film into what the studio considered a commercial format. They removed fifty minutes of Welles’s footage, re-shot sequences, rearranged the scene order, and added a happy ending. Koerner released the shortened film on the bottom of a double-bill with the Lupe Vélez comedy, Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost. Ambersons was an expensive flop for RKO, although it received four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Agnes Moorehead.

Welles’s South American documentary, entitled It’s All True, budgeted at one million dollars with half of its budget coming from the U.S. Government upon completion, grew in ambition and budget while Welles was in South America. While the film originally was to be a documentary on Carnaval, Welles added a new story, which recreated the journey of the jangadeiros, four poor fishermen who made a 1,500-mile (2,400 km) journey on their open raft to petition Brazilian President Vargas about their working conditions. The four had become national folk heroes; Welles first read of their journey in TIME. Their leader, Jacare, died in a filming mishap. RKO, in limited contact with Welles, attempted to rein in the production. Most of the crew and budget were withdrawn from the film. In addition, the Mercury staff was removed from the studio in the U.S.

Welles requested resources to finish the film. He was given a limited amount of black-and-white film stock and a silent camera. He completed the sequence, but RKO refused to support further production on the film. Surviving footage was released in 1993, including a rough reconstruction of the “Four Men on a Raft” segment. Meanwhile, RKO asserted in public that Welles had gone to Brazil without a screenplay and had squandered a million dollars. Their official company slogan for the next year was, “Showmanship in place of Genius” – which was taken as a slight against Welles.

On returning to Hollywood, Welles next worked on radio. CBS offered him two weekly series, Hello Americans, based on the research he had done in Brazil, and Ceiling Unlimited, sponsored by Lockheed, a wartime salute to advances in aviation. Both featured several members of his original Mercury Theatre troupe. Within months, Hello Americans was canceled and Welles was replaced as host of Ceiling Unlimited by Joseph Cotten. Welles guest-starred on a variety of shows, notably guest-hosting Jack Benny shows for a month in 1943. He took an increasingly active role in American and international politics and used journalism to communicate his forceful ideas widely.

In 1943, Welles married Rita Hayworth. They had one child, Rebecca Welles, and divorced five years later in 1948. In between, Welles found work as an actor in other films. He starred in the 1944 film adaptation of Jane Eyre, trading credit as associate producer for top billing over Joan Fontaine.

He had a cameo in the 1944 wartime salute Follow the Boys, in which he performed his Mercury Wonder Show magic act and “sawed” Marlene Dietrich in half after Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn refused to allow Hayworth to perform.

In 1944, Welles was offered a new radio show, broadcast on the Columbia Pacific Network, The Orson Welles Almanac. It was a half-hour variety show, with Mobil Oil as sponsor. After the success of his stand-in hosting on The Jack Benny Show, the focus was primarily on comedy. His hosting on the Jack Benny show included self-deprecating jokes and story lines about his being a “genius” and overriding ideas advanced by other cast members. The trade papers were not eager to accept Welles as a comedian, and Welles complained on-air about the poor quality of the scripts. When Welles started his Mercury Wonder Show a few months later, traveling to armed forces camps and performing magic tricks and comedy, the radio show was broadcast live from the camps and the material took on a decidedly wartime flavor.

While he found no studio willing to hire him as a director, Welles’s popularity as an actor continued. Cresta Blanca Wines gave Welles its radio series This Is My Best to direct, but after a month he was fired for creative differences. He started writing a political column for the New York Post, called Orson Welles’s Almanac. While the paper wanted Welles to write about Hollywood gossip, Welles explored serious political issues. His activism for world peace took considerable amounts of his time. The Post column eventually failed in syndication because of contradictory expectations and was dropped by the Post.

Post-war work

The Stranger

Director and star Orson Welles at work on The Stranger (October 1945)

In 1946, International Pictures released Welles’s film The Stranger, starring Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and Welles. Sam Spiegel produced the film, which follows the hunt for a Nazi war criminal living under an alias in the United States. While Anthony Veiller was credited with the screenplay, it was rewritten by Welles and John Huston. Disputes occurred during editing between Spiegel and Welles. The film was a box office success and it helped his standing with the studios.

Around the World

In the summer of 1946, Welles directed Around the World, a musical stage adaptation of the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days with the book by Welles and music by Cole Porter. Producer Mike Todd, who would later produce the successful 1956 film adaptation, pulled out from the lavish and expensive Broadway production, leaving Welles to support the finances. When Welles ran out of money he convinced Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn to send enough money to continue the show, and in exchange Welles promised to write, produce, direct and star in a film for Cohn for no further fee. The stage show soon failed due to poor box-office, with Welles unable to claim the losses on his taxes. The complex financial arrangements — concerning the show, its losses, and Welles’s arrangement with Cohn — resulted in a tax dispute between Welles and the IRS.

Radio series

In 1946, Welles began two new radio series — The Mercury Summer Theatre on the Air for CBS, and Orson Welles Commentaries for ABC. While Mercury Summer Theatre featured half-hour adaptations of some classic Mercury radio shows from the 1930s, the first episode was a condensation of his Around the World stage play, and is the only record of Cole Porter’s music for the project. Several original Mercury actors returned for the series, as well as Bernard Herrmann. It was only scheduled for the summer months, and Welles invested his earnings into his failing stage play. Commentaries was a political vehicle for him, continuing the themes from his New York Post column. Again, Welles lacked a clear focus, until the NAACP brought to his attention the case of Isaac Woodard. Welles brought significant attention to Woodard’s cause. Soon Welles was hanged in effigy in the South and theaters refused to show The Stranger in several southern states.

The Lady from Shanghai

The film that Welles was obliged to make in exchange for Harry Cohn’s help in financing the stage production Around the World was The Lady from Shanghai, filmed in 1947 for Columbia Pictures. Intended as a modest thriller, the budget skyrocketed after Cohn suggested that Welles’s then-estranged second wife Rita Hayworth co-star.

Orson Welles in The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Cohn disliked Welles’s rough-cut, particularly the confusing plot and lack of close-ups, and was not in sympathy with Welles’s Brechtian use of irony and black comedy, especially in a farcical courtroom scene. Cohn ordered extensive editing and re-shoots. After heavy editing by the studio, approximately one hour of Welles’s first cut was removed, including much of a climactic confrontation scene in an amusement park funhouse. While expressing displeasure at the cuts, Welles was appalled particularly with the musical score. The film was considered a disaster in America at the time of release, though the closing shootout in a hall of mirrors has since become a touchstone of film noir. Not long after release, Welles and Hayworth finalized their divorce.

Although The Lady From Shanghai was acclaimed in Europe, it was not embraced in the U.S. until decades later. Influential modern critics including David Kehr declared it a masterpiece, with Kehr calling it “the weirdest great movie ever made.” A similar difference in reception on opposite sides of the Atlantic followed by greater American acceptance befell the Welles-inspired Chaplin film Monsieur Verdoux, originally to be directed by Welles starring Chaplin, then directed by Chaplin with the idea credited to Welles.


Prior to 1948, Welles convinced Republic Pictures to let him direct a low-budget version of Macbeth, which featured highly stylized sets and costumes, and a cast of actors lip-syncing to a pre-recorded soundtrack, one of many innovative cost-cutting techniques Welles deployed in an attempt to make an epic film from B-movie resources. The script, adapted by Welles, is a violent reworking of Shakespeare’s original, freely cutting and pasting lines into new contexts via a collage technique and recasting Macbeth as a clash of pagan and proto-Christian ideologies. Some voodoo trappings of the famous Welles/Houseman Negro Theatre stage adaptation are visible, especially in the film’s characterization of the Weird Sisters, who create an effigy of Macbeth as a charm to enchant him. Of all Welles’s post-Kane Hollywood productions, Macbeth is stylistically closest to Citizen Kane in its long takes and deep focus photography. Shots of the increasingly isolated Scottish king looming in the foreground while characters address him from deep in the background overtly reference Kane.

Republic initially trumpeted the film as an important work but decided it did not care for the Scottish accents and held up general release for almost a year after early negative press reaction, including Life ‘s comment that Welles’s film “doth foully slaughter Shakespeare.”[44] Welles left for Europe, while co-producer and lifelong supporter Richard Wilson reworked the soundtrack. Welles returned and cut twenty minutes from the film at Republic’s request and recorded narration to cover some gaps. The film was decried as a disaster. Macbeth had influential fans in Europe, especially the French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, who hailed the film’s “crude, irreverent power” and careful shot design, and described the characters as haunting “the corridors of some dreamlike subway, an abandoned coal mine, and ruined cellars oozing with water.”[45]

In the late 1970s, a fully restored version of Macbeth was released that followed Welles’s original vision, and all prints of the truncated theatrical release have gradually been withdrawn from circulation, turning Welles’s compulsory recut version—which has the distinction of being created by the director himself—into something of a lost work.

Europe (1948–1956)

Welles left Hollywood for Europe in late 1947, enigmatically saying that he had chosen “freedom.” In Italy he starred as Cagliostro in the 1948 film Black Magic. His co-star, Akim Tamiroff, impressed Welles so much that Tamiroff would appear in four of Welles’s productions during the 1950s and 1960s.

The Third Man

The following year, Welles starred as Harry Lime in Carol Reed‘s The Third Man, alongside Joseph Cotten, his friend and co-star from Citizen Kane, with a script by Graham Greene and a memorable score by Anton Karas. The film was an international smash hit, but unfortunately for Welles, he turned down a percentage of the gross in exchange for a lump-sum advance.

The film is also memorable for a scene that has entered Hollywood lore, an unscripted monologue Welles inserted that took director Reed completely by surprise. Talking to Joseph Cotton in a carriage atop a Ferris wheel, Lime says: “Don’t be so gloomy. After all it’s not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

A few years later, British radio producer Harry Alan Towers would resurrect the Lime character in the radio series The Lives of Harry Lime. The 1951 series included new recordings by Karas and was very successful, running for 52 weeks. Welles claimed to have written a handful of episodes—a claim disputed by Towers, who maintains that they were written by Ernest Borneman—which later served as the basis for the screenplay by Welles, Mr. Arkadin (1955).

Welles appeared as Cesare Borgia in the 1949 Italian film Prince of Foxes, with Tyrone Power and Mercury Theatre alumnus Everett Sloane, and as the Mongol warrior Bayan in the 1950 film version of the novel The Black Rose (again with Tyrone Power). [46]


During this time, Welles was channeling his money from acting jobs into a self-financed film version of Shakespeare’s play Othello. From 1949 to 1951, Welles worked on Othello, filming on location in Europe and Morocco. The film featured Welles’s friends, Micheál Mac Liammóir as Iago and Hilton Edwards as Desdemona‘s father Brabantio. Suzanne Cloutier starred as Desdemona and Campbell Playhouse alumnus Robert Coote appeared as Iago’s associate Roderigo.

Filming was suspended several times as Welles ran out of funds and left for acting jobs, accounted in detail in MacLiammóir’s published memoir Put Money in Thy Purse. When it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival it won the Palme d’Or, but the film did not receive a general release in the United States until 1955 (by which time Welles had re-cut the first reel and re-dubbed most of the film, removing Cloutier’s voice entirely), and it played only in New York and Los Angeles. The American release prints had a technically flawed soundtrack, suffering from a drop-out of sound at every quiet moment. Welles’s daughter, Beatrice Welles-Smith, restored Othello in 1992 for a wide re-release. The restoration included reconstructing Angelo Francesco Lavagnino‘s original musical score, which was originally inaudible, and adding ambient stereo sound effects, which were not in the original film. The restoration went on to a successful theatrical run in America. A print of the U.S. version was released on laserdisc in 1995 but soon withdrawn after a legal challenge by Beatrice Welles-Smith. The original Cannes version has survived but is not available commercially.

In 1952, Welles continued finding work in England after the success of the Harry Lime radio show. Harry Alan Towers offered Welles another series, The Black Museum, which ran for 52 weeks with Welles as host and narrator. Director Herbert Wilcox offered Welles the part of the murdered victim in Trent’s Last Case, based on the novel by E. C. Bentley. In 1953, the BBC hired Welles to read an hour of selections from Walt Whitman‘s epic poem Song of Myself. Towers hired Welles again, to play Professor Moriarty in the radio series, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.

Welles briefly returned to America to make his first appearance on television, starring in the Omnibus presentation of King Lear, broadcast live on CBS October 18, 1953. Directed by Peter Brook, the production costarred Natasha Parry, Beatrice Straight and Arnold Moss.[47] While Welles received good notices, he was guarded by IRS agents, prohibited to leave his hotel room when not at the studio, prevented from making any purchases, and forced to turn over the entire sum (less expenses) he earned, all of which went to his tax bill.

In 1954, director George More O’Ferrall offered Welles the title role in the ‘Lord Mountdrago’ segment of Three Cases of Murder, co-starring Alan Badel. Herbert Wilcox cast Welles as the antagonist in Trouble in the Glen opposite Margaret Lockwood, Forrest Tucker and Victor McLaglen. Old friend John Huston cast him as Father Mapple in his 1956 film adaptation of Herman Melville‘s Moby-Dick, starring Gregory Peck.

Mr. Arkadin

Welles in Madrid during the filming of Mr. Arkadin in 1954

Welles’s next turn as director was the film Mr. Arkadin (1955), which was produced by his political mentor from the 1940s, Louis Dolivet. It was filmed in France, Germany, Spain and Italy on a very limited budget. Based loosely on several episodes of the Harry Lime radio show, it stars Welles as a billionaire who hires a man to delve into the secrets of his past. The film stars Robert Arden, who had worked on the Harry Lime series; Welles’s third wife, Paola Mori, whose voice was dubbed by actress Billie Whitelaw; and guest stars Akim Tamiroff, Michael Redgrave, Katina Paxinou and Mischa Auer. Frustrated by his slow progress in the editing room, producer Dolivet removed Welles from the project and finished the film without him. Eventually five different versions of the film would be released, two in Spanish and three in English. The version that Dolivet completed was retitled Confidential Report. In 2005 Stefan Droessler of the Munich Film Museum oversaw a reconstruction of the surviving film elements. Included in a DVD box set (The Complete Mr. Arkadin) released by The Criterion Collection, it is considered by Welles scholar and director Peter Bogdanovich to be the best version of Welles’s original intentions for the film.

In 1955, Welles also directed two television series for the BBC. The first was Orson Welles’ Sketch Book, a series of six 15-minute shows featuring Welles drawing in a sketchbook to illustrate his reminiscences for the camera (including such topics as the filming of It’s All True and the Isaac Woodard case), and the second was Around the World with Orson Welles, a series of six travelogues set in different locations around Europe (such as Venice, the Basque Country between France and Spain, and England). Welles served as host and interviewer, his commentary including documentary facts and his own personal observations (a technique he would continue to explore in later works). A seventh episode of this series, based on the Gaston Dominici case, was suppressed at the time by the French government, but was reconstructed after Welles’s death and released to video in 1999.

In 1956, Welles completed Portrait of Gina. Dissatisfied with the results—Welles recalled he had worked on it a lot and the result looked like it—he left the only print behind at the Ritz Hotel in Paris.} The film cans would remain in a lost-and-found locker at the hotel for several decades, where they were discovered after Welles’s death. The work posthumously aired on German television under the title Viva Italia, a 30-minute personal essay on Gina Lollobrigida and the general subject of Italian sex symbols.

Return to Hollywood (1956–1959)

Welles the magician with Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy (October 15, 1956)

In 1956, Welles returned to Hollywood, guesting on radio shows, notably as narrator of Tomorrow, a nuclear holocaust drama produced by the Federal Civil Defense Administration. He guest starred on television shows including I Love Lucy, and began filming a projected pilot for Desilu, owned by Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz, who had recently purchased the former RKO studios. The film was The Fountain of Youth, based on a story by John Collier. Originally deemed not viable as a pilot, the film was not aired until 1958 — and won the Peabody Award for excellence. Welles’s next feature film role was in Man in the Shadow for Universal Pictures in 1957, starring Jeff Chandler. Around this time period Welles began to suffer from weight problems that would eventually cause a deterioration in his health.

Touch of Evil

Welles as corrupt police captain Hank Quinlan in Touch of Evil (1958)

Welles stayed on at Universal to direct (and co-star with) Charlton Heston in the 1958 film Touch of Evil, based on Whit Masterson‘s novel Badge of Evil. Welles, who wrote the screenplay for the film, claimed never to have read the book. Originally only hired as an actor, Welles was promoted to director by Universal Studios at the insistence of Charlton Heston.[48]:154 The film reunited many actors and technicians with whom Welles had worked in Hollywood in the 1940s, including cameraman Russell Metty (The Stranger), makeup artist Maurice Seiderman (Citizen Kane), and actors Joseph Cotten, Marlene Dietrich and Akim Tamiroff). Filming proceeded smoothly, with Welles finishing on schedule and on budget, and the studio bosses praising the daily rushes. Nevertheless, after the end of production, the studio re-edited the film, re-shot scenes, and shot new exposition scenes to clarify the plot.[48]:175–176 Welles wrote a 58-page memo outlining suggestions and objections, stating that the film was no longer his version—it was the studio’s, but as such, he was still prepared to help with it.[48]:175–176 The studio followed a few of the ideas, but cut another 30 minutes from the film and released it. The film was widely praised across Europe, and was awarded the top prize at the Brussels World’s Fair.

In 1978, a longer preview version of the film was discovered and released. In 1998, editor Walter Murch and producer Rick Schmidlin, consulting Welles’s memo, used a workprint version to attempt to create a version of the film as close as possible to that outlined by Welles in the memo.

As Universal reworked Touch of Evil, Welles began filming his adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes‘ novel Don Quixote in Mexico, starring Mischa Auer as Quixote and Akim Tamiroff as Sancho Panza. While filming would continue in fits and starts for several years, Welles would never complete the project.

Welles continued acting, notably in The Long, Hot Summer (1958) and Compulsion (1959), but soon returned to Europe.

Return to Europe (1959–1970)

He continued shooting Don Quixote in Spain and Italy, but replaced Mischa Auer with Francisco Reiguera, and resumed acting jobs. In Italy in 1959, Welles directed his own scenes as King Saul in Richard Pottier’s film David and Goliath. In Hong Kong he co-starred with Curt Jürgens in Lewis Gilbert‘s film Ferry to Hong Kong. In 1960, in Paris he co-starred in Richard Fleischer‘s film Crack in the Mirror. In Yugoslavia he starred in Richard Thorpe‘s film The Tartars and Veljko Bulajić‘s “Battle of Neretva“.

Throughout the 1960s, filming continued on Quixote on-and-off until the decade, as Welles evolved the concept, tone and ending several times. Although he had a complete version of the film shot and edited at least once, he would continue toying with the editing well into the 1980s, he never completed a version film he was fully satisfied with, and would junk existing footage and shoot new footage. (In one case, he had a complete cut ready in which Quixote and Sancho Panza end up going to the moon, but he felt the ending was rendered obsolete by the 1969 moon landings, and burned 10 reels of this version.) As the process went on, Welles gradually voiced all of the characters himself and provided narration. In 1992, the director Jesús Franco constructed a film out of the portions of Quixote left behind by Welles. Some of the film stock had decayed badly. While the Welles footage was greeted with interest, the post-production by Franco was met with harsh criticism.

Welles being interviewed in 1960

In 1961, Welles directed In the Land of Don Quixote, a series of eight half-hour episodes for the Italian television network RAI. Similar to the Around the World with Orson Welles series, they presented travelogues of Spain and included Welles’s wife, Paola, and their daughter, Beatrice. Though Welles was fluent in Italian, the network was not interested in him providing Italian narration because of his accent, and the series sat unreleased until 1964, by which time the network had added Italian narration of its own. Ultimately, versions of the episodes were released with the original musical score Welles had approved, but without the narration.

The Trial

In 1962, Welles directed his adaptation of The Trial, based on the novel by Franz Kafka and produced by Alexander Salkind and Michael Salkind. The cast included Anthony Perkins as Josef K, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Paola Mori and Akim Tamiroff. While filming exteriors in Zagreb, Welles was informed that the Salkinds had run out of money, meaning that there could be no set construction. No stranger to shooting on found locations, Welles soon filmed the interiors in the Gare d’Orsay, at that time an abandoned railway station in Paris. Welles thought the location possessed a “Jules Verne modernism” and a melancholy sense of “waiting”, both suitable for Kafka. The film failed at the box-office. Peter Bogdanovich would later observe that Welles found the film riotously funny. During the filming, Welles met Oja Kodar, who would later become his muse, star and mistress for the last twenty years of his life. Welles also stated in an interview with the BBC that it was his best film.[49]

Welles played a film director in La Ricotta (1963)—Pier Paolo Pasolini‘s segment of the Ro.Go.Pa.G. movie, although his renowned voice was dubbed by Italian writer Giorgio Bassani.[13]:516 He continued taking what work he could find acting, narrating or hosting other people’s work, and began filming Chimes at Midnight, which was completed in 1966. Filmed in Spain, it was a condensation of five Shakespeare plays, telling the story of Falstaff and his relationship with Prince Hal. The cast included Keith Baxter, John Gielgud, Jeanne Moreau, Fernando Rey and Margaret Rutherford, with narration by Ralph Richardson. Music was again by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino. Jess Franco served as second unit director.

Chimes at Midnight

Welles during the production of the stage version of Chimes at Midnight in 1960

Chimes at Midnight was based on Welles’s play Five Kings which condensed five of Shakespeare’s plays into one show in order to focus on the story of Falstaff. Welles produced the show in New York in 1939 but the opening night, where part 1 was acted, was a disaster and part 2 was never put on. He revamped the show and revisited it in 1960 at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. But again, it was not successful. However, this later production was used as the base for the movie. The script contained text from five plays: primarily Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2, but also Richard II, Henry V and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Keith Baxter played Prince Hal, and internationally respected Shakespearean interpreter, John Gielgud, played the King, Henry IV. The film’s narration, spoken by Ralph Richardson, is taken from the chronicler Raphael Holinshed. According to Jeanne Moreau, Welles delayed filming for two weeks due to stage fright. Welles held this film in high regard and considered it, along with The Trial, his best work. As he remarked in 1982, “If I wanted to get into heaven on the basis of one movie, that’s the one I’d offer up.”[50]

In 1966, Welles directed a film for French television, an adaptation of The Immortal Story, by Karen Blixen. Released in 1968, it stars Jeanne Moreau, Roger Coggio and Norman Eshley. The film had a successful run in French theaters. At this time Welles met Oja Kodar again, and gave her a letter he had written to her and had been keeping for four years; they would not be parted again. They immediately began a collaboration both personal and professional. The first of these was an adaptation of Blixen’s The Heroine, meant to be a companion piece to The Immortal Story and starring Kodar. Unfortunately, funding disappeared after one day’s shooting. After completing this film, he appeared in a brief cameo as Cardinal Wolsey in Fred Zinnemann‘s adaptation of A Man for All Seasons—a role for which he won considerable acclaim.

Sergei Bondarchuk and Orson Welles at the premiere of The Battle of Neretva in Sarajevo (November 1969)

In 1967, Welles began directing The Deep, based on the novel Dead Calm by Charles Williams and filmed off the shore of Yugoslavia. The cast included Jeanne Moreau, Laurence Harvey and Kodar. Personally financed by Welles and Kodar, they could not obtain the funds to complete the project, and it was abandoned a few years later after the death of Harvey. The surviving footage was eventually edited and released by the Filmmuseum München. In 1968 Welles began filming a TV special for CBS under the title Orson’s Bag, combining travelogue, comedy skits and a condensation of Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice with Welles as Shylock. Funding for the show sent by CBS to Welles in Switzerland was seized by the IRS. Without funding, the show was not completed. The surviving film clips portions were eventually released by the Filmmuseum München.

In 1969, Welles authorized the use of his name for a cinema in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Orson Welles Cinema remained in operation until 1986, with Welles making a personal appearance there in 1977. Also in 1969 he played a supporting role in John Huston‘s The Kremlin Letter. Drawn by the numerous offers he received to work in television and films, and upset by a tabloid scandal reporting his affair with Kodar, Welles abandoned the editing of Don Quixote and moved back to America in 1970.

Later career (1970–1985)

Welles returned to Hollywood, where he continued to self-finance his film and television projects. While offers to act, narrate and host continued, Welles also found himself in great demand on television talk shows. He made frequent appearances for Dick Cavett, Johnny Carson, Dean Martin and Merv Griffin.

Welles’s primary focus during his final years was The Other Side of the Wind, an unfinished project that was filmed intermittently between 1970 and 1976. Written by Welles, it is the story of an aging film director (John Huston) looking for funds to complete his final film. The cast includes Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg, Norman Foster, Edmond O’Brien, Cameron Mitchell and Dennis Hopper. Financed by Iranian backers, ownership of the film fell into a legal quagmire after the Shah of Iran was deposed. While there have been several reports of all the legal disputes concerning ownership of the film being settled, enough disputes still exist to prevent its release.

Welles portrayed Louis XVIII of France in the 1970 film Waterloo, and narrated the beginning and ending scenes of the historical comedy Start the Revolution Without Me (1970).

In 1971, Welles directed a short adaptation of Moby-Dick, a one-man performance on a bare stage, reminiscent of his 1955 stage production Moby Dick—Rehearsed. Never completed, it was eventually released by the Filmmuseum München. He also appeared in Ten Days’ Wonder, co-starring with Anthony Perkins and directed by Claude Chabrol, based on a detective novel by Ellery Queen. That same year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave him an honorary award “For superlative artistry and versatility in the creation of motion pictures”. Welles pretended to be out of town and sent John Huston to claim the award, thanking the Academy on film. Huston criticized the Academy for awarding Welles, even while they refused to give Welles any work.

In 1972, Welles acted as on-screen narrator for the film documentary version of Alvin Toffler‘s 1970 book Future Shock. Working again for a British producer, Welles played Long John Silver in director John Hough‘s Treasure Island (1972), an adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, which had been the second story broadcast by The Mercury Theatre on the Air in 1938. This was the last time he played the lead role in a major film. Welles also contributed to the script, his writing credit was attributed to the pseudonym ‘O. W. Jeeves’. Some of Welles’ original recorded dialog was redubbed by Robert Rietty.

Orson Welles in F for Fake (1973), a film essay and the last film he completed.

In 1973, Welles completed F for Fake, a personal essay film about art forger Elmyr de Hory and the biographer Clifford Irving. Based on an existing documentary by François Reichenbach, it included new material with Oja Kodar, Joseph Cotten, Paul Stewart and William Alland. An excerpt of Welles’s 1930s War of the Worlds broadcast was recreated for this film; however, none of the dialogue heard in the film actually matches what was originally broadcast. Welles filmed a five-minute trailer, rejected in the U.S., that featured several shots of a topless Kodar.

Welles hosted and narrated a syndicated anthology series, Orson Welles’s Great Mysteries, over the 1973–1974 television season. It did not last beyond that season; however, the program could be perceived as a television revival of the Mercury Theatre whose executive producer Welles had been in the 1930s and 1940s. The year 1974 also saw Welles lending his voice for that year’s remake of Agatha Christie‘s classic thriller Ten Little Indians produced by his former associate, Harry Alan Towers and starring an international cast that included Oliver Reed, Elke Sommer and Herbert Lom.

In 1975, Welles narrated the documentary Bugs Bunny: Superstar, focusing on Warner Bros. cartoons from the 1940s. Also in 1975, the American Film Institute presented Welles with its third Lifetime Achievement Award (the first two going to director John Ford and actor James Cagney). At the ceremony, Welles screened two scenes from the nearly finished The Other Side of the Wind.

In 1976, Paramount Television purchased the rights for the entire set of Rex Stout‘s Nero Wolfe stories for Orson Welles.[51][52] Welles had once wanted to make a series of Nero Wolfe movies, but Rex Stout – who was leery of Hollywood adaptations during his lifetime after two disappointing 1930s films – turned him down.[53] Paramount planned to begin with an ABC-TV movie and hoped to persuade Welles to continue the role in a mini-series.[54] Frank D. Gilroy was signed to write the television script and direct the TV movie on the assurance that Welles would star, but by April 1977 Welles had bowed out.[55] In 1980 the Associated Press reported “the distinct possibility” that Welles would star in a Nero Wolfe TV series for NBC television.[56] Again, Welles bowed out of the project due to creative differences and William Conrad was cast in the role.[57]

In 1979, Welles completed his documentary Filming Othello, which featured Michael MacLiammoir and Hilton Edwards. Made for West German television, it was also released in theaters. That same year, Welles completed his self-produced pilot for The Orson Welles Show television series, featuring interviews with Burt Reynolds, Jim Henson and Frank Oz and guest-starring The Muppets and Angie Dickinson. Unable to find network interest, the pilot was never broadcast. Also in 1979, Welles appeared in the biopic The Secret of Nikola Tesla, and a cameo in The Muppet Movie as Lew Lord.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Welles participated in a series of famous television commercial advertisements. For two years he was on-camera spokesman for the Paul Masson Vineyards,[58] and sales grew by one third during the time Welles intoned what became a popular catchphrase: “We will sell no wine before its time.”[59] He was also the voice behind the long-running Carlsberg “Probably the best lager in the world” campaign,[60] promoted Domecq sherry on British television[61] and provided narration on adverts for Findus, though the actual adverts have been overshadowed by a famous blooper reel of voice recordings, known as the Frozen Peas reel.

In 1981, Welles hosted the documentary The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, about Renaissance-era prophet Nostradamus. In 1982, the BBC broadcast The Orson Welles Story in the Arena series. Interviewed by Leslie Megahey, Welles examined his past in great detail, and several people from his professional past were interviewed as well. It was reissued in 1990 as With Orson Welles: Stories of a Life in Film. Welles provided narration for the tracks “Defender” from Manowar‘s album Fighting the World and “Dark Avenger” on Manowar‘s 1982 album, Battle Hymns. His name was misspelled on the latter album, as he was credited as “Orson Wells”.[62]

During the 1980s, Welles worked on such film projects as The Dreamers, based on two stories by Isak Dinesen and starring Oja Kodar, and Orson Welles’ Magic Show, which reused material from his failed TV pilot. Another project he worked on was Filming The Trial, the second in a proposed series of documentaries examining his feature films. While much was shot for these projects, none of them was completed. All of them were eventually released by the Filmmuseum München.

In 1984, Welles narrated the short-lived television series Scene of the Crime. During the early years of Magnum, P.I., Welles was the voice of the unseen character Robin Masters, a famous writer and playboy. Welles’s death forced this minor character to largely be written out of the series. In an oblique homage to Welles, the Magnum, P.I. producers ambiguously concluded that story arc by having one character accuse another of having hired an actor to portray Robin Masters.[63] He also, in this penultimate year released a music single, titled “I Know What It Is To Be Young (But You Don’t Know What It Is To Be Old)”, which he recorded under Italian label Compagnia Generale del Disco. The song was performed with the Nick Perito Orchestra and the Ray Charles Singers and produced by Jerry Abbott who was father to famed metal guitarist Dimebag Darrell.[64]

The last film roles before Welles’s death included voice work in the animated films The Enchanted Journey (1984) and The Transformers: The Movie (1986), in which he played the planet-eating robot Unicron. His last film appearance was in Henry Jaglom‘s 1987 independent film Someone to Love, released after his death but produced before his voice-over in Transformers: The Movie. His last television appearance was on the television show Moonlighting. He recorded an introduction to an episode entitled “The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice”, which was partially filmed in black and white. The episode aired five days after his death and was dedicated to his memory.

In the mid-1980s, Henry Jaglom taped lunch conversations with Welles at Los Angeles’s Ma Maison as well as in New York. Edited transcripts of these sessions appear in Peter Biskind‘s 2013 book My Lunches With Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles.[65]

Personal life

Relationships and family

Orson Welles and Chicago-born actress and socialite Virginia Nicolson (1916–1996) were married November 14, 1934.[13]:332 The couple divorced February 1, 1940.[66][67]

Welles fell in love with Mexican actress Dolores del Río, ten years his senior, with whom he was involved between 1938 and 1942.[68] They acted together in the movie Journey into Fear (1943) but the affair ended soon after filming ended. Rebecca Welles, the daughter of Welles and Hayworth, met Del Rio in 1954 and said, “My father considered her the great love of his life … She was a living legend in the history of my family”.[69]

Welles with Dolores del Río after the premiere of Citizen Kane (1941).

Welles married Rita Hayworth in 1943. The couple became estranged by 1946 – Welles blamed Hayworth for making unfounded accusations of infidelity, and after he was turned out of the marital bed he then actually started to have affairs, which in turn prompted Hayworth to have affairs of her own. They briefly reconciled in 1947 during the making of The Lady from Shanghai, before finally separating. In 1948 Hayworth filed for divorce, her reason to the press being, “I can’t take his genius any more.”[70] During his last interview and only five hours before his death, Welles answered Merv Griffin‘s suggestive comment “But one of your wives—oh, I have envied you so many years for Rita Hayworth”, by calling her “one of the dearest and sweetest women that ever lived” and saying that he was “lucky enough to have been with her longer than any of the other men in her life.”[71]

In 1955, Welles married actress Paola Mori (née Countess Paola di Girifalco), an Italian aristocrat who starred as Raina Arkadin in his 1955 film, Mr. Arkadin. The couple had embarked on a passionate affair, and after she became pregnant they were married at her parents’ insistence.[17]:168 They were wed in London May 8, 1955,[13]:417, 419 and never divorced.

Croatian-born actress Oja Kodar became Welles’s longtime companion both personally and professionally from 1966 onwards, and they lived together for some of the last 19 years of his life. They first met in Zagreb in 1962, while Welles was filming The Trial, and embarked on a passionate, short-lived affair which ended when Paola Mori had a cancer scare and Welles returned to his wife. Kodar assumed Welles had left for good, and Welles hired a private detective to track down Kodar, to no avail. Three years passed, and Kodar was by then living in Paris and in a relationship with a struggling young actor. When they saw a press feature that Welles was in Paris, the young actor persuaded a reluctant Kodar to use her influence with Welles to get him a job. When she telephoned him, Welles immediately rushed to her hotel room, broke down the door, and pulled out a small metal box from his jacket. It contained a love letter to her. He had been carrying it every day for the last three years, in case he might meet her again one day.

With the passing years, Welles’s domestic arrangements became more complicated. From 1966 he always maintained at least two separate homes, one with Kodar, the other with Mori and their daughter Beatrice. In the 1960s and 1970s, he shared houses just outside Paris and Madrid with Kodar. Although British tabloids reported his affair with Kodar as early as 1969 (which was a factor in his moving permanently to the United States in 1970), both Mori and Beatrice remained oblivious as to Kodar’s existence until 1984. Welles set up a home with Mori and Beatrice in the United States (first in Sedona, then in Las Vegas), ostensibly because the climate would be good for his asthma. But while they lived in Las Vegas, he spent most of his time in Los Angeles, where he openly shared a house with Kodar. When Mori found out about Kodar in 1984, she threw him out of their Las Vegas house, and she and Beatrice did not see him for the last year of his life, although they still talked regularly on the telephone.

This situation had serious ramifications for the copyright status of his work after his death. Welles left Kodar his Los Angeles home and the rights to his unfinished films, and turned the rest over to Mori. Mori contended that she should have been left everything, and a year after Welles’s death, Mori and Kodar finally agreed on the settlement of his will. On the way to their meeting to sign the papers, however, Mori was killed in a car accident in August 1986. Mori’s half of the estate was inherited by Beatrice, who refused to come to an arrangement with Kodar, who she blames for undermining her parents’ marriage. Legal wranglings between the two have persisted for over 25 years, leading to complex ongoing legal battles over who owns his unfinished films.

Welles had three daughters from his marriages: Christopher Welles Feder (born March 27, 1938, with Virginia Nicolson); Rebecca Welles Manning (December 17, 1944 – October 14, 2004,[72] with Rita Hayworth); and Beatrice Welles (born November 13, 1955, with Paola Mori). His only known son, British director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (Sir Michael Lindsay-Hogg, 5th baronet, born May 5, 1940), is from Welles’s affair with Irish actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, then the wife of Sir Edward Lindsay-Hogg, 4th baronet. Although Hogg knew Welles sporadically and occasionally worked as his assistant, and had long been rumoured to be his son given their strong physical resemblance, he refused to believe such rumours until he eventually took a paternity test in 2010.[73] In her autobiography, In My Father’s Shadow, Feder wrote about being a childhood friend and neighbor of Lindsay-Hogg’s and always suspecting he might be her half-brother.[74]

After the death of Rebecca Welles Manning, a man named Marc McKerrow was revealed to be her biological son, and therefore the direct descendant of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. McKerrow’s reactions to the revelation and his meeting with Oja Kodar are documented in the 2008 film Prodigal Sons.[75] McKerrow died June 18, 2010.[76]

Despite an urban legend promoted by Welles himself, he was not related to Abraham Lincoln’s wartime Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles. The myth dates back to 1944 when, bantering with Lucille Ball on The Orson Welles Almanac before an audience of U.S. Navy service members, Welles says, “my great-granduncle was Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy in Lincoln’s cabinet”.[77] In a 1970 TV interview on The Dick Cavett Show, Welles refers to Gideon Welles as his great-grandfather. As presented by Charles Higham in a genealogical chart that introduces his 1985 biography of Welles, Orson Welles’s father was Richard Head Welles, son of Richard Jones Welles (born Wells), son of Henry Hill Wells (who had an uncle named Gideon Wells), son of William Hill Wells, son of Richard Wells (1734–1801).[9]

Welles is related to Charles Head (1899–1951), first husband of costume designer Edith Head (1897–1981). They are direct descendants of Henry Head (1647–1716), who emigrated to America before 1683 and settled in Little Compton, Rhode Island..

Physical characteristics

“Never robust, even as a baby Welles was given to ill health”, wrote biographer Frank Brady, who notes that from infancy he suffered from asthma, sinus headaches and back pain, with bouts of diphtheria, measles, whooping cough and malaria. “As he grew older,” Brady wrote, “his ill health was exacerbated by the late hours he was allowed to keep [and] an early penchant for alcohol and tobacco”.[1]:8

Welles reached a height of six feet at the age of 14.[9]:50 Peter Noble’s biography describes him as “a magnificent figure of a man, over six feet tall, handsome, with flashing eyes and a gloriously resonant speaking-voice”[78] According to a 1941 physical exam taken when he was 26, Welles was 6 feet (183 cm) tall and weighed 218 pounds (99 kg). His eyes were brown.[79] Other sources cite that he was 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm) tall, but the slates from costume tests made during the 1940s show him as 6 feet 1 inch (185 cm). Welles gained a significant amount of weight in his 40s, eventually rendering him morbidly obese, at one point weighing nearly 400 pounds (180 kg). The weight gain may have caused him to appear slightly shorter than his actual height. His obesity was severe to the point that it restricted his ability to travel, aggravated other health conditions, including his asthma, and even required him to go on a diet in order to play the famously portly character Sir John Falstaff.[80] Some have attributed his over-eating and drinking to depression over his marginalization by the Hollywood system.[81]

Religious beliefs

When Peter Bogdanovich once asked him about his religion, Orson Welles gruffly replied that it was none of his business. Welles then added that he was raised Catholic — “and once a Catholic, always a Catholic, they say.”[13]:xxx In an April 1982 interview, Merv Griffin asked Welles about his religious beliefs. Welles replied, “I try to be a Christian. I don’t pray really, because I don’t want to bore God.”[1]:576


Welles was politically active from the beginning of his career. He remained aligned with the left throughout his life, and always defined his political orientation as “progressive“. He was a strong supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, and often spoke out on radio in support of progressive politics. He campaigned heavily for Roosevelt in the 1944 election.

For several years, he wrote a newspaper column on political issues and considered running for the U.S. Senate in 1946, representing his home state of Wisconsin (a seat that was ultimately won by Joseph McCarthy).

In 1970, Welles narrated (but did not write) a satirical political record on the administration of President Richard Nixon titled The Begatting of the President.

He was also an early and outspoken critic of American racism and the practice of segregation.

Death and tributes

On the evening of October 9, 1985, Welles recorded his final interview on the syndicated TV program, The Merv Griffin Show, appearing with biographer Barbara Leaming. “Both Welles and Leaming talked of Welles’s life and the segment was a nostalgic interlude,” wrote biographer Frank Brady.[1]:590–591 Welles returned to his house in Hollywood and worked into the early hours typing stage directions for the project he and Gary Graver were planning to shoot at UCLA the following day. Welles died sometime on the morning of October 10, following a heart attack.[13]:453 He was found by his chauffeur at around 10 a.m.; the first of Welles’s friends to arrive was Paul Stewart.[82]:295–297

Ronda, Spain

Welles’s funeral was the subject of some disagreement among his family. It was handled by his widow Paola Mori, who had not seen him since she had thrown him out of their family home a year earlier, and his youngest daughter, Beatrice Welles. Mori would die the following year at age 57. On the pretext that “Daddy left no money for funerals or anything else”, Beatrice planned for it to be “a simple affair”, which intentionally excluded “Hollywood types”. Welles’s eldest daughter, Chris, has written of her horror at arriving in “a slum” district of downtown Los Angeles and finding that the funeral took place in a building that “looked more like a hot sheets motel than a funeral home”, and that the funeral was booked in a small, bare, sparsely furnished shabby back room, which “had the look of a cheap motel room” and had no music or flowers. No ministers, speakers, or ceremony had been organized, and so the mourners sat in silence by Welles’s cremated remains until his 90-year-old former teacher and mentor, Roger Hill, gave an impromptu eulogy. Paola Mori had refused to allow most of Welles’s friends to attend, limiting the mourners to nine: herself, Welles’s three daughters, Roger Hill, three of Welles’s friends (Gary Graver, Prince Alessandro Tasca di Cuto, and Greg Garrison), and the doctor who had signed Welles’s death certificate. Welles’s companion for the last 20 years, Oja Kodar, was not invited, nor were his ex-wives. Regarding the proceedings, Hill exclaimed, at the funeral, “This is awful! Awful!” Hill took particular exception to Welles’s having been cremated to save money, because “Orson never wanted to be cremated. He hated the whole idea of cremation. Thank God he doesn’t know what they did to him!”[17]:1–9

In 1987 the cremated remains of Welles and Paola Mori were taken to Ronda, Spain, and buried in an old well covered by flowers on the rural estate of a longtime friend, retired bullfighter Antonio Ordóñez.[82]:298–299 A photograph of the grave site appears opposite the title page of Orson Welles on Shakespeare: The W.P.A. and Mercury Theatre Playscripts, edited by Richard France.[83]:ii

Unfinished projects

Welles’s reliance on self-production meant that many of his later projects were filmed piecemeal or were not completed. Welles financed his later projects through his own fundraising activities. He often also took on other work to obtain money to fund his own films.

Don Quixote

In the mid-1950s, Welles began work on Don Quixote, initially a commission from CBS television. Welles expanded the film to feature length, developing the screenplay to take Quixote and Sancho Panza into the modern age. Filming stopped with the death of Francisco Reiguera, the actor playing Quixote, in 1969. Orson Welles continued editing the film into the early 1970s. At the time of his death, the film remained largely a collection of footage in various states of editing. The project and more importantly Welles’s conception of the project changed radically over time. A version of the film was created from available fragments in 1992 and released to a very negative reception. A version Oja Kodar supervised, with help from Jess Franco, assistant director during production, was released in 2008 to mixed reactions.

The Merchant of Venice

In 1969, Welles was given another TV commission to film a condensed adaptation of The Merchant of Venice.[84] Although Welles had actually completed the film by 1970 the finished negative was later mysteriously stolen from his Rome production office.[82]:234

The Other Side of the Wind

In 1970, Welles began shooting The Other Side of the Wind. The film relates the efforts of a film director (played by John Huston) to complete his last Hollywood picture and is largely set at a lavish party. By 1972 the filming was reported by Welles as being “96% complete”,[1]:546 though it is likely that Welles had only edited about 40 minutes of the film by 1979.[3]:320 In that year, legal complications over the ownership of the film forced the negative into a Paris vault where it remained until 2004, when Peter Bogdanovich (who also acted in the film) announced his intention to complete the production. As of 2009, legal complications over the Welles estate have kept the film from being finished or released. Some footage is included in the documentaries Working with Orson Welles (1993) and Orson Welles: One Man Band (1995).

Other unfinished films and unfilmed screenplays

  • Too Much Johnson, a 1938 comedy film written and directed by Welles. Designed as the cinematic aspect of Welles’s Mercury Theatre stage presentation of William Gillette‘s 1894 comedy, the film was not completely edited or publicly screened. Too Much Johnson was considered a lost film until August 2013 news reports that a pristine print was discovered in Italy in 2008. A copy restored by the George Eastman House museum was scheduled to premiere October 9, 2013, at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, with a U.S. premiere to follow.[85]
  • Heart of Darkness: Welles’s projected first film in 1940, planned in extreme detail and with some test shots filmed. (The footage is now lost.) It was planned to be entirely shot in long takes from the point of view of the narrator, Marlow, who would be played by Welles, seeing his own reflection in the window as his boat sailed down river. The project was abandoned because it could not be delivered on budget, and Citizen Kane was made instead.[13]:30–33, 355–356
  • The Life of Christ: In 1941, Welles sought the approval of church leaders including Bishop Fulton Sheen for a turn-of-the-century retelling of the life of Christ. He scouted locations in Baja California and Mexico with Perry Ferguson and Gregg Toland, and wrote a screenplay with dialogue from the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. “Every word in the film was to be from the Bible — no original dialogue, but done as a sort of American primitive,” Welles said, “set in the frontier country in the last century.” The unrealized project was revisited by Welles in the 1950s when he wrote a second unfilmed screenplay, to be shot in Egypt.[13]:361–362
  • It’s All True: Welles did not originally want to direct this 1942 documentary on South America, but after its abandonment by RKO, he spent much of the 1940s attempting to buy the negative of his material from RKO, so that he could edit and release it in some form. The footage remained unseen in vaults for decades, and was assumed lost. Over 50 years later, some (but not all) of the surviving material saw release in the 1993 documentary It’s All True: Based on an Unfinished Film by Orson Welles.
  • Monsieur Verdoux: In 1944, Welles wrote the first-draft script of this film, which he also intended to direct. Charlie Chaplin initially agreed to star in it, but later changed his mind, citing never having been directed by someone else in a feature before. Chaplin bought the film rights and made the film himself in 1947, with some changes (Welles said the gallows scenes were written by Chaplin, but that much of the film was unchanged from his own script). The final film credits Chaplin with the script, “based on an idea by Orson Welles”.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: Welles spent around nine months c. 1947-8 co-writing the screenplay for this along with Ben Hecht, a project Welles was assigned to direct for Alexander Korda. He began scouting for locations in Europe whilst filming Black Magic, but Korda was short of money, so sold the rights to Columbia pictures, who eventually dismissed Welles from the project, and then sold the rights on to United Artists, who in turn made a film version in 1950, which was not based on Welles’s script.[13]:106–108
  • Around the World in Eighty Days: After Welles’s elaborate musical stageshow of this Jules Verne novel, encompassing 38 different sets, he began shooting some test footage in Morocco for a film version in 1947. The footage was never edited, funding never came through, and Welles abandoned the project. Nine years later, the stage show’s producer Mike Todd made his own award-winning film version of the book.[13]:402
  • Moby Dick—Rehearsed: a film version of Welles’s 1955 London meta-play, starring Gordon Jackson, Christopher Lee, Patrick McGoohan, and with Welles as Ahab. Using bare, minimalist sets, Welles alternated between a cast of nineteenth-century actors rehearsing a production of Moby Dick, with scenes from Moby Dick itself. Kenneth Williams, a cast member who was apprehensive about the entire project, recorded in his autobiography that Welles’s dim, atmospheric stage lighting made some of the footage so dark as to be unwatchable. The entire play was filmed, but is now presumed lost. The recording was made during one weekend at the Hackney Empire theatre.[86]
  • Histoires extraordinaires: The producers of this 1968 anthology film, based on short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, announced in June 1967 that Welles would direct one segment based on both “Masque of the Red Death” and “The Cask of Amontillado” for the omnibus film. Welles withdrew in September 1967 and was replaced. The script, written in English by Welles and Oja Kodar, is in the Filmmuseum Munchen collection.[87]
  • One-Man Band: This Monty Python-esque spoof in which Welles plays all but one of the characters (including two characters in drag), was made around 1968-9. Welles intended this completed sketch to be one of several items in a television special on London. Other items filmed for this special – all included in the “One Man Band” documentary by his partner Oja Kodar – comprised a sketch on Winston Churchill (played in silhouette by Welles), a sketch on peers in a stately home, a feature on London gentlemen’s clubs, and a sketch featuring Welles being mocked by his snide Savile Row tailor (played by Charles Gray).[88]
  • Treasure Island: Welles wrote two screenplays for this in the 1960s, and was eager to seek financial backing to direct it. Eventually, his own screenplay (under the pseudonym of O.W. Jeeves) was further rewritten, and formed the basis of the 1972 film version directed by John Hough, in which Welles played Long John Silver.
  • The Deep: An adaptation of Charles WilliamsDead Calm. The picture was entirely set on two boats and shot mostly in close-ups, and was filmed off the coasts of Yugoslavia and the Bahamas, between 1966 and 1969, with all but one scene completed. Originally planned as commercially viable thriller, to show that Welles could make a popular, successful film. It was put on hold in 1970 when Welles worried that critics would not respond favourably to this film as his theatrical follow-up to the much-lauded Chimes at Midnight, and Welles focused instead on F for Fake. It was abandoned altogether in 1973 due to the death of its star Laurence Harvey. The Munich Film Museum holds a restored copy, with title cards filling out the missing scene.
  • Dune: An early attempt at adapting Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune by Chilean film director Alejandro Jodorowsky was to star Welles as the evil Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, whom Jodorowsky had personally chosen for the role. However, the planned film never advanced past pre-production.
  • Saint Jack. In 1978 Welles was lined up by his long-time protégé Peter Bogdanovich (who was then acting as Welles’s de facto agent) to direct this adaptation of the 1973 Paul Theroux novel about an American pimp in Singapore. Hugh Hefner and Bogdnovich’s then-partner Cybill Shepherd were both attached to the project as producers, with Hefner providing finance through his Playboy productions. However, both Hefner and Shepherd became convinced that Bogdanovich himself would be a more commercially viable director than Welles, and insisted that Bogdanovich take over. Since Bogdanovich was also in need of work after a series of box office flops, he agreed. When the film was finally made in 1979 by Bogdanovich and Hefner (but without Welles or Shepherd’s participation), Welles felt betrayed and according to Bogdanovich the two “drifted apart a bit”.[89]
  • Filming The Trial: After the success of his 1978 film Filming Othello made for West German television, and mostly consisting of a monologue to the camera, Welles began shooting scenes for this follow-up film, but never completed it.[82]:253 What Welles did film was an 80-minute question-and-answer session in 1981 with film students asking about the film. The footage was kept by Welles’s cinematographer Gary Graver, who donated it to the Munich Film Museum, which then pieced it together with Welles’s trailer for the film, into an 83-minute film which is occasionally screened at film festivals.
  • The Big Brass Ring: This 1982 screenplay, written by Welles with Oja Kodar was adapted and filmed by director George Hickenlooper in partnership with writer F.X. Feeney. Both the Welles script and the 1999 film center on a U.S. Presidential hopeful in his 40s, his elderly mentor—a former candidate for the Presidency, brought low by homosexual scandal—and the Italian journalist probing for the truth of the relationship between these men. During the last years of his life, Welles struggled to get financing for the planned film; however, his efforts at casting Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds and Paul Newman as the main character were unsuccessful. All of the actors turned down the role for various reasons.
  • Cradle Will Rock: Welles planned on writing and directing a film centered around the 1937 staging of The Cradle Will Rock. Rupert Everett was slated to play the young Welles. However, Welles was unable to acquire funding. Tim Robbins later directed a similar film, but it was not based on Welles’s script.
  • King Lear: At the time of his death, Welles was in talks with a French production company to direct a film version of the Shakespeare play, in which he would also play the title role.
  • An adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov‘s novel Ada for which Welles flew to Paris to discuss the project personally with the Russian author.

Theatre credits

Radio credits


Awards and honors

In popular culture

The ‘tampon’ that could prevent HIV

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Washington Post

More than 80 percent of women diagnosed with HIV contract the virus through heterosexual sex. A condom provides the best protection against HIV — but men aren’t always willing to wear them.

The female condom has been on the market since 1993. Unfortunately, it’s less familiar and more expensive than the male condom — and can make a rustling noise, prompting unfortunate comparisons to a wastepaper basket.

But researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle have come up with a new way for women to protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The method is not unlike a technology familiar to many women: the tampon.

Here’s how it works: An anti-HIV microbicide — a substance that can kill microbes as well as prevent HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections — is woven into fabric that can be inserted like a tampon before intercourse. Once inserted, the material dissolves, and the microbicide is absorbed into the vagina within six minutes.

It’s a vast improvement over gel and cream microbicides that leak, are messy or take too long to work.

That means women don’t have to apply it far in advance of having sex,” bioengineer Cameron Ball told NPR. “There’s a race between the anti-HIV microbicide to get to the tissue before the virus does. So the more quickly it dissolves, the better.”

Ball and fellow bioengineer Kim Woodrow published a paper about the new delivery mechanism in June in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Ball and Woodrow told NPR the key innovation is the fabric. Made using nanotechnology, it’s incredibly thin.

“It’s way better than any Egyptian cotton, high-count fabric that you could find,” Ball says. “Each thread is about 200 times smaller than a human hair.”

The fabric has been approved by the FDA, but some microbicides that could be used with it are still in clinical trials. It will be 10 years before the technology is commercially available.

In the meantime, researchers are studying possible shapes for the delivery mechanism. “It’s a matter of giving women enough choices and options of what products are available and how they are used,” Ball told NPR. “So you meet the needs of as many women as possible.”

While tampons are familiar to many women, some studies suggest populations at the highest risk of HIV infection don’t use them.

Twenty-seven percent of all women in the United States are black or Hispanic, but these women account for 79 percent of HIV cases among women. Poverty can also increase risk factors for HIV transmission.

A 2012 study of low-income women aged 18 to 35 published in the journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology found that black and Latina women were less likely to use tampons than white women. The sample size of the study was small – only 165 women – but the results revealed stark differences. While 71 percent of white women used tampons, only 29 percent of black women, 22 percent of English-speaking Latina women and 5 percent of Spanish-speaking Latina women did.

Experts Say Russia Ill-Equipped for HIV Fight

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Moscow Times

Olesya asks if her glittery hair clips are in place, if her hot pink lipstick needs reapplication.

It’s all she can do to detract attention from the stump where her arm used to be, the price she paid for injecting drugs even after the site became gangrenous.

People walking past the pharmacy where volunteers chat with Olesya — an intravenous drug user with HIV — glare at the young woman, quickening their pace as they go. Others, many of them also young women, stop to accept the clean syringes, HIV tests and pregnancy tests being handed out as part of an outreach program to do the things that many specialists say authorities are not: acknowledge the fact that a full-blown HIV epidemic is becoming more and more of a reality each day.

Behind the pharmacy in northern Moscow is a field where some drug users go to shoot up. This one, in stark contrast with many others, is mostly free from used syringes.

“There is one other field that is just a carpet of used syringes,” one of the volunteers says.

The same group running the outreach program, the Andrei Rylkov Foundation, a grassroots organization in Moscow that seeks to promote awareness of drug addiction and develop a humane drug policy, conducts periodic cleanup operations in public places to dispose of used syringes. These are often the same parks where families take their children to play, an alarming reminder of how close the epidemic is to spreading to non-drug users.

Olesya pulls up her pants to reveal another festering injection wound.

“Maybe you should go to the hospital,” the volunteers tell her.

“Will they take me?”

“You’re officially registered as a Moscow resident, right? Then they’ll take you.”

“Last time they refused because of my leg. They said gangrene is for drug addicts.”

See No Evil

“It’s obvious that we need to work with drug users; they have always been around and always will be. For more than 1,000 years there has been a culture of drug use. … Neither you nor I, nor [former public health official Gennady] Onishchenko, nor [Health Minister Veronika] Skvortsova, nor [President Vladimir] Putin have a magic cure to stop them being drug addicts. There isn’t one,” says Ilya Lapin, an HIV activist who works with patients on behalf of Esvero, a non-profit partnership that conducts preventative programs among members of the population especially vulnerable to HIV in more than 30 Russian cities.

Last year, there were an estimated 8.5 million drug users in the country, according to the Federal Drug Control Service. That number had skyrocketed from 2.5 million in 2010.

Activists have long warned authorities that the rise in HIV infections in recent years is a direct result of this spike in the number of drug users, but many say the problem is mostly being ignored.

“It’s always the same thing: We say there is a problem, the government says there is not,” Lapin said.

Pavel Aksyonov, the general director of Esvero, said the government had conducted preventative measures across the entire spectrum of the population except for the one group that is most vulnerable to HIV infection: drug users.

“Sure, it’s hard to supervise their treatment, hard to catch them. They are wrongdoers and all that, but they are not martians, they are part of our society … and as long as society ignores their problems, they won’t go away, they just go underground,” Aksyonov told The Moscow Times.

Too Little, Too Late

Even the most zealous activists in Russia’s fight against the spread of HIV agree that, compared to several years ago, there has been progress  — but not enough to stave off the epidemic that they say is undoubtedly coming if the government does not take more drastic measures to confront the problem.

Last year, the country’s health watchdog recorded nearly 78,000 new cases of HIV infection, compared to 69,000 in 2012 and 62,000 in 2011.

As of Jan. 1 of this year, there were 798,122 Russians registered as HIV-positive, more than 7,500 of them children.

“Even if the Russian government wakes up and finally begins to really actively fight the epidemic, the effect of preventative measures will not begin to show until two or three years later, and by that time Russia will need to cure up to 1 million HIV-positive people, which requires huge resources: not only money, but also infrastructure, doctors, etc.,” said Vadim Pokrovsky, director of the Federal AIDS Center.

Andrei Skvortsov, coordinator of the grassroots organization Patients’ Watchdog, which monitors the government’s treatment of HIV-positive people, echoed that sentiment.

“If 18 billion rubles ($500 million) is continued to be allocated each year for the epidemic that keeps growing, rather than the 40 billion called for in the state program, a catastrophe awaits us. … Maybe the ministers will start to actually think about these things when they begin to bury their own children, and not just ours,” Skvortsov said.

Aksyonov of Esvero said that the government had improved its efforts in the fight against HIV in the past several years — setting up a coordination council within the Health Ministry in February 2013 to handle HIV issues, and improving diagnostics and treatment — but the situation has nonetheless deteriorated in the past couple of years, he said.

Both he and Lapin cited the government’s often hostile attitude to NGOs as a factor.

“Unfortunately, in Russia, once again this negative attitude to Western technology, to the Western understanding of the problem is making a comeback. This has a negative effect on both the epidemic and the treatment of patients,” Lapin said.

“With everything we achieved with the help of NGOs in Russia, unfortunately, right now we are moving backwards. Why? Because the government does not support the programs implemented by NGOs that are recognized all over the world: harm-reduction programs, safe-sex programs.”

Lapin said his group had once asked the government for funds that had been promised earlier only to be “told that we are foreign agents, that we promote pedophilia, homosexuality and drug addiction. It all comes back to that.”

“That’s why, unfortunately, these programs that, in my view and in the view of the international community, are effective, are retreating if not to the underground, to the shadows,” Lapin said.

Pascal Dumont / For MT

Activists handing out HIV tests and clean syringes.

Funding Crisis

The warnings voiced by activists and specialists come at a particularly critical time in the country’s fight against the illness: Russia is now classified in the international effort as a donor country, not a recipient, meaning it contributes funds to help other countries fight the disease and as such is not afforded the same privileges from international organizations like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

“The problem is that Russia helps the Global Fund but does not increase funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS within the country,” Pokrovsky said.

Financing from the Global Fund, which has provided the bulk of HIV/AIDS funding to Russia for nearly a decade,  is set to be drastically reduced by 2015 and phased out by 2017 in connection with Russia’s new classification.

Russia’s decision to become a donor country was met with cautious optimism by the international community, but activists say it is not ready.

“Russia has become a developed country in the eyes of the World Bank, and thus we can provide things for ourselves, and more than that we have even become a donor country for various international organizations, so we finance harm-reduction programs in other countries that we forbid here at home,” Lapin said.

“That’s why when we appeal to international organizations, they say ‘Wait, you yourselves are giving us money for this.’ It’s a stupid situation. But the government is nevertheless closing its eyes to that as well.”

Not the Russian Way

Drug substitution therapies are financed by Russia in other countries but outlawed domestically. The same is true for clean needle programs and needle disposal programs.

Clean needle programs are conducted exclusively by nongovernmental organizations like the Andrei Rylkov Foundation, as the official line on such programs is that they promote unhealthy lifestyles and do nothing to curb the rate of infection.

Maria Preobrazhenskaya, one of the activists from the Andrei Rylkov Foundation who distributes syringes, HIV and pregnancy tests and other medications to drug users each week, said police sometimes stop to scold her or other volunteers for what they see as promoting drug use.

Outside the pharmacy in northern Moscow, nearly a dozen people in two hours stopped to accept HIV tests and brochures with information on the disease from Preobrazhenskaya: a dozen people who activists say, at the very least, have more awareness than they did before.

According to Pokrovsky of the Federal AIDS Center, the programs outlawed in Russia have proven to be effective in Europe, U.S. and Canada, and they could work just as well here.

“The problem is that it has not been analyzed in depth in Russia. The bias against methadone in Russia is based entirely on the opinions of certain experts who may have their own motives for being against the drug,” he said.

According to Anya Sarang, president of the Andrei Rylkov Foundation, the use of methadone in treating heroin users would solve more than just the problem of infection.

“You’re hooked on heroin: Switch to methadone. Then you will not need to steal from your grandmother or wife every day. You’ll get methadone for free. Of course it will no solve the problem of addiction, but it will solve a bunch of other problems: crime, health and more. But we don’t even have [this practice], although in Iran, China and India — everywhere else they do this. But with us, this simple solution just evokes idiotic opposition from the government,” Sarang said in comments published on the foundation’s website late last month.

No Access to Medication

Worst of all for Russia’s existing HIV patients, the medication they desperately need to stave off their development of their illness is not always available to them.

Up until mid-2013, the Health Ministry had run a centralized system for medicating HIV-positive people. But last year, the ministry decided to hand over responsibility for the procurement of medications to regional authorities.

As a result, patients in regions including Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Ivanovo, Perm, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Murmansk and Rostov-on-Don have complained about a lack of access to life-sustaining medications throughout much of 2014.

The website, which tracks shortages of medications for HIV-positive patients, has been inundated with warnings and complaints of deficits.

“For the third month in a row now, I am unable to get my full set of medications,” wrote one patient from Murmansk in late July.

Activists say the decision to delegate medications procurement to regional authorities only muddied the waters in an already overly bureaucratic system.

“They put all responsibility on the regions. Now there is no one to make demands to,” said Skvortsov of Patients’ Watchdog. “The ministry says they are allocating the money to the regions, and they in turn are supposed to buy everything,” but then the regional bureaucrats respond by “citing resolutions and decrees of the Health Ministry or playing ping-pong with the patients,” he said.

Skvortsov said that even if officials wanted to help patients, the move created so much red tape that it made it virtually impossible.

Although the work of Skvortsov’s group prompted prosecutors in Murmansk to look into these shortages and ensured early supplies of medications in some cities, he said it was a sad but undeniable truth that the patients who survive in today’s Russia are those who are prepared to fight for the state medical care to which they are entitled.

Lack of Political Will

The main method for receiving funding from the Health Ministry for preventative programs — which all specialists agreed is the most crucial part of the fight — is tenders run by the ministry.

But according to Aksyonov of Esvero, there is no mechanism in place to check the effectiveness of the projects implemented by the tender winners: Funding is being funneled into programs that have not been properly vetted, and nobody bothers to check whether these programs have any result at all.

Lapin said such problems were symptomatic of an overall lack of political will to fight the epidemic. “Nothing changes [in the fight against HIV]. … People constantly appear before the government, offering the latest charitable programs that suck up billions of rubles, then no one can find these people. And the government says, ‘You know, we already gave these funds to an NGO.’ But who was that person? Where did they come from? No one knows. But they got the money.”

“If there is no political will, we probably won’t be able to change anything,” he said. “We’ll try, we’ll make temporary changes. But financing will run dry, programs will end. Yeah, we’ll save some lives, which is very, very important, but at some point people will just get tired of running in circles,” he said.

436,800 infected with HIV/AIDS in China

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

China Times

A total of 436,800 people were living with HIV or AIDS in China by the end of 2013, while 136,300 had died from the disease, according to figures from health authorities.

Mortality for the disease dropped to 6.6% last year from 17.9% in 2005, Wu Zunyou, head of the HIV/AIDS division of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Friday.

The decline in mortality was attributed to policies such as free HIV tests for all and free treatment for rural and poor urban citizens, according to Wu.

Wu said 95% of confirmed HIV/AIDS patients are under follow-up care.

Sex remains the major transmission channel for HIV, according to Wu.

Nearly 91% of the newly reported HIV/AIDS patients in China in 2013 were infected through sexual contact.

About 21.4% of all new cases resulted from same-sex contact, compared with 2.5% in 2006, Wu noted.

Airline Company Sued for Denying Passengers with HIV/AIDS

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Three passengers have sued China’s Spring Airlines for denying them flights because they have HIV/AIDS, according to media reports.

The three passengers were to take a Spring Airlines flight from Shenyang, northeast China’s Liaoning province to Shijiazhuang, north China’s Hebei province o July 28. Two of them informed the airlines’ staff at the airport they are infected with the HIV/AIDS virus before boarding and the three were not allowed on board.

The passenger among the three who was not infected asked for a certificate to take the flight. Doctors at the airport’s medical center said even when carrying the HIV/AIDS virus, they did not need a certificate to fly.

All three passengers missed the flight after their ticket information was removed. They are demanding an apology and compensations.

Spring Airlines has responded that according to regulations on passengers and luggage issued by China’s Civil Aviation Administration, they reserve the rights not to carry “passengers with infectious diseases”.

Liu Wei, the attorney representing the passengers, says the regulations stipulate that airlines can deny such passengers “only if their conditions pose potential threats to other passengers on board”.

A member of staff from the Civil Aviation Administration says the regulations are not specific about the kinds of infectious diseases, and airline companies can decide for themselves whether to take passengers on board.

Nine airline companies in China have said they do not discriminate against passengers with HIV/AIDS.

Vandals damage AIDS Memorial Grove

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Four eight-foot tall, 15-year-old tree ferns and five trees were vandalized last Friday night in Golden Gate Park’s AIDS Memorial Grove, according to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

Vandals also damaged a park bench just above the Fern Grotto at the western end of the grove, one 15-galloon “Loderi King George” rhododendron and 725 feet of a post and bamboo rail fence, according to Connie Chan, deputy director of public affairs for the Recreation and Park Department.

The AIDS Memorial Grove was also targeted by vandals in March, as was the area near the Shakespeare Garden, Chan said.

Vandalism is an ongoing problem in Golden Gate Park. Police last summer arrested 65-year-old Ken Frisch after he allegedly tore the branches off trees on several occasions.

Police said at the time, however, that Frisch was not a suspect in a series of more serious vandalism attacks that had damaged more than 200 trees in the park over the previous year.

Fake Cures For AIDS Have A Long And Dreadful History

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Electromagnetism can detect AIDS. The “Complete Cure Device” can wipe out the virus.

The Egyptian military made those claims earlier this year, but now they have backtracked after the announcement was widely denounced by scientists, including Egypt’s own science adviser.

Nonetheless, people are still eager to believe the unbelievable. Egypt’s announcement prompted 70,000 people to send emails asking to try the new treatment.

The Complete Cure Device is just one more false promise in the ongoing fight against AIDS. It is a reminder, too, that for 15 years, beginning in the early 1980s, AIDS was a slaughter, shrouded in mystery, of people in the prime of their lives.

Then came a breakthrough in 1996: A combination of drugs could control the virus, allowing infected people to live long and productive lives. Today, antiretroviral treatment for HIV and AIDS is widely available. An outright cure still eludes scientists, but the once deadly disease has become manageable.

So any claim for an unproven cure, offering hope that could deter patients from effective treatment, is cruel. But myths, false claims and outright fraud have persisted in the AIDS epidemic.

The bogus theories of Peter Duesberg, a professor of biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, were responsible for a global setback to HIV treatment. Duesberg argued that combinations of drug use and promiscuous behavior caused the virus, and passed his advice on to South African health officials in 2000.

“The biggest disaster imposed on us was Duesberg with his statements that HIV did not cause AIDS,” says Max Essex, chairman of the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative. Essex has been conducting research on AIDS since 1983, including field research in Botswana and Southern Africa.

Between 2000 and 2005, as neighboring African countries were ramping up HIV prevention programs, South Africa stubbornly stuck to the notion that HIV was not the cause of AIDS. “I think Duesberg played the biggest role in giving [former South African President Thabo Mbeki] a convenient excuse to avoid supplying drugs,” says Essex.

Researchers including Essex examined the human toll of those lost years of treatment. Their , published in 2008 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, estimated that 330,000 South African adults died because of lack of treatment, and 35,000 infants were born with HIV.

If that was the biggest disaster, no doubt the cruelest of the AIDS false cure claims was the virgin cleansing myth that took hold in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as parts of India and Thailand. Some men believed they could be cured of AIDS by having sex with a virgin. That reportedly led to the rape of younger and younger girls — even babies, by some accounts.

Other unproven AIDS “cures” have kept people from seeking life-saving treatments: herbal remedies, potions to rub into the skin, chemicals like Virodene (derived from an industrial solvent), oxygen therapy and electronic zappers.

There is still much work to be done to prevent HIV infection, to develop a vaccine, to further improve drug treatment and to prevent other chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease in people with AIDS who are living longer.

And despite the spectacular scams, there have also been spectacular successes in hard-hit areas. For example, in the 1990s, Botswana had the highest rate of HIV infection in the world. Today, almost all of the country’s patients seek treatment; by contrast only half of Americans infected with HIV get treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Today, the number of people in Botswana on successful therapy who will live almost normal lives is 90 percent of HIV-infected people,” says Essex. In that respect, Botswana is No. 1 in the world.

Judge Garry Neilson who compared incest and paedophilia to homosexuality ‘clearly in error’, appeal judges find

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

A judge who compared incest and paedophilia to homosexuality when he rejected evidence of sexual abuse by a man against his sister was “clearly in error” and the trial should be heard by a different judge, an appeals court has found.

Separately, this month, District Court Judge Garry Neilson was referred to the NSW Judicial Commission and stood down from new criminal trials after the Herald revealed he said the community may no longer see sexual contact between siblings, as well as between adults and children, as “unnatural” or “taboo”.

Judge Neilson made the comments in April during the case of a 58-year-old man, known for legal reasons as MRM, who is charged with repeatedly raping his younger sister in the family’s western Sydney home in 1981.

MRM has pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual intercourse without consent and an alternative charge of incest.


The Director of Public Prosecutions stepped in after Judge Neilson refused to allow the jury to know the man had earlier pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his sister when she was 10 or 11 years old in 1973 or 1974.

Judge Neilson also denied the Crown prosecutor’s request to admit into evidence a telephone conversation between the siblings in July 2011, recorded by police, in which MRM admitted to having sexual contact with her when she was “a kid” to “get his rocks off”.

In making his decision to exclude the evidence, Judge Neilson made a series of comments, including that, just as gay sex was socially unacceptable and criminal in the 1950s and 1960s but was now widely accepted, “a jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available’, not having [a] sexual partner”.

He also said the “only reason” that incest was still a crime was because of the high risk of genetic abnormalities in children born from consanguineous relationships “but even that falls away to an extent [because] there is such ease of contraception and readily access to abortion”.

The jury was discharged.

On Wednesday, the Court of Criminal Appeal upheld the Crown’s appeal, setting aside Judge Neilson’s ruling and ordering a different judge preside at the trial, due to be held in Parramatta District Court in September. A new jury will be empanelled.

Justices Arthur Emmett, Derek Price and Elizabeth Fullerton said Judge Neilson’s “discretion miscarried” because, without evidence of the years of unwanted sexual conduct, “it would inevitably appear surprising to a jury that [MRM] would, out of the blue, enter his sister’s bedroom and attempt to have intercourse with her while she was asleep”.

The history of sexual abuse and MRM’s threats that their parents’ marriage would be destroyed if she told them what he was doing to her would also help the jury explain why she didn’t scream or shout or complain to their parents or the police.

The appeal judges also questioned Judge Neilson’s reasoning that the sexual abuse that had occurred when the girl was 10 or 11 and MRM was 17 occurred in a different context to the sex that later happened when she was 18 and he was 26.

By 1981, she had had sexual relationships with two men and had a young child.

“By that stage, they are both mature adults. The complainant has been sexually awoken, shall we say, by having two relationships with men and she had become ‘free’ when the second relationship broke down,” Judge Neilson said.

“His Honour gave no reasoned explanation, or any proper analysis, as to why these facts, either in isolation or combination, dimished the probative value of the evidence,” the appeal judges said.

Following public outcry over Judge Neilson’s comments, Attorney-General Brad Hazzard referred him to the NSW Judicial Commission, which examines complaints against judicial officers and makes a report to the Governor.

A judge can only be removed by the Governor on an address from both houses of the NSW Parliament on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.

US: Fox pundit who compared homosexuality to paedophiles could run for President

Sunday, August 17th, 2014


A Fox pundit who claims equal marriage is a “Marxist plot” has revealed that he is considering running for President.

Neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson, who has made a series of homophobic comments, told the Washington Times he is likely to run as a candidate in 2016.

He claimed in June at a National Organisation for Marriage event: “If you look in a lot of writings of the Neo-Marxists when they talk about the New World Order, they say there’s only one stick in the mud: how do you get [Americans] out of the way and how do you change them?

“They said there were two things: their Judeo-Christian faith, and their strong families. Those were the things that had to be attacked, and those things have been systematically attacked.”

He was also was forced to apologise last year, after comparing gay people to paedophiles.

Speaking to the newspaper today, Carson announced the appointment of businessman Terry Giles as his campaign chairman, and has formed a ‘One Nation’ political action committee to raise funds.

He said: “Now is the time to start all of the appropriate exploration and investigation, and put down the structure that is necessary,

“I would say we are definitely a step or two closer [to running] than we were a year ago.”

John Barrowman’s Gay Kiss To Countries That Criminalise Homosexuality

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

John Barrowman kissed a man last night in a calculated dig at the 42 Commonwealth states that criminalize homosexuality

Well, this is certainly a new perspective on the Glasgow kiss.

The gay Scottish-American actor John Barrowman kissed another man on live TV last night during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games as the Queen looked on.

Mr Barrowman, who married his partner, the architect Scott Gill, last year in California, made his gesture at the opening of the games in Glasgow which are open to all members of the Commonwealth, the voluntary grouping of former British empire dominions, which includes Canada and Australia (but not America).

Homosexual activity remains a criminal offence, often with draconian punishment, in 40 of the 53 countries within the Commonwealth, including Uganda, Nigeria, and Jamaica.

Millions of citizens and politicians in those countries were watching last night’s event.

During the first few minutes of the opening ceremony, Barrowman kissed a man waiting at the aisle for him before the pair skipped away hand in hand, in tribute to Scottish wedding venue Gretna Green.

The reaction was overwhelmingly positive, but we’ll let the tweets speak for themselves…

Right-Wing Radio Host: Ebola Outbreak Could ‘Solve’ America’s Problem with Homosexuality: AUDIO

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

End Times radio host Rick Wiles, the insane right-winger claiming Miley Cyrus sold her soul to Satan and had sex with a demon, is back in the news saying an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. might actually be a good thing – provided it helps end America’s tolerance of gays and non-believers.

Said Wiles:

“Now this Ebola epidemic can become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming. Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion. If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you…”

Later in the programming, Wiles spoke to Republican Rep. Frank Wolf (VA) about how Obama is allowing terrorists to cross the border by refusing to enforce immigration law.

89 days until Election Day folks…and the GOP is still catering to the craziest swath of the electorate.

How 2 Gay Men Live in a Country Where Homosexuality Is Illegal

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Two young men bravely share their experience as homosexuals in Ghana

Some 37 African countries criminalize homosexual relationships, with penalties ranging from misdemeanors to death sentences, according to a Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Human Rights First report released Tuesday. The report, which analyzed LGBT rights in 54 African countries in total, paints a picture of a continent in crisis.

In Ghana, a country often regarded as among the most progressively democratic nations in Africa, homosexuality remains illegal, punishable by up to three years imprisonment. A recent Pew survey of various countries, not all African, reveals that 98 percent of Ghanaians feel that homosexuality is “morally unacceptable,” the highest percentage of any country surveyed.

“In Ghana, everybody is culturally and religiously blinded,” says Fred K., an openly gay man living in the Ghanaian capital of Accra who didn’t want to share his last name for fear of criminal and social repercussions. “They think that it’s demonic … so I just pray that a time comes that they decide to change and be like the Western countries.”

The HRC/HRF report is out just a week before U.S. President Barack Obama is slated to hold the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.. Advocates from the U.S. and Africa are jumping on that opportunity to bring the the continent’s controversial LGBT rights record to the world’s attention.

“My fellow gays don’t want anything to be legalized,” Nana Yaw, a human rights activist and openly gay man, says. “All they want is for their rights to be respected and protected.”

Why was Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law struck down?

Sunday, August 17th, 2014


Frederick Golooba-Mutebi
Dr Frederick Golooba-Mutebi is a Kampala- and Kigali-based independent researcher, analyst and columnist. He was educated at Makerere University in Uganda and at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK.
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The Anti-Homosexuality Act was struck down by Uganda’s Constitutional Court in early August [EPA]
The August 1 ruling by Uganda’s constitutional court that the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, otherwise known as AHA, was illegal prompted scenes of jubilation by members of the gay community and their supporters. Meanwhile, among anti-gay groups and individuals who see homosexuality as an abomination and a threat to the family and society in general, it provoked much anger. The anger has led to a renewed campaign by anti-gay MPs to get the law passed again, this time in line with the rules governing the functioning of parliament. 

Uganda punished over anti-gay law

The court nullified the law because in December 2013, parliament passed it without the necessary quorum as required by law. The anomaly had been brought to the attention of the speaker of parliament. She, nonetheless, ignored those who were raising the objection and went on to ensure that the bill was passed.

While the speaker’s behaviour may surprise those who are not familiar with how Uganda works, those who are would have not even paused to reflect on it.

It was not the first time that a bill went through parliament without the necessary quorum and was subsequently signed into law. The Public Order Management Act that restricts the right of assembly, making it illegal for public meetings to take place without permission from the police, which it often withholds, is one such law. Therefore in ignoring the common-sense objections of those who saw risks in passing a law without quorum, the speaker must have been guided by past practice and comforted by accumulated experience. If past illegalities could stand, why not this one, she must have reasoned.

Equally significant is why a substantial number of members of parliament would have chosen to be absent on the day the bill was due to be passed. There is no denying that the bill was very popular and that, in signing it into law, President Yoweri Museveni would have drawn inspiration, at least in part, from the outpouring of support it got from the general public.

So were the absent members of parliament deliberately staying away to ensure it did not pass, or were they away for other reasons? It is possible some of them sought to avoid the wrath of their constituents by not being seen to block it and by implication being seen to support what members of the public consider to be immorality. 

It is also true, however, that Uganda’s MPs are notorious for skipping parliamentary sessions because they are busy with personal pursuits. Whatever their reasons for voting with their feet and staying away, these new developments have ignited processes whose consequences may stretch beyond what happened following President Museveni’s assent to the previous law.

Threats of dire consequnces

It is important to recall that for a long time following its first tabling in parliament in 2009, President Museveni was not keen on the law. He is even on record urging its sponsors to go slow in their efforts to criminalise homosexuality, a phenomenon he has confessed to having been aware of from as early as his childhood, which he spent deep in rural Uganda, where attitudes are at their most conservative.

Some have claimed that his decision to back the law eventually was driven by considerations connected to his supposed decision to run for office again in 2016. Knowing that the bill was popular, the argument goes, it became an easy way to secure support for his continuing presidential ambitions.

Country: Republic of Uganda
Capital: Kampala
Location: East Africa
President: Yoweri Museveni; Amama Mbabazi (PM)
Main political parties: National Resistance Movement (NRM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC).
Population:  35.6m (UN 2012)
Size: 241,038 sq/km
GDP per capita (2011):  $558
Exports: Coffee, fish and fish products, tea, tobacco, cotton, corn, beans, sesame

That, however, seriously disregards the extent to which he would have been influenced not by the opinion of Ugandan scientists who claimed homosexuality was not genetic, as he claimed prior to signing it, but by the strident reactions of the donor community who threatened dire consequences were he to assent to it.

Keen observers of the Ugandan political scene and of Museveni’s tenure in office know well that he is a stubborn man whose stubbornness goes a few notches up whenever anyone tries to influence his conduct by issuing threats. It was clear from his bellicose pronouncements about “western cultural imperialism” after signing the bill into law that the way donors had behaved had played a significant role in pushing his hand.

Since then, several donors have suspended or redirected aid away from the government to non-governmental organisations. Reports suggest that these decisions have inflicted ample damage on Uganda’s economy, and that this may have had something to do with the seemingly hasty decision by the Supreme Court to strike down the law just before Museveni travelled to the United States whose government was among the most strident in their condemnation of the law.

If indeed that was the case and the ruling was intended to protect Museveni from “harassment” while attending the US-Africa Summit, its effect can only be temporary, as all indications are, next time parliament sits, if the bill finds a place on the parliamentary order paper, it will be passed again. Were that to happen, given its popularity and the almost predictable negative reaction of donors, Museveni will likely sign it into law again. That would set off a new round of rows with donors, and possibly stiffer economic measures by them, intended to drive a much tougher message than previously, with dire consequences for the economy.

For the donors, the consequences of renewed bad blood with the Museveni government would take a little longer to manifest, but they would not walk away unscathed. Museveni is on record declaring his government’s intention to wean itself off aid. This, of course, is easier said than done given the country’s inability to raise all the money it needs.

The use by donors of aid as a tool for manipulating and arm-twisting him, however, is a strong motivation for seeking ways of reducing Uganda’s aid-dependency. It is also important to note that currently aid accounts for only about 20 percent of the country’s budget, and that sometime in the near future Uganda is set to become an oil producing and exporting country. Without aid to use as a lever to influence its behaviour, the Museveni government will become an increasingly difficult customer.

And so while the anti-gay law was originally intended to “protect” the country’s cultural and moral values from what they conceive of as corruption by Western cultural imperialism, it might, just might, have consequences far beyond what anyone preoccupied simply with the permissibility or not of gay sex in a backward and conservative society would have envisaged or predicted.   

Dr Frederick Golooba-Mutebi is a Kampala- and Kigali-based independent researcher, analyst and columnist. He was educated at Makerere University in Uganda and at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Man sues doctor for listing homosexuality as ‘chronic condition’ in his medical records

Sunday, August 17th, 2014
Washington Post

This story has been updated.

The first time Matthew Moore, 46, saw Elaine Jones, it was for a routine checkup in April 2013. Tests revealed that he was vitamin B-12 deficient, had high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Apparently he also suffered from “homosexual behavior.” It was listed as a “chronic condition” on his medical records.

Now Moore, of Los Angeles, is suing his doctor and health-care network for intentional infliction of emotional distress and libel.

Moore told NBC he was shocked to see the diagnosis on both his medical records and patient plan when he returned to Jones’s office in Torrance, Calif., to discuss the results of his physical.

“My jaw was on the floor. At first, I kind of laughed, I thought, ‘Here’s another way that gay people are lessened and made to feel less-than,’ and then as I thought about it and as I dealt with it, it angered me,” Moore said.

Moore also said Jones defended the diagnosis by saying that whether homosexuality is a disease is still a subject of debate within the medical community.

Actually, homosexuality hasn’t been classified as a mental illness since 1973. It was listed as a “sociopathic personality disturbance” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in the first edition in 1953 before being recast as “sexual deviation” in 1968. Ultimately the American Psychiatric Association agreed that being gay wasn’t a mental illness and removed it from the DSM.

After Moore complained to Jones’s employer, they promised to remove the diagnosis from his records. He got this apology from Torrance Health Association senior director Heidi Assigal: “We would like to unequivocally state that the Torrance Memorial Physician Network does not view homosexuality as a disease or a chronic condition, and we do not endorse or approve of the use of Code 302.0 as a diagnosis for homosexuality.”

Moore’s diagnosis of “homosexual behavior” was coded 302.0 on his medical records — the code for “ego-dystonic sexual orientation” in the 9th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), a coding system used for medical billing and record-keeping purposes. The 9th edition of the ICD dates back to 1979 but is still widely used in the United States today.

Before it was removed from the DSM in 1987, ego-dystonic homosexuality was defined as: (1) a persistent lack of heterosexual arousal, which the patient experienced as interfering with initiation or maintenance of wanted heterosexual relationships, and (2) persistent distress from a sustained pattern of unwanted homosexual arousal.

Basically, it describes a person who is unhappy with their sexual orientation.

“I never said I had an issue with my sexuality,” Moore told NBC.

In a media statement obtained by NBC last year, the association said the diagnosis code was a result of “human error” and claimed that “upon notification by the patient the record was corrected.”

But a year later, the offending diagnosis was still there. In May, Moore got a copy of his medical records. The code 302.0 had been removed, but “homosexual behavior” was still listed, this time as a “chronic problem” rather than “chronic condition.” He was later given a second copy of his records with the reference removed.

Jones filed suit in July against Jones, her network and the Torrance Health Association. Moore accuses the health-care providers of conduct that “went beyond all bounds of that which is usually tolerated in this enlightened community.” He seeks punitive and compensatory damages in yet-to-be determined amounts.

“I don’t want any gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual ever to hear from a doctor that their normal and healthy sexuality is anything other than that,” Moore told NBC, noting the number of suicides among LGBT youth is higher than among other groups.

Last week the health-care providers filed a motion to strike, saying Moore’s allegations are “vague and ambiguous” and not supported by the facts.

In a statement provided to NBC News on Monday, the Torrance Memorial Physicians Network said employees made “every effort” to remove the information from Moore’s records.

“Due to the highly complex software used in creating an electronic medical record, the incorrect code continued to exist in an electronic table only,” it said. “As a result, this incorrect diagnosis code was included on a paper copy of the record, which was provided only to the patient.”

Shane Snowdon, who heads the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s health and aging program, told NBC Moore’s situation is not unusual.

“Unfortunately, this kind of ignorance and bias is still all too common among health professionals,” she said. “This incident underlines the importance of our ongoing efforts to educate healthcare providers about knowledgeable, respectful treatment of LGBT Americans. When we consult a physician, we have a right to expect care uncontaminated by personal prejudice.”

Lauren Bacall

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Lauren Bacall (/ˌlɔrən bəˈkɔːl/, born Betty Joan Perske; September 16, 1924 – August 12, 2014) was an American film and stage actress and model, known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry looks.

She first emerged as a leading lady in the Humphrey Bogart film To Have and Have Not (1944) and continued on in the film noir genre, with appearances in Bogart movies The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948), as well as comedic roles in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and Designing Woman (1957) with Gregory Peck. Bacall worked on Broadway in musicals, gaining Tony Awards for Applause in 1970 and Woman of the Year in 1981. Her performance in the movie The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.

In 1999, Bacall was ranked #20 of the 25 actresses on the AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Stars list by the American Film Institute. In 2009, she was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an Academy Honorary Award “in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.”

Early life

Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924,[3] in the Bronx, New York,[4] the only child of Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, a secretary who later legally changed her surname to Bacall, and William Perske, who worked in sales.[5] Both her parents were Jewish. Her mother emigrated from Romania through Ellis Island and her father was born in New Jersey to Polish-born parents.[6][7]

She was a first cousin to Shimon Peres, the ninth President of Israel.[8][9] Her parents divorced when she was five, and she took the Romanian form of her mother’s last name, Bacall.[10] She no longer saw her father and formed a very close bond with her mother, who came to live in California after Bacall became a movie star.[11][12]


Howard Hawks and Bacall in 1943

Bacall took lessons at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts while working as a theatre usher and fashion model. As a 17-year-old fashion model, she appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar.[13] She made her acting debut on Broadway in 1942, at age 17, as a walk-on in Johnny 2 X 4. According to her autobiography, she and a girlfriend won an opportunity in 1940 to meet her idol Bette Davis at Davis’s hotel. Years later, Davis visited Bacall backstage to congratulate her on her performance in Applause, a musical based on the film All About Eve in which Davis had starred. According to Bacall’s autobiography, Davis told her “You know you’re the only one who can play this role.”

She was then working as a fashion model. Howard Hawks‘ wife Nancy spotted her on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine.[14][15] and urged Hawks to have her take a screen test for To Have and Have Not. Hawks had asked his secretary to find out more about her, but the secretary misunderstood and sent her a ticket to Hollywood for the audition.[15]

Hawks signed her to a seven-year personal contract, brought her to Hollywood, gave her $100 salary a week, and began to manage her career. He changed her name to Lauren Bacall. Nancy Hawks took Bacall under her wing.[16] She dressed the newcomer stylishly and guided her in matters of elegance, manners and taste. Bacall was trained to make her voice lower, more masculine and sexier, which resulted in one of the most distinctive voices in Hollywood.[17] In To Have and Have Not, Bacall’s character used Nancy Hawkes’ nickname “Slim” and Bogart used Howard Hawkes’ nickname “Steve”.[14]


Bacall in her first movie, To Have and Have Not with Humphrey Bogart, 1944

During screen tests for To Have and Have Not (1944), Bacall was nervous. To minimize her quivering, she pressed her chin against her chest and to face the camera, tilted her eyes upward.[18] This effect became known as “The Look”, Bacall’s trademark.[19]

On the set, Humphrey Bogart, who was married to Mayo Methot, initiated a relationship with Bacall several weeks into shooting and they began seeing each other.

On a visit to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on February 10, 1945, Bacall’s press agent, chief of publicity at Warner Bros. Charlie Enfield, asked the 20-year-old Bacall to sit on the piano which was being played by Vice-President of the United States Harry S. Truman. The photos caused controversy and made headlines worldwide.

Bacall and Bogart in Dark Passage

After To Have and Have Not, Bacall was seen opposite Charles Boyer in Confidential Agent (1945), which was poorly received by the critics.[20] Bacall believed that her career never fully recovered and that studio boss Jack Warner did not care about quality. She then appeared with Bogart in the films noir The Big Sleep (1946) and Dark Passage (1947) and John Huston‘s melodramatic suspense film Key Largo (1948) with Bogart and Edward G. Robinson. She was cast with Gary Cooper in the period drama Bright Leaf (1950).


Bacall turned down scripts she did not find interesting and thereby earned a reputation for being difficult. For her leads in a string of films, she received favorable reviews. In Young Man with a Horn (1950), co-starring Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, and Hoagy Carmichael, Bacall played a two-faced femme fatale. This movie is often considered the first big-budget jazz film.[21]

During 1951–1952, Bacall co-starred with Bogart in the syndicated action-adventure radio series Bold Venture.

In 1953, Bacall starred in the CinemaScope comedy How to Marry a Millionaire, a runaway hit that saw her teaming up with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable.[22] Billed third under Monroe and Grable, Bacall got positive notices for her turn as the witty gold-digger, Schatze Page.[23] According to her autobiography, Bacall refused the coveted invitation from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to press her hand- and footprints in the theatre’s cemented forecourt at the Los Angeles premiere of the film.

Bacall, Bogart and Henry Fonda in the television version of The Petrified Forest

In 1955, a live television version of Bogart’s own breakthrough, The Petrified Forest, was performed as a live installment of Producers’ Showcase, a weekly dramatic anthology, featuring Bogart (now top-billed) as Duke Mantee, Henry Fonda as Alan, and Bacall as Gabrielle, the part originally played in the 1936 movie by Bette Davis. Jack Klugman, Richard Jaeckel, and Jack Warden played supporting roles. Bogart had no problem performing his role live since he had originally played the part on Broadway with the subsequent movie’s star Leslie Howard, who had secured a film career for Bogart by insisting that Warner Bros. cast him in the movie instead of Edward G. Robinson; Bogart and Bacall named their daughter “Leslie Howard Bogart” in gratitude. In the late 1990s, Bacall donated the only known kinescope of the 1955 performance to The Museum Of Television & Radio (now the Paley Center for Media), where it remains archived for viewing in New York City and Los Angeles.[24]

Bacall in Written on the Wind

Written on the Wind, directed by Douglas Sirk in 1956, is now considered a classic tear-jerker.[25] Appearing with Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone and Robert Stack, Bacall played a career woman whose life is unexpectedly turned around by a family of oil magnates. Bacall states in her autobiography that she did not think much of the role. While struggling at home with Bogart’s severe illness (cancer of the esophagus), Bacall starred with Gregory Peck in the screwball comedy Designing Woman and gained rave reviews.[26] It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and released in New York City on May 16, 1957, four months after Bogart succumbed to cancer on January 14.

Bacall was seen in two more films in the 1950s; the Jean Negulesco-directed melodrama The Gift of Love (1958), in which her co star was Robert Stack, and the adventure film North West Frontier (1959), which was an immediate box office hit.[27]

1960s and 1970s

Bacall’s movie career waned in the 1960s, and she was seen in only a handful of films. On Broadway she starred in Goodbye, Charlie (1959), Cactus Flower (1965), Applause (1970) and Woman of the Year (1981). She won Tony Awards for her performances in the latter two. The few movies Bacall shot during this period were all-star vehicles such as Sex and the Single Girl (1964) with Henry Fonda, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood, Harper (1966) with Paul Newman, Shelley Winters, Julie Harris, Robert Wagner and Janet Leigh, and Murder on the Orient Express (1974), with Ingrid Bergman, Albert Finney and Sean Connery. In 1964, she appeared in two acclaimed episodes of Craig Stevens‘s CBS drama, Mr. Broadway: first in “Take a Walk Through a Cemetery”, with then husband Jason Robards, Jr. and Jill St. John, and then as Barbara Lake in “Something to Sing About”, with Martin Balsam as Nate Bannerman.

For her work in the Chicago theatre, Bacall won the Sarah Siddons Award in 1972 and again in 1984. In 1976, she co-starred with John Wayne in his last picture, The Shootist. The two became friends, despite significant political differences between them. They had previously been cast together in 1955′s Blood Alley.

Later career

During the 1980s, Bacall appeared in the poorly received star vehicle The Fan (1981), as well as some star-studded features such as Robert Altman‘s Health (1980) and Michael Winner‘s Appointment with Death (1988). In 1990, she had a small role in Misery, which starred Kathy Bates and James Caan. In 1997, Bacall was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role in The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), her first nomination after a career span of more than fifty years. She had already won a Golden Globe and was widely expected to win the Oscar, but it went instead to Juliette Binoche for The English Patient.

Bacall received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1997.[28] In 1999, she was voted one of the 25 most significant female movie stars in history by the American Film Institute. Her movie career saw something of a renaissance and she attracted respectful notices for her performances in high-profile projects such as Dogville (2003) and Birth (2004), both with Nicole Kidman. She was also one of the leading actors in Paul Schrader’s 2007 movie The Walker.

Her commercial ventures in the 2000s included being a spokesperson for the Tuesday Morning discount chain (commercials showed her in a limousine waiting for the store to open at the beginning of one of their sales events) and producing a jewelry line with the Weinman Brothers company. She previously was a celebrity spokesperson for High Point (coffee) and Fancy Feast cat food. In March 2006, Bacall was seen at the 78th Annual Academy Awards introducing a film montage dedicated to film noir. She made a cameo appearance as herself on The Sopranos, in the April 2006 episode, “Luxury Lounge“, during which she was punched and robbed by a masked hoodlum played by Michael Imperioli.

In September 2006, Bacall was awarded the first Katharine Hepburn Medal, which recognizes “women whose lives, work and contributions embody the intelligence, drive and independence of the four-time-Oscar-winning actress”, by Bryn Mawr College‘s Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center.[29] She gave an address at the memorial service of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. at the Reform Club in London in June 2007.[30] She finished her role in The Forger in 2009.[31]

Bacall was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an Honorary Academy Award. The award was presented at the inaugural Governors Awards on November 14, 2009.[32]

In July 2013, Bacall expressed interest in taking the starring role in the film Trouble Is My Business.[33] In November, she joined the English dub voice cast for Studio Canal‘s animated film Ernest & Celestine.[34] She guest starred on the twelfth season of Family Guy in the episode “Mom’s the Word“.[35]

Personal life

Relationships and family

Lauren Bacall (1989)

On May 21, 1945, Bacall married actor Humphrey Bogart. Their wedding and honeymoon took place at Malabar Farm, Lucas, Ohio. It was the country home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield, a close friend of Bogart. The wedding was held in the Big House. Bacall was 20 and Bogart was 45; thus, she was nicknamed “Baby”. They remained married until Bogart’s death from esophageal cancer in 1957. During the filming of The African Queen (1951), Bacall and Bogart became friends of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. She began to mix in non-acting circles, becoming friends with the historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and the journalist Alistair Cooke. In 1952, she gave campaign speeches for Democratic Presidential contender Adlai Stevenson. Along with other Hollywood figures, Bacall was a staunch opponent of McCarthyism.[36][37]

Shortly after Bogart’s death in 1957, Bacall had a relationship with singer and actor Frank Sinatra. She told Robert Osborne, of Turner Classic Movies (TCM), in an interview, that she had ended the romance. However, in her autobiography, she wrote that Sinatra abruptly ended the relationship, having become angry that the story of his proposal to Bacall had reached the press. Bacall and her friend Swifty Lazar had run into the gossip columnist Louella Parsons, to whom Lazar had spilled the beans. Sinatra then cut Bacall off and went to Las Vegas. Pressed by interviewer Michael Parkinson to talk about her marriage to Bogart, and asked about her notable reluctance to do so, she replied that “being a widow is not a profession”.[38]

Bacall was married to actor Jason Robards, Jr. from 1961 to 1969. According to Bacall’s autobiography, she divorced Robards mainly because of his alcoholism.[39] In her autobiography Now, she recalls having a relationship with Len Cariou, her co-star in Applause.

Bacall had a son and daughter with Bogart and a son with Robards. Her children with Bogart are her son Stephen Humphrey Bogart (born January 6, 1949), a news producer, documentary film maker and author; and her daughter Leslie Bogart (born August 23, 1952), a yoga instructor. Sam Robards (born December 16, 1961), her son with Robards, is an actor.

Bacall is the only Academy Award winner to have been married to two other winners (Bogart, Robards). She wrote two autobiographies, Lauren Bacall By Myself (1978) and Now (1994). In 2005, the first volume was updated with an extra chapter: “By Myself and Then Some”.

Bacall died on August 12, 2014 at the age of 89 in New York City.[40]

Political views

Vice President Harry S Truman plays the piano while Bacall sits atop it at the National Press Club Canteen. (February 10, 1945)

Bacall was a staunch liberal Democrat. She proclaimed her political views on numerous occasions. In October 1947, Bacall and Bogart traveled to Washington, D.C., along with other Hollywood stars, in a group that called itself the Committee for the First Amendment (CFA). She appeared alongside Humphrey Bogart in a photograph printed at the end of an article he wrote, titled “I’m No Communist”, in the May 1948 edition of Photoplay magazine,[41] written to counteract negative publicity resulting from his appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Bogart and Bacall distanced themselves from the Hollywood Ten and said: “We’re about as much in favor of Communism as J. Edgar Hoover.”[42]

She campaigned for Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson in the 1952 Presidential election and for Robert Kennedy in his 1964 run for the U.S. Senate. In a 2005 interview with Larry King, Bacall described herself as “anti-Republican… A liberal. The L-word.” She added that “being a liberal is the best thing on earth you can be. You are welcoming to everyone when you’re a liberal. You do not have a small mind.”[43]


Bacall died of a stroke on August 12, 2014, at her longtime home in The Dakota, an Upper West Side apartment building overlooking Central Park in Manhattan.[44][45]


In 1980, Kathryn Harrold played Bacall in the TV movie Bogie, which was directed by Vincent Sherman and based on the novel by Joe Hyams. Kevin O’Connor played Bogart. The movie focused primarily upon the disintegration of Bogart’s third marriage to Mayo Methot, played by Ann Wedgeworth, when Bogart met Bacall and began an affair with her.

Bacall is a character in the Charles Mee one-act play Hotel Cassiopeia.

Awards and nominations


In 1991, Bacall was honored with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1724 Vine Street. In 1997, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her.[50] In 1998, Bacall was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.[51]

In popular culture

In books

  • Bacall is featured in The Dakota Scrapbook, a book about the history of the building and residents of the Dakota apartment building in New York City.[52]

In cartoons

In music




Year Title Role Notes
1944 To Have and Have Not Marie ‘Slim’ Browning Debut as not only an actress but also a singer; though Andy Williams, as a teenager, had recorded the songs she sang in the film, his recordings were never used.
1945 Confidential Agent Rose Cullen With Charles Boyer and Peter Lorre
1946 The Big Sleep Vivian Sternwood Rutledge With Humphrey Bogart
1946 Two Guys from Milwaukee Herself uncredited cameo
1947 Dark Passage Irene Jansen With Humphrey Bogart
1948 Key Largo Nora Temple With Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Lionel Barrymore
1950 Young Man with a Horn Amy North With Kirk Douglas, Doris Day and Hoagy Carmichael
1950 Bright Leaf Sonia Kovac With Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal
1953 How to Marry a Millionaire Schatze Page With Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable
1954 Woman’s World Elizabeth Burns With Clifton Webb, Van Heflin and Fred MacMurray
1955 The Cobweb Meg Faversen Rinehart With Richard Widmark, Charles Boyer and Gloria Grahame
1955 Blood Alley Cathy Grainger With John Wayne
1956 Patterns Lobby lady near elevators uncredited
1956 Written on the Wind Lucy Moore Hadley With Rock Hudson and Dorothy Malone
1957 Designing Woman Marilla Brown Hagen Golden Laurel Award for Top Female Comedy Performance (third place)
1958 The Gift of Love Julie Beck
1959 North West Frontier Catherine Wyatt
1964 Shock Treatment Dr. Edwina Beighley With Stuart Whitman
1964 Sex and the Single Girl Sylvia Broderick With Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood and Henry Fonda
1966 Harper Elaine Sampson With Paul Newman
1973 Applause Margo Channing Reprised the role in All About Eve that Bette Davis had originated in the original film.
1974 Murder on the Orient Express Mrs. Harriet Belinda Hubbard
1976 The Shootist Bond Rogers Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1978 Perfect Gentleman Mrs. Lizzie Martin
1980 Health Esther Brill With James Garner
1981 The Fan Sally Ross With James Garner
1988 Appointment with Death Lady Westholme
1988 Mr. North Mrs. Cranston
1989 John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick documentary
1989 The Tree of Hands Marsha Archdale
1989 Dinner at Eight Carlotta Vance
1990 Misery Marcia Sindell
1991 A Star for Two
1991 All I Want for Christmas Lillian Brooks
1993 The Portrait Fanny Church
1993 The Parallax Garden
1993 A Foreign Field Lisa
1994 Prêt-à-Porter: Ready to Wear Slim Chrysler National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
1995 From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
1996 The Mirror Has Two Faces Hannah Morgan Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
1996 My Fellow Americans Margaret Kramer With Jack Lemmon and James Garner
1997 Day and Night Sonia
1999 Get Bruce documentary
1999 Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke Doris Duke (elderly)
1999 Madeline: Lost in Paris Madame Lacroque voice
1999 The Venice Project Countess Camilla Volta
1999 Presence of Mind Mado Remei
1999 Diamonds Sin-Dee
1999 A Conversation with Gregory Peck documentary
2003 The Limit (a.k.a. Gone Dark) May Markham
2003 Dogville Ma Ginger
2004 Howl’s Moving Castle Witch of the Waste voice
2004 Birth Eleanor
2005 Manderlay Mam
2006 These Foolish Things Dame Lydia
2007 The Walker Natalie Van Miter
2008 Eve Grandma
2008 Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King The Grand Witch voice
2010 Wide Blue Yonder [62] May
2010 Firedog[63] Posche voice
2012 The Forger Annemarie Sterling
2014 Ernest & Celestine The Grey One voice

Short subjects

  • 1955 Motion Picture Theatre Celebration (1955)
  • Amália Traída (Amália Betrayed) (2004)

Stage appearances

Television work


  • Bold Venture (1951–52); with Humphrey Bogart. Exact number of episodes recorded is unknown, but upwards of 50.


  • Lauren Bacall by Myself (1978)
  • Now (1994)
  • By Myself and Then Some (2005)

See also


  1. This was the 1980 award for hardcover Autobiography.
    From 1980 to 1983 in National Book Award history there were dual hardcover and paperback awards in most categories, and multiple nonfiction subcategories. Most of the paperback award-winners were reprints, including the 1980 Autobiography.

What ever happened to Baby Jane?

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014


What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a 1962 American psychological thriller[4] film produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The screenplay by Lukas Heller is based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Henry Farrell. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for Best Costume Design, Black and White.

In 2003, the character of Baby Jane Hudson was ranked #44 on the American Film Institute‘s list of the 50 Best Villains of American Cinema.


In 1917, Baby Jane Hudson (Julie Allred) is a vaudevillian child star. She performs to adoring crowds in theaters and inspires the creation of the expensive “Baby Jane” doll, sold in the lobby after her shows. Baby Jane is a spoiled brat whose doting stage-father Ray Hudson (Dave Willock) gives in to her demands while her disapproving mother and jealous, overlooked sister Blanche Hudson (Gina Gillespie) watch from the sidelines.

By 1935, the now grown sisters’ roles have reversed. Both are movie actors, but Blanche has achieved stardom, while Jane’s films have flopped. Unable to establish her talent as an adult actress, Jane has taken to heavy drinking. One night, returning from a party, their car pulls up the driveway to their mansion and one of the sisters steps out to open the gate. The other sister steps on the accelerator, smashing the car into the gate. Blanche is paralyzed from the waist down in the accident.

In 1962, a wheelchair-bound Blanche (Joan Crawford) and a severely aged Jane (Bette Davis) are living together in the mansion. Blanche lives in her bedroom, never leaving the house, watching her old movies on television and reliving her former career. Jane antagonizes her sister constantly, drinks to excess, and wears caked-on makeup in a pathetic effort to appear young. The disabled Blanche depends on her bitter, abusive sister, and has no friends except for her friendly cleaning woman, Elvira Stitt (Maidie Norman). Elvira, concerned for Blanche’s well-being, believes that Jane is exhibiting symptoms of mental illness, but Blanche defends her. Elvira tells Blanche that she has discovered that Jane has been opening her mail and dumping it in the trash. Blanche is reluctant to condemn Jane and shows concern for her sister’s welfare.

Jane, lost in reverie, tries to relive her childhood success by singing and dancing before a mirror. Seeing her reflection, she screams in horror. At that moment Blanche calls for her sister with an annoying, repeated use of a bedside buzzer from her room: She wants to know why she cannot call out on the telephone—was it left off the hook downstairs? Jane is annoyed when Blanche informs her she may be selling the house. Jane fights with her sister, fearing what will become of her, and rips the telephone cord from the wall, further isolating Blanche in her room. When Jane brings Blanche’s lunch afterwards, Blanche finds under the silver serving dish lies her beloved parakeet, dead on a bed of tomato slices.

Jane makes herself up to go out and place an advertisement for a piano player so she can restart her performing career. While she is out, Blanche tries to get the attention of her neighbor, Mrs. Bates (Anna Lee), who is tending her flowers below Blanche’s window. When Blanche cannot get her attention, she writes a note pleading for help and throws it from her window. Unfortunately, Jane returns at that moment and the distraction of the car coming up the driveway prevents Mrs. Bates from seeing the crumpled paper. Jane finds the note, however, and when she brings Blanche’s dinner up, she argues with her sister again, telling her the house is hers and it will never be sold. Jane mocks her sister’s kindly concern and drops the folded note in her lap. Jane leaves the room, and when Blanche goes to her serving tray for dinner, she cannot bring herself to touch it.

The next morning when Elvira arrives, Jane tells her she can have the day off. Jane’s abuse of Blanche continues and they fight again when she brings Blanche her lunch. Blanche has not touched her dinner from the night before and wants to know why her breakfast had not been brought. Jane responds because she had not eaten her dinner and Jane tauntingly eats from the previous night’s plate. As she takes the dinner tray away, she tells her sister they have rats in the basement, and when Blanche goes to eat her lunch, she finds a dead rat on the plate. Blanche screams and Jane laughs evilly at her sister’s despair. Meanwhile, a talented, down-and-out man named Edwin Flagg (Victor Buono) sees Jane’s newspaper advertisement and makes an appointment for that afternoon.

Joan Crawford as Blanche Hudson.

When Edwin shows up at the house, Jane grotesquely performs her signature song from her childhood, “I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy,” with Edwin playing the piano. Edwin tries to conceal his disgust. Jane brags about who she was as a child and shows him a scrapbook of herself. At this time, Blanche uses her buzzer repeatedly to call her sister, wanting to know who the visitor is. Enraged, Jane goes upstairs, confronts Blanche, and rips the buzzer out of the wall and slaps her sister. Back in the living room, Jane and Edwin agree to his salary and they plot their moves. Jane then drives him home. While she’s out, Blanche goes into Jane’s room looking for food (by now, she hasn’t eaten in a couple of days) and discovers that Jane has practiced forging her signature and is writing checks under Blanche’s name. She works her way down the stairs to the telephone. Blanche calls Jane’s doctor and tells him that she needs help and asks if he could come to the house right away.

Jane comes home to find Blanche on the phone, talking to the doctor. Blanche abruptly ends the conversation and tries to make excuses in front of her enraged sister. Jane beats her as she lies on the floor, kicking her in the head and stomach until she is unconscious. Jane then calls the doctor back and, disguising her voice as Blanche, tells him not to come because “Jane” found another doctor. Then Jane drags her sister to her room, ties her by her arms, gags her, and leaves her there.

The next day, Elvira arrives to see Blanche. Jane tells her that her services are no longer needed and dismisses her. Suspicious, Elvira sneaks into the house when Jane leaves for the bank to get money to pay Edwin. She finds Blanche’s room locked and is attempting to remove the door from the hinges when Jane comes home and catches her. Upon Elvira’s demands, Jane gives her the key, and as the maid enters the darkened room to find Blanche bound and gagged, Jane uses a hammer to kill Elvira. Jane sinks deeper into her delusions, saying, “If only they had loved me enough.” Edwin rings the doorbell, but Jane does not answer, “Not now Edwin, not now,” and when he leaves, she sobs in despair. She drags Elvira’s dead body from the house and disposes of it by dropping it some distance away.

A week later, the police call the Hudson house and tell Jane that a cousin of her maid reported her missing. She tells them that she hasn’t seen Elvira in a week. A panicked Jane then prepares to leave with her sister, fearing the police will discover what she’s done. Suddenly, the police show up with a drunken Edwin, there to receive his first payment. While he is there, a weakened Blanche is able to knock over a bedside table in her room. Edwin hears the noise, goes upstairs to investigate, and finds Blanche tied to her bed. He is shocked at her “dying” condition as she begs for his help. Edwin runs from the house to get away. Desperate, Jane puts her sister in the car and drives to the beach.

The next morning, the search is on for the missing Hudson sisters. Elvira’s body was found by the police, and there are bulletins on the radio. Blanche, starved and dehydrated, is lying on the sand with Jane sitting beside her. Blanche tells Jane the truth of what happened years before. It was she, Blanche, who tried to run over her drunken sister. Jane, however, moved out of the way in time and Blanche had slammed into the gate and snapped her spine, but managed to drag herself out of the car and up to the wrecked gate. Because Jane was too drunk to realize what happened, she has long believed that she was responsible for her sister’s condition. Jane sadly asks, “You mean all this time we could have been friends?” With her mental condition completely deteriorated, Jane runs to a beach-side concession booth to get ice cream cones for the two of them. The police arrive and intercept Jane as she is returning with the ice cream cones. As a crowd of beach-goers begin surrounding her, Jane realizes that she again has the attention she’s long craved, and she dances before the onlookers, joyfully happy at last, in her decayed imagination. The police spot a motionless Blanche lying on the sand and break through the crowd to help her as Jane continues to dance and the film ends. Whether Blanche has survived is not revealed.



Bette Davis (left) as Baby Jane Hudson and Joan Crawford as her sister, Blanche Hudson

The house exterior of the Hudson mansion is located at 172 South McCadden Place in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles. Other residential exteriors show cottages on DeLongpre Ave. near Harvard Ave. in Hollywood without their current gated courtyards. The scene on the beach was shot in Malibu, reportedly the same site where Aldrich filmed the final scene of Kiss Me Deadly (1955).

The neighbor’s daughter was played by Davis’ daughter B.D. Merrill who, following in the footsteps of Crawford’s daughter Christina, later wrote a memoir that depicted her mother in an unfavorable light.

It was an open secret that Davis and Crawford loathed each other, and filming was contentious as their real-life hatred for one another spilled over into the production, and even after filming had wrapped. At Oscar time, Crawford was infuriated when Davis was nominated for an Oscar and she was overlooked. She contacted the Best Actress nominees who were unable to attend the ceremonies and offered to accept the award on their behalf should they win. Davis claimed that Crawford lobbied against her among Academy voters. When Anne Bancroft was declared the winner for The Miracle Worker, she was in New York performing in a play, and had asked Crawford to accept her award if she won. Crawford triumphantly swept onstage to pick up the trophy. Davis later commented, “It would have meant a million more dollars to our film if I had won. Joan was thrilled I hadn’t.”[5] As both Davis and Crawford had accepted lower salaries in exchange for a share of the film’s profits,[6] Davis considered it especially foolish of Crawford to have worked against their common interests, especially at a time when roles for actresses of their generation were hard to find.


The film’s success led to the birth of the “psycho-biddy” sub-genre of horror/thriller films featuring psychotic older women, among them Aldrich’s Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte and What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?.

The film was remade in 1991 as a television film starring real-life sisters Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave.

Critical reception

The film received positive reviews and elicited mixed responses over the Davis/Crawford combination. In his review in the New York Times, Bosley Crowther observed, “[Davis and Crawford] do get off some amusing and eventually blood-chilling displays of screaming sororal hatred and general monstrousness … The feeble attempts that Mr. Aldrich has made to suggest the irony of two once idolized and wealthy females living in such depravity, and the pathos of their deep-seated envy having brought them to this, wash out very quickly under the flood of sheer grotesquerie.”[7]

Variety stated, “Although the results heavily favor Davis (and she earns the credit), it should be recognized that the plot, of necessity, allows her to run unfettered through all the stages of oncoming insanity … Crawford gives a quiet, remarkably fine interpretation of the crippled Blanche, held in emotionally by the nature and temperament of the role.”[8]

TV Guide awarded the film four stars, calling it “Star wars, trenchantly served” and adding, “If it sometimes looks like a poisonous senior citizen show with over-the-top spoiled ham, just try to look away … As in the best Hitchcock movies, suspense, rather than actual mayhem, drives the film.”[9]


The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for Best Costume Design.[10]

  • Laurel Award for Golden Laurel for Sleeper of the Year (Winner)

Box office

The film was a surprise box office hit, grossing $9 million at the worldwide box office and $4,050,000 in theatrical rentals in North America.[3][12]

In the United Kingdom, the film was originally given an X certificate by the BBFC in 1962, with a few minor cuts. These cuts were waived for a video submission, which was given an 18 certificate in 1988, meaning no-one under 18 years of age could purchase a copy of the film.[1] However in 2004, the film was re-submitted for a theatrical re-release, and it was given a 12A certificate, now meaning persons under 12 years of age could view it if accompanied by an adult. It remains at this category.[13]

In popular culture

  • One of the Alice Cooper band’s all-time favorite movies was What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? starring Bette Davis. “In the movie, Bette wears disgusting caked makeup smeared on her face and underneath her eyes, with deep, dark, black eyeliner.”
  • On an episode of The Andy Williams Show that aired on December 20, 1962, Bette Davis presented host Andy Williams with a “Baby Jane” doll and sang a rock ‘n’ roll version of the song “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”
  • On Steve Allen‘s Westinghouse-network talk show, he and Louis Nye performed a spoof,“Whatever Happened To Baby Fink?” with Allen as Blanche and Nye as Jane.
  • In the 1970s, TV’s Little House on the Prairie aired an episode in which Nellie feigns being crippled for attention. Writes actress Alison Arngrim: “The imagery is unmistakable: the blond curls, the bitchy attitude versus the poor put-upon girl with the long brown hair. But now there’s a twist. . . Blanche has finally put Jane in the wheelchair!”[14]
  • A 1980 SCTV skit features Martin Short as Ed Grimley and John Candy in a parody called ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Ed?’ in which Ed Grimley is the male version of ‘Blanche’ and John Candy is the male version of ‘Jane’.
  • The 1990 series of French and Saunders featured a parody called “Whatever Happened to Baby Dawn?”, with Dawn French in the “Jane” role and Jennifer Saunders as Blanche.
  • A Batman villain who first appeared in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series is inspired by this film. The villain, Baby Doll, is a former child actor who has since gone insane.
  • In an episode of Seinfeld, “The Airport” (1992), George Costanza mimics a line from the movie when taunting an escorted prisoner in shackles: “But you are, Blanche… you are in the shackles.”
  • In an episode of “The Nanny“, “Hurricane Fran,” Niles torments C.C. Babcock who is in a wheelchair after slipping and falling. C.C. tells Niles, “You wouldn’t be able to torture me like this if I wasn’t in this chair.” Niles quickly quips back, “But you are Babs, you are.”
  • The music video to Shakespear’s Sister‘s 1991 single “Goodbye Cruel World” parodies the film (along with Sunset Boulevard) and features a short dialogue scene at the start with Siobhan Fahey in the Jane role and Marcella Detroit in the Blanche role.
  • In 2000, one episode of The WB‘s Popular parodied the rat dinner scene twice; the first time, Sam McPherson portrayed Jane and the second time, Brooke McQueen portrayed Jane.
  • In Christina Aguilera‘s music video for “Ain’t No Other Man“, released in 2006 on her album Back to Basics, she plays her alter ego, “Baby Jane”, in reference to the film.
  • The film is referenced in The Simpsons episode “Smart and Smarter“, in the scene featuring Lisa‘s nightmare of her pushing a wheelchair-bound Maggie down the stairs; in another episode, Comic Book Guy remarks of Agnes Skinner: “Now I know whatever happened to Baby Jane”.
  • The Designing Women episode “The Strange Case of Clarence and Anita” (first aired November 4, 1991), Julia and Mary-Jo are in the play, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” with Julia (Dixie Carter) as Blanche and Mary-Jo (Annie Potts) as Jane.
  • In the video game Bioshock, one model of the enemies encountered by the hero is known as the Baby Jane.
  • In 2007, Minneapolis-based DJ and music producer, Joel Dickinson remixed Bette Davis’ “I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy” for club play. It has been played by world-famous DJ’s including Junior Vasquez and remains a Halloween club favorite internationally.
  • The film, particularly the scene when Jane sings “Daddy” grotesquely as Edwin plays the piano, plays in the background during the movie theater scene of the 2005 horror film House of Wax.
  • The Doctor Who spinoff show The Sarah Jane Adventures had an episode titled “Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
  • In 2010, a campy remake Baby Jane? was released with drag superstars Matthew Martin as Jane and J. Conrad Frank as Blanche.[15]
  • In 2012 the eighth episode of 666 Park Avenue was titled ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?’ [16]

The trouble with Harry 1955

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014


The Trouble with Harry is a 1955 American film, an offbeat comedy or black comedy directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film was based on the 1950 novel of the same name by Jack Trevor Story. The Trouble with Harry was released in the United States on October 3, 1955, then rereleased in 1984 once the distribution rights had been acquired by Universal Pictures. The film starred John Forsythe and Edmund Gwenn; Shirley MacLaine and Jerry Mathers co-starred, both in their first film roles.

The action in The Trouble with Harry takes place during a sun-filled autumn in the Vermont countryside. The fall foliage and the beautiful scenery around the village, as well as Bernard Herrmann‘s light-filled score, all set an idyllic tone. The story is about how the residents of a small Vermont village react when the dead body of a man named Harry is found on a hillside. The film is, however, not really a murder mystery; it is essentially a romantic comedy with thriller overtones, in which the corpse serves as a Macguffin. Four village residents end up working together to solve the problem of what to do with Harry. In the process the younger two (an artist and a very young, twice-widowed woman) fall in love and become a couple, soon to be married. The older two residents (a captain and a spinster) also fall in love.


The quirky but down-to-earth residents of the small hamlet of Highwater, Vermont, are faced with the freshly dead body of Harry Worp (Philip Truex), which has inconveniently appeared on the hillside above the town. The problem of who the person is, who was responsible for his sudden death, and what should be done with the body is “the trouble with Harry”.

Three of the main characters in the film each believe that he or she is the person who killed Harry. Captain Wiles (Edmund Gwenn) is sure that he killed the man with a stray shot from his rifle while hunting, until it is shown he actually shot a rabbit. Spunky and independent young Jennifer Rogers (Shirley MacLaine) is Harry’s estranged wife. She, along with her small son Arnie (Jerry Mathers), ran away from her loveless marriage, and she believes she killed Harry because she hit him hard with a milk bottle after he tracked her down. Miss Gravely (Mildred Natwick) is certain that the man died after a blow from the heel of her hiking boot when he lunged at her out of the bushes (still reeling from the blow received at the hands of Jennifer). Sam Marlowe (John Forsythe), an attractive and nonconformist artist, is open-minded about the whole event, and is prepared to help his friends and neighbors in any way he can. In any case, nobody is upset at all about this death.

However, the principal characters are hoping that the body will not come to the attention of “the authorities” in the form of cold, humorless Deputy Sheriff Calvin Wiggs (Royal Dano), who earns his living per arrest. The main characters conceal the body by burying it, and then have to dig it up again for various reasons. The interment and reinterment happens several times. The body is also concealed by being hidden in a bathtub before being placed back on the hill where it first appeared.

Finally it is established that Harry died of natural causes; no foul play at all was involved. In the meantime, Sam and Jennifer have fallen in love and wish to marry, and the Captain and Miss Gravely have also become a couple. Sam has been able to sell all his paintings to a passing millionaire, although Sam refuses to accept money, and instead requests a few simple gifts for his friends and himself.



The title shot in the film trailer shows the discovery of Harry by Arnie (Jerry Mathers).

The film was one of Hitchcock’s few true comedies (though most of his films had some element of tongue-in-cheek or macabre humor), however, the film was a box office disappointment.

The film also contained what was, at the time, frank dialogue. One example of this is when John Forsythe’s character unabashedly tells MacLaine’s character that he would like to paint a nude portrait of her. The statement by Forsythe’s character was quite racy for its time.

Other than NBC‘s Saturday Night at the Movies network television broadcast in the early 1960s, the film was unavailable for nearly 30 years once Hitchcock bought back the rights to the film following its initial release. After protracted negotiations with the Hitchcock estate, Universal finally reissued it in 1984, along with four others, including Rear Window and Vertigo which in turn led to VHS and eventually DVD versions for the home video market.[1]

Primary location shooting took place in Craftsbury, Vermont. Assuming that the town would be in full foliage, the company showed up for outdoor shots on September 27, 1954. To the filmmakers’ shock, there was hardly any foliage left; to achieve a full effect, leaves were glued to the trees.[2] Several scenes in the film had to be shot in a rented high school gym because of persistent rain. In the gym, a 500 lb (226 kg) camera fell from a great height and barely missed hitting Hitchcock, and the sound of the rain on the roof of the gym necessitated extensive post-production re-recording.

Although the movie was a financial failure in the U.S., it played for a year in England and Rome, and a year and a half in France. Full details on the making of the film are in Steven DeRosa’s book Writing with Hitchcock.[3]

Alfred Hitchcock’s cameo is a signature occurrence in most of his films. In The Trouble with Harry, he can be seen 21 minutes into the film as he walks past a parked limousine while an old man looks at paintings for sale at the roadside stand.

The corpse, Harry Worp, was played by Philip Truex (1911-2008), who was the son of character actor Ernest Truex.

Musical score

The Trouble with Harry is notable as a landmark in Hitchcock’s career as it marked the beginning of several highly regarded collaborations with composer Bernard Herrmann. In an interview for The New York Times on June 18, 1971, Hitchcock stated that it was his favorite of all his films. Herrmann rerecorded a new arrangement of highlights from the film’s score for Phase 4 Stereo[4] with Herrmann calling the arrangement A Portrait of Hitch.

A song sung by John Forsythe’s character, “Flaggin’ the Train to Tuscaloosa”, was written by Raymond Scott.

A “cash-in” single titled “The Trouble with Harry” by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. using the pseudonym of “Alfi & Harry” was released in early 1956. In the US the song reached #44 on the Billboard charts; in the UK it peaked at number 15. The title aside, the record had no connection with the film.

Pillow Talk 1959

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014


Pillow Talk is a 1959 romantic comedy film directed by Michael Gordon. It features Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter and Nick Adams. The film was written by Russell Rouse, Maurice Richlin, Stanley Shapiro and Clarence Greene.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay), and was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Doris Day), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Thelma Ritter), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color (Richard H. Riedel, Russell A. Gausman, Ruby R. Levitt) and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.[2]

This is the first of three movies in which Day, Hudson and Randall starred together, the other two being Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers.

Upon its release, Pillow Talk brought in a then staggering domestic box-office gross of $18,750,000 and gave Rock Hudson‘s career a comeback after the failure of A Farewell to Arms earlier that year.

In 2009, it was entered into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant and preserved.[3]


Jan Morrow (Doris Day) is a successful, content, self-reliant interior decorator who lives in New York City. She lives alone and claims to be quite happy, when questioned on that subject by her drunken housekeeper, Alma (Thelma Ritter). Due to the state of the telephone company’s development, she has to use a party line, which she shares with Brad Allen (Rock Hudson), a talented, creative Broadway composer and playboy.

Jan and Brad, who have never met, develop a feud over the use of the party line, as Brad is constantly using the phone to chat with one young woman after another, singing to each of them an “original” love song supposedly written just for her, though he only changes the name or language he sings in. Jan and Brad bicker over the party line, with Brad suggesting that the single Jan is jealous of his popularity.

One of Jan’s clients is millionaire Jonathan Forbes (Tony Randall), who repeatedly throws himself at her to no avail. Unknown to Jan, Jonathan is Brad’s old college buddy and current Broadway benefactor.

One evening in a nightclub, Brad finally sees Jan dancing. Attracted to her, he fakes a Texan accent and invents a new persona: Rex Stetson, wealthy Texas rancher. He succeeds in wooing Jan, and the pair begin seeing each other regularly. Jan cannot resist bragging about new beau on the phone to Brad Allen, while Brad teases Jan by showing an interest in traditionally effeminate things thereby implying “Rex’s” homosexuality.[4]

When Jonathan finds out what Brad has done, he forces Brad to leave New York City and go to Jonathan’s cabin in Connecticut to complete his new songs. Brad uses the opportunity to secretly ask Jan to go away with him, and she does. Once there, romance is in the air until Jan stumbles upon a copy of Rex’s sheet music. She plunks the melody on the nearby piano and recognizes Brad’s song. She confronts Brad angrily and ignores his attempts at explanation, leaving with Jonathan who has arrived just in time to expose Rex as Brad and who takes her back to New York City.

Once Brad returns to New York, Jonathan is pleased to learn that the mighty oak of a playboy has finally fallen in love, while conversely Jan will have nothing to do with him for deceiving her. Not ready to give up, Brad turns to Jan’s maid, Alma, for advice, who suggests he hire Jan to decorate his apartment so they will be forced to collaborate. Jan only concedes so that her employer will not lose the account. Little does he know her employer is also in on the scheme. Still quite angry however, Jan completely redoes Brad’s apartment in the most gaudy, ghastly, hideous decor she can muster. Horrified by what he finds, Brad angrily storms into Jan’s apartment and carries her in her pajamas through the street back to his apartment, where he asks her how it feels to return to the scene of the crime. In his frustration he tells her of all the changes he’s made to end his bachelor lifestyle because he thought he was getting married. Her face lights up from his admission but he’s so angry he attempts to leave. She quickly reaches for one of the tacky remote control switches he installed to accommodate his “purposes” which immediately locks the door. She flips the second switch and the player piano pounds out a honky-tonk version of Brad’s standard love song. He turns around in defeat, their eyes meet, each smiles, and they lovingly embrace.

At the end of the film, Brad goes to tell Jonathan that he is going to be a father. During the end credits, 4 pillows appear on the screen — pink, blue, pink, and blue — signifying the children Brad and Jan have together.



Doris Day sings three songs in the film: “Pillow Talk” during the opening credits, “Roly Poly” in the piano bar with Hudson, and “Possess Me” on the drive up to Jonathan’s cabin. Singer Perry Blackwell performs three songs in the piano bar: “I Need No Atmosphere”, “Roly Poly” (in part), and “You Lied”—a song directed at Hudson’s character, Brad.

The Robe 1953

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014


The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus. The film was made by 20th Century Fox and is notable for being the first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope.[3] Like other early CinemaScope films, The Robe was shot with Henri Chrétien‘s original Hypergonar Anamorphic lenses.

The picture was directed by Henry Koster and produced by Frank Ross. The screenplay was adapted by Gina Kaus, Albert Maltz, and Philip Dunne from the Lloyd C. Douglas novel of the same name. The music score was composed by Alfred Newman and the cinematography was by Leon Shamroy.

The first widescreen movie in more than two decades stars Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature and Michael Rennie, with Dean Jagger, Jay Robinson, Richard Boone, and Jeff Morrow. The Robe had one sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators.

The reason Lloyd Douglas said he wrote the novel The Robe was to answer a question through fiction: what happened to the Roman soldier who won Jesus’ robe through a dice game?


The action takes place in Ancient Rome, Judaea, Capri, and Galilee in a time period stretching from A.D. 32 to A.D. 38[4]

Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton), son of an important Roman senator (Torin Thatcher) and himself a military tribune begins the film in a prologue that introduces the viewer to the might and scope of the Roman empire. He is notorious as a ladies’ man, but he is captivated by the reappearance of a childhood sweetheart Diana (Jean Simmons), ward of the Emperor Tiberius (Ernest Thesiger). Diana is unofficially pledged in marriage to Tiberius’ regent, Caligula (Jay Robinson).

In a slave market, Marcellus makes the mistake of bidding against Caligula for a defiant Greek slave Demetrius (Victor Mature) and winning. Angrily Caligula issues orders for Marcellus to receive a military transfer to Jerusalem in Palestine.

Marcellus has Demetrius released, and he orders him to go on his own to the Gallio home. Marcellus is surprised to find Demetrius waiting for him when he gets home. Unofficially Marcellus had freed Demetrius, but Demetrius feels honor bound to compensate Marcellus by being his servant. Demetrius accompanies Marcellus to Palestine, but before the galley sails, Diana comes to see Marcellus, pledging her love for him and her intention to intercede on his behalf with Tiberius. Marcellus declares his love for Diana and asks her to make the emperor promise not to give her in marriage to Caligula.

Marcellus rides into Jerusalem with the centurion Paulus (Jeff Morrow) on the same day as Jesus’ triumphal entry on Palm Sunday. Demetrius locks gazes with Jesus, and feels compelled to follow him. Jesus is arrested and condemned by Pontius Pilate (Richard Boone), the procurator, who sends for Marcellus to take charge of the detail of Roman soldiers assigned to crucify him. Marcellus wins the robe worn by Jesus in a dice game and is told it will be a reminder of his first crucifixion.

Marcellus begins to feel remorse for the crucifixion of Jesus. Demetrius has had enough: he curses Marcellus and the Roman Empire and runs away. Marcellus now behaves like a madman haunted by nightmares of the crucifixion. He reports to the kindly Emperor Tiberius at Capri, who gives him an imperial commission to find and destroy the robe while gathering a list of names of Jesus’ followers. At Diana’s request, Tiberius leaves her free to marry Marcellus even though Tiberius believes him to be mad.

Marcellus travels to Palestine and seeks to ingratiate himself with Justus (Dean Jagger), a weaver in Cana and the Christian community that he leads. He sees examples of Christian life in Justus’ miraculously healed son and in the paralytic Miriam. Marcellus finds Demetrius alone in an inn, and demands that he destroy the robe. Demetrius gives the robe to Marcellus, who refuses to touch it. He is terrified, but as the robe touches him, he is relieved from the madness of his guilt, and becomes a Christian.

Justus calls the villagers together and begins to introduce Peter when he is killed by an arrow from a detachment of Roman soldiers. Marcellus intervenes, and Paulus informs him that his orders are no longer valid; Tiberius is dead and Caligula is emperor. Marcellus informs Paulus that an imperial commission is valid even after a Roman emperor dies. Paulus tells Marcellus to make him obey via a sword duel. After a prolonged struggle Marcellus prevails. Rather than killing Paulus, Marcellus hurls his sword into a tree. Paulus, humiliated by his defeat, orders the soldiers to leave.

Peter invites Marcellus to join him and Demetrius as missionaries. Marcellus hesitates, out of guilt, but when Peter tells him of his own denial of Jesus, Marcellus confesses his role in Jesus’ death. Peter points out to him that Jesus forgave him from the cross, and Marcellus pledges his life to Jesus and agrees to go with them. Their missionary journey takes eventually, to Rome, where they must proceed “undercover” as Caligula has proscribed them.

In Rome, Caligula summons Diana from her retreat at the Gallio home to tell her that Marcellus has become a traitor to Rome by being a Christian. He takes her to the guard room where a captured Demetrius is being tortured. Diana runs out of the palace to Marcipor (David Leonard), the Gallio family slave, who is a secret Christian. Diana guesses that Marcipor is a Christian and has seen Marcellus, and she gets him to take her to Marcellus.

Marcellus and Diana are reunited, and Marcellus tells her the story of the robe and his own conversion. Diana helps Marcellus rescue Demetrius. Peter comes to the Gallio home where Demetrius has been taken and heals him. Caligula issues orders to bring Marcellus to him alive to stand trial by the end of the day.

After witnessing Peter’s healing of Demetrius, the physician attending Demetrius goes to denounce them to the authorities. Marcellus’ father disowns him as an enemy of Rome. Marcellus flees with Demetrius but, when Marcellus gives himself up so that Demetrius can escape, he is captured and put on trial.

Caligula makes Diana sit next to him for Marcellus’ trial. Marcellus admits to being a Christian; however, he denies the charge that Christians are plotting against the state. Marcellus tries to show Caligula his opportunity to accept Christ as he tries to hand the robe to Caligula but Caligula refuses to touch it as he considers it to be “bewitched”.

Caligula condemns Marcellus to death by the wish of the members of the audience based on what they’ve heard. Diana then accepts Christ, and seeks to join Marcellus, the man she considers to be her husband, in His Kingdom. Caligula condemns Diana to die alongside Marcellus.

Historical inaccuracies

Despite the careful attention to Roman history and culture displayed in the film, there are some inaccuracies: the emperor Tiberius’ wife Julia, who had been banished from Rome by her father Augustus years before Tiberius acceded to the imperial throne, was already dead.



Background and production

The Robe was originally announced for filming by RKO in the 1940s, and was set to be directed by Mervyn LeRoy,[5] but the rights were eventually sold to Twentieth Century Fox for a reported $100,000.[6]

Jeff Chandler was originally announced for the role of Demetrius.[7]

The film was advertised as “the modern miracle you see without glasses”, a dig at the 3D movies of the day. Since many theaters of the day were not equipped to show a CinemaScope film, two versions of The Robe were made: one in the standard screen ratio of the day, the other in the widescreen process. Setups and some dialogue differ between the versions.

The film was usually shown on television using the standard 1.33:1 aspect ratio version that fills a standard television screen rather than the CinemaScope version. American Movie Classics may have been the first to offer telecasts of the widescreen version. Recent DVDs and Blu-ray Discs of the film, however, present the film in the original widescreen format, as well as the multitrack stereophonic soundtrack. The 2009 DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases contain a special feature that compares selected scenes between the Cinemascope version and the standard version.

When the original soundtrack album was issued on LP by Decca Records, it used a remix for only monaural sound rather than the stereo sound that was originally recorded. MCA, which acquired the rights to the American Decca recordings, issued an electronic stereo version of the mono tape. RCA Victor included a suite from the film, recorded in Dolby surround sound, in its album Captain from Castile, which honored longtime Fox musical director Alfred Newman (composer of the The Robe’s musical score); Charles Gerhardt conducted London’s National Philharmonic Chorus. In 2003, Varèse Sarabande released a two-CD set of the original stereophonic recording on their club label. The 2009 DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases contain isolated stereophonic score tracks.


The film earned an estimated $17.5 million in North America during its initial theatrical release.[8]

The film had one sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954), which featured Victor Mature in the title-role, making The Robe the only Biblical epic with a sequel.

Awards and nominations

26th Academy Awards:


11th Golden Globe Awards:


First telecast

The film was first telecast by ABC-TV on Easter weekend in 1967, at the relatively early hour of 7:00 P.M., E.S.T, to allow for family viewing. In a highly unusual move, the film was shown with only one commercial break – a luxury not even granted to the then-annual telecasts of The Wizard of Oz.[10]

Didier Castell-Jacomin

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Born in Marseille, Didier Castell-Jacomin took up the piano at a very early age.

At the age of 10 he met G. Cziffra (fr) with whom he took lessons in Senlis for two years. In 1982, he has been admited in Rennes Conservatory in the class of Joel Capbert. After obtaining his rewards in piano, musical theory and sight-reading at the Nice national conservatory he met Catherine Collard (fr) and stayed with her to study during two years in Nice and St-Maur-des-Fossés (France).

In 1989 he entered the prestigious International Piano School, CIEM Mozart Foundation directed by Maestro Fausto Zadra (sp) in Lausanne. His meeting with the Maestro radically changed his conception of music, and the piano in particular.

In 1995 he did perform at the international Festival in Valencia, Spain. The same year, he took part in the first International Festival of Classical Music in Nice.

Since 1996 Didier Castell-Jacomin has given innumerable performances, both in his native France and abroad: Italy, Netherlands, Monaco, Norway, England, Germany and in the United States.
He has been conducted by J.F. MANZONE, Werner STIEFEL (Baden-Baden Philharmonic), Joris BARTSCH BUHLE (SKB Orchestra Berlin), Fausto ZADRA.

He performed in prestigious Halls as: Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Berlin Philharmonie, Cooper Union Great Hall in New-York, Carnegie Hall in New-York, Baden-Baden Philharmonie, St john’s Smith Square in London… He has performed at the prestigious Music Festival “Unity Concert of New-Jersey”.

Since 1999 he records for CALLIOPE. Didier Castell-Jacomin got awards for his CD’s (Mozart concerti K.414 and K.415 with the Quartet of the Soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra) and his Mozart recital program. He has participated in numerous Concerts in Europe and The United States. In 2000 the pianist has recorded a Mozart Recital for the Label Calliope.

Didier Castell-Jacomin went in tour in NYC (2008-2009) and did perform at CARNEGIE HALL with the Forte String Quartet, Nyack  Carnegie Library and Yamaha Services etc. Didier Castell-Jacomin, has performed a tour in Europe for 2008- 2009, and has been invited in several festivals in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. In 2009 he has been seen at the Derlon Theater (Maastricht) in a minimalist play «Sneeuw Duister» from Jan van Opstaal, for 6 weeks in december 2009.

The same year he has been also invited to perform at Gstaad Festival in switzerland.

He has a project with the french actress Marie Lenoir for 2010-2011 to give a show around G. Sand and F. Chopin.
In the mean time the bmagazine «Piano» did ask him to record a CD of Russian music, «Tendresse Russe» to join with the Magazine in 2010 (4000 copies).

His new CD «Polonia» under the label Cristal Records Classic (Chopin works) has recieved great critics (fr) from the international press and did perform in the prestigious Theater «l’Athenee» in Paris, presented by the well-known journalist Eve Ruggieri.

Radio and TV broadcast (WUOT, Radio France, Radio 4 the national Netherlands radio, SAT 1, RTL 4…

In July  2011 Castell-Jacomin has recorded a CD dedicated to female composers as Cecile Chaminade, Mel Bonis, Clara Schumann and Marianne von Martinez, at the famous recording studio (Berlin) Teldex, including two «World Premiere» (works of Mel Bonis) .

In this moment, Didier Castell-Jacomin is building up his concert season (2012-2013) around the female composers to let discover to a large audience this music not enough known.

Norman Lebrecht: A dazzling pianist…

Eve Ruggieri (the most famous french musical journalist):
”Magnificent pianist with a very strong character”

Theo Tobiasse (painter) :
“A brilliant Virtuoso who enchants his audience”

Fausto Zadra :
“A Great Mozartian”

Nicole Devillaine  (Head Master, France Television USA) :
“…Didier Castell-Jacomin has enchanted his audience this evening at Carnegie Hall… “

Egmont Ouverture

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Egmont, Op. 84, by Ludwig van Beethoven, is a set of incidental music pieces for the 1787 play of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.[1] It consists of an overture followed by a sequence of nine additional pieces for soprano, male narrator and full symphony orchestra. (The male narrator is optional; he is not used in the play, and he does not appear in all recordings of the complete incidental music.) Beethoven wrote it between October 1809 and June 1810, and it was premiered on 15 June 1810.

The subject of the music and dramatic narrative is the life and heroism of a 16th-century Dutch nobleman, the Count of Egmont. It was composed during the period of the Napoleonic Wars, at a time when the French Empire had extended its domination over most of Europe. Beethoven had famously expressed his great outrage over Napoleon Bonaparte’s decision to crown himself Emperor in 1804, furiously scratching out his name in the dedication of the Eroica Symphony. In the music for Egmont, Beethoven expressed his own political concerns through the exaltation of the heroic sacrifice of a man condemned to death for having taken a valiant stand against oppression. The Overture later became an unofficial anthem of the 1956 Hungarian revolution.

Beethoven composed Klärchen’s songs, “Die Trommel gerühret” (“The drum is a-stirring”) and “Freudvoll und leidvoll” (“Joyful and woeful”), with the Austrian actress Antonie Adamberger specifically in mind. She would later repeatedly and enthusiastically recall her collaboration with him.[2]

The music was greeted with eulogistic praise, in particular by E.T.A. Hoffmann for its poetry, and Goethe himself declared that Beethoven had expressed his intentions with “a remarkable genius”.

The overture, powerful and expressive, is one of the last works of his middle period; it has become as famous a composition as the Coriolan Overture, and is in a similar style to the Fifth Symphony, which he had completed two years earlier.

Outline of sections

The incidental music includes the following sections, among which the overture, the lieder Die Trommel gerühret, Freudvoll und Leidvoll and the Mort de Klärchen are particularly well-known:

  1. Overture: Sostenuto, ma non troppo – Allegro
  2. Lied: “Die Trommel gerühret”
  3. Entracte: Andante
  4. Entracte: Larghetto
  5. Lied: “Freudvoll und Leidvoll”
  6. Entracte: Allegro – Marcia
  7. Entracte: Poco sostenuto e risoluto
  8. Mort de Klärchen
  9. Melodram: “Süßer Schlaf”
  10. Siegessymphonie (symphony of victory): Allegro con brio

9 factors that increase your risk for HIV

Friday, April 25th, 2014

HIV/ AIDS has killed more than 25 million people in the past 3 decades. But the current statistics are much more frightening. It has been estimated that there are more than 34 million people all around the world living with HIV infection. One of the main reasons why HIV/AIDS is so widespread is the lack the knowledge about risk factors and transmission of HIV. This lack of knowledge is not restricted to people living in remote areas. The highly educated population also seem equally illiterate when it comes to HIV. Maybe in the future we could have a cure for HIV but until then knowing the risk factors is the best way to stay away from HIV.

1. Having unprotected sex: HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the causative agent of AIDS, a disease that completely destroys the immune system of the body, making the infected person susceptible to several other diseases. HIV circulates throughout the body via the blood stream. It is also present in sexual fluids (semen and vaginal secretions). Therefore, the primary risk factor for acquiring the infection is having unprotected sex. This includes vaginal, oral as well as anal intercourse. The risk is highest in anal intercourse followed by vaginal and lastly oral intercourse.

2. Multiple sex partners: Having unprotected sex puts you at a risk of HIV but with multiple sex partners the risk almost doubles. Multiple sex partners increase your chances of having intercourse with an infected individual.

3. Other sexually transmitted infections: Not many people know that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like syphilis, herpes and gonorrhea increase the risk of contracting HIV. The risk of HIV in individuals earlier infected with an STD is 2-5 times more compared to a person without an STD. Studies suggest that sexually transmitted diseases cause certain changes in the genital tissues, increasing the susceptibility of HIV transmission.

4. Transfusion of contaminated blood and blood products: Whether you were transfused blood during a surgery or are a hemophiliac who needs frequent blood transfusion, your chances of contracting HIV are high if the transfused blood is not tested for HIV. As a standard in medical practice, blood is always tested before a transfusion but recently several cases of HIV due to transfusion of infected blood have been noticed.  

5. Contaminated syringes and needles: Use of unsterilised syringes is still practised in various parts of developing countries, including India. According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) about 5 percent of HIV infections took place due to unsafe injection practices in the year 2002. And, even today the use of unsafe injections is quite rampant. This even includes vaccination given to children. 

6. Drug abuse: If you’re injecting drugs like ketamine, GHB and poppers intravenously, you are more likely to get infected with  HIV. These drugs affect you brain and impair your decision making ability. So you’re more likely to share needles and have unprotected sex.

7. Unsafe piercings: If you’re fond of body piercings and tattooing, you should be aware that you are at a higher risk of HIV. The needles used in these processes could be contaminated or infected with HIV. Ensure that you get piercing and tattooing done from a trained professional. 

8. Negligence in medical practice: All health professionals and health care workers including nurses, doctors, laboratory analysts and pathologists, who have to handle blood samples of patients on a daily basis, are at a risk of HIV if they fail to take necessary precautions and do not follow medical hygienic practices. Handling samples without wearing gloves, improper disinfection and discarding methodology, all can increase your high risk of HIV.

9. Mother-to-child HIV risk: Women with HIV can pass on the virus to their child during pregnancy. Mother-to-child transmission of virus can also take place through breast-feeding because breast milk in an infected mother has high viral load.


  • HIV Risk Factors. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (
  • HIV Transmission Risk (

TSRI scientists discover new HIV target

Friday, April 25th, 2014

A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) working with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has discovered a new vulnerable site on the HIV virus. The newly identified site can be attacked by human antibodies in a way that neutralizes the infectivity of a wide variety of HIV strains.

“HIV has very few known sites of vulnerability, but in this work we’ve described a new one, and we expect it will be useful in developing a vaccine,” said Dennis R. Burton, professor in TSRI’s Department of Immunology and Microbial Science and scientific director of the IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center (NAC) and of the National Institutes of Health’s Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID) on TSRI’s La Jolla campus.

“It’s very exciting that we’re still finding new vulnerable sites on this virus,” said Ian A. Wilson, Hansen Professor of Structural Biology, chair of the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology and member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at TSRI and member of the NAC and CHAVI-ID.

The findings were reported in two papers—one led by Burton and the second led by TSRI Assistant Professor Andrew B. Ward, also a member of NAC and CHAVI-ID, and Wilson—appearing in the May issue of the journal Immunity.

The discovery is part of a large, IAVI- and NIH-sponsored effort to develop an effective vaccine against HIV. Such a vaccine would work by eliciting a strong and long-lasting immune response against vulnerable conserved sites on the virus—sites that don’t vary much from strain to strain, and that, when grabbed by an antibody, leave the virus unable to infect cells.

Cloaked by Shields

HIV generally conceals these vulnerable conserved sites under a dense layer of difficult-to-grasp sugars and fast-mutating parts of the virus surface. Much of the antibody response to infection is directed against the fast-mutating parts and thus is only transiently effective.

Prior to the new findings, scientists had been able to identify only a few different sets of “broadly neutralizing” antibodies, capable of reaching four conserved vulnerable sites on the virus. All these sites are on HIV’s only exposed surface antigen, the flower-like envelope (Env) protein (gp140) that sprouts from the viral membrane and is designed to grab and penetrate host cells.

The identification of the new vulnerable site on the virus began with tests of blood samples from IAVI Protocol G, in which IAVI and its NAC partnered with clinical research centers in Africa, India, Thailand, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States to collect blood samples from more than 1,800 healthy, HIV-positive volunteers to look for rare, broadly neutralizing antibodies. The serum from a small set of the samples indeed turned out to block the infectivity, in test cells, of a wide range of HIV isolates, suggesting the presence of broadly neutralizing antibodies. In 2009, scientists from IAVI, TSRI and Theraclone Sciences succeeded in isolating and characterizing the first new broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV seen in a decade.

Emilia Falkowska, a research associate in the Burton laboratory who was a key author of the first paper, and colleagues soon found a set of eight closely related antibodies that accounted for most of one of the sample’s HIV neutralizing activity. The scientists determined that the two broadest neutralizers among these antibodies, PGT151 and PGT152, could block the infectivity of about two-thirds of a large panel of HIV strains found in patients worldwide.

Curiously, despite their broad neutralizing ability, these antibodies did not bind to any previously described vulnerable sites, or epitopes, on Env—and indeed failed to bind tightly anywhere on purified copies of gp120 or gp41, the two protein subunits of Env. Most previously described broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies bind to one or the other Env subunit. The researchers eventually determined, however, that PGT151 and PGT152 attach not just to gp120 or gp41 but to bits of both.

In fact, gp120 and gp41 assemble into an Env structure not as one gp120-gp41 combination but as three intertwined ones—a trimer, in biologists’ parlance. PGT151 and 152 (which are nearly identical) turned out to have a binding site that occurs only on this mature and properly assembled Env trimer structure.

“These are the first HIV neutralizing antibodies we’ve found that unequivocally distinguish mature Env trimer from all other forms of Env,” said Falkowska. “That’s important because this is the form of Env that the virus uses to infect cells.”

Structure Revealed

The second of the two new studies was an initial structural analysis of the new vulnerable epitope.

Using an integrative approach that combined electron microscopy on the Env trimer complex with PGT151 (led by the Ward lab) with the structure of the PGT151 Fab by x-ray crystallography (led by the Wilson lab), the scientists were able to visualize the location of the PGT151-series binding site on the Env trimer—which includes a spot on one gp41 protein with two associated sugars (glycans), a patch on the gp120 protein and even a piece of the adjacent gp41 within the trimer structure—”a very complex epitope,” said Claudia Blattner, a research associate in the Wilson laboratory at TSRI and member of the IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center who, along with graduate student Jeong Hyun Lee, was a first author of the second paper.

A surprise finding was that the PGT151-series antibodies bind to the Env trimer in a way that stabilizes its otherwise fragile structure. “Typically when you try to purify the native Env trimer, it falls apart, which has made it very hard to study,” said Ward. “It was a key breakthrough to find an antibody that stabilizes it.”

Although the PGT151 site is valuable in itself as an attack point for an HIV vaccine, its discovery also hints at the existence of other similar complex and vulnerable epitopes on HIV.

Source: The Scripps Research Institute

North Korea Launches ‘Homosexual’ Attack on UN Human Rights Chairperson Michael Kirby

Friday, April 25th, 2014

North Korea state media has launched an anti-gay attack on Michael Kirby, the chairperson of the UN agency which published a report criticising human rights in the pariah state.

Kirby, the chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into Human Rights in North Korea, was called a “disgusting old lecher with a 40-odd-year-long career of homosexuality” by the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA).

It is believed the attack came in response to Kirby’s presentation to the Security Council last week where he advised the body to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for persecution of government officials.

KCNA added that, because of his homosexuality, it was “ridiculous” that Kirby was responsible for investigating human rights abuses.

“It is ridiculous for such gays to sponsor dealing with others’ human rights issue,” the agency said.

The UN COI into North Korea’s human rights abuses published a 372-page report in March this year condemning Kim Jong-un’s regime.

After claiming that Kirby had falsified the UN report on the communist state’s human rights abuses, the agency then personally attacked the former judge’s relationship.

“He is now over 70, but he is still anxious to get married to his homosexual partner,” the agency said, referring to his partner of 40 years Johan van Vloten.

NK News – an outlet devoted to developments in the communist state – claims that the KCNA editorial represents the first time that the agency has ever attempted to discredit someone based on their sexuality and the first time it had ever directly referred to homosexuality.

Anderson Cooper to address homosexuality in media, global issues

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Daily Orange

On Thursday night, the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium will be packed with a few hundred people who will all be there to see CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

Cooper will speak as part of Truth Be Told, an annual event hosted by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity with the Syracuse University chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. The $2 tickets sold out on April 16 in 90 minutes. There were about 300 tickets for the event, Abdou Diakite, president of Alpha Phi Alpha, said in an email.

“We chose Anderson Cooper for this year’s Truth Be Told because he embodies diversity through his ideals, which is represented through his work,” he said.

The event aims to bring strong, influential speakers to campus to share their views on a variety of topics, Diakite said. Speakers from previous years include Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson and philosopher Cornel West.

Cooper’s talk will focus on homosexuality in the media, Diakite said. Cooper will also answer questions on global issues. Audience members will hear about Cooper’s childhood as a member of the Vanderbilt family, a wealthy family that made money from the railroad industry, and how he established his own image, he said. The audience will be able to ask questions from their seats, and Cooper will answer questions from Twitter as well, Diakite added.

Service and advocacy are important parts of the fraternity and Diakite said he feels Cooper embodies those components. In addition, Cooper has vast knowledge on social issues that society is facing, Diakite added.

“His coverage on major domestic and global issues is remarkable,” Diakite said. “His credentials help bring out the purpose of our program in which we aim to have intellectual dialogue on pertinent current issues happening in our society.”

Booking Cooper was challenging, Diakite said. It was difficult to find a time when Cooper was available because of his work schedule, he said, adding that it took about five months to book him and required a lot of persistence.

Kavell Brown, a sophomore civil engineering major, said he is curious to hear about Cooper’s viewpoints on different issues.

“He has a diverse outlook on life,” he said. “He’s the type of person who has a good person background and a lot of opinions on issues.”

If a Student Says Homosexuality Is a Sin in School, Is It Bullying?

Friday, April 25th, 2014

And other controversial questions raised by a new Tennessee law that claims to protect religious kids from discrimination


What right should students have to talk about God in homework, assemblies, club meetings, and graduation speeches? This is the question at stake in a new law in Tennessee and other states across the country. On Thursday, Governor Bill Haslam signed the Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act, which affirms that religious students should have the same free-speech rights as secular ones. At first, this might seem uncontroversial; religious expression has always been protected by the First Amendment. So why did two Republican state legislators feel the need to write the bill?

“Christian conservative groups have for many years been frustrated by what they see as a hostile environment for religion in public schools,” said Charles Haynes, the Director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum. “They are convinced—with some justification—that there’s a lot more that public schools can be doing to protect religious expression.”

In Tennessee, legislators pointed to one case in particular as the motivation for creating the bill. In October, a teacher told a Memphis fifth grader that she couldn’t write about God in an essay about “her idol.” In defiance, ten-year-old Erin Shead wrote two essays—both about the Almighty, although only one was about Michael Jackson—and her mom sought legal help. The elementary schooler was later allowed to turn in her God essay (and earned a score of 100%, as local news organizations dutifully reported at the time).

Although Haynes says lawmakers had this kind of situation in mind when drafting the legislation, others have a very different interpretation. “Despite its name, this legislation crosses the line from protecting religious freedom into creating systematic imposition of some students’ personal religious views on other students,” said Hedy Weinberg, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, in a press release. Bloggers at “The Gaily Grind” and “The New Civil Rights Movement” have claimed the law would protect anti-gay bullies.

“I think that criticism is in bad faith and absurd,” said David French, a senior counselor at the American Center for Law and Justice. “I have not seen any evidence whatsoever that there is a desire to use religion as a thinly-veiled pretext to bully anybody.” Representative Courtney Rogers, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, disagrees—one of the staffers in her office called the claim “slanderous.”

How did people come to have such different views on a bill about “religious viewpoints”? One side claims to champion persecuted, God-loving fifth-graders, while the other portends schools filled with gay-bashing bullies.

“Anger has been building up on both sides,” said Haynes. “On the conservative Christian side, they see this as being used to inappropriately hush up kids. But the reality is that this speech does trigger a lot of emotion, and for some people on [the other] side, we’ve come to a place where kids talking about homosexuality being sinful [is considered] unacceptable in public schools.”

One of the big questions is how to define bullying in the first place. “To say that homosexuality is a sin is not bullying,” said Mathew Staver, the founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, which helped craft similar legislation in Texas. “You can’t make a litmus test that certain words or viewpoints aren’t protected by the Constitution.” Haynes agreed that it can be difficult to establish the difference between harassment and free speech. “In the name of stopping what all of us are against—bullying—some groups want to censor religious convictions,” he said.

With this particular bill, it seems like LGBT bullying is a bit of a distraction. Of all the religious discrimination claims he’s represented, very few have had to do with homosexuality, French said. “I have been on the receiving end of complaint after complaint: Teachers telling students, don’t bring your Bible to recess, you can’t discuss your faith or invite someone to church at school, you can’t form a club, you can’t pray. In all of that time, I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the times that involved any conflict with LGBT students.”

But it’s also important to remember where this specific debate is taking place. “We are Tennessee,” said the ACLU’s Weinberg. “It wasn’t that long ago—in 1925—that the Scopes trial took place in Tennessee, and to this day there are efforts to bring religion back into the classroom.”

She said the ACLU often gets complaints about schools favoring religious activities. “It shouldn’t be tit for tat, like I have more complaints than you do,” she said. “But based on our experience in understanding what’s happening across state, the protections of the Establishment Clause are not adhered to the way they should be. This legislation will create more confusion for schools and families.”

This gets at the one thing that everyone seems to agree on: There’s a lot of confusion among administrators about how to handle religious issues in their schools.

“In the name of stopping what all of us are against—bullying—some groups want to censor religious convictions.”

“Many school districts … are very alert to potential violations of the Establishment Clause, particularly because of potential lawsuits,” Haynes said. “The courts have said that public school officials can’t take side on religious issues, but at the same time, students have rights.”

Staver said the Tennessee bill was designed for this exact reason: to clarify what’s already legal. “I think it’s a good law because it sets forth clearly what the law is without having someone having to go research all the cases,” he said.

That’s somewhat true. Particularly after the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of free speech in public schools in Tinker v. Des Moines in 1969, students have been legally allowed to express their beliefs. But the Tennessee law blurs the line between Tinker and another case, Santa Fe Independent School District v. Des Moines, in which the Supreme Court ruled that praying at school-sponsored football games is unconstitutional. The new law says student speakers at school events can talk about God as long as school administrators don’t have any influence over what they say.

“On this issue, it’s not clear what the court would say,” Haynes said. “The nuance here is … if the student is allowed to get up and speak if the school has not edited the speech. In that circumstance, is it really school-sponsored speech? Some would argue, well, it’s still a school event, and here’s a kid offering a prayer or talking about their faith, but the other side would say no—that’s free speech.”

A more state legislators take on this issue, it’s possible that courts will have to provide clarification. Tennessee is just the latest state to pass this kind of legislation—Texas created a similar law in 2007, South Carolina voted for its version in 2012, and Oklahoma approved its “Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act” in February of 2014. “There’s no doubt that we’ll be doing more of this,” Staver said. “This has been a success in several states, and it’s time to start with more of a national campaign.”

Mickey Rooney

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Mickey Rooney (born Joseph Yule, Jr.; September 23, 1920 – April 6, 2014) was an American film actor and entertainer whose film, television, and stage appearances spanned nearly his entire lifetime.

He received multiple awards, including a Juvenile Academy Award, an Honorary Academy Award, two Golden Globes and an Emmy Award. Working as a performer since he was a child, he was a superstar as a teenager for the films in which he played Andy Hardy, and he had one of the longest careers of any actor, spanning 92 years actively making films in ten decades, from the 1920s to the 2010s. For a younger generation of fans, he gained international fame for his leading role as Henry Dailey in The Family Channel‘s The Adventures of the Black Stallion.

Until his death in April 2014, Rooney was one of the last surviving stars who worked in the silent film era. He was also the last surviving cast member of several films in which he appeared during the 1930s and 1940s.

Early life

Rooney was born Joseph Yule, Jr. in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. His father, Joe Yule (born Ninnian Joseph Ewell), was from Glasgow, Scotland, and his mother, Nellie W. (née Carter), was from Kansas City, Missouri. Both of his parents were in vaudeville, appearing in a Brooklyn production of A Gaiety Girl when Joseph, Jr. was born. He began performing at the age of 17 months as part of his parents’ routine, wearing a specially tailored tuxedo.[2]

When he was fourteen months old, unknown to everyone, he crawled onstage wearing overalls and a little harmonica around his neck. He sneezed and his father, Joe Sr., grabbed him up, introducing him to the audience as Sonny Yule. He felt the spotlight on him and described it as his mother’s womb. From that moment on, the stage was his home.

While Joe Sr. was traveling, Joe Jr. and his mother moved from Brooklyn to Kansas City to live with his aunt. While his mother was reading the entertainment newspaper, Nellie was interested in getting Hal Roach to approach her son to participate in the Our Gang series in Hollywood. Roach offered $5 a day to Joe, Jr., while the other young stars were paid five times more.

As he was getting bit parts in films, he was working with other established film stars such as Joel McCrea, Colleen Moore, Clark Gable, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Jean Harlow. While selling newspapers around the corner, he also entered into Hollywood Professional School, where he went to school with dozens of unfamiliar students such as: Joseph A. Wapner, Nanette Fabray, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, among many others, and later Hollywood High School, where he graduated in 1938.


Mickey McGuire

The Yules separated in 1924 during a slump in vaudeville, and in 1925, Nell Yule moved with her son to Hollywood, where she managed a tourist home. Fontaine Fox had placed a newspaper ad for a dark-haired child to play the role of “Mickey McGuire” in a series of short films. Lacking the money to have her son’s hair dyed, Mrs. Yule took her son to the audition after applying burnt cork to his scalp.[3] Joe got the role and became “Mickey” for 78 of the comedies, running from 1927 to 1936, starting with Mickey’s Circus, released September 4, 1927.[4] These had been adapted from the Toonerville Trolley comic strip, which contained a character named Mickey McGuire. Joe Yule briefly became Mickey McGuire legally in order to trump an attempted copyright lawsuit (if it was his legal name, the film producer Larry Darmour did not owe the comic strip writers royalties). His mother also changed her surname to McGuire in an attempt to bolster the argument, but the film producers lost. The litigation settlement awarded damages to the owners of the cartoon character, compelling the twelve-year-old actor to refrain from calling himself Mickey McGuire on- and offscreen.[5]

Rooney later claimed that, during his Mickey McGuire days, he met cartoonist Walt Disney at the Warner Brothers studio, and that Disney was inspired to name Mickey Mouse after him,[6] although Disney always said that he had changed the name from “Mortimer Mouse” to “Mickey Mouse” on the suggestion of his wife.[7]

During an interruption in the series in 1932, Mrs. Yule made plans to take her son on a ten-week vaudeville tour as McGuire, and Fox sued successfully to stop him from using the name. Mrs. Yule suggested the stage name of Mickey Looney for her comedian son, which he altered slightly to Rooney, a less frivolous version.[3] Rooney made other films in his adolescence, including several more of the McGuire films, and signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1934. MGM cast Rooney as the teenage son of a judge in 1937′s A Family Affair, setting Rooney on the way to another successful film series.

“Andy Hardy” and Judy Garland

Rooney with Judy Garland in Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)

In 1937, Rooney was selected to portray Andy Hardy in A Family Affair, which MGM had planned as a B-movie.[3] Rooney provided comic relief as the son of Judge James K. Hardy, portrayed by Lionel Barrymore (although Lewis Stone would play the role of Judge Hardy in subsequent films). The film was an unexpected success, and led to 13 more Andy Hardy films between 1937 and 1946, and a final film in 1958. Rooney also received top billing as “Shockey Carter” in Hoosier Schoolboy (1937).

Also in 1937, Rooney made his first film alongside Judy Garland with Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry. Garland and Rooney became close friends and a successful song-and-dance team. Besides three of the Andy Hardy films, where she portrayed Betsy Booth, a younger girl with a crush on Andy, they appeared together in a string of successful musicals, including the Oscar-nominated Babes in Arms (1939). During an interview in the 1992 documentary film MGM: When the Lion Roars, Rooney describes their friendship:[8]

“Judy and I were so close we could’ve come from the same womb. We weren’t like brothers or sisters but there was no love affair there; there was more than a love affair. It’s very, very difficult to explain the depths of our love for each other. It was so special. It was a forever love. Judy, as we speak, has not passed away. She’s always with me in every heartbeat of my body.”

With Carmen Miranda backstage at Babes on Broadway (1941)

Rooney’s breakthrough-role as a dramatic actor came in 1938′s Boys Town opposite Spencer Tracy as Whitey Marsh, which opened shortly before his 18th birthday. Rooney was awarded a special Juvenile Academy Award in 1939[9] and was named the biggest box-office draw in 1939, 1940 and 1941.[10] A well-known entertainer by the early 1940s, his picture appeared on the cover of the March 18, 1940 issue of Time magazine, timed to coincide with the release of Young Tom Edison;[11] the cover story began:[12]

“Hollywood’s No. 1 box office bait in 1939 was not Clark Gable, Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power, but a rope-haired, kazoo-voiced kid with a comic-strip face, who until this week had never appeared in a picture without mugging or overacting it. His name (assumed) was Mickey Rooney, and to a large part of the more articulate U. S. cinema audience, his name was becoming a frequently used synonym for brat.”

Rooney, with Garland, was one of many celebrities caricatured in Tex Avery‘s 1941 Warner Bros. cartoon Hollywood Steps Out. In 1991, Rooney was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star “Lifetime Achievement” Award recognizing his achievements within the film industry as a child actor.[13] After presenting the award to Rooney, the foundation subsequently renamed the accolade “The Mickey Rooney Award” in his honor.[14][15]

After the war

Rooney entertaining troops in 1945

In 1944, Rooney enlisted in the United States Army. He served more than 21 months, until shortly after the end of World War II. During and after the war he helped entertain the troops in America and Europe, and spent part of the time as a radio personality on the American Forces Network and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for entertaining troops in combat zones. In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Rooney also received the Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal for his military service.

After his return to civilian life, his career slumped. He appeared in a number of films, including Words and Music in 1948, which paired him for the last time with Garland on film (he appeared with her on one episode as a guest on her CBS variety series in 1963). He briefly starred in a CBS radio series, Shorty Bell, in the summer of 1948, and reprised his role as “Andy Hardy”, with most of the original cast, in a syndicated radio version of The Hardy Family in 1949 and 1950 (repeated on Mutual during 1952).[16]

His first television series, The Mickey Rooney Show: Hey, Mulligan (created by Blake Edwards with Rooney as his own producer), appeared on NBC television for 32 episodes between August 28, 1954 and June 4, 1955. In 1951, he directed a feature film for Columbia Pictures, My True Story starring Helen Walker. Rooney also starred as a ragingly egomaniacal television comedian in the live 90-minute television drama The Comedian, in the Playhouse 90 series on the evening of Valentine’s Day in 1957, and as himself in a revue called The Musical Revue of 1959 based on the 1929 film The Hollywood Revue of 1929, which was edited into a film in 1960, by British International Pictures.

In 1958, Rooney joined Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra in hosting an episode of NBC’s short-lived Club Oasis comedy and variety show. In 1960, Rooney directed and starred in The Private Lives of Adam and Eve, an ambitious comedy known for its multiple flashbacks and many cameos. In the 1960s, Rooney returned to theatrical entertainment. He still accepted film roles in undistinguished films, but occasionally would appear in better works, such as Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962), It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), and The Black Stallion (1979). One of Rooney’s more controversial roles came in the highly-acclaimed 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s where he played a stereotyped buck-toothed myopic Japanese character, I.Y. Yunioshi, neighbor of the main character, Holly Golightly. Despite Rooney’s protests that he was congratulated for the role by Asians, that role would later be held up as one of the most notorious examples of Hollywood’s history of stereotypical depictions of that racial group.

On December 31, 1961, he appeared on television’s What’s My Line and mentioned that he had already started enrolling students in the MRSE (Mickey Rooney School of Entertainment). His school venture never came to fruition. This was a period of professional distress for Rooney; as a childhood friend, director Richard Quine put it: “Let’s face it. It wasn’t all that easy to find roles for a 5-foot-3 man who’d passed the age of Andy Hardy.”[17] In 1962, his debts had forced him into filing for bankruptcy.[18]

In 1966, while Rooney was working on the film Ambush Bay in the Philippines, his wife Barbara Ann Thomason (akas: Tara Thomas, Carolyn Mitchell), a former pinup model and aspiring actress who had won 17 straight beauty contests in Southern California, was found dead in their bed. Beside her was her lover, Milos Milos, an actor friend of Rooney’s. Detectives ruled it murder-suicide, which was committed with Rooney’s own gun.[19]

Rooney was awarded an Academy Juvenile Award in 1938, and in 1983 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted him their Academy Honorary Award for his lifetime of achievement. He was mentioned in the 1972 song “Celluloid Heroes” by The Kinks: “If you stomped on Mickey Rooney/ He’d still turn ’round and smile…”

Character actor

Rooney on The Red Skelton Show, 1962

In addition to his movie roles, Rooney made numerous guest-starring roles as a character actor for nearly six decades, beginning with an episode of Celanese Theatre. The part led to other roles on such television series as Schlitz Playhouse, Playhouse 90, Producers’ Showcase, Alcoa Theatre, Wagon Train, General Electric Theater, Hennesey, The Dick Powell Theatre, Arrest and Trial, Burke’s Law, Combat!, The Fugitive, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, The Jean Arthur Show, The Name of the Game, Dan August, Night Gallery, The Love Boat, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, among many others.

Television, stage, Bill, and The Black Stallion

Rooney made a successful transition to television and stage work. In 1961, he guest-starred in the 13-week James Franciscus adventuredrama CBS television series The Investigators. In 1962, he was cast as himself in the episode “The Top Banana” of the CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys, starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams.

In 1963, he entered CBS’s The Twilight Zone, giving a one-man performance in the episode “The Last Night of a Jockey“. Also in 1963, in ‘The Hunt’ episode 9, season 1 for Suspense Theater, he played the sadistic sheriff hunting the young surfer played by James Caan. In 1964, he launched another half-hour sitcom, Mickey, on ABC. The story line had “Mickey” operating a resort hotel in southern California. Son Tim Rooney appeared as Rooney’s teenaged son on this program, and Emmaline Henry starred as Rooney’s wife. It lasted 17 episodes, ending primarily due to the suicide of co-star Sammee Tong in October 1964.[20]

He won a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for his role in 1981′s Bill. Playing opposite Dennis Quaid, Rooney’s character was a mentally handicapped man attempting to live on his own after leaving an institution. He reprised his role in 1983′s Bill: On His Own, earning an Emmy nomination for the role.[4]

Rooney provided the voices for four Christmas TV animated/stop action specials: Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (1970), The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974), Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July (1979), and A Miser Brothers’ Christmas (2008)—always playing Santa Claus.

He continued to work on stage and television through the 1980s and 1990s, appearing in the acclaimed stage play Sugar Babies with Ann Miller beginning in 1979. Following this, he toured as Pseudelous in Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. In the 1990s, he returned to Broadway for the final months of Will Rogers Follies, playing the ghost of Will’s father. On television, he starred in the short-lived sitcom, One of the Boys, along with two unfamiliar young stars, Dana Carvey and Nathan Lane, in 1982. He toured Canada in a dinner theatre production of The Mind with the Naughty Man in the mid-1990s. He played The Wizard in a stage production of The Wizard of Oz with Eartha Kitt at Madison Square Garden. Kitt was later replaced by Jo Anne Worley. In 1995 he starred with Charlton Heston, Peter Graves and Deborah Winters in the Warren Chaney docudrama America: A Call to Greatness.[21] He also appeared in the documentaries That’s Entertainment! and That’s Entertainment! III, in both films introducing segments paying tribute to Judy Garland.

Actor Mickey Rooney speaks at the Pentagon in 2000 during a ceremony honoring the USO

Rooney voiced Mr. Cherrywood in The Care Bears Movie (1985), and starred as the Movie Mason in a Disney Channel Original Movie family film 2000′s Phantom of the Megaplex. He had a guest-spot on an episode of The Golden Girls as Sophia’s boyfriend “Rocko”, who claimed to be a bank robber. He voiced himself in the Simpsons episode “Radioactive Man” of 1995. In 1996–97, Rooney played Talbut on the TV series, Kleo The Misfit Unicorn. He costarred in Night at the Museum in 2006 with Dick Van Dyke and Ben Stiller; Rooney filmed a cameo with Van Dyke for the 2009 sequel, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, which was cut from the film but included as an extra on the DVD release.[citation needed]

After starring in one unsuccessful TV series and turning down an offer for a huge TV series, Rooney finally hit the jackpot, at 70, when he was offered a starring role on The Family Channel’s The Adventures of the Black Stallion, where he reprised his role as Henry Dailey in the film of the same name, eleven years earlier. The show was based on a novel by Walter Farley. For this role, he had to travel to Vancouver. The show became an immediate hit with teenagers, young adults and people all over the world, being seen in 70 countries.

Rooney appeared in television commercials for Garden State Life Insurance Company in 1999, alongside his wife Jan Rooney. In commercials shown in 2007, he can be seen in the background washing imaginary dishes.

Final work

In 2003, Rooney and his wife began their association with Rainbow Puppet Productions, providing their voices to the 100th Anniversary production of Toyland!, an adaptation of Victor Herbert‘s Babes in Toyland. He created the voice for the Master Toymaker while Jan provided the voice for Mother Goose. Since that time, they have created voices for additional Rainbow Puppet Productions including Pirate Party, which also features vocal performances by Carol Channing.

On May 26, 2007, he was grand marshal at the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival. Rooney made his British pantomime debut, playing Baron Hardup in Cinderella, at the Sunderland Empire Theatre over the 2007 Christmas period,[22][23] a role he reprised at Bristol Hippodrome in 2008 and at the Milton Keynes theatre in 2009.[24]

In 2008, Rooney starred as Chief, a wise old ranch owner, in the independent family feature film Lost Stallions: The Journey Home, marking a return to starring in equestrian-themed productions for the first time since the 1990s TV show Adventures of the Black Stallion. Even though they acted together before, Lost Stallions: The Journey Home was the sole film in which Rooney and Jan portrayed a married couple on screen.

In December 2009, he appeared as a guest at a dinner-party hosted by David Gest on Come Dine With Me.[25]

In 2011, Rooney made a brief cameo appearance in The Muppets and appeared in an episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories, recounting how, during a down period in his career, his deceased father appeared to him one night, telling him not to give up on his career. He claimed that the experience bolstered his resolve and soon afterwards his career experienced a resurgence. In 2014, Rooney returned to film scenes to reprise his role as “Gus” in Night at the Museum 3[26]. It is currently unknown whether he completed his scenes and whether his death will affect the film’s production.

Personal life

Rooney was married eight times. In the 1950s and 1960s, he was often the subject of comedians’ jokes for his alleged inability to stay married. At the time of his death, he was married to Jan Chamberlin, although they were then separated. He had a total of nine children, as well as 19 grandchildren[27] and several great-grandchildren.

Mickey Rooney in 1986

In 1942, he married future Hollywood starlet Ava Gardner, but the two were divorced well before she became a star in her own right. While stationed in the military in Alabama in 1944, Rooney met and married local beauty-queen Betty Jane Phillips. This marriage ended in divorce after he returned from Europe at the end of World War II. His subsequent marriages to Martha Vickers (1949) and Elaine Mahnken (1952) were also short-lived and ended in divorce. In 1958, Rooney married Barbara Ann Thomason (stage name Carolyn Mitchell), but tragedy struck when she was murdered in 1966. Falling into deep depression, he married Barbara’s friend, Marge Lane, who helped him take care of his young children. The marriage lasted only 100 days. He was married to Carolyn Hockett from 1969 to 1974, but financial instability ended the relationship. Finally, in 1978, Rooney married Jan Chamberlin, his eighth wife; the union would endure for over 35 years, longer than all of Mickey’s previous marriages combined. They both were outspoken advocates for veterans and animal rights.[28] and Rooney was an outspoken advocate for veterans and senior rights.[citation needed]

After the deaths of his wife Barbara Ann Thomason and his mother, problems with alcohol and drugs, and various financial problems that included a bankruptcy,[29] Rooney had a religious experience with a busboy in a casino coffee shop.[6][30][31] In 1975, Rooney was an active member of the Church of Religious Science, a New Thought group founded by Ernest Holmes.[32]

Rooney’s oldest child, Mickey Rooney, Jr., is a born-again Christian, and has an evangelical ministry in Hemet, California.[33] He and several of Rooney’s other eight children have worked at various times in show business. One of them, actor Tim Rooney, died in 2006, aged 59.

On September 23, 2010, Rooney celebrated his 90th birthday at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency in the Upper East Side of New York City. Among those who attended the fete were; Donald Trump, Regis Philbin, Nathan Lane and Tony Bennett.[34] In December 2010 he was honored as Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month.[35]

On February 16, 2011, Rooney was granted a temporary restraining order against Christopher Aber, one of Jan Rooney’s two sons from a previous marriage.[36] On March 2, 2011 Rooney appeared before a special U.S. Senate committee that was considering legislation to curb elder abuse. Rooney stated that he was financially abused by unnamed family members. On March 27, 2011, all of Rooney’s finances were permanently handed over to lawyers over the claim of missing money.[37]

In April 2011, the temporary restraining order that Rooney was previously granted was replaced by a confidential settlement between Rooney and his stepson.[38] Christopher Aber and Jan Rooney have denied all the allegations.[39][40]

In May 2013, Rooney sold his house of many years, separated from his wife Jan Rooney and split the proceeds.[41]


Rooney died surrounded by his family at his home in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California[42] on April 6, 2014, at the age of 93.[43][44][45] Rooney was survived by his wife of 37 years, Jan Chamberlain, as well as eight surviving children, two stepchildren, nineteen grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.[46]


Always get married early in the morning. That way, if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t wasted a whole day.
—Mickey Rooney[47]
Wife Years Children
Ava Gardner 1942–1943
Betty Jane Rase 1944–1949 Mickey Rooney, Jr. (born July 3, 1945)
Tim Rooney (January 4, 1947 – September 23, 2006)
Martha Vickers 1949–1951 Theodore Michael Rooney (born April 13, 1950)
Elaine Devry 1952–1958
Barbara Ann Thomason
(a.k.a.: Tara Thomas, Carolyn Mitchell)
1958–1966 Kelly Ann Rooney (born September 13, 1959)
Kerry Rooney (born December 30, 1960)
Michael Joseph Rooney (born April 2, 1962)
Kimmy Sue Rooney (born September 13, 1963)
Marge Lane 1966–1967
Carolyn Hockett 1969–1975 Jimmy Rooney (adopted from Carolyn’s previous marriage) (born in 1966)
Jonelle Rooney (born January 11, 1970)
Jan Chamberlin 1978–2014 (Separated May 2013)


Selected films

This is a selected list of Rooney’s full-length films, both theatrical and made for television.

Year Title
1927 Orchids and Ermine
1932 The Beast of the City
Sin’s Pay Day
High Speed
Fast Companions
My Pal, the King
Officer Thirteen
1933 The Big Cage
The Life of Jimmy Dolan
The Big Chance
Broadway to Hollywood
The Chief
The World Changes
1934 Beloved
The Lost Jungle
I Like It That Way
Manhattan Melodrama
Love Birds
Half a Sinner
Blind Date
Death on the Diamond
1935 The County Chairman
The Healer
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Ah, Wilderness!
1936 Riffraff
Little Lord Fauntleroy
Down the Stretch
The Devil is a Sissy
1937 A Family Affair
Captains Courageous
Slave Ship
Hoosier Schoolboy
Live, Love and Learn
Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry
You’re Only Young Once
1938 Love Is a Headache
Judge Hardy’s Children
Hold That Kiss
Lord Jeff
Love Finds Andy Hardy
Boys Town
Out West with the Hardys
1939 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Hardys Ride High
Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever
Babes in Arms
Judge Hardy and Son
1940 Young Tom Edison
Andy Hardy Meets Debutante
Strike Up the Band
1941 Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary
Men of Boys Town
Life Begins for Andy Hardy
Babes on Broadway
1942 The Courtship of Andy Hardy
A Yank at Eton
Andy Hardy’s Double Life
Year Title
1943 The Human Comedy
Thousands Cheer
Girl Crazy
1944 Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble
National Velvet
1946 Love Laughs at Andy Hardy
1947 Killer McCoy
1948 Summer Holiday
Words and Music
1949 The Big Wheel
1950 Quicksand
The Fireball
He’s a Cockeyed Wonder
1951 My Outlaw Brother
The Strip
1952 Sound Off
1953 Off Limits
All Ashore
A Slight Case of Larceny
1954 Drive a Crooked Road
The Atomic Kid
1955 The Bridges at Toko-Ri
The Twinkle in God’s Eye
1956 The Bold and the Brave
Francis in the Haunted House
Magnificent Roughnecks
1957 Operation Mad Ball
Baby Face Nelson
1958 A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed
Andy Hardy Comes Home
1959 The Big Operator
The Last Mile
1960 Platinum High School
The Private Lives of Adam and Eve
1961 King of the Roaring 20′s – The Story of Arnold Rothstein
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Everything’s Ducky
1962 Requiem for a Heavyweight
1963 It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
1964 The Secret Invasion
1965 Twenty-Four Hours to Kill
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini
1966 The Devil In Love
Ambush Bay
1968 Skidoo
1969 The Extraordinary Seaman
The Comic
80 Steps to Jonah
1970 Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (voice)
1971 Mooch Goes to Hollywood
The Manipulator
1972 Evil Roy Slade
1973 The Godmothers
1974 Thunder County
Rachel’s Man
Journey Back to Oz (voice)
The Year Without a Santa Claus (voice)
1975 Ace of Hearts
From Hong Kong with Love
1976 Find the Lady
Year Title
1977 The Domino Principle
Pete’s Dragon
1978 The Magic of Lassie
1979 The Black Stallion
Arabian Adventure
Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July (voice)
1981 The Fox and the Hound (voice)
1982 The Emperor of Peru/Odyssey of the Pacific
1983 Bill: On His Own
1984 It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
1985 The Care Bears Movie (voice)
1986 Lightning, the White Stallion
1988 Bluegrass
1989 Erik the Viking
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (voice)
1990 Home For Christmas
1991 My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
1992 The Milky Life
Sweet Justice
Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker
Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland
Maximum Force
1993 The Legend of Wolf Mountain
The Magic Voyage (voice)
1994 Revenge of the Red Baron
The Outlaws: The Legend of O.B. Taggart
Making Waves
1995 America: A Call to Greatness
1997 Killing Midnight
1998 The Face on the Barroom Floor
Animals and the Tollkeeper
Michael Kael vs. the World News Company
The Snow Queen (voice)
Sinbad: The Battle of the Dark Knights
Babe: Pig in the City
1999 Holy Hollywood
The First of May
2000 Internet Love
Phantom of the Megaplex
2001 Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure (voice)
2002 Topa Topa Bluffs
2003 Paradise
2005 Strike the Tent
A Christmas Too Many
2006 The Thirsting
To Kill a Mockumentary
Night at the Museum
2007 The Yesterday Pool
Bamboo Shark
2008 Lost Stallions: The Journey Home
A Miser Brothers’ Christmas (voice)
2010 Gerald
2011 The Muppets
2012 Last Will and Embezzlement
2014 Night at the Museum 3

Short subjects

Year Title
1926 Not to Be Trusted
1927 Mickey’s Circus
Mickey’s Pals
Mickey’s Eleven
Mickey’s Battles
1928 Mickey’s Parade
Mickey in School
Mickey’s Nine
Mickey’s Little Eva
Mickey’s Wild West
Mickey in Love
Mickey’s Triumph
Mickey’s Babies
Mickey’s Movies
Mickey’s Rivals
Mickey the Detective
Mickey’s Athletes
Mickey’s Big Game Hunt
1929 Mickey’s Great Idea
Mickey’s Menagerie
Mickey’s Last Chance
Mickey’s Brown Derby
Mickey’s Northwest Mounted
Mickey’s Initiation
Mickey’s Midnite Follies
Mickey’s Surprise
Mickey’s Mix-Up
Mickey’s Big Moment
Mickey’s Strategy
Year Title
1930 Mickey’s Champs
Mickey’s Explorers
Mickey’s Master Mind
Mickey’s Luck
Mickey’s Whirlwinds
Mickey’s Warriors
Mickey the Romeo
Mickey’s Merry Men
Mickey’s Winners
Screen Snapshots Series 9, No. 24
Mickey’s Musketeers
Mickey’s Bargain
1931 Mickey’s Stampede
Mickey’s Crusaders
Mickey’s Rebellion
Mickey’s Diplomacy
Mickey’s Wildcats
Mickey’s Thrill Hunters
Mickey’s Helping Hand
Mickey’s Sideline
1932 Mickey’s Busy Day
Mickey’s Travels
Mickey’s Holiday
Mickey’s Big Business
Mickey’s Golden Rule
Mickey’s Charity
Year Title
1933 Mickey’s Ape Man
Mickey’s Race
Mickey’s Big Broadcast
Mickey’s Disguises
Mickey’s Touchdown
Mickey’s Tent Show
Mickey’s Covered Wagon
1934 Mickey’s Minstrels
Mickey’s Rescue
Mickey’s Medicine Man
1935 Pirate Party on Catalina Isle
1937 Cinema Circus
1938 Andy Hardy’s Dilemma
1940 Rodeo Dough
1941 Meet the Stars #4: Variety Reel #2
1943 Show Business at War
1947 Screen Snapshots: Out of This World Series
1953 Screen Snapshots: Mickey Rooney – Then and Now
1958 Screen Snapshots: Glamorous Hollywood
1968 Vienna
1974 Just One More Time
1975 The Lion Roars Again
2008 Wreck the Halls


Rooney made countless appearances in TV sitcoms and television films. He also lent his voice to many animation films. Only his most important work is listed in this section.

Year(s) Title Role Notes
1954–55 The Mickey Rooney Show: Hey, Mulligan Mickey Mulligan Lead Role; 33 episodes
1964–65 Mickey Mickey Grady Lead Role; 17 episodes
1982 One of the Boys Oliver Nugent Lead Role; 13 episodes
1990–93 The Adventures of the Black Stallion Henry Dailey Main Role; 78 episodes

Stage work

Awards and honors

Year Award Category Nominated work / Honor Result
1938 Academy Award Academy Juvenile Award (With Deanna Durbin)
“For their significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth, and as juvenile players setting a high standard of ability and achievement.”
1939 Academy Award Best Actor in a Leading Role Babes in Arms Nominated
1943 Academy Award Best Actor in a Leading Role The Human Comedy Nominated
1956 Academy Award Best Actor in a Supporting Role The Bold and the Brave Nominated
1957 Emmy Award Best Single Performance in a Leading or Supporting Role “The Comedian”, episode of Playhouse 90 Nominated
1957 Laurel Award Top Male Action Star Baby Face Nelson 3rd Place
1958 Emmy Award Best Single Performance Alcoa Theatre Nominated
1960 Hollywood Walk of Fame Star of Motion Picture Star at 1718 Vine Street Honored
Star of Television Star at 6372 Hollywood Boulevard Honored
Star of Radio Star at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard Honored
1961 Emmy Award Best Single Performance in a Leading or Supporting Role “Somebody’s Waiting”, episode of The Dick Powell Show Nominated
1962 Laurel Award Top Male Supporting Performance Requiem for a Heavyweight Nominated
1964 Golden Globe Best TV Star – Male Mickey Won
1980 Academy Award Best Actor in a Supporting Role The Black Stallion Nominated
1981 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Special Bill Won
1981 Golden Globe Best Actor in a TV Mini-Series or Motion Picture Bill Won
1983 Academy Award Academy Honorary Award “In recognition of his 50 years of versatility in a variety of memorable film performances.” Honored
1983 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Special Bill: On His Own Nominated
1991 Gemini Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role The Adventures of the Black Stallion Nominated
1991 Young Artist Award Former Child Star Award For lifetime achievement as a child star
(Subsequently renamed “The Mickey Rooney Award“)
1996 Giffoni Film Festival François Truffaut Award Honored
2004 Pocono Mountains Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Honored

In 1996, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.[48]


  1. “Mickey Rooney obituary: women liked me because I made them laugh”. April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  2. Life Is Too Short. Autobiography (1991). ISBN 978-0-679-40195-7
  3. Current Biography 1942. H.W. Wilson Co. (January 1942). pp. 704–06. ISBN 99903-960-3-5.
  4. Mickey Rooney at the Internet Movie Database
  5. Server, Lee, Ava Gardner “Love is Nothing” (2006), St. Martin’s Press
  6. Albin, Kira. Mickey Rooney: Hollywood, Religion and His Latest Show. Senior Magazine. 1995.
  7. Gabler, Neal, Walt Disney, (2006), Alfred A. Knopf
  8. Rooney, Mickey. “The Lion Reigns Supreme”, MGM: When the Lion Roars, 1992 miniseries
  9. “11th Academy Awards”. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  10. “In 1939 [Rooney] became the top box-office star in the world, a title he held for three consecutive years.” Branagh, Kenneth (narrator). 1939: Hollywood’s Greatest Year. Turner Classic Movies, 2009.
  11. “Young Tom Edison (1940)”. Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2013-09-16. “Time put Rooney on the cover, noting that his movies had grossed a whopping $30 million for MGM the previous year and praising him for ‘his most sober and restrained performance to date’ as young Edison, ‘who (like himself) began at the bottom of the American heap, (like himself) had to struggle, (like himself) won, but a boy whose main activity (unlike Mickey’s) was investigating, inventing, thinking.’”
  12. “Cinema: Success Story”. Time. March 18, 1940. Retrieved 2013-09-16. “Hollywood’s No. 1 box office bait in 1939 was not Clark Gable, Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power, but a rope-haired, kazoo-voiced kid with a comic-strip face, who until this week had never appeared in a picture without mugging or overacting it. His name (assumed) was Mickey Rooney, and to a large part of the more articulate U. S. cinema audience, his name was becoming a frequently used synonym for brat.”
  13. “12th Annual Youth in Film Awards”. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  14. “13th Annual Youth in Film Awards”. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  15. “23rd Annual Young Artist Awards”. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  16. Dunning, John, On The Air: The Encyclopedia Of Old-Time Radio (1998), Oxford University Press
  17. Marx, Arthur (1987). The Nine Lives of Mickey Rooney. New York: Berkley. ISBN 978-0425105528.
  18. Marill, Alvin H. (2005). Mickey Rooney: His Films, Television Appearances, Radio Work, Stage Shows, And Recordings. Jefferson NC: McFarland. p. 50. ISBN 0-7864-2015-4.
  19. Brockes, Emma (October 16, 2005). “Murder in Tinseltown”. London: Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  20. Marx, Arthur, The Nine Lives Of Mickey Rooney (1986), Stein & Day
  21. America: A Call to Greatness at The Internet Movie Database, TV, 1995
  22. Mickey Rooney makes panto debut, December 7, 2007
  23. “Mickey Rooney: The Mickey show”. London: 2008-12-14. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  24. “Review – Cinderella with Mickey Rooney, Milton Keynes Theatre « West End Whingers”. 2009-12-06. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  25. “Come Dine With Me Celebrity Special”. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  27. “Mickey Rooney Grandchildren”. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  28. Mickey and Jan Rooney Show Love for Animals on YouTube
  29. Gold, Tanya. “Mickey Rooney: ‘Why retire? Inspire’”. The Guardian. December 29, 2009.
  30. Plagenz, George R. “What Mickey Rooney Knows About Life”. Nevada Daily Mail. May 23, 1991.
  31. Michel, Alex. “AT LUNCH WITH: Mickey Rooney; At 73, Still the Star, Still the Child”. The New York Times. July 7, 1993.
  32. Plagenz, George R. (June 5, 1975). “Church Attracts Rooney, Top Stars”. Pittsburgh Press-Gazette. p. 25. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  33. Sanderson, Nancy. “Legend’s Son at Home in Hemet: Mickey Rooney Jr., in Show Business Since Childhood, Is Also Involved in Ministry.”The Press-Enterprise (Hemet, California), May 22, 2001.
  34. “Actor Mickey Rooney Turns 90 With Upper East Side Style”. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  35. “Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month”. 1920-09-23. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  36. “Mickey Rooney granted restraining order against stepson”. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  37. “Mickey Rooney lawyer to control finances”. 2011-03-27. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  38. “Mickey Rooney drops restraining order against stepson”. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  39. “Mickey Rooney Claims Elder Abuse: Actor’s testimony to Congress helps spur bill for new crackdown” by Carole Fleck and Talia Schmidt. AARP Bulletin, March 2, 2011
  40. Silverman, Stephen M. (2011-03-03). “Mickey Rooney: ‘Elder Abuse Made Me Feel Trapped’”. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  41. Hetherman, Bill (2013-03-03). “Mickey Rooney’s home to be sold for $1.3M to West Hills firm”. Daily Breeze.
  43. “Mickey Rooney, Golden Age Box Office Giant, Dies at 93″. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  44. “Reports: Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney dies”. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  46. Mickey Rooney survivors
  47. Mickey RooneyUS actor (1920 – ). “Quote Details: Mickey Rooney: Always get married early…”. The Quotations Page. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  48. “Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated” (PDF). Retrieved 2013-09-16.


  • Mickey Rooney, Life Is Too Short (New York: Random House, 1991)
  • Arthur Marx, The Nine Lives Of Mickey Rooney (New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1988 reprint)
  • Rothwell-Smith, Paul. Silent Films! the Performers (2011) ISBN 9781907540325

External links

Bringing the HIV pandemic to zero will require a vaccine, expert says

Saturday, March 29th, 2014


José Esparza to deliver keynote address at upcoming meeting on overcoming vaccine development barriers

WINNIPEG, March 28, 2014 /CNW/ – With 2.3 million new cases of HIV every year globally, including 50,000 in the U.S. alone, internationally renowned vaccine expert José Esparza says the need for an HIV vaccine is imperative to complement other preventive interventions and bring HIV/AIDS under control.

“There has been a sense that we have the tools to bring the pandemic to zero, but that’s not true. We will not be able to do that without a vaccine; how soon one is developed will depend on the decisions we make today,” says Esparza, who will soon retire from his role as Senior Advisor, Vaccines at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In May, Esparza will deliver his first post-retirement speech at a Canadian meeting on HIV vaccine research and development. His presentation entitled “Do We Need a New Paradigm for HIV Vaccine Development?” will be the keynote address at the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) Research and Development Alliance Coordinating Office (ACO) Annual Meeting, to be held May 1, 2014 in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Esparza, who is also an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, has worked for decades in viral diseases and vaccine research. He says more innovative research, efficacy trials, and strong international partnerships will be the keys to successful HIV vaccine discovery.

Esparza and 12 other Canadian and international experts will address barriers to vaccine development and the innovative steps being taken to overcome them at the ACO Annual CHVI R&D Meeting.

The meeting will provide perspectives from research, regulatory affairs, pharma and international organizations – precisely the kind of multidisciplinary dialogue that Esparza has advocated for throughout his career.

“We need voices that maintain the sense of urgency regarding the search for an HIV vaccine,” he says. “Accelerating HIV vaccine discovery and development will require a concerted and collaborative effort that focuses on developing a globally relevant vaccine.”

The ACO annual meeting is being held in tandem with the 23rd Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research (CAHR 2014), where Esparza will also speak on May 2 at the CHVI – Vaccine Research Plenary. The title of his presentation for that session is “An HIV Vaccine Will be Needed to Bring the HIV Pandemic to Zero”.

The CHVI is a five-year collaborative initiative between the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and represents a significant Canadian contribution to global efforts to develop a safe, effective, affordable and globally accessible HIV vaccine. The ACO was established by the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011 at the International Centre for Infectious Diseases (ICID), a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The ACO is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Tattoo clients urged to get tested for hepatitis and HIV

Saturday, March 29th, 2014


Health officials are warning anyone who received a tattoo at a downtown Edmonton home to be tested for hepatitis and HIV.

tattoosA man works on a tattoo in a picture posted on the Tazzman Tattoos Facebook page. (CBC)

Alberta Health Services is urging anyone who received a tattoo from a home business named Tazzman Tattoo or from the operator Steve Tazz Devilman to get tested.

The business at #301, 10724 – 105 Street, which was never inspected, used unsanitary tattoo procedures, said Dr. Chris Sikora, Edmonton Zone Medical Officer of Health.

“We were able to do a complete inspection and found that the sanitary conditions were unacceptable for current standards and regulations for delivery of tattoos in any situation,” he said.

AHS ordered the business closed on March 21. Clients are advised to get tested for illnesses like Hepatitis and HIV.

Areol Leason, who says she’s the fiance of the tattoo artist, says that he used sterile and there was no reason for AHS to intervene.

“Nobody’s being affected by his hobby,” she told CBC News.

Worried clients can call Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-5465 (LINK) to arrange for testing.

To confirm that a tattoo operation in the city is inspected, people can call AHS Environmental Public Health at 780-735-1800.

Iranian pop star Googoosh releases taboo-breaking video addressing homosexuality

Saturday, March 29th, 2014


AMSTERDAM – Iranian pop star Googoosh has released a video that addresses homosexual love — a major gesture by one of the country’s top cultural figures in exile — causing a stir in the Islamic republic, where the topic is taboo and being convicted of homosexuality can carry the death penalty.

The ballad’s lyrics speak of a forbidden love, and the video shows scenes of a happy young woman as seen through the eyes of her lover, contrasted with scenes of disapproval from her father and others. It withholds until the final moments the fact that her lover is another woman.

“Don’t tell me to stop loving: you can’t do that and I can’t either,” Googoosh sings in “Behesht” (Heaven).

Googoosh was Iran’s first pop diva, though the 1979 revolution interrupted her singing career for two decades until she left the country. Her music has remained popular with Persian speakers everywhere and underground in Iran, where her status is comparable to that of Madonna.

Navid Akhavan, an Iranian-born German who wrote and directed the video for the song, said it has been viewed by more than a million Iranians online or via illegal satellite channels since its Valentine’s Day release, and was clicked on half a million times in the first 24 hours.

“That shows the subject is something that, if you’re for it or against it, draws attention,” Akhavan said in an interview with The Associated Press during a visit to Amsterdam.

Government-controlled newspapers have criticized the video, and labelled Googoosh “anti-revolutionary” because of it — the equivalent of accusing her of treason.

Farinaz Aryanfar, a Dutch-based Iran expert not associated with the project, said she had viewed the video soon after it came out and was caught off-guard by the twist at the end. She said that would likely be true for all Iranians.

“In any perspective you look at it, it’s taboo-breaking,” she said.

She said that it’s impossible to know how many people in Iran have seen the video, or to make generalizations about how it has been received. But she had seen it widely shared via social media, which Iranians access remotely in order to avoid government censorship filters.

She said she thought the video’s release is on the whole “a good thing.”

“Googoosh is so famous, there are so many people who love her, that if a fan watches this video — it makes you start thinking,” she said.

Navid said he had received an outpouring of thanks from gays in Iran, who feel that affirmation of their existence by a celebrity of Googoosh’s status is a major breakthrough.

He said the video and its message were calibrated to engage with the broadest swath of Iranians possible, raising the issue of homosexuality but focusing on love rather than sex or nudity.

“I thought this would be the perfect time, with this medium of the music video, with this icon Googoosh, to open the conversation about it and to say: freedom to love for all is something that we should understand, and should be for,” he said.

CNN Presses Willie Robertson on Dad’s Stance on Homosexuality – His Simple Response Will Get Strong Reactions From Both Sides

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Willie Robertson, one of the stars of the hit TV series “Duck Dynasty,” refused to water down his faith when pressed by CNN to defend his father’s past remarks on homosexuality and the Bible.

“Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson sparked controversy when he described homosexuality as immoral and sinful in an interview with GQ. He paraphrased 1 Corinthians to help explain his beliefs.

In an interview that aired Wednesday on “New Day,” Robertson, accompanied by his wife, Korie, said GQ asked very specific questions to get the answer they wanted all along.

“(Phil) made Christmas very interesting for us,” Robertson joked about his dad. He went on to say that his father “just said what he thought, what was on his heart.”



When CNN’s Kyra Phillips pressed him on what he believes, Robertson provided a very simple answer.

“I believe what the Bible says,” he replied.

“You have to read the Bible and make up your own mind,” he continued. “You have to decide, and God will ultimately decide then. We don’t profess to be God, and we certainly don’t profess to be perfect. Because we have our own sins that we deal with.”

Korie Robertson argued that “anybody who knows (Phil) … any gay, straight, black white, anybody who knows Phil knows that he is about love and his message is about God’s love, God’s grace and his forgiveness, ultimately.”

The CNN reporter than pressed further, asking if they believe the Bible is “literal.”

“That’s how it was said,” Robertson answered.

Robertson’s candid remarks about his faith are already being framed as a new so-called “controversy” by some left-leaning outlets.

Kyrgyzstan to outlaw statements that would create ‘positive attitudes’ about homosexuality

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Kyrgyzstan has gone a step further than its former parent-state Russia to introduce a bill that not only prohibits ‘gay propaganda’ but statements that may ‘create a positive attitude’ towards ‘non-traditional sexual relations’
| By Sylvia Tan

Image: YouTube

The ex-Soviet country of Kyrgyzstan last week announced a new bill that would make any statement that creates ‘a positive attitude to unconventional sexual orientation’ – whether or not it amounts to a criminal act under the law – punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine.

Although there are no laws that prohibit sexual relations between men as it was decriminalised in 1998, a recent report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) has found that gay and bisexual men have been subjected to a range of physical, sexual, and psychological abuses at the hands of police in Kyrgyzstan.

According to a news report published by the HRW, the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code define ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ as ‘sodomy, lesbianism and other forms of non-traditional sexual behaviour.’

Anyone found ‘creating a positive attitude toward non-traditional sexual relations, using the media or information and telecommunications networks,’ would face up to six months in prison and a fine of from 2,000 to 5,000 som (US$36 to $91).

If the person is found to ‘create a positive attitude toward non-traditional sexual relations’ among minors, or is a repeat offender, the prison term could be as long as a year and the fine would be 3,000 to 6,000 som ($55 to $110). Fines also could be imposed under the administrative code for similar activities that do not amount to criminal acts under the proposed amendments.

The bill was published online for public discussion, but has not been officially registered for consideration.

The HRW noted that the provisions in the bill would ‘violate Kyrgyzstan’s constitution as well as international human rights law on nondiscrimination, freedom of expression, association, and assembly.’

‘This draconian bill is blatantly discriminatory against LGBT people and would deny citizens across Kyrgyzstan their fundamental rights,’ said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

The group has called on the government to withdraw the proposed bill immediately, and the government and political parties to speak out against such legislation, making clear it has no place in Kyrgyzstan.

In the weeks after the HRW’s report ‘They Told Us We Deserved This: Police Violence against Gay and Bisexual Men in Kyrgyzstan‘ was released, an LGBT activist who was involved with the report received various threats from individuals on social media, including a death threat.

The New Owner of Newsweek Believes Homosexuality Can Be Cured

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Last year, IBT Media acquired Newsweek from IAC, hoping to use the magazine’s name to redeem the company’s reputation as a soulless content farm controlled, in part, by right-wing Moonie leader David Jang. In a lengthy profile of IBT founder Johnathan Davis, Guardian reporter Jon Swaine reveals that the 31-year-old entrepreneur believes in redeeming gay people, too:

In a Facebook post in February 2013, Davis described as “shockingly accurate” an op-ed article written by Christopher Doyle, the director of the International Healing Foundation (IHF), which works to convert gay people. Davis said it “cuts like a hot knife through a buttery block of lies.”

In the Christian Post article Davis linked to, ex-gay activist Christopher Boyle argues that “there is a good chance a person will experience SSA”—same-sex attraction—if that person experiences “sexual initiation and/or sexual abuse” as a child, and that “activists in the psychological and counseling communities” repeatedly silence researchers who suggest that homosexuality is harmful and can be cured. (Both assertions have been repeatedly debunked.)

When asked about the Facebook post, which he eventually deleted, Davis told the Guardian: “Whether I do or not [believe that], I’m not sure how that has any bearing on my capacity here as the founder of the company. I’m not sure how it’s relevant. People believe all sorts of weird things. But from a professional capacity, it’s unrelated.”

Heaven is real.

Update: A few hours after this story was published, Davis sent IBT employees a company-wide memo in which he states that “our company, myself included, has and always will respect diversity in our workplace.”

Kenya MP likens homosexuality to terrorism

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

A top Kenyan leader has said that homosexuality in the country is as bad a problem as terrorism – but claimed that existing laws are tough enough.

Aden Duale, from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ruling Jubilee coalition, said in response to MPs demanding harsher laws that legal sanctions did not need to be stepped up. Legislator Alois Lentoimaga  asked: “Can’t we just be brave enough, seeing that we are a sovereign state, and outlaw gayism and lesbianism, the way Uganda has done?” In February, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed a bill criminalising homosexuality in the country, prompting some international donors to suspend aid. The bill will see those found guilty of “homosexuality” sentenced to 14 years in jail. Duale, who speaks on behalf of the Kenyan government in the assembly, said: “We need to go on and address this issue the way we want to address terrorism. “It’s as serious as terrorism. It’s as serious as any other social evil,” he said. He was referring in particular to a recent spate of attacks, which were carried out by al Qa’ida-linked Somali Islamist militants in retaliation for Kenya’s intervention in neighbouring Somalia. But Duale said the Kenyan constitution and the penal code already had sufficient anti-gay provisions, denying the government was reluctant to tighten such laws for fear of losing international aid. He said 595 cases of homosexuality had been investigated in Kenya since 2010, when a new constitution was adopted, and courts had convicted or acquitted the accused, while police had found no organisations openly championing homosexuality in violation of the law. “We do not need to go the Uganda way, we have the constitution and the penal code to deal with homosexuality, and so this debate is finished, we will not be enacting any new tougher laws,” Duale told Reuters. Homosexuality is broadly taboo in Africa and illegal in 37 countries. Fear of violence, imprisonment and loss of jobs means few gays in Africa are open about their sexuality. Kenya’s penal code says any person “who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” is guilty of a felony and can be jailed for 14 years. Anti-gay groups have emerged in Kenya after Nigeria and Uganda toughened up laws against homosexuals. One of these groups, The Save Our Men Initiative, has said it is launching a “Zuia Sodom Kabisa” campaign, meaning “prevent Sodom completely” in Swahili, to “save the family, save youth, save Kenya”. Nigeria has outlawed same-sex relationships. Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has said homosexuals are “vermin” and must be fought like malaria-causing mosquitoes.

Francoise David

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Françoise David, CQ (born January 13, 1948) is the spokesperson of Québec solidaire — a left-wing, feminist and sovereigntist political party in the province of Quebec, Canada. She was elected to serve as the Member of the National Assembly in the riding of Gouin in the 2012 Quebec election. Quebec Solidaire was born from the merger of Option Citoyenne with l’Union des Forces Progressistes. She is the author of the book/manifesto Bien commun recherché – une option citoyenne (over 7,000 copies sold in Quebec) which combines the concepts of “common good”, social justice, ecology and economic democracy into a coherent political doctrine.


In 1987, Françoise David became coordinator for the Regroupement des centres de femmes du Québec. Seven years later, she was named president of the Fédération des femmes du Québec (FFQ). In this capacity, she ensured that women’s issues, including poverty and violence against women, remained at the forefront in Canada. She is the daughter of cardiologist Paul David. She is also the sister of teacher and director of Raould Dandurand Chair, Charles-Philippe David.

Two of her best-recognised public successes have been the 1995 Women’s March against Poverty and the 2000 World March of Women against Poverty and Violence.

In addition to her work experience, Françoise David is a member of numerous community organizations. In January 2000, she participated in the non-governmental observation mission to Iraq, and in December 2001 she traveled to Mali with the Canadian University Service Overseas.

In 1999, she was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec.

David ran in the riding of Gouin in central Montreal in the 2007 Quebec election, finishing second to the PQ incumbent Nicolas Girard. David received 7913 votes, amounting to 26% of the vote in her riding, behind Girard’s 11,318 votes (37%). Quebec Solidaire received 3.7% of the vote provincewide.

David ran in Gouin a second time in the 2008 Quebec election, receiving 7987 votes, or approximately 32% of the total, but again losing out to Girard, who received 10,276 votes (41%). Quebec Solidaire received 3.8% of the vote provincewide and David’s co-leader Amir Khadir won the party’s first seat in the National Assembly of Quebec in the neighbouring riding of Mercier.

In the 2012 Quebec election, David was elected for the first time.

Francois Legault

Friday, March 21st, 2014

François Legault (pronounced: [fʁɑ̃swa ləɡo]; born May 26, 1957) is a politician in Quebec, Canada and leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec party since its foundation in 2011.

He was a member of the National Assembly of Quebec from 1998 to 2009, serving in the government of Quebec as Minister of Education from 1998 to 2002 and as Minister of Health from 2002 to 2003. As a member of the Parti Québécois (PQ), he was first elected in the 1998 Quebec election in the riding of Rousseau in the Lanaudière region. He was re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2008 but resigned his seat on June 25, 2009. He was elected as the MNA for L’Assomption, a suburb of Montreal, at the 2012 Quebec provincial election

Early life and education

Legault was born in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration from the HEC Montreal. He also became a Chartered Accountant.[2]

Business career

He worked as an administrator for Provigo, a finance director for Nationair and an auditor for Ernst & Young.

He co-founded Air Transat in 1986 after being the director of marketing at Quebecair. He was the Chief Executive Officer of that company until 1997, with a turnover of C$1.3 billion and 4000 employees. He also managed the Marc-Aurèle Fortin Museum for a year.

Political career

Parti Québécois

After his 1998 election, he was appointed by Lucien Bouchard as Minister for Industry and Commerce. He was later named the Minister of Education.

When Bouchard resigned, it was said that Legault would support Pauline Marois against Bernard Landry. He later clarified his position as being in favour of Landry’s candidacy.

Landry appointed Legault as State Minister of Education and later as Minister of Health and Social Services. He was re-elected in 2003 while the PQ lost to the Quebec Liberal Party. He was named during the mandate the critic for economics, economic development and finances.

He endorsed Richard Legendre in the 2005 PQ leadership election, which was won by André Boisclair. After his re-election in 2007, he was renamed the PQ critic in economic development and finances.

Legault was re-elected in the 2008 elections but announced on June 25, 2009 that would retire from politics.[3] He was seen by some political analysts at the time as a potential contender in a future leadership election.[4]

Coalition Avenir Québec

In February 2011, Legault co-founded with Charles Sirois a new political movement called the “Coalition pour l’avenir du Québec (“Coalition for the Future of Quebec”); in November 2011 it became an official party under the name Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ). The CAQ aims to bring together like-minded voters in a single party regardless of their views on Quebec nationalism, Quebec federalism and Quebec autonomism. It is contesting the September 2012 general election.

Philippe Couillard

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Philippe Couillard, PC (born June 26, 1957) is the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and former university professor and neurosurgeon in Quebec, Canada. He was elected MNA of Outremont with 55% of votes in the Outremont’s by-election on December 9, 2013.In the 2014 election he is running in Roberval where he resides.Until June 25, 2008, he served as the Quebec Minister for Health and Social Services and was also MNA of Mont-Royal until he resigned in 2008 under Jean Charest’s liberal government.

Life and career

Couillard was born in Montreal, Quebec. He holds a medical degree and a certification in neurosurgery from the Université de Montréal. He was the head of the department of neurosurgery at St-Luc hospital from 1989 to 1992 and again at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke from 1996 to 2003. From 1992 to 1996, he practised in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. In 2003, he left the medical profession to run for a seat in the National Assembly representing the Quebec Liberal Party. He was elected MNA for Mont-Royal in the 2003 election and was appointed Minister of Health and Social Services on April 29, 2003.

Since taking office, he proved skillful in the handling of his department’s public relations and was regarded by some as the most popular minister in the Charest government.[1] His accomplishments during his tenure included a $4.2 billion increase in the Quebec health budget, the prohibition of smoking in public places, and a reduction in the number of union local accreditations in the health sector.

In 2006 and 2007, there were rumours that Couillard would jump to federal politics and become a candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada in a future federal election, but Couillard denied it.[2] Meanwhile, Couillard announced his candidacy for the Jean-Talon riding in the Quebec City area, replacing Margaret Delisle who did not seek re-election due to health reasons. Couillard won the 2007 elections despite the Action democratique du Quebec‘s (ADQ) strong performance in the region in which the party gained the majority of the seats. Pierre Arcand succeeded Couillard in the Mont-Royal riding. Couillard was renamed the Health and Social Services Minister as well as the minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale (Quebec) region.

On June 25, 2008, Couillard officially announced his resignation as Minister and MNA. He was succeeded as Minister and Jean-Talon MNA by locally-known Alma doctor Yves Bolduc.[3][4]

On June 23, 2010, Couillard was appointed to the Security Intelligence Review Committee, and consequently was appointed to the Privy Council.[5]

On October 3, 2012, Couillard became the third person to enter the race to succeed Jean Charest as leader of the Quebec Liberal Party. When asked why he was re-entering politics, he said, “I feel the need to serve.”[6]

On March 17, 2013, Couillard became the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, beating ex-cabinet ministers Raymond Bachand and Pierre Moreau.

On December 9, 2013, he was elected MNA for the riding of Outremont in a by-election.[7]

Electoral record

Quebec provincial by-election, December 9, 2013
Party Candidate Votes % ±pp
Liberal Philippe Couillard 5,582 55.11 +13.59
Québec solidaire Édith Laperle 3,264 32.23 +14.21
Option nationale Julie Surprenant 677 6.68 +4.97
Green Alex Tyrrell 384 3.79
Conservative Pierre Ennio Crespi 145 1.43
Parti nul Mathieu Marcil 59 0.58 -0.34
Autonomist Team Guy Boivin 17 0.17
Total valid votes 10,128 99.13
Total rejected ballots 89 0.87
Turnout 10,217 26.42 -41.79
Electors on the lists 38,671
Liberal hold Swing -0.41
Quebec general election, 2007: Jean-Talon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Philippe Couillard 13,732 41.96 -4.64
Parti québécois Véronique Hivon 9,859 30.13 -5.23
Action démocratique Luc de la Sablonnière 6,056 18.51 +3.34
Green Ali Dahan 1,518 4.64 +3.23
Québec solidaire Bill Clennett 1,463 4.47 +2.95*
Christian Democracy Francis Denis 95 0.29 -

* Increase is from UFP


Quebec general election, 2003: Mont-Royal
Party Candidate Votes % ±pp
Liberal Philippe Couillard 21,021 80.91 +0.67
Parti Québécois Vincent Gagnon 3,465 13.34 +0.60
Action démocratique Nour-Eddine Hajibi 1,240 4.77 +1.23
Equality Frank Kiss 256 0.99 -0.90