At the June 23-24 Hollywood Collectors and Celebrities Show, two of Hollywood’s finest talents signed photos, books, CD’s, records, baseballs, and clothing as a fundraiser for the benefit of Hollywood Heritage.
Jan Sterling was just as radiant, charming, and witty as she was in such classics as The Harder They Fall (with Humphrey Bogart), Ace In The Hole (directed by Billy Wilder and co-starring Kirk Douglas) and the all-star cast The High and the Mighty (for which she was nominated for an Academy Award). Her many fans traveled to meet her from as far away as Boston. Many brought her copies of photos or original magazine ads that they generously gave to her as a thank-you for her wonderful career in films, theater (including several Broadway plays), radio, and television.
Hollywood Heritage will be hosting a special tribute to Ms. Sterling on March 27 at the Hollywood Heritage Museum with the showing of one of her films and a question and answer session. Seating is limited and will be offered first to Hollywood Heritage members.
Jonathan Winters is a person who deserves to be called a comic genius. Though many people unjustly claim that honor today, it is amazing to watch Mr. Winters constantly demonstrate his comic genius. Always on, always asked by autograph seekers to say or write something funny, Mr. Winters always obliges, and this must have been asked of him more than 150 times at this show alone!
Mr. Winters was also visited by his fellow comedians and great admirers, Chuck McCann and Gary Owens, who came to enjoy his outrageous adlibs. Sitting across from Mickey Rooney, one of his many co-stars in It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, who was a bit under the weather, Mr. Winters would go over and bring a smile to Mr. Rooney before he even spoke. This would be followed by gales of laughter, as he would spring bizarre comical tales to an appreciative Mickey Rooney, another of the very few people that can be called a true comic genius.
Check your book and record shops for Jonathan Winters book, Winters Tales, just reprinted, and his new CD with Gary Owens. Also check out Mr. Winters’ fine acting talents by viewing the aforementioned Mad World, The Loved One, or The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming. Then you’ll see the one tragedy about Jonathan Winters—that Hollywood has failed to properly utilize one of its greatest assets except in a mere handful of films. It’s not too late. Just listening to him while signing autographs for 90 minutes is funnier than any $75 million comedy film.
And while we’re on the subject, Jan Sterling is a talent that would still shine on the movie or television screen today in a drama or in a comedy (she replaced Judy Holiday on Broadway in Born Yesterday) role.
Hollywood Heritage wishes to thank Jan Sterling’s good friend
and Hollywood Heritage board member Kay Tornborg who greatly helped with her
appearances; Karen Kramer, who helped to arrange Jonathan Winters’ appearance,
and Mr. Winters’ son Jay, who helped out during the show; Hollywood Heritage
board member Phil Docktor who helped prepare the wonderful selection of photographs;
and once again, thanks to Sharon and Ray Courts who make these shows possible.
And, of course, a special thank you to Jan Sterling and Jonathan Winters.
They not only thrilled their many fans, but helped with the fundraising efforts
of Hollywood Heritage through their kindness and generous donations of time.
The next show is scheduled for October 6 and 7 at the Beverly Garland Hotel at 4222 Vineland Ave. in North Hollywood. Hollywood Heritage’s guest will be director Ken Annakin (The Longest Day, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Miranda, Swiss Family Robinson, etc.), who will be signing photos and his new book, So You Wanna Be A Director?