The thrones of England: Jean Desmond of...
The thrones of England: Jean Desmond of Rancho Palos Verdes says her family recently held a reunion that drew relatives from all over the nation, as well as from overseas. “The members of the British contingent all took home souvenirs--cushioned toilet seats from Sears,” she said. “They don’t have them in England. We don’t appreciate the luxuries we have here. I’d love to have seen the faces of the customs officers in London.”
Is that what he gets for living up to his name? Billie Greer of L.A. passed along a racetrack program noting that a horse named Caughtinthehay has undergone a big change of life-style.
Caughtinthehay, by the way, finished out of the money that day. “Guess he wasn’t in the mood,” Greer said.
List of the day: Fans of Oscar Levant (1906-1972) will be delighted by the wealth of caustic one-liners recounted in “A Talent for Genius,” the new biography of the concert pianist, actor, author and--yes, it’s true--L.A. talk-show host. Some samples of the Levant wit from authors Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger:
* On why he was so confident about being hired by Channel 9 or Channel 5 after Channel 13 fired him: “They’ll take anybody.”
* On his role in the film biography of George Gershwin, “Rhapsody in Blue”: “I played an unsympathetic part--myself.”
* On Liz Taylor: “Always a bride, never a bridesmaid.”
* On Hollywood: “Strip the phony tinsel off Hollywood and you’ll find the real tinsel underneath.”
* On a famous cowboy actor: “John Wayne? He’s too subtle for me.”
* On Joe DiMaggio’s divorce from Marilyn Monroe: “No man can excel at two national pastimes.”
* On extramarital affairs: “I could never have a mistress because I couldn’t bear to tell the story of my life all over again.”
* On breaking a sponsor’s “unbreakable” radio by throwing it across the room during a live TV commercial: “Why should everything be unbreakable, anyway?”
* On his looks: “When I was young I looked like Al Capone, but I lacked his compassion.”
After he left Channel 13, by the way, Levant moved his show to Channel 9.
Janis Joplin wouldn’t understand: Brett Stone of L.A. received a phone call from some fellow Angelenos who were at Woodstock ’94. “They were in seventh heaven,” he said, “because they had found somebody out there who had a solar battery recharger.”
Why? To power their cellular phone, of course.
They told Stone that they were relieved to know they could “talk as much as they want. They can leave the phone on because like, you know, wow, we have someone who can charge batteries. And the guy wasn’t charging for charging.”
Alex Litrov forwarded to us the members directory of the American Film Marketing Assn., which lists the controller of Prism Pictures as J.R. Ewing.