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Big stars of the past who are mostly forgotten today

Inspired by the Robert Taylor thread - which big stars of the past are mostly forgotten nowadays?

Mickey Rooney seems to be a distant memory.

by Anonymousreply 6804/04/2013

Most of the big stars of yesteryear are virtually unknown today to anyone under the age of 50.

by Anonymousreply 104/08/2010

I am under 50 but know of Mickey Rooney. I worked with him once. What an angry little man. He was always pissed off ... the best times were behind him kind of thing.

by Anonymousreply 204/08/2010

Judy Canova

by Anonymousreply 304/08/2010

Does Skip E. Lowe still have televison show? I think you can only get it on public access in West Hollywood. He did a great job of interviewing Old Hollywood stars and knew them all!

by Anonymousreply 404/08/2010

Ernest Borgnine seemed to be all over TV back in the 70s when he was alive. Now no one knows who he was.

by Anonymousreply 504/08/2010

Ernest Borgnine is still alive.

by Anonymousreply 604/08/2010

Several of the names likely to be named here, if they're still alive, can be found in X-Mas pantomime shows in the UK. Case in point: Mickey Rooney. See also: Cliff from Dallas.

by Anonymousreply 704/08/2010

Patty Lapone

by Anonymousreply 804/08/2010

Ohhh, I worked part time for a person who was extremely wealthy, very ultra private. Turns out she was a movie star in the '40's & '50's. She long retired and married a wealthy guy. Nice lady, but reserved. Also, she was a major alcoholic but never seemed to "appear" drunk. Loved working for her. I would have NEVER guessed she was a former movie star had not my grandmother told me. Her movie star name was Jennifer Jones, but I knew her as Mrs. Phyllis Simon.

by Anonymousreply 904/08/2010

Elijah Wood

by Anonymousreply 1004/08/2010

Marilyn Miller

Eddie Cantor

Al Jolson

by Anonymousreply 1104/08/2010

Norton Simon was Ultra wealthy and Jennifer Jones was a rather famous star. Big time weath there.

by Anonymousreply 1204/08/2010

Ten years ago, I mentioned Paul Newman to my 20 year old co-worker and she shrugged and said "Who's that?"

by Anonymousreply 1304/08/2010

My coworker once asked me who Tallulah Bankhead was....I nearly threw a pie in his face.

by Anonymousreply 1404/08/2010

[quote]Patty Lapone

Dearest R8,

Patti was never [italic]big[/italic]. Not in terms of quality - and certainly not in popularity.

She was [italic]big[/italic] in terms of her imagination. Which has gotten her by - fortunately for [italic]her[/italic].

A correction R8: It's Patt[bold]i[/bold] Lu[bold]P[/bold]one. Even she deserves having her name respectfully and correctly spelled.

by Anonymousreply 1504/08/2010

[quote]Does Skip E. Lowe still have televison show? I think you can only get it on public access in West Hollywood. He did a great job of interviewing Old Hollywood stars and knew them all!

And sell their secrets to the National Enquirer for $1000 a story.

by Anonymousreply 1604/08/2010

Lily Tomlin

Gene Wilder

Bette Midler

by Anonymousreply 1704/08/2010

I'm just not going there

by Anonymousreply 1804/08/2010

Jimmy Durante

Jackie Gleason

Jack Benny

Robert Cummings


Sterling Hayden

Margaret Sullivan

Maureen O'Hara

Irene Dunne

Siobhan McKenna

Alan Ladd

Joan Blondell

Lewis Stone

Adolphe Menjou

Ramon Novarro

Ronald Colman

William Haines

by Anonymousreply 1904/08/2010

Most of the Fox stars are almost completely forgotten because it took Fox so long to get its act together to release its films widely first on DVD then on VHS. So Alice Faye, Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, and Laird Cregar and not nearly so well as their counterparts at other studios (for example, Ginger Rogers, Errol Flynn, Rita Hayworth, and Sydney Greenstreet). Betty Grable is about the only Fox star who is still well-known today--and that's mostly because of her WWII pinup poster.

The Junes aren't well known at all anymore (i.e. June Haver and Jule Allyson), nor are the Powells (Jane, Eleanor are almost completely forgotten, though Dick and William are a little better remembered). Myrna Loy and Irene Dunne don't get the attention they deserve (both were amazing comediennes).

Other than Hattie McDaniels, Lena Horne, and (thanks to the Halle Berry TV movie) Dorothy Dandridge, a lot of the great African-American actors from Hollywood's Golden Age have been largely forgotten: Louise Beavers, Freddi Washington, Ethel Waters. Even Sidney Poitier seems to be largely forgotten today.

Many of the big stars who were well known in their day for radio as well as movies have been forgotten: Red Skelton, Jack Benny, Phil Silvers, Eddie Rochester Anderson, Jerry Colonna, Martha Raye, Fannie Brice. Only Bob Hope remains well known.

by Anonymousreply 2004/08/2010

Van Johnson

It seems that in his days, teenage girls were going crazy, almost riotous about him.

by Anonymousreply 2104/08/2010

Troy Donahue

Joan Collins

by Anonymousreply 2204/08/2010

Jean Arthur. I think the top grossing actress in the 30s and 40s. Got sick of the crap roles for older woman and retired. The taught at Vassar. Her student? Meryl Streep.

by Anonymousreply 2304/08/2010

Bing Crosby was one of the biggest stars of his day but is pretty obscure to anyone under 50 or so.

by Anonymousreply 2404/08/2010

Bing Crosby's known to a lot of younger people because of that bizarre duet with David Bowie.

by Anonymousreply 2504/08/2010

Norma Shearer. Wallace Beery. Marie Dressler. Paulette Goddard.Frederic March. Paul Muni. Loretta Young. Louise Rainer. If it weren't for people being mildly interested in the career of Drew Barrymore I would lump all the Barrymores in there as well. If it weren't for "Mommie Dearest" Joannie-pants might be in there too. At least Davis, Stanwyck, and Hepburn still have name recognition with most casual movie fans. Now if only we could add John Wayne and Ronald Reagan to the list of mostly forgotten movie stars we'd really be in business.

by Anonymousreply 2604/08/2010

Jack Carson. A nearly forgotten star, he was among the most versatile of Golden Age performers. He could do everything (comedy, westerns, noir, musicals) and was great in all of them.

by Anonymousreply 2704/08/2010

The younger ones have probably heard of Bing, but since they don't get to see old movies on TV the way we used to -- all day Saturdays and Sundays and if they skipped school during the day during the week -- they've probably never seen Going My Way or any of the Road movies unless their parents were Crosby fans.

by Anonymousreply 2804/08/2010

High Society is on TV quite often

by Anonymousreply 2904/08/2010

Donald O'Connor

by Anonymousreply 3004/08/2010

You guys are naming character actors, not people who were big stars in their day

by Anonymousreply 3104/08/2010

Claudette Colbert

William Holden


by Anonymousreply 3204/08/2010

Williams Haines was one of MGM's top male stars during the mid to late 20s. Because he refused to give up his lover Jimmy Shields, LB Mayer forced him out of the movies.

by Anonymousreply 3304/09/2010

A lot of the people mentioned are not "forgotten." In fact, many of them have websites dedicated to them and fan clubs with devoted members. Just because some 20 year old dipshit has never heard of them doesn't mean they're "forgotten."

Charo was a "big star?"

by Anonymousreply 3404/09/2010

I was really surprised this am as I watched Morning Joe and the subject of Sal Mineo came up. He is the lookalike to the idiot who joked about lighting his shoe on the plane the other day. Only two of the panelists-Mike Barnicle and Pat Buchannan-knew who he was. David Gregory, Savannah Guthrie and that black queen from the Washington Post didn't have a clue. As Pat asked,"Haven't you ever seen Rebel Without a Cause?" The queen should have at least known of him. JeeZ

by Anonymousreply 3504/09/2010

Ilka Chase, Mercedes Macaimridge, Edward Arnold, Rudy Valley, Lizbeth Scott, Jane Darwell, Paulette Goddard.

Christ even Mary Martin,Ethel Merman, Bob Hope, Gary Cooper, Greer Garson, etc. are unknown to the teenagers or even the 20 somethings of today.

My 14 yr old niece and 17 yr old nephew refuse to watch ANY old movie - especially is it's in B&W. They ave NO patience for dialogue and story and connot apreciate great art direction or cinematography.

They want ACTION all the time. Someday it will all be lost because no one will care.

by Anonymousreply 3604/09/2010

When I was in my 20's, the only films I would watch were old black and white films. When I tell people my favorite actor is Joseph Cotten, nobody knows who I am talking about.

by Anonymousreply 3704/09/2010

It's Margaret SullAvan, R19 -- as Ogden Nash said: "The fairest of sights in twinkling lights is Sullavan with an a". She was a lovely actress & it's really too bad that most people today don't know about her.

by Anonymousreply 3804/09/2010

Nell Carter, Curly Howard, Grady Stiles

by Anonymousreply 3904/09/2010

Kay Francis, the Julia Roberts of the early '30s.

by Anonymousreply 4004/09/2010

Jean Arthur was the best. Possibly the best comedic actress off all time. I'm talking comedy with a light touch. Not the pie in the face kind.

by Anonymousreply 4104/09/2010

Johnny Carson - HUGE star in his day. How many jokes were made in TV/movies on his "Karmac" Shtick.

My two nieces (17 & 20) don't have a clue who he is.

by Anonymousreply 4204/09/2010

Elke Sommer. Check out the joker style face lift. Why Elke, my beauty, WHY?

by Anonymousreply 4304/09/2010

Basil Rathbone

by Anonymousreply 4404/09/2010

I was looking at clips of Gone With the Wind auditions. I can't believe Jean Arthur was third choice for Scarlett.

by Anonymousreply 4504/09/2010

r42, the character was Carnac...

by Anonymousreply 4604/09/2010

"Christ even Mary Martin,Ethel Merman, Bob Hope, Gary Cooper, Greer Garson, etc. are unknown to the teenagers or even the 20 somethings of today."

I think most twentysomethings would know Bing Crosby from White Christmas (both the song and the movie). Mary Martin was only a big star on the stage - ditto Ethel Merman. Their best performances haven't been saved for posterity. Film school students would know Gary Cooper's movies.

by Anonymousreply 4704/09/2010

Lillian Gish

Mary Pickford

Two of the biggest silent film stars, probably unknown by most people under 40.

Wallace Beery was huge in the 1930s and early 40s, but who the hell knows who he is today.

Marie Dressler was popular in the early thirties, but unknown today.

by Anonymousreply 4804/09/2010

Raymond Burr....and as a bonus note....Once had the largest feather boa collection in Hollywood! Yes he was a big ole queen!!!

by Anonymousreply 4904/09/2010

Don't people's parents & grandparents tell them about the great movies & TV shows of the past?

I didn't see "Bringing Up Baby" when it premiered in 1938 because I wasn't born yet -- but my mom did, & she made a big deal out of the whole family watching it when it was shown on TV in the 1950s. She did that with all the other old movies that played on TV, & my dad was always telling us about how great the Marx Brothers were. All of the adults I knew growing up talked about the radio shows they used to enjoy, so I was aware of such folks as Fibber McGee & Molly, Amos & Andy, Molly Goldberg, Fred Allen, etc.

Hard to believe that today's youth haven't heard of Johnny Carson & Raymond Burr -- they don't have to be interested in them or appreciate them, but I would think their elders would have droned on & on about celebrities of yore just as mine did.

by Anonymousreply 5004/09/2010

Everyone has a time in the sun. Even Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra will be unknown to young people soon.

by Anonymousreply 5104/09/2010

Years ago I was discussing movies with a friend. I told her one of my favorites was PICNIC. When I mentioned Kim Novak, my friend asked if she had played one of the wives on My 3 Sons which was in reruns at the time.

by Anonymousreply 5204/09/2010

Doesn't everyone know who Mickey Rooney is or at least recognize the name?

by Anonymousreply 5304/09/2010

[quote]Betty Grable is about the only Fox star who is still well-known today--and that's mostly because of her WWII pinup poster.


by Anonymousreply 5404/09/2010

Jean Arthur is just so totally charming and wonderful in everything. It's a crime she isn't better remembered. Apparently she had terrible stage fright that severely hampered the later portion of her career. That may be why she isn't better known.

A true liberal, a friend to animals, an irreverent, irreplaceable gem. I know, MARY, but I really love this woman.

Here's a wonderful clip of her and Joel McCrea.

by Anonymousreply 5504/09/2010

Judy Holliday

Paulette Goddard

by Anonymousreply 5604/09/2010

The big difference from when I was a kid in the late 50s/early 60s is old movies were shown constantly on TV and there were only about 6 channels so you almost couldn't avoid them. I loved them and often watched with my family and my mom's ongoing reminisences.

The Early Show, The Late Show, The Late Late Show, The Million Dollar Movie, Saturday Night at the Movies, etc. etc.

by Anonymousreply 5704/09/2010

Theda Bara

by Anonymousreply 5804/09/2010

Anna Sten

by Anonymousreply 5904/09/2010

I'm with you R55. In and interview Sandra Bullock said something like everything she knows she stole from Jean Arthur. I've gotten everything from Netflix with her that I could. I wish she had done more out and out drama. Her role in Shane was something every actress should watch. It is a study in subtlety.

I love the story of old lady Jean duking it out with her neighbor that was mistreating their dog and how she got arrested for it.

by Anonymousreply 6004/09/2010

R60, I love that story!!! Even then, the police and town had no idea who the hell she was until people like Elizabeth Taylor started letter writing campaigns praising her actions.

It's not on Netflix, but if you ever get a chance to see "History Is Made at Night," do. It's a romantic drama where Jean plays a battered spouse. Charles Boyer's character meets and falls in love with her during an episode involving her rich, but abusive husband. Although he's just a lowly maitre'd, he goes to the ends of the earth to help her escape. She's amazing in it.

by Anonymousreply 6104/09/2010

Clark Gable

Carole Lombard

Eve Arden

Dan Duryea

Carmen Miranda

by Anonymousreply 6204/09/2010

Keir Dullea

by Anonymousreply 6304/09/2010

Deanna Durbin

Van Heflin

by Anonymousreply 6404/09/2010

Keir Dullea, Van Heflin, and Eve Arden weren't really huge stars

Deanna Durbin is a good example of a top star who has been forgotten, mostly because her movies were lame and are rarely seen anymore

by Anonymousreply 6504/10/2010

I more recent one....Michael J. Fox. No one under 20 knows who he is.

by Anonymousreply 6604/10/2010

See link. So sad.

by Anonymousreply 6704/04/2013

Neely something-or-other

Horrible actress.

by Anonymousreply 6804/04/2013
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