Prince Harry and Meghan Markle interview -the actual facts.

I usually don’t do celebrity blogs but I felt I had to do one because I think making such a big issue about the interview while we are in the middle of a pandemic, where millions of people have dies and who knows how many more will die is disgusting. No only that but it will make the divide of those who are privileged and those who struggle bigger and will give fuel to the expansion of both far right and far left extremism.

No one should be denied the right to voice their grievances . However it is a different story when these grievances are within a family, and especially direct family.

The wider audience should be spared that, it should stay within the family. I don’t mean when there is any physical abuse or sexual abuse, then of course everyone should know about it.

However this was not the case with Meghan and Harry. The worse accusation there was racism, but it was an allegation based on hear say . Meghan told Oprah that Harry was asked by another member of the family what colour skin the baby was going to be. What I find bizarre about that, Harry wasn’t there when this allegation was made. He joined the interview later. So why not wait to talk about that until Harry was there? What we have now is hear say. Even Meghan’s own father has his doubts.

The other ‘bad’ thing was that Harry’s dad ,Prince Charles, had not spoken to him in a while, or would not answer his calls. You would nearly say that Harry is a teenage boy who needs his Father’s guidance all the time. But he isn’t his a 35 year army veteran, who served in Afghanistan. Dear Harry my dad didn’t talk to me form age 9 to 27 ad I didn’t even make such a big deal about is as you did.

Coming back about the whole issue of racism. Things are often said within families which may sound horrible to an outsider but really is just banter within the confined environment of the family. I have said horrible things about my family in the past and sometimes still do. However if Harry really wants to make an issue about that, he seems to have forgotten this incident at a party in 2005.

Four years later in 2009 he used a racist term against a Pakistani soldier.

Meghan made a big deal about her children not having a security detail assigned to them, paid for by the tax payers , well guess what there are billions of children across the world who don’t.

Also Meghan and Harry decided to leave the confines pf the royal family and move to Canada and then Los Angeles. Waiving all royal titles and responsibilities, knowing that this would result in not having a security detail assigned to them anymore. So what is the point she was actually making?

Meghan and Harry have a combined net worth of about 50 millions US dollar, also they have secured a deal with Netflix worth 100 million US dollar. I think they are well placed to afford paying for security themselves.

then it takes us to one of the reasons why they left Britain, it was the scrutiny of the media. Harry also compared the situation to hat of his mother. He has often said in the past that the press and mainly the paparazzi killed his mother Diana. There is no doubt that Diana was hounded by the paparazzi but she was killed because of the fact that her driver was speeding into a tunnel and he was also drunk.

https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna16120237

As you can see the above article about the report that tests proved Diana’s driver was drunk, is from NBC the same broadcaster who broadcasted the interview, so if Harry doesn’t believe those reports why would he sign up to do an interview with Oprah on NBC? The word that comes to mind is hypocrisy

The whole issue about escaping the media is non sensical, Meghan is an actress, media is what she does . Not even mentioning the times they were photographed for a fee by the likes of Hello magazine and others.

Meghan also said that the actual wedding was more or less only done as a media event. They actually got married a few days earlier with only them two and the bishop . This of course can not be true because it could not have just been the 3 of them, it would also have legally required witnesses. So this kind of makes me doubt the validity of that claim and in fact all the claims she made during that interview.

I actually should not call it an interview what it really was, was a rant of 2 very privileged people talking to a billionaire media mogul.

I always respected Oprah Winfrey but lately I have been questioning her integrity. During this interview she didn’t ask any probing questions, it was really just a matter of agreeing to what Harry and Meghan said without exploring the validity of their claims.

A few months ago I saw Oprah interviewing a group of wealthy African Americans about white privilege. As I said I always respected Oprah and was also impressed by her integrity but I feel she has lost some of that.

One last point on the Harry and Meghan interview. That point is the timing of it. Aside from the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic, and by the way I didn’t see any of them wearing a mask, where so may have died and other will be suffering for years to come. Talking about the issues you have with your family in front of a global audience shows very little respect and compassion for anyone but yourself, On top if that, Harry’s 99 year old grand father is in hospital recovering from a heart operation , far as I understand, given the fact he is 99 means there is a high chance he may not recover, Then there is Harry complaining that his own father doesn’t call him, I don’t know but could that have something to do that Prince Charles is worried about his own father?

Just Cool

When I look at some actors and other celebrities nowadays and lsiten to them preach to us, I wonder is it because they are just very bland?

Whatever happened to just being cool like the stars from days of yor. These are just some of them. I won’t put any names down, that is your homework for today to find that out, You will know mst of them though.

Interview with Ferne Pearlstein- Director of “the Last Laugh”

 

This is the interview I did with Ferne Pearlstein , director,writer and producer of “the Last Laugh”

A documentary where world-famous comedians including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, and Gilbert Gottfried pitch in with their own views on the boundaries of comedy.

ll

https://www.imdb.com/video/vi1303361817?ref_=tt_pv_vi_aiv_2

Stan Laurel-18 June 1890-23 February 1965.

Stan

There are very few people who can make you laugh just by looking at their face, but such was the genius of Stan Laurel, his expressions were enough to get you in a burst of laughter.

Of course there was much more to his comic genius than just his face. One of my all time favourite quotes comes from the Laurel & Hardy movie Brats. ” You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead”

so much has already been written about Stan Laurel, that’s why I am fouussing on his last few moments on this earthly soil.

A few moments before he died , on February 23,1965, he told his nurse ” I would like to go skiing” The nurse said “I didn’t know you were a skier” . he replied ” I am not, but I’D rather to that than this”

He also had said ” If anyone cries at my funeral, I will never speak to them again” Until his last breath he remained a funny man.

Dear Stan Laurel on this your 55th anniversary, I salute you and thank you for the many laughs you have given me, and indeed still do.

This is footage taken at his funeral.

 

Eli Wallach-Is this war?

Eli

Who doesn’t know Eli Wallach? Such a great character actor, known from iconic movies like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “Mystic River” or more recently “The Holiday” . He was such a versatile actor but the role he not known for was his portrayal of Adolf Hitler. Born on December 7 1915 in Brooklyn, to Polish Jewish immigrants Abraham and Bertha  Wallach.

He gained his first method acting skills  at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. But on December 7, 1941. Wallach’s 26th birthday , Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, drawing the USA into WWII.

ATTACK

Like so many others Eli Wallach was drafted into the United States Army in January 1942

During World War II, Wallach first served as a United States Army staff sergeant at a military hospital in Hawaii. He then went to the Officer Candidate School in Abilene, Texas to train as a medical administrative officer and graduated as a second lieutenant, eventually rising to captain. He first was sent  to Casablanca and soon after was stationed in France.

Serving in France during the later years of the war, one of his superiors learned about his acting background and recruited him to put together a group to perform plays for the patients.

He and his unit wrote a comedy  play called “Is This the Army?”, which was  inspired on Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army. In the play, Wallach and the other actors mocked Axis dictators, with Wallach portraying Adolf Hitler.

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When Police Academy’s Commandant Lassard went to war.

lassard

Who hasn’t seen Police Academy or any of the sequels? I reckon mots people have. But one of the actors in the movie had such an interesting life that his story would warrant a movie and would probably become a box office success.

George Gaynes who played the clueless Commandant Lassard was born George Jongejans  May 3, 1917, in Helsinki, Finland  which  was then still, part of the Russian Empire , the son of Iya Grigorievna de Gay , a Russian artist, and Gerrit Jongejans, a Dutch businessman.

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia had abdicated the throne on March 15, two months prior to Gaynes’ birth, and the Empire was about go through some turbulent times, and was already at war.

Tsar

The Jongejans familyy left the country, and George was primarily raised in France, England, and Switzerland.

George attended college in the vicinity of Lausanne, Switzerland and graduated in 1937. He then attended a music school in Milan, Italy for about a year.

In 1940, George Gaynes was living in France,when France was occupied by Nazi Germany. George attempted to flee France, by crossing the Pyrenees mountains into neutral Spain. He was arrested by the Spanish authorities for illegally crossing the border, but was soon released.

In 1943, George joined the Royal Netherlands Navy. With the Netherlands under German occupation, the headquarters of the Navy had moved to London, in the UK. George had no previous military experience, but he was noticed for multilingual skills. He was  fluent in   Dutch, English, French, Italian and Russian. He was soon detached to the (British) Royal Navy to serve as a translator.

During his naval service in World War II, George took part in the Allied invasion of Sicily, the Battle of Anzio in the Italian Campaign, and the Adriatic Campaign. The War ended in 1945 and George was honorably discharged in July, 1946. His highest military rank was that of a sergeant.

In 1946, George returned to France but an American theater director offered him a role in a Broadway musical and he moved to New York City later that year and became an American citizen in 1948.

In the early 1960s, George started appearing as a character actor in various television series. He was also offered a number of film roles. His career unexpectedly took off in the 1980s, with a major part in the television series Punky Brewster.

But his most famous role was that of Commandant Lassard in the Police Academy franchise.

police

He died at his home in North Bend, Washington, on February 15, 2016, at the age of 98.

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

IMDB

 

Gene Kelly- WWII

Gene Kelly

Today marks the 107th birthday of Gene Kelly. I can’t think of anyone who was quite like him. He truly was a remarkable individual, an economy graduate, a teacher,a dancer,choreographer,actor,singer,producer,director and lieutenant, junior grade in the US Navy stationed in D.C. at the U.S. Naval Photographic Center where he served from 1944-1947.

Whilst working for the  U.S. Naval Photographic Center. he was involved in writing and directing a range of documentaries, and this stimulated his interest in the production side of film making.

He directed and starred in the US Navy training movie”Combat Fatigue Irritability” which was released in 1945.

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In thetraining film,  Gene Kelly plays a Navy enlisted man suffering from “combat fatigue irritability.” During WWII, psychologists first established a strong presence in American military hospitals, and the military began to recognize “combat fatigue” as a normal and common psychological response to the stress of war. This film reflects both of these shifts.
Gene Kelly’s  character, Lucas, is a fireman who works in his ship’s engine room. Lucas feels helpless when the ship is torpedoed: “How the hell you going to do anything about it when you’re just standing there, twisting a little valve?” However after he ends up in the water as the ship sinks, a strange feeling of relief comes over him, glad to be out of the confined space and away from the limited scope of his job. But a feeling of guilt soon takes over  when he sees the rest of the crew, some dead or injured, floating around him in the water.

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Gene Kelly may not have been actively involved in combat, but his work was important nonetheless.

I don’t think there will ever be a star like him again.

 

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

Slate.com

IMDb

YouTube

Wikipedia

 

 

Charles Durning WWII Veteran.

Charles Durning

Anyone who knows movies will know the name Charles Durning. He has starred in so many classic movies in a variety of genres, comedies, thrillers, musicals/ Movies like “Dog day afternoon”, “The Choirboys” ot “The best little whorehouse in Texas” the list is endless. Additionally he has also starred in a great number of TV shows.

But his illustrious career as an actor nearly didn’t happen. Charles was one of the many brave men who landed in Normandy on the 6th of June, 1944-D-Day, at age 21.

D-DAY

Even though he survived the initial assault reasonably  unscathed, he was injured by a German mine a few days later which earned him  a Purple Heart. After a recovery period of  six months, he was put back on the front lines to combat the German Ardennes offensive. In the battle of the Bulge.

During a German attack, Charles recalled that a particularly young soldier charged him, however  Charles couldn’t bring himself to fire. The two engaged in battle by using  their bayonets, and Charles got wounded again during the fight. Charles did manage to kill the German infantryman, with a rock .. After the offensive, He received his second Purple Heart.

He was discharged in January 1946 as a private first class.

He died on December 24, 2012, Christmas Eve, which is ironic because he played Santa Claus 6 times(Once as Kris Kringle)

A truly remarkable actor and human being. They just don’t make them like that anymore.

Charles

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

IMDB

Military.com

 

Edda van Heemstra aka Audrey Hepburn

Audrey

There is one myth about Audrey Hepburn I have to dispel, she was not British-Belgian. In Belgium as in many other European countries you don’t automatically obtain citizenship just because you’re born there. You get the nationality of your parents, usually the nationality of the Father or sometimes the Mother.

Audrey was born on May 4,1929 in Brussels to a British father and Dutch mother.Therefore she was half British and half Dutch.

She was born  Audrey Kathleen Ruston or Edda Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston.Her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston , was a British subject born in Auschitz, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary. Her Mother was Baroness Ella van Heemstra, a Dutch noblewoman. Her parents got married in Indonesia which was a Dutch colony at the time.Shortly after they married they moved to Europe, initially London but then later to Brussels.

Audrey’s grandfather Aarnoud van Heemstra, was the governor of the Dutch colony of Suriname.

audrey's gran

She had 2 half siblings from an earlier marriage of her Mother.

The WWII years of Audrey Hepburn do proof that it didn’t matter how well connected you were, survival was not a certainty for anyone.

In the mid-1930s, Hepburn’s parents recruited and collected donations for the British Union of Fascists, and allegedly were great admirers of Adolf Hitler. In 1935 Audrey’s Father abandoned the family. Following that mother moved with Hepburn to her family’s estate in Arnhem. Audrey and her mother did briefly live in Kent in 1937 but moved back to the Netherlands after Britain had declared war to Germany, The Netherlands were a neutral country and had remained neutral during WWI. Audrey’ mother hoped this would be the case again this time.

After the Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Audrey changed her name to Edda van Heemstra, because an “English-sounding” name could be potentially dangerous.

invasion

Her mother  had already introduced Audrey to ballet lessons while they were still in England. The German occupation took a hard toll on the young Audrey Hepburn, who used ballet as a form of  escapism from the harsh reality of war. She trained at the Arnhem conservatory with ballet professor Winja Marova and became her star pupil.

The reality of war hit even harder when her uncle, Otto van Limburg Stirum(the husband of her Mother’s sister Miesje) was killed by the Nazis as reprisal for an act of sabotage by the resistance movement;on August 15 1942, while he had not been involved in the act, he was targeted due to his family’s prominence in Dutch society.

otto

Stirum’s murder turned Audrey’s Mother away from Nazi ideology, to become an avid member of the Dutch Resistance.

Audrey once said in an interview after the war.

“We saw young men put against the wall and shot, and they’d close the street and then open it and you could pass by again… Don’t discount anything awful you hear or read about the Nazis. It’s worse than you could ever imagine”

In 1944, Hepburn met with Dr. Hendrik Visser ’t Hooft, a local physician, and Dutch Resistance leader. She became a volunteer for the Dutch Resistance, using her passion for dancing and talents for ballet by having secret shows to fund resistance groups.

She also worked as a courier.Many Dutch children were couriers because they were less likely to raise the suspicions of the Nazis.

Hepburn also witnessed the transportation of Dutch Jews to concentration camps, of which she later said:

“More than once I was at the station seeing trainloads of Jews being transported, seeing all these faces over the top of the wagon. I remember, very sharply, one little boy standing with his parents on the platform, very pale, very blond, wearing a coat that was much too big for him, and he stepped on the train. I was a child observing a child”

TRANSPORT

The situation turned dire for Audrey Hepburn. Living conditions grew very bad and Arnhem was subsequently heavily damaged during Operation Market Garden. During the Dutch famine that followed in the winter of 1944, the Germans blocked the resupply routes of the Dutch people’s already-limited food and fuel supplies as retaliation for railway strikes that were held to hinder.

Hepburn’s family had to do with flour out of tulip bulbs to bake cakes and biscuit as food. Audrey developed acute anæmia, respiratory problems and œdema due to malnutrition.This would affect her for the remainder of her life.

After the war, she read Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and felt greatly impacted by the book. Luca Dotti, Audrey Hepburn’s son, talked about his memories of her in an interview with People Magazine.

“My mother never accepted the simple fact that she got luckier than Anne, She possibly hated herself for that twist of fate.”

Maybe that’s why she turned down the chance to play the part of Anne Frank.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

Vintage News

IMDb

http://resources.huygens.knaw.nl/bwn1880-2000/lemmata/bwn5/heemstra

 

 

 

Dirk Bogarde-Not just an actor.

Dirk

I don’t know why but ever since I moved to Ireland I have found myself explaining my name quite a bit. I have been called Derek,Declan,Kirk and other variations.Nowadays I usually say “Dirk like Dirk Bogarde” it mostly takes another few minutes for people to get my last name right. Most people will have heard of the actor

He was a British actor although his Father was of Flemish ancestry.

Although I do mention his name while explaining my name to people. I have to be honest. I am no Dirk Bogarde. I wish I was for he was not only a great actor he was also a formidable human being.

I will not go into his acting career but will focus on some of his activities. During the war, Derek Bogarde served in the British Army, at the start with the Royal Corps of Signals before in 1943 being commissioned at the age of 22 into the Queen’s Royal Regiment  as a second lieutenant.

He served for a while at RAF Medmenham a unit specialized in photographic intelligence.  in the Army reconnaissance section as a visual inspector. Analyzing aerial photographs using special glasses to create 3D effects.

3d

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The unit played a  pivotal role in gathering intelligence  on the V1 and V2 programs.

Bogarde was one of the first Allied officers in April 1945 to reach the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, this experience had the most profound effect on him and about which he found it difficult to speak for many years afterward. In an inteview he described what he saw. He got the dates wrong, the camp was liberated on the 15th of April.

“I think it was on the 13th of April – I’m not quite sure what the date was”  “when we opened up Belsen Camp, which was the first concentration camp any of us had seen, we didn’t even know what they were, we’d heard vague rumours that they were. I mean nothing could be worse than that. The gates were opened and then I realised that I was looking at Dante’s Inferno, I mean … I … I still haven’t seen anything as dreadful. And never will. And a girl came up who spoke English, because she recognised one of the badges, and she … her breasts were like, sort of, empty purses, she had no top on, and a pair of man’s pyjamas, you know, the prison pyjamas, and no hair. But I knew she was girl because of her breasts, which were empty. She was I suppose, oh I don’t know, twenty four, twenty five, and we talked, and she was, you know, so excited and thrilled, and all around us there were mountains of dead people, I mean mountains of them, and they were slushy, and they were slimy, so when you walked through them … or walked – you tried not to, but it was like …. well you just walked through them, and she … there was a very nice British MP, and he said ‘Don’t have any more, come away, come away sir, if you don’t mind, because they’ve all got typhoid and you’ll get it, you shouldn’t be here swanning-around’ and she saw in the back of the jeep, the unexpired portion of the daily ration, wrapped in a piece of the Daily Mirror, and she said could she have it, and he” [the MP] “said ‘Don’t give her food, because they eat it immediately and they die, within ten minutes’, but she didn’t want the food, she wanted the piece of Daily Mirror – she hadn’t seen newsprint for about eight years or five years, whatever it was she had been in the camp for. … she was Estonian. … that’s all she wanted. She gave me a big kiss, which was very moving. The corporal” [MP] “was out of his mind and I was just dragged off. I never saw her again, of course she died. I mean, I gather they all did. But, I can’t really describe it very well, I don’t really want to. I went through some of the huts and there were tiers and tiers of rotting people, but some of them who were alive underneath the rot, and were lifting their heads and trying …. …. trying to do the victory thing. That was the worst.

“After the war I always knew that nothing, nothing, could ever be as bad … … but nothing could frighten me any more, I mean, no man could frighten me any more, no Director … … nothing could be as bad as the war, or the things I saw in the war.”

Bergan

Dirk Bogarde truly remarkable man.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

BBC