Saturday, December 7, 2013

My Christmas Reading List

I know you've been lying awake nights, tossing and turning, wondering what to get the author of this blog for Christmas. It would be churlish of me to make you guess, especially those of you who don't really know me all that well, so I decided to come right out and publish my list. I love reading thorough, well-researched, and readable biographies of show business figures whose work I admire. Here, alphabetically billed, are three such people whose biographies I would most like to read this holiday season:

Bea Benaderet (1906-1968) may be best-known as good-hearted Kate Bradley, proprietress of the Shady Rest Hotel, on TV's Petticoat Junction. However, before that late-in-life success, she was a prolific and highly respected character actress whose credits include the role of Blanche Morton on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Iris Atterbury, best pal to Liz (Lucille Ball) on radio's My Favorite Husband, and the voices of characters such as Tweety Bird's Granny in Warner Brothers cartoons.

Willie Best (1916-1962) was a comic actor who appeared in more than 100 films between 1930 and 1950, and went on to play regular roles in two early TV sitcoms, My Little Margie and The Trouble with Father. Often saddled with the stereotypical characters assigned to other African American actors in that era, he nonetheless displayed a genuine talent that led Bob Hope, whom he supported in The Ghost Breakers (1940), to call him "the best actor I know."

Martin Kosleck (1904-1994) was a German-born artist and actor who left his native country in the early 1930s, as Nazism was on the rise. Landing in Hollywood a few years later, he built an impressive career as a character actor, ironically often cast as Nazis. Among his better-remembered roles are leads in two cult favorite horror films, House of Horrors (1946, pictured below) and The Flesh Eaters (1964).
If Martin Kosleck (center, sculpting Rondo Hatton) can create an original work of art, why can't you?

Don't those sound intriguing? There's just one slight hiccup, and that's why I'm giving you a couple of weeks extra notice before December 25th. Nobody's actually written these books yet. Granted, that does provide an extra bit of complication, but I have faith in you. Get to work, okay? I'm looking forward to a few days off work after Christmas, and it sure would be nice to curl up on the sofa and read your book.

No comments:

Post a Comment