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Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Can you guess who it is?

This man was born Ehrich Weiss March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Hungary. Ashamed of his birthplace, he later claimed to have been born in Appleton, Wisconsin.

His family was poor and at the age of eight, he went to work to help pay the bills. He sold newspapers and shined shoes until age12, when he left home and began performing magic, calling himself “Eric, the Great.”

He was a mere 5’5″ with a high-pitched voice, but was extremely athletic and charismatic

Soon he became famous worldwide when he astonished audiences with his incredible feats.

In 1926, a member of the audience asked if he could punch the magician in the stomach to test his tolerance for pain. A few single blows caused his appendix to rupture.  Despite the pain, he continued to perform several shows but after one final performance in Michigan, he collapsed and was rushed to a local hospital.

Both of his homes, in New York and Los Angeles are currently said to be haunted by his ghostly spirit, even though one of them burned down after his death.

Harry Houdini died October 31, 1926 of peritonitis.

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

“She Was an Old Friend From My Past”

While on the set for Gone With The Wind, an assistant approached Clark Gable with an unusual request.

“I told Mr. Gable that someone wanted to see him.  She said she was an old friend from the past and that it was urgent that he stop what he’s doing and see her immediately.

At first the famous actor scoffed and brushed the suggestion aside.  “He didn’t even bother to give me an answer,” said Irv, “so I went back to the entrance and relayed the message to the woman.

“But she wouldn’t take no for an answer.  She pulled out a pen and a small pad of paper and began writing a long note.  It took her about ten minutes to write it, but finally she tore the pages from the pad and handed them to me.  She said, ‘I think he might want to see me now.  This’ll do it.’

“So, I slowly walked back on the set and tapped Mr. Gable on the shoulder.  He kind of gave me his gruff look, and without saying anything he spotted the papers I was holding and snatched them out of my hand.

“I could see his expression change as he read the woman’s comments.  He had only read the first page when he looked up and asked where she was.  Then he excused himself from the set and quickly walked away.

“About fifteen minutes later he walked back, took me by the arm and pulled me aside.  ‘She was an old friend from the past.’  He started to walk away but thought the better of it.  He said, ‘She was someone I loved a long time ago.  And I’d appreciate it if you’d keep it to yourself.  Or at least until I’m long gone, if you know what I mean.’

“On the next to last day of the shoot, Mr. Gable walked over to me and said, ‘Remember that lady who gave you the note?’  I nodded.  He said, ‘She was a good woman and fell on tough times.  I helped her out and everything’s going to be OK.'”

“The strange thing is the night before I had a dream where I kept running after Mr. Gable trying to hand him a piece of paper.”

I.  Hochanser

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Thursday, March 05th, 2009

Can You Guess Who He Is?

Born in 1889 the child was weak and frail, and many of the neighborhood kids would make fun of him.

The youngster would often “disappear” into his own imagination, and while his peers were out playing and running around, he would find a secluded spot and dream of things to be.

His father was an alcoholic and was rarely around.  His mother Hannah was a performer and often brought her son to the theater.

As he grew into a young man and became more outgoing, he wondered if his creativity and humor could propel him into a career he loved.  He honed his talents as a musician, actor and comedian by touring with a group known as the Karno Troupe.  He shared a room with Arthur Stanley Jefferson who would later become known as Stan Laurel.

He sometimes had the feeling he could be in two places at once:  both on the stage and in the audience watching himself.  In the dark hours of the night, he felt he could leave his body and travel to distant places, what we now refer to as astral travel.

In 1913, he was discovered by film producer Mack Sennett, who felt the versatile comedian would do well on the big screen.  Quickly learning the craft of film making, he started directing, editing and even composing the music for his own features

After becoming an instant success and known worldwide, he once entered a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like contest and didn’t make the final cut.

Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr. (Charlie Chaplin) died on Christmas Day, December 25, 1977, the most popular entertainer of his day.