HELLO AMERICA!—Thank you again for all the messages of good wishes and support during this time of my “vision” problems. Things are much better and hopefully, in a month or so, I will return to my normal sighted-self. However, I have been able to keep up with the news as well as those who make it.
Cicely Tyson, who passed away at 96, made her presence known in so made memorable plays and films during her time with us. She was extremely close to my family because of a noted musician, her husband Miles Davis who owned a club in the Village in New York. My brother, also a musician never seemed to tire dreaming of musical sounds, John on the piano and, of course, Miles on trumpet. Cicely, every time we ran into each other, I’d ask if she had seen my brother, and she would laugh and say, “Oh, yes, he and Miles are usually together as soon as he knows that your brother John is at the Club for the day!”
She was always careful about the plays she accepted to appear in. “I don’t want to be seen in the trash!” she insisted. “I want people to learn something from whatever I do. I lucky to be picky about the films or theatre work I do.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene is being urged to resign from the House of Representatives based on alleged threats hurled at Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
I received a call from one of my spies at CBS telling me that they are serious talk about future consideration in producing dramas and theatre works that represent the soul of American life as it is today. They are even considering re-establishing the old “contract” concept of signing young new talent from coast to coast. The one special focus would be concentrated on black and brown performs who would be placed under contract.
“The Young and the Restless,” daytime soap is a hit receiving extremely high marks for its casting of minorities. Letters are pouring in, especially from young people who claim they have been inspired by the casting of actors of color in genuine powerful roles. Those in the know claim the industry will display a different look when the “virus” disappears. Leon Isaac Kennedy who made quite an acting mark for himself in his “Penitentiary” MGM films, which lead to TV and radio hits that appealed to the younger set. Leon hasn’t allowed the virus to stop him in any way; he has been spending time making sure that families that need survival support get it. He arranges for food and medical treatment are available for those who need it.
Word has it that a major film is being planned based on the life of Lena Horne, now that should be quite a winner. She was one of those ladies who knew how to handle Louis B. Meyer. She made it clear before signing with MGM that she would never play a “maid” in any of the films she was assigned to and the studio agreed without a fight. Having had are start in Harlem, she knew exactly how to deal with the big boys.
Chris Baronie, who previously signed to bring James Dean to life in a film about the young star’s early life in the Midwest before shaking up Tinseltown. He even spent time at UCLA in the drama department. People weren’t aware of it but Dean during his early years in Hollywood had a wild time with the late singer-actress Eartha Kitt. Those of us who knew Dean let everyone know that time spent with Kitt was one of the most exciting time of his younger days in Tinseltown. Those of us who also knew Eartha wasn’t surprised at all.