“Who Am I?” 2018

January 2018

I was born outside of Pittsburgh PA and grew up in Butler, PA. Dad was an executive in a paper box company and mom was a hausfrau. From an early age I wanted to be an actress. I pursued that dream and majored in drama when I got my degree from what was to be become Carnegie Mellon University.

Before I got my real break in TV I studied hard for 3 months and legitimately answered the $64,000.Question! I got a modeling job with a fashion designer and plugged a men’s hair cream on TV. Later on I did voice-over commercials and readings at poetry slams. My early TV exposure led to a co-starring role in a TV comedy series working alongside an inept secret agent who used the latest in high-tech spyware. For my role I was twice nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series”. You probably best remember me from that particular series. As the sidekick I added glamour to the series because I was tall, dressed fashionably and I often had to bail out my shorter my co-star. I stand over 5’9” so I had to be careful not to develop a permanent slouch for the duration of our long-running show. I also appeared in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, “Laugh-In” and “Cheers”. For awhile I hosted my own TV interview show on “Hearst’s/ABC’s Daytime Cable Channel.”

Along my journey in life I married a well-known Belgian photographer but the marriage didn’t last. I later wrote a self-help book that was published.

My debut feature film co-starred someone who starred in a TV series of his own where he played the fictional “Rob Petrie.” In my later years I was a sought after speaker on behalf of girls and women.

You might have bumped into me at the Chiller Theatre Expo which is often held at the Hilton in Parsippany, N.J. The promoters of the Expo invite me there as one of the celebrities who attract fans and paying customers who remember them kindly.

That’s me in the photo below. (1)Who Am I? What was my moniker in my best known TV role? (2)What was my field of expertise on the quiz show mentioned above that enabled me to win the big prize? (3)What designer did I model for and what men’s hair cream did I promote? (4)What was the name of my Belgian husband? What self-help book did I write? (5)What full length movie did I debut in with “Rob” and on what novel was it based? (6)Finally, what is my anti-aging secret?

2018-1


February 2018

I was born to German Jews in the Hungarian part (Tolcsva) of the Austro-Hungarian Empire but was brought to the NYC when I was 9 months old. I came from a family of 12 brothers and sisters; so, as you can imagine, money was tight in our lower east side flat. I dropped out of school at age 10 because I was obliged to go out and work to help support the family. I worked in the fur and garment business pressing pants and other odd jobs.

I think I was a born entrepreneur because as soon as I was able to, I bought a “nickelodeon” in Brooklyn. It was one of those 5 cent theaters which showed short “flickers” accompanied by a tinny piano. I used barkers to herd the crowds inside. Little by little I began to invest in more nickelodeons and arcades until I could afford to buy more lavish movie theaters. Eventually, I was able to move into Manhattan and install better film projectors to show my one-reelers. I won a lawsuit against Thomas Edison which shattered his monopoly on the motion picture camera and then I was off and running!

I leased a movie studio at the corner of Main Street and Linwood Avenue in Fort Lee and made movies there. Fort Lee was an ideal location because it had both the Palisades and wooded areas nearby. I began producing my own films because I was dissatisfied with the quality of the films that I was able to purchase and exhibit. Also, I needed a reliable stream of products for my theaters. Those early films were often sentimental tales featuring villains and vamps. There was one very famous western star under contract to me and I believe I created what could arguably be called the first movie femme fatale. I introduced organ accompaniment to my silent films to bring in the patrons.

I moved operations out to CA in 1916. I converted nickelodeons to theaters; and, at the height of my success I built or bought over 1100 screens! I knew sound would be the up and coming trend so I engaged engineers to develop the ‘sound on celluloid process’ rather than the ‘sound on disc system’ which was used by my competitors over at Warner’s. My ‘sound system’ became the industry standard. The royalties and licensing fees from this process kept me afloat during the hard times which were to come.

A car accident and the stock market crash left me in a financial pickle. I had no cash and the stock in my company became worthless. I was the subject of a federal anti-trust investigation and I eventually had to file bankruptcy. I made the big mistake of trying to bribe a federal judge which earned me a stay at the Lewisburg federal pen. My name survives today in multiple media outlets. That’s me holding the stogie in the picture below.

(1)Who am I? And how was I addressed around the studio? (2)What was my personal motto? (3)What do Upton Sinclair and I have in common? (4)Who were the aforementioned western star and vamp? (5)Who is the media mogul of today that has perpetuated my name?

2018-2


March 2018

I was born in Brooklyn but my family moved to CA when I was 11 years old. Dad worked alternately as a teacher and as a painter. In CA my dad worked as a set designer. I took acting lessons as kid and knew early on I wanted to be a professional thespian one day.

In college I studied drama. I also sang and played guitar in a folk music group. I have been called a “renaissance man” because of my diverse interests and talents. At different periods in my life I have been an actor, a director, a comedian, a singer-songwriter and an author of children’s books and Sci-Fi stories.

Some of my acting roles have been described as being edgy and intense. I could mimic accents pretty well. When I assumed the roles of Rozonov or Kudirka I felt I gave quite convincing performances.

I am better known for my supporting roles rather than being a leading man. I didn’t mind being second fiddle because I got to keep my clothes on more often than not. If I add up all my roles I’d wager that I have had over 100 acting credits in my TV and film work. Not bad for a kid from Brooklyn!

I am a big supporter of maintaining an organic way of living and of protecting our fragile environment for future generations.

I forget exactly when it was but about 23 summers or so ago I was the main event at a ‘Y’ summer evening program in Wayne where I spoke about my career on stage and on the big screen. It was very well attended and perhaps you were in that audience. That’s me in the photos below.

(1)Who Am I? (2)Who were Rozonov and Kudirka and what was my connection to them? (3a)What late 1950’s hit song did I co-write? (3b) Who popularized that song? (4) What improv comedy group did I help found? (5)Which 3 films of mine were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar? Which one won? (6)What is my connection to “Grey Wolf”? (Hint – It is not the name of a premium vodka I did commercial work for.)

 


April 2018

I was born in NYC and raised in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Dad was a publisher and mom a singer. Our family had a summer home in Stamford, CT. Among our neighbors was a legendary baseball player. My mom, Andrea, became a close friend of his wife .My siblings, me, and their kids all became close friends. We went on picnics, attended ball games and had sleepovers at one another’s houses. I attended Sarah Lawrence but never graduated because I decided to pursue a musical career.

At first I sang with my sister. We found jobs as a folk duo performing at coffee houses and such. Sis decided to get married and so I embarked on a solo career. In the early ‘70’s I wrote a song and cut a record about a haughty guy whose identity became a matter of conjecture for decades. 1977 was a good year for me too because I wrote a song that was chosen for a Hollywood movie theme. The year after that I was in your neighborhood when I performed in concert at Bergen Community College in Paramus. I’m pretty sure some of you might have come out to see me.

At one time I was married to a fellow singer-songwriter who was pretty famous in his own right. I have had an amazing musical career that has earned me entry in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and the Grammy Hall of Fame. I’ve earned an Academy Award and a Golden Globes Award. I am also credited with writing several children’s books.

That’s me holding my favorite doll in the picture below. (1a)Who Am I? (1b)What was the name of our famous ballplayer neighbor? (2)Who is the enigmatic haughty person I wrote one of my first hits about? What was the name of that song? (3)Who was my singer-songwriter husband? (4)What is “Aja” to me and how did Aja get its name? (5)What was the first movie theme I wrote? In what film did it appear?

2018-4


May 2018

I was born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrants who owned a sporting goods store. I earned a B.A. at an Ivy League school and a law degree at St. John’s; however, it was still hard for me to find work during the Great Depression. Never the prissy type I found work in construction, sales, boxing, and playing baseball. Hell, I even worked as a model for a time.

I did a little theater work but my big break came when Warner Bros. offered me roles in films with WWII themes. I got to work with some of the major stars of those days including Raymond Massey, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, John Garfield and Humphrey Bogart. I was just “the type” that Warner Bros., unlike the other studios, liked to portray on the screen i.e. not “pretty boys” but rather gritty, average looking guys like me who looked like real people.

Throughout my career I also worked in radio and was a pioneer in the nascent television industry. I made over 30 films and earned my star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One of my favorite film roles of the 1950’s was partially shot on location in Bergenfield, N.J. That movie role epitomized some of my deepest personal beliefs.

I was a political conservative who voted Republican. Throughout my life I have been a champion of civil rights because I despise discriminatory practices. That’s me with one of my lovely co-stars in the picture below. (1)Who am I? Who is that beautiful British actress that I am embracing? (2) What star was I dancing with in the movie “Hollywood Canteen”? (3)What automobile did Jack L. Warner once give me as a birthday gift? (4)My sports trophy room is full of awards as a result of my achievements in what sport? (5)Finally, what is the name of the movie I am so proud of having starred in that was partially filmed in Bergenfield? Here’s a hint – It is biographical, inspirational and about real people.

2018-5


June 2018

I was born in the late 1800’s in NYC. Dad came from Alsace and worked as a bartender and mom was Hungarian-Jewish and toiled behind a sewing machine in a fur factory. I spent some of my formative years in Newark, NJ before we moved to Brooklyn.

I was never much one for school and by 8th grade I dropped out to work in burlesque. I couldn’t dance but I could sing pretty well and I developed quite a flair for comedy. Ethnic comedy was very popular at that time and though I couldn’t speak Yiddish, I could give a plausible imitation of someone speaking that language. I parodied actors, opera singers, and ballerinas often using outlandish gestures along with my uncanny skill as a dialect comedian. I shared stages with some of the great entertainers of that time including Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, Jack Benny and Eddie Cantor. I appeared on stage at the Majestic Theatre in Jersey City. Some of you seniors might even remember me from there! I also had quite a long association with “Flo” and became one of the headliners in his shows.

I mentioned that I could sing and that skill led me to recording sessions and song releases at both Victor and Columbia.

I tried my hand in other media and had a successful career in radio where I really submerged myself into the character of a bratty toddler who was actually a thorough and honest depiction of my real self!

I was married three times but none of my marriages endured. One guy was a con man who served time for bond theft and wiretapping. My third husband was an impresario and a showman. He once said of me that “I stood out like a bagel in a loaf of white bread….” Very complimentary, he was….

I had a rhinoplasty procedure because I hoped it would advance my career. One wit wrote of it by writing, “She cut off her nose to spite her race…”

Long before Frank Sinatra sang “My Way” I wrote the following in my planned autobiography: ” I lived the way I wanted to live and never did what people said I should do or advised me to do.” I had no regrets. I have 2 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and I have been honored by a U.S. commemorative stamp.

That’s me in the photo below. (1)Who Am I? (2)What two songs am I most associated with? (3)Where did I sing my first song on stage and what song did I sing? (4)Who made that acerbic comment about my rhinoplasty? (5) Who was my third husband and what was his connection to the ’39 World’s Fair? (6) Who else was honored in that same series of U.S. commemorative postage stamps at the same time as I was?

2018-6


July 2018

I was born in the capitol of MD but grew up in Greensboro, NC. I was a ‘phi beta’ student at the University of N.C.

My grandpa (mom’s dad) emigrated here from Russia in 1897. He was one of 14 siblings, many of whom did not survive the Holocaust. He settled in Savannah, GA and worked for his older brother, who had arrived in the U.S. before him, and who ran a dry goods store at the time.

I’m largely known as a conservative radio talk show host. I have always been a strong opponent of communism and a determined enemy of prejudice and repression. I have often made myself available to Jewish causes over the years.

I have a reputation of being a polyglot and can speak or fake my way through a couple of dozen languages. That talent has helped me during my time in the army and also during different journalist assignments. In fact I even wrote a book about learning languages.

I estimate that I have interviewed over 10,000 guests on my many radio shows over a period well north of 50 years. It yet remains to be seen whether Rush, Laura I., or Ann C. will have that longevity! During my career, I was often an evening or overnight radio host. I have been a featured guest on many networks and a published author. I provided inspiration to Larry King and others who followed me. Along the way, I have acted as a sales consultant to Fortune 500 companies, business leaders, professional athletes and entertainers. My radio programs were often broadcast throughout the north Jersey area. In recent years I gravitated to satellite and cable radio station including Comcast and Verizon as well “on-demand” subscriptions from my website. I was eventually inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. My last reported address was in Livingstone, N.J. which only adds to my N.J. bona fides.

Along my journey in life I’ve also dabbled a bit in politics. I made a run for Congress in NYC and threw my hat in the ring for mayor as well. I lost both times!

That’s me in the photo below. (1a)”Who Am I”? I had the only talk show on a radio station that strictly played rock ‘n roll. (1b)What was the name of my show? (2a) What was my maternal grandfather’s full name? In grandpa’s day, Savannah had several army camps around Oglethorpe Avenue. (2b)What famous army colonel on horseback did grandpa admire there? (2c)On what station did I interview grandpa? (3)Who did I lose my bid for a congressional seat to? (4) Where did I work as an adjunct professor of journalism? (5) I pray every day of the week. An interviewer once asked me what I’d say to God if I happened to be lucky enough to get into heaven. What was my reply?

mail

 


August 2018

I was born in the “gateway to the west” long before the arch was erected there. Mom was a suffragette and dad was a gynecologist.

I had a pretty comfortable childhood. I attended Bryn Mawr but left school to pursue a career in journalism that was to last 60 years! Among my employers were the New Republic, Collier’s Weekly, the St.Louis Post-Dispatch, the Atlantic Monthly, and the London Guardian. I also wrote 5 novels, 14 novellas and 2 collections of short stories so you can see I was a busy gal.
Early on I spent a couple of years in Paris as a foreign correspondent for UPI. Harry Hopkins hired me to be one of 16 investigators for the ‘FERA’ (Federal Emergency Relief Administration) where Ireported back on the Great Depression. Our work influenced the Roosevelt administration’s relief programs. It was there that I developed my life-long friendship with Eleanor, the First Lady.

I “made my bones,” so to speak, by fearlessly covering the Spanish Civil War, the Russo-Finnish War, the second Sino-Japanese War, the London Blitz and the European Theater of War in WWII. Iused my wiles and every trick in my reporter’s handbook to get to places where women rarely had gone before. Despite the long odds, I too landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day by stowing away on a hospital ship and sneaking ashore as a stretcher bearer!  I was also on the ground to report from Dachau soon after its liberation by allied forces.

For a time I was married to a “manly man” journalist /novelist but I refused to be overshadowed by him. Whenever we took our shotguns to go out duck hunting I proved to be as good a shot as he was! In later years when I was asked about him I said, “A man must be a very great genius to make up for being such a loathsome human being.””

Over the course of my long career I also covered the Vietnam War, civil wars in Central America and some of the Arab-Israeli conflicts. I have always been very pro-Israel and I had an excellent relationship with Moshe Dayan, the former Defense Minister of Israel.

Along the way I adopted a baby boy but I had to leave him with my relatives in Englewood, N.J. because of the peripatetic nature of my work.

Some have considered me glamorous just because I happen to be a leggy blonde. Maybe you know me from work or by my raspy voice because I was a chain-smoker. That’s me in the photo below. (1)Who Am I? (2)What was my connection to the 82nd Airborne Division? (3) What was the name of the famous journalist/novelist I was once married to? (4) I was honored by having my image appear on a U.S. postage stamp. Which 4 other people were also honored by the U.S.P.S. at the same time as I was?


September 2018

I was born in Philly during the twenties. My dad had a sheet metal business and mom was a traffic guard. As a kid I played the bugle in a Jewish Veterans drum and bugle corps but what really got me hot on music was when I received a trumpet for my bar-mitzvah. I went to Voc School to become more proficient at my chosen musical career. I had some notable classmates there, among them Buddy DeFranco and John Coltrane, both of whom would become famous musicians.

I began to get gigs as a trumpeter for some of the big bands during their heyday. One be-bop trumpeter especially intrigued me so I decided to make the transition from swing to be-bop. Some say I was the first white be-bopper. I performed under a stage name when we toured down south because I had to pass for black (!)due to the Jim Crow laws of that time that didn’t allow mixed races to play music together. It  was hard for me to believe but a famous alto-saxophonist asked me to replace the great Miles Davis in his group! As if…

There were some bad influences on me while I was playing in some of those jazz groups back then and I had to fight chemical addiction a few times in my career. That addiction led to some brushes with the law and I did some time behind bars as a result of it. When I was unable to get a cabaret license to perform in clubs I sometimes worked the wedding and bar-mitzvah circuits. I used my down time in the jug to earn a college degree and later went to law school though I never practiced law, because, as a felon, I was barred from taking the law exam in certain states.

During my career I have made many jazz recordings and have appeared at clubs, festivals and concerts. I was a hit in Las Vegas for a time. consulted with the former Rowdy Yates when he directed a well-known movie about that same fellow who had invited me to take Miles Davis’ job. I even played on the soundtrack for that film. During the late 1980’s I performed in some north Jersey jazz clubs and lived in nearby New Milford. Some of you jazz fans must certainly know me by now. That’s me blowing my horn below.

(1)Who am I?  (2)Name at least 2 big bands performed with. (3)What did they call me when performed down south with an all-black band during the Jim Crow era?  (4)Who was that alto-sax player that invited me to take Miles Davis’ job on trumpet? (5) As previously mentioned, my on-screen character was portrayed in a movie in which I served as a consultant to the director, the former ‘Rowdy Yates’. I educated “Rowdy” about my real-life role. Name that film. What is “Rowdy’s” real name?

 


October 2018

I was born in Brooklyn to Jay and Lila and we lived on Ocean Avenue. As a boy I was a fanatic Brooklyn Dodger fan and I swear I must have attended 50 games at Ebbets Field before my family moved to Los Angeles around the same time that “The Bums” headed west. I graduated high school in L.A. and many, many years later, my high school named their ball field after me!    I attended Arizona State University where I majored in radio and television and minored in journalism. While at A.S.U. I was a member of Sigma Nu (ΣΝ) .

Most of you sports fan will recognize me by my work as a play-by-play announcer and color commentator. I think I’ve covered almost everything: college sports, play-by-play for two National League teams, horse racing (the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes), the World Series, NFL games including 10 Super Bowls, ice hockey, skating, professional boxing, the Indy 500. You name it and I’ve called it.

I guess you could say I was pretty successful because I spent 3 decades at one major TV network before I moved on to another major TV network. I’ve won 5 Emmys and was thrice chosen the National Broadcaster of the Year by the National Broadcasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA).

I’ve played myself in a few Hollywood movies, and, if you’re ever visited Hollywood, CA.,  you might have noticed my star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6633 Hollywood Boulevard. That’s me in the photo below.

(1a)Who am I? (1b)What was the name of my high school? What did they name their ball field to honor me? (2) What is Sigma Nu (ΣΝ)? I presume you know your Greek letters (3) My autobiography made the N.Y. Times bestseller list for non-fiction. In fact, I came to “Bookends” in Ridgewood, N.J. – just a hop, skip and a jump from the JHSNJ to promote my book and offer signed copies.  What is the title of my book? (4a) I am well-known for a line I uttered during a certain 1980 Winter Olympics hockey match that took place in the Adirondacks. What was that famous line and what had gotten me so excited? (4b) What movie was made about that game? (5) One of my life’s regrets was that I wasn’t around in 1932 to call a World Series game that the Yankees won 7-5. What happened in that game that I missed? (6a)What two National League teams did I call the play-by-play for? (6b) What did NBC have to surrender to get me on their staff from ABC Sports? (6c) A lot of my friends know my favorite actors are Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks, but what is my favorite dinner?

who am i


November 2018

I was born at the tail end of the 19th century in Hamburg, Germany. As a lad I loved visiting the local Hagenbeck Zoo where I started a lifelong vocation of drawing animals. I went to school at the Humanitarian Gymnasium where I excelled in linguistics. I learned to speak four languages there. During the Great War I was drafted into the German army where I served in the infantry and in the medical corps. I was deployed to both France and Russia. After the war I attended the University of Hamburg and the University of Munich. I found work at a lithographic plant that specialized in circus posters to earn a living.

In the 1920’s I set sail for Rio de Janeiro to work for my brother-in-law who had an import-export firm there. I sold sinks and bathtubs up and down the Amazon River for my livelihood back then. I was eventually joined in Rio by my wife-to-be. Our families had known each other back in Hamburg. She had studied art at the Bauhaus and was a skilled photographer. Together we established a small advertising agency. I handled the advertising art and my wife wrote the copy. We married in Rio and fortunately for us, took Brazilian citizenship. We later sailed for France and honeymooned there.

It wasn’t long before the Nazi menace reached France. For a time we had taken temporary refuge at an old castle owned by friends in southern France. Later on, we took up residence in the 18tharrondissement in Paris. Just two days before the Germans entered Paris we were forced to run for our lives. We escaped on bicycles with just the clothes on our backs, a little food and some manuscripts we were working on that we hoped to get published. One of our manuscripts had a simian as a protagonist. Very similar to the “Victor Laszlo” character, the Czech patriot in the movie “Casablanca,” we hoped to get to Lisbon and from there to the “free world.”

Four months after fleeing Paris we arrived in N.Y.C. in October 1940 by way of Rio. As mentioned previously, our fortunate act of our obtaining Brazilian citizenship helped us immensely in securing the vital visas that saved our lives. In 1946 we became naturalized American citizens. Our luck held out because an American publisher bought our manuscript which centered around a mischievous and inquisitive simian. Our fictional creation was always getting into trouble, lots of trouble.

My wife and I made a great team. I supplied the ideas and illustrations for our series of books and my wife wrote the text. Her funny gestures and poses were often incorporated into our simian’s features. We were amazingly successful with our series of books – eventually selling over 30 million copies in 16 languages! Later on, our central character was made into a Hollywood film and a successful PBS series.

We lived 20 some years in NYC and later moved up to MA. I had a life-long interest in astronomy and later wrote the equivalent title of what today might be called, “Astronomy for Dummies.” I also taught astronomy classes at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. My wife went on to teach creative writing at Brandeis.

There is a children’s room at the Boston Public Library named after us. My wife also set up a foundation to both fund children’s programs which embraced our protagonist’s best traits and also those that benefited animals. At our home we kept pets and rescued animals. Our legacy includes “Storytime” programs which are held almost everywhere. One was held not too long ago at Barnes & Noble in Hackensack. Throughout the fall of 2016 a learning program was held at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City where visitors could learn the same way our protagonist does – through first- hand experience and problem solving skills. Not to be outdone, The Bergen P.A.C.  in Englewood, N.J. has offered (1996, 2018) theater programs surrounding our famous simian as well. I think you know us by now. There’s a photo below taken of us shortly after our wedding.

(1)” Who Are We?”and what names were we born with and what did we eventually change them to? (2a) What was our protagonist’s original name and what was his eventual moniker? (2b)In order not to offend the Crown, what was our protagonist’s name in the U.K.? (2c) What was the name of that old castle in France where we sought temporary refuge? (3)What was the name of the vessel we sailed on from Rio to NYC? (4a)Who was our American publisher? (4b)We lived at 2 different addresses in downtown Manhattan. Name one of them. (5)What book did I write about astronomy? (6) Who was Lay Lee Ong and what was her relationship to us?

who am i

Advertisements