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Entertainment Trivia

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Glenn Close had a special stipulation written into her contract with Disney Studios that allowed her to keep Cruella DeVil's film wardrobe after production concluded on 101 Dalmatians. Close is well-known in Hollywood for her huge collection of movie costumes.

Gloria Swanson was the first film star to marry a titled nobleman, the Marquis Henri de la Falaise, and was the first to have a child while an actress. Swanson also was one of the few stars of the silent film era to make a major comeback in a latter-day film. At age 52, she co-starred with William Holden in Billy Wilder's film noir masterpiece Sunset Boulevard (1950). She was nominated for an Oscar, and won the Golden Globe Best Actress award for her riveting performance as Norma Desmond.

Goldie Hawn's father, Edward Rutledge Hawn, is a direct descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Edward Rutledge was the document's youngest signer.

Goombay is the native music of the Bahamas. Goombay achieves its unique rhythm and style by merging native folk songs with percussion effects from Haiti and Cuba.

Grace Kelly, soon to wed Prince Rainier of Monaco, wore her exquisite 12-carat emerald diamond engagement ring in High Society (1956).

Grover Cleveland was the first U.S. president film star. In 1895, Alexander Black came to Washington, D.C., and asked the president to appear in A Capital Courtship. Cleveland agreed to be filmed while signing a bill into law. A Capital Courtship was a huge hit on the Lyceum circuit.

Guitarist with The James Gang, The Eagles, and The Party Boys, Joe Walsh had a recurring role as Ed in the fourth and fifth seasons on the sitcom The Drew Carey Show. Walsh also played himself in an episode in the show's second season.

Handsome silent film star Francis X. Bushman was the first film actor to be called "King of the Movies." That label would later be affixed to Clark Gable, where it has since remained.

Harry Houdini broke, injured, or sprained nearly every part of his body during the course of his escape-artist career. One of the worst injuries he sustained was when he was performing a rope tie in Pittsburgh. He had a longshoreman come onstage and tie him tightly. Houdini was tied so tightly his kidney was ruptured. For about a week, he was urinating blood.

Heart-throb band leader and clarinetist of the 1930s and '40s, Artie Shaw's real name was Abraham Isaac Arshawasky.

Herman Melville's classic and most famous novel, Moby Dick, was originally titled The Whale. Two big-screen versions have been produced: one in 1930, with John Barrymore starring as Captain Ahab, and the other in 1956, this time starring Gregory Peck. Critics feel the latter, directed by John Huston, is the superior film.

Hit tunes of the Baby Boomer era are being used (or overused) as advertising jingles. The tip of the pop-hit ice berg include Carly Simon's "Anticipation" for Heinz ketchup, Frank Sinatra's "My Way" for Kids' Cuisine, The Village People's "Macho Man" for Old El Paso, The Four Seasons' "Big Girls Don't Cry" for Johnson & Johnson hair detangler, The Temptations' "My Girl" for Sun Maid raisins, Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" for Tone Soap, The Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun" for Southwest Airlines, and Gene Chandler's "Duke of Earl" for Best Foods Dijonaisse. Burger King earns the dubious award for using more old rock tunes in TV ads than any other U.S. company to sell its hamburgers.

Hollywood actress Joan Crawford had her back teeth removed to make her cheekbones more prominent.

Hollywood legend has it that Steven Spielberg always watches three classic films before he embarks into his next movie shoot: A Guy Named Joe, It's a Wonderful Life, and The Searchers.

Hollywood not only is a world unto itself, it has its own calendar. For instance, the year 2000 in Tinseltown started in December 1999 and will end in February 2001. It has to do with marketing and the race for the Oscars.

Houdini was born Erich Weiss. In the early 1900s while performing on the vaudeville circuit, Houdini worked with a couple named Keaton. Their young son Joseph was intrigued by Houdini's magic, and Houdini was quite taken with the boy. Houdini nicknamed him "Buster." The name stuck, explaining how Buster Keaton, the famous film comedian, got his name.

How many reasons are there for an entertainer to change his or her name? Here's an uncommon one: when your name is that of the father of relativity. Actor and director Albert Brooks started out in life named Albert Einstein. His brother, David Einstein, also changed his name to become a celebrated daredevil to "Super Dave" Osborne.

Humphrey Bogart made the following disparaging comment about James Dean, who died in a car crash at age 24: "If he'd have lived, they'd have discovered he wasn't a legend."

Illusionist David Copperfield donated $10,000 in October, 1994 to repair the vandalized New York gravesite of legendary magician Harry Houdini. Houdini's mausoleum, with its Gothic benches and ornate headstones, had been vandalized five months earlier. Houdini and his wife both rest at the site.

In 1838, composer Franz Liszt performed several concerts to aid Danube flood victims in Hungary. His philanthropy made him a celebrated figure in Hungary for a time. There was even talk of awarding him a Hungarian title, although nothing came of this. As time went on, Liszt's inflated ego and unabashed desire to be part of aristocratic society were gleefully lampooned and ridiculed in the Paris press, and he evolved into a 19th-century media joke.

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