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Entertainment Trivia

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The classic The Manchurian Candidate, with its full roster of stars headed by Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey, hit theaters in 1962. Its subject matter, the attempted assassination of a president, was too close for comfort following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The film was pulled from circulation, and wasn't released from its vault for TV viewing or VCR rental for many years.

Write-in votes for the Academy Awards were disallowed after 1935.

The closest that film star John Wayne came to military action was in 1944 during a three-month entertainment tour of Pacific bases. His boyhood wish of becoming a naval officer never came true, although he did come close to receiving an appointment to Annapolis. During World War II, he was rejected for military service. Wayne was never a cowboy, either. Odd jobs that "The Duke" held as a young man included those of fruit picker, iceman, truck driver, and movie propman.

Yasmine Bleeth had her first modeling job when she was six months old.

The comic strip "Tarzan," created by artist Harold Foster, debuted in U.S. newspapers in 1929.

Years back, popular American actor Charles Bronson (Death Wish) was selected by a failing Japanese hair gel company to be its celebrity spokesman. This was the company's last-ditch-effort advertising campaign. This debut of a "gai-jin, or foreigner, was such an unexpected hit with Japanese consumers, the company changed its name to the name of the hair gel.

The composer of the “Nutcracker” ballet, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, wasn't that fond of the commission. What has become one of the most recognized ballet scores in the world was, according to Tchaikovsky, “infinitely worse than ‘Sleeping Beauty'.”

Zeppo Marx of Marx Brothers fame owned a patent for a wrist watch with a heart monitor.

The composing team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II earned many awards for the eleven musicals they wrote during their seventeen-year partnership, including two Pulitzer Prizes, one Emmy, two Grammys, two Tonys, and fifteen Academy Awards. Partial credits of the talented duo include The King and I, The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oklahoma!, Flower Drum Song, Carousel, Show Boat, and Cinderella.

The couplet "She kissed the hairbrush by mistake / She thought it was her husband, Jake" originated in a 1940 Burma Shave roadside jingle.

The cover of the very first issue of Rolling Stone magazine featured John Lennon.

The curtain in kabuki theaters consists of red-brown, black, and green cotton stripes. It is not raised as in the Western theaters, but drawn aside.

The dapper Michigan J. Frog was created by master cartoonist Chuck Jones in the 1950s for a Warner Bros.' cartoon, and is now the mascot of the WB television network.

The Don McLean song "American Pie" is NOT named after the airplane Buddy Holly died in. This is incorrectly reported in many trivia web sites.

The DVD version of the animated hit A Bug's Life was the first-ever all-digital video transfer.

The F.C.C. fined The Howard Stern Show's owner, Infinity Broadcasting, $600,000 in 1992 after listeners provided transcripts that had the controversial Stern talking about masturbating to a picture of Aunt Jemima and having violent sex with Michelle Pfeiffer.

The Family of Man exhibition started in 1955, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and traveled to seven countries over the next seven years. The book based on the exhibition remains the best-selling photography book to this day.

The film crews for Armageddon (1998) got unprecedented access to NASA facilities and filmed actual launch sequences of the space shuttle. Fifteen cameras were specially outfitted to withstand the hydrochloric exhaust left in the shuttle's wake.

The first “downtown” musical to win both a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize, Rent, opened in 1996.

The first American pop group to tour the USSR was the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band during their 1977 concert tour.

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