Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jack Kelly - A Gambler Returns...

Hello Everyone,

Before we get to the conclusion of "Bart and Bret Running Close Race", I wanted to share this picture with you. (I hope you'll excuse the quality--it's scanned from a slide, and I'm still kind of a novice at that.)

This picture was taken on October 14, 1991, at the premiere party for the television mini-series The Gambler Returns - The Luck of the Draw. The film debuted on TV on November 3, 1991.

I thought it was fitting to share this picture today, since The Luck of the Draw is being shown on the Encore Westerns channel this evening. It marked the last time Jack Kelly would play Bart Maverick.

JK is second from the right in the picture. (It's hard to miss that smile!) Sadly, we lost two of the other TV cowboys in the picture just this year: David Carradine and Gene Barry. The only one remaining now is Hugh O'Brian.

The Luck of the Draw wasn't the first time JK had met up with these hombres. He'd acted with Carradine in the film Young Billy Young; he did a couple of Name of the Game episodes with Barry; and as a young hopeful at Universal he appeared in several films with O'Brian.

Since 2009 is coming to a close, I thought I'd also take a moment to thank all of you for reading "The Tall Dark Stranger There...", and for all of your kind words and support.

2009 started out on a very sad note for me when my beloved mother passed away. I know she's in a better place now and is suffering no more. However, there's an empty place in my life where she used to be. That cruel fact burdened my heart with sorrow. My Christian faith has helped me to bear that burden. And God, in His infinite and creative mercy, also let my spirit be lifted a little by a gentleman named Jack.

I pray that the Lord will abundantly bless you and watch over you all in 2010! :)


Now, for the conclusion of "Bart and Bret Running Close Race." This part reveals JK's thoughtful analysis of how he differed from Bart Maverick:

"Jack is married to May Wynn, a former Copacabana beauty and sometime actress. She, and a desire for a family, are the reasons that Jack is not openly disgruntled--as Jim Garner has been--about the hard work and relatively modest pay awarded to the Maverick brothers.

'In fact,' he says, "I hope that Maverick runs for 35 years and that God wills we have a child to take over my job.'

People are always asking Jack if his own personality is akin to that of Bart Maverick. And he is always replying:

'No. I'm not as free-wheeling.

'Before my marriage, I probably had the outlook of the Mavericks, without the guts and the talent to live that way. But marriage makes a big difference in your attitude. For instance, we have a standing rule in our house, I don't travel without my wife or she without me.

'I'd cry up a storm if I lost as much money as Maverick does across the poker table. And, there's a spiritual responsibility that we have which is never noticeable in Maverick's life.

'Bear this in mind,' Kelly concludes, 'the Mavericks are great guys, who will grab a girl wherever they can and say let's go--we'll have a good time and that's it. The men in the audience say gee, look what that guy gets away with, and the women can't help liking him.

'But if people were that free and easy, they wouldn't have to go to the theater, watch TV or buy our entertainment.'

Wouldn't wish that on a nice guy like Jack Kelly."

What's next? Keep watchin'--and have a Safe and Blessed New Year's!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jack Kelly - Part II of "Bart"...Plus a Bonus! :)

Howdy Folks!

Here's Part II of "Bret and Bart Running Close Race"...and stay tuned for a special bonus story (or stories, I should say):

"'When I [JK] entered the picture (in November 1957), Jim [Garner] had a half-dozen films out and was a well-established hero. The mail came in from the dissenters, saying why give us this guy--we want Garner. If I'd been Warner Brothers, I'd have said, 'Let's get rid of this bum', and fired me.

'But instead, they sent out a form letter telling the audience to have patience. A great snow job. And gradually, as I got over my nerves, I could only improve.'

Jack credits Jim Garner with helping him over his early Maverick nerves, and says they never discuss their rankings or ratings as co-stars on the top ABC show. Because, 'We work too hard even to see each other.'

Kelly was born on the plains of Long Island, and has worked most of his 31 years as a child model and Broadway actor, a student lawyer, an Air Forceman, and actor in TV and Class B movies.

When he won the audition for Bart Maverick, he realized it would mean hard work for less salary. 'I decided to cut my salary in half,' he says cheerfully, 'so that perpetuity might be served. After working at odds and ends most of my life, there's great satisfaction in the knowledge that I may become a success.'"


Now here's the special bonus. We've been reading about JK's Maverick days above. I've been going through Google again, and I found some fascinating stories about his later career:
  • In 1973, JK acted up a Storm with some students in Alabama (great pix here, too, and a review that calls JK "suave and virile". ) ;->
  • JK was an international investor in 1975, but he still "Love'd" acting
  • JK got back down to business in 1978. But, he still had time to watch some TV--and guess what show he loved to watch? (You probably watched it, too--I did! :->)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jack Kelly - "And It's Bart By a Nose..." :)


If you regularly read this blog, you know that I discovered Jack Kelly and started my "Kellection" of memorabilia only this year (2009).

However, there was another Kellection of sorts in my family long before that. In fact, it was in my family before I was.

You see, when my older sister was a teenager in the late 1950's, our step-grandfather gave her an enormous leather-b0und ledger to use as a scrapbook. She covered its lined, white pages with clippings and pictures of her favorite actors.

When my sister grew up and moved away, she left the scrapbook with our family. I remember looking at it as a child and being fascinated mainly by the many horse pictures which decorated the pages. (My sister loved horses, and so do I.)

Earlier this year, I told my sister about my nascent interest in JK. She said she enjoyed watching Maverick as a teenager. However, she admitted that she always liked Bret better than Bart. (I still love her, though. ;->)

After I talked to her, I hauled out the old scrapbook. Yes, there are a lot of Bret/James Garner clippings in there, but JK is also well represented (along with every other TV cowboy of the time). Most of the JK/JG pix were clipped from fan magazines or from the covers of Maverick comic books.

I slid the scrapbook under my computer table and didn't open it again until last night. I wondered if a certain JK pic was in it. But, when I opened the book, I found something else which I hadn't seen before. It was a newspaper clipping, brown with age, tucked right inside the front cover.

There are lots of loose clippings in the scrapbook, because many of them were attached with rubber cement or now-brittle cellophane tape. (I guess those were the days before Elmer's School Glue and invisible tape.) So, that newspaper clipping could have been about any subject.

However, when I picked it up to get a better look, I glimpsed a familiar smile and this headline:


Now, how did I miss this? And--yee haw!--it's primarily about Bart/JK! Anyway, the story is undated, but since there are local movies listings on the back, I can make an educated guess. The films Some Like it Hot and Disney's Sleeping Beauty were among those playing, so I would say this story comes from some time in 1959.

I scanned and enlarged the JK pic from the story and posted it above. That's about as good as I could do with a 50 year-old newspaper photo, but I don't think I've seen that Bart pose before, and you can still see those marvelous eyes and that rougish smile. :)

Now, without further ado, here's Part I of the story, by Phyllis Battelle:

"NEW YORK - The TV brothers, Bret and Bart Maverick, are meant to be as alike as two peas in a shooter. That's the way their writers look at them--as completely interchangeable, with equal humor, agility with cards and women, and a like larceny in their gentle souls.

The viewers don't see them that way at all. Nor does Jack Kelly, the long, lean, likeable actor who plays Bart.

'Basically, both Mavericks are great guys,' Jack says, 'and any week the scripts could be switched on us and it'd come out all right. But there's a subtle element of difference in Jim (Garner) and me. And it's given us a fabulously partisan audience.

'Some viewers are all out for Jim as Bret and wish he were doing the lead every Sunday. Others, thank goodness, like Bart. If there's an edge,' he put in modestly, 'Jim must still have it.'

The reason Garner, as Bret, still has an edge (it's estimated at 1100 fan letters for Garner to 1000 for Kelly) is that he starred in six straight episodes before Warner Brothers hired him a brother. But Kelly is moving up fast, may be the choice before you can say 'Trendex'."


Monday, December 28, 2009

Jack Kelly - A Bunch of Google Goodies! :)


I've gathered a bunch of JK goodies from the annals of Google News (it seems like there's a lot more free stuff here than there used to be):

UPDATE (7/9/18): Good news! The links below to articles from the "Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel" have been reactivated after the paper suddenly pulled its archival articles from Google News in 2016. Hopefully, the links will remain active for a while. Here is a very thoughtful commentary about the importance of online archival material to researchers, bloggers and readers.
  • Yikes! JK needed a vacation in 1960.
  • Even so, he still wanted to do some stage work. (Lots of info about JK's early stage career here.)
  • Here's another fun story from 1962 that gives a glimpse into JK's life right after Maverick. (I love the little caricature of JK, even if it does look a bit more like Hank Williams Sr. ;->) And, JK finally got to do that stage work. I also admire this quote: "I loved playing the part [Bart Maverick], but there comes a time when you have to step out into the deep end and find out if you can swim." (I think that's wise advice for any career.)
  • An ad for something called "Shoot In at NBC". It's a Bob Hope comedy special. Apparently, it was the comics (like Buddy Hackett) vs. the cowboys (like JK). Wish this one was on YouTube!
  • Now, here's a story from 1968 that has JK navigating through choppy post-Maverick waters. The writer seems to think JK might sink--but he manages to stay afloat! :) And, he's surprisingly candid about his place on the Maverick series and James Garner...
Coming next: A JK story I didn't find on Google. In fact, it's from a Kellection that was started before I was even born! And, it was only a few feet away from my computer all this time. STAY TUNED.... :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Barta Claus Strikes Again? :)


I just found this cute poem. It was written in 1959, back in the heyday of TV westerns. Notice who's in the driver's seat. Although it doesn't specify which Maverick is piloting the sleigh (er, stage), we all know who it is. ;->


" 'Twas the night before
And all was serene
Not a cowboy was stirring
On our TV screen.
A lasso was hung by the
chimney with care
In hopes that Saint Nick
would be caught in its

"Young Junior was lying
Secure in his bed
With guns by his side
And a spear by his head;
Then he soon fell asleep in
his fortress supreme
And the heroes he worshiped
came to life in his dream.

"All at once from the lawn
There arose such a clatter,
Junior grabbed both his guns
To look into the matter.
In the dark all he saw were
some shadows that
So he cried, 'Don't you move
'cause I've got you all

"The moon broke the gloom
And shone down on the
Gave a luster of midday
To the objects below;
His heart pounded wildly,
for Junior saw then
A stagecoach on runners
drawn by eight mounted

"Now who is that driving?
It can't be Saint Nick:
He's tall, and he's wiry-
Why, it's
More rapid than eagles
His coursers they came
And he howled and he
And called them by name.

"Now, Cheyenne, now Sugarfoot,
Lucas McCain;
On, Ringo, On, Zorro.
Wahoo! Bronco Layne.

"So up to the housetop
The cowboys all flew
With the coach full of toys
And Wyatt Earp, too:
And then in a twinkling,
He heard on the roof
The patter and clatter
Of each horse's hoof.

"He ran to the fireplace
And guess what he found-
From the chimney
Marshal Dillon came in with
a bound.
He looked like he had
A big hump on his back
For a bundle of toys
Were all stashed in his pack.
"Junior said, 'Have a drink?'
And he offered a cup;
Matt Dillon was willin'
So he answered, 'Yup!'

"And then all at once
All the rest came in view.
The heaven sent seven
And Maverick, too.
They spoke not a word
But went right to their task
And filled all the stockings.
What more could one ask?

"There were Bowie knives,
Shotguns and bullets galore,
Enough ammunition
To start a new war.
Some real cowboy boots
And some real wild Western clothes
And when they were through
Up the flue they all rose.

"They sprang on their
And before you could say
'A word from the sponsor'
They went that-away.
But he heard them exclaim
As they rode out of sight
'Those guns are to play with
So peace, and good night'."

--Sid Kuller (1959)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Jack Kelly on TV - Your Christmas Bonus! :)


I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas.

I found an extra present for you: Jack Kelly's appearance in (click here) "The Adventure of the Lover's Leap", a 1975 episode of Ellery Queen, the great retro mystery series starring the late Jim Hutton.

JK plays lawyer and suspect "J. T. Latimer", and he appears at 24:28 and again at 35:55. Interestingly, he's reunited with two former co-stars, Anne Francis (from Forbidden Planet) and Don Ameche (from The Story of Alexander Graham Bell and A Fever in the Blood).

Although I didn't remember this particular episode, I enjoyed watching Ellery Queen when it originally aired. I especially liked the classy Elmer Bernstein theme music, and Ellery playfully breaking the fourth wall to ask the viewer, "Have you figured it out yet?"

Of course, now that I've seen JK's episode, I like Ellery Queen even more! :) And, the entire series is reportedly coming to DVD in 2010.

"The Adventure of the Lover's Leap" comes from the same site that had the Maverick episodes which I posted about a few months back (the links on that post are now void). It has a few different Maverick episodes now, including the Bart starrers "Betrayal" and "The Brasada Spur", plus the Bret/Bart teaming "Duel at Sunset". The site also has the Rockford Files episode "The Becker Connection".

Incidentally, I noticed that the same person who maintains "The Curtis Files" also has a channel on YouTube called "The Gunsmoke Channel" that showcases mostly the older half-hour black-and-white GS episodes. Here's hoping "Jealousy" (JK's episode) gets there posted, too! :->

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas! :)



And "Feliz Navidad"

to JK fans everywhere


La Bartista

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jack Kelly - Christmas in the Air :)


As you know, I love visiting antiques stores and malls. I also enjoy attending live auctions.

A couple of years ago, I attended a local auction where tables full of showbiz-related ephemera (movie magazines, photos, scrapbooks, etc.) were up for bid. I was pretty lucky at this auction. One of the things I won was a box lot, which meant that in addition to the magazine or whatever it was I really wanted, I received several extra items as well.

One of these "extras" was a large cardboard box stuffed with pictures and stories salvaged from old fan magazines. When I returned home, I took a cursory rummage through the box and then put it away for future reference.

After I "discovered" Jack Kelly this year, I remembered the box and thought, "I wonder if...?" I burrowed through reams of yellowed newsprint and, sure enough, there was a 1955 story about JK! It was actually more of a photo feature, showing JK and his Kings Row co-stars Robert Horton and Nan Leslie Christmas shopping. Or, more likely, pretending to Christmas shop in August, when this feature was probably photographed! ;->

Whatever the case, I thought now would be the perfect time to share the story, which is titled "Christmas in the Air":

"When it comes to tackling the problem of what to buy for whom, some folks like to do it solo, but not this trio of Kings Row stars! Reasoning: if they can work well together as a team on the Warner Bros. ABC-TV drama, they ought to be just as successful on a shopping tour. Besides, the men, being bachelors with sisters, mothers and dates to shop for, felt the need of feminine advice on late fashions and fads. And, Nan, though she naturally has a pretty good idea of what her husband, Charles Pawley, wants and needs, picked up a few pointers on the difference between what a man says he wants and what he really hopes to find in his Christmas stocking!"

"First stop: Jane Davis's shop, where Jack and Nan head
straight for the jewelry, while Bob finds
a collection of novelty print blouses."

"At the Sportsman men's store, Jack plays necktie model for Nan. Nan followed masculine advice, stuck to conservative styles."

"But, like most men, when it comes to wrapping fancy packages, Bob and Jack leave it all up to Nan!"

Although he doesn't look too thrilled in these photos, JK was apparently an enthusiastic Christmas shopper and "wrapper" in real life. A 1962 TV Guide story states that JK's Christmas shopping "is a yearly ritual which starts in October -- the fancy wrappings take two months to concoct."

And, there's more JK-related Christmas news. Hallmark is selling a Robby the Robot ornament (complete with sound!) in its stores this year, and it's flying off the shelves. Too bad they couldn't have a Lt. Farman ornament, too.... ;->

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jack Kelly - "What a Kick It Was to Talk to Him!"


Here is a very touching letter to the editor published in the Orlando (Florida) Sentinel on November 24, 1992, not long after Jack Kelly's passing:

"WITH THE death of actor Jack Kelly (co-star of Maverick) on Nov. 7, I recalled one of his Central Florida connections and a friend reminded me of the other.

My friend reminded me that Kelly had been in Central Florida in 1968 to film an episode of the TV series Fame is the Name of the Game after one of then-Gov. Claude Kirk's trips to Hollywood to lure movie and TV work to the state.

In the mid-1970s, Kelly and his wife came to Orlando during two different summers for Kelly to star in plays produced at the then-new Once Upon a Stage (now the Mark Two) Dinner Theater. When the theater first opened, celebrities were brought in to star in the productions.

During the time he was in Orlando, Kelly and his wife were provided with Ford Maverick rental cars, and Kelly did a weekday radio talk show on one of the local radio stations.

When I found out about the radio shows, I sneaked a radio to work to listen to them. They were great! Kelly even took phone calls from listeners. I called to ask about the Western town on the Warner Brothers studio back lot (later used in Blazing Saddles). What a kick it was to talk to him!

Walter Carl Case

What a wonderful tribute to JK. I especially love the part about the
Ford Mavericks! :)

I did some checking, and the TV show Mr. Case referred to is actually titled
The Name of the Game (although its pilot was indeed called Fame is the Name of the Game). The episode (the second of two JK did for the series) is called "The Civilized Men". It first aired on November 28, 1969. The plot involved cattle rustling and tainted meat!

Also, JK starred as "Oscar" in The Odd Couple at Once Upon a Stage from June 25 - July 21, 1974. As mentioned above, this theater became the Mark Two, and was later renamed the Starlight Theater. It closed in October 2007.

Hmm, I wonder if the radio station saved tapes of JK's shows?

And, speaking of dinner theater: I found a funny little anecdote about the time JK was appearing in the play Under the Yum Yum Tree in Milwaukee, WI: "...Kelly arrived in town extremely tired and wanted a quiet hotel room so [he was put up at] the Cudahy Towers. But that was when the trains still rumbled along the lakefront and one of them roused Kelly from a sound sleep. Not knowing it was a train making the thumping noises, Kelly phoned the desk to complain. When the clerk told him it was the 3 am to Chicago, Kelly, still groggy, said, 'Oh, what time does this hotel get there?'" (Milwaukee Sentinel, 12/2/70).

What a sharp wit JK had, even at 3 am! :->

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Jack Kelly on TV: I Love Parris... ;->


I've added another intriguing artifact to the Kellection. It's an original script written by Muriel Roy Bolton titled "Wedding Gift", an episode of Kings Row, the short-lived TV series in which Jack Kelly starred from September 1955 to early 1956. The script is dated October 1, 1955, with revisions listed inside dated October 4, 1955.

In Kings Row, JK played small-town psychiatrist "Parris Mitchell". His friend "Drake McHugh" was played by Robert Horton, who later starred in Wagon Train:

Kings Row was one of three rotating shows presented under the umbrella title Warner Brothers Presents. The other two shows were Casablanca and Cheyenne, and all three were based on old Warner Brothers feature films.

Guess which show clicked with audiences and went on to stand-alone status? Yep. Kings Row and Casablanca quickly bit the dust, and Cheyenne quickly became a big hit.

But, Jack Kelly must have made an impression. When Bret Maverick needed a brother a couple of years later, someone remembered that fellow from Kings Row...and the rest is TV history. :)

The description given for this script said that "Wedding Gift" was never filmed. However, the Internet Movie Database lists "Wedding Gift" in its entry for Kings Row. And, it shows up in TV Guides and newspaper TV listings from the late 1950's and early 1960's, usually as part of the syndicated series TV Hour of Stars:

  • "Dr. Parris Mitchell (Jack Kelly) reunites two young lovers when a
    Spanish-American War veteran returns to Kings Row in 'Wedding Gift.'"

  • "'Wedding Gift', with Jack Kelly. A man who has just returned from army duty is resentful that his future wife has planned their life."

"Wedding Gift" guest-starred Natalie Wood as "Renee" and Dennis Hopper as "Tod" (both seen in the still below), two immature youngsters who are about to get married...or perhaps not.

Dr. Mitchell uses a clever wedding gift to reunite the couple:

Incidentally, I've seen a still from Kings Row with Jack Kelly holding a shaggy dog, and the script says that Dr. Mitchell has a pup named "Little Doc".

Of course, I have no idea which actor used this actual script, but its fun to think it might have been JK. It would be even more fun if we could actually view Kings Row with JK some time. Until that happens, I posted some
lobby cards from another Kings Row episode a while back so we can see JK as Parris.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Kelly Pages: Additions to the Kellection!--Pt VIII :)


We're coming up on the conclusion of "Cooking of a Storm".

First, though, I have verification of Jack Kelly's age when he enlisted in the Army, since, as was noted on FB, the actual timeline of his schooling and his enlistment in the Army is a bit unclear in the article. JK had in fact just turned 18 before he enlisted on October 25, 1945, at
Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, CA. This data comes from the World War II Army Enlistment Records at the U.S. National Archives.

And, although I love researching and writing about my favorite subjects, I am not writing a book about Jack Kelly. No, dear readers, I'm only a fan with a blog. Linda Alexander is an accomplished author who is very hard at work on JK's bio, and I'm looking forward to reading her book just as much as you all are.

As I said in the introductory posting, "The Tall Dark Stranger There..." is a way of sharing my enthusiasm for Jack Kelly with other fans. Most of the info I share here is from publicly available secondary sources such as magazines. So, I'm not worried about posting "spoilers" about JK because Linda has access to primary sources such JK's family, friends and co-workers. Therefore, her book will contain insights into his life that are far more informative and enlightening than anything I can post here.

But, I humbly hope you'll continue to visit "The Tall Dark Stranger There...". Jack Kelly lived a life so large that there's always a new JK "nugget", or a photo, or a video waiting to be unearthed. Or, an antiques mall waiting to be scoured for Kellectibles. :) I thrill to the "hunt" and love sharing what I've discovered with other fans. If you keep reading, I'll keep hunting. Thank you!

And, now Part III of "Cooking Up a Storm" from TV's Top Stars - 1961 Edition:

"...A role in a play at the Coronet Theater took him back to Hollywood and, once there, he stayed, making 20 movies before he got into his first TV series, King's Row. The series didn't make the grade, but when an actor was needed to alternate with Jim Garner in Maverick, the studio remembered Jack and he got the nod.

Not as success-hungry as some TV stars, Jack says he likes lots of free time for his many hobbies--golf, boating, water skiing, and, of course, cooking. But he is also aware that he'll probably outlive Maverick. With this in mind, he and Donna (who was an actress under the name of May Wynn when they were married) have set up a production company and plan to make pictures in which Jack will star--if his studio will loan him out to himself. The two, who were practicing togetherness before it was a word, have also worked up an act for personal appearances. To rehearse it with musicians who are to be part of the troupe, they rented a piano. And within weeks Jack had a new hobby--he began taking piano lessons. (The neighbors, it's duly reported, wish he'd stick to cooking.)"


The Kelly Pages: Additions to the Kellection!--Pt VII :)

Hello Everybody!

Presenting Part II of "Cooking Up a Storm":

"...'Kelly', as his wife calls him, was born in Astoria, Long Island, on September 16, 1927, and had his first fling in show business when he was just two weeks old--and modeled for a soap company.

He continued modeling until he was nine, when he landed a job in a Broadway play. By the time the Kelly clan transferred their base of operations to Los Angeles in 1938, Jack had been in four plays and had done some radio work.

It all came about naturally. Though his father, John A. Kelly, was in the real estate business, his mother, Ann, had been on the stage before her marriage. One sister, Nancy, is well known in the theater; a younger sister, Carol, is making a name for herself in television. Only the fourth [child], William, passed up show business in favor of art.

In spite of his early start in the business, Jack didn't plan a career as an actor. While he attended St. John's Military Academy, University High School and UCLA (for two years) he made spending money the way most boys do--by pumping gas, as a car hop, a messenger boy, and a clothing salesman. Inducted into the Army when he was 18, he was shipped off to Alaska as a weather observer and, after his discharge in December 1946, went back to college for one term. By then, the idea of studying law had lost its appeal. Working on radio nights while he went to school days, Jack made up his mind to concentrate on acting, quit school and headed for New York. He stayed there for two years, from 1947 to 1949, working in radio and TV."


P.S. To the fine folks on FB: You're very welcome! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Kelly Pages: Additions to the Kellection!--Pt VI :)


As promised, here's a look at what was cookin' with Jack Kelly in 1961. But first, an aside.

JK's fans have the gift of 20/20 hindsight. We know his marriage to May (Donna) Wynn ended in 1964, so the rosy reports of "togetherness" and portraits of an inseparable pair in these fan magazine articles from the "Kellection" don't always ring true.

Actually, though, if you look at other "star" couples spotlighted in these magazines, many of them didn't stay wed forever, either. In the 1960 Silver Screen Annual article, JK and MW are pictured as devoted "Young Marrieds" along with eight other couples. Of the nine couples, only two remain married to this day: the Pat Boones and the James Garners! Like the Kellys, most of the other young marrieds split within a few years after the article was published.

It's not easy being married in Hollywood. Or, in Hoboken, or in Hartford, or in Honolulu, for that matter. I think the Kellys at least tried. JK told TV Guide in 1958, "The only way to keep a Hollywood marriage going is not to go anywhere without each other." Another article I have says JK had a clause in his Warner Brothers contract which stipulated that May be allowed to accompany him on personal appearance tours. I don't think JK would have insisted on such a clause if he didn't care about her.

But, sadly, couples sometimes change as the years pass. Ardor cools, tempers flare--and some marriages fail.

Obviously, Jack Kelly and May Wynn weren't always the astonishingly happy twosome portrayed in the movie magazines. However, I'll continue to post these vintage fan magazine articles because they contain many other intriguing "nuggets" about JK. And wonderful pix like this one:

Thank you for your understanding, dear readers. :)

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

"COOKING UP A STORM - (From TV's Top Stars - 1961 Edition)

When the wind is right, the neighbors of Jack and Donna Kelly are among the most frustrated people in the world. The Kellys like to cook, know how, and the smells that are wafted about in the air are enough to bring tears to the eyes of food-lovers. To some of them, as well as to relatives and friends, the Kellys cooking is irresistible, and when Jack and Donna cook up one of their Italian dinners (which take three days to prepare) there are usually 18 or 20 hungry people waiting for the bell.

Jack is, of course, one of the stars of Maverick, seen on ABC-TV Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm ET, but there are circles, it's rumored, where he is best known, not as an actor, but as a chef extraordinaire. Jack doesn't mind. He's making enough money so that even a 30-pound roast of beef doesn't dent the budget too badly, and it's good advertising for the cookbook he and Donna are whipping up, titled Love 'N' the Oven.

According to the Kellys, who were married on November 10, 1956, and have been living oh-so-happily ever after, cooking was a big part of their courtship. Neither of them cared much for eating in restaurants, so when Jack would call Donna for a date, she'd usually suggest he bring along a steak for a barbecue. But as Jack tells it, she'd call back later to tell him to make it a steak for eight. 'It got so expensive I finally had to marry her.'"


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Kelly Pages: Additions to the Kellection!--Pt V :)

Hello Again!

Without further ado, here's the rest of the write-up (and more riveting revelations) from Silver Screen Annual 1960:

"Jack is a bug on togetherness. The pair are inseparable. At a recent press party Jack talked about their life together for about ten minutes. Then Donna quipped, 'That's my Kelly...the only entertainer who can do a single on Togetherness!'

The Kelly's are even working on a cookbook together. As do-it-yourself addicts, they've made a gem of the unpretentious little Valley house.

Jack met Donna when they were both at Columbia [Pictures]. 'As for me,' recalls Jack, 'I was always very fickle. I didn't have much interest in assuming the responsibilities of marriage. I felt that I worked too hard for a dollar to just hand it over to a wife. Too, I'd seen so many of my friends marry the wrong type of girl. Being Catholic, I wanted to be sure. I had to figure on marriage once and forever. But six weeks after our first date, I borrowed some money and we got married.'

With a happy marriage assured, now all Jack Kelly has to do is convince himself that there's room at the top for all the Warner television stars."

[B27: Unfortunately, it sounds like the people who really needed convincing were the, the, I mean, the intelligent men who ran Warner's... >:-0 ]

NEXT TIME: What was cookin' with JK in '61--whoa, this might take a few chapters--and my favorite photo from these new additions. See you then! :->

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Kelly Pages: Additions to the Kellection!--Pt IV :)


Today, in a lovely photo from Silver Screen Annual 1960, we see Jack Kelly and May Wynn reading a newspaper. (Probably Variety, with a good review of Maverick. :->)

The caption for this pic says, "Jack Kelly is not too happy with his TV career, but his marriage to May Wynn is togetherness, plus!"

The magazine explains why JK is "not too happy with his TV career":

Jack Kelly has a beautiful actress wife whose stage name is May Wynn but who is Donna Kelly to him. He has a top TV show as that smooth card sharp, Bart Maverick, stage brother to Jim Garner. And, he has a house in the San Fernando Valley and a weekend hideaway house in Palm Springs.

Yet handsome 32 year-old Jack isn't a truly happy guy. And the whisper over the grapevine is that Jack's brown eyes have turned a Kelly green because he hasn't been given a feature film, as have practically all the other guys in the Warner television stable.

Jack complains to his pals, 'Jim's getting feature films like the top-ranking Cash McCall; why not me?'

It's rumored, too, that Jack has refused to go out on personal appearances for the studio--for free--as he willingly did in the past. In order to corral more publicity he has hired not one, but two press agents, to ensure for himself the recognition his fans feel he so richly deserves.

One thing Jack does concede--he has a truly good marriage. In a town built on love, Jack and Donna are probably the most romantic couple in Hollywood. Married almost three years, Jack still brings Donna a present every Saturday night. It might be an Italian glass decanter, antique silver, an old painting, or it might be a ten-cent store potato peeler..." [B27 - What a sweetie!]


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Kelly Pages: Additions to the Kellection!--Pt III :)


Sorry I couldn't post Pt. III sooner. My internet connection was acting up--grrr, I hate when that happens! It's behaving pretty well now, so on with the show! :)

Here's a wonderful pic of Jack Kelly from Silver Screen Annual 1959:

He's determinedly learning his lines for Maverick (the script is for the episode "Seed of Deception" ) as May Wynn and their pet poodle keep him company. The caption for this cozy scene is "Jack Kelly and May Wynn have just one rule for matrimonial success--be very very much in love."

The write-up reveals another factor JK thought was crucial for marital bliss:

"While Jack Kelly has no formula for a happy marriage, he has one concept which, he feels, has a good deal to do with how well two people can get along together. And this point of view dates back to an experience he had when he was 11 years old and one afternoon got the bright idea of how to get a bicycle he had wanted for so long.

In return for his promise to pay it off in weekly installments, he talked the owner of the bicycle shop where he worked after school into letting him have a shiny new two-wheeler.

Soon Jack realized he couldn't meet his payments. After worrying about it for a couple of weeks, during which he made himself and the rest of his family pretty miserable with his brooding, he had no choice but to give it back.

Even his father had turned down his request for financial assistance. 'He wanted to teach me a lesson about finances, and he certainly did,' Jack recalled. He said never get anything you can't afford. It causes nothing but trouble.'

Consequently, when Jack, who plays Bart Maverick in the ABC-TV series, married actress May Wynn at
St. Ambrose Catholic Church in 1956, he was so firmly convinced that the cornerstone of every successful marriage is to be free of financial worries that he and May agreed never to buy anything in installments. The only exception was their house, and even then they didn't put it in escrow till they had enough money in their bank account to equal the loan they took out on the property."

Hey, JK sounds like a regular Dave Ramsey! :->

Coming up next: What was so special about Saturday night at the Kelly's home? (No, it wasn't bath night.) ;->

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Kelly Pages: Additions to the Kellection!--Pt II :)

Greetings! :)

And off to the antiques show we go...

This particular show is held about four times a year and is especially well-attended during the holidays. I think that's because a lot of people are visiting from out of town and are looking for unique gifts.

Many dealers had vintage Christmas decorations for sale. One even had a silver tree with a rotating spotlight that projected colors onto it! (That brings back memories.)

My quest for JK memorabilia led me to a booth where a man was selling TV western DVDs. I asked if he had anything relating to Maverick. He said he wished he did, because he loved it. He'd taped the entire series from the Westerns Channel. I ended up buying two non-Maverick DVDs from him.

Back to the Kelly quest (Kwest?). I found a Saturday Evening Post containing an advertisement for Acme Golden Angus Boots (The most beautiful western boots ever created!). There's a very small pic of JK and James Garner and other Warner Brothers westerns stars at the bottom of the ad, because "Acme Boots are worn by stars and featured players of Warner Bros. western television and motion picture productions." Wow, the mens' boots could be had for only $16.95 a pair, and kids' boots ranged from $5.95 - $10.95. I guess grown-up cowgirls were out of luck, however. There are no boots shown in womens' sizes.

After more meandering up and down the aisles, I finally reached Valhalla. Or, at least its equivalent for the JK fan at an antiques show:

A booth with nothing...but...boxes...and...boxes...of...MOVIE MAGAZINES.

"Can I help you find something, hon?" the lady running the booth asked.

"Um...I like Maverick."

The lady's husband piped up: "Look under 'G' for 'Garner.'"

(See, these sellers categorized their magazines not by title, or year, or anything like that. They grouped them by what stars were inside. But, they didn't label each issue, so a magazine listed under "G" might have James Garner, or Greta Garbo. The mags were in snug plastic bags, too, so I couldn't skim the table of contents.)

Then, I threw the husband a curveball.

"Actually, I'm looking for Bart Maverick, you know, Jack Kelly?"

"Oooh, that's a toughie. I don't think we have anything with him. Gosh, we had a magazine with him, I think it had just him on the cover, too. But, look under 'K'. And, look under 'G' anyway, too, because he might be in there with James Garner."


I started thumbing through the "K"'s, but the filing system drove me Koo-Koo. I knew JK wasn't in a 1930 issue of Photoplay or a 1981 issue of Tiger Beat. I ditched the alphabetical method and let my instincts do the driving. I began looking for annuals and yearbooks from the Maverick era.

Passers-by probably wondered about the lady going though the magazines a mile a minute and pulling out titles like TV's Top Stars and Silver Screen Annual. But, I found six magazines with JK in them. :)

The sellers may have had an unorthodox filing method. However, they were very nice and even gave me a discount since I bought a bunch of magazines.

Now, here are some of the highlights from those JK magazines, starting with a small pic and blurb from Movieland and TV Time 1960 Annual (published in 1959):

Again, if the blurb doesn't read clearly, it says:

"Jack Kelly's real life started when he eloped with brunette actress May Wynn and married her, three years ago. That's what he says as he gazes romantically at May and thanks his lucky stars for the good fortune that has come his way.

His career boomed when he was cast in the already-going series Maverick. Catching up with James Garner's build-up was not easy, but Jack is doing fine.

He's a veteran actor who has played many types of roles and he's perfect as the casual, romantic, amusing Bart Maverick.

'Bart is Jack, playing himself', says May admiringly.

Among Jack's many hobbies are reading history, making model ships and cooking. When he gets outdoors, he is often found on the water sailing, or down below with his skin diving equipment. He also likes golf, riding and flying, too. Quite a busy man, this 'Maverick'!"

Wow, so many nuggets of JK knowledge gleaned from that little blurb! :)

Stay tuned for a glimpse of JK's unusual (and cozy) way of studying a script. ;->

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Kelly Pages: Additions to the Kellection! :)


Home at last.

I had a wonderful time visiting with my relatives for Thanksgiving. I also got to visit an antiques mall and the antiques show. And--ta da!--I did find some Jack Kelly-related goodies for the Kellection. :)

First, on Friday, I stopped at an antiques mall that is a genuine antique. Located in a rustic converted warehouse, it's complete with creaking wood floors and the aroma of old books. It's the kind of place where people browse the shelves with their dogs in tow and no one raises an eyebrow. And, where the proprietor "rings" up orders on a battered adding machine.

I scoured the building (no, not with Ajax ;->), and, alas, was about to leave empty-handed. Then, I turned a corner and spied a rack full of magazines. Some of them were movie magazines from the early 1960's. I grabbed all that I could find.

I'm glad I did, because one of them was the TV Star Annual for 1960, and it turned out to have this inside:

If the blurb isn't clear, here's what it says:

"ABC's Bart Maverick, now 33, 6'1", 180 pounds, was a child stage actor, hit films in '50. He'd planned to be slow to marry and stalled when pal tried to throw him at May Wynn. She, disliking actors, stalled too. But four years ago they dated--wed in six weeks! Both rein in Irish tempers, love cooking. They have song-dance act to tour rodeos; will co-star and produce Trouble with Paradise."

Of course, JK really hit films back in the 1930's as a kid actor, and then hit them again as an adult. Also, I don't think Trouble with Paradise came to fruition. I'm not sure about the song-dance act. Maybe they performed it at the rodeo where Jack was grand-marshal? So many questions from one little paragraph!

Next time, I'll regale you with the tale of my adventure at the antiques show and the JK items I found there. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! :)


I'll be heading off to visit relatives for Thanksgiving, and I just wanted to wish everyone in JK fan-land a blessed and safe holiday.

I hope to visit a couple of antiques malls on Friday, or maybe just wait until Saturday, when a huge antiques show is taking place in the vicinity. In either case, maybe I'll find some new stuff for the Kellection. I'll let you know! :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Civic Jack Kelly


Would you vote for this man?


So, here's your ballot:

Now, you may be asking, "Where did she get that?"

Well, I'll tell you--but don't blame me if you're late for work tomorrow. Because, I guarantee, you'll be spending the next few hours (or maybe even days) poring over PDFs of actual documents from Jack Kelly's tenure as City Councilman and Mayor in Huntington Beach, CA.

Here's how to see them:

Go to this website and type in Jack Kelly (without quotation marks).

If that link doesn't work for some reason, here's the main link for the City of Huntington Beach's official website. On the home page for the site, scroll down to the "Public Records Search" button.

There's loads of other interesting stuff on this website, including a centennial video. I skimmed through the video (it's nearly an hour long) and didn't see anything about JK, but I could have missed something. I'll watch it again when I have more time.

Happy reading! :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jack Kelly on Screen: Any Objections?


The distinguished-looking man above is, of course, Jack Kelly. He's not our friend Bart Maverick here, though. JK's playing a character miles away from the carefree gambler: overly ambitious District Attorney "Dan Callahan" in the 1961 feature film A Fever in the Blood. I've not seen this film yet (yo, Turner Classic Movies?). But, the info on the back of this still describes JK's role:

"Warner Brothers' A Fever in the Blood gives Jack Kelly a complete change of character. As Bart in the studio's Maverick TV series, he is an easy-going, non-chalant ladykiller--and always a gentleman. But in A Fever in the Blood he plays a hard-bitten, ambitious District Attorney who would willingly sacrifice friendship in exchange for a state governorship. Even his appearance has changed. There are lines on his face, drawn by discontent, and there is gray in his hair."

Actually, some of that discontent may have come from having gray in his hair. JK was only 34 at the time, so his hair was artifically grayed. In Filmfax magazine three decades later--in what sadly turned out to be his final interview--he discussed doing the 1965 film Love and Kisses, where he played singer Rick Nelson's father. He refused to put gray in his hair for the part: "I had done a picture at Warner Brothers called A Fever in the Blood with that phony gray in my hair, and I looked like an ass."

(Oh, I don't know about that, JK--you look pretty good in that pic to me! ;->)

Anyway, here's how Screen Stories magazine describes Fever: "A woman was murdered and the District Attorney meant to hang her husband, whether he was guilty or not. A conviction would lead the D.A. right to the Governorship!"

Screen Stories adds that JK was so eager to make a feature film after co-starring in Maverick since 1957 that he gave up a vacation to make Fever. While working on the film, he received the escrow papers for a new home in Westwood Village. He was so excited he exclaimed to a reporter, "My wife--May Wynn--and I had to talk our business manager into allowing us to spend $12,000 on alterations. So help me, that's more than we spent on our first little home!"

JK is joined in Fever by a virtual Maverick reunion: Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (Dandy Jim Buckley) plays a judge; Robert Colbert (Cherokee Evans in "Hadley's Hunters" and later brother Brent) plays an important witness; and Ray Danton (who guested with JK in "State of Siege") plays the opposing District Attorney. And, it was produced and co-written by Maverick creator Roy Huggins.

Plus, Angie Dickinson (who would play opposite JK again in Young Billy Young) plays a senator's wife. Finally, Don Ameche plays the senator, and, of course, wee Jack Kelly had appeared in Ameche's film The Story of Alexander Graham Bell way back in 1939.

I'd love to see A Fever in the Blood, although, uh, I prefer seeing Jack Kelly as a good guy rather than a bad guy. It's not that he's bad as a bad guy--no, no, he's usually darn good. It's just that after enjoying him as the benevolent Bart Maverick, it's almost hard for me to watch him as someone like "John Behan" in Young Billy Young. Behan is like Bart's evil twin!

But, I guess that's the hallmark of a skilled actor: the ability to convincingly portray vastly different, even unsympathetic, characters. Jack Kelly didn't just play variations on Bart for the rest of his career. He had the courage to play villains as well as heroes.

And, by golly, I'll watch him as either one! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Alias Smith and Jones--and Maverick


I found another entertaining "fanfic" featuring Bart and Bret Maverick, this time involving them with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry from Alias Smith and Jones. The author is obviously an ASJ fan, but she seems to understand and appreciate the Maverick boys pretty well, too. I'm just surprised Heyes and Curry didn't try to teach Bart how to play Montana Red Dog.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Magnificent Seven Meet Two Mavericks


I was just out wandering the web this evening, and I came across an interesting bit of
fan-fiction featuring Bart and Bret Maverick. It's a "crossover" story that involves Bart and Bret with characters from the old Magnificent Seven TV series. Now, to be quite honest, I don't remember much about that show. In fact, I kind of "boycotted" it because it was the replacement for one of my favorite shows, Buddy Faro, which CBS summarily dumped after airing only eight episodes. But, that's water under the bridge now, and I really enjoyed this story. Hope you will too! :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jack Kelly on Screen - The Unbelievable End One :)


I was rooting through the Kellection today and came across an interesting item I bought this summer for $1.00 at an antiques mall. It's the Films Incorporated 1978 Entertainment Catalog. It's a relic from a time long before Netflix and DVDs, in the days when home VCRs were mostly still a novelty. This catalog offered 16mm films for rental, with one-day rates ranging from $40 for Tortilla Flat to $300 for Doctor Zhivago. (And, one had to ask the rate for Gone With the Wind, which means one probably couldn't afford to rent it.)

Outdated, yes, but this catalog is loaded with color and black-and-white film pix. One of those pix persuaded me to buy the catalog:

Yep, it's Jack Kelly and Anne Francis being served coffee by Robby the Robot in Forbidden Planet. This pic reminded me that I meant to discuss this film after watching it a couple of weeks ago on Turner Classic Movies.

I'd seen Forbidden Planet before, a long time ago, but I wanted to watch it again since JK was in it.

The still above comes from a scene in this clip:

I love it when "Alta" (Ms. Francis) describes the doctor (Warren Stevens) as "lovely". He's flanked by the Commander (Leslie Nielsen) and Lt. Farman (JK), and she adds, "But the two end ones are unbelievable!" Especially Lt. Farman, when he hilarously chats up the sheltered but shrewd Alta.

In the next clip, the obliging Lt. Farman tries to teach poor Alta how to kiss. This guy has a Ph.D in kissing, but, unfortunately, Alta flunks the course and decides to enroll with the Commander instead. Okay, I know--"rank has its privileges"--but, c'mon! She'd pick Leslie Nielsen over Jack Kelly?! No wonder they call this "science fiction". ;->

Incidentally, when JK tells AF at 4:27 that kissing is good for her, it's just a line. But, it turns out maybe he was

Sadly, Lt. Farman is later killed by the "Id" monster, which looks like a big red dog (but definitely not

All kidding aside, though, I really enjoyed Forbidden Planet. It truly is one of the great sci-fi films of all time.

By the way, during that same summer trip to the antiques mall, I bought another Jack Kelly-related book for only $2.00. It's Whatever Became of...? All New Tenth Series by Richard Lamparski. Now, if I were a celebrity, I don't know if I'd want to be featured in a book that more or less implies one has become a "has-been". However, it's nice to know that someone at least cared enough to find out "whatever became of " notables such as JK and Clint "Cheyenne" Walker, although neither was completely out of the public eye at the time, 1986.

Lamparski noted about JK, "Jack erroneously believes he is remembered solely for the part of James Garner's younger brother on Maverick, the show that ran on ABC-TV during the late fifties and early sixties. The series was a huge success in North America and parts of Europe, but a few of his movies are also well-known.

"The Night Holds Terror (1955) is considered an exceptionally fine low-budget film. Forbidden Planet (1956) introduced 'Robby the Robot', a cinematic device that made subsequent screen appearances and developed a following of its own. Cult of the Cobra (1955) with Faith Domergue and She-Devil with Mari Blanchard are held in high esteem by fans of low camp."

Lamparski quoted JK about his acting career at the time: "Within my limitations I was fine, but at my age I just cannot be a journeyman actor. I did [some] Hardy Boys episodes, but I am not about to consider anything short of a running part. I simply cannot afford to."

But, JK was doing OK. He added, "Not only do my [real estate] tenants not go on hiatus, they never refer to my ratings or middle-age spread." ;->

Jack Kelly's write-up also includes a smiling, autographed headshot (which looks to be from his Sale of the Century days in the late 1960's - early 1970's) with a cryptic inscription: "Richard - thank you for the use of the typewriter."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Kelly Pages: Comic Jack Kelly IV


Here's a look at the final Maverick annual in my Kellection. It's probably the nicest one, too:

Bart is finally joined by brother Bret (James Garner) on the cover, along with cousin Beau (Roger Moore). He's still only partially shown, though.

As usual, the annual is filled with comic strips and stories. The first story in the book is titled:

This annual is probably the only place where cousins Bret, Bart and Beau appear together in the same story (James Garner left Maverick before Roger Moore came aboard as Beau, although Moore had appeared with Garner and Kelly as a different character in "The Rivals" episode). The story's author did get a trifle confused, though, because Bret, Bart and Beau are described as "the Maverick brothers".

There's also a "Maverick" game and factoids about riverboats, derringers and famous gamblers such as Wild Bill Hickok and Bat Masterson (I wonder how many parents knew their kids were reading this stuff?). ;->

How 'bout one more look at Bart:

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Jack Kelly
September 16, 1927 - November 7, 1992

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jack Kelly - Better Than Chicken Soup


One of my best friends is recovering from recent surgery. She's at the point where she's feeling better and moving around, but isn't quite ready to leave the house and do things yet. She invited me over yesterday and said, "Bring some Mavericks with you."

My friend knows I'm a big fan of Jack Kelly and Maverick, and although she hasn't seen much of the show herself, I've told her about it. She said it sounded like something that would help perk her up. So, I bundled up a few choice Maverick episodes and also threw in the Banacek episode ("Fly Me--If You Can Find Me") that Jack Kelly appeared in.

The Maverick episodes we ended up watching were "Pappy", "Shady Deal at Sunny Acres", and "Duel at Sundown". She got a big kick out of all them. She especially enjoyed the chemistry between Jack Kelly and James Garner. She's an equestrienne and noted that both JK and JG seemed to know how to handle a horse pretty well. She's also a major sci-fi fan, and she immediately recognized Michael Forest ("Jean Paul St. Cloud" in "Pappy") as the actor who played "Apollo" in the Star Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?" (Of course, she also recognized that Pappy's "Rudolph St. Cloud" was Adam West.)

She said she found a new answer for when she's asked how her recovery is coming along: "I'm workin' on it." (Bret Maverick's comic catchphrase in "Shady Deal at Sunny Acres".)

My friend enjoyed Banacek, too. It was a show we both remembered watching when it originally aired, but she hadn't seen it in years.

So, the next time you have a friend who needs a little perking up, instead of ladling out the chicken soup, break out the Maverick episodes instead. :->

Jack Kelly TV Alert: Forbidden Planet airs on Turner Classic Movies at 4:15 pm ET on Sunday, November 1 (yep, today!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jack Kelly Joins the Navy! - Pt. III


Concluding Jack Kelly's 1959 visit to the USS Shangri-La (PLEASE DO NOT COPY THESE PHOTOS) :

Here's a full-length view of the Kellys
on deck with two sailors

Another nice shot of Jack andMay inside the carrier.
JK looks so handsome on the Shangri-La. But, even on land, Jack Kelly was "see-worthy". ;-> Okay, enough of my cringe-worthy puns. Now, how about a little game? Not poker, but "Name the Kelly Quote". I'll post a Jack Kelly quote--from his "reel" (movies/tv) life or from his real life--and you see if you can identify what production it came from (and JK's character's name), or what the real-life situation was. Here we go:
Kelly Quote #1: "BANG!"
(This isn't from a Maverick episode, but it is from Jack's real life when he was filming Maverick. A big hint: an old "TV Guide" article about Maverick reveals the situation where this quote was used.)
If you recognize the quote, please leave a comment here--good luck! :->

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jack Kelly Joins the Navy! - Pt. II

Hello Again!

As promised, more pix from Jack Kelly's 1959 visit to the USS Shangri-La (PLEASE DO NOT COPY THESE PHOTOS):

A close-up view of a pic of Jack and May
standing in what looks like a radio room.

Here, the Kellys enjoy coffee with a crew member.
More pix to come! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jack Kelly Joins the Navy!


At last, here is the rare Jack Kelly "find" I told you about.

I just purchased some wonderful photos of Jack Kelly and his first wife May Wynn snapped by the US Navy onboard the aircraft carrier the USS Shangri-La CVA-38 while it was stationed off the coast of Hawaii.

UPDATE: The seller listed the date of the photos as March 9, 1960, but this is probably incorrect. I've since found the 1959-1961 cruise book for the USS Shangri-La online. It says the ship visited Hawaii in 1959 and then moved on to the Far East. It cruised to South America and the US east coast in 1960. Also, a webpage about May Wynn notes that she and Jack Kelly "will take an early vacation at the Hawaiian Village Hotel in Honolulu, with a stop-off in San Francisco before returning to work" in June 1959.

In any case, I wondered why the Kellys had visited the carrier. The seller regretted that they didn't have much info about the pictures but explained, "These photos came to us from our sister-in-law who was in the service during the time these photos were taken. She told us that there were many entertainers that would visit the Shangri-La and they all would have their pictures taken with the crew."

The seller added, "[My sister-in-law] was a fan of Jack Kelly, too, and will be very happy that another fan of Jack Kelly will be taking care of these photos now."

(I assured the seller that I would indeed take EXTRA good care of these photos!) :->

I also wondered about that name: the USS Shangri-La? Here's the 411.

I have no idea if these Jack Kelly pix have ever been published or displayed before, so who knows, this might be an "exclusive" for "The Tall Dark Stranger There". Also, if there's anyone out there who served on the USS Shangri-La and can provide more info about JK's visit, please contact me--thanks!

And, now, anchors aweigh! :) (PLEASE DO NOT COPY THESE PHOTOS)

This is a close-up view of a pic of Jack and May
standing on the deck of the USS Shangri-La

Here is Jack and May with one of the crew members.By the way, the logo on JK's shirt says,
"Hawaii - 50th State".

More pix to come! :->

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Kelly Pages: Comic Jack Kelly III


And, now a look at another British Maverick annual in my Kellection:

Once more, Roger Moore has a more prominent place on the cover. Oh well, half a Jack Kelly is better than none! :)

Inside, there are colorful comic strips and stories with titles such as "Shanghaied" and "Mavericks! Keep Out!" There are also little vignettes about actual historical figures such as Davy Crockett and "The Jersey Lily" (Lillie Langtry). And: "Riverboats played an important part in the settlement of the west" (Beau and Bart--who should know--tell us why on the inside covers).

There's even a game called "Down the Mississippi", where one can "Sail With Bart Maverick on The 'River Queen' bound for New Orleans. This game can be played by two or more players and requires a dice and suitable counters." But, be careful: "Returning to his cabin Bart finds his bankroll missing. Go back to square 6."

Very fun little book. Here's one more pic:

And, speaking of Sir Roger Moore: I peeked at his autobiography, My Word is My Bond, and here's what he had to say about working (and playing) with Jack Kelly and James Garner on Maverick:

"...Jack Kelly and I got along really well, on and off the set. In true Maverick style, I'd regularly join Jim Garner, Jack Kelly and their wives for a poker school at Jack's house on Sunset Boulevard. I was never particularly lucky at cards, but had my fair share of luck on the other side of that old adage."

[Moore describes the long days spent filming Maverick episodes, and explains how he, Garner and Clint Walker of Cheyenne finally lobbied no less than Ronald Reagan (then president of the Screen Actors' Guild) for more reasonable hours. They were "rewarded" by Warner Brothers with a time-clock in the make-up department.]

"Actors had to punch in every morning. I refused to be part of such a stupid scheme. I bought my own make-up and never punched in....Jack Kelly was similarly minded and one day took the time-clock and used it as a football."

[Moore also said that frequent Maverick director Leslie H. Martinson--who directed him in The Rivals--would get so upset when things didn't go right on the set (like when James Garner just didn't give a darn or Jack Kelly only wanted to clown), he'd actually start weeping!]

My Word is My Bond is doggone interesting--I'll have to read the rest of it some time!