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!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jack Kelly on TV - "Baby, the World's on Fire"


Nearly a year ago, a new channel mysteriously appeared on my local cable system. It was called "RTN"- "Retro Television Network".

Suddenly, classic shows I hadn't seen in decades--or hadn't seen at all--were parading across my TV screen: Wagon Train, Night Gallery, The Bold Ones, and many more.

Among those golden oldies was Run For Your Life, the 1965-1968 series starring Ben Gazzara as young lawyer Paul Bryan. Bryan has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and must try to cram "30 years of living into one...or two."

Bryan goes running off around the world, meeting interesting people and getting involved in various intrigues in exotic locales (all of which were filmed on the backlot at Universal). Strangely, though, for someone who's supposedly dying, Bryan seems to be in good physical shape and rarely so much as coughs! :0

I watched a couple of episodes of Run For Your Life and thought it was okay, but not "must see TV". Then, of course, I found out that Jack Kelly had guest-starred in an episode called "Baby, the World's on Fire", and my interest was piqued.

Now, my cable system doesn't list individual episode summaries for RTN shows on its on-screen information, only generic descriptions of the shows: "Dying lawyer tries to live it up." And, they tend to air episodes out of sequence. So, I had to keep checking every weekend to see if Jack Kelly's episode was coming on.

Today I was drowsy after lunch and about to take a nap, when I remembered to check Run For Your Life. And, good thing I did, because sure enough, "Baby, the World's On Fire" was starting! The nap would have to wait...

So: Paul Bryan bumps into old friend Harry Bevins (JK) in Tokyo. Harry works for an American electronics firm. Bevins' job seems to include a lot of perks, including an apartment and a fancy red sports car, both of which he promptly loans to his old buddy Bryan.

But, someone tries to run Bryan off the road. And, when he goes to Harry's apartment, the place is trashed and Harry is nowhere in sight. The phone rings and a mysterious caller threatens Bryan, thinking he is Bevins.

Then, Harry's fiancee, Susan (Suzanne Pleshette) shows up and explains that she's just arrived from the States. She and Harry were going to be wed and spend their honeymoon in Japan before returning to the US. Susan and Bryan set off to find Harry.

It turns out that Harry's company has secretly developed a new device that could prove deadly if it fell into the wrong hands. But, Harry is interested in the finer things in life and doesn't care who gets the device...only how much he can get for it.

Not surprisingly, Jack Kelly is extremely handsome and charming in this episode. Unfortunately, his Harry Bevins ultimately has ulterior motives for everything he does. Harry plays on people's 1960's Cold War fears to justify his actions. (His catchphrase--"Baby, the world's on fire"--means "You better live it up now, because the bomb could fall tomorrow.") Like Paul Bryan, Bevins is trying to cram 30 years of living into one or two, but for all the wrong reasons.
And now, here's a preview of coming attractions. I made an incredibly lucky and rare Jack Kelly find that I'm going to share with you all here soon. It involves JK's real-life visit to a "mythical" location--stay tuned! :)