Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jack Kelly - "I'm a Home-Stayer, Course-Charter, a Follow-Througher" :)

Hi Again!

Before continuing with our 1958 tour of the Kelly home, let's pause for a quick cup of joe with Jack:

Oops! Looks like JK just lost a game of Chinese checkers to Donna. And who's that sitting on the TV? Our old friend Mr. Clown Doll! Glance just past him and you can see into the Kellys' backyard:

The caption to the pic below says that JK "cuts his own firewood, and he himself has made most of the improvements around the honeymoon cottage, just big enough for two."

And, of course, he was handy in the kitchen (and at the grill), too!

The article also gives some details about how the Kellys became a couple. Although they'd acted in two films together (They Rode West and The Violent Men) and socialized at various functions, they didn't really start dating until after Donna decided to visit JK at the Warner Brothers Studios one day. She found him on Stage Nineteen, and "there was Kelly, looking as handsome and dashing as her memory of him, in his period costume for King's Row, the teleseries then being made at Warner Brothers."

JK, as Donna might have seen him,
in costume for King's Row

The couple soon became an "item" and decided to marry. Reportedly, their first choice for a wedding location was Mexico. However, there was too much international red tape involved. Then, they considered having a formal ceremony, but there were too many guests involved.

Finally, a friend steered them to Quartzsite, a marrying mecca located in the Arizona desert. Although the couple arrived in the middle of the night, they were able to have a $75.00 wedding ring fashioned on the spot before being married by a justice of the peace. The Kellys also had a church wedding a month later.

The Kellys made a pact to never be apart during their marriage. JK claims in the article, "This is a motivating factor in our happiness. If a plane crashes or a train wrecks or a ship sinks, we will be together. Whatever happens to one of us will happen to both. This has worked a hardship, financial and career-wise, more than once...since signing on for the role of Bart in the Maverick series at Warner Bros., I've run into countless difficulties--obligations for personal appearances and business trips which I steadfastly refuse unless my wife can go along."

In fact, this "togetherness" pact may have almost cost JK his guest role in the TV series Gunsmoke. According to the article, while in the middle of enjoying a delayed honeymoon in Mexico four months after they were married, Jack got word about the Gunsmoke part. However, the plane home was overbooked and there was room for only one Kelly on the flight! The tearful decision was made that JK would go on to Los Angeles for the job while Donna would stay in Mexico.

JK was about to board the plane, but he looked back and saw Donna crying. He ordered his bags off the plane and the whole airport cheered his gallant, romantic gesture. And, the Kellys were able to leave Mexico together the next day, just in time for JK to play "Cal Durbin".

So, it's no wonder maverick Jack said of his married life at the time, "I used to be a, I'm a home-stayer, a course-charter, and a follow-througher."

And, here's a bit of JK nickname trivia for you: We know that Donna called JK "Kelly". The article says JK called her "The Big M" or "Kukie". He hated the name "May Wynn" because it "wasn't real" and called her "The Big M" until he married her and "... I knew her well enough to call her 'Donna'".

Plus, they had a poodle named "Hickey"--since Donna's full real name was "Donna Lee Hickey".

Well, until next time, have a blessed and safe Easter. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Jack Kelly - "These Are Our Old Masters" :)

Hello Everyone!

I guess something strange happened with this blog on April 1. I heard some of the pictures and links were acting funny. Must have been sunspots or something. ;->

Anyway, I hope everything's working okay today, because you'll definitely want to see this:

It's a pic of Jack and Donna/May Kelly from a wonderful 1958 TV Radio Mirror article I found which ties right into my earlier posts about the Kelly's home. Unfortunately, none of the pix are in color, so we can't see any of the watermelon pink. However, they do give some fascinating peeks into the home and provide more clues about the Kelly's unique flair for decorating.

The article states, "The Kellys live in a picturesque farmhouse that hugs a cliff on one of the hills of Hollywood. The rooms all flow together, and are filled with the implements of their joint projects, and souvenirs and symbols of their lives together. Two unusual oil paintings dominate the living room. [The Kellys] bought them in a junk shop for $1.50 apiece; then spent over $90.00 having them cleaned and framed. 'These are our Old Masters,' says Kelly. There are also assorted paintings of clowns and horses.

"Everywhere about are souvenirs of their travels. There is a carved man with delicate hands, bought in Hong Kong because Donna likes delicately carved hands. And there is the bolo knife, brought from the Orient as a gift for a friend, but rejected by him because it looked too 'murderous'. On every nook and cranny there are curious objects of all sorts that have significance only to the Kellys. And everywhere, on shelf and on chair, there are books, books and more books.

"There is a den with a low, round table which is always cluttered. It generally contains half-filled coffee cups, a half-played game of Chinese checkers, and reams and reams of typing paper. For the Kellys collaborate on writing projects of all sorts, chiefly television scripts. Their creative efforts dovetail beautifully. Donna does research and collaborates on plotting, and each is an excellent critic of the other's ideas."

The Kellys are hard at work on a script, or maybe a cookbook.

Speaking of hard work, JK is crafting a fountain that will go outside their bedroom window, because "Donna thought it would be romantic".

But, all work and no play makes JK a dull boy (never!),
so here he strums the guitar. As the caption says, "Jack believes in serenading his fair lady, Donna, even after he's won her."

The story also provides a sweet look at the Kellys' courtship and elopement, and JK explains how married life changed this maverick. That, and more pix, next time! :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Jack Kelly - Ga-Ga Gals Strike Again! :)

The Gazette, March 30, 1876

Says Beleaguered Bart Maverick

by Bobbie Belle Boze

Mr. Bart Maverick, the roving gambler who recently caused riots in a nearby town simply by stepping out of his hotel, must now resort to playing cards outdoors. So many admiring females show up during his poker games that no saloon or gambling hall can contain them.

'They just won't leave me alone', Maverick sighed, 'So, as my old Pappy used to say...'

Whatever Mr. Maverick's old Pappy used to say was drowned out by girlish giggling.

When asked why women find Mr. Maverick so overwhelmingly attractive, a Miss L. A. Bartista replied that the answer could be found in her 'blog' (which apparently is some sort of foreign word for 'journal').

Another lady opined, 'Why, he's so much better looking than his brother, what's-his-name...Brit? Brat?'

Then, another woman, who identified herself as Mrs. Alexander, strode up to Mr. Maverick with pen and paper in hand. She said she was writing his biography and wanted to ask him a few hundred questions. Such as, did 'Mammy' Maverick ever say anything, where did Brent come from, and did Bart really love Stella the saloon girl or did he just say that because she was holding a gun on him.

Mr. Maverick replied that he would be delighted to answer Mrs. Alexander's inquiries just as soon as his poker game was finished.

This reporter asked Mrs. Alexander why she is writing Bart Maverick's biography.

She answered, 'Because his face belongs on a book.'" ;->