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The Day Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Teamed Up

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were introduced on a New York street in March of 1945. Dean was born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio, on June 7, 1917. Jerry was born Jerome Levitch in Newark, New Jersey, on March 16, 1926.
They were introduced that fateful day by a mutual friend, an Italian singer named Sonny King. At the time, Dean was a semi-successful singer, performing around the East Coast in nightclubs and on his own radio show. Jerry was eking out a living doing a "record act," where he would mime to records by famous singers, all the while mugging outrageously.

According to one later interview, their initial reactions to each other reflected the fact that neither was very impressed. Jerry thought Dean was "conceited, snooty and stand-offish," Dean thought Jerry was "a young wise guy." Despite these initial opinions, the two soon became friends.

Staying in the same hotel, as well as being chronically out of work, Jerry would babysit Dean's kids for him. Soon, by pure coincidence, the two would sometimes be booked at the same clubs. Jerry and Dean would sometimes goof around onstage together, heckling each other, doing imitations and cracking jokes. The audiences ate it up, the boys had fun, but nothing more came of it.

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The Beatles' First #1 Song

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

The Beatles' first record "Love Me Do" was released on October 5, 1962. It was a moderate success, peaking at #17 on the national music charts. Now, the band needed a good, strong follow-up song. "Please Please Me" was written entirely by John Lennon.

Early on in their co-writing careers, John and Paul had decided that every song, even if only written individually, would be officially credited to Lennon-McCartney. And so it was with "Please Please Me." Interestingly, on the song's original release in England, on the Beatles' first album, it was credited as a "McCartney-Lennon" composition. After this, every co-written or individually-written song by John and Paul was credited to the now-familiar "Lennon-McCartney".

Written at his childhood home at 251 Menlove Avenue in Liverpool (his aunt Mimi's home), John was to vividly remember composing the number. He remembered "The pink eiderdown over the bed, sitting in one of the bedrooms."

John said he had just heard a Roy Orbison song "Only the Lonely," which influenced him to write the song as a slow-paced ballad. He was also strongly influenced by a 1932 Bing Crosby song called "Please." In it, Crosby sings the line "please lend a little ear to my pleas." A natural wordsmith, John was always fascinated by this double use of the word "please."

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Dawn Wells: Forever Mary Ann

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

Dawn Elberta Wells was born on October 18, 1938, in Reno, Nevada. Dawn Wells has lived such a full, rich, idyllic life, it is a bit ironic that her very first dream was probably the only one she never achieved. "I wanted to be a ballerina more than anything," she says, "(but) I couldn't get 15 inch thighs and grow another five or six inches. And my knees started dislocating."

Nonetheless, Dawn had a very happy childhood, she rode horses, and her mother grew the family's own fruits and vegetables. She attending Reno High School where she was class treasurer, president of the debate team, and an honor roll student. After high school, Dawn enrolled at Stephens College in Missouri, where she studied chemistry. But after taking a theater course, Dawn got the acting bug and transferred to the University of Washington, where they had a good theater department.

A knockout, Dawn also entered and won the Miss Nevada beauty pageant in 1959. She competed in the Miss America pageant in 1960, in which (hard to believe) she did not win. Although she didn't win, the contest paid for Dawn's last two years in college.

After graduating, Dawn went to Hollywood to attempt a career in show business. She got both her first agent and her first acting job within six weeks. Dawn was to marry her agent Larry Rosen in 1962. Beautiful, eager, and talented, Dawn got many guest starring roles in tv series including '77 Sunset Strip, Wagon Train, Maverick, and Bonanza.

In 1964, Dawn auditioned for a new show on the CBS schedule called Gilligan's Island. She met with the show's creator, Sherwood Schwartz, where the two chatted about the character she was up for- Mary Ann Summers, a farm girl from Kansas (based on Judy Garland's "Dorothy" character in The Wizard of Oz.)

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The True Story of Paul Newman's Salad Dressing

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

 Who doesn't love Paul Newman? An incredible actor, with the most famous blue eyes since Sinatra, he appeared in over 60 films, including some of the greatest movies ever.

The Hustler is my own favorite Paul Newman film, but hey, the list of "classics" for Paul goes way beyond that. There's Cool Hand Luke, The Verdict, Exodus, Somebody Up There Likes Me, The Towering Inferno, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting... And let's not forget his Oscar-winning performance in The Color of Money.

The list goes on and on and I think most of us think of Paul Newman as "the quintessential movie star.”

But Paul Newman had other interests besides the movies and acting. Besides being a devoted husband to his beloved wife and a loving father to his children, he loved auto racing, was very active politically, and liked to relax by drinking beer and consuming vast quantities of popcorn.

The idea of "Newman's Own" salad dressing began in 1980 in the town of Westport, Connecticut. Unlike many movie stars who live in lavish Beverly Hills mansions, Paul and his beloved wife, Joanne Woodward, chose the quieter confines of Connecticut.

Paul's friend, A.E. Hotchner, always noticed Paul had a strange habit every time he went into a fancy restaurant. Upon ordering, Paul would politely ask the establishment for some olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and fresh black pepper. Upon receiving these items, he would proceed to mix up a batch of his own personal salad dressing. After indulging in this rather odd practice, Paul would not only consume his delicious concoction himself, but often distribute the unique concoction around to his fellow dinner companions.


The waiters, restaurant staff and owners probably just thought Paul was another eccentric Hollywood kook indulging himself. The usual comments and compliments from his companions of “You should market this stuff" usually passed by unnoticed.

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Titanic: The Movie That Made History

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

Director James Cameron was originally inspired to make Titanic while making The Abyss, a science-fiction underwater film. He also reportedly had a fascination with shipwrecks. Cameron himself went under to explore the remains of the actual Titanic twelve times, at an average of 16 hours each spent there each time. A special camera, designed by his brother, was built to withstand the underwater pressure.

Titanic, Cameron's 1997 film, was the first movie to make over $1 billion dollars worldwide. Its $600 million dollar U.S. box office was the all-time record until Cameron's own 2009 film Avatar overtook it. Titanic still holds the never-to-be-equaled record of being the #1 weekly box office champ an incredible 15 weeks in a row from 1997 to '98.

It made a silver screen icon of star Leonardo DiCaprio, although, strangely, despite the film's 14 Oscar nominations, he was snubbed by the Academy.

Leading lady Kate Winslet, playing “Rose,” got her Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actress, along with Gloria Stuart (who played “Old Rose" in the film, and hadn't appeared in a movie in over 30 years). This proved the only instance on Oscar history of two people both being nominated for playing the same character in the same movie (both were nominated for Best Supporting Actress -neither won- although Titanic did garner 11 awards).

The studio executives' first choice to play the male lead was Matthew McConaughey, but both Cameron and Winslet wanted Leo DiCaprio. Originally, Cameron wasn't that familiar with him, but at their first meeting, Cameron noticed that "all the women in the building" showed up to catch a glimpse of young Leo. Although there was no “Jack Dawson" (DiCaprio's character), Cameron was to discover that there was a “J. Dawson" on board the real-life Titanic. He was an engineer who drowned in the disaster.

Cameron's original choice for Rose was Gwyneth Paltrow, but Kate lobbied hard to snag the role. The Rose character was named in honor of Cameron's grandmother.

Early on in the film, Kate "flashed" Leo. This was to get him used to seeing her in her birthday suit, because they would be spending much time together filming the famous nude scene. On the day of the nude scene's filming, Kate was getting made up, when Leo walked in accidentally and said “Whoa!" Again, to get him used to seeing her nude, she told him to stay. (Incidentally, Cameron himself drew the "nude portrait" of Rose featured in the scene, as well as all of Jack's drawings.)

Leo claimed to be "water sensitive" and would seldom appear in any water scenes where the water was "too cold.” The water in the hallway scenes was 50 degrees, but the water in the "out in the ocean" scenes was warmed to 80 degrees.

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