Who are your favorites for the Oscars this year? Ye Olde Curiosity Shop has its own list. Katharine Hepburn for Best Actress. Charlie Chaplin for acting, writing, directing and producing The Circus. And Sylvester Stallone, for directing Rocky.
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop was a film-star magnet before movies could talk. The fascinating blend of exotica from the far-flung corners of the earth, natural curiosities and home-grown Native American art drew visitors from all walks of life, including show biz.
J.E. “Daddy” Standley, founder of the shop, meticulously recorded the names of his Hollywood visitors in a guest book. The list of travelers from tinsel town includes some of the brightest names ever to grace a movie palace marquee:
Adored worldwide for his beloved silent film character “The Little Tramp,” Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic genius, composer, director and producer whose career took him from applause in the music halls of London to the respect of his peers in the film industry.
The “blonde bombshell” was only 26 years old when she died in 1937, but her breezy persona of the wisecracking vamp made such an indelible impression that the American Film Institute put her at #22 on their list of Greatest American Screen Legends.*
Four-time Oscar winner Hepburn was just at home playing ditsy females in screwball films of the 1930s as she was in dramatic film roles. She tops AFI's list of female Screen Legends.
Sally Jessy Raphael
Talk show queen for over two decades in the late 20th century, Sally Jessy Raphael made her mark in radio and on television and helped define this wildly popular genre.
Teenager Debbie Reynolds did not have to wait long for stardom. A few years after entering show business, she struck gold in 1952 with the iconic MGM musical “Singing in the Rain”. Since then she has been a tireless entertainer.
Though best-known as an American humorist whose wry political quips were legendary, Rogers was no stranger to the silver screen. He made over 50 silent films and 21 “talkies” before his death in 1935.
Russell is one of the few actors who successfully navigated the journey from child actor to adult performer. During the 1970s he was Disney Studios’ top performer.
Skelton was an exuberant comedian who performed in almost every venue: medicine shows, show boats, burlesque, vaudeville, radio, television, nightclubs and casinos as well as film.
“Sly” Stallone is best known for his portrayal of Rocky Balboa in 1976’s Best Picture, Rocky. Or would that be John Rambo in First Blood? Or Barney Ross in The Expendables? Stallone puts the “action” in “action hero.”
Who doesn't love a good film? Enjoy the Academy Awards, everybody, and may all your favorites win!
*Note: Image of Jean Harlow used by permission of Jerry Murbach at www.doctormacro.com.
Move over, Washington! These dollar bills feature the faces of celebrity favorites like Bruce Lee, Batman, Harry Potter, and more. Great gift to slip in a birthday card (hint, hint).
Peg Boettcher has been wrangling curios and working for Ye Olde Curiosity Shop since 2004.