She perfected her comic skills after arriving in New York City in 1948...working in cabaret, developing her own nightclub act of sophisticated comic songs, and...making an early splash in the same show that launched Julie Newmar: "Li'l Abner."
Julie's "Stupefyin' Jones" character was easily the most talked about on Broadway, and pictures of her appeared in dozens and dozens of magazines. But that show was loaded with talent, and Charlotte Rae had audiences roaring with her feisty performance as excitable Mammy Yokum. This was well before Irene Ryan's famous "Granny" role on "Beverly Hillbillies."
Yes, Charlotte was amazing in this rural role...moreso when you consider that before this, she'd been on Broadway in "Threepenny Opera," and after, took roles ranging from hapless housewife Mrs. Schnauzer (on "Car 54 Where Are You") and a neurotic Tupperware saleslady in a memorable episode of "All in the Family." That one so impressed Norman Lear, that he cast her in "Dif'rent Strokes." Charlotte did so well with that show, and the sequel, that she had the luxury of picking and choosing challenging roles in the 80's and 90's. These included everything from an episode of "Murder She Wrote" to another surprise, the lead in a Chicago stage production of "Driving Miss Daisy."
She passed away on August 5th, at the age of 92. Here's a scene from the original Broadway version of "Li'l Abner"
There are so many photos of Julie with her well-known celebrity friends.
Julie's working on a photo-autobiography, but naturally fans will be more interested in her; she could fill another book with recollections of all the stars she's known.
Some remember Zina co-starring in "The Nurses," but her main love was dance. She was a noted choreographer.
She was also an animal lover, and it ultimately cost her everything. She was on Forest Lawn Drive when she noticed that a possum had been the victim of a hit and run. She stopped her car and went to the injured animal, only to suffer the same fate. She was 66.
Among the latest...that Judge Kennedy's retirement may only SEEM inopportune. People wondering how the man could retire when he's so desperately needed to maintain ANY kind of balance on the Supreme Court should look behind him. There's his son, a "special guy" in the world of The Donald.
As the New York Times explains that:
"moments after his first address to Congress in February 2017. As he made his way out of the chamber, Mr. Trump paused to chat with the justice. 'Say hello to your boy,' Mr. Trump said. 'Special guy.'
Mr. Trump was apparently referring to Justice Kennedy’s son, Justin. The younger Mr. Kennedy spent more than a decade at Deutsche Bank, eventually rising to become the bank’s global head of real estate capital markets, and he worked closely with Mr. Trump when he was a real estate developer, according to two people with knowledge of his role.
During Mr. Kennedy’s tenure, Deutsche Bank became Mr. Trump’s most important lender, dispensing well over $1 billion in loans to him for the renovation and construction of skyscrapers in New York and Chicago at a time other mainstream banks were wary of doing business with him because of his troubled business history."
Perhaps, Justin time, and returning the many favors Trump owes the Kennedy clan, Judge Kennedy leaves the bench fully aware that The Donald will insert a crony, one who may overturn Roe v Wade. Trump's appointments to power positions have been all about favoritism and nepotism. While most of the incompetents have been laughable and many have disappeared as quickly as they arrived, a Supreme Court judge is a different matter. Mitch McConnell successfully blocked President Obama from appointing a new Supreme Court judge, and now...Deutsche Bank's Mr. Kennedy can call a debt repaid.
Fans were asking, WHO was on that shirt?
It's the clever Bruce Vilanch, who inherited Paul Lynde's chair when "Hollywood Squares" was revived. At the time he was one of the few gay comedians who was openly out of the closet...something other quiz show gay funnymen (Lynde, Charles Nelson Reilly, Rip Taylor) didn't quite do.
Westworld admiringly dubbed him "bursting with gayness," and applaued him as "one of the first openly gay comedians." He's written for campy females, most especially Bette Midler, and has put some wit into the mouth of tart-tongued Whoopi Goldberg, and openly lesbian Lily Tomlin. He also worked with Robin Williams, who notably performed in drag as "Mrs. Doubtfire." Robin's remark about ballet dancers wearing Danskins so tight "you know what religion they are" was probably a Vilanch gag.
Years ago, Julie's audience was probably 90% straight. That included her rather flabby "henchmen" on the "Batman" show. Now her henchmen are gay. "Batman" may have been "campy" back in the day, but today, "campy" is another word for "gay" and...well, look at these guys. They aren't pussyfooting around, showing off their muscles.