Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Incredible Hulk, The Magician, and My Favorite Martian

Before Christmas I was looking for three signed photographs to frame and give to our son for his media/entertainment room. Actually, I did not look too hard. Today while we were finishing up our painting gallery in the dining room, we sorted through the artwork in our photo room upstairs. Hidden among the junk were the three (50 year old!) photos you can see below.

Here is the story:
When I was in junior high and again in high school our family made two trips out to Burbank, California to visit my dad's favorite sister Helyn. She was a dear, but tough old gal who lived a much wilder life than most of her siblings back in the Deep South. Rumor has it that she married 5 times, and I only remember meeting Johnny. He was the husband who came to visit us with my aunt, and my mom prepared quail. I think that was the first and last time we ate quail. Who knows where my parents got those little birds. But Uncle Johnny liked it so much that he even got it on his nose. (crazy what little girls remember)

But both times we visited Aunt Helyn in California, she was single. The first visit we stayed in her small little bungalow, and the second time we had brought along another aunt so we stayed in Aunt Helyn's rental house in the front of her bungalow.

What I remember the most about both vacations were the fun day trips to the television studios. The three photographs below came from a visit to the set of "My Favorite Martian." As Aunt Helyn worked for Larry Harmon Productions (Bozo the Clown), she took us right into the filming set of this popular 1960's television program. We met Bill Bixby, Ray Walston, and Pamela Britton and had a tour of the set. My brothers and I received signed photos of those three actors, and now I have framed mine for our son. This morning I compared all three signatures with authentic ones on the Internet, and they look "real" to me.

Our son probably has never heard of "My Favorite Martian," but he was a big fan of "The Incredible Hulk." Almost everyone knows that Lou Ferrigno was the green Hulk, but Bill Bixby played the handsome Dr. David Banner who metamorphoses into the green Hulk. Bixby died at the age of 59 in 1993 from prostate cancer.

As for beautiful Pamela Britton, her role as the nosy and ditzy landlady in "My Favorite Martian" from 1963-66 was her signature role in movies and television. She died from a brain tumor at the age of 51 in 1974.

You guessed it. Ray Walston is my favorite Martian. Although Walston played many roles in numerous plays, movies and television shows, our son probably remembers seeing him play Academy groundskeeper "Boothby" in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and later on in "Star Trek: Voyager." Walston died from a six year battle with lupus in 2001 at the age of 86.

No comments:

Post a Comment