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Danny Miller

Entries by Danny Miller

Happy 100th Birthday, Ginger Rogers!

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2011 | 10:24 AM

How is it possible that today would have been the 100th birthday of eternally youthful Ginger Rogers? I met her only once in the flesh -- at a screening in the early 1990s of one of her most powerful films -- the hard-hitting Ku Klux Klan drama  Storm Warning co-starring Doris...

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Celebrate World Read Aloud Day!

(1) Comments | Posted March 9, 2011 | 5:04 PM


What would our lives be like without books? I can't even imagine. I met my wife Kendall years ago because I had just read her wonderful book, The Day I Became an Autodidact and then recognized her...
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Jane Russell, Right-Wing Republican and Good Ol' Gal (1921-2011)

(22) Comments | Posted March 1, 2011 | 3:01 PM

The last time I saw the late Jane Russell in the flesh was five years ago. My wife Kendall and I took my daughter Leah to a screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at the American Cinematheque, which was followed by a Q&A with the former bombshell. I remember being surprised...

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Remembering Betty Garrett

(8) Comments | Posted February 14, 2011 | 3:00 PM


In Betty Garrett's very first film, "Big City," young Margaret O'Brien says to her, "When you sing, you sing all over!" Truer words were never spoken. Of all the incredible stars of the MGM stock company...
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Lola Heatherton's Love Spirit Christmas

(2) Comments | Posted December 21, 2010 | 10:06 PM

I can't believe it's almost Christmas and unlike past years, I haven't written a single anti-Christmas post. What's going on? Have I finally grown a human heart? I think that a) the travails and triumphs of my son, Charlie, born a year and a half ago at 1.4 lbs. and...

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June Cleaver vs. Betty Draper

(13) Comments | Posted October 18, 2010 | 5:38 PM

We lost Barbara Billingsley this weekend, the lovely actress who played June Cleaver, the ideal of the perfect mom for an entire generation of Baby Boomers. Growing up, we all wondered why our own mothers never vacuumed the house in a pretty dress, complete with high heels, pearls, and a...

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Go See the Other Education Documentary: The Race to Nowhere

(5) Comments | Posted September 18, 2010 | 8:18 PM

I've rarely seen a documentary get as much press before its release as Davis Guggenheim's "Waiting for Superman" has. I've seen the preview in movie theatres about a dozen times now and it always whips the audience into a frenzy, with some people shedding tears over these poor kids who...

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Farewell to My Fantasy Mother, Patricia Neal

(10) Comments | Posted August 9, 2010 | 9:34 AM

I woke up at two this morning, and after tossing and turning for what seemed like hours, I finally accepted that I just wasn't going to fall back asleep. And how could I? I soon discovered that my mother, Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal, had died a few hours earlier at...

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Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy:
You Are Not Alone

(9) Comments | Posted July 28, 2010 | 7:24 PM

Of all my brother-in-law Jeff Tweedy's projects, what could possibly be more exciting than his collaboration with gospel legend Mavis Staples? He produced her new album, which will be released in September, wrote the title tune, and sings on several of the tracks. 71-year-old Mavis all but adopted my two...

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Don't Ask, Don't Kvell

(9) Comments | Posted July 21, 2010 | 8:53 PM

The Pentagon recently sent out a survey to hundreds of
thousands of troops asking them about the possible repeal of the United States' ban on Jews in the military. Copies of the poll were leaked on the Internet. It
included questions such as the following:


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Meinhardt Raabe: A Death in Munchkinland

(4) Comments | Posted April 12, 2010 | 5:45 AM

Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I've always been with The Wizard of Oz. Before I could even talk, my mother used to put me to bed by placing the needle at the beginning of our long-playing soundtrack for the 1939 film (which included a lot of the dialogue)...

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Remembering Peter Graves

(26) Comments | Posted March 16, 2010 | 7:37 PM

I was sad to hear that actor Peter Graves died yesterday at the age of 83. I admit my first thought when I heard Graves had died was not his iconic role in Mission: Impossible (although I loved that show) or his wonderfully deadpan performance in Airplane! ("Have you ever...

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In Defense of Betty Draper

(10) Comments | Posted November 17, 2009 | 9:37 AM

I've rarely seen a fictional character on a TV show engender such fierce debate and disagreement. Following the third season finale of "Mad Men" last week, Betty Draper (played by actress January Jones) has been vilified, condemned, and denounced by journalists, bloggers, and countless viewers. Others, including me, have defended...

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Remembering Ted Kennedy's Early Career

(4) Comments | Posted August 26, 2009 | 2:11 PM

I can't believe it's been 15 months since Ted Kennedy announced that he had inoperable brain cancer. Like so many Americans, I feel that my life has been inextricably linked to the Kennedys since childhood. My very first memory is of JFK's assassination when I was only four years old....

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Bea Arthur's Perfect Comic Timing

(18) Comments | Posted April 26, 2009 | 5:28 PM

I was very sad to hear yesterday that Bea Arthur died here in Los Angeles. I knew the actress was 86 years old and wasn't going to live forever, but it still seems unreal that she's gone. She was such a strong presence on TV for so many years she...

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Eartha Kitt, CIA Target

(3) Comments | Posted December 27, 2008 | 11:23 AM

Eartha Kitt, self-described "sex kitten" and singer of the yuletide classic "Santa Baby" died this week on Christmas Day. My wife and I had one memorable encounter with Kitt last year at LAX. We were waiting for my sister and her family to arrive from Chicago on an American Airlines...

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Irving Brecher Was a Mensch

(2) Comments | Posted November 25, 2008 | 5:45 PM

I attended a funeral the other day, in the very same chapel where Cyd Charisse's service was held last June. Cyd's was an odd funeral for a Jewish cemetery but this one, for writer Irving Brecher who died last week at the age of 94, was wildly appropriate....

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Kristallnacht: 70 Years Later

(3) Comments | Posted November 10, 2008 | 12:39 PM

Seventy years ago yesterday, hundreds of groups of marauding Germans were tearing through Berlin and other cities in Germany vandalizing, looting, and in many cases burning to the ground Jewish synagogues, businesses, and private homes. Later, this horrible night of terror would be called Kristallnacht, or the "Night of Broken...

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Remembering Paul Newman's Early Career

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2008 | 4:43 PM

Newman2 I've been reading the accolades coming in about Paul Newman, who died on Friday. What a great life he had. Beloved by his family, his peers, and the world at large. A true mensch.

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American Teen: The Downside of "Reality"

(1) Comments | Posted July 30, 2008 | 2:44 PM

A few days ago I saw a moving documentary by Nanette Burstein called "American Teen." It follows the lives of a bunch of kids during their senior year of high school in the small Midwestern town of Warsaw, Indiana. The weird thing about the film is that it's...

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