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Tom Gregory
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Tom Gregory is an actor, producer, collector, and taste-maker. His "urbane wit with pop culture savvy" has been profiled on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, E!, USAToday, The NY Times, HELLO! JAPAN and Leeza Gibbons' "Hollywood Confidential." Tom lives in Hollywood and Manhattan.

Entries by Tom Gregory

Mark Nilsson: Banging on the Art World's Door With a Brush (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 4:27 PM

Museums are an odd business they make a star by hanging a painting on a wall or installing a sculpture in a gallery. We often accept a work is worthy simply because it is exhibited within a coveted institution. It is, after all, the museum's acceptance of an artist's work...

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Dale Olson: "I Lived My Life My Own Way"

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 9:50 AM

From my 2011 interview with Dale

Between the protective in-house PR departments of Hollywood's Golden Age, and the in-your-face PR of today, lies the second generation of Hollywood elite: the post-television, Cinemascope, "in color" clan who bridged the gap between Monroe and Madonna, Brando and Brad, Double Indemnity and Double 0-7.

The "Cadillac or Lincoln" generation -- names like Rock, MacLaine, Beatty, McQueen, Eastwood and Mansfield -- experienced stardom under the bright light of the TV camera. Trip-ups and foibles were the name of the game. The public yearned for more. Survivors like Crawford tried to ignore the peering eye of the paparazzi of the 60's and 70's -- never going out looking "less-than," watching everything they uttered, chose, performed or kissed. Even then, the stark reality of age, urges, human frailty and meteoric desire led many into the mud of scandal or the glimmer of hope for an Academy Award. Enter the independent PR agent.

Dale Olson loved film. As a youngster up in the Northern Plains he ate up Garfield and Turner, Fonda and Davis, Bogart and Bacall, everyone who dared flicker in the flutter of THE FARGO theater in Fargo. Dale knew any lovers less than Gable and Lombard nicknamed "Hollywood's power couple" were simply from a PR agent's pen.

Dale Olson longed to be part of the movies. As an aspiring PR agent, Olson loved the pomp and controlled the circumstance. From his first major Hollywood position -- editor of Boxoffice Magazine -- to running his own agency, Dale Olson was a stalwart brick in the wall of cinema and American history.

As the fate of long-time friend and client Rock Hudson became public, Olson urged, poked and prodded pal President Reagan to act against AIDS. Reagan would move too little, too late. Olson acted on his own; he worked to set up the Rock Hudson Foundation for AIDS Relief. When pal Elizabeth Taylor set up the organization that became today's AMFAR, Olson threw his support behind her remarkable gravitas. With characteristic intelligence and compassion Taylor, Olson, and a handful of others put their money -- and their reputations -- behind their frustrated and angry words.

Olson continued to stand for his clients through his active involvement in The Actor's Fund. The Fund is a safety net for anyone in the entertainment industry who finds himself in need of housing, counseling, medical care, or simply a leg-up.

In 2004, The Actors Fund dedicated the lobby of its Los Angeles offices to Olson and fellow publicist Eugene (Gene) Harbin, his spouse of more than 30 years. Harbin survives him.

Dale was the voice of damage-control, the pen of Oscar campaigns, and the heart of a movement that cultivated compassion in modern Hollywood. Laughter and caring were Dale Olson's trademark, entertainment was his business.

In lieu of anything other than good memories and loving thoughts, contributions in Dale Olson's memory can be made to the Actor's...

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Gore and Suicide Under the Glitzy, Glamorous and Beckoning Dream

(6) Comments | Posted January 21, 2012 | 4:11 PM

This week's horrific story beneath the Hollywood Sign of decapitation, murder, and bloody execution is the latest layer of reality that appears when you look too closely at glamor mixed with the degradation of society. As far as I know dismembered body parts and a head in grocery bag are...

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I Want to Live a Better Life

(3) Comments | Posted December 21, 2011 | 8:56 PM


Growing up in Southern New Jersey -- a child of the first TV generation, I was assaulted by glamorous tales and images of Los Angeles, San Francisco and the warm, promising, sun-drenched promise-land of the American Southwest.

Earliest life for me in rapidly declining Camden NJ was far less than what I saw on The Beverly Hillbillies, The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, or even The Waltons. My father worked hard. Mother worked outside the house maintaining the home, her sanity and the family's stability while helping Dad drag the American dream to our doorstep.

Eventually we moved one town east to follow our middle class aspiration. Stress grew as our family worked harder and harder for a bigger piece of the American Pie. A divorce split the income and nearly doubled the bills. In spite of their hardships, my parent's search for a better life was their gift to me. By today's rocky standards, my public school education was extraordinary. In today's world of poverty level pensions, inflation, and economic recession the lessons learned from my parents have served me well in subsidizing their current lives.

I remember at four years of age, after watching an episode of The Flintstones (there were palm trees everywhere in that show) standing at the screen door of our Camden, NJ home saying that I wanted to move to California. Twenty years later on the eve of actual departure, through the tear-stained eyes of a mother sending her son off into the sunset, mom swore to me that at THREE years old I had actually said "I want to move BACK TO California." "Yep," she sobbed, "I always knew you would leave to follow your dream." An afternoon later I was westbound in my old 1972 Impala, torpedoing toward my optimistic-unknown. I was certain the beachy, balmy, bougainvillea, tree-lined life the post-war generation had found in Sunny So Cal would become my life, too.

Why couldn't it? I had everything -- I was "free, white and twenty-one' -- the simple recipe I learned that contained the elements for unbridled possibilities. Success for me came in mass contentment. I loved Los Angeles -- the weather, the people, the vistas, the sights and the shadows of music legends I loved: Janis Joplin, The Mamas and Papas, The Doors and The Beach Boys. Everything was lined up for me; my security followed. Hell, I fight for my security to this day. For those lucky enough to fall on the right side of the border we even have the world's strongest army to safeguard our dream. America is a great place. Just ask a day-laboring illegal immigrant.

Chris Weitz' latest film, A Better Life -- recently on DVD -- is the story of Carlos' (Demián Bichir) fight to survive as an illegal immigrant working in the beating, bleaching Southern California sun. Through universal dreams and simple aspirations for a better life, Weitz leaves sermonizing about immigrant issues at the door. Whether we like it or not, Weitz forces us to watch a life unfold to reveal the angst behind the quest for the best a man can attain. Carlos is not a man of words, rather a man of staunch integrity. Through the connection of Carlos and his teenaged son, we see the potential erosion of the dream if we give into its inherent easy life. Unlike my own trek to the West, Carlos' problems are forced upon him -- surviving America proves hard and intangible. He fights against the law, the language and social walls of poverty and segregation. It's a sensitive film that jerks a tear and can change a perspective.

A well-produced film changes attitudes. Looking back into Hollywood's history, Susan Hayward in I Want to Live melted America's staunch opinion toward the death penalty. Convicts were no longer faceless below-the-fold headlines devoid of any worthy element. Hayward brought our justice system of death to its knees -- that's the power of film and the mark of an hour and forty-five minutes well spent.

A Better Life, may not end the death and heartache of those squeezing into America for a future, but it does tell their story. Ignorance does not survive in A Better Life. It can't survive in an evolved America.

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Dr. Conrad Murray is Coming! Run for Your Life !!!!

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2011 | 12:19 PM

Seven weeks ago I started running. Well, jogging actually - the runners are everyone else that pass me at breakneck speed. My run is changing my life.

I've always been active, heck I'm fifty-one, if I wasn't active I'd look like every other fifty-one year old out there. Usually my...

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Buddy the Wonder Dog

(5) Comments | Posted September 7, 2011 | 2:06 PM

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Six long weeks ago our dachshund Jack passed away. It came as no real surprise. Jack was almost fifteen, but his sister is still a dynamo at almost eighteen. Even when it's seemingly natural and orderly, life can be challenging...

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America's Talent Competition to Find the Next Dorothy (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2011 | 2:54 PM

Last summer I was offered the opportunity to host a talent search for a young girl to play a character named Dorothy in a show entitled WiZaRD. WiZaRD's "Dot" wasn't the standard Wizard of Oz Dorothy, rather, a character by the same name in a musical...

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LA Art Today: The Face of a Shiny Dusty City (VIDEO)

(13) Comments | Posted August 12, 2011 | 4:05 PM

Art, like language, morphs words and tones to describe the world. It can be a reflective, interpretive, literal, and/or emotional. Important art passes the litmus test of time. It remains in the pop culture lingo to mark the space from whence it came.

Postmodern art thumbs its nose at the...

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The Influence of the LA Streets on Art

(3) Comments | Posted July 22, 2011 | 8:16 PM

L.A. INFLUENTIAL -- a lively panel discussion on the influence of Southern California's subcultures, scenes, and scenery on contemporary art
Panelists: Chaz Bojorquez, Brad Howe, Dave Tourjé, John Van Hamersveld, Norton Wisdom, and Gary Wong, moderated by Mary Anna Pomonis.

Saturday, July 23, 2011 12:30-3:00 p.m.

GREGORY...

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David Tourje: La Aboriginal (Video)

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2011 | 5:31 PM


Growing up, the tar-scented, humid summers, followed by the blue collar cold winters of Camden, NJ left me wanting for more. From my first memory, I longed to live in the world of Los Angeles I saw on TV. I was convinced, just like Veda Pierce or Vincent Van Patten, that tennis courts, sex, cars, fame, and great hair would be mine for the asking if only mom and dad had sense enough to move to Southern California -- that was my far-away dream. I remember what the fantasy felt like, but I never thought about what I might have become -- until I met Dave Tourje.

Born just weeks apart from me, Dave Tourje is out-and-out honest Los Angeles, natural and bred. Dave was the Vietnam era too, but with palm trees, skateboards, gangs, banana seat bicycles and the Malibu surf. He didn't live my SoCal dream, but he could run into the stars at the grocery store. Life was not a film to Tourje - it wasn't to any of hippie-era tots. Violence was our smoke; we suffered PTSD second hand via the nightly news. We grew up frightened and confused. Something had to give - we either learned to express our confusion creatively, or we would self- destruct.

As haven from social insanity, Dave Tourje grew up studying fine art, traveling, educating himself in color, design, construction, and history.

While I concerned my young mind around impossible questions about assassinations, war, and civil unrest, Tourje looked to POP art for more esoteric answers about society and the future. Answers led to more questions, defining Dave's vision. Today his work is fluid, with an underbelly of innocence, ethnicity, Earthiness, and polished cleanliness.

Dave's works on Plexi are saturated with whimsy and truths that demand the spotlight. Reverse painted with grit and exuberance, they are as smooth as mirrors reflecting only what Dave forces us to see in ourselves. These works are a rhythmic mix of cartoon, words and color. A smile, and we fall into the looking glass of our generation as Dave sees it. Tourje's work is loud but always comfortable, palatable, and clear.

In the show at GWG opening Saturday at 7PM, is a collection, too, of Tourje's found-object assemblages -- his "Accidentials." Broken pieces of cars, furniture, metal, tools -- anything -- become synergistic and fresh. These works are some of my favorite -- they are at once nostalgic and boldly futuristic -- like some Planet of the Apes irony made by a guy who might be making dynamite by candlelight. This dry, raw work emotes a sense that the truth is behind us -- if we take too long to look we will lose the messages our ancestors left behind.

Art can be confusing but in this show the overall esthetic fills in the blanks. It just works. Tourje's work is brillant, brave, brash, and very evolutionary.

The show opens at Gregory Way Gallery in Beverly Hills tomorrow Saturday at 7PM. See www.GregoryWayGallery.com
...

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Wyatt Neumann: Easy Rider With a Camera (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2011 | 2:43 PM

With his latest exhibit Love Me When I Want You To, Photographer Wyatt Neumann has his West Coast debut tonight at the Gregory Way Gallery on South Beverly Drive near Gregory Way in Beverly Hills. His intense, multi-platform photos are sure to add a new dimension to this tony town,...

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Gustavo Dudamel Extends His LAPHIL Contract

(1) Comments | Posted February 3, 2011 | 4:28 PM

Los Angeles Philharmonic Association Chair David Bohnett and President Deborah Borda today announced the extension of Music Director Gustavo Dudamel's contract through the 2018/19 centennial season of the orchestra. His original contract as Music Director commenced in the 2009/10 season for a 5-year term. Dudamel announced his continuing commitment to...

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Brokeback Mountain Sears Its Brand Into the American West

(11) Comments | Posted December 10, 2010 | 3:06 PM


Five years ago when Brokeback Mountain was released it ripped across the boundaries of the American Western. Its timing was perfect -- the right's rhetoric against gay America was at a fever pitch...

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Hit and Run in the Beverly Hills Bermuda Triangle

(100) Comments | Posted November 20, 2010 | 7:59 PM

The brutal slaying of Sharon Tate in the summer of '69 sent Hollywood's elite and powerful into paranoia. Stars carried guns, bosses treated overworked and beleaguered employees with kid-gloved respect, and movie magnates left town for well-timed impromptu vacations. The days between the August 9 killings and the November arrest...

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1975: Clela Rorex Issues America's First Same-Sex Marriage License (VIDEO)

(2) Comments | Posted October 17, 2010 | 1:52 AM


As a child of the turbulent sixties, I was convinced time promised a better tomorrow. Through assassinations and a bloody war, bold Americans learned to speak up for their beliefs and work for...

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Rona Barrett: The Fame Monster Goes Senior (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted October 2, 2010 | 6:49 PM

For more than thirty years Rona Barrett reported entertainment. She was the "Perez Hilton/TMZ/ShowbizTonight" of her day. If it mattered she knew it. Gossip became news if it came to us through Rona. She had an uncanny direct-to-the camera delivery that catapulted her across ABC's line-up as the "go-to" source...

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"Jackson Pollock, I Know You're Out There"

(1) Comments | Posted September 10, 2010 | 10:47 PM

Long Island's infamous "Hamptons" have been home to myriads of artists. From Willem de Kooning, Larry Rivers, Fairfield Porter, Jackson Pollock, Ross Bleckner, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, the area has produced the greatest art of the past 80 years. Still today, discovering inspiring vistas both in real life and...

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Searching for the Next Dorothy (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted August 15, 2010 | 4:23 PM

Twenty-six years ago in a whirlwind, I traveled from New Jersey to relocate to California. In a reliable '72 Impala I crossed the country, convinced I'd find a better life by cashing in on the...

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Maria Conchita Alonso, Charlie Chaplin, and Walt Disney Take on a Dictator

(133) Comments | Posted July 2, 2010 | 11:46 PM


Last week's interview with Maria Conchita Alonso started a firestorm across the blogosphere - and now protesters have moved against theaters showing the controversial film. Oliver Stone's latest flick South of the Border...

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Maria Conchita Alonso on South of the Border (VIDEO)

(35) Comments | Posted June 26, 2010 | 10:30 PM


In the classic horror film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, we enter the world of a childhood star long after the lights have dimmed and the applause has faded. Played by Bette Davis,...

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