True or False with Ray Milland

On this edition of Ron’s Amazing Blog, we will explore the American icon, Ray Milland. We will do this with a good old-fashioned game of True or False. Can you guess the answer before you read it?

Ray Milland - Actor - 1905-1986Ray Milland was born on January 3rd somewhere between 1905 through 1910 in Neath, Wales. He migrated to the United States in 1930 to find work as an actor. He worked in movies as both director and actor until 1985. He won several awards for his craft including an Emmy and Oscar.

Q1:  Ray Milland’s real name was Alfred Reginald Jones?

True: Of all the name changes I have seen in a movie career this has to be most different from the original. Another source has his real name listed as Reginald Truscott-Jones. Also, no one can seem to agree on his birth year. So it is listed as 1905-1910. I guess records were not a big deal in early 20th century Wales.

Q2: Ray’s military career was as a Cavalryman?

True: Milland served in the Household Cavalry of the British Army, becoming a marksman, horseman, and airplane pilot. As an expert shot, he became a member of his company’s rifle team, winning many prestigious competitions, including the Bisley Match in England. While stationed in London, Milland met dancer Margot St. Leger, and through her was introduced to actress Estelle Brody. Brody queried Milland’s commitment to an army career, which led to Milland buying himself out of the forces in 1928 in the hope of becoming an actor. His first major role was in The Flying Scotsman (1929).

Q3: Milland worked as an assistant manager for a Shell Oil Gas Station?

True: Milland found life in Britain difficult with little regular work. Having no options left he moved to California and found a small flat on Sunset Boulevard. With little prospect of finding acting work, Milland took on several odd jobs that included working for a bookie. He decided to find regular employment and became the assistant manager of a Shell gas station on Sunset and Clark.

Q4: Ray Milland won his only Oscar for the classic movie Rich Man, Poor man (1976)

False: While he did win an Emmy for his work in Rich Man, Poor man his Oscar came for his portrayal of Don Birnam in The Lost Weekend (1945). This was considered to be the pinnacle of Milland’s career. Milland’s first concern with taking on the role was that he might overact and look amateurish. Milland quickly realized that he needed to understand alcoholism. Milland was allowed to spend a night in a psychiatric ward of Bellevue Hospital, where the patients were suffering from alcoholism and delirium tremens. He found the experience extremely disturbing and left at three in the morning. Milland spoke with the book’s author Charles R. Jackson to gain insight into the illness. His performance was so convincing, Milland was beleaguered for years by rumors that he actually was an alcoholic. The actor claimed he was not.

Q5: Ray Milland was considered quite the playboy in Hollywood with ties to even Grace Kelly.

False: While he did date Grace Kelly, Milland was married to Muriel Frances Weber from 1932 until his death in 1986. They had a son, Daniel and adopted a daughter. Milland became a naturalized American citizen in the 1940 and supported the Republican Party.

Q6: After his death, he instructed that his body be cremated and his ashes spread in Wales?

False: Almost true. He died at the age of 79 of lung cancer at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California, on 10 March 1986. In-line with his instructions, no funeral was held. His body was cremated, and its ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at Redondo Beach, California.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we will feature Ray Milland in an excellent Suspense story called, After The Movies. We also have two new listener stories from Jim and Melissa. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

April 26 – Throwback Thursday – RAS #325
May 03 – These Are Your Stories – RAS #326
May 10 – At The Movies – RAS #327
May 17 – Sci-Fi Week – RAS #328
May 24 – Mystery Week – RAS #329
May 31 – RAS #330 or HE #21

True or False with Maureen O’Hara

On this edition of Ron’s Amazing Blog, we tackle the amazing life of actress Maureen O’Hara. We will do this with a good old-fashioned game of True or False. Can you guess the answer before you read it?

Actress - Maureen O'HaraWe will start with this Truth: O’Hara’s birth name was Maureen FitzSimons. She was an Irish actress and singer. The famously red-headed O’Hara was known for playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines, often in westerns and adventure films. She worked on numerous occasions with director John Ford, longtime friend John Wayne, and was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Question 1 – Maureen was the only “Read-Head” in her family?

Oddly True: She states that she was “born into the most remarkable and eccentric family I could have possibly hoped for”. O’Hara was the second oldest of six children, and the only red-headed sibling in the family. Her father was in the clothing business and bought into Shamrock Rovers Football Club a team O’Hara supported from childhood.

Question 2 – She was quite the athlete and even played football?

True: O’Hara was so keen on Gaelic football that at one point she pressed her father to find a women’s team, and professed that Glenmalure Park, the home ground of the Rovers, became a second home. [Gaelic football is an Irish team sport. Players advance the football, a spherical leather ball, up the field with a combination of carrying, bouncing, kicking, hand-passing, and soloing. In the game, two types of scores are possible: points and goals.]

Question 3 – O’Hara had a black belt in Kung-fu and Taekwondo?

False:  But you may be impressed to know that she enjoyed fighting, and trained in judo as a teenager. She later admitted that she had a jealousy towards boys in her youth. She hated the freedom they had. She said, “They could steal apples from orchards and not get into trouble.”

Question 4 – O’Hara first audition went famously bad!

True: During the screen test, the studio adorned her in a “gold lamé dress with flapping sleeves like wings” and heavy makeup with an ornate hairstyle, which she deemed to be far from satisfactory. O’Hara detested the audition, during which she had to walk in and pick up a telephone. She recalled thinking to herself, “My God, get me back to the Abbey”. The abbey is where she trained to act in her youth.

Question 5 – She did quite a few bit parts until had her first major role in 1939 with John Ford?

False: Well, that is almost true. O’Hara’s first major film role was that of Mary Yellen in the film, Jamaica Inn (1939). It was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.  O’Hara portrayed the innkeeper’s niece, an orphan who goes to live with her aunt and uncle at a Cornish tavern.

Question 6 – O’Hara became known as the “Queen of Technicolor”?

True: She professed to dislike the filming process as it required special cameras and intense light which burned her eyes, giving her klieg eye. She believed that the nickname negatively affected her career, as most people viewed her solely as a beauty who looked good on film rather than as a talented actress. [ Klieg Eye – a condition marked by conjunctivitis and watering of the eyes resulting from excessive exposure to intense light.]

Question 7 – She was a superstar in every way!

True: As Ireland’s first Hollywood superstar, O’Hara paved the way for a future generation of actresses seeking their own voice. With her mahogany hair and her whip-smart delivery of lines, she created a character prototype that seemed to define her country of origin. She was loved for her naturalness and lack of the diva quality. She placed great emphasis on work ethic and punctuality. Insisting on doing her own stunts, O’Hara became so prone to injuries that her colleagues remarked that she should have been awarded the Purple Heart. Maureen O’Hara passed away peacefully on October 25th, 2015.

This Week’s Podcast:

The RAS is now on the Amazon EchoOn the podcast this week with will feature Maureen O’Hara and the date July 25th, 1943. Come and see how we will do this! You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

March 29 – The King of Bones and Ashes – RAS #321
April 05 – The Jovian Jest – RAS #322
April 12 – The White Rose Murders – RAS #323
April 19 – Science Fiction Week – RAS #324
April 26 – Listener Story Week – RAS #325

True or False with Alan Ladd

Alan Ladd - ActorOur target of this truth versus fiction exercise is known for being a Hollywood hunk, but that was not always the case. Who is our subject? It is Alan Ladd.  Alan Walbridge Ladd was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the only child of an actress and a freelance accountant. His father died when he was four and that left his mother in a bit of a pickle. How to raise a son when you have no income?

Q1 – While playing with matches he burnt down his apartment?

True – While playing with matches as a child, he burned down the apartment where he and his mother lived. By the time he was eight he had jobs picking fruit, delivering newspapers and sweeping floors. Their poverty also led to his suffering from malnutrition-related stomach ailments.

Q2 – With few opportunities available to him, Ladd opened his own restaurant?

True – Ladd opened a hamburger shop after graduating high school called Tiny’s Patio; “Tiny” had been a nickname given to him while in school due to his height.

Q3 – Ladd’s army career was cut short?

True – He was drafted in January 1943 and discharged in November with an ulcer and double hernia.

Q3 – Hollywood recognized his greatness right away and immediately gave him starring roles!

False –  His introduction to the entertainment industry included working as a grip for Warner Brothers and as a faceless reporter in the Orson Welles classic Citizen Kane. Throughout the 1940s his tough-guy roles packed audiences into theaters and he was one of the very few males whose cover photos sold movie magazines. After making a name for himself as a screen bad guy, he took on what proved to be his best-remembered role in the 1953 classic Shane.

Q4 – Despite his success, Alan Ladd was never considered one of the Hollywood Elite.

False – Ladd was among the top money-making stars in 1947, 1953 and 1954. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and two golden globe awards. I think that qualifies him for Hollywood elite.

Q4 – Alan Ladd died in 1964 from suicide.

False – In November 1962 he was found unconscious lying down with a bullet wound near his heart, a probable suicide attempt. In January 1964 he was found dead, apparently due to an accidental combination of alcohol and sedatives.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the show, we have a Suspense story starring Alan Ladd.  We also, debut a brand new segment called, Is it true? You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer radio? We are heard every Saturday night at 6:00 pm (EST). Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

February 01 – Who is Helen Huber? – (RAS313)
February 08 – The Bear Trap – (RAS314)
February 15 – Suspense Episode – (RAS315)
February 22 – (HE #20 or RAS316)

True or False with Ron’s Amazing Stories

Help WantedI have received a number of questions and comments and the most of you want to know two things: How are you doing? and How Can I help?.  I thought I would answer that question in a fun and exciting way (at least for me). Let’s play True or False with Ron’s Amazing Stories.

Q1 – Ron is down in bed suffering from Sciatica and is not able to walk.

False – I am up and around suffering sciatica. I don’t walk well, but the only way to get the offending nerve back into place is to stretch and walk a bit every day. I am getting better and little things like getting up in the morning is not a traumatic event. Thanks for all your comments and warm thoughts. They mean a lot.

Q2 – There is nothing you can do to help Ron’s Amazing Stories!

False – Very false, untrue even! You can help out the show by sending me your stories! Lately, I have seen a fall off in submitted tales. So if you have a story, I want to read it on the show, or better yet have you come on and tell it yourself. You can find out more about how I deal with your stories on a blog I wrote called Telling Our Stories.

Q3 –  I should submit reviews and comments about the shows I hear.

True – Yes you should! Reviews and comments on Ron’s Amazing Stories go a long way to get new listeners. You can do this in many ways: First, you can head to our Facebook Fan Page and make comments there. Also, leave reviews on the service you use to listen to the show. For example, if you use iTunes it takes just a second to click on the stars and leave a quick comment. Most services make it just as easy and it gets the job done. So, please consider doing a review today. It is very much appreciated.

Q4 – Ron’s does not take donations!

False – Heck ya I take donations to the show! All of the money donated goes directly into the support costs. These include server, website, software, and hardware costs. I currently pay these myself and any help would never be turned down. Ron’s Amazing Stories makes no profit. If I did I could not bring you some of the content that I do.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the show, we have a supernatural tale from Suspense that you will not see the end coming. Also, we have something special that involves baseball and Shakespeare. So come check it out! You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

November 02 – David Larsen’s Marionette (HE #19)
November 09 – Old Rambling House (RAS #303)
November 16 – Suspense Week – (RAS #304)
November 23 – Thanksgiving Podcast Replay
November 30 – (RAS #305)

True or False with Edmund O’Brien

It is detective week here on Ron’s Amazing Stories. While our target of this truth versus fiction is actually known for being a character actor, he also did his fair amount of detection. Who is our subject this time? It is Edmond O’Brien. Let’s get started.

Edmund O'Brien 1950sHe was one of the most-respected character actors in American cinema. Born in New York City, The Bronx, O’Brien learned the craft of performance as a magician?

True – O’Brien reportedly was tutored by neighbor Harry Houdini. Also, he worked with another magician, Orson Welles, in the Mercury Theater’s production of “Julius Caesar”, appearing as “Mark Antony”. He took part in student theatrics in high school and majored in drama at Columbia University.

The hard boiled actor had his big break on Broadway?

True – He made his Broadway debut at the age of 21 in 1936. Later that year, played the part of, “The Gravedigger” in the legendary production of “Hamlet” starring Shakespearean actor John Gielgud. Four years later, he would play “Mercutio” opposite Laurence Olivier in his 1940 Broadway production of “Romeo & Juliet”. That is some very exclusive company!

With all of his great acting he never won Oscar, which is always true of character actors?

False – O’Brien won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Barefoot Contessa (1954) and also received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as a drunken senator who ferrets out an attempted coup d’etat in Seven Days in May (1964).

O’Brien never served in the military?

False – During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Force. He also and appeared in the Air Force Broadway play Winged Victory by Moss Hart. He appeared alongside Red Buttons, Karl Malden, Kevin McCarthy, Gary Merrill, Barry Nelson, and Martin Ritt. He toured in the production for two years, and after returning from his wartime service with the Army Air Force built up a distinguished career as a supporting actor in A-list films.

O’Brien learn the best rule of performing from James Cagney?

TrueJames Cagney once said that he had only one rule, he would tap his heart and he would say, “Play it from here, kid.” O’Brien always did and he believed it’s the best rule for any performer. He could play a scene 90 ways and never repeat himself. He did this to keep himself fresh. [Writer’s Note: I try to do this with every podcast produce]

That is it for this this true a false session. I hope you enjoyed learning about one of America’s greats in Edmond O’Brien.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we have a scary story about a shadow, a archaeologist gets into trouble and of course we continue with our Five Minute Mysteries. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

August 31 – Rope Of Sand – (RAS297)
September 07 – Memory Lane #1
September 14 – The Potter’s Of Frisk – RAS298
September 21 – Detective Week – RAS299
September 28 –  
October 05 – Old Time Horror W/Jim Harold – (RAS300)