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Posts Tagged ‘Gloria Swanson’

Posthumously, Billy Wilder Authors a Much More Joyous Sunset Blvd. Tale

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is located at 4650 Sunset Boulevard, eight and a half miles east of Norma Desmond‘s fictitious, haunted lair. Billy Wilder‘s timeless Tinseltown tale was made for around $1.75 million and now, all these years later, the filmmaker together with his late wife Audrey has reached out from beyond the grave. Six-fold.

From the hospital announcement:

Stars of the silver screen have had a huge impact on our hearts and minds for decades and at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles we are grateful when Hollywood stars partner with us to benefit the health of our patients.

This year, our hospital received a very special Christmas gift when the trust of Billy and Audrey Wilder sent an $11 million gift to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles that will support the work of our division of Neurosurgery, the Neuro-oncology program and the division of Rheumatology while still leaving money left over to provide for the under and unreimbursed care for children we provide each year.

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Jovial LA Times Wine Critic Passes Away

Long before the 1985 debut of Robert M. Parker‘s newsletter, LA Times wine critic Lawrence Robert Balzer launched a similar subscription-based corkage guide in 1970. The guide published for 14 years and is just one of this esteemed journalist’s many accomplishments.

Balzer, age 99, died of natural causes on December 1 in Orange. In addition to reviewing wines for the paper from 1964 to 1995, he authored a dozen books and taught up until a few years ago several annual wine-tasting courses aboard the Queen Mary. Per the LA Times obit, it sounds like the classes were a lot of fun:

In between blind tastings and presentations by well-known winemakers, he regaled students with stories, such as the time his trunks came off while swimming in the Russian River with a number of wine industry leaders, or how he talked Sunset Boulevard leading lady and longtime friend Gloria Swanson out of retirement to play the strangely powerful matriarch of a vineyard with a colony of deadly bees in the 1972 TV movie Killer Bees.

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