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Posts Tagged ‘William Holden’

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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Travel Writing

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Matt Weiner Revisits the Casting of Don Draper

Mad Men creator Matt Weiner was on Dennis Miller’s radio show today, basking in the after-glow of Sunday’s fifth season debut. The AMC series is Miller’s favorite program, and at one point the conversation drifted to the casting of Jon Hamm as Don Draper.

Weiner recalled that at the time of the pilot, the Hollywood trend was for anti-leading men protagonists such as Seth Rogen, and that Hamm was struggling to gain traction. When asked who he originally envisioned as Draper, Weiner told Miller he appropriately reached way back:

“When my casting director asked me who I wanted for the role, I was like, ‘Honestly, I’ve narrowed it down to two people – get me William Holden or James Garner…’ They’re like, ‘You can’t say that.’”

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The Stefanie Powers Picture Gets Smaller

In what has to rank as one of the year’s strangest bits of personal juxtaposition, actress Stefanie Powers is busy this week promoting a new book about her nine-year affair with William Holden just a few months after starring as Norma Desmond in an east coast stage production of Sunset Boulevard.

The actress tells LA Times classic film beat writer Susan King that the inspiration for her November 2nd autobiography From the Hart was sparked last year by the death of her mother and her own, since cured cancer diagnosis. When she touches on another tangential reason for the book, it’s hard – at least for us – not to think of the way Holden’s character famously speaks from beyond a watery grave at the beginning of the 1950 Billy Wilder film.

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