Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Aunt Bee, or Not Aunt Bee?

Gloria Dehaven

A photo has circulated on various "when they were young" and "urban legends" sites with the claim that it's a young, hot and pouty "Francis Bavier", aka "Aunt Bea" of The Andy Griffith Show. The caption claims the photo is from "around 1936", but It's actually a publicity still of actress Gloria DeHaven from 1949 for the film Yes Sir, That's My Baby which co-starred Donald O'Connor.

Dehaven, born in 1925 was 24 when the photo was taken. Frances Bavier, born in 1902, would have been 47 in 1949 and never posed for any "Cheesecake" photos. When she was younger she was a Broadway stage actress:

 Another clue that the claim is bogus: the real spelling of Bavier's first
name is "Frances", not "Francis", and her beloved character's name on
the show was spelled Bee, not Bea, (a common mistake), as captioned
with the photo:
Francis Bavier – better known as Aunt Bea on the Andy Griffith Show.
(Photo taken around 1936)

 Some publicity photos of Gloria DeHaven from Yes Sir, That's My Baby:


a scene with Donald O'Connor

and the film's poster (featuring BOOPKINS):

 Here's a photo of the younger Frances Bavier...

and another:

If you are looking for Aunt Bee posed in a sexy two-piece bathing
 suit, you've come to the right place:

my portrait of "TV Babe" Aunt Bee, originally
 published in TV GUIDE

Thanks to Richard Samson

Monday, February 25, 2013

Portrait of Charles Bukowski

 The Laureate of American lowlife                                                                  
Charles Bukowski was born in Germany in 1920, the only child of an American soldier and a German mother. At the age of three, he came with his family to the United States and grew up in Los Angeles. He attended Los Angeles City College from 1939 to 1941, then left school and moved to New York City to become a writer. His lack of publishing success at this time caused him to give up writing in 1946 and spurred a ten-year stint of heavy drinking. After he developed a bleeding ulcer, he decided to take up writing again. He worked a wide range of jobs to support his writing, including dishwasher, truck driver and loader, mail carrier, guard, gas station attendant, stock boy, warehouse worker, shipping clerk, post office clerk, parking lot attendant, Red Cross orderly, and elevator operator. He also worked in a dog biscuit factory, a slaughterhouse, a cake and cookie factory, and he hung posters in New York City subways.
Portrait of author Charles Bukowski, now available as a large (very) limited edition print, can be ordered here:
Bukowski published his first story when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. His first book of poetry was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose, including Pulp (Black Sparrow, 1994), Screams from the Balcony: Selected Letters 1960-1970 (1993), and The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992). He died of leukemia in San Pedro in 1994.

 This is my newly completed portrait of Charles Bukowski, who I never met, although I illustrated a series of his short stories ("Notes of a Dirty Old Man") for High Times magazine in 1993 when he had (briefly) become a regular contributer. (Robert Crumb has also drawn Bukowski and his stories on numerous occasions) Bukowski was very pleased with my depictions of his sad characters and sent this letter to the editor, Larry "Ratso" Sloman:
This is the artwork for the story he's referring to, "There's No Business like Show Business",
from the April 1983 issue of High Times:

                                                                            Bukowski biography notes via Good Reads 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Lost Drawings of George Wachsteter Auction

David Brinkley by
George Wachsteter

On March 24, the Thomaston Place Auction Galleries in Thomaston Maine will host a one-day auction featuring "The Lost Drawings of George Wachsteter", a mind-boggling collection of original art spanning four decades from the estate of Wachsteter, at one time one of the most celebrated caricaturists of the mid-twentieth century,  now all but virtually forgotten:


Thanks to the efforts of a few longtime admirers of his incredible art, among them Leonard Maltin, Mike Lynch, yours truly and the caricaturist Zach Trenholm, who made a pilgrimage to Elmhurst Queens to visit the aging and forgotten Wachsteter in his final years,  George Wachsteter's work will receive the attention and inevitable revival it so richly deserves, (and hopefully an anthology). This is my blog tribute to Wachsteter from 2012:

I'm showing just a sampling here (in no particular order) of some of the original Wachsteter caricatures and illustrations that will to be auctioned on the 24th. Full descriptions, including names, dates, and publications, as well as rough art and printed covers can be found on the auction catalog site:

The majority of work represented in the auction was created for the weekly cover of the New York Journal-American Pictorial TV section. When the Journal- American ceased publication in the late sixties and Wachsteters vision faltered, his career virtually came to a halt.

Looking at his work, you might assume that George Wachsterer was perhaps greatly influenced by the legendary Al Hirschfeld, who Wachsteter frequently alternated with at the New York Times in the forties, but consider that they were each contemporaries and both quite celebrated in their day. They were also both clearly influenced by the great caricaturist Miguel Covarrubias. Enjoy!

My thanks to Martin Gostanian
4 Broadway composers

Eddie Cantor, The Colgate Comedy Hour
4 for Texas

What's My Line?

Walter Brennan/The Real McCoys
Five TV Comedians

1950 Broadway directors

All-Star review

The Ann Sothern show

Broadway Playwrights, 1949

Bells are Ringing

Milton Berle, Happy/Sad

Jack Benny, Milton Berle

Jackpot Bowling with Milton Berle

the Milton Berle show

Bing Crosby

Ray Bolger

Ray Bolger

Jay North, Boris Karloff

George Burns looks at comedy

Captain Kangaroo

Car 54 Where Are You?

Art Carney

Johnny Carson

Carson & NBC Peacock

Danny Kaye

David Brinkley

1949 poster design

Dick Clark

Dizzy Dean

Don Amache

the Donna Reed Show

the Dick Van Dyke Show

Ed Sullivan, Ringmaster

Ed Sullivan at Freedomland

Ed Wynn

Joe E. Brown

Joe E. Brown

George S. Kaufman

Eric Blore

Bob Hope

Lowell Thomas

Ernie Ford as George Washington

Ernie Ford Paintings

Ernie Ford, Charlie Weaver

Fanny Brice

Allen Funt

Reggie Van Gleason

Arthur Godfrey

"Hit the Deck" at the Jones Beach theatre

The Alfred Hitchcock Show

Sid Caesar/Holiday on Wheels

Hugh Downs

Petticoat Junction

Jerry Lewis watercolor

Jerry Lewis, Garry Moore

Jerry Van Dyke

Jimmy Stewart

1964 Democratic convention with LBJ

My Little Margie

My Little Margie

Lucy/Desi Comedy Hour with Tallulah Bankhead

The Lucy Show

Lunt & Fontanne

cast of It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

cast of "Uncle Willie" (with Menasha Skulnik)

The Munsters

My Favorite Martian

The NBC All-Star Review

Walter Matthau, Art Carney, "The Odd Couple"

Olson & Johnson

Oscar Levant

1946 Radio Stars

Red Buttons

Rudy Vallee

Sammy Kaye

The Defenders

"The Great Gleason Express"

The Jackie Gleason Show

Tom Ewell

Wagon Train

Walter Pigeon

Wayne & Shuster

Will Rogers

How to be a Jewish Mother

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Comp art for the NBC Book of Stars