Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Rat Pack on the Walk of Fame

If you visit Hollywood, you can't miss the Hollywood Walk of Fame, because the sidewalk stars honoring entertainment personalities cover the downtown area.  In all, over 2400 stars have been dedicated to both performers and behind the scenes honorees.  And among them, are sidewalk stars honoring members of the Rat Pack. . .with one exception.

Stars have been awarded in the categories of motion pictures, television, radio, recording, and live performance.  The most honored celebrity of them all is Gene Autry, who has stars in all five categories.

In Hollywood, you'll find four stars on the sidewalks for singer Tony Martin, for motion pictures, TV, radio, and recording.

When it comes to the Rat Pack, both Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are honored with three stars each, in the categories of motion pictures, recording and TV.  Sammy Davis Jr. is represented with one star, for recording, and Peter Lawford is there with a star for TV.

Rat Pack friend Marilyn Monroe is on the Walk of Fame with a star for motion pictures, and Frank's daughter Nancy has her own star, for recording.

The one Rack Pack omission:  Comedian Joey Bishop, who had his own successful talk show and sitcom on TV, and a long career in live performance.  Despite that, Joey is not present on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.  But then for that matter, also missing is the co-creator and star of what many people consider the best TV comedy series of all time.  And that would be Jerry Seinfeld.

This article courtesy of the Frank Sinatra tribute site,

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Marilyn Monroe and the Rat Pack

If there was a Rat Pack sex symbol, it would have to be Marilyn Monroe, who was closely associated with the group.  She was present for Las Vegas Rat Pack shows, and had a close friendship with Frank Sinatra, which some people will say was actually much more than a friendship.  At one point, Frank gave Marilyn a small white Poodle to replace the dog she lost in her divorce from Arthur Miller.  For laughs, Marilyn named the dog Maf, which was short for Mafia.  There probably weren't a lot of people who were close enough to Frank to pull that off. 

It was Rat Pack member Peter Lawford who asked Marilyn to sing Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy, which became one of the most memorable moments of Marilyn's life and her place in history.

And the Rat Pack's Dean Martin was signed to co-star with Marilyn in a film called Something's Got To Give.  But when Marilyn was dismissed from the project, Dean refused to go forward with it with a new co-star (actress Lee Remick), and he withdrew from the production.  The film was later completed as Move Over Darling, starring James Garner and Doris Day.

Toward her untimely end, Marilyn's relationship with Frank had become strong, around the time she was filming The Misfits.  In fact, the cast of the film was invited by Frank to see him perform at the Cal-Neva Lodge in Lake Tahoe, in which he had invested.  And it's there, that Marilyn was said to spend one of  the last weekends of her life, a life that ended at the tender age of 36. 

Today, a tribute to Marilyn is often featured in Rat Pack tributes and Rat Pack impersonator shows, including a Rat Pack related show featuring Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe impersonators.