Friday, September 29, 2017

Somewhere Over the Rainbow:: Using Colour Theory In Your Home

The following infographic is a guide to using colour in your home. Most of us have a favourite colour, but do we know what it signifies.  Do we know why we choose certain colours when we decorate a room?  There is a science behind our emotional attachment to a colour and it involves various elements such as art history, design, physiology, ethics, human anatomy, optics and architecture.  This colour theory guide will provide you with some insight on the science behind colour and how you can can use that knowledge to decorate your home.  I hope that you will find it useful and informative.

- Joanne

 The Colour Theory Guide by The Rug Seller
The Colour Theory Guide by The Rug Seller by The Rug Seller

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Whatever happened to Joanne Woodward?

Oscar-winning actress and widow of Hollywood legend Paul Newman - that's Joanne Woodward. Sadly, however, Joanne can't recall the many years she shared with her late husband, who died of lung cancer in 2008.  Now 87 years old, Woodward suffers from Alzheimer's disease (Ironically, she won an Emmy Award for her portrayal of an Alzheimer's patient in the 1985 television movie Do You Remember Love).

Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward was born in Thomasville, Georgia on February 27, 1930, the daughter of Elinor (née Trimmier) and Wade Woodward, an administrator in the Thomasville school system. Thomasville is an ordinary small town in southern Georgia, near the Florida border and Joanne came into the world in the midst of the Great Depression.  She had an older brother, also named Wade.  Joanne's  mother, a movie buff, named her after Joan Crawford, using the Southern pronunciation of the name - "Joanne."  Joanne  shared Elinor's passion for movies and mother and daughter enjoyed viewing films together.

In the late 1930s, the Woodward family moved to Marietta. Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.  Joanne's father became a travelling salesman and her mother worked for  Bell Aircraft Corporation (known as Bell Bomber), which was flourishing during World War II.

Joanne and her mother delighted in the movie Wuthering Heights, starring Laurence Olivier.  In 1939, Elinor brought her daughter to the premiere of Gone with the Wind in Atlanta.  The nine-year-old dashed into a limousine carrying Olivier and Vivien Leigh, the film's star (Olivier and Leigh married in 1940) and promptly sat on the great actor's knee.  Years later, when Joanne worked with Sir Laurence in the 1977 TV version of Come Back, Little Sheba, she mentioned the incident to him and he remembered it.

As a teenager, Joanne entered and won a number of beauty contests, although acting was always her primary passion.  Her father, who eventually became vice president of publisher Charles Scribner's Sons, needed convincing that a career in acting was the right path for his daughter.

Joanne's parents divorced and the family moved to Greenville, South Carolina in 1945.  In Greenville, Joanne began performing at the local theatre, the Greenville Little Theatre, where she received favourable reviews.  She played Laura Wingfield in a production of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie.

When Joanne graduated from Greenville High School in 1947, her drama teacher encouraged her to pursue an acting career in New York City.  Her father, however, wanted her to have a college education.  Deferring to his wishes,  she enrolled at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and and majored in drama.  She left the university after two years, returning home in 1949.

Joanne eventually went to New York, where she joined The Actors' Studio and Neighborhood Playhouse.  She studied with Sanford Meisner, one of greatest American acting coach's of the 20th century.  Meisner was adamant that Joanne must lose her Southern drawl.  As it turned out, however, she portrayed Southern women in many of her major roles.

Joanne made her first television appearance in a 1952 episode of Robert Montgomery Presents called "Penny."  In the early to mid-1950s, she had roles in TV anthologies such as Good Year PlayhouseThe Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, The Ford Television Theatre and Lux Video Theatre and Ponds Theater.

In 1953, Joanne was introduced to fellow actor Paul Newman by Maynard Morris, the agent who represented them both.  The two were later cast in the New York production of The Picnic, a play by William Inge.  Woodward was an understudy and Newman had a minor role in the production as a renegade who wreaks havoc among the woman of a small Kansas town.  The  pair got to know each other during rehearsals.   

Paul and Joanne gradually fell in love.  In his 2009 biography, Paul Newman: A Life, film critic Shawn Levy quotes Woodward as saying, "Paul and I were good friends before we were lovers. We really liked each other. We could talk to each other, we could tell each other anything without fear of ridicule or rejection. There was trust."

They seemed perfect for each other. Unfortunately, however, there was one huge fly in the ointment. Paul was married to Jacqueline "Jackie" Witte, a stage actress, whom he wed on December 27, 1949. Paul and Jackie had three children, a son named Scott Newman (born September 23, 1950) and two daughters, Susan Kendall Newman (born February 21, 1953) and Stephanie Newman (born 1954). Jackie gave up acting when she had the children.

Jackie Witte

In his biography of Paul Newman, author Shawn Levy writes about "a friend" who commented that that Paul and Joanne's romance was "more of an ordeal than a courtship. Paul was torn between his loyalty to his children and honesty with his feelings for Joanne. And Joanne, who was friendly with Jackie, suffered torments at finding herself in the role of a home-wrecker."  According to Levy, Paul said he would carry the guilt with him forever.

In the mid-1950s, Joanne moved back and forth between New York and California.  In 1955, she was cast in her first major Hollywood film role, a post-Civil War Western entitled Count Three and Pray. By 1957, Joanne had starred in two huge hits for 20th Century Fox, The Three Faces of Eve and No Down Payment.  At the age of 27, she was Hollywood's newest star. Meanwhile, Paul's career was also on the rise and his work increasingly brought him to Tinseltown, where Joanne was filming The Three Face of Eve, in which she portrayed a woman with three different personalities - a Southern housewife, a vixen and an ordinary young woman.

The Three Faces of Eve made Joanne a mega star.  By the time she and Paul were cast in a film called The Long Hot Summer, both their acting careers and their love affair had bloomed.  They spent a couple of months together on location in Louisiana.  The film made them Hollywood's hottest couple and Jackie, who had been reluctant to divorce Paul, finally agreed to let him go.

On January 29, 1958, soon after his divorce was finalized, Joanne Woodward married Paul Newman in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Their wedding reception was held at El Rancho hotel-casino.  They then flew to London, England for their honeymoon.  On April 8, 1959. Joanne gave birth to the couple's first child, Elinor Teresa "Nell" Newman, who was named after Joanne and Paul's mothers.  Two more daughters followed: Melissa Steward "Lissy" Newman, (born September 17, 1961) and Claire Olivia "Clea" Newman (born April 21, 1965).

Woodward and Newman in their heyday

On March 26, 1958, Joanne Woodward received an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her outstanding performance in The Three Faces of Eve.  She wore a handmade emerald green satin gown and John Wayne presented her with her Oscar.

Joanne Woodwrd with her Oscar in 1958

In 1969, Joanne was again nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in the 1968 film Rachel, Rachel.  The film, directed by Paul Newman, was based on a by a Margaret Laurence novel called A Jest of God.and Joanne won high praise for her portrayal of Rachel Cameron, a conflicted 30-something school teacher who lived with her mother.

Joanne also starred as Beatrice, an eccentric, widowed mother of two daughters in 1972's The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.  The film, based on the Pullizer Prize-winning play by Paul Zindel, was directed by Paul Newman.

In 1974, Joanne received her third Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance as Rita Walden, a depressed New York housewife, in the film Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams.  In 1976, Woodward appeared in Sybil, a two-part TV mini series based on the true story of a young woman whose abusive childhood caused her to develop 16 different personalities.  Joanne played Dr. Cornelia Wibur, the psychologist who diagnosed Sybil (Sally Field),

On November 20, 1978, tragedy struck the Newman family when Paul's only son, Scott Newman, died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 28.  Scott, an actor, was best known for his performances in The Towering Inferno (1974) and Breakheart Pass (1975).  He died in Los Angeles of a barbiturate overdose.  

Scott Newman
By the late 1970s, Joanne had largely stopped performing in feature films and had begun to appear more often on television.  She appeared in several TV movies such as Come Back, Little Sheba (1977), See How She Runs (1978), A Christmas to Remember (1978), The Streets of L.A. (1979)

In the early 1980s, Joanne continued to perform in various television films such as The Shadow Box (1980), Crisis at Central High, (1981) and Passions (1984).  In the late 1980s, Joanne returned to college to complete her degree.  In 1990, along with daughter Claire, she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York  Paul Newman delivered the commencement address.

In 1991, Joanne received her fourth Academy Award nomination Best Actress in Leading Role for her performance in Mr. & Mrs. Bridge.  Woodward and Newman starred in the 1990 Merchant Ivory film with Joanne playing India Bridge, alongside Paul, who played her husband, Walter Bridge, the conservative patriarch of an upper-class World War II family.

In the year 2000, Joanne persuaded Paul to join in her for a one-week run in A.R. Gurney's play Ancestral Voices.  From 2001 to 2005, Woodward served as artistic director of the Westpoint County Playhouse.

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward made their home in Westport, Connecticut, not in the Los Angeles area.  Back in 1957, Joanne told Hollywood columnist Sheilah Graham that she didn't dislike Hollywood but she'd "never become adjusted to it."  She said, "Hollywood as a small town, like the one where I was born.  I spent all my life trying to get away from it.  Everything in Hollywood is small town.  Everyone knows everyone's business."

In 2005, Joanne and Paul starred in Empire Falls, HBO's adaptation of Richard Russo's best-selling novel.  This highly acclaimed mini-series won a number of awards, including Prime Time Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.  It was Paul Newman's final onscreen role and the last time he acted with Joanne.  He died of lung cancer in 2008 at the age of 83.


* Joanne Woodward's brother, Wade, worked for the Bell Bomber and later became an architect.

*  In February of 1960, Joanne Woodward received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Although she is often cited as the first to receive a star on the famed walk, there really was  no "first" recipient.  The individual stars were installed as an ongoing project and there were no individual ceremonies.  Joanne, however, was the first to pose with her star for photographers.

- Joanne

Monday, September 25, 2017

Singer Gary Lewis: Jerry Lewis left his son out of his will

It would be difficult to find a rock & roll star - and that was what he was for two years in the mid-'60s - less likely than Gary Lewis, or a less probable chart-topping act than Gary Lewis & the Playboys. Lewis himself was possessed of a limited singing range and didn't have what could be considered good looks, yet with a lot of help he managed to make some exceptionally good (and good-selling) records out of Los Angeles, in the midst of the British Invasion, and teenagers loved him. 

- Bruce Eder, Ravi
From Billboad website

Gary Lewis is the eldest child of the late comedian Jerry Lewis and his first wife, singer Patti Palmer. The legendary comic passed away on August 20, 2017 of  heart failure at the age of 91.  His son Gary, a musician, led the popular 1960s band, Gary Lewis & the Playboys.

Gary Harold Lee Levitch (Jerry Lewis' real last name was Levitch) was born on July 31, 1946 in Los Angeles, California.  At the time, his mother, Patti, sang with the Ted Fio Rito Orchestra.  She and Jerry Lewis married in 1945, formally separated in 1980 and divorced in 1983.  They had six sons: Gary, Ronald Steven "Ronnie" Lewis, Anthony Joseph Lewis, Christopher Joseph Lewis, Scott Anthony Lewis and Joseph Lewis.  Joseph, their youngest son, died of a drug overdose in 2009 at the age of 45.

Patti Palmer: photo credit: crown022002

Jerry, Patti and sons 

Patti had intended to name her firstborn "Cary," after actor Cary Grant.  However, due to some kind of clerical error, he ended up being called "Gary."  During the 1950s, Gary Lewis spent his pre-teen years in Las Vegas, Nevada, where his father and Dean Martin performed at the Sands Hotel.   “I was a cocky, rich kid,” Lewis said in a 2007 telephone interview with Anthony Violanti for the Ocola Star Banner.  “I tried to listen and learn how to handle things from my father but I had to find out the hard way. I had some tough times but things worked out.”

In 1960, Gary was gifted with a set of drums for his 14th birthday.  Four years later, he formed a band named Gary and the Playboys with four friends: David Costell, David Walker and Al Ramsey on guitar and John West on keyboard.  At first, Gary was the drummer and guitarist Dave Walker was the lead singer.  When two of the band members turned up late for rehearsal one day, Gary jokingly labelled them "Playboys." That was the origin of the group's name.

In 1964, Gary's band performed at Disneyland without disclosing that Gary was the son of Jerry Lewis.  Record producer Snuff Garrett, although a neighbour of the Lewis family, was not aware of this until he was tipped off by a mutual friend, conductor Lou Brown.  After listening to the band, Garrett believed that using Gary's famous last name, might sell records.  He persuaded them to change their name to Gary Lewis & the Playboys and brought them into a recording studio.  He also employed top musicians, such as Leon Russell, to play on Lewis’ records.

In the mid-1960s, Gary Lewis & the Playboys had a huge hit with a song called "This Diamond Ring."  On February 20, 1965, "This Diamond Ring" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Lewis’ group had a string of other hits in 1965 and 1966, including "Green Grass,” “Count Me In” and “Same Your Heart For Me."  The band also had a big hit with a song called “Everybody Loves A Clown,” which Gary wrote for his father.  In an interview with Villages-News, Gary revealed that the song was written just for his father and he didn’t intend to record it at first.  “I was writing the song as a gift for my father on his birthday,” Lewis explained. “But it sounded so good, I thought it could be a hit.  So I recorded it. I forgot what I gave my father that year for his birthday. Maybe it was a bowling ball.”

Gary Lewis & the Playboys

Gary Lewis & the Playboys had a total of eight gold singles and four gold albums.  At the peak of their popularity, they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, American Bandstand, Shindig!, The Mike Douglas Show and The Tonight Show . . .  Starring Johnny Carson.  At the time of British Invasion, however, they failed to make an impact in Britain.

By the end of 1965, only Gary Lewis and John West remained from the original band members. Later band members included Tommy Tripplehorn (father of actress Jeanne Tripplehorn,, Carl Radle, who died 1980), Jimmy Karstein, Randy Ruff, Pete Vrains, Bob Simpson, Adolph Zeugner, Les John, Wayne Bruno, and Dave Gonzalez.

Gary Lewis took a break from his career when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1967.  He served during the time of the Vietnam War and was posted overseas with the Eighth Army in Seoul, South Korea. When he returned to civilian life in 1968, he resumed recording and reached the top 40 for the last time with a top 20 remake Bryan Hyland's Sealed With A Kiss.  The group, however was unable to recover its earlier momentum and Gary soon discovered that music tastes had changed during his short stint overseas.  In a July 27, 1992 "Where are they Now?" interview with People magazine, Gary described his unhappy situation: “When I realized there was no market for [my music], I started hitting the bottle hard." (He entered a rehab program around 1987).

In that 1992 interview with People, Gary admitted that he hadn't spoken to his dad "since Father's Day."  "It’s been on and off all the time," he said, "Just one of those things. I know how he is.  I try to give him a break."

In the late 1960s, according to Villages-News, Gary Lewis had a "falling out" with his father.  They apparently reconciled and Gary continued to appear with his father and perform at the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon. Gary, however, later became involved in a situation that jeopardized his relationship with his famous father.  In 2009, the pop singer was back in the headlines after agreeing to submit to a  DNA test on behalf of a woman who believed she was the biological daughter of Jerry Lewis (The results indicated an 88.7 percent probability that the woman, Suzan Minoret, who goes by Suzan Lewis, is related to Gary Lewis).

In March of 2009, Gary told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he was willing to take the DNA test "because nobody else was stepping forward."  He said. "I knew how bad I would want to know if I didn’t know who my father was. I’d want someone to help me.  My dad may think of it as a betrayal, but I didn’t mean to stir anything up."  In the Review Journal interview, Gary commented on his father's past infidelities.  "My mother used to say, ‘I know your dad is with other women’ and she would say ‘The bigger the diamond the worst thing he did.’  "Dad told me himself he was a tremendous womanizer when he was on the road with Dean Martin."

Jerry Lewis' legally separated from wife Patti in 1980 after 35 years of marriage and the breakup was quite bitter.  In 1983, Lewis married his second wife, SanDee Pitnick, a former flight attendant.  The couple adopted a daughter named Danielle Sara Lewis in 1992.  Danielle is now 25 years old.

After the decline of his music career, Gary experienced financial difficulties.  In order to make ends meet, he opened a music store in Los Angeles, gave guitar and drum lessons and made several unsuccessful comeback tries.  He continued touring with the band, eventually marketing himself as a nostalgia act.  Gary Lewis & the Playboys folded in 1970, but a version of the group later resumed touring, particularly at veteran's benefits.

More recent photo of Gary Lewis

Gary Lewis, now 71 years old, is currently in the news because he and his brothers have been explicitly left out of his father's will.  Jerry Lewis "intentionally excluded" all his sons and their descendants from inheriting anything from his estate, according to documents recently obtained by the Blast and People.  The will was executed in 2012, after son Joseph's death, and it acknowledges that Joseph is deceased.

The sole beneficiaries of the comedian's estate are his second wife SanDee and daughter Danielle. In a September 22, 2017 article in the Los Angeles Times, Nadine Saad,writes:  "Lewis is said to have cut ties with his other children after adopting Danielle as  newborn."


* Gary Lewis has been married three times.  His first wife was Sara Jane "Jinky" Suzara, whom he met during a 1967 tour in the Philippines with his band.  They wed nine months later, on March 11, 1967. According to a July 26, 2014 article in Rebeat magazine by Allison Johnelle Boron,  Gary adopted a son named John and also had a daughter, Sara, with Sarah Jane. Their marriage lasted until 1970.

Gary's second wife was Patty Barrett, with whom he moved to the Cleveland area in 1980.  The two lived in Lakewood, Ohio and then Aurora, Ohio.  Gary has been married to his third wife, Donna Grow, sine 2003 and they live near Rochester, New York.

* In 2007, Gary told the Ocola Star Banner that his father never never strongly encouraged him to follow in his footsteps.  “My dad always told me, do what you want in life, but do with all your heart and give a hundred percent,” Gary said. “My dad never pushed me into comedy. I always knew if I went into comedy I would never have an identity of my own. I would always be compared to him.”

* At a 2016 concert at the Savannah Center in The Villages, Florida, Gary's show started with a film clip, showing him as a child, singing a duet with Jerry Lewis. “I adore him because he’s my first born,” the elder Lewis declared.

Gary and Jerry Lewis

- Joanne

Friday, September 22, 2017

First Day of Autumn: Thoughts and Quotations

Today is the first day of autumn.  I revel in the season and the beautiful fall foliage.  For me, the delights of fall include the crisp autumn air, Canadian Thanksgiving, the World Series, the beginning of the hockey season, the pungent aroma of pumpkins, and the shiny orange Harvest Moon.  Autumn, however, is bittersweet.  The trees will soon be bare and year's death is approaching. Such are the rhythms of life.

Here are some thoughts on the day of the autumn equinox:

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night; and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life.

Essentially, autumn is the quiet completion of spring and summer. Spring was all eagerness and beginnings, summer was growth and flowering. Autumn is the achievement summarized, the harvested grain, the ripened apple, the grape in the wine press. Autumn is the bright leaf in the woodland, the opened husk on the bittersweet berry, the fruit of asters at the roadside. 

Another equinox occurs, and by those charts and markers we use to divide time and measure our lives, today is autumn.  For a little while now, days and nights will be almost equal, dawn to dusk, dusk to dawn, and the sun will rise and set almost true east and west.  Then it will be October, tenth month of our twelve-month year, and moving toward the winter solstice.  

So much for the arbitrary boundaries, which are for the almanacs and the record books., even less imperative than the figures on a sundial.  The autumn with which we live is as variable as the wind, the weather, the land itself.  Its schedule is that of the woodland trees, the wild grasses, the migrant birds. 

- Hal Borland (1900-1978), American author, journalist and naturalist

"I'm dreading fall.  It is a terrifying season," he says . . . "Everything shriveling up and dying."  I don't know how to answer.  Fall has always been my favorite season.  The time when everything bursts with its last beauty; as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.  I've never thought to be frightened of it.

- Lauren DeStefano (1984- ), American author
From Wither (The Chemical Garden. Book 1) [2011]

You expected to be sad in the fall.  Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and cold, wintry light.  But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.  when the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American author
From A Moveable Feast

Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.

- J.K. Rawling (1965- ), British author
From Harry Potter adn the Deathly Hallows

- Joanne

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Notes From a Film Lover

I am, and have always been, an unabashed movie fan.  The city of Toronto, where I live, is a great locale for film buffs.  Right now, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is underway.  TIFF is one of the largest publicly attended festivals on the planet.  It was founded in 1976 as "The Festival of Festivals," at time when Hollywood studios shunned North American festivals. Since then, TIFF has morphed into one of the world's greatest celebrations of film and filmmaking, attracting movie fans and film stars from around the globe.

Toronto is a wonderful place for documentary lovers too and it is home to the Rogers Hot Doc Cienema.  The Hot Doc Festival takes place in late April and early May at various theatres in the city, including, of course, the Rogers Hot Doc.

Often times, I lament the demise of the traditional movie theatres in my hometown.  To me, the majestic old theatres were the best.  However, the days of beautiful decor and grand balconies are long gone.  Very few have survived in Toronto and some have been turned into "Pottery Barns" and pharmacies ("Shoppers Drug Mart").  It pains me to think what has happened to those magnificent cinemas but there is no going back.

For years, theatre companies, especial Cineplex/Odeon, have been showing multiple films at once because they want to make as much profit as possible.  Cineplex is much too corporate for my taste. I resent having to sit through a half hour of mostly commercials before the main feature begins.  I wish I could watch a cartoon or a movie short instead.

There often isn't much choice but to view the ads, particularly on a busy Saturday night.  If you don't settle into your seats early, there may only be single seats in the front rows left by the time the "preshow" ends and the actual movie begins.

As for Cineplex's fancy VIP theatres with food and wine served to your seats, I could do without that. Popcorn is good enough for me.  I prefer to dine at a restaurant.  Unfortunately, though, the prices at Cineplex concession standards are outrageously exorbitant.  I call it highway robbery. You pay twice as much as for the same items at a convenience store.

One thing I really like about Cineplex, however, is the stadium seating.  I am small and I dread having a tall person sit in front of me at other theatres.  For taller people, there is lots of space and leg room at Cineplexes.

Anyway, in these times of Trump, climate change and  hurricanes, we are in dire need of some harmless escapism and a distraction.  So, pass the popcorn, please.  The next feature is about to begin.

- Joanne

Saturday, September 2, 2017

How To Help Your Child Learn To Read

Do you want to foster a good learning environment for your children?  Here is a very informative infographic on helping children to read.  It provides tips on the best ways for children to learn.  It also explains reading problems that they encounter (dyslexia, ADHD etc.) and recommends children's books .  I hope you find it helpful and that it provides you with some insight.

- Joanne