Monday, February 27, 2023

Number 16's Oscars Quiz 2023

The 95hh Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2023.  The live show will start at 8 p.m. on ABC and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.  It will also be live-streamed on the ABC app.  This year's Oscars will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.  As you prepare for the big night, why not challenge yourself and try Number 16's 11th annual Oscars quiz. There are 10 questions. Good luck!


1.  Brad Pitt did not receive an Oscar nomination this year for his performance in the film Babylon.  Has he ever been awarded an Academy Award.  If so, how many Oscars has Brad Pitt won?

A.  Three

B.  One

C.  Two

D.  Four

E.  None

2.  Jimmy Kimmel will host the Academy Awards this year.  He has hosted the Oscars twice before.  When was the last time he hosted the ceremonies?

Jimmy Kimmel

A.  2017

B.  2018

C.  2016

D.  2021

E.  2015

3.  What was the first film to win an Academy Award for Best Makeup?

A.  The Wizard of Oz

B.  Planet of the Apes

C.  Amadeus

D.  An American Werewolf in London

E.   The Fly

4.  Who took a tumble on her way up the stairs at the Academy Awards in 2013?

A.  Jennifer Lawrence

B.  Anne Hathaway

C.  Jennifer Aniston

D.  Tina Fey

E.  Natalie Portman

5.  For which film was Lauren Bacall nominated for an Oscar?

A.  Key Largo

B.  To Have and Have Not

C.  The Mirror Has Two Faces

D.  How to Marry a Millionaire

E.  The Big Sleep

6.  Who received the longest standing ovation at the Academy Awards?

A.  Sidney Poitier

B.  Judy Garland

C.  Shirley Temple

D.  Alfred Hitchcock

E.  Charlie Chaplin

7.  What is the name of of the 1944 film for which Bing Crosby won the Best Actor Oscar? 

Bing with Oscar

A.  Holiday Inn

B.  Gong My Way

C.  White Christmas

D.  The Bells of St. Mary's

E.   High Society

8.  Which was the first film version of a Shakespeare play to win an Academy Award for Best Picture?

A.  Julius Caesar

B.  Romeo and Juliet

C.  Macbeth

D.  Hamlet

E.  Antony and Cleopatra

9  Which film  had a production budget estimated to be about $280 million.  It was nominated for nine Academy Awards.  It won three.

A.  Avatar

B.  Titanic

C.  Spider-Man 3

D.  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

E.   Avengers: Age of Ultron

10.  In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director.  What is the name of the film that earned her an Academy Award?

Bigelow with Oscar 2010

A.  Lyndon

B.  Nomadland

C  The Hurt Locker

D  The Matrix

E.  Selma.  


1.  C


Brad Pitt with 2020 Oscar

Brad Pitt has won two Oscars.  In 2014, he won a shared Best Picture Oscar as one of the producers of  12 Years a Slave.  In 2020, he received another Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as stuntman Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

2.  B


On March 12th Jimmy Kimmel will  host the Academy Awards for the third time.  He has previously hosted the Oscars in 2017 and 2018.  The first time he hosted, the awards featured the famous Best Picture mix-up.  Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway accidentally announced that La La Land  had win the Oscar for Best Picture, when the the actual winner was Moonlight.

3.  D

An American Werewolf in London

Special Achievement Oscars were awarded twice to makeup artists for 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964) and Plant of the Apes (1968).  However, the Academy Award for Best Makeup was first given out in 1981, thanks to the film Elephant Man.  There were complaints when the makeup achievements of Elephant Man were unacknowledged the year before.

Beginning in 1993, the name of the award was changed to Best Makeup and Hairstyling.  It was to be shared with hairstylists if hair effects "contribute greatly to the appearance and effect of the characters."

4.  A

Jennifer Lawrence

There was an awkward moment at the 2013 Academy Awards when Jennifer Lawrence took a slight tumble on the steps on her way up to receive her award for Best Actress.  The moment went viral and Jennifer, of course, just laughed it off.

5.  C

The Mirror Has Two Faces

Bacall in The Mirror . . .

In 1997, Lauren Bacall received her first Oscar nomination at the age of 72.  She was nominated in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her role as Hannah, the vain, overbearing mother of Barbra Streisand's character in The Mirror Has Two Faces.  Bacall was widely expected to win, but the Best Supporting Actress went to Juliette Binoche for her performance in The English Patient.  The English Patient, a tragic World War II-era romance, dominated the awards that year, winning nine out of 12 nominations, including Best Picture.

In 2010, Lauren Bacall received an Academy Honorary Award.  She died in 2014 at the age of 89.

6.  E

Charlie Champlin

Charlie Chaplin with Oscar

Charlie Chaplin received a 12-minute standing ovation at the Oscars in 1972 when he was given the honourary award.

7.  B

Going My Way

Crosby (Left) and Fitzgerald}in Going My Way

In 1945, Bing Crosby received an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in the 1944 film Going My Way.  Crosby won for his portrayal of  Father Chuck O'Malley, a young priest who is assigned to a church in New York.  The paster, played by Barry Fitzgerald, takes a dislike to O'Malley's casual style, and the younger priest tries to win him over.

In 1946, Crosby was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in the 1945 film The Bells  of St. Mary's.  He once again portrayed Father O'Malley, becoming the firs actor to be twice nominated for an Oscar for portraying the same character. However, the winner that year was Ray Milland for his performance in The Lost Weekend.

In 1955, Bing Crosby was nominated for Best Actor in a Lead Role for his performance opposite Grace Kelly and William Holden in the 1954 film The Country Girl Marlon Brando won the Oscar for On The Waterfront.

8.  D


Olivier as Hamlet

The 1948 British film adaptation of Hamlet, directed by and starring Laurence Olivier, won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Olivier won for Best Actor.  Olivier was not present at the 1949 awards ceremony and Robert Montgomery accepted the award on his behalf.  Hamlet was the first British film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

9,  A


Scene from Avatar

Avatar, a 2009 science fiction epic was officially budgeted at $237 million, due to its groundbreaking, dazzling special effects.  Oher estimates, however, put the cost of the James Cameron film at between $280 million  and $310 million, and at $150 million for promotion.  Although Avatar did not win an Oscar for Best Picture or for Best Director, it did receive Academy Awards for Art Direction, Cinematography and Visual Effects.

10.  C 

The Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director in 2010 for her Iraqi war thriller, The Hurt Locker.  She was only the fourth woman to receive a Best Director nomination - the others being Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation (2004), Jane Campion for The Piano (1994) and Lina Wertmüller for Pasqualino Settebellezze "Seven Beauties" (1977)

Kathryn Bigelow beat out her ex-husband, James Cameron who was also nominated that year Best Director for his 3-D epic, AvatarThe Hurt Locker won six Oscars, including Best Picture, out of a total of nine nominations.  However, it did not do as well at the box office, It is estimated to have earned $21 million at the box office, less than two per cent of what Avatar earned in tick sales in the same year.

- Joanne

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Inflation, politicians and climate change

It's not hard to understand why so many Canadians are frustrated and frightened.  They are concerned about kitchen table issues.  After all, they have to put food on the table.  They have to feed their families.  So, imagine that you are a low income worker.  You don't earn much more than minimum wage and you are living from paycheque to paycheque.  Your rent has increased or you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments.  Inflation has eaten away at your income and you haven't gotten a significant raise for quite a while.  Although inflation has eased as of late, the cost of food is still rising.  That's the most important item for you and your family. 

When you check the morning news, you read the following headline: "Loblaw Companies reports $529 M Q4 profit, revenue up nearly 10 per cent."  You read the first paragraph.  It says that Loblaws Companies Ltd. has announced that it earned a profit available to common shareholders of $529 million in its latest quarter as its revenue rose nearly 10 per cent compared to  a year ago.  You can't help but feel angry.  Certainly, it's not all Loblaw's fault and the pandemic has a great deal to do with it.  Yet, you can't help feeling the unfairness of it all.  You can't help feeling that companies such as Loblaw's are making excessive profits at your expense.  

Most of our politicians have not faced a situation like that - certainly not Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or Ontario Premier Doug Ford - but it's very real for many people in this country and in this province.  This should not be happening in a country as rich in resources as Canada or a province as industrious as Ontario.  South of the border, former U.S. president Donald Trump was born with a siler spoon in his mouth and has shown no empathy for lower income Americans.  Current American president, Joe Biden, grew up in a family that struggled financially.  His father had to move his brood from Pennsylvania, where Joe was born, to Delaware, in order to find employment.  

This is certainly not to say that people who are well off don't have any empathy for those who are struggling financially.  It's just easier to identify with the less wealthy if you've been there.  There are obvious exceptions such as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.  She was a grocer's daughter, not a child of privilege.  Yet, she never showed much empathy for lower income Brits.

Sadly, kitchen table issues have put environmental issues on the backburner for many people.  However, climate change is not going to disappear anytime soon.  It has to be dealt with sooner rather than later.  For example, Premier Ford's proposed Highway 413 has to be stopped.  If it goes through it will be an environmental disaster for Ontario's precious Greenbelt.

This year, the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world's largest skating rink, did not open for the first time in the history of Ottawa's Winterlude festival, due to fluctuating weather patterns and warm temperatures.

This winter, instead of flooding, a long stretch of low tides has left the ancient city of Venice with low water and dry canals.  Many of its waterways are unnavigable for gondolas and other boats.  Some canals have been reduced to muddy pits.

Although Venice's problems have been attributed on a high pressure weather system that has lingered for weeks over Western Europe, environmental groups have warned that the Alps have received half their usual snowfall this winter.  This has caused concern that Italy could face another summer of dry rivers.

This is why, despite inflation and the pandemic, climate change can't be left on the backburner. 

- Joanne

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Life and Times of Bobby Rydell

 "I can't complain at all about my career. You know, it's had its ups and downs, it peaks and valleys, so on, so forth. But I've survived through all of that, and I'm continuing to do what I really enjoy doing."

- Bobby Rydell
Interview with the Philadelphia Sun Sentinel, July 21, 2016

In the 1960s, "Bobby" was a popular name among singers and teen idols.  There was Bobby Darin, Bobby Vinton, Bobby Curtola, Bobby Vee and Bobby Rydell.  Sadly, except for 87-year-old Bobby Vinton, they have all passed away.: Bobby Darin in 1973, Bobby Curtola in 2016, Bobby Vee in 2016 and Bobby Rydell just last year.  

Bobby Rydell was born Robert Louis Ridarelli in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 26, 1942.  He was the son of Jennie Ridarelli (nee Sapienza), a homemaker, and, Aldo "Al"  Ridarelli, a foreman in a machine shop.  Both of his parents were of Italian descent. and Bobby grew up in the Lower Moyamensing neighbourhood of South Philadelphia. 

Bobby and his mother, Jeannie

Bobby was a teen idol and part of the Philly music scene which also produced Frankie Avalon and Fabian Forte.  He was known for songs such as "Wild One" and "Volare," and for his portrayal of Hugo Peabody in the 1963 film adaption of the musical comedy Bye Bye Birdie in which he co-starred with Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret and Janet Leigh.

Bobby's father, Al, sparked his musical interest by bringing him to see the jazz bands of Arte Shaw and Benny Goodman.  At the age of seven, Bobby began playing the drums and singing in nightclubs in Philadelphia and New Jersey.

As a pre-adolescent, Bobby won a talent contest on the TV series Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club.  The nine-year-old won a spot in the cast, where he remained for several years.  Whiteman, a bandleader, had difficulty pronouncing "Ridarelli"  and Bobby's last name was anglicized to "Rydell."

As a teen, Bobby played in several bands in the Philadelphia area, such as Rocco and the Saints, for which he was the drummer.  Frankie Avalon was also a member of Rocco and the Saints and he played trumpet for the group.  

Bobby eventually signed a recording contract, and in1959, at the age of 16, his first hit, "Kissin' Time," appeared on the Billboard 100 .  According to a statement by his representatives at the time of his death, Bobby 34 Top 100 hits and over 25 million album sales during his career.

Bobby frequently appeared on television as a singer and an actor.  By the age of 17, the kid from South Philly with the high pompadour was a fixture on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.  

Below is a photo of Bobby with Dick Clark and fellow teen idols: From left: Fabian, Dick, Clark, Bobby and Frankie Avalon

Bobby appeared in a 1960 episode of The Danny Thomas Show entitled "The Singing Delinquent" (Season 7, Episode 29, Air Date: April 18, 1960).  He portrayed a talented young singer with a bad attitude, whom Danny tries to help.

Below is a photo of Bobby in a scene from The Danny Thomas Show in which he sings "All of Me."

During the golden age of the television variety show, Bobby was a guest on shows hosted by Red Skelton, Jack Benny, Perry Como and George Burns.  Bobby also appeared in a 1964 episode of Combat!, an hour-long World War II drama series.  He portrayed Mickey Shay in an episode entitled "The Duel."

The British Invasion of 1964 had a negative impact on Bobby's career as a teen idol.  The arrival of The Beatles and their British counterparts changed the pop scene dramatically.  However, Bobby did have some modest success on the charts with his cover of the Peter and Gordon hit "World Without Love" (Please lock me away) (1964).  In 1976, he recorded "Sway" with a disco flavour.  "Sway" is an English language version of a 1953 mambo instrumental song by Mexican composers.  Dean Martin recorded the most well known English rendition of the song in 1954.

In 1985, Bobby formed a trio called The Golden Boys with former teen idols Frankie Avalon and Fabian.  For years, The Golden Boys performed nostalgia concerts all over the world and delighted fans.

Below is a photo of the Golden Boys (Left to Right): Bobby Rydell, Fabian and Frankie Avalon.  


In 1987, Bobby guest-starred in an episode of the TV comedy The Facts of Life episode entitled 62 Pick Up (Season 8, Episode 18, Air Date: February 21, 1987.  He played himself in a flashback to the early 1960s.

Bobby was married twice.  He was married to his first wife, Camille Quattrone Ridarelli for 35 years, until her death of breast cancer on September 15, 2003.  The couple wed on October 5, 1968 and they had two children, a daughter, Jennifer Ridarelli Dulin and a son, Robert Ridarelli.

Bobby and Camille 1967

In 2009, Bobby wed Linda J. Hoffman (born Linda Ferrino) , a cardiac sonographer from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  Bobby first met met Linda in 1964 when he appeared on The Mike Douglas Show. At the time, Linda had just been appointed Bobby Rydell's National Fan Club President.  

Linda went on to marry Jake Hoffman and Bobby wed his South Philly high school sweetheart, Camille Quattrone.  Bobby and Linda met again after Camille's death.  In October 2007 and they were married in Las Vegas.

Bobby and Linda in 2014

On July 9, 2012, Bobby underwent a double organ transplant (liver and kidney) at which was detailed in his 2016 autobiography Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second Chances, a collaboration with award-winning author Allan Slutsky.  Bobby became a promoter of organ donations and a supporter of The Gift of Life, a nonprofit organization that assists families affected by organ transplants.

In January of 2013, only six months after his double transplant surgery, Bobby returned to the stage in Las Vegas.  He performed for three night to a sold out audience.  On April 5, 2022, Bobby Rydell died of complications from pneumonia  at Jefferson Abington Hospital in Abington Township, Pennsylvania, a a suburb of Philadelphia.  He was 79 years old at the time of his passing.  He was survived by his wife, Linda, his son and daughter, and five grandchildren.


* Bobby Rydell grew up on South 11th St. in Philadelphia.  In 1995, the street was renamed Bobby Rydell Boulevard in his honour.  In Wildwood, New Jersey, there is a mural of Bobby on the boardwalk of the beach resort that that inspired his 1963 hit "Wildwood Days."

* In 1961, Bobby's success as an entertainer prompted his father, Aldo, to resign from his job as a foreman at the Electro-Nite Carbon Company in Philadelphia after 22 years.  Aldo then became Bobby's road manager.

According to Bobby's official website, he was the youngest performer, at the age of 19, to ever headline the Copacobana Club in New York City.

* Bobby writes about his struggles with alcoholism in his autobiography Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second Chances.  The book tells of his deep depression after the death of his first wife, Camille, and how it contributed to his alcoholism, jeopardized his career and led to his liver and kidney transplant.

* In his autobiography Bobby also discusses his relationship with his controlling mother, Jeannie, whom he describes as "high strung, bipolar, schizophrenic, manic depressive - anything you want."

* Frank Sinatra ranked Bobby as his favourite pop singer of the early 1960s.      

* Fittingly, Bobby's name was chosen for "Rydall High School" in Grease, the Broadway musical and later 1978 hit film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.  The musical depicts American teenage life in the late 1950s.

SOURCES: The Guardian, "Bobby Rydell obituary," April 7, 2022; CNN Entertainment, "Bobby Rydell 'Wild One" singer dead at 79." by Sandra Gonzalez, April 5, 2022; Parade (, "Rydelll High School Inspiration, 'Volare" Singer and Bye Bye Birdie Star Bobby Rydell Dies at 79," by Jeryl Brunner, April 6, 2022;  Philadelphia Sun Sentinel, "Philadelphia's former teen idol Bobby Rydell tells of life on the rocks in new book," by John J, Moser, July 21, 2016; Unexpected Philadelphia, The Great Photo Album Adventure: Linda Hoffman and Bobby Rydell," May 31, 2016; Wikipedia; IMDb (Internet Movie Database)

- Joanne