“And we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten…there is a land of the living and a land of the dead.”

- writer Thornton Wilder ( 1897-1975)

Hollywood Blvd. mural

Selfie in front of one of the many odd murals on Hollywood Blvd., 2013.   Not sure if it’s meant to be Mary Tyler Moore or Sophia Loren behind James Dean.

Most of the luminaries honored in this second edition of “Forgotten Stars” are, coincidentally, actors who hail from the silent era.  To all but the most well-informed Stargayzing cinephiles, this listicle should provide some new and, I hope, interesting information.  As I walked Hollywood Boulevard and took photos of the stars, most unknown to me and some just known vaguely by name, I asked myself, “Why did these individuals merit this recognition?”  I longed to know more and couldn’t wait to begin the research.  I was given pause to realize that 80 years from now there is a very good possibility that, with a few exceptions, the public will not know who most of today’s stars are.  For every cinema legend there are so many dozens whose once brilliant place in Hollywood’s fickle firmament has dulled or completely disappeared.  Here are ten additional mostly forgotten luminaries who prove that movie stardom, even being a top star of their day, is not an insurance policy on immortality.

Jetta Goudal Walk of Fame Jetta Goudal silent star

Jetta Goudal (1891-1985) was born Juliette Goudeket into an affluent Jewish family in Amsterdam.  Her father was a diamond cutter.  After WW1 she emigrated to New York where she began to pass herself off as Parisienne.  She began on Broadway in 1921, before transitioning to films, first in New York and then, soon after, in Los Angeles.  Her break came in 1923 in a film called The Bright Shawl.  Ironically she received great recognition for playing a Jewish girl in New York’s lower east side in the 1925 film Salome of the Tenements.  Apparently it was okay to play a Jewish girl as long as you weren’t actually Jewish. Miss Goudal peaked in the mid- to late-1920s, primarily via a series of successful Cecil B. DeMille films.  She subsequently had a falling out with the powerful director who claimed she was so temperamental that he cancelled her contract.  She sued and won, but it was a Pyrrhic victory, as the litigation made her less employable. She married art director Harold Grieve in 1930 and transitioned into a successful interior design business which they ran together.  She died in 1985 at age 93, still married to Mr. Grieve. After the jump, nine more forgotten stars of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (more…)

Lucille Ball 1960s portrait

Lucille Ball throwing gang signs, circa 1960s. Photoshop treatment by Bill Anthany’s Takes2Hands2

In a revelation that may further fray the United States’ already volatile relationship with China, Stargayzing’s David Munk has learned that writer Frank DeCaro modified a recipe by America’s all-time favorite comedienne Lucille Ball in his best-selling book The Dead Celebrity Cookbook. “The recipe for Lucille Ball’s ‘Chinese-y Thing’ on page 100 of his book is completely misleading,” Munk sniffed. “Any aficionado of celebrity recipes worth his salt knows damn well that Lucy’s recipe was always called ‘Chinkee Goodee’!”  Though DeCaro does mention the racist slur in his introduction, people close to the situation feel the recipe should have been used as it was written by Ball, or not at all.

This incendiary news has the potential to rip through the celebrity recipe community like a grease fire in the TMZ break room.  Munk elaborated in a statement: “Miss Ball is a national treasure. You don’t just modify her dish and change ‘Chinkee Goodee’ to ‘Chinese-y Thing’ to suit the vagaries of political correctness.”  ‘Chinkee Goodie,’ though obviously inappropriate, was not that strange an appellation in its day.  Mr. DeCaro has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.” Munk went on to elaborate on the danger of rewriting celebrity gastronomic history.  “Is ‘Chinese-y Thing’ really so much better than ‘Chinkee Goodee’?  Well, I guess it is, but still, it’s putting words in Lucy’s mouth.  Do we re-edit Birth of a Nation because it is clearly wrong today?  Where is the estate on this?  Did DeCaro even run this by Lucie Arnaz or Desi Jr.?  It’s unconscionable!”

The whistleblower, who writes both Stargayzing and its sister blog Eating With the Starsa compendium of unmodified, sometimes politically incorrect celebrity recipes—happened upon the Lucille Ball recipe while researching a recipe for legendary Ball sidekick Vivian Vance’s Chicken Kiev.  Munk explained, “An ongoing search by me and my team for the Vance Kiev recipe (long believed lost incidentally), led to The Tonight or Never Cookbook by Virginia Graham which was published in 1970 and is as out of print as a book can be.” DeCaro’s The Dead Celebrity Cookbook was published in 2011 and was, apparently, successful enough to spawn the 2012 sequel, Christmas in Tinseltown.  Munk added, “Advocates of celebrity recipes have to decide whether they are going to grow a set and honor the historical facts, or whether they want to ride off into the sunset on a cloud of bland, feel-good, deracinated, mid-century dishes.”

Stargayzing declined to propagate defanged “Chinese-y Thing” recipe.  “There’s something wrong about whitewashing a racist recipe and republishing it.  At the end of the day, it’s a pretty crap dish no matter what you call it,” Munk reflected.  “I’d stick with her Chicken Sauté— it’s not bad and guaranteed not to offend anyone but a chicken, but for the sake of setting the record straight, Stargayzing is going to publish ‘Chinkee Goodee’ and let the fortune cookies fall where they may.”

Here is a scan of Lucille Ball’s “Chinkee Goodee” (a.k.a. “Chinese-y Thing”), direct from the comic’s kitchen, via Virginia Graham’s The Tonight or Never Cookbook:


Lucille Ball recipe

More Lucille Ball:

Eating With the Stars: Lucille’s Ball’s Chicken Sauté

How Many Times was Lucille Ball on the Cover of TV Guide?

John Waters bow tie

“…I love a feel-bad movie…”


Legendary director John Waters, whose new book Carsick chronicles his adventure hitchhiking across America, shared this priceless quote with Entertainment Weekly when asked to name a favorite underrated movie:

“Bruno Dumont’s movies, which are all depressing French art movies about farmers and the earth and misery.  I love a feel-bad movie.  I hate to feel good at a theater.  There is such honesty in the pain he puts on screen.”


More John Waters:

John Waters 10 Favorite Overlooked Movies

What do Angela Lansbury, Amanda Lepore, John Waters, Snoop Dogg, and Liza Minnelli Have in Common?

Stargayzing Mix Tape: The Most Unbelievable Cover Songs of All-Time! #7: Edith Massey’s Cover of the Four Seasons’ Big Girls Don’t Cry”