Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Book - The Mel Simons Joke Book

We are proud to announce the upcoming release of THE MEL SIMONS JOKE BOOK: IF IT'S LAUGHTER YOU'RE AFTER by Mel Simons.


Nothing can lift the spirits like a good joke. And no one is better qualified to author a book filled with the greatest jokes than humorist Mel Simons. Mel, who has delighted his readers with such acclaimed books as Voices From the Philco, The Old-Time Radio Trivia Book, and Old-Time Television Memories, now presents The Mel Simons Joke Book: If It’s Laughter You’re After, a book that will keep you laughing as you reminisce about the greatest comedians including Milton Berle, Henny Youngman and Red Buttons.

Mel Simons is a trivia historian, lecturer, humorist, and a WBZ radio personality. He is also a Master of Ceremonies who introduced, and knew personally, the comedians featured in this book. He is a lifelong Boston resident.
You can order a copy of the book by visiting our website:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rondo Awards

We are proud and happy to announce that five of our books have been nominated for a Rondo Award.  They are as follows:





SIX REELS UNDER by David del Valle



The books are all nominated in category 11 - BOOK OF THE YEAR, and votes are to be made by email only, using the guidelines on the site:  Voting only takes a couple of minutes, and we would be extremely grateful if you could spare the time to vote for one of our wonderful books.  Thank you!!!!!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Author of the Week - Michael Oldham

We are very pleased to bring you an interview today, with BearManor author, Michael Oldham.

Image of Michael Oldham

1)     What is your background and why did you decide to become a writer?

My “day” job is managing a chemical distributorship. (Basically, I buy and sell chemicals for a living.) My schooling (M.B.A.) was all geared toward a corporate career in sales. So, I am a businessman who moonlights as a writer. I tell people that writing is a hobby of mine that I take very seriously. Writing is my night-time job, but I am hoping to turn it into my daytime job.
The desire to have a book on the shelves of a bookstore has been with me as long as I can remember. (Hope I don’t sound like a drama king.) In the mid-1990s, I began a 5-year quest to get a humor book published. Came close, but no cigar. I eventually hooked up with a “real” writer named Judy Artunian and we soon were co-authoring books together. The first being Movie Star Homes: The Famous to the Forgotten. Later, I began to author other Hollywood-related books on my own. Finally, I decided to take a breather from non-fiction and write a novel—The Valentino Formula (BearManor Fiction; August 2011). I currently have another non-fiction Los Angeles book coming out in the Fall of 2013 and am at work on my next novel.
I think I will move on to the next question before the reader falls asleep here!

2)     What books have you written for BearManor, and what are they about?
BearManor—which I am so proud to have as a publisher—put out my novel, The Valentino Formula in 2011.
The Valentino Formula is a Los Angeles based story that begins in the Ocean Park of 1924 and spans over eight decades. Nefarious Hollywood fanatics, a criminal organization providing services to the wealthy, a stubborn LAPD detective, and a couple of amateur Hollywood sleuths are all part of this fast moving mystery/suspense tale.

 3)     Why did you choose those particular subjects?
I did a Hollywood novel (The Valentino Formula) that is based in Los Angeles because I knew a lot about movie stars and LA. The Valentino Formula (I think that is the 5th time I have mentioned it) allowed me to utilize my Hollywood knowledge that I gained from authoring five Hollywood-related books. Los Angeles is my adopted home town and so I set the novel inside it.

4)     How long did it take you to write it, and did you find it an easy task?
I wrote off and on for about 2.5 years, then solidly for 1.5 years to finish The Valentino Formula. If I didn’t write 250 words on any given day, I failed and would double the word volume the next day. (250 words is basically a page of a store-bought novel.) A page a day—a good one at that—is always my goal in doing a novel.
5)     What can we expect to find in your books?
I will let the blurb on the back cover of my book answer this question:
Mike Oldham is the author of five Hollywood-related books. The Valentino Formula is a novelization of his vast Hollywood knowledge. It is sprinkled with bio bits of not only Rudolph Valentino, but many other silent stars that Oldham has become familiar with while researching for his books and pursuing his enjoyment of the silent-film era. 
6)     What would you say is the most interesting thing about being a writer?
Ego trips for one—My first book signing was at a huge book festival in Los Angeles. I sold about 15 books, which is a lot for a new author. People were asking for us (Judy Artunian and I) to sign the books and several asked if they could have a picture with us. That was new and very dangerous for an egomaniac like myself. (I’m in a 12-step ego-anonymous program now.)
Other than the above—after my mom read my novel she said, “I cannot believe these things were in you!” (I then began to wonder if I needed more help, besides the ego-anonymous program.)
7)     Do you have a website, blog etc, where readers can find you?
Michael Oldham (any chance I get to mention my name) can be reached at:
8)     Is there anything else you'd like to add?
If anybody out there wants to test the waters of novel writing, here is one important pointer:
Write some chapters down and then have a friend give it to someone you don’t know and have that person review it. (Family and friends are biased.)

I did the above and the first few times the unbiased reviewers all came back with, “this is horribly bad writing!” I keep this up until all the unbiased reviews (I kept changing them) came back with, “I want to read this novel when it comes out!”
We would like to thank Michael for agreeing to be our featured author this week and for writing the article with such humor and insight too. 
If you would like to visit Michael's Amazon page, you can do so here:
 And if you would like to buy The Valentino Formula, please visit our website:

Book Review - Final Cuts

FINAL CUTS: THE LAST FILMS OF 50 GREAT DIRECTORS by Nat Segaloff has been reviewed by Norm Goldman on the BookPleasures website.

Here is a little snippet of what he says:

"The idea behind the writing of Final Cuts is worth reading as it brings up some interesting goodies and Segaloff's take on details, which no doubt is an outcome of his vast knowledge of the Hollywood scene, is fascinating. In the end, this is an impressively researched and comprehensive study that could have been expanded into two books which would have given Segaloff an opportunity to include some other directors whom he left out."


You can read the full review here:

And you can order a copy of the book from our website:

Forthcoming Book - Horror of Dracula

We are pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of HORROR OF DRACULA by Philip J. Riley.

HORROR OF DRACULA by Philip J. Riley

In 1958 Hammer Films of England began their "now classic" remakes of the Classic Universal Monster Films. Today the remakes themselves are considered Classics, revived in full Technicolor and wide screen. 

With full canine fangs and Technicolor blood Christopher Lee gave us a more horrific and brutal version of Count Dracula which delighted the audiences and continues to do so today.

Includes the shooting script, Pressbook and many photographs.  Production background by Ronald V. Borst

Also contains:
THE VAMPYRE by John Polidori, 1819 
The complete text to the original Gothic Vampire Story
With an introduction by Michael Hartley

You can pre-order the book from our website:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Suzanne Sumner Ferry

BearManor author Suzanne Sumner Ferry is returning to Gatsby Books for an introduction and Q&A, followed by a book signing of her second book titled "The Day the Stars Stood Still" -- a memoir about the late, talented Long Beach resident Mr. Logan Fleming, who spent over 25 years as the top wax artist and creative director at Movieland Wax Museum.

Logan was one of the world's greatest wax artists who used no computer technology to create his life-like wax likenesses of some of our favorite stars of yesteryear. This book is a fascinating story which takes place mostly during the days of Old Hollywood. 

The event takes place at Gatsby Books on Tuesday, March 12 at 5:00pm in PDT.

You can find the book shop here: 5535 E. Spring Street, Long Beach, California 90808
And if you can't attend the event, you can still order a copy of the book from our website:

New Book - Chain of Fools

BearManor Media proudly announces the release of Chain of Fools, by Trav S.D.           

Chain of Fools traces the art of slapstick comedy from its pre-cinema origins in the ancient pantomime through its silent movie heyday in the teens and twenties, then on to talkies, television, and the internet. Author Trav S.D. mixes a wicked wit, a scholar’s curiosity, and a keen critical appreciation for laugh-makers through the ages, from classical clowns like Joseph Grimaldi to comedy kings like Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton…to more recent figures, from Red Skelton, Sid Caesar and Ernie Kovacs to Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey and Steve Carell…all the way down to the teenagers on YouTube whose backyard antics bring us full circle to slapstick’s beginnings. This valentine to the great clowns contains enough insights and surprises to open the eyes of even life-long comedy fans.

ISBN: 1-59393-240-5              Format:  Softcover; 6” x 9”; 354 pages                            Price:  $21.95

Available also through Ingram and

About the Author:  Writer and performer Trav S.D. is best known for his 2005 book No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous. He has contributed to the New York Times, American Theater, the Village Voice, Time Out New York, The New York Sun, Reason, and many other publications. A frequent radio guest and public speaker, his voice has been heard throughout the country. Since 2008, he has also written the popular arts and culture blog Travalanche (, and the “Downtown Theatre” column in The Villager, Downtown Express, and three other New York papers. He majored in Film and Television Production and Cinema Studies at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

You can order a copy of the book from our website:


Carole Lombard

The forthcoming Carole Lombard book by me, (Michelle Morgan,) is featured on the Carole and Co website today.  The article talks about progress on the book, the possible title, and lots more.  There are also some lovely photographs of Carole too.

You can read the article here:

And look out for more news on the book, over the course of the next few months....

The Valentino Formula - Out Now On Kindle

The Valentino Formula

by Michael Oldham

Robert Stein is the founder a club of silent star aficionados. He has been obsessed, in particular, with the legendary screen star Rudolph Valentino since childhood. In 1953, the 24-year old uncovers clues that lead him to believe his father was murdered for a formula that, if completed, would bring Valentino back to life. Stein uncovers circumstances that make the Valentino Formula credible. But where is it? Stein finds out his father had sold it in 1933 on the day he was murdered. He figures that finding his father’s killer would not only allow him to avenge for the murder, but also lead him to the formula.

Stein will stop at nothing in searching for the Valentino Formula. Should he find it, he is willing to murder to complete it and have his talk with Rudolph Valentino.

The Valentino Formula is a Los Angeles based story that begins in the Ocean Park of 1924 and spans over eight decades. Nefarious Hollywood fanatics, a criminal organization providing services to the wealthy, a stubborn LAPD detective, and a couple of amateur Hollywood sleuths are all part of this fast moving mystery/suspense tale.
Michael Oldham is the author of five Hollywood-related books. The Valentino Formula is a novelization of his vast Hollywood knowledge. It is sprinkled with bio bits of not only Rudolph Valentino, but many other silent stars that Oldham has become familiar with while researching for his books and pursuing his enjoyment of the silent-film era.

This book, published by BearManor Fiction, is now available on Kindle by clicking the link below:

And if you would like to buy the paperback, please visit our website:

We are excited to say that Michael Oldham will soon be our 'Author of the Week.'  In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about the real-life Rudolph Valentino, why not check out this interesting video from YouTube:


Friday, February 22, 2013

Book of the Week - Fifties Blondes

This week's featured book is by our dear friend and BearManor author Richard Koper, who wrote our recently published book on Jayne Mansfield.

The book we feature this week is 'Fifties Blondes' which is an illustrated look at the lives and careers of the sexiest women of the 1950s. From major star to starlet, author Richard Koper shows - with hundreds of rare photos from his personal collection - that gentlemen still prefer blondes!

Among the 100 actresses who are featured in the book are famous Hollywood names like Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Kim Novak and Anita Ekberg, as well as starlets like Jeanne Carmen, Gloria Pall, Sandra Giles and Kathy Marlowe. Also featured within the pages of this book are England's reigning blondes Diana Dors, Belinda Lee and Carole Lesley, and fifties cult fan's favourites: Mamie Van Doren, Cleo Moore, Beverly Michaels, Barbara Nichols and Joi Lansing.

FIFTIES BLONDES by Richard Koper

You can order a copy of this  book from our website:

And you can order Richard's magnificent book on Jayne Mansfield too:

Garry Berman

As previously published here, Garry Berman did an interview with Susan McCray on the "Getting To Know You" show recently.  If you missed the initial broadcast, you can catch up by going to, and clicking on the Archives button for the January 22, 2013 show.

And afterwards why not rush along to our website to order Garry's books:



Forthcoming Book - General Joseph Warren Revere

BearManor Media proudly announces the release of General Joseph Warren Revere: The Gothic Saga of Paul Revere’s Grandson, by William R. Chemerka.

Joseph Warren Revere, a grandson of the legendary Paul Revere, served in the U.S. Navy; circumnavigated the globe; raised the first American flag in Sonoma, California during the Mexican War; battled pirates, sharks, and Indians; searched for gold; had a scandalous affair; joined the Union Army and received a court-martial for his actions at the Battle of Chancellorsville during the Civil War. And then he began the fight of his life.

This book will soon be available to order from our website.

ISBN: 1-59393-241-3                       Format:  Softcover; 6” x 9”; 324 pages    

Price: $21.95                      Available also through Ingram and

About the Author

William R. Chemerka, an award-winning educator, author, History Channel commentator, and recipient of the North Jersey Civil War Roundtable's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, brings the untold story of Revere’s Gothic adventures to life in this detailed biography.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Let's Take A Closer Look... Dangerous Curves


Let's start with the basics.  The book is priced at $26.95 and has 405 pages.  The ISBN is 9781593936051 and it is illustrated throughout.


As you can see by the above photograph, the cover is pink and shows actress Gladys Walton soaking in a bathtub.  She is not included in the book itself, but here is a list of those actresses who are:
  • Agnes Ayres
  • Olive Borden
  • Grace Darmond
  • Elinor Fair
  • Juanita Hansen
  • Wanda Hawley
  • Natalie Joyce
  • Barbara La Marr
  • Martha Mansfield
  • Mary Nolan
  • Marie Prevost
  • Lucille Ricksen
  • Eve Southern
  • Alberta Vaughn
What is wonderful about this book, is that while many volumes tell us about the greats such as Clara Bow, Mary Pickford etc., Michael G Ankerich goes beyond that, and talks about many actresses we may not have heard about in recent years.  The stories are in-depth and cover the actress's career and private life (which is more often than not, pretty tragic.)  There are extensive notes and filmographies for each chapter and photographs of the subject too.  As a fan of the 1920s and beyond, I will say here and now that 'Dangerous Curves' is never on my book shelf.  Instead it has taken up permanent residence next to my desk, where I continually delve in to find out more about the ladies who once graced the silent screen.

For any fan of the so-called Golden Age of Cinema, this book is a must-have.  It tells us the truth about the industry which often isn't pretty but is important to know.  We often see the 'good old days' through rose-tinted glasses, and because of this, 'Dangerous Curves' is a stunning work because it forces us to take off those glasses and look at the lives of those in the industry with truth, respect and honesty.

Michael G Ankerich is the author of many cinema books and is highly respected in the industry.  BearManor Media is proud to publish two of his books: DANGEROUS CURVES, and THE REAL JOYCE COMPTON: BEHIND THE DUMB BLONDE MOVIE IMAGE which he co-write with Joyce Compton herself.

You can order a copy of Dangerous Curves from our website:

And The Real Joyce Compton can be found here:

Visit Michael's website and find out all about his books, here:

Bill Levy

Bill Levy, author of the new BearManor book, LEST WE FORGET: THE JOHN FORD STOCK COMPANY has just scheduled a book signing at the Westport Public Library in Connecticut at high noon on May 7th.


If you are in the area, please pop along and say hello to Bill and buy a copy of the book!  And if you cannot make it to the book signing, you can still order a copy from our website:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Authors of the Week - David Frankham and Jim Hollifield

We are very pleased to have two BearManor authors taking part in our 'Author of the Week' feature: David Frankham and Jim Hollifeld who wrote WHICH ONE WAS DAVID?

1) What is your background and why did you decide to become a writer? 


Like many people, I’ve jokingly said at different times, “If I ever write an autobiography, it will be called such-and-such” -- without, of course, ever actually intending to write one.  I’ve always said that if I did, it would be called Which One Was David?

That comes from a story related in the book.  When I was 17 and in school to be an architect -- probably the least promising, most unhappy architect in history -- I took part in a school production of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.  I was Falstaff.  I was originally supposed to just sit at Falstaff’s feet, but Falstaff got drafted into the war, so I got pushed into the starring role.  I had never acted before in my life.  So they padded me up with pillows and put a beard on me, and I waddled around for a few hours, fearing that the air raid sirens would go off during the performance, because the program said that if they did the audience could go to the shelters, but the poor actors would continue on and probably be killed.

Anyway, after the performance, on the way home, my mother said to my father [in a sweet Scottish accent],  “I quite enjoyed that.”  And my father, who was a sailor and not a very artistically-inclined person, replied [in a Michael Caine-like Cockney accent], “Yeah, so did I.  [pause]  Which one was David?”

By the way, just a few years ago Richard Matheson, the writer, told me that he always assumed I was a trained Shakespearean actor, because of my work in the Poe and Jules Verne films he wrote for AIP.  I had to admit to him that my 17-year-old turn as Falstaff was it!

I never thought of being a writer.  A few years ago, though, I was interviewed about my acting career by a nice man named Robert Nott for a local arts magazine here in Santa Fe.  When the interview was published my friend Jim Hollifield, whom I’ve known for decades, since he wrote to me as a fan when he was 16, thought it was so interesting that it could be expanded into a good book.  With my approval, he proposed the idea to BearManor, and it was accepted.

Then, after the initial elation, we realized we actually had to write it!  


What's interesting about collaborating on this book with David Frankham is the fact that he's one of the people in life who encouraged me to pursue writing. When we began corresponding in the late 1980s, he complimented my writing and shared his background at the BBC. The first magazine article I ever sold was an interview with David for Starlog about his science fiction career. I majored in journalism in college and did an internship working at Playboy's New York editorial offices, where I assisted the film and video critics. I later became a newspaper reporter and then moved into public relations and still enjoy writing.

2) What books have you written for BearManor, and what are they about?


Actually, I haven’t written any.  This is my first book so that’s an easy one:  Just this one!  And it’s about me!


Assisting David on his book is the first time I've had my name on the cover. I've contributed content to other books through other publishers.

3) Why did you choose this particular subject?


Well, I’ve lived with the subject for 86 years, so I’m quite familiar with it -- the good and the bad!


David's life story is such an interesting one, so I encouraged him early on to take advantage of the opportunity to share how he's the living embodiment of someone who followed his dreams and made them come true.

4) How long did it take you to write it, and did you find it an easy task?


It was about a three-year process for us.  Because of limited vision, described in the book, I can’t type or use a computer anymore.  Instead I recorded something like twenty CDs of interviews with my friend Jonathan Dixon, covering all areas of my life in detail.  In addition to being a brilliant actor, Jonathan is a very good interviewer and helped me to go more in depth than I might have if I was just doing it myself.  It became much more personal.  He helped bring out and emphasize certain themes that run through the book, which I wouldn’t have been able to see myself, as I was too close.  I found it an easy task because Jonathan asked all the right questions and made it easy.

Jim Hollifield then transcribed the recorded interviews -- in addition to the many, many letters and tapes I’ve sent him over the years -- and he was able to add even more of a definite, solid structure to the book.  We then all worked back and forth over the manuscript.  Jonathan and Jim really emphasized to me that my pre-Hollywood life as a child in England and Scotland, and later as a soldier in India, and a producer at the BBC in its early years, could be as interesting to readers as the Hollywood stories.


David described the process perfectly here. It never felt like a difficult task because I learned so much more about him and his life in the process that it was really interesting and fun, even, to put it all into print and then hear his reaction to his life story coming alive.

5) What can we expect to find in your book?


First of all, it is an inside look at a jobbing actor, a working actor.  I was never a “star.”  I always just said that I was a jobbing actor, but I was fortunate to be one at a very special time in Hollywood.  I got to meet, work with, and even become friends with so many legends from the Golden Age of Hollywood, who were still around then -- Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Vincent Price, Doris Lloyd, Judy Garland, Alfred Hitchcock, Walt Disney … all while working on what have now become classic movies and television shows in their own right.

Jim and Jonathan emphasize to me that these are stories and details that aren’t recorded anywhere else; that will be lost to history if no one else writes them down.  For example, how many fans of 1950’s science fiction know that there were additional scenes filmed for Return of the Fly that didn’t make it into the movie?  Or who knows now that in the 1940’s interviews for the BBC were recorded on huge stacks of four-minute-long acetate discs ... and that we had to haul the microphones up through hotel room windows by ropes, feeling like idiots while Greer Garson, say, looked on patiently?  Or who knows that Rock Hudson was obsessed with puns and word-games, and liked to make up his own words; or that he was a fanatical -- absolutely fanatical -- Bridge player?  Or that Barbara Stanwyck kept all her film scripts beautifully bound in leather?  Those are little details, but they tell so much about the real people, Roy and Missy, whom I knew.

We wanted this to be a positive book.  I’m just a big movie and music fan too.  Jonathan says “geek” and that’s true.  Glenn Miller and Laird Cregar are my idols.  I wanted to share the excitement that came from being fortunate when I followed my dreams … and worked hard at them too.  It sounds like a cliché, but I was really “living the dream” … living MY dream … and I hope my story will inspire others to follow their own gut feelings;  to trust and believe in what I think of as a definite “universal intelligence” out there.

We definitely didn’t want to do another sleazy “tell-all” Hollywood book -- not that I knew much about that anyway.  I was lucky in that I knew and worked with a lot of decent, hard-working people there -- Richard Bull and Barbara Collentine, Shirley Knight, Ray Stricklyn …   I want to give them their due too.  Although there is an anecdote about Judy Garland whacking me over the head with one of her albums, and Frank Sinatra swearing at me.  Although now that I think of it, that probably wasn’t a rare occurrence with him.


David's said it well here again, so I can't add anything to this one!

6) What would you say is the most interesting thing about being a writer? 


In working on this we went into areas of my life that I haven’t looked at in decades, sometimes 80 years or more.  I remembered so many things, and in a way was able to own my own past and life, and take a new pride in my professional career.  Thanks to Jim and Jonathan I’ve connected to fandom, and it is really gratifying and astounding to realize now there have been all these people out there, around the world, who have appreciated my whole body work, not just specific things like Star Trek or 101 Dalmatians, say.  Some of them have become good friends.  I had no idea there were people in Finland who were following my career in the '60's!  And Switzerland … and Germany … and Spain ...


I've always felt that everyone in life has a story. Some are more complex or interesting than others, but everyone has a back story and finding ways to share those stories interests me. Telling stories through the written word is just a noble endeavor and one that I've always enjoyed.

7) Do you have a website, blog etc, where readers can find you? 


Because I’m legally blind -- not like with a tin cup and pencils and dark glasses... I’m pretty independent, but with limited vision -- that isn’t really a realistic option.  But Jim and Jonathan have suggested helping with something simple in that direction in the future.  In the meantime, an address for me is readily available on the internet, so if anyone wants to contact me the old fashioned way, that is always an option, and always welcome.  “Snail mail.”


I'm hoping to start one about areas of Disney history that get overlooked when a lot of fan sites emphasize heavily on the theme parks. In fact, the kinds of stories David shares about his time at Disney remind me that there are more performers or individuals with behind-the-scenes legacies to share beyond the big obvious ones of the Julie Andrews or Dick Van Dyke variety. I think diehard Disney fans are always interested to learn more about Walt and the creative people who made Disney magic.

8) Is there anything else you'd like to add?


Just a thanks to BearManor for believing in the book, to Jonathan and Jim for helping make it a reality, and to all the fans who have been writing to me and even suggesting that I write a book about my career, without knowing that’s exactly what I was actually doing.


David's one of those performers who might not be a household name, but when you take a look at his credits, most film buffs or TV fans will recognize some of the work he's done. Reading his story about how a young boy dreamed of being an actor but had no clue of how to make that a reality will speak to anyone who's ever wanted to do more in life. It's not an inspirational book by nature, but working with him, I was inspired to remember that we help chart our own destinies in life, and David's someone who made his success happen in life. He's a great role model for following your dreams!
You can order a copy of David's book here:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Calling all Reviewers!

Would you like to help BearManor authors sell more books?  If the answer is yes, then all you have to do is consider writing a review for Amazon or our BMM website and it will really help our writers a lot. 

Added to that, if you have a website or blog and would like to interview our authors or review our books, please get in touch.

Thank you!!

Overseas Shipping

We are happy to report that BearManor Media now ships to many countries around the world.  You can see the countries we deliver to, by visiting our website and choosing from the drop-box during checkout.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Book of the Week - Richard Barthelmess

This week's featured book is RICHARD BARTHELMESS: A LIFE IN PICTURES by David W. Menefee.


No one will ever forget the scene in D. W. Griffith's Way Down East where Richard Barthelmess as David rescued Anna Moore from certain death on an ice floe as it was about to plummet over a waterfall. The actor risked his life for that stunt, and the exciting sequence still thrills audiences to this day. His effort to fight back and live on became more than the stuff of Hollywood legend. Richard went on to be nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actor for The Noose and The Patent Leather Kid. His signature roles are in many of D. W. Griffith's silent films including Broken Blossoms, Scarlet Days, The Love Flower, and The Idol Dancer. Few people are aware that he was nearly felled by the chaos of Hollywood's transition from silent to talking pictures when he used a voice double to sing for him in Weary River. Despite the setback, his transition to talking pictures and work in The Dawn Patrol, Cabin in the Cotton, and Only Angel's Have Wings proved that his talent was enduring.

For the first time, the story is fully told how Alla Nazimova, a famous Russian star, plucked him from obscurity to play in her first film, and how his worldwide fame was nearly snuffed out when he followed America's call to arms and gave up his movie career to assist in the fight against Nazi aggression in World War Two. By the time he returned to civilian life, a new generation had grown up never seeing his work, but his determination to succeed against all odds regained a foothold in films, and he continued to work until retiring to a happy life as a senior citizen. Richard appeared in more than 80 films, and this book reveals them with a richly researched biography, an extensive Filmography, and hundreds of rare portraits, posters, and lobby cards that capture the glamour of Hollywood's Golden Era.

You can order a copy of the book from our website:

And you can view a trailer for the book here:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Author of the Week - Bill Levy

We are happy to have BearManor author Bill Levy as this week's featured author.


What is your background and why did you decide to become a writer?

I was born in California, raised on Long Island, and have been a resident of New Jersey for forty years.  I am a retired special education teacher who now devotes himself to freelance writing and speaking engagements. I am the author of two previous books: John Ford: A Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood Press, 1998) and Beyond the Beach: The Wit and Wisdom of Nevil Shute (BLS Publishers, 2012).  I have been writing my “Forgotten Gems” column on overshadowed films of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s for New Jersey’s monthly senior publication, Fifty Plus, since 2001. I live in Mendham, New Jersey, USA. As a teacher and a writer, I’ve always had the need to share.

What books have you written for BearManor, and what are they about?

I have just published my first book for BearManor Media, Lest We Forget: The John Ford Stock Company.  This book probes film director John Ford’s stock company of actors and actresses who worked for him, some continually, many intermittently, from his silent westerns of the ‘teens to his final films of the 1960s. 

John Ford is the only movie director to win four Best Director Academy Awards, for The Informer (1935), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941), and The Quiet Man (1952). The book spotlights 112 members of Ford’s fluid repertory company and includes a mini-chapter – and a photo – for each member of the troupe. All of them, from legendary film stars like John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Maureen O’Hara, and Jimmy Stewart to character actors like Barry Fitzgerald, Donald Crisp, Ward Bond, and Jane Darwell to obscure bit players, made substantial contributions to John Ford’s movie legacy.

Why did you choose those particular subjects?

I chose the topic of Ford’s company of players because I have always been fascinated by the “Fordian” moments” in his films, those privileged moments when Ford allows us the opportunity to glimpse the private and often painful thoughts, sentiments, and memories of another human being.  I wanted to learn more about the actors and actresses, in major and minor roles, who, along with Ford and his writers, created such unforgettable characters. 

How long did it take you to write them, and did you find it an easy task?

The book took about fifteen months to complete.  It was a difficult journey but I was helped by a group of “Fordians” and classic movie experts who were extremely generous with their time and knowledge in aiding me in researching this project.

What can we expect to find in your books?

The reader will learn a great deal about John Ford’s films that include, in addition to the four motion pictures above, Straight Shooting, The Iron Horse, Arrowsmith, The Lost Patrol, Steamboat Round the Bend, Stagecoach, Young Mr. Lincoln, Drums Along the Mohawk, They Were Expendable, Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Mister Roberts, The Searchers, The Last Hurrah, and The Man who Shot Liberty Valance, and the casts of those movies.  The book’s introduction discusses the history, achievements, and uniqueness of Ford’s stock company as well as the roles Ford and his band of actors played in creating engaging characters with distinct personalities, whether in cameo appearances, bit roles, or starring performances.

What would you say is the most interesting thing about being a writer?

The most interesting aspect of writing, be it fiction or non-fiction, is that the journey encompasses numerous unexpected adventures along the way.  I never expected to discover that members of Ford’s troupe wrote books on religion, taught Lucy how to jitterbug, were rodeo world champions, and participated in the Yukon gold rush.

Do you have a website, blog etc., where readers can find you?

You can order Bill’s book from our website:


Monday, February 11, 2013

Bill Levy

Bill Levy, author of LEST WE FORGET: THE JOHN FORD STOCK COMPANY has been interviewed by the Directed By John Ford website.


Here is a little snippet of the interview:

DxJFCapra, Hitchcock and Preston Sturges all worked with their own preferred character players repeatedly.  What are the characteristics that make Ford’s group, this “company” of players, unique in Hollywood?

BL:  Traits of Ford’s troupe that made it unique were (1) the sheer longevity of the company. Duke R. Lee was in The Soul Herder in 1917 and My Darling Clementine in 1946; J. Farrell MacDonald was in Roped in 1919 and When Willie Comes Marching Home in 1950; brother Francis was in Action in 1921 and The Sun Shines Bright in 1953; and Dan Borzage was in The Iron Horse in 1924 and Cheyenne Autumn in 1964; (2) his use of silent movies actors and actresses long after their popularity had waned; (3) his “Bad Boy’s List.” If an actor made a suggestion, and Ford thought his authority was being challenged, it might be years – if ever – before the actor worked for John Ford again; (4) the use of music on the set to create a mood. For over forty years, Dan Borzage was on hand on the set with his accordion to relax the director with Ford’s favorite hymns and songs like “Shall We Gather at the River,” “Danny Boy,” “Bringing in the Sheaves,” “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen,” and “The Monkeys Have No Tails in Zamboanga.”

You can read the full interview by visiting their website:

Bill also tells us that he has a book signing scheduled at Mendham Books, Mendham Village Shopping Center, Route 24, Mendham, NJ  USA 07595 (Tel: 973-543-4949) on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM.

He will also be attending a “Self-Published Authoir’s Fair” at the Bernardsville Public Library, 1 Anderson Hill Road, Bernardsville, NJ USA 07924  (Tel: 908-766-6630) on Saturday, February 23, 2013 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM.  Bill will be selling his BearManor book as well as his self-published (Createspace) book, Beyond the Beach: The Wit and Wisdom of Nevil Shute.

Lest We Forget is available from our website:

Mark Carlson

FLYING ON FILM: A CENTURY OF AVIATION IN THE MOVIES, 1912-2012 by Mark Carlson has received a fantastic review from Warbird Digest Magazine.

The review reads, in part:

"When it comes to aviation movie history, Carlson not only knows the right stuff, he knows the right people, and lots of them.  The author is an aviation writer who also serves as a popular docent at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, and his knowledge and relationships are put to good use in this welcomed new look at a hundred year old medium that we never seem to tire of. 

Delving into a century of Hollywood aviation would seem a challenge, but Carlson has organized this book into chapters that enable him to cover a wealth of material, all in a deft, smooth style that makes it difficult to put down.  He’s admittedly skipped a few wholly forgettable films, leaving only 174 (!) movies deemed not necessarily the best, but considered the most interesting.  I believe he’s chosen wisely."
You can visit the Warbird Digest website by clicking here:
And you can order Mark's book by visiting our website:

New Book - I'm not in Kansas Anymore

We are pleased to announce the publication of I'M NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE: A MEMORY, A LIFE, A LEGACY, A WONDERFUL UNFINISHED DANCE by Dorothy Dale Kloss.


The Fantastic Story of Dorothy Dale Kloss
From 6 to 89, she is better than ever, and still going strong!
With legs like Betty Grable, the will of Joan of Arc, the spirit of a dozen younger performers many years her junior, and tapping feet like Eleanor Powell, Dorothy Dale Kloss is truly an inspiration to young and old.
From her early childhood days in Depression-era Chicago and the strict ballet tutelage of Madame Ludwig, to The Cummerford School of Dance and teaching Bob Fosse to tap dance, her career, journey, and survival as a multitalented show business performer and a survivor of cancer, Dorothy Dale Kloss has displayed a life that is spirited, inspirational, uplifting and just plain amazing. From her early days as a headliner at 15 in the famed Empire Room of Chicago’s Palmer House, touring throughout the U.S. and South America, appearing at The Strand Theatre in New York, with “Ol’ Blue Eyes” watching her from The Paramount across the street, to her accolades on TV, in newspapers and magazines, and in a show where she appeared twice daily, she can tap out rhythms that would mystify dancers 60 years her junior.
Oh, and as for Fosse? (Bob that is!) Many have claimed intimate and first-hand knowledge of his early years, but none more accurate and real that Dorothy Hunn (her family name). She grew up on Ashland Avenue; he on Palina just two blocks away. They both were eager and willing dance students at The Cummerford School of Dance where Dorothy, being three years older and a dynamic tap dancer even then, was thrust into the position of “teacher” to the insatiable Fosse. They both shared their considerable talents in local theatricals for such outlets as The Knights of Columbus, and The Elks Club appearing as Dorothy Hunn and The Riff Brothers (a double act with Bob Fosse and Charles Grass). Many years later, as Fosse introduced Dorothy to a touring cast about to open a show at the Shubert Theatre in Chicago, he simply said, “Gang, this is Dorothy Dale, one of the greatest tap dancers you’ll ever see”!
From being a star performer in THE PALM SPRINGS FOLLIES for 15 years to receiving her very own star on THE PALM SPRINGS WALK OF STARS and starring at THE MAGIC CASTLE in Hollywood, Dorothy continues to inspire, entertain, and encourage everyone she touches to be the best and enjoy every moment of every day.
Some life, wouldn’t you agree? Survivor, yes — contributor, definitely — wonderfully gifted, caring woman, you bet — and a spirit that would propel a thousand ships — that’s DOROTHY DALE KLOSS! A life to admire, to explore, and one to inspire hundreds of thousands of “senior” citizens — hell, to inspire anyone — to realize that “age is truly a state of mind”!

-- Ken Prescott
You can order a copy of the book by visiting our website: