My Kiss from a Famous Actress by Tony Piazza
During my time on the Turner Classic Movie Fan site as a blogger I posted a tease regarding a kiss from a famous actress. I called it “Kiss and Tell.” I ran it for several weeks dropping occasional clues and allowing them to post guesses. Needless to say I got some interesting answers, but none that were correct. Finally we reached a point where I felt I’d milked it for all it was worth, and then dropped a hint that I knew someone would catch onto. Below is what I posted in response to the correct answer:
(Fan’s name) wins the bragging rights. He sniffed out the truth. We should all give him a round of applause for barking up the right tree!
From the photograph you can see that it was LASSIE. This was taken in 1969 and the kiss was not voluntary by the lady in question- the trainer (RUDD WEATHERWAX) said, “Kiss, Lassie!” just before the shot was taken. My other prizes from that visit was an autographed (paw print) picture of Lassie, production golf hat, and pin with Lassie’s image on it. The television movie was released four years later- why the delay? I never did find out. Lassie filmed twice in the bay area. The first was this 1969 feature when I visited the location at Golden Gate Park’s Arboretum, and then again in 1978, a film which had JIMMY STEWART in the starring role (aside from Lassie that is).
Lassie and Me (1969).
Having been a fan of the television show in the 60s, it was exciting to meet the dog (or at least the next generation of Lassie). As a bit of trivia, she also had her own stunt dog which I also saw that day… actually a “Laddie”… (An incident by a tree gave that away).
The make artist, DONALD SCHOENFELD who I’d worked with on “The Streets of San Francisco” also had been assigned to the TV Lassie (1954-1973) series from 1958 until 1963. The stars on that show were JUNE LOCKHART (Ruth Martin) and JON PROVOST (Timmy Martin). Sorry to say, but disregard all the rumors, Timmy never needed rescuing from falling down a well!
Jon Provost and Lassie
June Lockhart as Ruth Martin, Timmy’s mother.
Just an aside, a Lassie Dog Food commercial (perhaps this should be counted as a third appearance by Lassie in the bay area) did film in San Francisco after the completion of this film. My father worked on that production, but also evidently provided a distraction as well. In the shot, a pack of dogs led by Lassie come running down one of San Francisco’s famous streets, however one little dachshund at the back of the pact kept ruining the shot. He would peel off from the group and run over to my dad, who was standing on the sidelines and lick his boots!
Now the next big question: Have I ever got a kiss from a human actress… Well, here I can definitely say that I would never Kiss and Tell!
My rescue puppy, Toby, doing a shameless commercial for my first book!
Hope this isn’t regarded cruelty to animals!
Tony Piazza is author of the 1930s Hollywood murder mystery novel, “Anything Short of Murder,” which had its roots on the TCM fan website. His second novel, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” was next released early 2012, and in July of this year, his latest Tom Logan Mystery, “A Murder Amongst Angels” was published and is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. He was an actor/extra during the 1970s and worked with such legends as Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Karl Malden. His non-fiction e-book “Bullitt Points” is an in depth look at the making of “Bullitt” from a person who was there. Look for it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites, or at the link posted below. All profits go to the Boys Republic charity: www.bullittpoints.com.
Tony Piazza is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and SLONightWriters.
The novels that started it all. The first and second novel in the Tom Logan mystery series have become audio books- read by actor James Romick, and is available on Audible, Amazon, and I-tunes.
The NEW Tom Logan mystery, “Murder is Such Sweet Revenge” is available in print, e-book, AND SOON, audio book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites.
My earlier bestselling novels, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” and “Anything Short of Murder” now joins “A Murder Amongst Angels” and “Murder is Such Sweet Revenge” on Amazon’s Kindle at a new, low price of $2.99. Now you can have hours of adventure, thrills, mystery, and romance for the price of a cup of coffee- and just as stimulating! Look for it on Amazon. Print versions have also been reduced.
Also: The new Tom Logan mystery thriller, A Murder Amongst Angels .
Find them all on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. Also available for $2.99 on Kindle.