From the Desk of Dr. Hildy®
CIRCUS TIME with the STARS of JUMBO
Over the years you may have seen a number of movies that have given you great joy. A piece of history that allows you to reflect back to your childhood and smile. A time when you went to a circus ate cotton candy, popcorn and candy apples watched the big cats in action and the clowns as you sat under the Big Top watching the Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth and its historical merger with the Ringling Brother’s Circus.
The age of the circus took many turns as it went by — ornate wagons and animal cages on the dirt road for over 150 years — to the great railroad ways in major cities. The train would stop and let off the animals, clowns, stars of trapeze as they collectively entertain the town with even a parade.
Dr. Hildy® remembers these days very well and recalls sharing them with her childhood friends. She even can say she rode an elephant at the circus. Gone are these days, which gave much enjoyment to children and adults.
The movie many will remember is JUMBO starring Jimmy Durante, Doris Day, Stephen Boyd, AND Martha Raye.
Boyd and Durante have passed away years ago, but the star still gracing our Earth with her glorious shining rays is Ms. Doris Day. Even though her other co-stars are looking down from their seats in heaven (with a smile in their hearts), they can say she is doing wonderful work with her animal rescue programs as her golden rays shine on.
In the movie the song “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” was sung by Stephen Boyd, and many a young lady felt he was singing that song to them in the audience.
Stephen Boyd (vocal: James Joyce) – The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (from M-G-M’s “Jumbo”)
Stephen Boyd is best known for his role in Ben Hur with Charlton Heston as Messala. Dr. Hildy® will tell you that the chariot race with Ramon Novarro and Francis X. Bushman is one you will always remember forever as you compare it to Heston’s and Boyd’s racing skills.
Many of you do not know that Stephen Boyd did a special interview with Ramon Novaro and Francis X. Bushman at the Brown Derby about the great chariot race in Ben Hur in 1959 for the release of the remake of Ben Hur. All of these great actors including Charlton Heston drove their chariots for the silver screen. Some experienced injury and great muscle fatigue, but the art of handling a chariot shows to this day as an exquisite style of their roles for the movie – Ben Hur.
Stephen Boyd passed away at age 47 from a heart attack playing his favorite sport, golf. His years in acting may have been limited but the movies he made are full of adventure, drama and style.
Even his role with Omar Sharif and Telly Savalis in Genius Khan is remembered with great excitement.
James Francis Durante was an American singer, pianist, comedian, and actor. His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, Lower East Side Manhattan accent, comic language-butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and prominent nose helped make him one of America’s most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s. He often referred to his nose as the schnozzola (from the Yiddish slang word “schnoz” [big nose]), and the word became his nickname.
And if you ever loved TARZAN movies with Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O’Hara, Cheeta and Boy (Johnny Sheffield, Jr.) will remember a parody on Tarzan made by Jimmy Durante called Schnarzan (Tarzan, eat your heart out) with Lupe Velez. A very funny spoof on Tarzan with Durante swinging on vines with Cheeta, but not exactly in the same style and grace of the greatest Tarzan that ever was in Dr. Hildy’s book – Johnny Weissmuller. Dr. Hildy® will tell you when you think of Tarzan and his great yell you will always remember the Olympic Gold Medal (5 medals) winner Johnny Weissmuller.
Jimmy Durante ~ Himself (Jimmy Durante)/Schnarzan the Shouting Conqueror
Johnny Weissmuller’s son, Johnny Weissmuller, Jr. authored a wonderful book about his father entitled Tarzan, My Father. A beautiful presentation by a loving son, who was a US Navy Diver and actor who passed away in 2006 before his book was released.
Jimmy Durante in his retirement from theater, voice over for cartoons and movie acting in the late 1960’s was like Red Skelton who did many fund raisers for children with chronic diseases and disabilities. Durante contributed numerous catch-phrases to our popular vernacular: “Dat’s my boy dat said dat!”; “Dat’s moral turpentine!”; “It’s a catastastroke!” (for “catastrophe”); “Everybody wants ta get inta the act!”; “Umbriago!”; “Ha-cha-cha-chaaaaaaa!”; “I got a million of ’em”; “Surrounded by assassins!”; “Am I mortified!”
On August 15, 1958, for his charitable acts, Durante was awarded a huge three-foot-high brass loving cup by the Al Bahr Shriners Temple. The inscription reads: “JIMMY DURANTE THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS COMEDIAN. A loving cup to you Jimmy, it’s larger than your nose, but smaller than your heart. Happiness always, Al Bahr Temple, August 15, 1958.”
Durante’s love for children continued through the Fraternal Order of Eagles, who among many other causes raises money for handicapped and abused children. At Durante’s first appearance at the Eagles International Convention in 1961, Judge Bob Hansen inquired about his fee for performing. Durante replied, “Do not even mention money judge or I’ll have to mention a figure that’ll make ya sorry ya brought it up.” “What can we do then?” asked Hansen. “Help da kids,” was Durante’s reply. Durante performed for many years at Eagles conventions free of charge, even refusing travel money. The Fraternal Order of Eagles changed the name of their children’s fund to the Jimmy Durante Children’s Fund in his honor, and in his memory have raised over 20 million dollars to help children. A reporter once remarked of Durante after an interview: “You could warm your hands on this one.” One of the projects built using money from the Durante Fund was a heated therapy swimming pool at the Hughen School in Port Arthur, Texas. Completed in 1968, Durante named the pool the “Inka Dinka Doo Pool”.
Martha Raye played a clown, gypsy fortune teller and a trapeze Butterfly Flyer in the movie Jumbo.
She was a comic actress and singer who performed in movies, and later on television. She was honored in 1969 with an Academy Award as the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient for her volunteer efforts and services to the troops.
On November 2, 1993 prior to her passing in 1994 (pneumonia), she was awarded the Presidential Medal for Freedom by President Bill Clinton for her service to her country during World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam conflict earned her the nickname “Colonel Maggie” and an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army.
Martha Raye was the fifth person to be awarded Honorary Green Beret. While in Vietnam she would assist those in combat hospitals instead of performing because she was an LPN (License Practical Nurse).
AND: We have a winner….
Dr. Hildy® hopes you will enjoy the opportunity of winning a Baci Mi® Gift package that has these tremendous, caring and joyous personalities of the silver screen in their honor. Call in number is 323-466-2599 Integrative Health Systems®, LLC.
The Baci Mi® Gift Package contains: DVDs of Jumbo, Doris Day Collection, Walt Disney’s® Toby Tyler at the Circus; History of the Ringling Brothers Circus, Ben Hur Anniversary Collection; My Sweet Honey Bee soap; Baci Mi Dragon Fly gel; Ms. Quito Skin Toner, a special tea cup and Dragon Jasmine Peal Tea as well as some other special gifts.