Tag Archives: Penny Marshall

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Yes, We’re Still Celebrating The Damn Anniversary!: KATHY NAJIMY SHARES THE SECRETS OF HOCUS POCUS TO CELEBRATE ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY

Mister D: Ya’ll know I love Bette Midler. I’m ecstatic that one of her movies is a cultural phenomenon. And I do love Hocus Pocus! But I have articles out the ass of every aspect of this movie. What more can they tell us? OMG! And there are still articles to come! LOL My only wish is that we had this much information and more on all her movies. There are things I’m dying to know about each. Maybe we’ll have to be our own reporters. But everybody’s dying off, to put things bluntly, so I wish I could figure a way out to get some first-hand accounts. Maybe if we all put our heads together we could create a list of people to contact. Think about it. Leave comments, Now enjoy this fine Hocus Pocus article. Thank you! SYFI Wire KATHY NAJIMY SHARES THE SECRETS OF HOCUS POCUS TO CELEBRATE ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY Contributed by Kristy Puchko Jul 23, 2018
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch

I tried to play it cool as my fingers drummed the index cards that contained too many questions about a cult-adored ’90s kids movie. I’d over-prepared as a means of trying to tame the butterflies in my stomach, which were doing an intense FANGRRL flutter. It’d been 25 years since Hocus Pocus hit theaters in the thick of a summer ruled by Jurassic Park and Free Willy. But I’d been in awe of comedienne Kathy Najimy for far longer. The special guest for an anniversary screening at Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse Theater, Najimy entered the theater to the delight of star-struck fans and sat down with one of them (me!) to answer questions about the witchiest comedy ever made. 1993’s Hocus Pocus was a live-action Disney movie that starred Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson Sisters, the terrors of 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts. Though they’d been hanged for sucking the lives out of the town’s children, this tricky trio vowed to return when a virgin dared to light the Black Flame candle on Halloween. 300 years later, a skeptical virgin named Max (Omri Katz) does just that, bringing Winifred, Mary, and Sarah back to life for one wild night of high-flying thrills and running amok amok amok! Singing nun by day, feminist comic by night The year before Hocus Pocus hit theaters, Najimy broke through with her scene-stealing role as the contagiously joyful nun in the Whoopi Goldberg smash-hit Sister Act. She regaled the Alamo audience with her journey from a San Fran stage to mainstream movie stardom. “I did a two-woman feminist comedy called Kathy and Mo Show for many years,” she began. “We did it in San Francisco. And I heard that they were doing a musical called Sister Act about singing nuns. So I would do Kathy and Mo in San Francisco’s Theater on the Square at night, wake up, and fly to LA and audition (the next day). And I had to audition five times for Sister Act. Then, right as we wrapped Sister Act, I got a call that was crazy.” fangrrl’s dream come true “My whole life, I had been a really sycophantic fan of Bette Midler’s,” Najimy said, continuing her tale. “I had broken in backstage on Broadway, in Los Angeles, into the theater. I had done a singing telegram to her from somebody else that was really from me. I had gotten into the gate in her New York apartment building and left a message for her housekeeper. I had done crazy things. I have a one-woman show, and the first 30 minutes of it is my relationship with Bette before she knew that she had a relationship with me.” “So then, I get the call from Jeffery Katzenberg, who ran Disney at the time, ” Najimy explained. “And he said, ‘Hey, listen, I don’t know if you’re available, but do you want to star in a movie called Hocus Pocus, playing Bette Midler’s sister?’ So they picked me up off the ground and mailed me to Los Angeles.” Najimy’s singing telegram stunt may have inspired Midler’s Beaches role. “Here’s the best part to that story,” Najjimy said, leaning in conspiratorially, “When I was in San Diego, I was a singing telegram person. And I (dressed as) a big furry bunny, because my boyfriend had designed Alice in Wonderland at some college…I had barged in backstage at some theater to get to see Bette, saying, ‘Singing telegram! Live wire singing telegrams. I have a singing telegram for Bette Midler.’ But it was really just from me.” “So anyway, I had done this singing telegram to her. (Years later), we go to see Beaches,” she said, “And in it, Bette plays an actress who makes a living as this big, white, furry singing telegram bunny. And that was me! She like inadvertently stole that from me. But that was before we really had met. That was really crazy.” When they met on Hocus Pocus, Midler didn’t recognize Najimy as the eager fan or the singing telegram bunny. “She didn’t know any of that,” Najimy said. “When I arrived, I was just an actress.” But she couldn’t contain her inner fangrrl. (Who among us?) “Slowly on the set, I’d say things like, ‘Oh my god, those boots. You wore those boots in 1979 in Chicago when you did the concert at the something.’ She was like, ‘Oh, OK, great.’ I’d go into her trailer—we’d go back and forth, Sarah and Bette and I, into each other’s trailers—and I’d be like, ‘Oh my god, that’s your little dog Pepe that you had backstage once in Canada in 1942. And slowly she started realizing that her co-star sister was her stalker.” But over the course of the six months it took to make Hocus Pocus, Midler, Najimy, and Parker grew to become friends. Mary’s crooked mouth and signature hairdo were Najimy’s ideas. Lovable and loony, Mary Sanderson’s look is a red dress complete with slanted smile and a hairstyle that looks like a witch’s hat, minus the brim. Najimy corrected the latter misconception, telling us, “The costume designer (Mary E. Vogt) was brilliant but then we were talking about wigs and we couldn’t really decide. And I said how about if her wig is the top of a pumpkin? Like the stem.” So, Mary’s style inspiration for her twisted ‘do is a Jack-o-lantern. As for that quirky smirk, that was something Najimy discovered in rehearsals. “The characters (in my previous films) came kind of easy, and I was struggling with Hocus Pocus. Then one day in rehearsal I just sort of went to the side,” she said demonstrating, “And we decided she was a like bloodhound, so this sort of sniffy thing sort of happened (as she hunts down the children).” The film’s choreographer helped the Sanderson Sisters to fly their own way. Najimy noted that director Kenny Ortega had a background as a choreographer, so the physicality of their performance was given a lot of attention. “You usually don’t rehearse much for a film,” Najimy explained. “You just rehearse that day. But we rehearsed for a month because there was flying and dancing and singing.” Hocus Pocus‘s choreographer Peggy Holmes didn’t just deal in the famous “I Put A Spell On You” dance number, she also instructed the witches on how to fly. “(Peggy went) driving with Bette and Sarah and I, and from our driving she developed how we flew. So Sarah was like very front forward so she would hold it. [She demonstrates miming a broom held closely to her chest] I was like very 10-and-2 while I was driving, so she was like. ‘That’s how you’ll fly.'” From there, stunt coordinator Terry Frazee instructed the stars on how to handle the wire rigs and teeter rig that’d allow to swoop in on Max and his pesky sister Dani (Thora Birch).

Najimy worried the film might harm the reputation of witches. ...  Read More

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

The 10 Best Movie Gangs Who’ve Gotten (Back) Together

Elle The 10 Best Movie Gangs Who’ve Gotten (Back) Together BY R. ERIC THOMAS JUN 13, 2018 Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Window Washer Photo, FWC

The crowds who flocked to theaters this past weekend to make Ocean’s 8 the number one movie in America probably left with two thoughts in mind: 1) Wow, Anne Hathaway is G.O.A.T., and we’re lucky to have her. No slander for our Oscar-winning queen; 2) Can’t wait til this gang gets back together. The Ocean’s films, of which the all-female iteration is both a sequel and a reboot, excel at one of the greatest tropes in all entertainment: the ragtag gang of old friends and newcomers who combine their skills for one so-crazy-it-just-might-work mission. Sometimes participants are lured in with the promise that this is “one last mission,” which—let’s be honest—it never is. Sometimes the draw is the promise of wealth; sometimes it’s a devil’s bargain as repayment for a past crime; sometimes it’s all in service of an old friend who could really use the specific skills of a disparate group who somehow found their way into each other’s lives. Sometimes is a highly mobile pair of pants. ...  Read More

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Garry Marshall, creator of ‘Happy Days’ and director of ‘Beaches,’ dies at 81

People Director Garry Marshall Dies of Complications From Pneumonia at 81 BY KAREN MIZOGUCHI 07/19/2016 AT 11:00 PM EDT

Instagram: @bettebae

2016-07-20_4-19-33 Garry Marshall, creator of Happy Days and director of Pretty Woman, has died. He was 81. Marshall, most known for developing and directing some of the most beloved TV shows and films, passed away on Tuesday evening of complications from pneumonia following a stroke at a hospital in Burbank, California, PEOPLE can confirm. “He loved telling stories, making people laugh, and playing softball, winning numerous championships. Even at age 81, he had a record this year of 6-1 pitching for his team,” his family said in a statement to PEOPLE. A memorial is being planned for his birthday on November 13. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in the name of Garry Marshall to the Saban Community Clinic, the Intensive Care Unit at Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank and Northwestern University Undergraduate Scholarship Fund. Marshall’s first hit was in 1970 when he developed and executive produced an adaptation of Neil Simon’s play “The Odd Couple” for ABC. He would later serve as a consultant for the 2015 remake that starred Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon. Some of his other successful sitcoms include Happy Days (1971), Laverne and Shirley (1976) and Mork and Mindy (1978). Marshall was not only popular on the small screen, but he also created hits on film. Among his 18 credits are classics such as Beaches (1988) starring Bette Midler, Pretty Woman (1990) starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, Runaway Bride (1999), The Princess Diaries (2001) and its 2004 sequel starring Anne Hathaway, Valentine’s Day (2010), New Year’s Eve (2011) and most recently Mother’s Day starring Roberts and Jennifer Aniston that was released in April 2016. Among Marshall’s final projects was a rewrite of the Pretty Woman book for the Broadway-bound musical. He also acted in front of the camera for roles in both TV and film. Some notable cameos include A League of Their Own, Beaches, Goldfinger, Happy Days, Lost in America, Murphy Brown and Pretty Woman. Marshall is survived by his wife, Barbara – to whom he was married to for 53 years – son Scott, daughters Lori and Kathleen, and sisters Penny Marshall and Ronny Hallin.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BetteBack June 14, 1992: Garry Marshall Tells His Star Secrets

The Canberra Times A director tells his star secret By LIMINE LEE June 14, 1992

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GARRY Marshall, who has served as producer of TV showssuch as Happy Days, Laverne &Mtrley and Afork and Mindy and alsodirected movies including Pretty Woman and Frankie and Johnny. says hehas a secret when working with stars.

“I always try to hire an adult to work on a project. Hector Elizondo is one ofmy favourite adults. (Elizondo costarred in Pretty Woman). All of my shows had an adult. Conrad Janis Mork and Mindy, Tom Bosley on Happy Days. Ron Howard was kind of a young adult, he was so experienced. And Bcity Garrett on Laverne & Shirley. They always hold down the fort.” ...  Read More

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dinner With Garry Marshall – Bette/Sophie Mention (Thanks Bev!)

New York Times A Family Feeling, Wherever He Digs In Drinks and Dinner With Garry Marshall By ALEX WITCHELSEPT. 25, 2014 300137_266458016699033_107549_n LEAVE it to a native New Yorker who hasn’t lived here in 53 years to still know the best place to go. Garry Marshall, director of the movies “Pretty Woman,” “Beaches” and “The Princess Diaries,” who also created the television series “Happy Days,” “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy,” is from the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. He loved his old neighborhood and never lost his delight in its easy camaraderie. So much so that when he shoots a movie, people say he doesn’t direct it as much as throw it. When I arrived at the elegant yet warmly appointed bar at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Central Park South — his choice — I began to see what that meant. Mr. Marshall, who turns 80 in November, ordered an anisette, two ice cubes — as a cocktail — and called over his friend Norman Bukofzer, the head barman. Mr. Marshall likes him so much he cast him in his latest film, “New Year’s Eve.” “Tell her your line,” he instructed, first giving me the setup, a character saying that New York City is a dangerous place. Mr. Bukofzer struck a pose. “You ever been to Newark?” he growled. Mr. Marshall laughed. “Four takes, he did it,” he said. When Mr. Bukofzer walked away, Mr. Marshall said: “He should be in the business. He knows everybody.” Soup at the Redeye Grill. Credit Philip Greenberg for The New York Times Perhaps, but when it comes to networking, no one tops Mr. Marshall. He’s been working longer and harder than most people in any business, starting in 1959, when he wrote for Joey Bishop and then for Jack Paar on “The Tonight Show” before moving on to “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Lucy Show.” He produced “The Odd Couple,” with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. And on “Murphy Brown,” he played the head of the network. Mr. Marshall is back in New York to direct a new play, “Billy & Ray,” by Mike Bencivenga, starring Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell on “Mad Men”) and featuring Sophie von Haselberg, otherwise known as Bette Midler’s daughter. “I remember on the set of ‘Beaches,’ holding her hand and saying, ‘Let’s go see what Mommy’s doing now,’ ” Mr. Marshall recalled. “Billy & Ray” tells the story of how Raymond Chandler (Larry Pine) and Billy Wilder (Mr. Kartheiser) wrote the classic film noir “Double Indemnity.” The play was first produced by the Falcon Theater in Burbank, Calif., which is owned by Mr. Marshall and run by his daughter Kathleen. It begins previews at the Vineyard Theater in Manhattan on Wednesday. Mr. Marshall made a point of saying that Ms. Von Haselberg had auditioned through the Falcon independently, even though he is famous for casting his family and friends in everything, perhaps most memorably his sister Penny Marshall in “Laverne and Shirley.” Working with relatives can be hazardous: Mr. Marshall made his father, Tony, a producer on that show, and one week, Tony decided to withhold his daughter’s $25,000 paycheck. She had been “fresh” to him, he informed his son. Mr. Marshall intervened. Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story Mr. Bukofzer told us that the chef wanted to bring over some hors d’oeuvres. Mr. Marshall regarded him glumly. He was already picking at a fruit plate, and we had a dinner reservation at Redeye Grill, owned by another friend, Shelly Fireman, a fellow alumnus of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. Eating is not one of Mr. Marshall’s strong suits, he kept insisting. As a child, he had dangerous allergies — mustard could stop his breathing — and he still views many foods as potential enemies. “Vinegar, horseradish, walnut oil,” he lamented. “One of my worst words is ‘drizzle.’ It’s the stuff they put in that you can’t see. My wife and my assistant, Heather, taste first to see what’s in a sauce. I should be a king! But I’m constantly blindsided by food. When I was a teenager, I could never put mustard on a hot dog. So I watched what the girls ate. If it was mustard, I didn’t want to hit on them. Maybe if a cute girl didn’t eat the mustard, I could kiss her.” “I have a boring diet, but I’m happy,” he went on. “The new stuff, dandelion greens, Japanese turnips?” He shuddered and, pointing to his distended left cheek, added, “Mouth cancer also doesn’t help.” He received the diagnosis before directing “New Year’s Eve” in 2011. The Redeye Grill cheesecake. Credit Philip Greenberg for The New York Times But he is still a handsome devil. He appeared this season in an episode of “Two and a Half Men,” and Betty White has asked him to play a boyfriend on “Hot in Cleveland.” He was also in an episode of “Louie,” with Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld. “When Louis C.K. called, I had to ask my son who he was, and he told me he was a very big deal,” Mr. Marshall said, amused. “He was very nice.” The chef presented the hors d’oeuvres: almost raw tuna, goat cheese, foie gras and lobster. “Is there vinegar?” Mr. Marshall asked suspiciously. The chef looked puzzled. “There is some acid,” he allowed. Once he left, Mr. Marshall opined darkly, “They say acid, but they mean vinegar.” He ate the foie gras and goat cheese and lived. Despite having his right knee replaced eight weeks ago, Mr. Marshall grabbed his cane and insisted we walk the few blocks to Redeye. I told him I had read both his memoirs, “Wake Me When It’s Funny” and “My Happy Days in Hollywood,” written with his daughter Lori, and remarked on how positive he remained, especially in such a tough business. “With cancer, I was not so positive,” he said at the table, sipping another anisette. “I thought I would never get better.” After radiation treatments, he shot “New Year’s Eve” in a brutal New York winter and contracted walking pneumonia. Once he recovered, Mr. Marshall’s wife of 51 years, Barbara, a former intensive-care nurse, insisted he go back to work. “I told her: ‘I can’t do a movie. I froze on ‘New Year’s Eve,’ ” Mr. Marshall said. “But the weather is always good in the theater.” Our first course arrived, the miso matzo ball soup with shiitake mushrooms. It was delicious, a clever hybrid of Japanese and Jewish. Everyone thinks you’re Jewish, I told Mr. Marshall, né Masciarelli. He laughed. “We’re from the Bronx,” he said. “We’re all the same.” We shared guacamole before he polished off a Dover sole with lemon butter sauce and creamed spinach. He ordered cheesecake for dessert, which he doused with a small pitcher of chocolate sauce. He ate, as my mother would say, like a horse. When Mr. Marshall produced “Happy Days,” he had a basketball court on the Paramount lot and a malted milk machine in his office. He still loves sports and plays in a senior softball league, where he will return in November, once his knee has healed. “After softball, we go to Denny’s, where we get a deal,” he told me. “I get an Oreo shake. And the soup is $2! The whole team eats.” Vineyard Theater Casts Its Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler Sophie von Haselberg To Make New York Theatrical Debut In “Billy & Ray” Meet the Cast of Vineyard Theatre’s BILLY & RAY Vincent Kartheiser Cast In Garry Marshall’s Off-broadway Comedy

Garry Marshall’s ‘Double Indemnity’ Play Will Star ‘Mad Man’ Pete Campbell ...  Read More

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Twelve Good Reasons To Watch Hocus Pocus This Halloween

BuzzFeed 12 Reasons You Can’t Wait To Watch Hocus Pocus This Halloween Even though you’ve been watching it all year round. Sept 25, 2012 bitchplerz (pssst! ~ they are BetteHeads!) Community Contributor This Dead Pan You yell “Boo00000k” when you’re lost in malls. You still don’t know if the cat’s name is “Thackery” or “Zackery”.

Bette Midler Punches SJP in the gut. Everywhere Gays are crying. ...  Read More

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Friday, January 20, 2012

BetteBack Thursday, December 1, 1988: The Man Behind “Beaches”

Tyrone Dally Herald Brother-Sister Winners Behind The Camera Thursday, December 1, 1988 HOLLYWOOD (UPI) — There has never been a brother-sister pair of motion picture directors to compare with Garry and Penny Marshall. Over the years there have been numerous successful acting siblings — the Barrymores, Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty, and the Fondas to name a few — but not in memory has Hollywood spawned a family of distinguished directors. Penny became history’s most successful woman director at the box office earlier this year with “Big,” starring Tom Hanks, which so far has grossed $110 million. A couple of years ago her older brother Garry directed Hanks in “Nothing in Common,” an impressive hit, but not nearly as big as ”Big.” It is remarkable that two members of the same clan should share the multi-faceted talents implicit in the c omp l i c a t ed b u s i n e ss of f i lm directing. The Marshalls are part of a closeknit Italian family who help each other, ex-officio, with their screen projects. Garry, at Disney Studios putting the finishing touches to “Beaches,” a drama starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, said he and Penny consult regularly. “We show up on each other’s sets at least three times when a film is shooting to make sure everything is going all right,” he said. “We give one another a lot of support. “On weekends we’re on the telephone discussing problems and ideas. When our pictures are finished, we spend time in the editing room together. I helped her with a dozen cuts on ‘Big’ and she has helped me with the sound work on ‘Beaches.’ Garry says he and Penny think alike, and he gives the credit to their mother. “Our mother taught all three of us — including my sister Ronnie who is a producer in her own right — to appreciate gentle humor and how to make exciting things happen visually. “Mother was a dance teacher, so in a lot of Penny’s and my work you see dancing and music. We make it part of the storytelling. Who can forget that dance scene with Hanks and Robert Loggia on the piano keys in “Big” Garry, Ronnie and Penny established the Northwestern University dance school in their mother’s name, the Marjorie Ward Dance Center. “I attended Northwestern and when I went back to give a speech to the alumni, 1 was proud to discover that Penny is the subject of a woman’s studies course,” he said. “What really blew me away is that my daughter is going to school there and is taking that class.” Garry first made his Hollywood mark in television. His productions included “Happy Days” and “Mork and Mindy.” But “Laverne & Shirley,” starring sister Penny and Cindy Williams, best prepared him for “Beaches.” Most of the cast of “Beaches” is female. So were the author of the book, the screenwriter and all four producers. “Bette and Barbara are two of the best stars you could ever ask to work with,” he said. ‘There were a lot of women to work with each day, i n c l u d i ng Mary Agnes Donahue, who wrote the script with the book’s author, Iris Ranier Dart. The producers were Terry Schwartz, Bonnie Bruckheimer, Margaret Jennings South and Ann Martell. We had plenty of women in the crew, including the first assistant director. “I’ve been accustomed to being around women all my life — my mother, my two sisters, my wife and two daughters. What the heck, I’m I t a l i an and a Scorpio, a horoscope sign that means I get along with females. “It was kind of u n u s u al for Disney to employ so many women on a project. I t h i nk I was brought in as an interpreter because I have a reputation for working well with women. So 1 guess I was a go-between for Disney and the producers,” Marshall said. “Bette is one of the producers. It was her project. We discussed who would be ideal to play the co-starring role with her. The part calls for a glamour girl and we tested some people before deciding on Barbara, who isn’t noted for glamour parts. “I like offbeat casting. It was an emotional decision to choose a classy beauty. We looked at the tests by actresses acting t h e ir hearts out and couldn’t make up our minds. “Then I turned off the sound and watched them in silence. Barbara was the only one who seemed to be close friends with Bette. “I also liked her ability not to fall apart in adversity. The day of her first test, Bette had to be somewhere else, so I asked Barbara to test with my secretary. Barbara hesitated a moment before saying OK. Then she acted the hell out of the scene. “Barbara has done a good deal of drama. Bette and I are from comedy. So Barbara kept us honest. ‘Beaches’ is a drama a b o ut f r i endship, l o y a l ty and female bonding.” Marshall said he o f t en t u r n ed to his actresses for advice when he was in trouble, and f ou nd them h e l p f u l. ‘There were other t imes when they’d be h a v i ng fun and I wo u ld have to play the adult,” he s a i d. ‘They always rose to the occasion with a minimum of temperament”
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