Famosos artistas que se iniciaron en comerciales de TV

Antes de comenzar sus carreras artísticas, o para reforzarlas, muchos famosos participaron como modelos en comerciales de televisión. Anunciaban desde refrescos y papas fritas, hasta detergentes para trastes y antiácidos. Cantantes y actores como Shakira, Gloria Estefan, María Félix, Ricardo Arjona y Verónica Castro lo hicieron, sin saber la fama que alcanzarían. Por ejemplo, Lucía Méndez anunciaba una marca de camisas para caballero, Christian Bach modelaba pantimedias, Ernesto Laguardia se bañaba con un champú anticaspa y Chayanne recomendaba comprar una modernísima cámara fotográfica que era …

NBC Hopes for Big Ratings With Thursday’s ‘Peter Pan’

Thursday’s Peter Pan Live!, at 8 p.m. ET, would be must-see TV if for no other reason than 71-year-old Christopher Walken dancing as the villainous Captain Hook. The singular star of Deer Hunter, Hairspray and many a Saturday Night Live sketch has fond memories of tap lessons as a kid. He asked the show’s producers to go heavy on the terpsichorean turns in this version of the beloved musical. His will be the dancingest Hook ever, they promised on last week’s …

Don Pardo: The Man with the Big Voice

As a staff announcer at NBC for 60 years, Don Pardo was a robust, velvety virtuoso of enunciation, whose baritone resonated like the aftertaste of a full-bodied fine wine. His trademark gig was performing the introductions at the beginning of each episode of Saturday Night Live, which he did for all but one season between the show’s debut in October 1975 and its most recent season finale in May.   Pardo, who died on Aug. 18 at age 96 in …

Eli Wallach: The Good, the Bad and the Brilliant

Eli Wallach is burned into our memories as the “Ugly” in Sergio Leone’s 1966 spaghetti western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. As Tuco Ramí­rez, the malevolent but clownish bandit who tangles with a bounty hunter (Clint Eastwood) and a cold-blooded killer (Lee Van Cleef) over a cache of Confederate gold, Wallach gave a performance that was lauded as “inspired” by critic Roger Ebert, who wrote that “Wallach took this low-rent role seriously and made something evocative out of it.” …

CNN Summer Series ‘The Sixties’ Debuts May 29

Let’s just proclaim Tom Hanks America’s Official Historian. The first TV program Hanks ever produced was the monumental miniseries From Earth to the Moon (1998).  His G.I. dramas Band of Brothers (2001) and The Pacific (2010) remain the definitive World War II miniseries. And now he’s the executive producer of CNN’s ambitious attempt to crystalize the most turbulent decade of the past half-century, the 10-part documentary series The Sixties. CNN has made a few episodes available to the press for …

Efrem Zimbalist Jr.: The Actor Who Went From Private Eye to Mr. FBI

Back in late 1950s and early 1960s, one of the coolest series on the tube was 77 Sunset Strip, a stylish variation on hard-boiled detective noir infused with wise-cracking hipster humor – sort of Raymond Chandler meets the Rat Pack, set in what TV historian Horace Newcomb describes as “a sun-drenched world of cocktails, cool jazz and convertibles.” The show’s star was Efrem Zimbalist Jr., who, as suave detective Stuart “Stu” Bailey, deftly tangled with tough guys, charmed beautiful dames and unraveled mysteries …