“Goddamn you! Goddamn you all to hell!” shouted one Charlton Heston in the closing scene of the original (and best) Planet of the Apes movie. The 1968 sci-fi classic, with screenplay by Rod Serling, has the best twist ending of all time – when astronaut Heston sees the submerged Statue of Liberty – and realizes he’s been on earth this whole time. (Sorry for the spoiler.)
The movie was an innovator at the time with groundbreaking special effects and makeup. The 1968 film won makeup artist, John Chambers, an Oscar. Chambers used to work in a military hospital creating prosthetic noses, chins and other body parts for disfigured patients. He applied those skills to Planet of the Apes – back matchbox dating in the days long before CGI effects.
Wow! It would’ve been a whole different Gilligan’s Island if Raquel Welch was cast in the role of girl-next-door, Mary Anne. She probably didn’t get the part because she would’ve been sexier than the show sex symbol, Ginger. When producers revamped the series after the pilot episode – they made Mary Anne more wholesome. Welch didn’t fit the bill. She auditioned but didn’t get the gig.
Other famous people who were considered to be cast members on Gilligan’s Island included Jayne Mansfield for the role of Ginger, Carroll O’Connor as Skipper, Jerry Van Dyke as Gilligan, and Dabney Coleman as the Professor. In alternative universe – this could’ve been a completely different show.
Early (and later) era Tom Petty was the coolest. Petty was the greatest musical force to come out in Gainesville, Florida. Petty dropped out of high school at 17 to play bass with his newly formed band, Mudcrutch. Meanwhile he took guitar lessons from Don Felder who would later went on to perform with The Eagles. While waiting for his big musical break, Petty worked as a grave digger.
A very influential moment for Petty was in the summer of 1961. His uncle was working on the set of the Elvis Presley film, Follow That Dream.Petty was invited Petty to watch the shoot and met The King. Petty said, of the meeting, “Elvis glowed.”
There were two cars featured on the TV show, The Munsters. The first was the Munster Koach. The second was the DRAG-U-LA. Both hipster vehicles were created by car designer Tom Daniel who worked for George Barris and Barris Kustom Industries. Talk about a suped-up machine, the body of DRAG-U-LA was built from a real fiberglass coffin purchased from a funeral home in North Hollywood. At the time, it was illegal to sell a coffin without a death certificate. So the production design crew made an under-the-counter deal with the funeral director and paid in cash. The coffin was then dropped off outside the rear door of the funeral parlor at night where it could be collected after dark.
Before she was Ginger on Gilligan’s Island, Tina Louise was interviewing Elvis Presley when he was in the military and stationed at Fort Dix. In 1959, Elvis had returned from military duty in Germany. At the time, Louise was a struggling actress trying to get a foothold in the business. She appeared as a pinup model as well as in pictorials for Playboy magazine. The gigs were arranged by Columbia Pictures studio in an effort to further promote the young actress.