Celebrity Interviews 2009 with Cheryl Rogers-Barnett
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Author, Cheryl Rogers Barnett “Cowboy Princess” and “The All-American Cowboy Grill”, conducts one on one interviews with all the stars, at the 2009 Lone Pine Film Festival. The interviews have quickly become a favorite of festival goers and one of the most talked about events of the annual festival. (www.lonepinefilmfestival.org)  Cheryl the daughter of Lone Pine favorite Roy Rogers grew up in the movie industry and is close friends with many of the celebrities. Join with Cheryl and Lone Pine guests as you listen in on these intimate conversations .

Author, Cheryl Rogers Barnett “Cowboy Princess” and “The All-American Cowboy Grill”, conducts one on one interviews with all the stars, at the 2009 Lone Pine Film Festival. The interviews have quickly become a favorite of festival goers and one of the most talked about events of the annual festival. (www.lonepinefilmfestival.org)  Cheryl the daughter of Lone Pine favorite Roy Rogers grew up in the movie industry and is close friends with many of the celebrities. Join with Cheryl and Lone Pine guests in Statham Hall as you listen in on these intimate conversations .

 

A.C. Lyles
For 77 years, Lyles has been the quintessential company man, so much so that when the present head of the studio, Brad Grey took the reins of the company he asked Lyles to introduce him to the troops.

As a child in Jacksonville, Lyles handed out handbills for Paramount’s Florida Theater, before charming his way up to page. So excited by his new gig, he wrote his boss, Paramount’s founder Adolph Zukor, who eventually visited Florida, where he told the youth to “keep in touch.” Lyles took that to mean writing Zukor every Sunday for the next four years. When Zukor’s secretary told Lyles that letters every two months would be fine, he kept up the weekly letters and added the secretary to his correspondence list.

Lyles’ first trip to Hollywood was, ironically, on assignment for a Jacksonville newspaper to cover a 20th Century Fox star, Shirley Temple, with whom he remains friends to this day. Despite a meeting with Fox’s Darryl Zanuck initiated by Walter Winchell, Lyles went over to the Paramount lot, scoring a mailroom job and, at 19, was tapped to run the studio’s publicity department.

 

Ben Cooper
By the age of eight he was already involved in acting, with appearances on radio shows. In his teenage years he graduated to stage work. He put his experience to good use when attending Columbia University where he wrote a thesis on the subject of radio.

Cooper's earliest credited screen appearance was as an eighteen-year-old in 1952–1953 on the Armstrong Circle Theatre on NBC. He starred in 29 feature films, 18 were at Republic Pictures including JOHNNY GUITAR starring Joan Crawford.

Starting in 1959, Cooper began starring on dozens of television westerns; including the following shows shot on the Republic lot, "Wagon Train", "The Rifleman," "Gunsmoke," and "Rawhide."

Cooper also made many other television appearances, guest starring in over 50 series. He appeared on CBS’s "The Twilight Zone" created by Rod Serling and in five episodes of CBS’s legal drama "Perry Mason," CBS’s detective series "Mannix,"  ABC’s "Marcus Welby M.D." and from 1981 to 1983, Cooper had a recurring role on ABC's "The Fall Guy," starring Lee Majors.

Among Cooper's last television roles were as Mr. Parrish in two episodes of CBS's prime time hit series DALLAS and as a bureaucrat in the Dallas spinoff, KNOTS LANDING. He appeared as J. Howard Tucker in the episode "Gibbon Take" of the NBC legal drama LA LAW and Sheriff Dowd on KUNG FU: THE LEGEND CONTINUES.

Cooper's last film roles were in LIGHTNING JACK (1994) and in the two documentaries, JOAN CRAWFORD: ALWAYS A STAR and JOAN CRAWFORD: THE ULTIMATE MOVIE STAR.

 

Denny Miller
In his words ... "Once Upon a Dime... Remember when going to the movies was a dime. I do. All that magic for 10 cents. The movies in Bourbon, Indiana, where I spent my first 16 summers, were shown on the white washed outside wall of the hardware store. Bring your own chair and if it rains you have to wait till next Saturday night. Movies were a real treat and they still are but I never dreamed of being a cowboy or an actor or a space cadet. Basketball filled my dreams. Athletes were my heroes.

First Bloomington, Indiana was home, then Silver Springs, Maryland, then Baldwin, Long Island, New York and then Los Angeles with Mom and Professor Dad and younger brother Kent. My wife Nancy and I have lived in Las Vegas, NV, since 2002.


At UCLA I was studying to be a coach, basketball or football. Then a very HAPPY ACCIDENT happened. I was working at a summer job moving furniture. While loading a truck with office furniture in Hollywood, I heard a voice yell "Hey you!" "Me?" I said to the guy leaning out the window of his car that was stopped by the curb. "Yes" he said. "Come here and let me see your hair line."

I was sure I didn't hear what I thought I'd heard so I put down the chair I was taking to the truck and went over to the fella. "Let me see your hair line." he repeated. I thought the guy was loony tunes so I brushed the hair out of my face, said "How's that?" and turned to go back to work. Over my shoulder I heard, "Here's my card, call me at my office." I took the card and he drove off. The card said "Talent Agent."

I showed the card to my boss who said "Just load the furniture!" We did and took it to, and I'm not making this up, a Hollywood Agency. While moving the desks and chairs into the offices three more agents gave me their cards. Nothing like this had happened to me before and it hasn't happened again.

Like I said A HAPPY ACCIDENT. Who said "Life is what happens to you while you're on your way to do something else." I called the first Agent that had given me his card and that led to an interview at Review Studios and that to a screen test.

The screen test was of the "personality" variety. That means you don't have to know how to act. Just stand or sit in front of the camera and answer questions like ---"What is your name?" "Where do you live?" What do you do?" Real tough test. I didn't forget my name so I got a 7 year contract as a studio contract player. Bye bye basketball!

Lucky? You bet! Luck got me another screen test. This one was a scene from the play Voice of the Turtle. The test was directed by Oscar winning director, George Cukor. The contract that resulted was for that of a studio contract player for MGM. That led to the role of Tarzan. Thank you Mr. Cukor.    Good luck, a good agent and good health have been with me ever since."

 

Diamond Farnsworth
An active stunt coordinator, Diamond Farnsworth is an accomplished stuntman, serving as stunt coordinator on the show NCIS, and before that working on Jag and Quantum Leap. Diamond is the son of famous stuntman and actor Richard Farnsworth and began his stunt career in 1968. He has been serving as a stunt coordinator since 1980. He began with Paint Your Wagon and was stunt double for Sylvester Stallone in First Blood, Rambo and Rhinestone. He has also doubled Kevin Costner, Dennis Quid and Jeff Bridges. He has loaned to the museum his father’s “Ken Maynard chaps,” given to Richard by the famous western star.

 

Dick Jones
American actor who achieved some success as a child and as a young adult, especially in B-Westerns and in television. The son of a Texas newspaper editor, Jones was a prodigious horseman from infancy, billed at the age of four as the World's Youngest Trick Rider and Trick Roper. At the age of six, he was hired to perform riding and lariat tricks in the rodeo owned by western star Hoot Gibson. Gibson convinced young Jones and his parents that there was a place for him in Hollywood, and the boy and his mother went west. Gibson arranged for some small parts for the boy, whose good looks, energy, and pleasant voice quickly landed him more and bigger parts, both in low-budget Westerns and in more substantial productions.

In 1940, he had one of his most prominent (although invisible) roles, as the voice of Pinocchio (1940) in Walt Disney's animated film of the same name. Jones attended Hollywood High School and, at 15, took over the role of Henry Aldrich on the hit radio show "The Aldrich Family." He learned carpentry and augmented his income with jobs in that field. He served in the Army in Alaska during the final months of World War II. Gene Autry, who before the war had cast Jones in several Westerns, put him back to work in films and particularly in television, on programs produced by Autry's company. Now billed as Dick Jones, the handsome young man starred as Dick West, sidekick to the Western hero known as "The Range Rider" (1951), in a TV series that ran for 76 episodes in 1951 (and for decades in syndication). Then Autry gave Jones his own series, "Buffalo Bill, Jr." (1955)', which ran for 40 episodes. Jones continued working in films throughout the 1950s, then retired and entered the business world.

 

Geri Jewell
Geri Jewell is best known as Cousin Geri on the NBC sitcom, "The Facts of Life".  She was the first person with a disability to have a regular role on a prime time series. She began her career doing stand up comedy at the Comedy Store in 1978. In 1980 she performed at the 2nd Annual Media Access Awards, when she was introduced to Norman Lear by producer, Fern Field.  After her ground breaking role on "Facts" she has appeared on such shows as "The Great Space Coaster", the Emmy award winning movie "Two of a Kind, "Sesame Street," "Jump Street," "Young and the Restless," "Strong Medicine" and the HBO hit series, "Deadwood."

When Geri is not working in television, she is a highly sought after motivational speaker and trainer in the areas of disability and diversity. She has consulted for such companies as Hewlett Packard, Master Foods, Johnson Wax, AT&T, and Amgen. She has also trained such government agencies as The C.I.A., The U.S. Treasury Department, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Army.  She is famous for her uncanny ability to captivate the hearts of her audiences by using humor to facilitate attitudinal change. Geri brings to her presentations her personal experiences in life, which in turn allow people to gain insight into the prospect of seeing disability in a totally different light, creating hope where there is none, and joy where there is pain.

In addition to her ongoing speaking circuits, she has never forgotten her roots in comedy. She has appeared on many of the cable comedy shows, including Evening at the Improv on A&E, and Stand Up Spotlight on VHI. She has opened for Paul Anka, Robert Goulet, and Judy Collins. She has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, E Hollywood True Story, and ABC's 20/20.

She is co-staring in a new independent film,"Night of the White Pants" released in 2008. All in all, Geri is enjoying a thriving career. She has been the recipient of many awards, including the 1992 Founders Award, the 2005 Independent Living Legacy Award, and the 2006 Victory award.


Hugh O'Brien
Born on April 19, 1923 (some references list 1925), in Rochester, New York, actor Hugh O'Brian had the term "beefcake" written about him during his nascent film years in the early 1950s, but he chose to avoid the obvious typecast as he set up his career. He first attended school at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, then Kemper Military School in Booneville, Missouri. Moving from place to place growing up, he managed to show off his athletic prowess quite early. By the time he graduated from high school, he had lettered in football, basketball, wrestling and track. Originally pursuing law, he dropped out of the University of Cincinnati in 1942 (age 19) and enlisted in the Marine Corps. Upon his discharge he ended up in Los Angeles.

Hugh joined a little theater group and a Santa Barbara stock company where he developed his acting chops and slowly built up his résumé. He was discovered for TV by director/actress Ida Lupino which opened the door to his signing with Universal Studios for films. Hugh's gentlemanly ruggedness, similar to a James Garner or a Gene Barry, was ideal for pictures, and his lean physique and exceptionally photographic mug had the modest, brown-eyed, curly-haired looker plastered all over the movie magazines. He rebelled against the image for the most part and, as a result, his years with Universal were not as fruitful as they could have been. For the duration, he was pretty much confined as a secondary player to standard action pictures such as Red Ball Express (1952), Son of Ali Baba (1952) and Seminole (1953). It was Rock Hudson who earned all of the Universal glamour guy roles and the out-and-out stardom that could easily have been Hugh's.

In 1954, he left Universal to freelance but did not fare any better until offered the starring role in "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955) on TV, a year later. It became a mainstay hit and Hugh an "overnight" star. During his six-year run on the western classic, he managed to show off his singing talents on variety shows and appeared on Broadway. The handsome bachelor remained a durable talent throughout the 60s and 70s with plentiful work on the summer stock stage and on TV, including the series "Search" (1972), but never got the one role to earn the critical attention he merited.

A sports enthusiast, his hobbies have included sailing, tennis, swimming and long-distance bicycling and his many philanthropic efforts have not gone unrecognized. His proudest achievement is the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), which he founded in 1958 after spending considerable time with Dr. Albert Schweitzer and his clinic in Africa. Struck by the impassioned work being done by Schweitzer, O'Brian set up his own program to help develop young people into future leaders. O'Brian has since been awarded honorary degrees by several prestigious institutions of higher learning. The perennial bachelor finally "settled down" and tied the knot at age 81 with long-time companion Virginia Barber who is close to three decades his junior. They live in his Benedict Canyon home. He is at this time working on an autobiography.
 

Loren Janes
In 1954, Loren became a professional movie and television stuntman and stunt coordinator, making his debut in movies with an eighty-foot dive off a cliff on Catalina Island in an Esther Williams movie. In the following years, he worked with practically every major director, producer, and star in the industry, including doubling for Steve McQueen his entire 23-year career, Jack Nicholson, Kirk Douglas, Paul Newman, Michael Douglas, Charles Bronson, Robert Wagner, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Yul Brunner, and Frank Sinatra. He has appeared in more than 500 movies and in over 2,200 television shows.

Loren feels fortunate that in his long career he has never been seriously injured. In fact, he has never broken a bone. He gives credit for this to his coaches for teaching him discipline and focus, his acrobatic background, staying in good shape, never smoking, drinking, or using drugs, and his faith in God.


In 1961, he was co-founder of the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures and Television, the original Stuntmen's organization.  In 1992, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and was the National Chair of the SAG Stunt and Safety Committee. In August 2001, Loren received the coveted life time achievement award, the Golden Boot (the Oscar for Westerns). In April 2003, Loren received the “Galler

 

Paul Picerni
As a child Paul Picerni had aspirations to become an attorney until he acted in an eighth-grade play and later learned that the school principal liked his performance and called him "a born actor". He next appeared in little theater productions, then (after World War II Air Force service) on the stage at Loyola University. Picerni was acting in a play in Hollywood when he was spotted by Solly V. Bianco, head of talent at Warner Brothers; brought to the studio, the young actor was given a role in Breakthrough (1950). This WWII actioner turned out to be aptly named, as it led to a Warners contract for Picerni and a long succession of roles at that studio. Best-known for his second-banana role on the TV classic "The Untouchables" (1959) with Robert Stack, Picerni is the father of eight and grandfather of ten.


Peggy Stewart
Florida-born Peggy O'Rourke's parents divorced when she was very young. Peggy's mother eventually married a wealthy attorney named Stewart, and Peggy took his name. She grew up in Atlanta (where she developed the athletic skills she would later demonstrate in her many westerns for Republic Pictures).

On a family vacation to Los Angeles to visit her grandmother, Peggy, as a lark, attended classes at a dramatic school, but the acting bug hit her hard and when it was time to return to Atlanta, Peggy talked her mother into letting her staying with her grandmother. As luck would have it, a resident of the apartment building they lived in was character actor Henry O'Neill, who took a liking to Peggy and got her cast in her first film, Wells Fargo (1937).

She picked up a few more small roles, and acquitted herself so well the parts started getting bigger and she was working more often. She married actor Don 'Red' Barry in 1940, and was eventually signed by Republic Pictures, Barry's studio, to make westerns and serials. In three years, Peggy did almost 30 films at Republic, most of them westerns. She appeared in two of the studio's more successful serials, but when Republic assigned her to another one, she protested. She didn't particularly like working in serials, preferring the feature westerns, which didn't take as long to film. Eventually, the struggle with Republic got to the point where Peggy asked for her release, and she got it.

Although she wanted to start doing films other than westerns, she had made so many at Republic that she found herself basically unable to find work in any other genre. She freelanced for Monogram, Allied Artists, PRC and other small studios until she was picked up by Columbia--which immediately put her into serials.

She eventually decided to leave the film business, and did so in 1953. She did do some television work (mostly westerns!) while raising her family, and also performed in the Los Angeles theatrical community. She kept her hand in the film business, making occasional appearances in some lower-budget westerns, made-for-TV movies and inexpensive horror pictures.

 

Perry King
Perry King was born on April 30, 1948 in Alliance, Ohio.  He is the fourth of five children born to a physician; grandson of the famous literary editor Maxwell Perkins, and has ancestral ties to the Declaration of Independence.  Perry received a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama at Yale University and proceeded on to Julliard to study under John Houseman.  He's made over 50 films and made-for-television movies; including a few television series' and stage appearances; directed productions; contributed his voice as Han Solo in the National Public Radio's "Star Wars" series and participated in the CD-ROM game "Emergency Room". 

He is widely known for portraying 'Cody Allen' in the 1984 -1986 NBC Series Riptide; 'Hayley Armstrong' in the Fox series Melrose Place in 1995; 'Richard Williams' in the 2000 NBC Series Titans and most recently he played President Blake in 2004's The Day After Tomorrow.  In 1984 he was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion picture Made for Television for his performance in The Hasty Heart co-starring Gregory Harrison and Cheryl Ladd.  In 1997 King received a Robbie award for Best Actor for his performance in Doug Heyes, Jr.'s "Seven Out" at the Globe Playhouse in Los Angeles.

Perry married Karen Hryharrow, his college sweetheart, when he was 19 and had a daughter, Louise, on November 5, 1970.  Their marriage ended in 1980.  An avid motorcyclist with over 30 in his collection, he met Jamison [Jamie] Elvidge, an avid motorcyclist in her own right and one-time editor of the motorcycle magazine, American Woman Road Riding.  On June 9, 1990 they were married and in February 1992, daughter Hannah was born. The couple have since divorced.  He also enjoys auto racing and has competed in several celebrity/charity events. 

Perry has participated with the annual 'Love Ride' and 'Ride for Kids' in Los Angeles; on the Advisory Board at the American Academy where his most enjoyable work is unofficial coaching of students; is the national spokesperson for the Olive Crest Homes for Abused Children in Orange County, California, and remains  involved with that particular charity for over 20 years.  Perry also enjoys auto racing and has competed in several celebrity and charity races over the years. In 2004 he was the national spokesperson for the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

Perry is 'dad' first and foremost.  Daughter Louise, born in 1970, is a graduate cum laude with a juris doctorate and is presently finishing her medical residency. In February 2005 Louise gave birth to daughter Kate, making Perry a grandfather at 57.  Youngest daughter Hannah is Ivy League bound and is presently attending school in California.

Perry’s favorite times are spent exploring Death Valley and working on his 500+ acre ranch in northern California, which he purchased around the time he portrayed Clint Brannan in Family Channel’s 1998 television film, ‘The Cowboy and the Movie Star’.  In his own words, “I loved the character so much I decided to become him.”  He doesn’t like to talk about himself, watch his own work and doesn't like to dwell in the past.  He'd much rather  “look forward and up, if that makes sense.” 

More than thirty years after his debut in The Possession of Joel Delaney, Perry King is still performing a multitude of different roles for television and film and sums up his career as an actor in this manner:  "Even if I never work again I'm one of the luckiest actors who's ever lived."

 

Stella Stevens
A native of Hot Coffee, Mississippi, Stella Stevens was married at 15, a mother at 16 and divorced at 17. While attending Memphis State College, Stella became interested in acting and modeling. Her film debut was a bit part in Say One for Me (1959), but her appearance in Li'l Abner (1959) as Appassionata Von Climax is the one that got her noticed. Then her centerfold spread in Playboy was one of the most popular issues. She co-starred with some of the biggest names in movies such as Bobby Darin in Too Late Blues (1961); Elvis Presley in Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962); Glenn Ford in The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963); Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor (1963); and Dean Martin in The Silencers (1966). She appeared on the television series "Surfside 6" (1960); "Ben Casey" (1961) and the soap opera "General Hospital" (1963).

By the late 1960s, her career had leveled off and she was appearing in roles based on her looks. One of her best performances at that time was in the movie The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970), where she played Hildy, and showed that her talent was more than physical. But then she appeared in a poor offering like Slaughter (1972). In the 1970s and 1980s, Stella became a fixture in movies made for television and appeared in a number of television series. Her big screen career may have slowed during that time, but she has appeared in a number of movies in every decade since she debuted.

William Wellman
Rangy, sturdy-looking actor William Wellman Jr., was born in Los Angeles on January 20, 1937, one of seven children born to legendary director William A. Wellman and his fourth wife, one-time actress Dorothy Coonan Wellman, who appeared in a few of her husband's pictures. Bill Jr. spent most of his childhood surrounded by Hollywood celebrity. He got the fresh taste of a film set as a youngster when he appeared unbilled in a couple of his father's features. Following graduation, he attended Duke University but eventually abandoned that direction for a career in the movies.

Starting off in featured parts in the war pictures Lafayette Escadrille (1958) and Darby's Rangers (1958), both of which directed by his father, Bill Jr. found other work on his own in less quality films. Some of the teen exploitation he found himself in have since attained cult status, including High School Confidential! (1958), Macumba Love (1960) and College Confidential (1960). "Billy Jack" director Tom Laughlin also began using Bill prominently in his early work such as Like Father, Like Son (1965) [The Young Sinner] and The Born Losers (1967). In sparser times he managed to find some unbilled bits in several of Jerry Lewis's film slapstick of the 1960s, and fell in with the party crowd in A Swingin' Affair (1963), Winter A-Go-Go (1965) and A Swingin' Summer (1965). His TV career kicked in as the 1960s approached with a number of rugged guest roles on such established westerns as "Have Gun, Will Travel," "Rawhide," "Laramie" and "Gunsmoke."

In later years, Bill found work in a few more cult classics, including Black Caesar (1973), It's Alive (1974), and Laughlin's "Billy Jack" sequels. Establishing himself as a solid character actor, he took the lead in the apocalypse thrillers Image of the Beast (1980) and The Prodigal Planet (1983), the latter featuring daughter Cathy Wellman. While the quality of a number of his films over the years are certainly suspect, Bill has managed longevity and durability in a very difficult business. Moreover, he is credited with nearly 200 movies and television shows, 17 stage productions and some 200 commercial and industrial films. In addition to his acting work, his nearly 50-year career includes writing and producing efforts. He has occasionally appeared as a guest lecturer and has been active at autograph conventions. Of his many siblings, sister Cissy Wellman has also established herself on stage, film and TV.