Tag: Bobbie Cimo

Home > ArchivesTag: Bobbie Cimo

The Price is Right (I mean Write)

April 13, 2009 by in category Archives tagged as ,

by Bobbie Cimo

The other day I was on my way to my office when I saw a familiar looking person heading toward me with an entourage at his side. It was none other than Bob Barker, of the famed “Price Is Right”. He greeted me with a big “Hello”, to which I vigorous replied with a, “Hi, how ya doing?” We shared a smile and Bob continued walking toward his old stomping ground, Stage 33, where for the past thirty-five years he had hosted his daily TV show at CBS-Television City.

I wasn’t sure if this friendly exchange between us was because he remembered me from all those times we’ve said our hellos over the years, passing each other in the hallway, or because last year we spent some one-on-one time at a party hosted by his successor, Drew Carey–or simply because he was happy to be back in the building and was saying hello to everyone who passed him by.

When I asked someone why he was back in the building, they told me he was going to be a guest on the “Price Is Right” and was there to promote his new book, “Priceless Memories”.

Many of you who have either read, or at least seen my blog, “Eye on Hollywood”, in the Orange Blossom have probably asked yourself, what do my stories about Hollywood have to do with writing. Well truthfully, absolutely nothing.

I started to write these blogs on my Hollywood escapades after much prompting from my OCC sisters (who are too many to mention–but know who they are). They presented the idea to me at a time when my fictional creative juices just weren’t flowing, and it seemed like my writing muse had taken an extended vacation without me. Something that I thought never would happen, but did.

I think what might have contributed to my sudden creative failure was the loss of my most staunch supporter (my mother), a job change situation and a commute that sometimes had me spending more time behind the wheel of my car than between the sheets of my bed for sleep. But nevertheless, whatever the reason, my writing went on hold. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say there have been those times when I’ve worried about my ability to write again. Then I saw Bob Barker…an eighty-five year old man, who has more money than God, who certainly doesn’t need the fame, who’s won at least nineteen Emmys, has endless interests and leads, to this day, a full enriched life—but with all that going for him, he still had the desire to be called author. Because he obviously felt the need to tell his story and see his words in print.

So my blog to you this month isn’t about another star that I might have run into, or about the antics of what happens behind closed doors of a major TV studio, but to remind you that it’s never too late to keep plugging away at your writing. Just ask Bob Barker. And I’m sure he’ll agree that holding on to your dreams and keeping your goals alive can be priceless.

Oh, and I have one more message for you this month. Don’t forget to get your pet spayed or neutered…I‘m sure Bob would appreciate it.

2 0 Read more

Holly Golightly, I’m not.

March 13, 2009 by in category Archives tagged as ,

By Bobbie Cimo

I have a feeling perhaps in my youth, I might have spent a tad too much time watching TV and movies.

I mean, do you think it’s normal to fling yourself over a surfboard in Hawaii–ask someone to snap a picture of you, even though you can’t swim, just so you can pretend you’re Gidget for a moment?

I once owned a beige plaid coat with large fur trim around it. I bought it because it reminded me of the coat worn by Doris Day in “Pillow Talk”. She had it on when she was riding in an open convertible, driving to a weekend getaway in Connecticut with Rock Hudson sitting behind the wheel. I loved that coat, and every time I wore it I felt like Doris Day. Years later I realized that the coat looked nothing like Doris’ and the fur around my neck looked like road kill.

Then there was the time I had the Farrah Fawcett hairdo. I drove myself crazy, trying to keep those feathered sides up, just like hers. It wasn’t until my hairdresser reminded me that for every five steps Farrah took, there was a hair stylist with comb in hand, making sure she remained perfect for every photo shoot and TV scene that she did.

During the eighties I was a big fan of the series “Dallas”. And my favorite character on the show was JR’s wife, Sue Ellen (Linda Gray). I particularly loved Sue Ellen’s wardrobe. Especially the tailor-cut suits she wore with a thin camisole underneath the jacket and accessorized by a fashionable wide belt. Not only were her outfits stylish, but they were considered sexy. Back in those days, CBS would host an annual “Affiliates” conference during the month of May. This is where we would wine and dine TV station owners all over the country, with the hope that they would purchase one of our shows for their local stations.

One particular year we did a “Dallas” theme, where we took over a hotel parking lot and made it look like Southfork (the name of the Dallas ranch). And of course I did wear, as I liked to call it, my Sue Ellen suit. Two eventful things happened that day. First, the director’s wife and I swiped a six pack of JR’s Beer (not yet available to the public) and hid it in the tank of a toilet–so we could sneak it out later to split and take home. When we finally confessed to her husband, he didn’t know if he should laugh or be mad. And the other memorable thing that happened was that I actually ran into Linda Gray, who stopped me to tell me she liked my outfit. You know that put me on cloud nine.. And to this day, one of my long time friends who used to work at CBS still affectionately refers to me as Sue Ellen whenever she writes me.

Also held as an annual event was the Ross Martin (Artemus Gordon in “The Wild, Wild West” TV series) Celebrity Tennis Tournament. This was a charity event held in La Costa, California where for the admission price of $10.00 you could spend all day with such celebrities as Lucille Ball, William Holden, Merv Griffin, Michael Landon, Eva Gabor and numerous others . You were never treated like a fan, but more like a guest.. You were free to walk the grounds and mingle with your favorite celebrity, take pictures with them if you liked, or simply sit in the bleachers eating a hot dog while enjoying a good tennis match alongside of them.

One year during my visit to La Costa I met George Peppard (as seen in the picture above). Most of you might remember him, not only from the “The A Team” on TV, but also as Audrey Hepburn’s love interest in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Ironically, many years later George’s son Brad ended up working at CBS, and when I was introduced to him, I wanted so much to shout, “I love your father”…. but I didn’t.

When my sister and I went on our first New York vacation, we made a list of things we each wanted to do: See a play, go shopping at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, take a carriage ride through Central Park, eat at Tavern on the Green and have breakfast at Tiffany’s. The breakfast one we couldn’t do, simply because there wasn’t a pastry place close enough. So we did the next best thing, we bought pretzels from a street vendor and brought them inside the store.

We might not have had breakfast at Tiffany’s, but we had our pretzels. It wasn’t long before an impeccably dressed salesman approached us to offer his assistance. Just as we took our first bite, without missing a beat, using the back of his hand in a butler-like manner he brushed away the salt that had fallen on top of his glass display counter.. Of course we apologized, but he never acted annoyed. At the end of our visit my sister did end up buying a small pair of turquoise earrings. And just like when Holly Golightly wanted to have her Cracker Jack ring engraved, Tiffany’s treated us as if we had just bought an exquisite pair of diamond earrings. Holly Golightly-ish? Well, maybe.

In closing, all I can say is it’s a good thing that “King Kong” wasn’t one of my favorite movies, or I might be writing about the time I went swinging from the top of the Empire State Building

6 0 Read more

Bond…James Bond.

December 13, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as ,

By Bobbie Cimo

It’s easy to tell that I’m a James Bond freak. Not only does my E-mail address have 007 in it and my mouse pad has Sean Connery’s picture on it, but my screen saver at work flashes different Bond imagery across it. But I’m not just a James Bond fan, I’m a Sean Connery, James Bond fan. You know the type who thinks there’s only one Bond.

At my Artist Way Class a few weeks back, we were asked to write down five of our favorite movies and give a line or two on what each movie was about or why we liked it. On my list was “From Russia With Love”, but when it came to telling why I picked it, I had to be honest with my classmates. I only went to see him (Sean Connery) and it took me five times to figure out what the plot was about. I have since seen it many more times, and I still don’t care about the plot.

I like Roger Moore, but not as James Bond. In my eyes, he’ll always be Simon Templar, TV’s version of “The Saint”. Just as Pierce Brosnan will always be Remington Steele to me.

In between, there were a few other Bonds. One being George Lazenby, who played in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” I would loved to have seen Sean Connery do the part, as it was the only movie where Bond falls in love and gets married. But instead it went to Lazenby, who had thought that by making a Bond flick, it would lead him to more lucrative movie deals. So he quit after only one Bond movie. The parts never came his way and rumor had it he gambled away all the earnings he made from his 007 flick, even before the movie was released.

Also playing the fictional character was Timothy Dalton, who I basically remembered from playing in a bad mini-series, called “Scarlett”, which was suppose to be the sequel to “Gone With The Wind”. However, he did play a more serious Bond than others, but because I associated him with the mini-series, I could never think of him as 007.

Just for the record, I do find Daniel Craig to be the second best Bond there is. He might not be a Sean Connery, but he does a terrific job of it. By the way, his favorite Bond is Connery, too.

I have seen Roger Moore a few times in person, and once I even got to see Sean Connery, himself. I was backstage and he was standing alone, a few feet away from me. But I found myself unable to approach him. I just remember his arched eyebrows and how they framed those magnificent eyes of his. And I’m not ashamed to say, when his eyes met mine, inwardly, I melted.

It took me a long time to realize why I didn’t take the opportunity to go up to him and tell him how much I had enjoyed his work. The truth of the matter is I think I was afraid that he might not measure up to my expectation, not only as James Bond, but as Sean Connery. And perhaps some things are best left unknown.

Less than a decade ago, I was a smoker. I have since given up the habit; but at the time, I could have easily stepped out of my office onto the rooftop of CBS for a cigarette. Unfortunately, it was a bad way to meet a lot of interesting people.

One wintry evening, while at work, I found myself in need of a smoke, so I stepped out into the darkness. Since it was raining, I had no choice but to huddle against the outside glass wall of my office so I could stand beneath the narrow awning that was protecting me from the rain. Suddenly, what seemed to be from out of nowhere, appeared a tall, dark stranger dressed all in black, wearing a turtle neck sweater. As he took a puff of his cigarette, he struck up a conversation with me. I could see from the spray of light coming from my office, behind us, that his eyes were blue. His chiseled features, along with his cleft chin, gave him a rugged appearance. And when he spoke, it was with a charming British accent, so no matter what he had to say, it sounded wonderful. It was Timothy Dalton.

We talked about our mutual bad smoking habit– the pride he had in his son– and the weather differences between London and California. Over a second cigarette, we laughed and talked some more, until he was told that he was needed on stage, whereas I went back into my office, pleasantly surprised to learn what a nice man he was. He might not know it, but that night he earned himself a new fan. And as I sat back at my desk, something dawned on me. It might not have been Sean Connery, but I had been outside, into the night and out in the rain, smoking a cigarette with Bond…James Bond. How cool was that?

4 0 Read more

Fred, Ginger & Me

November 13, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as ,

by Bobbie Cimo

As I left my office to go to lunch the other day, it dawned on me all the things that I’ve taken for granted while working at CBS. Most people walking down a busy corridor will bump into another employee or an occasional mail cart. As for myself, if I don’t watch it, I can easily be hit by a brand new car or SUV that’s being pushed down the hall to The Price is Right by a stage hand not paying attention. Or perhaps when venturing up to Accounts Payable, it’s the norm for me to see a fully furnished room being pulled down the hall, attached to a tugger (mini tractor). And if by chance someone dies on the soaps, it’s not unusual to see a casket or headstone stored in the Prop Room that I walk through every morning to get my coffee. Nor, to say hi, to a guy I’ve never seen before, as he heads towards the commissary, wearing only his pajamas and slippers.

Most of the time this is all very amusing, except for the time (before cell phones) when I stepped inside a public phone booth to make a personal call, only to find out I was standing inside a prop. Not amused.

Some people get their fresh air by going to a park on their lunch hour, whereas I just go up to the roof top and then about fifty feet from the helicopter pad, flop myself down into my favorite lounge chair. I usually eat my lunch while enjoying the view of the Hollywood sign that’s facing me. It’s the same sign I’ve seen a thousand times in movie magazines while growing up…only now it’s real and in person. And after a quick lunch, I’m down for my forty minute powernap before heading back to work.

Those are some of the things that I’ve taken for granted while working at CBS, but stepping outside of my office and finding the famed Ginger Rogers seated in a wheelchair, well, that was a surprise. At the time, my office was right down the hall from Stage 46, where they were taping the British version of “This is Your Life,” honoring Ann Miller, and Ginger was one of the guests. Not only was she in a wheelchair and overweight, but she wore tons of make-up and her hair was dry and over bleached. It saddened me to see this legendary star, who at this time was in her early eighties, in this condition. Knowing she had no husband or children, I did wonder who was in charge of taking care of her.

I only recently found out she was of the Christian Science faith and didn’t believe in going to doctors or in traditional medicines. I also learned that she had an unusual amount of peach fuzz on her face and was very sensitive about it, but refused to have it removed. And that was the reason for the heavy make-up.

Because of all the flutter around her preparing her to go on stage, I never got a chance to talk to her. If I had, I would have told her how much I enjoyed all of her body of works. And I probably would have shared with her the fact that as teenager, my mother was so impressed with her, she took the name of Ginger, herself. A name she went by her entire adult life.

Working on the AFI’s, honoring Fred Astaire, was one of my favorite assignments. Besides keeping track of show cost I was the go- to- girl for almost everything else. If dancer Gregory Hines wanted his red shoes polished before doing his routine, he’d hand them over to me. If Jimmy Stewart needed his parking ticket validated, I was the person to see. And the best of them all–when Bette Davis lost the belt to her rain coat, she came to me.

Like all of the AFI shows, there were plenty of film clips to be viewed during rehearsal. And as much as I have enjoyed all of them from various recipients, nothing was more fabulous than those from the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. I don’t think there was a person working the show who didn’t have this sudden urge to do a little Fred or Ginger themselves…some even gliding across the floor, making their way to the restroom.

At the time, Fred, like Ginger, was in his early eighties. He was thin and frail looking, and there were times when he would unexpectedly doze off at the table. But when they called his name, nobody showed more pep or vigor than he did when he sprang to his feet and ran up the stairs to accept his award.

Working with him was a joy. He was a true professional who asked for no special treatment and who was very sweet to everyone around him. At the end of our time together, I asked him for an autograph–not for myself, but for my mother, “Ginger”.

3 0 Read more


October 13, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as ,

By Bobbie Cimo

Elvis Presley might have been known as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Michael Jackson as the Prince of Pop and James Brown as the Godfather of Soul. But way back when, in the good ole movie cowboy days, (so long ago, that I was a brunette), there was a tall, rugged actor, by the name of John Wayne, who had a title of his own. It was the “Duke”.

His real name was Marion Robert Morrison, but when his parents decided to name his younger brother Robert they changed his to Marion Michael. But it was the local fireman who saw him walking to school every day with his huge Airedale Terrier dog, Duke, that gave him the nickname of “Little Duke”. Because he preferred Duke to Marion, (and who wouldn’t) the name stuck for the rest of his life. As far as his stage name, John Wayne, that was decided by a director and a studio head, when he wasn’t even present.

I’m going to digress a little here and tell you about a cartoon that I had once cut out and taped to the inside of our kitchen cabinet when I was younger. It was of two Indian chiefs positioned on top of a mountain ridge, sitting on their horses, looking down at their warriors fighting cowboys and the Cavalry. One chief turns to the other and the caption reads, “If John Wayne is down there, I’m not going.” And I think that’s how we all felt, growing up on the Duke‘s movies. Off camera and on he seemed indestructible. According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, he epitomized rugged masculinity and was considered an enduring American icon. It also states he was famous for his distinctive voice, walk and physical presence. All which I can attest to, since I got to meet him.

In the early days of television, when there were a lot of variety shows on the air, we (the employees of CBS) would spend our lunch hours, brown bagging it, while watching rehearsals in the studios. I think back then the celebrities were much more sociable and approachable than they are today. So it wasn’t uncommon to have the weekly guest star, rather then hide themselves away in their dressing room, to sit in the bleachers with us common folk and watch others rehearse–even though they weren’t needed on the set. It was kind of professional courtesy to watch one another’s work.

Which brings me back to how I met the Duke. I had wandered down to the Red Skelton set just to see what was going on. The crew was always friendly there, and it was safe, as long as I didn’t enter during “The Dirty Hour”. This is a well known inside Hollywood fact, that as much of a beloved clown Red was, he did have a side to him, that could make a sailor blush when he would put on his private shows for his cast and crew members.

I was very young when I started with CBS and nobody ever bothered to warn me about “Dirty Hour”. Unfortunately, I accidentally found out about it on my own. I should have caught on when I saw I was the only woman in the audience. And if Red was bad on his own, having Martha Raye as his guest, only made him even more incorrigible. Once he and Martha were up on stage, I found myself trapped in my chair. I was too embarrassed to get up, so I just sunk down low and kept praying the floor would swallow me up…it didn’t. The cast and crew loved them both, and I vowed never to return during The Dirty Hour and I never did. I can’t say all the guest stars participated in this show for the crew, but Martha sure did. Actually, she was worse than Red.

It was during normal rehearsal when I wandered down to the Red Skelton set and sat behind a tall, elderly, bald man, who was quietly reading, going through a script. It wasn’t until he got up and headed towards the back of the studio for some coffee, did I realize it was The Duke, without his hairpiece. And like a puppy, I got up and followed him. He was very unpretentious, as he stood alone, in the back of the studio, drinking his coffee.

Because I was new to California– fresh out of high school, and a dork, I carried my autograph book everywhere I went.

Standing next to him, the 6’4” star towered over me. And even though without a hairpiece, he resembled a bald eagle, his face was still ruggedly handsome and there was a twinkle in his eyes. When I asked him if he would sign my book, he couldn’t have been nicer when he answered, “Well, sure.” When he asked me my name, I told him, Barbara, (my formal name). Wanting to make sure he heard me correctly, he bellowed my name back to me,
B-A-R-B-A-R-A. And for a brief moment, I thought God was speaking to me.

Because he was so nice, I didn’t hesitate the next day to bring my camera to work. This time the Duke was all dressed in his cowboy garb, complete with hat and hairpiece. He truly looked like the John Wayne that I knew from the movies. And when I asked him if I could take a picture with him, he quickly obliged…except I made the mistake of standing on his bad side. And without any warning, he said to me, “Not that side, this side,” and with one swift movement, the man had picked me up with one arm and swept me over to his good side. The picture was snapped and the light bulb went off. The American icon of the silver screen, using the back of hand, wiped his eyes with his knuckles and then grumbled, “Damn light bulb, can blind ya” I guess, I should have responded with, “Whoa, take ’er easy there pilgrim”…but I didn’t.

We said our friendly goodbyes and I wish I could say like a true hero he rode off into the sunset, but he didn’t–instead, like a true professional, he walked onto the set.

2 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM