The Mercury from Pottstown, Pennsylvania on June 18, 1977 · Page 48
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The Mercury from Pottstown, Pennsylvania · Page 48

Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 18, 1977
Page 48
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Yesterday's Stars: Allan Jones may be starring in his son's movie By NANCY ANDERSON Copley News Service HOLLYWOOD — Handsome singer and movie star Allan Jones was recording his biggest hit, “Donkey Serenade,” on a night in 19:18 when his wife of that time, actress Irene Hervey, was making her greatest creative contribution by giving birth to a son And at that time, though both were wildly proud of the baby, neither imagined that he might one day become his dad’s boss Actually the baby, now popular recording and nightclub singer Jack Jones, hasn’t yet become the guy who issues Allan Jones’ paychecks. But things are moving in that direction, because for some time now Jack’s been hoping to produce “Man of La Mancha” with his father in the title role. Good-looking, golden-throated Allan Jones was a top star at MGM during the period when filmed operettas were the rage. Either he or Nelson Eddy starred in the studio’s biggest musicals with the casting largely determined by the key and pitch of the songs. Naturally a star of the senior Jones’ magnitude and talent played major nightclubs, and it was as a part of his father’s club act that Jack made his own professional debut. “When Jack was 18, I thought he had talent and put him into an act," Allan reports, “but I didn’t think he might be my producer some time. “I gave him a start, but he strictly made it on his own. “He’s worked hard. He sang in bowling alleys before he reached his present plateau.” The Jones family act which featured Irene Hervey as well as her husband and son was a big hit at the Thunderbird in Vegas (and elsewhere) in 1957. But it broke up after only eight months Hotline: Brolin glad to move to films By NANCY ANDERSON Copley News Service , HOLLYWOOD — Jim Brolin, late of “Marcus Welby, M.D.," is one of the few actors to have made it successfully from a television series to steady work in feature films. Steve McQueen did it. Jim Garner did it, and a very few have reversed the process. But generally speaking, a movie star remains a movie star and a television series star remains a television series star. However, Jim, seen right now in Universal’s “The Car,” claims he isn’t surprised that he slid so readily from “Welby” * into wide-screen work. “Because,” he says, “I was planting the seeds for this from the beginning. “I had the attitude that I was railroaded into this job (TV series work), and they were holding me at bay.” Brolin says he doesn’t like to speak unkindly of the “Welby" show and certainly not of series star Robert Young. “But toward the end many times they were writing the script in two days. “We’d get scripts and script changes so late they’d say, ‘Learn your lines while you’re changing your pants. We don’t care about performances. We can fix that later.’ “I’m not an actor just for money, because I could probably be wealthier in some other business — construction, for instance.” (That’s Brolin's father’s line of work.) “The most important thing about working is to be able to come home at night and feel proud of what you’ve done that day.” Jim, his wife, Jane, and their two sons, Josh and Jess, live on a 230-acre ranch near Paso Robles where the Brolins raise Thoroughbred horses. “But not necessarily for profit,” Jim points out. “Horses when Allan and Irene were divorced, leaving Jack without a job except for the bookings in bowling alleys recalled by his father. For awhile, Jack worked at a filling station and, for another while, as doorman at The Horn, a Santa Monica nightclub which also permitted him to sing. So Allan’s right when he says his son and would-be producer rode no family coattails to stardom. However, Allan had an even more difficult climb to fame, because he began his adult life in a coal mine. Son and grandson of Pennsylvania coal miners, he worked in the mines until he’d accumulated $1,500. Then, though he had a scholarship from Syracuse University, he went to NYU to study voice with Claude Warford. Later he continued his training in Paris and London. Back in America in 1927-28, he was heard by Dame Nellie Melba who became an ardent fan and source of encouragement. Jones made his Broadway debut in 1931 playing the title role in “Boccacio.” He starred in a number of Shubert productions and, in the mid-’30s, he went to Hollywood for a series of MGM movies ranging from “Reckless” with Jean Harlow to “Show Boat” with Irene Dunne to “The Firefly” with Jeanette MacDonald to “A Night at the Opera” with the Marx Brothers. Jones’ recording of “The Donkey Serenade” with “Giannina Mia” on the flip side became the third largest selling single disc in the history of RCA. He made several pictures for Paramount, among them “The Great Victor Herbert," and several for Universal including the tuneful “The Boys from Syracuse.” But by 1965, Jones’ movie career was so in the doldrums that he was working in “Swinging Summer,” an exploitive, low-budget outing with a then-unknown actress named Raquel Welch in the lead. Yet great days were ahead, because in 1971, on stage, he gave what some critics considered the greatest performance of his career as star of “Man of La Mancha,” the show his son Jack would like to revitalize. When his work’s not taking him around the country, Jones lives in New York with his fourth wife, Maria Villavincie. have gotten so expensive. “Sure, the ranch is a long way from Los Angeles,” he concedes, “but I see about as much of my family as I might if we were living in Los Angeles because so many movies are made on distant locations that an actor can’t stay home much while he’s working no matter where he lives.” In “The Car,” Jim plays a hero confronted by an automobile with a mind and personality of its own. “But the picture’s nothing like ‘Herbie,’” he assures. “I’d say it’s more like ‘Jaws.’” Stuntman Dar Robinson is reported to have received $10,500 for one four-second stunt in the movie “Stunts.” He spent the four seconds jumping off a 105-foot grain elevator. Sympathy to the Kris Kristoffersons who lost their expected baby. It s safe! It's quick. 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