of my site is really fun for me. On a regular basis, I am going to go through
one of my many scrapbooks (Mom saved EVERYTHING!) and pull some of my favorite
personal photos to share with you. And any memories they bring to mind,
I'll tell here.
I'm going to start with a very happy recent memory for me -- my wedding on March 28, 1999...
Here I am between two gorgeous women: my TV mom, June Lockhart and my wife, Laurie Jacobson.
Laurie is a Hollywood historian who has written books, documentaries and TV specials about different aspects of Hollywood history (check out her latest book: HOLLYWOOD HAUNTED, A Ghostly Tour of Filmland). Maybe you've seen her on E!'s "Mysteries and Scandals" or some other documentary about Hollywood. Anyway, we met at a collectibles show in 1996 in Los Angeles. She was signing her book and I was signing autographs. She came over to say hello to Stan Livingston who was sitting next to me and I bugged Stan until he introduced me to her. And the rest, as Laurie would say, is Hollywood history!
Naturally, we invited Stan to the wedding along with some other life-long friends of mine. Don't they look great? From left to right, they are:
Brandon Cruz -- Eddie on "The Courtship of Eddie's Father"
Stan Livingston -- Chip on "My Three Sons"
Jeanne Russell -- Margaret on "Dennis the Menace"
Larry Mathews -- Ritchie Petrie of "The Dick Van Dyke Show"
Paul Petersen -- Jeff on "The Donna Reed Show"
-- Mark McCain on "The Rifleman"
wondering why Johnny is all decked out in tails. He has a fantastic 1929
dance orchestra. Laurie's been a fan for years and it was always her dream
to have him play at her wedding. You may remember that Johnny is a great
singer. ("Today Is Cindy's Birthday" was always a favorite of
mine.) He uses one of those old-fashioned microphones and it really is
like stepping back in time. Laurie said she felt like she was in a Fred
and Ginger movie. It was perfect, very romantic.
looked a little different than my birthday parties. This one was my 13th
were fun, but they were a little bit like work. We couldn't really play
because we weren't allowed to get dirty. But it was play for me. On the
"Lassie" set, I didn't get to spend time with a lot of kids,
so I was happy just being in a group of people my own age. I've lost track
of Susan. I saw Charlie a few years ago. Angela and I were at an autograph
show together recently. If anyone knows where to find Flip Mark, I'd love
to know. And Jay, who lives in Florida, was just in Houston with me at
an autograph show.
We haven't changed too much, have we?
I seem to
be jumping all over the place here. But as long as I'm looking at old friends...
What many people do not remember is that June Lockhart and Hugh Reilly were not my first parents on "Lassie". There was another Ruth and Paul Martin, played by Cloris Leachman and Jon Shepodd. I never got to know Cloris well, but Jon and his wife came to our house in Pomona on several occasions.
not feel particularly challenged by the role. Basically, when she realized
that all she'd be doing was baking cookies, she wanted out. When she quit,
the producer felt he had to let Jon Shepodd go too. He was so disappointed.
We lost touch over the years, but Laurie recently tracked him down in England
where he lives as a writer. He was delighted to hear from us and we've
sent lots of photos and letters back and forth. Here's a great piece of
trivia about him. Remember the Bette Davis/Joan Crawford movie "Whatever
Happened to Baby Jane?" In the last scene, on the beach, Bette Davis
runs to an ice cream stand to get a cone. The man who serves it to her
is Jon Shepodd! By the way, the other gentleman in the photo is George
Chandler who played my Uncle Petrie. The producers decided to keep him
when they made the switch to June and Hugh.
pick out some new pictures soon. If there's something special you'd like
to see, leave me a message in the guest book.