By Wednesday N.
One of the saddest stories was that of stage 19 and the ghost of a little girl. Stage 19 was the host to the ever popular "Happy Days" during its long run. It brought a lot of laughter and happiness to the nation and the world. Even though it was one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, a piece of tragedy lingered with it. Years after "Happy Days" had gone, one of its cast members lingered behind.
A security officer was patrolling the soundstage as part of her usual route. She went inside to make sure that everything was locked down air tight for the night. The rafters were checked, the stage was patrolled, and the doors were locked. As the officer was preparing to leave, she saw a bright light coming from behind her. No one was in the soundstage with her. No one was there to work the lights on the catwalk. She started to get scared. Upon turning around, the guard gazed up on the ghost of little Heather O'Rourke staring her down. Heather appeared on the last couple of seasons of "Happy Days" as the daughter of Fonzie's girlfriend. She also appeared as the angelic "Carol Anne" in the doomed "Poltergeist" movies. Heather died on the operating table due to complications of both the operation and a birth defect.
The security officer was in shock. Here was this beautiful little ghost staring her straight in the face. Calmly, coolly, the officer took out her trusty radio and proceeded to scream. Over every radio that night were the cries of "Oh my God! She's here! Someone, quick, get over here! Oh my God! Oh my God!" Maybe this reaction scared Heather, for she never appeared again.
Child actor gone director, Oliver Robins, is currently in production of his directorial, feature film debut. This cute, romantic comedy, "Dumped", satires the well-known dating manual "The Rules". "Dumped", written by Robins, takes us through the paces of falling out of love, and back into it. Robins is the only surviving child star from the feature films "Poltergeist" and "Poltergeist II" (while also having starred in "Airplane II"). Taking his past acting experience into consideration, Robins, a USC Film School Graduate, has taken some of what he had learned from Steven Spielberg to heart, and is now using that knowledge for his current project. The independent feature is said to be Sundance bound. Thankfully, Robins steered clear of the criminal likes of Dana Plato and company.
1997 © FILM THREAT WEEKLY
POLTERGEIST have been seen and enjoyed by many millions of moviegoers. It was released by MGM/UA in the summer of 1982, that movie came out a week apart from Spielberg's E.T. They both offered the kind of "popcorn pleasure" Steven remembered getting from the movies when he was young. The first, POLTERGEIST, was based on his childhood fears and nightmares. The second, E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial, was based on his dreams.
A poltergeist is a noisy ghost. That movie begins with a family moving into a new house in the suburbs and finding that the house is haunted. In fact, the little girl in the family is kidnapped by ghosts and then rescued. Everyone escapes safely, but not before a lot of terrifying things have happened to them.
The ghosts in the film first come out of the television set. The little girl talks to "the tv people," and they talk back to her. When they first come out to play, she announces, "They're here!"
No wonder Steven calls this picture, "my revenge on TV." He centers the picture on TV because it is such an important part of life in the suburbs. It's like an extra parent, Steven says. And in some ways television is more powerful than a mother and father because it is always fresh and entertaining and does not reach out and tell you what to do.
"In Poltergeist I wanted to terrify and I also wanted to amuse," Steven says. "I tried to mix the laughs and screams together." But even though the film is "meant to be a thrill a second, with humor," the people in it are not special in any way. "They're common, everyday types of people to whom nothing really happens until I come along."
Poltergeist also shows something else that Steven thinks is important in his movies. Real life, he says, can be fun to live with instead "something you run from and protect yourself from" the way he did when he was very young. As a child, Steven was afraid of many things that appear in this movie. He put all those childhood fears into it, including the dark closet where he locked his sisters, and the tree in New Jersey that scared him with its long, twiggy fingers.
Perhaps his willingness to remember the things he was most afraid of is also what gave Steven the courage to make E.T. "Poltergeist is what I fear, and E.T. is what I love," Steven explained. "One is about suburban evil, and the other is about suburban good." Five years earlier, Steven says, "I would have been too embarrassed about what people would think of me to make E.T." And even after he started the movie, he was afraid it was "too soft" for the men in the audience.
When he was seven years old, Steven saw a movie about creatures from Mars attacking the earth. The chief invader looked like a head that was sitting all by itself inside the goldfish bowl. The creature had long arms that looked like octopus tentacles.
Afterwards, Steven hurried home to get a plastic model he had built from a kit. It showed the bones in a human head, and was sitting peacefully in his bedroom. First he put an Air Force cap on top of it. Then he added red lights to make it look spooky. When he was done, he hid his monster in a long, walk-in closet and went to find his sisters-Ann, Sue, and Nancy.
Steven blindfolded each of them and led them inside the closet. When they took the blindfolds off and saw the terrible thing he had created, they began to scream. They screamed even louder when they found out he had locked the door and they were stuck inside where they could not escape.
He also liked to make up scary stories at bedtime and tell them to his sisters. They would get so excited that they would hide under the blankets...... [the rest of the article is missing]
NEW YORK (AP) -- Was it just coincidence Vanity Fair reporter Dominick Dunne was seated next to Ron Goldman's family during the O.J. Simpson trial?
Dunne doesn't think so.
"(Judge Ito) put me next to the family of Ron Goldman because he said I would understand how to speak to them," Dunne says in the May 4 issue of TV Guide. "It was very sensitive of Judge Ito. He never mentioned my daughter's death, but that's what he meant."
Dunne says televising the trial helped expose the "rot" in the nation's legal system -- something he says he first recognized while sitting through murder trial of his daughter's killer. Dominique Dunne was strangled by an ex-boyfriend in 1982.
"The man who murdered my daughter, John Sweeney, came into court every day dressed like a sacristan at a Catholic seminary, carrying a Bible," Dunne says. "This was a man who never went to church."
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