Douglas Fairbanks Jr

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Was born into one of Hollywood’s first royal families. His father, Douglas Fairbanks senior, was a swashbuckling movie star. His stepmother was Mary Pickford. The two of them were among the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences, you know, the people that give out the Oscars.

But, as you are about to hear, Douglas Fairbanks Jr was by no means a born actor

One the acting bug bit, he became as big a star as his father had been. Douglas Fairbanks Jr made his movie debut 100 years ago this month, in 1923, in a silent picture called “Stephen Steps Out.”. He made a few more silent pictures before becoming a major star in the 1920s and 30s in the talkies.


He was married three times, including a fiery relationship with actress. Joan Crawford.

He also served with distinction in the navy during world war II. But his military service was not his only contribution to the war effort, as you’ll hear in a few minutes.

Finally, in 1988, at the age of 79, Douglas Fairbanks Jr wrote his autobiography — at least, volume1 of his autobiography, a book. He called The Salad Days.

So I had the rare opportunity, which I was not about to pass up, to actually shake hands with and converse with a real life silent movie star.

So here now, from 1988, Douglas Fairbanks Jr

Douglas Fairbanks Jr died in 2000. Hewas 90.

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Lionel Hampton

When you begin to list the greatest American Jazz percussionists of all time, near the top of that list has to be the great Vibe the harpist and drummer Lionel Hampton.

In a career that began in the 1920s, when he was a teenager, Lionel Hampton rose to primnence in the jazz community, playing alongside such names as Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman.

Later, Hampton became a bandleader himself.

He wrote a memoir in 1989, and that’s what I met him

So here now, from 1989, the great Lionel Hampton.

Lionel Hampton died in 2002. He was 94.

Reeve Lindbergh

What is it like, growing up in what some say was the most famous family of the twentieth century?

Photo: Artaxerxes

Reeve Lindbergh knows. She was born in 1945 to Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Her father was “Lucky Lindy” the aviator who made history in 1927 as the first pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a solo flight.

But the famikly knew tragedy, too. Reeve’s older brother, Charles Jr., was just 20 months old when he was kidnapped from the family home and murdered in 1932. It was one of the most famous crimes of the century.

And still more notoriety came just before the U.S. entered World War II — Lindbergh was against getting into war, and some even accused him of being a Nazi sympathizer.

This was the environment Reeve Linbergh was born into.

I met her in 1998, when she wrote a memoir called “Under A Wing.”

So here now, from 1998, Reeve Lindbergh.

Reeve Lindbergh will be 75 in October. She lives in rural Vermont.