Wedding Aly Khan and Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth and Prince Ali Khan on their wedding day in the French Riveria, May 27, 1949

In 1948, the American actress was introduced to the Prince Ali Khan at a party thrown by columnist Elsa Maxwell and the lovers promptly engaged a relationship threatened by religious groups and Hollywood narrow-minded spirits denouncing their affair that had begun when both were not yet officially divorced but also scandalized by the non-Christianity of the playboy prince.

Whatever, the sexy actress turned into a princess and stayed away of screens, dedicating herself to domestic life and her two daughters.

Rita Hayworth and Prince Ali KhanRita Hatworth and Prince Ali Khan on their wedding day in the French Riveria

Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan at Wedding Aly Khan Rita Hayworth

Her Highness The Begum Aga Khan III attends the wedding of her stepson Prince Aly Khan to Rita Hayworth at Château de l’Horizon in the South of France on May 27, 1949.

However, fairy tales don’t always lead to happy endings and Rita Hayworth called for divorce in 1951 after her husband was remarked with Joan Fontaine. Rita Hayworth had left the spotlights of Hollywood for the soft sunlight of elegant holiday resorts but was constrained to return to obscurity, behind the oppressive shadow of Gilda.

Mister Brian Bloom

 

 

Brian Bloom, circa 1998

Brain Bloom

One of the great unsung furballs of the world was Brian ‘Keith’ Bloom, an actor who started at an early age.  Brian became the youngest winner of a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Young Leading Man during the 1984-1985 season for his performance in the soap opera As The World Turns (1983-1987). Additional acknowledgements of Bloom’s work include being nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Young Leading Man in 1985-1986 and 1986-1987. He was also nominated as Best Young Actor in a Daytime or Nighttime Series by the Sixth Annual Youth In Films Awards in 1984. He was 15 when he played in 1985 in the now cult movie The Stuff (next to his younger brother Scott). But also in 21 Jump Street and Empty Nest, and later the star of a string of Bandit TV-movies in the mid-’90s.

He has worked with several of the WB’s Charmed (1998) cast: Holly Marie Combsin the movie Wall of Glass  (1985), Brain Krause in the 1994 Bandit series of television movies, and three movies with good friend Alyssa Milano: Dance ‘Till Dawn (1988), Crash Course(1988) and Confessions of a Sorority Girl (1994). Injured his head badly while working on one of the Bandit movies. He shortly thereafter began studying Eastern philosophy. And roles in other hit series as 2000 Malibu Road and Melrose Place, The Nanny and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Brain Bloom

Brain Bloom for PlayGirl

Famous was his photoshoot for Playgirl. Looking at him in those magazines like PlayGirl and TeenBeat (As a side-note bless those magazines. Before the internet they were super important to a growing boy’s health and development.)

And let’s not forget a memorable 2001 season 4, two-part guest shot on Oz. He also had the most amazing eyes one can imagine.

brian bloom chris meloni oz shower

brian bloom chris meloni naked gif

brian bloom chris meloni

brian bloom chris meloni kissing

He’s a good kisser. But we both have scruffy bearded faces even if we shave. So, us putting out two beards together… man, when the kiss was over I pushed him off, like, ‘Damn!

Chris Meloni on Oz

Brian attended the Sheriff’s Academy and served as a Reserve Deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department from 2001 – 2011. Brian is a certified self defense expert and a Sifu of a rarefied street lethal modern Self Defense System called ‘Bojuka’. He has participated in countless no holds barred combat seminars and taught use of force techniques to law enforcement, military and private security worldwide. The perfect job for his role as Pike in The A Team (2010).

Brain Bloom

In recent years, his chief work has been in many voiceovers, like Marvel’s The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (as Captain America and Daredevil, 2010 – 2012), in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (as Yuri, 2011), and in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (as Captain Ryan, 2015). We could see him in a car commercial, which isn’t fair!

Today Brain Bloom is turning 46, we wish him a happy birthday, and we hope we will see him much more often on the big (or small) screen…

 

Steve McQueen’s dunebuggy in The Thomas Crown Affair

In 1967, Steve McQueen wasn’t as synonymous with cars and motorcycles as we remember now. Aside from his motorcycle scenes in The Great Escape, there wasn’t anything that really connected him to car and motorcycle culture in any of his dozens of movie appearances. That all changed in 1967, though. Beginning with The Thomas Crown Affair, he wouldn’t star in a movie until 1973’s Papillon that didn’t have cars as some part of the story. But Norman Jewison’s 1968 film put McQueen in one cool car after another.

Steve McQueen

1968: Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway co-starred in ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’. The movie is about a millionaire businessman who pulls off the perfect high-class robbery. (Pierce Brosnan reprised the role in 1999.) McQueen did his own stunts in the film, including playing polo and driving this Meyers Manx dune buggy dune buggy across the Massachusetts coastline (Click photo to enlarge).

The original script for The Thomas Crown Affair called for the star to run Faye Dunaway around Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts in a Jeep. Probably a fair choice to not get stuck in the sand, but can you imagine how dull that scene would’ve been without the spinouts, jumps and raw, unmuffled exhaust note of the dune buggy?

McQueen wanted more, and what’s more than that, he’d do the driving. He contracted with Con-Ferr Manufacturing in Burbank, California. For years, Con-Ferr built all kinds of accessories for the growing four-wheel drive market, fitting racks and brush guards on Jeeps, IH Scouts, Broncos and even early Suzuki Samurais.

Steve McQueen tca dune buggy 5

Steve McQueen tca dune buggy 5

Steve McQueen tca dune buggy 6

They also built a handful of their own off-road vehicles, so McQueen contracted them to produce the ‘Queen Manx’, which the company completed in just eight weeks. It started life as a standard Manx, but it included:

A 4-barrel 140 HP Corvair engine. McQueen wanted a Porsche engine, but ran out of budget. He claims it had 240hp in the behind-the-scenes video below
Con-Ferr used an engine adaptor made by Ted Trevor, the guy who developed the Corv-8 conversion for Crown Manufacturing, to mate the swing-axle VW transaxle with its flipped ring & pinion to the Corvair engine
Special extra-wide rear wheels cast by American Racing that were produced to accommodate the Firestone racing tires from Andy Granatelli’s STP Special (#40) turbine car (which almost won the 1967 Indy 500)
Unique headlamp scoops to accommodated the smaller 5¾” DOT approved 12-volt headlamps
A marine-style, super-short windshield and rails
Custom waffle stitched Naugahyde seats and interior trim, crafted at Tony Nancy’s Sherman Oaks, California upholstery shop, using Datsun Fairlady seat frames
Elongated side panels to eliminate the need for side pods; According to HunterDunebuggy.com, Bruce Meyers never incorporated this feature, because it prevented the fiberglass bodies from being stackable
A Con-Ferr nameplate on the hood replacing the Meyers Manx badge

Steve McQueen Manx Interior

Steve McQueen Manx interior (Click photo to enlarge).

After the movie, Bruce Meyers started building Corvair-specific Manx Buggies in conjunction with Con-Ferr called the “Manx-Vair.” If you find a Meyers Manx with a serial number beginning in “CC,” it was Corvair-powered. “CV” serial numbers refer to buggies powered by Volkswagen engines.

Manx Vair Body

Manx Vair ad. (Click photo to enlarge).

Con-Ferr also produced Corvair powered replicas of the Queen Manx, with marketing materials that referred to the movie. Consider, for a moment, what it would cost a company today to market a product using the name of a film with an Oscar under its belt, even if that Academy Award was for “Best Song.” Con-Ferr’s kits paired a modified  Meyers Manx body with a custom-fabricated chassis, rather than using VW floorpans.

International Day against Homophobia…!

Today (may 17) is the International Day against Homophobia, A Worldwide Celebration of Sexual and Gender Diversities, and we will celebrate it together with Tapan and Vimal.  This two guys are the cover models of the Mandate cover.

Vimal & Tapal Singh Mandate Cover

Vimal and Tapal Singh on the cover of Mandate, Januari 2014

TAPAN: I am an actor and a model. I am 23 years old and have done various prints and magazine cover shoots like Mandate, Mumbai time out, AGLEnlighten India; Advertisements for Manaba Finance, MTV webbed, Blow Hair Salon; TV Commercial for IPL 2014; Music Videos for Amjad Ali Khan and the most recent one with Celina Jaitely which is yet to be launched by Ricky Martin…(2014)

Human Rights, Free & Equal

And please watch the video FREE & EQUAL with TAPAN below.

The United Nations Free & Equal campaign presents the first-ever Bollywood music video for gay rights, featuring Bollywood actress and UN Equality Champion Celina Jaitly. Share if you believe everyone should be welcomed into their family’s hearts, regardless of their sexual orientation.

You can watch this video with Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish (as well as Romanian) captions by clicking the small, square ‘CC’ button in the bottom of the YouTube screen and selecting language.

 

Robin Williams’s Villa of Smiles Just Made Its New Owner Very Happy

Robin Williams's at Napa EstateRobin Williams by Bonnie Schiffman, Napa Valley 1982

When Robin Williams died in 2014, he left behind family, hundreds of friends, millions of fans, a long legacy of stand-up comedy, several classic movies and a home in the Napa Valley that has just sold after almost four years on the market. The Napa Valley estate that beloved funnyman Robin Williams built in 2003 and tried to sell before his untimely death has finally sold for $18.1 million to French winemakers Alfred Tesseron and his niece Melanie Tesseron.

Williams initially asked $35 million for the 639 acre Vineyard, whose 20,000-square-foot main home he dubbed Villa Sorriso, or Villa of Smiles. The home has been on and off the market since 2012, with multiple price cuts.

Inspired by the Palladian architectural style of the 1700s, the villa boasts five bedrooms, eight baths, a library, pool room, elevator, and luxurious screening room worthy of an Oscar and Golden Globe winner.

Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso Road 1

The villa and its 24 acres of vineyards in the Mount Veeder appellation are located about 80 miles north of San Francisco and abut Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

massive-villa-tiny-compared-640-acres-land-aroundSure, it looks like Tuscany, Italy, but Robin’s California estate is nestled in the Mayacamas Mountains between Napa and Sonoma Valleys.

Villa Sorriso is located in the Mayacama Mountains, straddling the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, set majestically among 23 acres of vineyards and olive groves on 653 acres. Views over the valley are classic Napa and the land is blessed with a natural spring-fed fishing pond, groomed and landscaped grounds with tennis court, large infinity-edge pool, nine-stall horse barn and riding trails. There are over 100 olive trees which can produce 30-50 gallons of oil per year, approximately 18.4 acres of vineyards producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc wines.
The home’s elite craftsmanship begins with an imported Portuguese limestone exterior and continues inside with gold leaf and verdigris ceilings in the library and master suite, oak panels with mother-of-pearl inlays, and mosaic glass tile rotundas.
The three-level Mediterranean-style villa measures about 20,000 square feet with five bedrooms and eleven baths. It has a picturesque bell tower, a 12-seat theater, billiards room and climate-controlled cellars. The separate guest house includes four additional bedrooms.
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Sure-looks-like-Tuscany-Italy-Robin-California-estate

Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso front door

Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso hallway 2

Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso hallway 4

Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso hallway 3.jpg

robin-williams-estate-004

Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso Living Room

Who-needs-art-when-you-have-giant-windows-framing-picturesqueWho needs art when you have giant windows framing the picturesque landscape…

We-can-only-imagine-caliber-wine-being-sipped-dinnerAnother room with a view. A beautiful cosy dinning room.

Being-cooped-up-kitchen-must-feel-like-treat-when-you-haveBeing cooped up in the kitchen must feel like a treat when you have an adjoining terrace.

Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso Kitchen 3

robin-williams-8

650-foot-infinity-edge-swimming-pool-looks-like-something-out

With summer lasting six months in wine country, you’ll be grateful for the sixty-five foot infinity-edge swimming pool. Surrounded by antique European stone decking, a lawn and multi-tiered sculpture garden, this is an area that promises legendary outdoor events

Robin-Williams-Napa-Estate-Pictures

Antique European stone terraces overlook the grounds, including a 65-foot infinity edge swimming pool with a wading pool and spa, looks like something out of the movies. There’s also a 3,200-square-foot guest house.

Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso pool 3

Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso Road Pool

Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso Pool 3

climate-controlled-wine-cellar-must-any-luxury-estateVilla Sorriso offers climate-controlled wine cellars….

Forget-IMAX-experience-wed-content--home-rentalForget the IMAX experience, we’d be content with an at-home rental if it took place here!

Robin Williams Nappa Estate Pond.jpgThe spring-fed pond, do we need to say more?…

The buyers are French winemakers from Chateau Pontet-Canet. The Tesserons own and operate Château Pontet-Canet, a vineyard and winery in the Bordeaux region of France. With today’s trend of natural wine growing, the family turned their French vineyard into an organic operation using biodynamics from the 1920’s agricultural lectures of Rudolf Steiner. This more traditional method of wine making includes working the vines with horses instead of tractors and controlling pests without chemicals. With such huge success in France, it is likely they will go the same route with Villa Sorriso.
We have no doubt the home’s next owner will cherish this spectacular property as Robin did.

The listing agents were Joyce Rey and Cyd Greer of Coldwell Banker Previews International.