The Vermilion Heritage Foundation/The Fischer Theatre in Danville, IL was originally a Grand Opera House, built in 1884, and later a movie theater that entertained generations of Danville residents. While they have not begun restoration of the theater's auditorium itself, they have created the beginnings of an Entertainment Museum in the theatre lobby to recognize the many wonderful entertainers who have called the Danville area home. The museum opened in 2012 with displays featuring the entertainers who had been included on a mural opposite the theatre the year before: Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Van Dyke, Gene Hackman, Bobby Short, Donald O'Connor and Helen Morgan. As a starting point, they also included a wall of photos of a few of the other many wonderful people in the entertainment industry, including my father, Morris Ankrum, who was from Danville. This year, they expanded the display honoring my father's work. Saturday, September 27th was Morris Ankrum Day. Very cool. They included a life size cut out of him that stood in the lobby. They also had 1950's soda pop tasting and screenings of a couple of his old sci-fi films.
Amazing stop-motion work on
the Imperial Walkers. Mr. Beswick (far left in background), alongside
Jon Berg and Phil Tippett animated these models frame-by-frame, unimpeachable work that stands alongside any visual effects made since.
As I walk along the Hollywood Stars (Bing Crosby, Rin Tin Tin, Rita Hayworth) on the way to my office, I think about my life's journey and what brought me to this place in time. I've lived in Hollywood most of my life. Grew up in a family of actors and later became one myself. I've been an actor, a television and film writer, and now a Talent and Literary Agent. As my Hollywood journey continues I invite you to walk along with me. I'll look back from where I've been and up ahead. Who knows what's around the next corner...