Monday, October 24, 2016

Richard Zampella Announces Skipperdee’s is Nominated for Best Ice Cream on Long Island

Best Ice Cream on Long Island

POINT LOOKOUT, N.Y. (Oct. 19, 2016) – Voting has officially begun for Bethpage’s Best of L.I. contest! Richard Zampella, owner & operator of Skipperdee’s in Point Lookout is pleased to announce that his store  has been nominated in the Food Category for the Best Ice Cream on Long Island. Only 15 Ice Cream Stores on Long Island received this distinction in 2016. The contest allows voters to pick a first place winner in each category. The contest allows each individual to vote one time per IP address per day. Please see the categories, nominees, and direct links to vote below; the voting period ends on Thursday, Dec. 15.

Best Ice Cream on Long Island: Skipperdees

For the Food Category voting page, visit:

Help us take home first place!

About Skipperdees

What do you get when you cross an ice cream shop with a bakery, confectionary, coffee house, and toys? You get Skipperdee’s a celebration of all things sweet and fun. Drop in for a scoop of ice cream in flavors like sweet and salty pretzel or carrot cake, or warm up with an espresso, cappuccino, or other specialty drink. Or stop by for afternoon tea, which takes place each weekday afternoon, where they serve hot cups of tea alongside finger-sandwiches and desserts. Bakers work tirelessly to whip up cupcakes and other baked goods like macarons, while classic candies like Goobers and Chuckles await to delight kids young and old.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Afternoon Tea at Skipperdee's in Point Lookout, NY

Richard Zampella



Beginning October 2016 Skipperdees in Point Lookout, NY will be serving  “Afternoon Tea” featuring savory tea sandwiches and hand crafted sweets Weekdays from 1 - 5PM and Sat & Sun 2PM to 4PM. Closed Wednesdays.

Skipperdee’s is located in Long Island in the heart of Point Lookout, NY where bicycles and golf carts are the preferred mode of transportation.

“Afternoon Tea” at Skipperdee’s provides elegant & proper service that is run daily by owner, Richard Zampella, who oversaw Afternoon Tea service at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. Afternoon Tea at Skipperdees is the ideal oasis for mothers as well as those wishing to take a break, relax and enjoy some of the fine delicacies on offer.

Working closely with Serendipi-tea in Manhasset, NY, our afternoon tea menu offers a wide selection of the highest quality loose leaf teas that have been carefully selected from the finest organic tea garden and estates from around the world.

Current offered flavors include “Dahl House” with peach & pineapple; “Secret Garden: with lavender & chamomile, “Chaucer’s Cup” with mango, apple and ginger; “Razzle Dazzle” with apple and raspberry and “Bucaneer” with coconut, chocolate and vanilla as well as seasonal flavors.

Satisfy your sweet and savory tooth by inviting your friends and family for a elegant afternoon at Skipperdee’s Afternoon Tea in an environment that celebrates the “art” of tea.

Guests are also welcome to come in any time for Tea, Coffee, Espresso drinks and a wide selection of hand crafted cakes and pies.

Skipperdee’s Afternoon Tea

Price: $8.75 Per Person. Served with complementary Pelegrino mineral water.
Reservations: Recommended — Dial (516) 431-5000
Time:  M-F from 1:00 – 5:00pm, Sat/Sun 2 to 4PM Closed Wednesdays
Address: 26 Lido Boulevard in Point Lookout, NY
Parking: On Street
View our Tea Menu at:


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Richard Zampella Launches West Milford History Blog

Richard Zampella at Idylease
Richard Zampella Launches West Milford History Blog

"Most local residents are aware that Idylease has stood on Union Valley Road for many years. When she opened her doors on New Year’s day in 1903, there were 45 stars on the flag, Teddy Roosevelt was President and Orville Wright took flight at Kitty Hawk."

It is not uncommon for me to run into people of a certain generation that either had their tonsils removed by my father, Dr. Arthur Zampella or learned to swim at the indoor pool at Idylease.

I sometimes wonder if local residents are aware of the rich and varied role of Newfoundland’s most impressive historic structure. I hope that this new online repository of memorabilia will solidify and inform local residents about her rightful place in the annals of West Milford History.

Since April of 2016, when I purchased Idylease I have researched many documents and records in the hope of resurrecting memories, personalities and places that have been lost to history. Considerable time has been spent scanning original glass plates, digitally restoring photographs and repairing tattered documents. Over the coming months I will share the results of those efforts with you all.

I fully encourage you all to participate and interact with information that may pertain to previously unknown facts and family histories that are part to the lineage of the place we call home.

Richard Zampella at Idylease
August 2016

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Idylease: Preserving the Past

Preservation is defined as the act or process of applying measures necessary to sustain the existing form, integrity, and materials of an historic property in all forms. -Richard Zampella

Definition: pre·serve (pr-zûrv)

To maintain in safety from injury, peril, or harm; protect.
To keep in perfect or unaltered condition; maintain unchanged.
To keep or maintain intact.

Idylease (/ˈaɪdəl.iːz/ “idle-ease”), a former resort hotel located in Newfoundland, New Jersey, was erected in 1902 and is an architecturally and historically significant example of early 20th century resort architecture in Northwest, New Jersey. The only surviving example of resort facilities in the region, it recalls the popularity of the region as the vacationland for the middle class in the late nineteenth century. Edited by Richard Zampella at Idylease

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dr Arthur Zampella: Youngest Editor of “The Columbia Review” in the History of Columbia University

Dr Arthur Zampella

Arthur Zampella received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University on June 1, 1938. He was admitted to the school at the age of sixteen. Zampella pursued a pre-med course in Columbia College. In addition to having held a King’s Crown Scholarship Award, he was also active in extra-curricular activities having been the youngest managing editor & associate editor of “The Columbia Review” in the entire history of the university. 

While at Columbia, Zampella was a member of the King’s Crown Advisory Cabinet and the Debate Council, a member of the university track team and the Van Am Society; Subchairman of the Dean’s Drag, annual charity event; and vice president of the Pre-Medical Society. Zampella was the recipient of gold & silver King’s Crowns, the highest extra-curricular awards of Columbia University.

While attending the Boston University School of Medicine, he was awarded an honor scholarship and upon graduation, successfully passed all examinations by the National Board of Medical Examiners which allowed him to practice in all states and territories as well as numerous foreign countries. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1941, serving as a medical officer in the Pacific during World War II.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Idylease Aerial Video

Majestically standing on Union Valley Road since the day she opened her doors to the public in 1903, Idylease remains one of Newfoundland's most beautiful and impressive structures.

For over 25 years Richard Zampella has envisioned an opportunity to celebrate the history and future of the land that he grew up on in Newfoundland, NJ. Consistent with the wishes of his late father, Dr. Arthur Zampella, the property along with it’s historic structure is finally under the stewardship of his son Richard

I hope you enjoy this tribute to this historic landmark and to my father, Arthur Zampella, M.D.

This footage was filmed over the course of several days over the skies of Idylease. Photographed and Edited by filmmaker Richard Zampella -- The video makes use of a DJI Phantom Drone with a Zenmuse 3-D Gimbal and the GoPro HERO 4 Camera.

For more info about Idylease, visit:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Richard Zampella Launches Educational Website for Idylease

In 1903 when Idylease opened her doors there were 45 stars on the flag, Teddy Roosevelt was President of the United States and Orville Wright took flight at Kitty Hawk.
Richard Zampella spent an idyllic childhood growing up on the grounds of Idylease under the watchful eye of his father Dr Arthur Zampella who owned and operated Idylease Nursing Home from 1954 until until 1972.

Both father and son shared a bond with the history of the landmark structure and would both maintain a detailed collection of ephemera and memorabilia related the property. This website was created from that collection in the summer of 2016 shortly after the purchase of Idylease by Richard Zampella in April of 2016.

The Newfoundland section of West Milford has an incredibly detailed history, from the earliest iron and ice cutting industries to farming and and the thriving tourism industry of the early 1900’s. Of all the hotels that once graced the region, only one -- a former resort hotel known as Idylease, remains standing as proof of that once thriving tourism industry. Idylease remains one of Newfoundland’s most beautiful and impressive structures.

Most new residents (and many older residents) of the township are unaware of the richness of it’s local history or possess only a passing familiarity with it. We hope this new website will inspire younger residents of West Milford to discover the local history of the area. For the older residents, it may bring back happy recollections of yesteryear. In either event, perhaps the next time you drive past Idylease, you may pause a moment with a new understanding of it’s rich role in local history from this new website.

Visit Idylease Website

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Joseph French Johnson: Author of The Price of Success

Joseph French Johnson (August 24, 1853 – January 22, 1925) was an American economist, journalist, Professor, and Dean of the School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance, New York University, and founding Dean of the Alexander Hamilton Institute in New York in 1909. He authored the timeless essay: the 'Price of Success' in 1900 (text below). On January 22, 1925 - he passed into immortality at Idylease in Newfoundland, N.J.


“I often wonder what it is that brings one man success in life, and what it is that brings mediocrity or failure to his brother. The difference can’t be in mental capacity; there is not the difference in our mentalities indicated by the difference in performance. In short, I have reached the conclusion that some men succeed because they cheerfully pay the price of success, and others, though they may claim ambition and a desire to succeed, are unwilling to pay that price.

And the price is…

To use all your courage to force yourself to concentrate on the problem in hand, to think of it deeply and constantly, to study it from all angles, and to plan.

To have a high and sustained determination to put over what you plan to accomplish, not if circumstances be favorable to its accomplishment, but in spite of all adverse circumstances which may arise and nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished without some obstacles having been overcome.

To refuse to believe that there are any circumstances sufficiently strong to defeat you in the accomplishment of your purpose.

Hard? I should say so. That’s why so many men never attempt to acquire success, answer the siren call of the rut and remain on the beaten paths that are for beaten men. Nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved without constant endeavor, some pain and constant application of the lash of ambition. That’s the price of success as I see it. And I believe every man should ask himself: Am I willing to endure the pain of this struggle for the comforts and the rewards and the glory that go with achievement? Or shall I accept the uneasy and inadequate contentment that comes with mediocrity? Am I willing to pay the Price of Success?”

-Joseph French Johnson

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dr. Arthur Zampella: Lieutenant Commander, USN

dr arthur zampella


"The Greatest Generation" -- From Left to Right:
Alfred Zampella, Dr. Arthur Zampella, Edward Zampella, Nunzio Zampella.

On this Memorial Day weekend, I celebrate and salute the service of Lieutenant Commander Arthur D. Zampella for his service in the pacific during WW II as a medical officer with the 111th United States Naval Construction Battalion.

Arthur Zampella enlisted in the United States Navy during World War Two and began his military service as a Naval Interne completing his medical studies at St. Albans Naval Hospital. He was briefly assigned to the Office of Naval Research in Washington, D.C. before being deployed as Medical Officer onboard the USS Samuel Chase which arrived at the 111th, United States Naval Construction Battalion at Calicoan Island, Philippines in 1945. He later traveled on as Medical Officer to U.S. Naval Base Hollandia in Netherlands New Guinea. After the war, Zampella returned to Weill Cornell Medical College from 1949 until 1954 to serve as Project Officer for a study on the biological effects of radiation entitled: Naval Implications of Nuclear Warfare. Zampella was honorably discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

From 1954-1992 Dr. Arthur Zampella was the owner & operator of Idylease. For more info visit:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Go Navy!: The Jones Beach Air Show

Point Lookout

The Blue Angels maneuver high above Point Lookout, NY in preparation of the Jones Beach Air Show this weekend kicking off the Memorial Day Weekend. This event attracts thousands of Long Islanders to our beautiful South Shore beaches to celebrate the beginning of summer, and shine a light on military families as well as honoring those who serve our country.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mike Lupica Interview for Elmore Leonard Documentary

mike lupica
Mulholland/Zampella Interview with Author Mike Lupica
Mike Lupica is one of the most prominent sports writers in America and a syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News; he's also a best-selling author of both mysteries and young adult sports novels--he was also great friends with writer Elmore Leonard. Lupica was interviewed Friday May 6, 2016 for the Elmore Leonard Documentary: The Dickens of Detroit after his appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe. The film is Written & Directed by John Mulholland and Produced by Richard Zampella. ‪#‎elmoreleonard‬ ‪#‎mikelupica‬

Monday, May 2, 2016

Memories are Like Starlight: They Go On Forever

"And then we saw the Northern Lights. They're like flames from some prehistoric campfire, leaping and dancing in the sky and changing colors. Red to gold, and blue to violet... Aurora Borealis. It's like the equinox, the changing of the seasons. Summer to fall, young to old, then to now. And then tomorrow... And as I saw the morning star come up over the mountains, I realized that life is just a collection of memories. And memories are like starlight: they go on forever. "

Thanks to Hyperion Knight who never doubted many years ago in the Rainbow Room.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Highly Contested Legal Battle Over the Fate of Idylease Results in New Owner

A three year legal battle over the fate of Idylease ended this week with the sale of the historic structure located in the Newfoundland section of West Milford.

Since 2012, The Estate of Alice Zampella unsuccessfully attempted to sell off six individual lots to different buyers. In an effort to maintain the property, beneficiary Richard Zampella filed an order with the Superior Court of New Jersey: Chancery Division.

The lawsuit challenged the intended sales by Estate Executor Clark Zampella and Susan Capadonna and their plan to break up of the estate that would have forced Idylease to face an uncertain future.

Over the course of the legal dispute, the Hon Judge Mary Marget McVeigh ordered the removal of attorney Paul Ross of Ross & Ross from the proceedings pursuant to RPC 3.7.

On April 11, 2016 Idylease was purchased by Richard Zampella who has tried to purchase the property since the death of his father in 1992.

See our new website at:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Neely Tucker on Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard was personally and professionally a huge influence on author Neely Tucker who is a staff writer for the Washington Post Sunday Magazine. Tucker has reported from more than 50 countries around the world and from two dozen of these United States. He is the author of “Love in the Driest Season.” A native of Mississippi, he now lives with his family just outside of D.C. He is an embarrassingly huge fan of Mississippi State and the New Orleans Saints.

We spent a Saturday afternoon with Neely outside Washington, D.C. – discussing all things Elmore Leonard. His interview for the documentary Elmore Leonard: The Dickens of Detroit was wonderfully focused, animated and filled with engaging insight.

The Dickens of Detroit is Written & Directed by John Mulholland and produced by Richard Zampella. Visit

Thursday, March 24, 2016

An Ode to Tennessee Williams on his Birthday

Streetcar Named Desire

Most people have never seen a live performance of a Tennessee Williams play, but you will certainly recognize his words. Lines from his works have become have become part of the lexicon of our language in which his vocabulary is inseparable from his writings — and the kinds of characters who speak them.

"Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." — Blanche Dubois, in A Streetcar Named Desire.

"Stella! ... Stella!" — a shattered  Stanley Kowalski, filled with liquor and guilt, calling to his wife from the darkened streets of New Orleans in the same play.

Blanche is Stanley's sister-in-law, a faded Southern belle that is both fixated and repulsed by the brute.

"He's like an animal, has an animal's habits," she tells Stella. "There's even something subhuman about him. Thousands of years have passed him right by and there he is — Stanley Kowalski, survivor of the Stone Age, bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle. And you, you here waiting for him. Maybe he'll strike you, or maybe he'll grunt and kiss you. That's if kisses have been discovered yet."

Streetcar launched the career of Marlon Brando, who later starred in a film adaptation of the play with Vivien Leigh. Streetcar launched the career of Marlon Brando, who later starred in a film adaptation of the play with Vivien Leigh.

The observer of humankind who crafted those words, Thomas Lanier Williams, was born 105 years ago — on March 26, 1911 — in the Mississippi Delta town of Columbus. In a career that spanned half a century, he redefined what a play could do. He created some of the most remarkable characters in world drama in his more than 70 plays, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Rose Tattoo and The Night of the Iguana. He also wrote two novels, several collections of poetry and stories, and adapted many of his plays to the screen.

He changed the history of American drama and drama in the English-speaking world with his first two plays because they were so different, He broke free of what had been going on in the 1920s and the 1930s — all those social-protest dramas — and gave us something totally new, this wonderful understanding of human nature, human suffering ... human foibles.

With both The Glass Menagerie and Summer and Smoke, the first two of Williams' plays to be produced in New York and it was in New York that the playwright made his first big impression. The Glass Menagerie enjoyed a successful Broadway run and won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best play of 1945. He fell in with a circle of actors, writers and directors that included Marlon Brando (whose career was launched by his portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in the stage version — and later the film — of Streetcar), and Eli Wallach.

Eli Wallach once said, "We were not interested in doing any films. We were interested in doing plays. And Tennessee was right at the top. His writing excited all of us."

Wallach spent the first five years of his career acting in Williams plays. He originated the character Kilroy in 1953's Camino Real. He won a Tony for creating the role of the truck driver, Mangiacavallo, in 1951's The Rose Tattoo. But he says his favorite remains The Glass Menagerie.

"What a play," he says, a bit of awe in his voice. "You take a family and you wring it around. ... Audiences were startled by this man's ability to do that."

Williams' ability to express his guilt and anguish in his work won him many honors. He received two Tony Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes — for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof — and four New York Drama Critics Circle Awards.

And though age and alcohol had begun to catch up with Williams by the mid-1960s, he continued to write — every day, from six in the morning until noon.

The writings of Tennessee Williams teaches us an important lesson. "He said of his sister when somebody inquired about how she was doing in the nursing home ... he said, 'She's surviving with grace.' And I think he, in so many ways, taught us how to do that”.

Tennessee Williams died in a New York hotel room in 1983 at the age of 71.
He's buried in St. Louis — where he grew up — alongside his sister Rose.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mike Sandy: Inspiration for Max Cherry in Rum Punch

Max Cherry

Max Cherry from Rum Punch was modeled on Mike Sandy

Elmore Leonard got a lot more out of Palm Beach County than a place to get away from the brutal Michigan winters. He also got the setting and characters for a batch of his most popular novels.

From “Maximum Bob,” which he dedicated to the late Judge Marvin Mounts, to “Out of Sight” (about a jailbreak from Glades Correctional) to “Split Images” and “Rum Punch,” Leonard found South Florida — the perfect setting for his terse, epigrammatic outlaws and thugs.

Mike Sandy, a West Palm bail bondsman, remembers meeting him in the late ’80s.

Marvin Mounts and Dutch Leonard walked into my office,” said Sandy. “My office was on Banyan, and he was just finishing ‘Maximum Bob.’ Dutch was interested in doing a book about a bail bondsman and said, ‘Can I ask for your help?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely not.’ “He was a little startled and said, ‘Why not?’

“Because everything I’ve ever seen, heard or read about bail bondsmen is negative and I don’t want to contribute to that.”

I’ll make you a deal,” he said. “Share your files with me, and I promise you that whatever I write about your business will be positive.

Leonard began borrowing files from Sandy, one of which involved a stewardess arrested for drug trafficking. From that came “Rum Punch,” later made into the movie “Jackie Brown” by Quentin Tarantino.

He would ride around with me,” says Sandy. “I was listening to the Delfonics a lot at the time, and he used that in the book. Dutch would ask, ‘What does a bondsman do in this situation? What does he do if the guy runs?"

After the book was published, Leonard and his then-wife Joan, and Sandy and his wife remained friendly. Sandy believes that Leonard had trouble adjusting to the death of his wife, “She was more than his wife, she was his editor and proofreader. Everything he wrote, she read before he sent it to his publisher.”

Leonard was not an overnight success. He didn’t have a bestseller until he was 60. He started out writing Westerns and many of those were turned into movies: “3:10 To Yuma,” "Valdez Is Coming,” “Hombre.”

Learn More at:

Monday, February 29, 2016

Elmore Leonard Miami Interviews

jim born author

MIAMI - Feb 29, 2016 -- For more than seventeen years with the U.S. Marshals Service, DEA, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Jim Born has seen just about everything Florida crime and criminals can throw at him. Elmore Leonard first met Jim Born when he was a DEA agent stationed in South Florida. Jim’s dad, Judge John Born was friends with Leonard’s close friend Judge Marvin Mounts. Jim gave Leonard technical advice on a number of books starting with Get Shorty.

jim hall author

James W. Hall interviewed by John Mulholland in Key Largo for the upcoming Elmore Leonard Documentary -- The Dickens of Detroit. Hall is an American author and professor who has written eighteen novels that include Under Cover of Daylight, Hard Aground, Gone Wild, Buzz Cut, Red Sky at Night, Rough Draft, Off the Chart and Silencer.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Life is like a box of chocolates in Savannah..


richard zampella

Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and is the county seat of Chatham County. The city has served as film location form many film scenes. Savannah is probably best known movie for the Tom Hanks film Forrest Gump. In the beginning of the film, a feather floats high above the grand southern trees and sweeps down and eventually lands at the base of a park bench.

Hanks sits on the park bench located in Chippewa Square for 80% of the film, telling his life story to anyone who will listen. Film Director John Mulholland and Producer Richard Zampella visited Savannah in February 2016 while traveling to Miami, Florida to conduct interviews for the Elmore Leonard Documentary: The Dickens of Detroit.

Monday, February 15, 2016

New Tavern Website: Designed by Richard Zampella at Transmultimedia

Richard Zampella

Point Lookout’s own Heneghan’s Tavern announces the launch of our new redesigned website at

Designed and developed by Richard Zampella of Transmultimedia, our new custom built website has responsive design, with all new imagery that is fully compliant with both desktop and mobile users.

Responsive design is a web structure that responds to the screen size that adapts to the device that the website is being viewed on. Responsive web design eliminates the need to create multiple versions of a website to display on smart phones and desktop computers. Heneghan’s Tavern new responsive website design allows for different device orientations and re-shuffles content for Android Phones, iPhones and Tablets. No matter what device our guests are using, the site it will be formatted correctly. Another progressive feature of the website is the photo gallery, built using HTML-5, CSS3, and JavaScript code. This layout makes the restaurant & media gallery accessible from various mobile devices.

All the menus for the restaurant – Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Craft Cocktails and Our Beer menu – are integrated with the website for guest convenience and design consistency which also aids in search engine optimization.

Some of the features that the new Heneghan’s Tavern Website includes are:

1. Social media integration. This allows our website visitors to quickly share our site with their friends on social networks. This feature is great, especially for friends wanting to share and discuss a great place to eat!

2. Our photo gallery. This feature integrates photos of Heneghan’s Tavern as well as our employees. We wanted to enhance the tie between our guests and staff, and we found this feature will help to connect our customers with our staff members that will serve them at the restaurant.

3. Strategically placed calls-to-action & forms. These tactful messages will help encourage guests to view Heneghan’s Tavern menus, to visit us  on social networks, and to book private parties. Since these are the areas we would like to increase visibility on, we are pleased to feature these options as emphasized calls-to-action.

We encourage you to explore our new custom responsive website and stop by at 57 Lido Boulevard in Point Lookout for a great meal, or call us today at (516) 544-2777 for more information!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Alan Ladd: A Buckskin Knight in Shane - 1953

“If you can figure out my success on the screen, you’re a better man than I.” – Alan Ladd

Alan Ladd: September 3, 1913 – January 29, 1964

Though he stood only 5’7”, Alan Ladd loomed large on the silver screen. Or, as in such classic Westerns as “Whispering Smith” (1948) and especially “Shane” (1953), very Tall in the Saddle. Ladd’s slight stature was compensated by his deep baritone voice and an onscreen presence that commanded attention. Cliché though it sounds, when Alan Ladd entered a scene, he dominated it. Hero, villain or everyman caught in extraordinary circumstances, Ladd convincingly filled the bill. Offscreen, Ladd was a modest, self-assuming man who was never affected by his stardom. He remained gracious to his fans, never refusing a request for an autograph. His professional kindness and generosity was noted when Ladd was twice awarded the Golden Apple (1944 and 1950) for Most Cooperative Actor. Yet sadly, Ladd suffered from his own personal demons borne of deep insecurities and a not particularly happy childhood. In a 1961 interview when Ladd was asked, "What would you change about yourself if you could?", he replied tersely: "Everything."

Yet onscreen there was rarely another actor who could convey such cool and complete confidence.

Alan Ladd first gained a reputation as a movie tough guy when he appeared fourth-billed as the hired gunman Raven in the noir classic “This Gun for Hire” (1942). His cold and calculated killer tracking down the men who betrayed him stole the show from the picture’s official stars. Following his success in that film, the previously struggling Ladd went under contract to Paramount where he became one of Hollywood’s biggest box office draws during World War II. His smooth, deep voice was also heard on many radio programs of the time, where after the broadcast he was often mobbed by fans. He was also one of the very few male celebrities whose cover photos sold movie magazines. In 1943, “Modern Screen" magazine ran sixteen stories on him in its twelve issues that year. So great was his popularity, in fact, that he held the unique distinction of being “starred” in a comic book series “The Adventures of Alan Ladd”. In his film work, Ladd was probably most noted for his pairings with the sultry and equally diminutive Veronica Lake, in such mysteries as “The Glass Key” (1942) and “The Blue Dahlia” (1946). After a career slump following too many routine roles in mediocre movies, like “Wild Harvest” (1947), “Saigon” (1948) and “Chicago Deadline” (1950), Ladd made a spectacular comeback as “Shane” in the film of the same name. His mysterious, ultra-cool former gunfighter who outdraws Jack Palance in the film’s famous climactic shootout became one of the foremost iconic figures of Western mythology. Ladd’s “comeback” was recognized when he was voted Most Popular Star at the 1953 Photoplay Awards. “Shane” proved a hard act to follow for the actor. While Ladd could never again recapture the success he enjoyed from that movie, he could take pride in the fact that he had created an unforgettable character through which his popularity continues to endure.

Ladd had his final screen triumph when he played the part of aging former cowboy Nevada Smith in “The Carpetbaggers” (1964). Fans and critics praised Ladd’s performance in the oft-panned film and predicted a new career for him as a solid character actor. Unfortunately, it was not to be as Alan Ladd died on January 29, 1964.

# # # # # # #

Richard Zampella is a writer who regularly contributes on entertainment subjects ranging from film history to current film technique. Among his production credits are producer of Sergeant York: Of God and Country, narrated by Liam Neeson. Inside High Noon narrated by Frank Langella and Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen narrated by Sam Waterston. The later was chosen by the New York Times as a Critics’ Pic in October of 2013. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Dr. Arthur Zampella: 1917-1992

Dr Arthur Zampella
On this day in 1992 Arthur Zampella was stricken with a fatal heart attack in the Newfoundland section of the Township of West Milford.

Farewell. For he shall go a long, long way
With these thou seëst — if indeed I go
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt) —
To the island-valley of Avilion;
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard lawns
And bowery hollows crowned with summer sea

From the Arthurian Legend, Idylls of The Kings
-Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1859

For more information visit: