It’s only fitting on Election Day, the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series is NOW officially housed in a combined 100 libraries. And ironically, these book shelves can be found at the prestigious Motion Picture and Television Fund in Woodland Hills, CA. Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is in 85 branches; Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History in 39 branches.
The Motion Picture and Television Fund is celebrating 90 years in existence. Right from the start, their mission statement has been: We Take Care of Our Own.
The organization has its origins from cinematic luminaries as Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and D.W. Griffith, who realized the need for reaching out to those in the entertainment industry who fell upon hard times. The original Board of Trustees included many of the biggest names in Hollywood such as Harold Lloyd, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart, Cecil B. DeMille, Jesse Lasky, Donald Crisp (an actor featured in my book series), Hal Roach, and Irving Thalberg. It was known then as the Motion Picture Relief Fund (MPRF).
In 1932, Mary Pickford spearheaded the Payroll Pledge Program, a payroll deduction plan for those earning over $200 a week. Studio workers were asked to pledge one-half of one percent of their earnings to MPRF. In 1938, MPRF increased participation in the Payroll Pledge Program by including talent groups, unions and producer representatives. SAG improved this effort by ruling for compulsory contributions by its Class A members.
President Jean Hersholt searched for an opportunity to supplement the income produced by Payroll Pledge. Jules Stein came up with the idea to have major movie stars appear on a new radio program, The Screen Guild Show, whereby they would donate their normal salaries to MPRF. Some members of the Directors Guild and the Writers Guild also contributed their services.
Sponsored by Gulf Oil, The Screen Guild Show made its premiere on over 61 CBS stations in 1939. The first program featured the iconic Jack Benny, Judy Garland and Joan Crawford. The Screen Guild Show quickly became one of the most popular programs on network radio, raising $5.3 million for MPRF during its 13-year run. Most major actor participated a number of times: Carole Lombard, Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Natalie Wood, Bob Hope, Betty Grable, Clark Gable, Tyrone Power, and the list goes on.
The Motion Picture Relief Fund broke ground on the existing facility in Woodland Hills in 1948 under the supervision of Jean Hersholt. The Motion Picture & Television Fund mission remains the same: preserve the health and quality of life of those who devote so much of their lives to a career in the entertainment industry. Donations are vital to MPTF’s ability to provide services to its retired industry members.
Donations including literary books that share untold stories about Hollywood’s Golden Age.
OUR GANG at Forgotten Hollywood reminds you on November 6th to exercise America’s greatest gift: V-O-T-E !!
Causes Manny Pacheco Supports