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Hooray for Hollywood:
Johnson and Fantle's Escapades

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From Their Teen Years Playing Classic Films To Seniors To Their Recent Book, Ton Johnson And David Fantle Discuss Their Mutual Love Of Hollywood Films


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By Staff
Modern Times Magazine

Jan. 19, 2019 — "What audacity!" exclaimed actor Robert Wagner when he heard about the adolescent exploits in nabbing interviews with Hollywood celebrities of “Hooray for Hollywood” host Tom Johnson and his friend of more than 40 years, David Fantle. In 1978, Fantle and Johnson, St. Paul, MN teenagers, boarded a plane to meet with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. They had written the stars requesting interviews--and to their amazement, both stars agreed.

Over the years, more than 250 other artists also agreed--Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, George Burns, Rod Steiger, Milton Berle, Frank Capra and Hoagy Carmichael, to name a few.

The best of those interviews have been compiled in their new book, Hollywood Heyday, which they talk about on the podcast. Published with exclusive photos, the selection of 75 interviews (many of which appeared on this website) chronicles the authors’ 40-year quest for insights and anecdotes from iconic 20th century artists.

Podcast highlights include:

-Rod Steiger turning down the lead role in Patton.
-James Cagney inviting the two teenagers to dinner and then introducing them to his buddy, Carroll O’Connor
-George Burns smoking 95-cent El Producto Cigars
-Meeting DeForest “Bones” McCoy at an IHOP on Ventura Blvd.
-Showing the “Mark Twain of filmmakers,” Frank Capra, the Mississippi River for the first time at age 83
Hooray For Hollywood: Johnson and Fantle's Escapades
From their teen years playing classic films to their recent book, Tom Johnson and Dave Fantle discuss their mutual love of Hollywood films. — Jan. 19, 2019
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