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Friday, August 26, 2016

"What??? And Leave Show Business???

There was an actress with a list of credits a mile long, mostly from the 1930's into the mid 1940's.
Her name was June Gittelson.
She was in the original "King Kong", "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington", and "Gold Diggers of 1933"
I don't remember her in any of them.
And I don't remember most of her other movies
She was predominantly a bit player.
She was extremely obese.
In over forty of her IMDB entries, which was most of them,  her character is described as "fat girl, or 'heavy-set girl".
Maybe it's a record.
She came to my attention when recently I watched the movie "Sing, You Sinners" on TCM.
"Sing, You Sinners" is a delightful musical comedy starring Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, and a very young Donald O'Connor.
They play nightclub entertainers.  And there's a moment in one of their numbers where Bing Crosby invites a huge obese lady to dance with him.
And that was the first time I laid eyes on June Gittelson.
To my knowledge.
This led me to the IMDB page for "Sing, You Sinners".
There was an actress billed as "fat girl (uncredited)"
This led me to wonder how many other actresses shared the same skill set for work.
I don't know how often she had to audition for her roles.
Was it simply "Get me June Gittelson!!!"  or "Get me a June Gittelson type!!
Or did she have to trudge over to whichever studio was holding auditions for fat girls this week, where she had to face a roomful of other fat girls.
I'm guessing that she not only had to trudge, but had to trudge by bus.
"The Odd Couple" had it's own version of June Gittelson.
Her name was June Smaney.
Whenever we did Felix's opera club she was there as a member.
Tony insisted.
She sang, too.
Lot's o' credits, but only one that referred to her as "fat lady"
June Gittelson left us in 1983.  Almost to the point where casting her in anything would  be considered wildly politically incorrect.
But that didn't stop me from hiring a fat lady in an episode of "She's The Sheriff" where we were doing a play on the expression  "It ain't over until the fat lady sings".
And we got a real fat lady who sings.
But I remember being quite solicitous and apologetic about the fact that she was cast because she was hefty.
She said "Don't worry about it".
And at least she sang great.
I don't even remember her  name.
I couldn't believe that either June was happy about her position in show business.
Who knows?  Maybe they had totally blissful lives.
I know they both ate well.
And if I hadn't brought it up, probably nobody would remember June Gittelson's name either.
So if I rescued June Gittelson from complete obscurity for this brief time,, giving her one day in the sun, then maybe I've accomplished something.

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."