Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Every Princess has a Prince! Cinderella's Prince(s)

Every Disney Princes has a Prince! Cinderella's Prince(s)

William Phipps Born February 4th, 1922 (Speaking Voice)

Mike Douglas August 11, 1925 – August 11, 2006 (Singing Voice)


It took two men to make Cinderella's Prince Charming. It took William to act and provide the speaking voice and Mike Douglas to do the singing.

William Phipps

William Edward "Bill" Phipps

William Edward "Bill" Phipps (born February 4, 1922 in Vincennes, Indiana) is a retired American actor and producer, perhaps best known for his roles in dozens of classic sci-fi and westerns, both film and television, from the late 1940s through the mid 1960s. From then, until his retirement in 2000, his work was mainly in television.

 Early years


Phipps grew up in St. Francisville, Illinois, and by high school he was using his stepfather's last name of Couch. He developed a love of acting at a young age, performing in several plays in grade school and high school. One of the plays he was in, during his junior year of high school in 1937, was "Before Morning", a 1933 play which was made into a movie that same year.


After graduating high school in 1939, he attended Eastern Illinois University as an accounting major. He was voted freshman class president and served as head cheerleader. After two years of college, he moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting, and went back to his original last name of Phipps.

The War

During that same year, the United States entered into World War II, and Phipps enlisted in the US Navy, serving as a radio operator on several ships all across the Pacific. He served three years, then settled in Los Angeles to begin his career. He enrolled in the Actors Lab in Hollywood, alongside fellow actor Russell Johnson.


Phipps' big break came when he and Johnson were double-cast in a play at the Actors Lab. They drew straws to see which actor would perform in the matinee, and which would take the evening show. Phipps drew the evening show, which was attended that same evening by actor Charles Laughton. Laughton was impressed by Phipps' performance, and came backstage afterwards to ask Phipps to perform in his own play. Phipps' career took off, and he was soon in his first feature film, Crossfire (1947).

Career break

After more than 20 years in the business, performing in film and television in a wide variety of roles, Phipps took a break from Hollywood and moved to Hawaii. While there, he hosted a movie presentation program called "Hollywood Oldies", on Maui's Cable 7.

After a little more than five years in Hawaii, he returned to Hollywood to portray President Theodore Roosevelt in the 1976 television movie Eleanor and Franklin.


Phipps' career highlights include the speaking voice of Prince Charming in Disney's Cinderella (1950), the post-apocalyptic Five (1951) (his only leading role), The War of the Worlds (1953), Eleanor and Franklin (1976), narrating the television version of Dune (1984), and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993).

Retirement and post-career

Phipps' last movie role to date was in the 2000 independent film Sordid Lives, in which he also served as one of the film's producers.

In 2005, several of Phipps' films were the subject of an EIU film festival in his honor. He received an honorary doctorate from the university the following year.

He currently resides in Malibu, California.

Mike Douglas

Mike Douglas (August 11, 1925 – August 11, 2006) was an American "Big Band" era singer, entertainer, and television talk show host.

Early life and career

Douglas was born Michael Delaney Dowd, Jr. in Chicago, Illinois, and began singing as a choirboy. By his teens he was working as a singer on a Lake Michigan dinner cruise ship. After serving briefly in the United States Navy near the end of World War II and as a "staff singer" for WMAQ-TV in Chicago, he moved to Los Angeles. He was on the Ginny Simms radio show. Then, he became a vocalist in the big band of Kay Kyser, with whom he was featured on two notable hits, "Ole [or Old] Buttermilk Sky" in 1946 and "The Old Lamplighter" the following year. Kyser was responsible for giving him his show business name, and he remained part of Kyser's band until Kyser retired from show business in 1951.

In 1950, he provided the singing voice of Prince Charming in Walt Disney's Cinderella.

In the 1950s Douglas, living in Burbank, California, tried to keep his singing career going, working as house singer for a nightclub and going on the road to stay busy. He preferred not to switch to rock and roll, which limited his opportunities as big band music was declining in popularity. In the leanest years, he and his wife survived by successfully "flipping" their Los Angeles homes.

Talk show

He next surfaced in 1961 in Cleveland, where a onetime Chicago colleague hired him for $400 a week as an afternoon television talk-show host at WLYC-TV, then known as KYW-TV. The Mike Douglas Show rapidly gained popularity, and ultimately, national syndication in August 1963 on the five Westinghouse-owned stations. The show was broadcast "live" on KYW-TV in its city of origination, but this practice ended in 1965 after guest Zsa Zsa Gabor used inappropriate language on-the-air when referring to stand-up comedian and comic actor Morey Ansterdam of the Dick Van Dyke Show. As KYW-TV's owner, Group W, successfully had a station swap with NBC overturned by the FCC. Westinghouse returned to Philadephia on June 19, 1965 with call letters KYW-TV. Along with the station swap came The Mike Douglas Show, which aired its first Philadelphia-based show on August 30, 1965. Even after ownership reverted back to NBC, WKYC in Cleveland continued to carry the program for many years afterward.

Guests ranged from Truman Capote and Richard Nixon to The Rolling Stones, Hermann's Hermits and Kiss, with an occasional on-camera appearance from Tim Conway (who would later be discovered at WJW). Moe Howard of "Three Stooges" fame was a guest several times, with a pie-fight inevitably happening at the end of the interview. The show helped introduce entertainers such as Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin. After the move to Philadelphia, Douglas also attempted to revive his own singing career, logging his lone Top 40 single as a solo artist, "The Men In My Little Girl's Life" in 1966.

By 1967, The Mike Douglas Show was broadcast to 171 markets and 6,000,000 viewers each day, mostly women at home. It earned $10.5 million from advertisers, while its host was paid more than $500,000. In 1967, the program received the first Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Daytime Television from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Most weeks, Douglas would be joined by a co-host, including Cesar Romero, Jackie Gleason, Joan Fontain, Anne Baxter, Jimmy Dean, Richard Thomas, Florence Henderson, Brooke Shields, Shelley Berman, Richard Pryor, Dyan Cannon, Suzanne Somers, Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Minnie Pearl, Shirley Bassey, Bobby Darin, Tony Randall, Kaye Ballard, Totie Fields, David Brenner, Ted Knight, Bernadette Peters, Kate Jackson, Harry Chapin, Rod McKuen, Cicely Tyson, Karen Valentine, Johnny Mathis, Joel Grey, Caol Channing, Anne Murray, Anthony Newley, Marvin Hamlisch, Patty Duke, Cher, Mel Tillis, Steve Lawrence, Martha Raye, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Frankie Avalon, Charlton Heston, Gordon MacRae, Richard Harris, Red Buttons, Billy Crystal, David Steinberg, Hugh O'Brian, Burt Reynolds, William Shatner, Sly Stone, John Lennon & Yoko Ono.

In July 1978, the talk show's home base was transferred to Los Angeles, where it remained until finally going off the air in 1982. A second series, The Mike Douglas Entertainment Hour, ended production in 1982.

In 1982, Douglas hosted CNN's Los Angeles-based celebrity interview show, People Now, taking over the hosting duties from Lee Leonard. He was replaced in December 1982 by Bill Tush.

Other notable achievements

Douglas became a local cultural icon in Philadelphia, often inviting prominent players from the city's professional sports teams to be guests on his show (he had a particular affinity for the city's pro football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, constantly referring to the team as "Our Eagles", and he could often be seen in attendance at Eagles' home games, especially whenever they appeared on Monday Night Football). He also assisted in mayor Frank Rizzo's campaign against derisive jokes often told by outsiders about the city, acting as chief spokesperson for the "Anti-Defamation Agency" Rizzo had set up for this purpose.

Douglas sang the The Star-Spangled Banner before the first Philadelphia Phillies game at Veterans Stadium on April 10, 1971, and also sang the national anthem prior to a Cincinnati Bengals-Miami Dolphins playoff game on December 23, 1973.

Douglas wrote two memoirs: My Story (1979) and I'll Be Right Back: Memories of TV's Greatest Talk Show (1999). He also wrote a cookbook, The Mike Douglas Cookbook (1969), featuring recipes from him, his family, and the show's guests.

Forty years after Douglas began his talk show at KYW-TV, his granddaughter Debbie Voinovich Donley designed successor WKYC's new broadcast facility on Lakeside Avenue, completed in 2002.

In 2007, a new documentary film Mike Douglas: Moments and Memories was shown on PBS stations.


He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1990, but after surgery he was cancer-free. Douglas died in 2006 on his 81st birthday, at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Though the cause of death has not yet been disclosed, Douglas's wife, Genevieve, tells the Associated Press that he became dehydrated on a golf course a few weeks previously and had been treated for that off and on since. "He was coming along fine," says the widow. "We never anticipated this to happen."

He was survived by his widow Genevieve, daughters Kelly and twins Michele and Christine, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Notable guests

·         His highest ratings came with a show co-hosted by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

·         Bill Cosby credits Mike Douglas for his "discovery."

·         Jackie Gleason and Art Carney are guests on "The Mike Douglas Show" in their roles as Kramden and Norton on an episode of "The Color Honeymooners" musical-variety TV programs in the late 1960s.

·         Tiger Woods appeared on the show as a toddler, golfing with Bob Hope and Jimmy Stewart.

My Christmas book, An Angel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas is out!!

You can find for all formats at

And for the Nook at

It is also available at the ITunes store for IPod, IPad and IPhone

It soon will be up at other sites such as Amazon

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