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Frankie and Johnny
1966

Frankie loves riverboat gambler Johnny....but he loves almost as much as he loves Frankie. Together they earn a living singing on a Mississippi boat. Frankie refuses to marry her lover until he stops away every cent he makes. The plot thickens when a gypsy fortune teller tells Johnny that hs can end his losing streak with a new redhead who will soon be coming into his life. Enter the lovely Nellie Bly. In keeping with the fortune teller's prediction, Johnny wins a fortune with Nellie beside him. Which gorgeous gal will he end up with? To find out, watch the end - it's a real killer!

Donna Douglas

"Frankie"

Born Doris Smith on September 26, 1933, in Pride, Louisiana, Donna grew up an authentic Southern Belle similar to her trademark role as "Elly May" on the television's Beverly Hillbillies. A beautiful young lady, Donna married soon after high school, had a son, divorced and won a couple of beauty contests...all within the span of a few years. Inspired to relocate to New York, Donna was soon winning roles on television show. Her projects included a guest shot on The Twilight Zone in one of the more famous episodes "Eye of the Beholder". In the story, Douglas portrays a woman undergoing a series of surgeries to make herself "beautiful" ..... only to have the operations "fail". The ironic twist was she was beautiful (at least to the viewers) but considered hideous to the "pig people" of her planet. Continuing to play on her "animal magnetism", Douglas next appeared in a two episodes of Mister Ed.

In 1962, television was taken by storm by the unexpected hit, The Beverly Hillbillies. As the beautiful and charming tomboy Elly May Clampett, Donna ured her place in TV history and won the hearts of many a young man as she tended to her menagerie of beloved "critters" and took dips in "the cement pond".

Not limiting herself to the "hills of Beverly", Donna Douglas returned to the big screen in 1966 to work with the King in "Frankie and Johnny". Inspired by the saloon song of the same title, this riverboat-based story features Donna Douglas in the title role, opposite Elvis's Johnny. After the close of the Beverly Hillbillies, Douglas and several other of the cast members found themselves so typecast that their performing work became quite sporadic. In more recent years, Douglas's work has been happily devoted to evangelism and Christian ministry.

Click here to see my Donna Douglas autograph.

Harry Morgan

"Cully"

Harry Bratsburg [Harry Morgan] was born in Detroit, Michigan, on April 10th, 1915. Throughout his youth, Morgan aspired to be a lawyer. He did eventually go to the University of Chicago to become a lawyer, but after 2 years he had to leave due to financial reasons. Morgan then went to Washington D.C. to get a job. While living there, he became part of the local theatre group and did a few productions. The theatre’s director recognized Harry’s potential and invited him to do summer stock in New York. Morgan did a few Broadway productions such as Golden Boy and Gentle People. Harry then moved to Los Angeles to make films. His first was To the Shores of Tripoli , playing the role of Mouthy.

Harry continued to win acting parts, but his breakthrough didn’t come until he starred in 1943’s The Ox-Bow Incident with Henry Fonda. . Throughout most of the 1940’s and early 50’s, the actor mostly portrayed bad guys and losers, but that all changed in 1954 when he starred in The Glenn Miller Story as Chummy MacGregor. Films that followed included Prisoner of War, The Mountain Road, and Cimarron. Television also played a part in Morgan’s career, as he costarred in the popular sitcom, “December Bride” with Spring Byington. This was followed by the short-lived spinoff , “Pete and Gladys”, in which he played the title role. The 1960s brought more opportunities for Harry Morgan. In, 1966 he costarred in the Elvis Presley musical, Frankie and Johnny. Morgan portrayed Elvis’ piano-playing sidekick, Cully. Today, his memory of working with Elvis and doing the film is "I liked Elvis enormousley while working with him. I enjoyed doing the movie very much." In 1969, Harry took on one of his best-known roles as Officer Bill Gannon on the police drama, Dragnet. For the next 5 years, Morgan remained on the successful television series, dabbling also in some films that included: Viva Max!, The Flim Flam Man, and Support Your Local Sheriff.

In 1975, television audiences were devotedly tuning in to M*A*S*H, the long-running hit series set during the Korean War. Recovering from the unexpected screen death of Comdr. Henry Blake, both the fictional M*A*S*H staff and the fans wondered who would arrive to take charge of the 4077th. Enter Harry Morgan as Col. Sherman T. Potter. For the next 7 years....until the Korean War (and the television series) ended , Morgan commandeered Hawkeye, B.J. and the rest of the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.

Aging, but not retiring, Harry Morgan spent the 70’s and 80’s, Harry doing many other films and TV Movies that included M*A*S*H*: Goodbye, Farewell, Amen and Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick. More recently, in 1996, he appeared in an episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun.

Nancy Kovack

"Nellie Bly"

Nancy Kovack was born on March 11, 1935, in Flint, Michigan. At the age of 15, Kovack was a student at the University of Michigan, and at 19 she graduated. By the time she was 20 years old, Nancy was the winner of eight beauty titles. This helped her in her acting career. She started out by being one of Jackie Gleason’s Glea Girls, but was then lead to more well known roles on The Dave Garroway Show and The Today Show.

Around 1960, Kovack was then signed on with Columbia pictures to work in films. Her first movie was Strangers When we Met, followed by Cry for Happy. This opened doors for Nancy for she then began working starring roles in Jason and the Argonauts and Diary of a Madman with Vincent Price. During this time, Nancy also co-starred on quite a few television series. Family Affair and I Dream of Jeannie are two of the many.

Following her work In The Silencers, Kovack was chosen to co-star in Frankie and Johnny with the very famous Elvis Presley. She played Nellie Bly, the gorgeous red head whom becomes Elvis’ character’s new good luck charm at the gambling tables.

By 1969, Nancy was nominated for an Emmy for her guest appearance on the television show Mannix. That July, she also married Mr. Zubin Metha of the New York Philharmonic Fame. Kovack’s last acting appearance was in the 1975 television movie Ellery Queen. She was credited as Nancy Metha for the role.

Nancy and Zubin Metha are still married today.

Sue Ane Langdon

"Mitzi"

Sue Ane Langdon was born on March 8, 1936. Although she was born in Paterson, New Jersey, Sue Ane spent her time growing up in New York, Oregon, and Michigan. Since her mother was a director of local theater productions, Langdon began acting at an early age. Following college in Texas and Idaho, Sue Ane headed off for New York where she found jobs in Broadway plays and at Radio City Musical Hall. In the last of the 1950’s, Langdon went to Hollywood and began to co-star on some television shows including Perry Masonand The Andy Griffith Show. She also became a regular on Bachelor Father. Following her work in two films, Strangers When We Meet and The Great Impostor, Sue Ane played Jackie Gleason’s wife, Alice Kramden, on the hit show The Honeymooners. Her tenure on the show lasted only a year, however, as the role then passed to Sheila MacRae.

Langdon was then chosen to co-star in Elvis Presley’s 1964 movie Roustabout. Langdon's character was Madame Mijanou, fortune teller at the carnival where Elvis’ character works. After making The Rounders,with Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford, she was back with Elvis. In 1966 Sue Ane co-starred in Frankie and Johnny. This time she played Donna Douglas’ character’s friend, Mitzi.

Speaking with the author recently, Miss Langdon recalled her Elvis films: “At the time, it was no big deal to make an ‘Elvis picture’. Working with him was quite pleasant, though. He was very nice and professional. However, seeing him in later years in concert during the Vegas years, he was fantastic and I really became a fan!!”. She also says that Frankie and Johnny was her favorite.

For the rest of the 1960’s and into the 70’s, Sue Ane did a few other films including The Cheyenne Social Club and The Evictors. She also starred on the television series Arnie.

To date, Langdon’s last acting appearance was Zapped Again! (1990). She isn't doing much acting these days, but does appear at many film festivals. She is also enjoying her life with husband Jack Emrek. The two have been married since 1959!

Click here to see my Sue Ane Langdon autograph.

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