Ah, PERINO'S; where I was paid $1,000.00 for twenty minutes work. Seems I was some woman's favorite actor. This was back in 1970, I believe. Her husband was very wealthy, and asked me to jump out of a cake. I was wearing a bikini, but it looked like I was naked. I got a free PERINO'S dinner, too.
CHRISTOPHER'S first lodgings in Hollywood: The Warwick Hotel at Wilcox Ave. and Sunset Blvd. Room 317. The cost: $12.50 for the first week.
This is the official announcement to the trade press that CHRISTOPHER was officially on board to choreograph the film "Fireball 500" which starred Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
Originally posted: October 11, 2014 by CHRISTOPHER RIORDAN
I was very fortunate when I got to Hollywood. Not only was I working in a film on my second day in town; I had somehow fallen into the creme of the crop when it came to the Social Register, as well.
This picture was taken at a black-tie dinner, given at a very prominent doctor's home in the Hollywood Hills. I was invited to many, many dinner, cocktail, and swimming parties here.
This is the home where I met my lovely friend, JULIE DORSEY (daughter of JIMMY.) The actress, MARGARET LINDSAY; and actors, DAN DAILEY and SIR JOHN GIELGUD.... just to name a few.
I remember when this picture was taken, it was just the three gentlemen sitting there talking...... I was standing at the side, observing. All of a sudden, the photographer said, "Christopher, jump in there, sit next to JIMMY."
You see, the older gentleman there is the famed Interior Designer, JIMMY PENDLETON. MR. PENDLETON and WILLIAM HAINES were THEE two top Designers in Beverly Hills at that time.
JIMMY'S wife, DO DO, happened to be the heiress to the Scott Tissue fortune.
Thankfully, I behaved myself in my youth; and 20 years later, I was still being invited to thee nicest parties in town.
Not bad, for a kid that literally 'ran away from home' at 18, with $42.00 in his pocket.
This photo is the day of my wedding. I was 25. Sean's mother was not quite 23. Most of you know, we met while doing a show in Las Vegas at The Dunes Hotel. I was the lead dancer and singer; and she was the featured Show Girl, having just won the title of Miss Wisconsin, and being a runner up in the Miss Universe Contest.
Back in the day, it was customary to take out an ad in the "trades" when a person finished work on a particularly high-profile project. And "My Fair Lady" certainly qualified as a high-profile project.
Showing the results of a "bulking-up" period under the supervision of the Iron Guru himself, VINCE GIRONDA . Circa 1970.
First visit to Puerto Vallarta in 1969. Playa de Oro.
CHRISTOPHER posing with his 1950 Bentley.
A glowing review of the BARRIE CHASE Las Vegas show. CHRISTOPHER appeared in this show as RONNIE RIORDAN.
It's always good to have photos available of the different "types" you can play. In this photo, CHRISTOPHER is showing off his "student look."
From the same session as the previous photo.
This is a press clipping from one of the trades that followed the day-to-day production activity around town. This particular clipping mentions (in the paragraph between the two blue lines) the filming of the "Embassy Ball" scene of the film. CHRISTOPHER mentioned as Ron Riordan in this one.
CHRISTOPHER showing that he's still "got it" at the October 2014 show.
In full costume and makeup, ready for another day of shooting on the NBC TV series.
This is a page from the old Academy Directory - the "Younger Leading Men" page. These books were used for Casting Departments, Agents, Producers, Directors, etc. in order to find talent they thought they might want to use for a project.
Normally, the actor's agent is listed; thus enabling the person to make contact and inquiries.
RONNIE RIORDAN rumored to be the new "Instructor-In-Charge" at the Eddie Gay Dance Studio.
For this show, CHRISTOPHER used the name RON RIORDAN.
CHRISTOPHER and his piano accompaniast JAMES FREDERICKS at one of CHRISTOPHER'S performances. Garbo piano bar, Puerto Vallarta.
Some years ago (I believe it was 1998.) I attended a Birthday Party for ELIZABETH TAYLOR on her 67th birthday. This was, of course, when I lived in Puerto Vallarta; and the party was held in ELIZABETH'S home, Casa Kimberley, across the street from my house.
The article explains the rhyme and reason, and tells you of some of the guests. Among them, my good friends, Don and Patricia Gallery. (You've read about them before; Don being the son of BARBARA La MARR, and then adopted by ZASU PITTS.)
For some reason, the author of this article, and many subsequent articles that appeared in the Vallarta papers, could NEVER get the spelling of my last name correct. Methinks it was intentional.
Taken outside CHRISTOPHER'S friend's apartment. That friend was Jack Campbell. Jack, being the heir to Campbell's Soup.
Without this, you do NOT get on the lot!
Another trade press mention that CHRISTOPHER was officially on board to choreograph the 1966 film "Fireball 500" which starred Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
The Southern California Motion Picture Council's Golden Halo Lifetime Achievement Award presented to CHRISTOPHER in October of 2014.
CHRISTOPHER'S Make-Up bag that the Make-Up Artists would bring on the set for touch ups. This is from when CHRISTOPHER was doing the series, "Outsourced."
One of the many production updates that appeared in the trade press during the making of "Fireball 500" in 1966. CHRISTOPHER worked under the name RONNIE RIORDAN in this film.
CHRISTOPHER speaking at his friend, DON GALLERY'S Memorial Service in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on March 21, 2015. Don was the adopted son of ZASU PITTS. His birth mother was the Silent Star, BARBARA LAMAR.
CHRISTOPHER'S 'dad,' LEWIS MILESTONE, hired MS PITTS in 1929 to appear in his film, "All Quiet on the Western Front." However, MS PITTS had to be let go once they decided to make the film into a 'talkie.'
Well, here's a little something that one of my Jr. High and High School Classmates sent me the other day. I believe this must be 1952. I was in the Ninth Grade. Of course, I was always participating in the School Productions. It was a great way for me to experiment, and get used to audiences. ('Christopher' when I was Acting.)
I've found my name on this program, twice. RONNIE RIORDAN, is the name I was given as a child; and the name I used when I Danced and Choreographed in Films and Television. I don't really recall doing the one-act play. But I do recall that I Choreographed the Doll Dance to the hit record of the day, "The Syncopated Clock."
If you've never heard it, I'm sure it's on You-Tube.
I also recall that several of the teachers came up and told me how much they enjoyed this dance and performance. I think, at the time, I thought they were just 'saying that' because most of the boys I went to school with gave me SO much S**T about performing, and being a dancer.
Today, I sometimes wonder just how exciting THEIR lives turned out to be. In any case, here's the program that was sent to me; complete with my signature.
Taken in Chicago after a long day of signing autographs, doing interviews, and posing for pictures. CHRISTOPHER was the Honorary Chairman of an Awards Presentation that year.
CHRISTOPHER with the President of his Fan Club: LINDA HOFFMAN STEARNS. The Fan Club was started in 1969.
CHRISTOPHER must have been hired as a dancer for this event, as he is listed as RON RIORDAN in this trade notice.
There's no doubt what decade this photo is from.
The other day I had a very small scene with LINDA PORTER. You no doubt remember her from "Twins," "The Gilmore Girls," and more recently, "2 Broke Girls."
What a delight she is. And SO gracious. She came right up to me and said, "I know who YOU are. I'm thrilled to be working with you."
She plays, 'Myrtle;' the oldest employee of Cloud 9......which is the name of "Superstore."
From the NBC-TV series.
Dancing in Mismaloya, on the set of "Night of the Iguana."
Dancing in Mismaloya, on the set of "Night of the Iguana."
I was the Artistic Director of the Lyric Theatre in Ashland, Oregon (Home of the Shakespeare Festival.)
I had called GEORGE CHAKIRIS to come and let me Direct him in a production of "Don Juan in Hell."
I believe the picture of GEORGE and I was at Dress Rehearsal.
CHRISTOPHER directing the entire cast in rehearsal.
GEORGE CHAKIRIS and CHRISTOPHER celebrating the play's success.
With SHIRLEY PATTON.
CHRISTOPHER with JERRY STYNER who, along with GUY HEMRIC, wrote most of the music and lyrics used in the films.
CHRISTOPHER with GUY HEMRIC who, along with JERRY STYNER, wrote most of the music and lyrics used in the films.
In 1960, I hadn't been discovered by FRED ASTAIRE, and HERMES PAN, as yet. i'd only made two films, had appeared on a local TV Show, and was doing a lot of Stage work.
Almost everyone in town used Bett for their phone service; and she was quite a character. I think I've written about the night I was approached by HENRY WILLSON.......and here is the result of his calls, as could only be described by Bett, herself.
I kind of miss those days before phone machines.
I was finally getting credit for Assisting the Choreographer. In actuality, I WAS the Choreographer. But, that story is documented in my book.
Nevertheless, lots of good memories about this job. I also have my main number on DVD. I recall hiring BRUCE HOY for this. He was one of the two guys dancing with AUDREY HEPBURN in the beatnik bar in the film "Funny Face." (He was also married to LARRI THOMAS.)
This was also when I really got to know VINCENT PRICE. And, my AIP Beach Girls worked extra hard to make this Special 'special.'
Great fun. And.......lot's of 'over time.'
Front cover of the Program for the show.
Here's the back of the Program, and that's Carol Wayne on the right. That is a wig she is wearing.
Do you love Selma Marlowe's billing? As IF she could Choreograph a show.
In my book, I tell a VERY funny story about her, and her idea of Choreography.
Actually, Lee Scott (he of 'Lucy' fame) was the Choreographer. But Selma fired him midway, and brought in Jimmy Huntley. Jimmy changed a lot of Lee's work, and really did most, or all, of the dance routines.
Both men were a delight to work with. Selma was NOT.