A George Chakiris Memoir, Loren’s Movie Idols, Saying No to Pepé Le Pew & More!

Links to the past with relevance today:

"I don't think I'll try to talk too much," he said while accepting his Oscar. (Lyons Press)

FOX NEWS (BOO!): George Chakiris, 86, has released a memoir, My West Side Story, in which he tells the story of his life and career. In remembering co-star Natalie Wood (1938-1981), he says in a fresh interview:

"[I]n getting to know her on set, I realized she was just as beautiful on the inside. She was sweet, funny and easily got along with the cast. You knew she was a star because of her beauty alone, but she never acted the part. And she worked incredibly hard, just like the rest of us. She would always arrive on time for rehearsal casually dressed and just ready to take on whatever was thrown at us. Whenever she performed, you couldn’t help but just stop whatever you were doing. She was so incredibly lovely to work with. That’s how I remember her."

Chakiris also has high marks for Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), and his "lifelong friend" Rita Moreno, 89.

"Even to dream was difficult," she says of the '40s. (Image via video still)

DEADLINE: Sophia Loren, 86, participates in Deadline's "The Film That Lit My Fuse" video series, in which established performers discuss their inspirations when they were first starting out. She name-checks stars like Rita Hayworth (1918-1987) and Fred Astaire (1899-1987), and chooses an Italian movie as the one that made her think she could never achieve such greatness.

VARIETY: Gloria Steinem, 86, contributes an essay on the occasion of International Women's Day (March 8) that wastes no time in cutting to a chase: "The fact that we have an International Women's Day means we are still in trouble." She urges women to keep up the fight for equality.

NYT: Carla Wallenda, the last of her generation of Flying Wallendas, has died at 85.

EW: Pepé Le Pew will not appear in the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy because he eez — ow you say? — a leetle rapey. Le Pew was first created in 1945, the same year Eisenstaedt (1898-1995) captured an image of a sailor forcing a kiss on an unsuspecting nurse in Times Square. It was a celebration for him that WWII was over. For her? Well, Greta Zimmer Friedman — who was likely the woman in that famous picture — said in 2005, long before #MeToo — "It wasn't my choice to be kissed. The guy just came over and grabbed! That man was very strong. I wasn't kissing him, he was kissing me." Similar vibe, a relic of the past and really not something we should be so attached to that we can't see why it's best to move on.

Take "non" for an answer! (Image via Looney Tunes)

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