$19.99


Direct from the HAL ROACH Studios, this is an ORIGINAL 8 x 10" Black & White PHOTOGRAPH . It is a RARE vintage ORIGINAL item direct from the Hal Roach Studios, Hollywood California.

This photo is OVER 60 YEARS OLD!!!

It is a great photo of MARY BETH HUGHES as the sultry singer guest star. This photo has a tiny corner bend and slight surface wear. It's a great shot of the blond bombshell for the 1950's comedy series,

DUFFY'S TAVERN

Duffy's Tavern was a popular American radio situation comedy which ran for a decade on several networks (CBS, 1941–1942; NBC-Blue Network, 1942–1944; NBC, 1944–1951), concluding with the December 28, 1951 broadcast.

The program often featured celebrity guest stars but always hooked them around the misadventures, get-rich-quick schemes and romantic missteps of the title establishment's malaprop-prone, metaphor-mixing manager, Archie, portrayed by Ed Gardner, the writer/actor who co-created the series. Gardner had performed the character of Archie, talking about Duffy's Tavern, as early as November 9, 1939, when he appeared on NBC's Good News of 1940.

In the familiar opening, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," performed either solo on an old-sounding piano or by a larger orchestra, was interrupted by the ring of a telephone and Gardner's New Yorkese accent as he answered, "Hello, Duffy's Tavern, where the elite meet to eat. Archie the manager speakin'. Duffy ain't here—oh, hello, Duffy."

Owner Duffy was never heard nor seen, either on the radio program or in the 1945 film adaptation or the short-lived 1954 TV series. Archie constantly bantered with Duffy's man-crazy daughter, Miss Duffy (played by several actresses, beginning with Gardner's real-life first wife, Shirley Booth), and especially with Clifton Finnegan (Charlie Cantor, later Sid Raymond), a likeable soul with several screws loose and a knack for falling for every other salesman's scam. Eddie the Waiter was played by Eddie Green; the pianist Fats Pichon took over the role after Green's death in 1950. Hoping to take advantage of the income-tax-free status of Puerto Rico for future projects, Gardner moved the radio show there in 1949

The series featured many high-profile guest stars, including Fred Allen, Mel Allen, Nigel Bruce, Billie Burke, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Lena Horne, Boris Karloff, Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Peter Lorre, Tony Martin, Marie McDonald, Gene Tierney, Arthur Treacher and Shelley Winters. As the series progressed, Archie slipped in and out of a variety of quixotic, self-imploding plotlines—from writing an opera to faking a fortune to marry an heiress. Such situations mattered less than did the clever depiction of earthbound-but-dreaming New York life and its individualistic, often bizarre characters.

It's a nice old television still from this era!

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MORE INFO ON ED GARDNER: Edward Francis 'Ed' Gardner (June 29, 1901 "?? August 17, 1963) was an American comic actor, writer and director, best remembered as the creator and star of the radio's popular Duffy's Tavern comedy series.

Born in Astoria, New York, Gardner was a representative for the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency before going into show business. He began producing for the stage in the early 1930s. He produced the drama play Coastwise on Broadway (1931) and wrote and directed the Broadway comedy After Such Pleasures (1934).

He found fame on radio with Duffy's Tavern, portraying the wisecracking, malaprop-prone barkeep Archie. The successful radio program aired on CBS from 1941 to 1942, on the NBC Blue Network from 1942 to 1944 and NBC from 1944 to 1952. Speaking in a nasal Brooklyn accent, and sounding like just about every working class New Yorker his creator had ever known, Gardner as Archie invariably began each week's show by answering the telephone and saying, "Duffy's Tavern, where the elite meet to eat, Archie the manager speaking, Duffy ain't here—oh, hello, Duffy."

Duffy the owner never appeared, but Archie did, with Gardner assuming the role himself after he couldn't find the right actor to play the role. Regulars in the tavern included Duffy's airheaded, man-crazy daughter, droll waiter Eddie, barfly Finnegan and Clancy the cop. The daughter was played by several actresses but began with Shirley Booth, Gardner's first wife, with whom he remained friends even after their 1942 divorce.

Gardner also brought radio directing experience to Duffy's Tavern. He had previously originated the Rudy Vallee-John Barrymore radio show and directed shows for George Burns and Gracie Allen, Bing Crosby, Ripley's Believe It or Not, Al Jolson and Fanny Brice. In addition, Gardner was one of the show's writers and its script editor in all but name; though he had a staff that included Abe Burrows, Sol Saks, Parke Levy, Larry Rhine and Dick Martin. He was notorious for hiring as a writer anyone who sounded funny to him in passing, but Gardner ultimately had the final say on each show's script. In 1949, hoping to be able to take advantage of Puerto Rico's income-tax free status for future media ventures, Gardner moved his radio show there.

Gardner recreated his role as Archie for the motion picture version, Duffy's Tavern (1945), at Paramount. Besides Gardner, the movie featured dozens of Paramount Pictures stars. Gardner was the producer of the film noir crime/thriller The Man with My Face (1951) for his own company, Edward F. Gardner Productions. It was released by United Artists. He also tried bringing Duffy's Tavern to television in 1954, but this, too, proved a failure. Radio historian Gerald Nachman (Raised on Radio) quoted writer Larry Rhine as saying the film and television failures were in large part due to Gardner's inability to adapt to camera angling. "He thought he could do TV, so he left radio," Rhine told Nachman. "He was a bad actor, and he knew it."

Gardner's second marriage, to Simone Hegemann in 1943, endured until his death and produced two sons, Edward, Jr. (b. 1944) and Stephen (b. 1948). By 1958, the tall, gangling comedian was semi-retired, living with his wife and sons in Beverly Hills and making only occasional guest appearances, such as a few turns on Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1961 and 1962. He died at age 62 of a liver ailment at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles and was interred in Chapel of the Pines at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood.

MORE INFO ON MARY BETH HUGHES: Mary Beth Hughes (November 13, 1919 "?? August 27, 1995) was an American film, television, and stage actress best known for her roles in B movies.

Born Mary Elizabeth Hughes in Alton, Illinois, Hughes' parents divorced in 1923. After the divorce, Hughes's mother, Mary Frances Hughes (née Lucas), moved with her only child to Washington, D.C. As a child, Hughes began acting in stage productions. While acting in a school play in the early 1930s, her performance caught the attention of Clifford Brown, a repertory theater company owner, who offered her a part in a touring production of Alice in Wonderland. While touring with another production in Brown's company, she was offered a contract from a talent scout with Gaumont-British Studios but declined the offer to finish high school.

Upon graduating from high school in 1937, she returned to Brown's theater company, where she continued to appear in various stage productions until the summer of 1938, when she relocated to Los Angeles with her mother to pursue a film career. After six months of failing to land movie roles, Hughes and her mother made plans to return to Washington, D.C., until Hughes met an agent, Wally Ross. Ross introduced Hughes to powerful William Morris agent Johnny Hyde. Hyde landed Hughes a contract with MGM, and she soon landed a small, uncredited role in the 1939 film Broadway Serenade.

After Broadway Serenade, Hughes appeared in other bit parts in films including The Women with Norma Shearer, Dancing Co-Ed with Lana Turner, and the Busby Berkeley film Fast and Furious.

In 1940 Hughes was offered a contract with 20th Century-Fox. Later that year she landed a role opposite John Barrymore in The Great Profile, a part she later noted as one of her favorites. Fox did not renew her contract when it expired in 1943, and the following year she began appearing in a nightclub act and soon signed a three-picture deal with Universal Pictures.

Throughout the mid-40s and early '50s, Hughes appeared in film and television roles, including the cult classic I Accuse My Parents (which was later parodied on Mystery Science Theater 3000), Waterfront at Midnight, Wanted: Dead or Alive (episode "Secret Ballot"),The Devil's Henchman, The Abbott and Costello Show, Dragnet and Studio One.

In 1961, Hughes decided to retire from acting and began working as a receptionist in a plastic surgeon's office, although she continued her appearances in nightclubs. The following year she directed and starred in a Los Angeles production of Pajama Top. For the rest of the '60s she would go on to appear in television shows like Rawhide and Dennis the Menace. In 1970 she landed a regular role on The Red Skelton Show, appearing in 11 episodes before the show ended later that year. In 1976 she again retired from show business, explaining that she was "tired of auditioning for sexy grandma roles." Hughes' last onscreen appearance was in the 1976 film Tanya.

In the late 1970s Hughes opened a beauty parlor in Canoga Park, California. She closed the shop in the late 1980s and began working as a telemarketer until 1991, when she was laid off.

As a starlet under contract with MGM, Hughes went on studio-appointed dates with several actors, including Lew Ayres, Franchot Tone, Mickey Rooney, and James Stewart. While under contract to Fox, she also went on prearranged dates with Milton Berle and George Montgomery.

In 1940, against Fox's wishes, Hughes began a relationship with actor Robert Stack. The romance lasted a year.

After her romance with Stack ended, Hughes married actor Ted North in 1943. The couple had one son, Donald, before divorcing in 1947. In 1948, she married singer/actor David Street. The marriage ended in 1956. In 1973 Hughes married her manager, Nicky Stewart, but that marriage also ended in divorce four years later.

Mary Beth Hughes died at the age of 75 on August 27, 1995, of natural causes in Los Angeles.

MORE INFO ON HAL ROACH: Hal Roach was born in Elmira, New York in 1892. After working as, among other things, a gold prospector, he wound up in Hollywood and began picking up jobs as an extra in comedies, where he met comedian Harold Lloyd. He began producing, directing and writing a series of short film comedies starring Lloyd around 1915. These were quite successful, and Roach started his own production company and eventually bought his own studio. By the early 1920s he had eclipsed Mack Sennett as the King of Comedy and created many of the most memorable comic series of all time, even by today's standards. These include the team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase and The Little Rascals. By the late 1930s Roach's formula for success was jeopardized by audience demands for bigger, feature-length productions, and he was forced to try his hand at making full-length screwball comedies, musicals and dramas, although he still kept turning out two-reel comedies. By the 1950s he was producing mainly for television. In 1983 his company developed the first successful digital colorization process. Roach then became a producer for many TV series on the Disney Channel, and his company still produces most of their films and videos.

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MARY BETH HUGHES Original HAL ROACH Studios PHOTO Portrait DUFFY'S TAVERN 1954
Item #BMM0003738