Saturday, June 28, 2008

JBHS/BHS Alumni Picnic 2008

Hey GREAT pics - thanks for the speedy email, Cathy Nicholls Coyle!!!

Tried to get as many people as I could.... Spent too much time talking.... I think everyone had a great time!

The check-in gang... Trudie Lombard Hentze '65; Stam Hill '65 & Alan Landros '70

Tom Bennett '68; Jim Knight '66; Jim Bennett '66; Ron Franzen '66; Steve Lopez '66; Dave Marshall '65; Al Thouette '67; Gil Uribe '66 and Steve Billos '67

Al Thouette '67; Jim Knight '66 and Gil Uribe '66

Cathy Nicholls Coyle; Mary Flavin Durrer and Shari Deuel Nicholls (All Class of '67)

George Colvin '65 and brother, Dave Colvin '66

Greg Alaimo; Owen Newcomer and Bruce Williams (All Class of '66)

John Coyle '65; George Colvin '65; Ron Coen '66 and Don Melton '65

Kirk Harris; John Coyle and Bob Strong (All Class of '65)

Madeline Zelenay Whiteman; Nancy Krogh Brez; Linda Mustion; Dona Foy Bruckner;
and Cathy Nicholls Coyle (All Class of 67)

A great way to save on gas: Linda Mustion and Shari Deuel Nicholls with their new bikes!

Steve Billos '67; Al Thouette '67; Dave Marshall '65 and Pete Beauregard '67

John Coyle '65 and Jon Kirkwood '64... Cleaning up the posters and banners.....

6/29/08 UPDATE
Received this email today - thanks Madelaine. I know many of us would have loved to have been there and are looking forward to the September bash!


This was my first BHS/Burroughs picnic. It was a trip seeing people from the past; a walk down memory lane. And it was also fun making new old friends. The fellows in the picture I literally haven't seen since graduation, oh so many years ago. I know Cathy Coyle was busy taking pictures and she should have more to send you. I also had the opportunity to talk to Adam Rocke, although he was not at the picnic in person, just in spirit. We lived in the same "hood".

I am looking forward to the Centennial and an opportunity to reconnect with more BHS alumni. I know you will be there.

Madelaine (Zelenay) Whiteman

Picture - Gil Uribe, Jim Bennett, Steve Billos, Pete Beauregard, Dave Marshall

Grand View Cemetery Opens 3 More Times

Visitors cleanup a gravesite during the May 25 visitation at Grand View Memorial Park cemetery

Grand View openings approved by judge

Contributed by: Fronnie Lewis on 6/26/2008


Some good news for people who want to visit Grand View Memorial Park. The Glendale cemetery will be open to the public on three Sundays: June 29, July 13, and July 27.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Anthony Mohr signed an order on Tuesday, June 24, granting the three public visitations from noon to 4 p.m. The order allows visitors to clean grave markers, hand trim dried grass, to water the grass by hand, and to leave commemorative items at the gravesites.

The 124-year-old cemetery has been mired in management problems and legal wrangling since the fall of 2005, when a state investigator discovered the remains of four thousand bodies that had been improperly handled. Some of the cremated human remains dated back to the 1930's.

After being closed for a number of months, Grand View was opened for two short public visitations in March and May of 2008. Plantiffs' attorney Paul Ayers is among those pushing for Grand View to be opened on a regular basis. Ayers sends out mailings to relatives who have loved-ones at Grand View and to other interested parties. I am on Ayers' e-mail list.

Ayers' e-mail on the new openings for Grand View included a call for volunteers to help staff the visitations as well as a reminder that no smoking, fires or incense burning are allowed on the cemetery grounds.

Judge Mohr has scheduled a status conference on July 29 to review the situation at Grand View and to consider additional visitation dates.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Picnic Tomorrow at Johnny Carson Park!


The eighth annual John Burroughs and Burbank High School All Class Reunion will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 28 at Johnny Carson Park, 400 S. Bob Hope Drive, Burbank. There is a $2 donation at the park. Free parking is available at the Providence High School parking lot, enter from Buena Vista Street.

For more information, contact Linda Melton Damarjian, JBHS 1961, at redhead77@ or Pam Zipfel-Kirkwood, BHS 1964, at

click to enlarge

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Elvis 40 Years Ago

On June 27, 1968, Presley took the stage for the first time in over seven years resulting in four one-hour live shows taped at NBC's Burbank studios. This clip is of Elvis singing Jail House Rock.


6/25/08 UPDATE
Received this email today - thanks Linda!

Hi! Cathy.....I was a big Elvis Presley fan back in the days! Still am! I remember that NBC broadcast and watched it all. I bought a lot of Elvis Presley's records and posters of which I still have. After seeing the video, I dug them all out and took some pictures and will send them to you once I load them up to the computer. Brings back a lot of memories.

Linda Mustion

UPDATE 6/26/08
As promised, here's Linda's Elvis pics. Can't believe you still have all this memorabilia, Linda! Guess because I've moved so many times over the years, I never keep much. Thanks for sharing!

Hi! are the photos of my collection of Elvis records and posters that I dug out of my closet and took pictures of them. They are back in my closet and record shelf. I really did not scream or yell and go crazy over him like the other teenage girls did as I am not that type of person. I just enjoyed his great music and his movies of which I saw all of them. I remember I had worked all night and was in bed asleep when my mom came in and told me that Elvis had died. It sure was a shock!....................Linda Mustion

Sunday, June 22, 2008

BHS Class '70

At my request, Alan Landros offered his year book to scan a few photos of his classmate, Jim Kouf (click here). And because Alan is on the cover of the 1970 Ceralbus, we also wanted to post that too! So Cathy Nicholls Coyle scanned the pics for me which included a surprise photo of Don Agrati's (Don Grady) senior photo (click here) from 1962 - THANKS TEAM!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Notable BHS Alumni - Vic Tayback '48

The following is from Wikipedia:

Victor "Vic" Tayback (January 6, 1930 – May 25, 1990) was a New York City-born American actor of Syrian descent.

Tayback moved with his family to Burbank, California, during his teenage years and attended Burbank High School. He ended up living in the city for the rest of his life.

His most famous role was diner owner Mel Sharples in the 1974 movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, followed up by his reprisal of the role on the related television series, called Alice, which ran from 1976 to 1985. For nine seasons, Tayback was always a central character and favorite on Alice.

Tayback also guest starred in an episode of the fourth season of All in the Family which was called "Et tu, Archie?" In this particular episode, Tayback portrayed Archie's old friend, Joe Tucker.

Tayback's performance as the alien gangster boss Jojo Krako in the Star Trek episode "A Piece of the Action" was also memorable.

Kirk: ...I don't think you're stupid, Mr. Krako; I just think your behavior is arrested.

He also appeared in TV commercials including one for Aqua Velva after shave lotion as a spectator in the stands who shouts at then-Cincinnati Reds third baseman Pete Rose "Hey, Pete Rose! What does a man really want in an after-shave lotion?"

One of Tayback's last roles was in the 1989 video remake of the Buck Owens (and later The Beatles) hit "Act Naturally" which featured Owens and former Beatle Ringo Starr.

Tayback died of a sudden heart attack in 1990 and was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park at Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, California. Tayback was 60 years of age. He was survived by his wife Sheila (married in 1962). They had one son, Christopher, who briefly acted before attending Law School and is now a partner at Quinn Emanuel in Los Angeles.

--- end ---

On a personal note, I work for a company, Peterson Mechanical, who sells Carrier HVAC equipment and was surprised to see Vic doing this ad for Carrier!

6/21/08 UPDATE
Got this interesting email from Alan Landros today:

Another "small world" story, this one about Vic Tayback. Sometime after Sherri Giessinger's dad passed away in 1965, her mother sold their home on Birmingham above Kenneth Rd. in Burbank and bought a home on Hamline at the top of Groton in Burbank. It was around 1966 or 1967. The home on Birmingham was the home Sherri grew up in and where she lived while at BHS. When they sold the home on Birmingham they sold it to Vic Tayback! He and his family lived there for quite a few years before they eventually moved to Glendale, which is where he passed away in 1990.

Friendly Reminder: JBHS/BHS Alumni Picnic Sat June 28!


The eighth annual John Burroughs and Burbank High School All Class Reunion will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 28 at Johnny Carson Park, 400 S. Bob Hope Drive, Burbank. There is a $2 donation at the park. Free parking is available at the Providence High School parking lot, enter from Buena Vista Street.

For more information, contact Linda Melton Damarjian, JBHS 1961, at redhead77@ or Pam Zipfel-Kirkwood, BHS 1964, at

Notable BHS Alumni - Jim Kouf '70

6/22/08 UPDATE
Thanks to our team behind the scenes, here are some great 1970 Ceralbus photos!
Jim's senior photo
Jim as BHS Yell Leader
Jim with Debbie Rubinstein the Varsity Cheerleader and Yell Leader Photo
Jeff Kouf, Jim's younger brother



Jim Kouf, who was in my 1970 class has been associated with Disney/Buena Vista Films for over twenty years now. His first big hit was "Stakeout", then "Another Stakeout", "Con Air", "National Treasure", and the recent sequel. He is a screenwriter, and also a producer and director. You can see all of his work listed at

He went all the way through Jefferson with me, then John Muir, and BHS. He was a Yell Leader when we were seniors. His younger brother, Jeff Kouf, was BHS '72. The last I knew their parents still live in the same house on Birmingham in Burbank. Jim and his family primarily live in Montana on his ranch.

Also, we've talked before about "a small world" and "six degrees of separation"! I have a friend, Peter Brooks, in Woodland Hills who played Don Grady's best friend on "My Three Sons". He can also be found at


--- end ---

Thanks Alan! Found this very brief video snippet of a interview with Jim:

CLICK HERE to see more.


Corvallis students taste the real world
Sunday, 25 September 2005

"National Treasure" screenwriter and MAPS board member, Jim Kouf, gives Corvallis students a taste of the real world. Director offers tips to Corvallis students


Director, producer and screenwriter Jim Kouf, whose long list of credits includes "National Treasure," "Rush Hour" and "Stakeout," is light years ahead of the aspiring Corvallis High School filmmakers he spoke with Monday. But, he told them, they are light years ahead of where he was at their age. Kouf was interested enough in movies to make some short films on his own time while he was in high school, recruiting pals to do the acting while he filmed them using old 8-millimeter or 16-millimeter cameras.

"There wasn't even any sound," he said. But it wasn't until, as an English major at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, he found his calling in a playwriting class. "New York was too far to get to after I got out of college," he told the students, "but I grew up in Burbank, so I got back to L.A. where I could get ahold of some scripts. I didn't even know what a movie script looked like - I didn't know exterior or interior (indicating whether scenes are to be shot indoors or outside), I didn't know you had to say whether it was day or night."

By contrast, the Corvallis students he spoke to first thing after the lunch hour have already written, directed, cast, produced and edited one movie, and will have more under their belts before they're done this year. "By the time you get to college, you'll have so much experience, it's amazing," Kouf said. Kouf, who moved his family to the Bitterroot Valley years ago, spoke to the students at the behest of his friend, Peter Rosten of Darby. Rosten, a retired movie and television producer, started Media Arts in the Public Schools, or MAPS, at Corvallis, plus the
foundation (named after his mother, Florence Prever Rosten) to fund it. In the two years since, the program has grown to include a class for middle-school students, plus Media Arts 1 and 2 classes in the high school. Kouf, who is on the foundation's board of directors, spent Monday speaking with all three classes. He told the Media Arts 2 class he is currently at work on a TV movie based on the newest Medal of Honor computer video game being developed. The movie and game will be released at the same time. Video games are opening a whole new market for screenwriters, Kouf told the students - another screenwriter is working on the game while Kouf writes the movie - just as cable TV did several years ago.

Kouf wrote six screenplays before he made any money at screenwriting, and then it was being hired to rewrite someone else's script. He spent 14 years on the Disney lot. "They'd bring me material they wanted me to work on," Kouf said. "I was fortunate - I was just given stuff to do. It was like the old studio system that doesn't exist anymore. Now, you have to go out and make things happen. I've also been a producer and a director. Really, I'm a bit of an entrepreneur now, and I also raise cattle."

Students wanted to know how much screenplays are worth ("Anywhere from nothing to $2 million," Kouf told them), and which movie had been the most lucrative for him financially. "I really don't know," Kouf said. "There is significant after-market revenue in the form of residuals when the film comes out on DVD or is shown on TV. It's how screenwriters survive the down periods in their careers. I'm still getting money for movies that were made in the '80s. Now 'National Treasure,' which I wrote in 1998-99, I was still part of Disney, and it was part of my overall deal. I didn't get paid per script, I got paid on a yearly basis."

Writing for television "will eat the life out of you," Kouf told them. "Every eight days, they're shooting an hourlong show. Every eight days, they need a new script, and it's brutal. They have teams of writers, and sometimes that's not enough. I love writing movies. Nobody's under the pressure of 'it's got to be done by Wednesday.' "

He has been steadily employed for 25 years in the industry, "which is not easy," Kouf told them. "I'm always at work on five to 10 projects at a time, hoping to get one going." Kouf has many films on his resume he'd rather forget, but added that often a screenwriter is blamed for things beyond his or her control. "It's really a miracle anything ever comes out good," he said. "With writers, directors, studios and actors, you have so many hands in the pie. You can have a screenplay that is good, but what they did on the set screwed it up. And if you get bad actors, I don't care how good the words are, the movie will suck."

But there are surprises, too. "Rush Hour," the comedy starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker which Kouf was hired to rewrite, turned out far better than he expected. "I was hired to fix a really bad script, which I essentially threw away," Kouf said. "The original had a Chinese cop and and FBI agent searching for a kidnapped girl while Los Angeles was about to be blown up with biological weapons." Kouf dumped the biological weapons and turned the story in a radically different direction. The FBI wants the visiting Chinese cop out of the way while it works the kidnapping, and the Los Angeles police department provides a cop it's not too happy with (Tucker) for the dog of an assignment. The pair inadvertently end up solving the crime.

Kouf, a history buff, encouraged Rosten's students who want to pursue a career in the movie industry to attend a university, such as Montana State, with a film school and to take a lot of history courses as well. "All history is is stories," he said. "And good stories are what you want to tell."

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6/21/08 UPDATE
Just received this added info from Alan Landros...


In the article on the blog about Jim Kouf, it mentions Peter Rosten. More "small world"! My friend, Larry Segall, who is living in La Manzanilla, Mexico, which is near Puerto Vallarta, is a lifelong friend of Peter Rosten! Larry's father is also a friend of Peter's. Peter's ranch in Montana neighbors Jim Kouf's ranch. Larry is flying up here on August 2 to drive his dad and step-mom in a two car caravan up to Montana to visit the Rosten's on their ranch! I'm sure Larry will visit Jim Kouf while there if Jim is there at that time. When Larry gets back here he will stay on for the Centennial, and then go back to Mexico on September 20. I sent Larry a message today with the blog address so he could read the story about Jim Kouf and Peter Rosten. He responded with a compliment, "Nice Website". I will introduce you to him at the Centennial. Our friend, Jana Jordan Guest, is also coming from Ridgecrest for the Centennial to meet up with Larry. (While we were in high school Jana's boyfriend was from your class. I think he went to Viet Nam during that time. He is Neal Hershenson.)


Centennial Meeting Change

BHS in 1960

Hello All,

This email to inform you of a Centennial Committee meeting change. We are NOT going to meet next Wednesday on June 25, and instead we’ll meet again on July 30 at 6:30 pm in the BHS Library. At this point I need to devote every available minute to completing the book by the deadline, and several sub-committees are already meeting in the next week. I will keep you informed of developments via email, but if you have any questions/concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. There will be several projects at BHS this summer and the last few weeks before the start of school we will need your help with many of them. Currently we need help with the following:

We still have a lot of ad space left to help fund the book, and need your help filling those pages next week. If you handed out ad sheets we need you to follow up. There is a design team at BHS everyday to complete any artwork and set the ads in the book, so you can bring by ads or email them to me. Thank you for your help in this important endeavor. Unfortunately, without funding we will have to scale back several projects, so all help is greatly appreciated. The publisher already showed us the proofs for the cover, dust jacket, and end sheets and they look great!

Any photos, pictures, interviews, stories must be in by next Thursday, June 26 – last chance! If you would like to conduct any interviews, please let me know.

The website will soon be updated with new times for events and costs as well. We are very close to getting the online store and donations up.

We could use your help next Saturday (June 28) at the alumni picnic. We will have information and merchandise available.

Thank you again for your help and keep spreading the word about the Centennial and the website. See you in July.

All the best,

David Thomson
BHS Social Science
Centennial Chair
Key Club Advisor
818-558-4700 x51162

Photos of BHS in 1910, 1920 and 2008!

Notable BHS Alumni - Freddy Sanchez '96

The following is from Wikipedia:

Frederick Phillip "Freddy" Sanchez, Jr. (born December 21, 1977 in Hollywood, California) is an infielder in Major League Baseball. Since 2002, Sanchez has played for the Boston Red Sox (2002-03) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2003-Present). He bats and throws right-handed.

High school and college

Sanchez graduated in 1996 from Burbank High School in Burbank, California, where he was a consistent three-year varsity player. In his senior year he was named MVP of the talent-filled foothill league of the CIF. He also starred in the Daily News Bernie Milligan All-Star Game, where he earned MVP honors. While in high school, he played on the same summer league team as current teammate Jack Wilson. (At the time Sanchez played the more demanding shortstop position while Wilson played second base.)

His success in high school was nothing short of miraculous. Sanchez was born with a severely pigeon-toed left foot and a club right foot, and his parents had received a medical diagnosis that he might never walk. He underwent surgery to correct his foot problems at 13 months, and then had to undergo years of physical therapy before he could walk properly.

He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 30th round of the first year player draft, but opted not to sign. Sanchez went to Glendale Community College for two years, where he led the team to a co-championship in the Western State conference, which was also the college's first playoff appearance since 1981. He transferred to Dallas Baptist University as a Junior, where he played in the NAIA College World Series. In his senior year, he transferred to Oklahoma City University in 2000, where he was named a NAIA All-Star.

Career: Minor leagues to the majors

Sanchez was originally signed by Boston Red Sox scout Ernie Jacobs after being selected in the 11th round of the 2000 draft. In the 2000 season, he split the year between Single-A Lowell and Augusta. For Lowell he hit .288, and for Augusta he hit .301. He began 2001 playing for Single-A Sarasota, where he hit a Red Sox minor league system best of .339. He quickly moved up to Double-A Trenton, where he hit well above the .300 mark for all of his time there, including above .400 in his first 10 games.

On August 2, 2002, Sanchez was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, and made his major league debut for the Red Sox on the 10th against Tampa Bay. He went 1-for-2 with a pinch-hit two-run single. The 2003 season saw him optioned back and forth between the Red Sox and Pawtucket. Eventually, Sanchez was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 31 for Jeff Suppan, and was assigned to Triple-A Nashville; he played only one game there before an ankle injury forced him onto the disabled list.

Sanchez spent most of the 2004 season on the disabled list because of the ankle injury, and did not play until July; he joined the major league roster in September.


2005 was Sanchez's first full season in the major leagues. He began the season as a backup infielder, but ended up playing in a majority of the team's games due to injuries and poor performance by other players. He appeared in 132 games and made 100 starts (39 at second base, 6 at shortstop and 55 at third base), compiling a .291 batting average with 5 home runs and 35 RBI.


Despite his impressive finish to 2005, Sanchez began the 2006 season as a bench player. When third baseman Joe Randa suffered an injury on May 6, Sanchez took over the position.

Freddy received over 850,000 write-in votes for the 2006 All-Star Game, the most of all MLB players. He made the National All-Star squad as a reserve selected by NL manager and former Pirate Phil Garner. Sanchez entered the game in the 5th inning at shortstop, replacing perennial All-Star Edgar RenterĂ­a. He made a stellar leaping catch which was the defensive play of the game. He finished the game at 2nd base and went 0 for 2 at the plate with two ground-outs.

A local reporter has dubbed 2006 Sanchez's "storybook season" for his rise from a high-ceiling, limited-visibility prospect to an All-Star and batting champion. His coach, Jim Tracy, admitted his surprise and praised him, "If you handed out ballots at the start of the season listing potential candidates to win the National League batting championship, I don't know that his name would have been on it. Now? He's a guy people are going to keep an eye on for many years to come."[2]

Beyond this amazing accomplishment, Sanchez reached the coveted 200 hit mark for the season. Though it was said that he lacked power, he showed nice pop in his bat by leading the National League in doubles with 53. He also tacked on 85 RBIs. He led the majors in line drive percentage (27.5%).[1] After the season, Sanchez received the Tony Conigliaro Award for having overcome his physical adversities.[1]

In early January of 2006 his Burbank High School Bulldog baseball jersey number "21" was retired during a ceremony hosted by the school and city officials. The day was declared "Freddy Sanchez" day. In January 2007, Sanchez was voted one of Pittsburgh's most 25 beautiful people by Pittsburgh Magazine. [2] Sanchez became the first Pirate to win a batting title since Bill Madlock in 1983. Sanchez won the award for Pittsburgh, beating Florida Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera on the last day of the 2006 season. He made his MLB All-Star Game debut in his own ballpark at PNC Park in 2006 with fellow teammate Jason Bay as the starter for the Pirates.


In 2007, Sanchez was moved to second base, replacing Jose Castillo. Sanchez, was also named to the 2007 National League All-Star as a reserve. He was selected by Tony LaRussa, and was the only Pirate on the All-Star team. It was his second straight year for Sanchez to attend the All-Star game.


On January 26, 2008, Freddy's wife Alissa gave birth to their second son, Ryan Anthony. Shortly following on February 5, the Pirates and Freddy Sanchez agreed to a multi year deal. Freddy Sanchez's contract guarantees him two seasons with the Pirates and a club option for 2010 that could become a guaranteed year if Sanchez meets certain performance criteria in 2009. The 2010 option takes the place of Sanchez's first year of free agency. The contract could pay the two time All-Star second baseman up to $18.9 million.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Notable BHS Alumni - Pamela Hensley '68

"Pamela Hensley (born on October 3, 1950 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actress. She is best known for playing Princess Ardala on the 1979-1981 television series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and C.J. Parsons on the 1982-1985 television series Matt Houston. Her film debut was 1975 action film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. She has several television and movie credits, including 1975's James Caan film, Rollerball, Marcus Welby, M.D. (TV series) from 1975-1976, but after appearing in Matt Houston, she virtually disappeared from the screen. Pamela Hensley reemerged in the literary world in 2004 with the publication of a small cookbook called The Jewish-Sicilian Cookbook authored under the name Pamela Hensley Vincent. She has been married to noted television executive producer, E. Duke Vincent, since the early 1980s."


"Pamela Hensley's first TV job was as a 'pointer' on the syndicated audience-participation series The New Treasure Hunt. Signed to a Universal Studios contract in 1973, Hensley seemed poised on the brink of the Big Time in 1975. That was the year that Hensley, in the role of Janet Blake, married Dr. Steve Kiley (James Brolin) on Marcus Welby MD. That same year, she played the Hispanic heroine in the expensive George Pal film Doc Savage: Man of Bronze (1975). While the Welby episode played to excellent ratings, Doc Savage sank like a stone; clearly, Hensley's future rested in the small rather than the large screen. Pamela Hensley's best post-Welby TV series assignments included the roles of the entrancing Princess Ardala on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-80) and lawyer C. J. Parsons on the Lee Horsley private-eye series Matt Houston (1982-85)."

11th grade




Notable BHS Alumni - Don Grady '62

6/22/08 UPDATE Thanks to team behind the scenes, here is Don's senior photo!

Original post:

"Don Louis Agrati was born in San Diego, but raised in small-town Lafayette, in the hills above Berkeley, California. He was a musical prodigy, and had mastered several instruments by the time he went to a cattle-call audition in San Francisco for new Mouseketeers. Fortunately, he had also had time for some singing and dancing lessons. Director Sidney Miller spotted that Don had star quality as well as talent, and signed him up. Don described his very interesting and unique hiring experience to interviewer Aaron Wallace in 2005.

"Don's family relocated to Burbank, near the Disney Studio where he would work for less than a year, but a far piece from the Culver City based Paramount/Desilu studio that later employed him for a decade. Don had two younger sisters, Marilou and Lanita. Lanita would also have a career as an actress in television and films starting in 1969, under the name Lani O'Grady. As with many child actors, Don's agent was his mother, Mary.

"Just thirteen when hired, Don was immediately featured in Mouseketeer production numbers. He was a good singer, but his dancing skills were never put to much use. His greatest asset was his acting ability, which director Sidney Miller utilized in several skits where Don had lead roles. For singing, Don was paired with eleven year-old Linda Hughes, also a third season replacement. Both Don and Linda were given more camera time than the other two replacements that season, but had no chance for roll call or the closing song, those segments having been filmed before they were hired.

"As with every other Mouseketeer musician, except Cubby, Don had no chance to exercise his skill with musical instruments, though there were plenty of scenes where he pretended to play one. He had a minor role in the serial The New Adventures of Spin and Marty, where he met his future co-star Tim Considine, and an audience role for the Disneyland episode promoting the Rainbow Road to Oz. Don used his real name during his time on The Mickey Mouse Club, but immediately afterwards changed his professional surname to the Irish-seeming "Grady".

"Don was one of the few Mouseketeers let go in 1958 who stepped immediately into other work. In 1958-59 he had guest roles on five different TV shows, appearing in multiple episodes for two of them. In early 1960 he was featured in episodes of Wagon Train, The Rifleman, and Have Gun, Will Travel before starting the series that brought his greatest success as an actor.

"In the fall of 1960, he began a twelve-year run as middle son Robbie Douglas in My Three Sons, with Fred MacMurray and Tim Considine. Initially airing in black & white on the ABC network, in 1965 the show switched to CBS and color. Several Mouseketeers had guest shots on this series, including Cheryl, Bobby, Tommy, and Doreen. A half-hour domestic comedy, the show brought teen idol status to Don, who managed to keep his cool through his main passion, music.

"Because the show was only a weekly half-hour, Don had plenty of time to finish Burbank High School in 1962, and appear as a guest star on other TV shows in the mid-sixties. While still acting on TV, Don also played with a folk-rock band called the Palace Guard, and toured with a group known as the Windupwatch Band, which included Darryl Dragon. Wherever he went, Don would visit venues playing live music; when a particular musician's playing impressed him, he would add his name to a list he kept. In this way Don was able to form several ad hoc bands of capable sidemen when opportunities arose.

"In 1967, Don and songwriter Gary Zekley formed a band called Yellow Balloon, after Zekley's Top 30 hit of the same name. The band played live performances (during which Don wore a disguise and used a different name) and recorded an LP, but disbanded without having another hit. Don appeared on the Wonderful World of Color episode, celebrating Mickey Mouse's 40th Anniversary in 1968, with eleven other former Mouseketeers. He had another band called Don Grady's Greefs that played on My Three Sons, but it too disbanded after a short time together. In 1973 Don recorded an album of his own songs for the Elektra label, called HOMEGROWN. Don laid down the basic tracks himself, then added multi-tracks from individual sidemen. This album also featured one track using the Army Reserve Band, of which Don was then a member.


"Don left My Three Sons when his contract ended, to pursue a career in music. However, he still continued acting, doing a TV movie spin-off from My Three Sons in 1972, then a film called The Wild McCullochs in 1975, and had a guest spot every year or so on various series. He switched to the stage, did a national tour in Pippin, and had parts in productions of Godspell and Damn Yankees. Don missed the 1980 Mouseketeer television reunion due to other performing commitments, but proved he could still hoof it during live shows at Disneyland in the early 1980's. In 2005 Don took part with other Mouseketeers in the 50th Anniversary of the Mickey Mouse Club show.

"Don has been very successful composing music for television, films, DVDs, and live events during the past fifteen years. His duet Our Love Will Never End, co-written with lyricist Debra Gussin, recently won the Broadway/Cabaret category of the Unisong International Songwriting Contest. For 2008, Don is releasing his first solo album in over three decades. Called BOOMER, you can hear some samples from it on Don's MySpace webpage."


Notable BHS Alumni - Tim Burton '76

"Tim was born Timothy William Burton on August 25, 1958, in Burbank, California. He attended Providencia Elementary School and Burbank High School, where he swam and played water polo. He spent many of his childhood years drawing cartoons and watching old movies, being especially fond of Vincent Price.

"Tim began drawing at an early age, eventually attending the California Institute of the Arts. He was awarded a fellowship from Disney to study animation, which led to his working for Disney on films such as The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron.


"Disney also allowed him the freedom to work on personal projects. His love of Vincent Price brought about the six-minute short Vincent, a black and white film he made in 1982 as a tribute to Price. His first live-action film was the 27 minute short Frankenweenie in 1984. The film was judged unsuitable for children and never released.


"However, Frankenweenie was seen by actor Paul Reubens, who thought Tim would be ideal to direct his first movie, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. The film was a hit, and Tim became instantly popular. However, he did not make another film for three years, feeling that many of the scripts offered to him were merely spinoffs of Pee-wee. The film that came along was Beetlejuice, which Burton considered to have so many artistic and quirky opportunities that he couldn’t say no!

"Beetlejuice also scored as a hit, and Tim’s name in Hollywood was solidified. He was then entrusted with Batman starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. The film was the most financially successful of the year (1989), and Tim’s biggest box-office hit up to that time. Following three hit movies, he was given the green light to make any film he wanted.

"That film was Edward Scissorhands. It marked his first collaboration with Johnny Depp, and is hailed as one of his most emotional, esteemed and artistic films to date. Following the Batman sequel, Batman Returns, he went on to make The Nightmare Before Christmas, which has become a popular holiday classic.

"Tim then reunited with Johnny Depp for Ed Wood in 1994. The film was a box-office flop, but it netted Tim some of the best critical reviews of his career. Martin Landau won an Academy Award for his acclaimed peformance as Bela Lugosi. Mars Attacks!, despite big-name actors like Jack Nicholson and Glenn Close, was another financial disappointment and received mediocre reviews.


"Then came another reunion with Johnny Depp and another hit. Sleepy Hollow also starred Christina Ricci and Casper Van Dien, and was praised for its art direction. Tim’s next film, Planet of the Apes, starring Mark Wahlberg (2001) was a remake of a classic. Although the film scored at the box office, it was not a hit with critics. It was during the making of this film, however, that Tim met Helena Bonham Carter, who became his life partner and frequent collaborator. They are still together and have a son, with another child on the way.

"With 2003 came The Big Fish starring Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney. The film was both financially and critically successful, giving Tim another well-received film. And in 2005 came yet another Depp collaboration, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Once again remaking a classic film, this time Tim succeeded admirably. Although some people preferred the original version starring Gene Wilder, many wildly applauded Depp’s quirky and outlandish performance as Willy Wonka.

"2005 also brought The Corpse Bride. With Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter doing the lead voices for this animated film, audiences loved it, although the critics were less overjoyed. Most felt the film was style over substance. This brings us up to Sweeney Todd, yet another collaboration with both Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. A lot of success has surrounded the collaborations between Tim and Johnny."