Every once in a while, apparently to muse over people, places, or things that hold some significance with this writer, I as that “writer”, will create some commentary about some notion that reflects me that is worth a share or two within these pages of ALOL. These insights give a bit of personality over the elements that are part of my life that may be comical to give out a “LOL”-esque worthy of a laugh, as well to present a bit of soberness that balances everything off.

And we are going to bring up the latter part of that theory. This week marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of Leslie McCarthy Frankenheimer, a four time Emmy winning set decorator, the mother of two kids (a boy and girl), and most important, was my sister-in-law.

Shortly after when she passed away on January 22nd, 2013, I took the time to write the leading column that gave insight over her life, and how that life reflected upon me.

So, to commemorate Leslie and what she meant to me, we will reprint that tribute that appeared in ALOL, Vol. 18, No. 4-Week of January 28th, 2013 under the headline A Death in the Family… 

This writer (from this point forward will be referring to himself in the first person) usually doesn’t comment upon personal episodes occurring in my life. However, I will step out of my so-called mysterious shadow to compose an article that speaks a bit of my background. This time around, this tale involved the passing of a mentor, a good friend, and a loved one. 

My sister in-law, Leslie McCarthy Frankenheimer, a professional set decorator and four time Emmy winner, lost her battle with leukemia in the early morning hours of January 22nd. She was 64.

I won’t necessarily get into details on her professional career as that may be viewed via her listing on (Type in “Leslie McCarthy Frankenheimer” in the search window). But I will state upon some of the events that took place since the last issue of this newsletter.

Of course, I had the opportunity to get in contact with many of my in-laws, from immediate siblings of my spouse (there were a total of nine in the family), as well as cousins, first aunts, second uncles, step-laws, and other folks I never knew existed. And there were her many friends, coworkers, and others that knew her and knew of her. Clearly, it was a kind of reunion that only takes place during times of deep emotion; joyous and/or sorrow.

And there were the traditional events to attend that occurred over the weekend of January 25-27, everything from an “Irish” wake to a memorial service at the Westwood Village Memorial Park, located among the shadows of the high rise buildings that line Wilshire Blvd. in the community of Westwood. This memorial park is known to be the final resting places of those that were involved in the popular media, from big name stars (Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau), character performers (Don DeFore, Jim Backus), film and TV producers, (Darryl Zanuck, Merv Griffin), comedians (Bob Craine, Rodney Dangerfield), writers (Billy Wilder, Ray Bradbury), as well as a host of others known to just a few. If anyone that was involved in TV and movies as Leslie was, she was defiantly in good company!

During all of the meetings of the many that knew her, there were multiple exchanges of “Leslie” stories that people were swapping back and forth. Most were comical in nature, a few were sobering, and the rest told about how she brought a little light into somebody’s domain–the same kind of actions that just about everyone has within their invisible possession.

Although I never had the change to swap such tales during the events that occurred over that long three day weekend, I’ll step aside a tell a small yet amusing tidbit that did involve her name and glory.

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a special screening of the independent feature film On The Road, based on the novel of the same name written by Jack Kerouac. Some of the people involved in this feature were present, making a token appearance before the film.

After the screening, there was a reception taking place at the Chateau Marmont Hotel, about a block away from the theater. At the event, Francis Ford Coppola, the Executive Producer of the film (and who purchased the film rights to this novel many years ago, never doing anything with those rights until recently) was present. He was seated in an overstuffed chair while resembling Old King Cole sitting on a royal throne and holding court. I was watching him from not too far away while a number of people were coming up to him, shaking his hand and engaging in small talk. After this was going on for a while, he was just sitting there all alone, watching the others standing around within a darkened room eating finger food and drinking various concoctions of beverages. So with a wild hair idea, I left my post (literally as I was leaning against a pole guzzling on a class of tonic water), went up to him, leaned forward (I was standing and he remained seated) and said to him, “Do you recall a set decorator by the name of Leslie McCarthy Frankheimer?”

He looked up to me, gave a small smile and stated with a twinkle in his eye, “Yes I do! She’s a really nice lady! How’s she doing?”

I just answered that she was still working on a TV series-the Fox sitcom Ben & Kate. (Note: She did the sets for the first six episodes of this series before she had to step down due to her illness.)

“How do you know her?” he then asked.

I replied that I was her brother-in-law.

“Well tell her I said hello!” was his response. 

Then I shook his hand stating it was an honor to speak with him, and then left him alone for him to meet others that stared to gather around.

(For the record, Leslie was the set decorator for Coppola’s 1982 release One From The Heart–the film that put his Zoetrope Studios into near financial ruin!)

Summing things up, this entire juncture gave me a bit of a reminder to the theme to one of the most beloved features ever to come down from the pike, It’s a Wonderful Life. The theme of that flick (or perhaps to state, one of its many themes), is that the lead character George Bailey, in spite of believing that his actions to make good for himself and the community he lived in-Bedford Falls-didn’t create any impact, he learned that through his so-called worthless deeds, he had touched the lives of so many people, far more that he could ever envision. 

This is what I witnessed on how Leslie conducted her life. She indeed touched the hearts and souls of many, and those that were within her domain from near and far had returned to pay their respects thanking her for all that she did and were ever grateful for all of her love and kindness. Now it was the time to say goodbye for the moment, perhaps holding on to the notion of joining her again in the hereafter or its equivalent.

And by the way Leslie–you are right! The chairs do look better spread apart!


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) announced their nominations for the 95th annual Academy Awards on January 24th

The following titles and names received the nomination for the following categories:

Best Picture
All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix)

Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios)

The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures)

Elvis (Warner Bros)

Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

The Fabelmans (Universal)

Tár (Focus Features)

Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount)

Triangle of Sadness (NEON)

Women Talking (United Artists Releasing/Orion Pictures)

Best Actor
Austin Butler-Elvis

Colin Farrell-The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser-The Whale

Paul Mescal-Aftersun

Bill Nighy-Livin

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett-Tár

Ana de Armas-Blonde

Andrea Riseborough-To Leslie

Michelle Williams-The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh-Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Director
Martin McDonagh-The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert-Everything Everywhere All at Once 

Steven Spielberg-The Fabelmans 

Todd Field-Tár

Ruben Östlund-Triangle of Sadness

Jimmy Kimmel will host the awards ceremony, taking place on Sunday, March 12th at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Hollywood, and airs on ABC.

For a complete listing of all nominations, visit the official AMPAS web site at

On January 23rd, The Golden Raspberry Foundation announced their list of nomination for the 43rd RAZZIE Awards for the worst in feature films released in the previous calendar year.

The following titles and names has been selected for the worst in the following categories:

Worst Picture

Blonde (Netflix)

Disney’s Pinocchio (Disney)

Good Mourning (Open Road Films)

The King’s Daughter (Gravitas Ventures)

Morbius (Sony)

Worst Actor

Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly)-Good Mourning

Pete Davidson (Voice Only)-Marmaduke

Tom Hanks (as Gepetto)-Disney’s Pinocchio

Jared Leto-Morbius

Sylvester Stallone-Samaritan

Worst Actress

Ryan Kiera Armstrong-Firestarter

Bryce Dallas Howard-Jurassic Park: Dominion

Diane Keaton-Mack & Rita

Kaya Scodelario-The King’s Daughter

Alicia Silverstone-The Requin

Worst Director

Judd Apatow-The Bubble

Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly) and Mod Sun-Good Mourning

Andrew Dominik-Blonde

Daniel Espinosa-Morbius

Robert Zemeckis-Disney’s Pinocchio

The RAZZIE Awards will take place on a date and location to be announced shortly.

For a complete listing of all nominations, visit the official RAZZIES web site at



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