On the Town:

A week of art and aviation

April 24, 2010|By David Laurell

A legendary actor-turned-artist and local aviation enthusiasts stepped into the social spotlight in respective events this past week.

As the sun set over the campus of Woodbury University, EngAGE: the Art of Active Living, the organization that provides programming for the Burbank Senior Artists Colony, invited guests to meet actor Tony Curtis on April 14.

Interviewed in the university’s Fletcher Jones Auditorium by EngAGE founder and Executive Director Tim Carpenter for his “Experience Talks” radio show, the 84-year-old Curtis spoke of his work in such screen classics as “Some Like It Hot” and “Spartacus,” and his second career as a fine artist.


Billed as “An Affair with Tony Curtis,” the event included a showing of the actor’s original paintings that are sold to benefit the Shiloh Horse Rescue and Sanctuary he co-founded with his wife, Jill Vandenberg Curtis. The evening culminated with the opportunity for guests to personally meet the screen legend.

Sans the wavy silver hairpiece he wore for years, Curtis warmly greeted fans and signed copies of his book, “American Prince: A Memoir” (Harmony Books), in which he tells of his hard-knock childhood, path to success, love affair with Marilyn Monroe, and encounters with Hollywood heavyweights such as Frank Sinatra and James Dean.

Guests who enjoyed the evening included EngAGE’s Chief Operating Officer Maureen Kellen-Taylor, EngAGE consultant Susan Price, and Joseph Caro and Betty Vincent of the Burbank Senior Arts Colony.

From the arts to the air, the Condor Squadron Officer’s and Airman’s Assn. presented the inaugural dinner dance fundraiser at the Airtel Plaza Hotel near the squadron’s Van Nuys Airport base. The Saturday evening event raised funds for the organization of aviation enthusiasts who are well-known throughout Burbank for their flyovers at Burbank on Parade and Veterans and Memorial Day observances.

Founded in 1965 by World War II fighter pilot Richard Sykes, who died in 2008, the Condor Squadron has assisted the Civil Air Patrol as a search and rescue unit, and is dedicated to preserving vintage aircraft and honoring the service and memory of men and women of the armed forces.

Among the squadron officers, members, dignitaries and quests who enjoyed the event were the late founder’s wife of 51 years, JoAnn Sykes, Councilman Dave Golonski and his wife, Barbara Sykes, former Burbank Mayor Mary Lou Howard, Burbank Airport Commissioner Don Brown, Burbank Water and Power Commissioner Tom Jamentz and his wife, Linda, Chris and Mary Rushing, Clay Lacy, Stu McAfee, Rick Martin, Mike and Margie Jacobbauski, Mike Jauregui, Gene, Tracy, Richard, Leslie, Jeanne and John Sykes, Sue Jameson, Ellie Ellrott, Nathan, Randi, Grant and JoAnn Lowery, John Golonski, and Brett Loutensock.

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