“”THE KING & I STORY” “Copyright (c) 2015 by kerasotes””



Today is June 21st 2015 Sunday, The First Day of Summer and The King and I Story is this:  Once upon a time in Hollywoodland there was a little boy who had read a pretty little book.  His friend Mrs. DeHollander had given it to him for Christmas.  He was 5 years old.  His family had been in the Motion Picture Business since 1900.  They were Thee Kerasoteses.  Michael was the little boy’s name.  He was beautiful.  He was Greek. He was rich beyond belief.  His family was so wealthy they owned seven states.  His grandfather had bought land when he came to America.   His grandfather or Papou {{Greek for Grandfather}} was rich.  They had been merchants.  He traded in Olive Oil and Oranges.    He brought his wife Flora and his brother Louis and his wife Georgia.  His name was Gus Kerasotes.  His wife’s family were Thee Staikoses from Sparti {{{That’s Sparta in Greece for you Americans and others!}}} They landed in New York at Ellis Island.  They had already asked permission before they left Paris. Their stay in New York was for two years.  He didn’t like it.  He wanted to go to Illinois where Lincoln had lived and become President.  So, they moved to Chicago.  From there they moved to Springfield.  He bought land in Illinois, New York, Florida, Missouri, Indiana, California.

Anyway, back to my story, it is this:

In Hollywood, Michael knew everybody because his grandfather introduced him. They had a house in Beverly Hills.  Okay.  So this house was across from Miss Elizabeth Taylor and next door to Mr. Mayer.  Next door to them on the other side was Miss Deborah Kerr.  Next to her was Mr. Goldwyn.  Next to that was Mr. Montgomery Clift.  Next to that was Ava Gardner.  You probably never heard of them.  They were the Hollywood Royalty of MGM.  And so this is how it began.  Michael was at Elizabeth’s and Miss Kerr came to visit.  She had been given the script to The King & I.  It was to star her and Yul.  Mr. Brenner was not around.  He was from Yugoslavia.  He was nice.  Miss Kerr was nice.  Elizabeth was beautiful and lovely and kind.  She adored Michael.  Just like everyone in Hollywoodland.  So Michael said to Miss Kerr, you know i just finished that book and i really like it.  I told Mr. Mayer about it.  He said it had already been filmed in Black & White with Greer Garson and Rex Harrison.  Michael loved it.  He saw it with his Grandfather at their house.  He said it should be a musical and done by MGM.  He thought Miss Kerr would be perfect for the part.  She would be in The Chalk Garden and The Innocents.  She could sing.  I guess everybody thinks she was dubbed.  She wasn’t.  Michael said Miss Kerr, that’s odd, i just told Mr. Mayer at dinner at their house last sunday the night before.  How did you get the part?  I told Mr. Mayer you would be perfect because of your other parts.  Would you like to come to our place tonight?  We can have a little soire tomorrow night.  Every one will come.  She said, YES!  I would ADORE IT.  Elizabeth said Michael you know how to put the wool over Miss Kerr.  Gads I didn’t think anyone could do that.  But leave it to my beautiful little neighbor the boy next door to out do me.  Gads, Michael that’s just perfect.  I must be invited she said.  Of course you will be my Hostess.  Okay?  Oh Great said Elizabeth and off they went planning who to invite and what to have for dinner.

Well that dinner came and went.  Mr Mayer Mr Metro Miss Goldwyn Miss Mayer Mrs Metro and Yul and Deborah and Rex and Greer came.  It was formal. All 50 people came.  They had Beef Wellington {Michael’s favorite} Pheasant {Miss Kerr’s favorite} Duck {Yul’s favorite} and lamb {the Kerasotes favorite}.  So now you know how the Greek’s throw parties in Hollywoodland.  Okay?  OK.

Michael had Mr M Mr G and the other Mr M and their respective wives over for breakfast the next morning to discuss the movie.  Yul and Deborah came too.  He talked to everyone about their roles and the story.  He told them it should be a musical.  They all sat there listening rapt with wonder and awe.  He cast a spell over them all they said.  He was that entertaining.  That smart.  That good.  That beautiful.  In fact, Mrs. Eveloff said he was the most beautiful baby in the world and all of Hollywood agreed.  Okay?  Ok.

So the next day the movie project began. It took about 3 years to make.  It was in color.  It was with sound.  It was with Film and Everything.  Then in 1956 it was ready to be cut.  Michael and his Grandfather came to watch.  They took their seats next to the MGM’s and watched.  They didn’t like all of what they saw and told them so.  The film was re-cut.  It had to have extra scenes like the book he read in it.  Especially the part where the little boy dies and Miss Anna is all alone in Siam.  Michael had the King of Siam come see the movie premiere at his home.  They brought the whole Royal Family.  Michael met Chululonghorn that day and they became fast friends.  The Royal Prince was twice Michael’s age but they spoke the same tongue as his grandfather said.  Michael learned Siamese.  His Grandfather already knew it.  His Papou spoke 17 languages fluently and had taught Michael 12 of them.  Greek was Michael’s first language.  English second.  And thanks to Michael’s friend Maria Callas the world famous Italian Opera Singer he picked up Italian French Spanish and German.  So Languages were easy for Michael.  Everyone adored his gift.  He spoke to everyone in their birth languages as his Grandfather had taught him to do.  Mrs. Astor had trained him in Etiquette & Manners {{{{NOT MISS POST}}}} and she was invited to attend as she was Michael’s and Maria’s favorite New Yorker.

So there you go.  The filming was finished about a season later and the world premiere was to be in Springfield Illinois because Michael lived there and they owned more movie theatres than anyone else in the world and privately.

Thee End.”

“Copyright (c) 2015 by kerasotes””


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