1954, Bob and his wife, Kathy, happened to meet a couple seated next to
them at a science fiction club meeting (Ray Bradbury was the featured
speaker that evening). Their new friends turned out to be Paul Blaisdell
and wife, Jackie. If you recognize the aforementioned film titles, you
know Blaisdell as the creative genius behind them - with plenty of help
from Bob and Kathy. The two couples would often collaborate to
create creatures and execute on-screen effects, squeezing every drop out
of the miniscule budgets afforded them. And while Paul would often
tap Bob for assistance in fabricating creature masks and body suits, Kathy
and Jackie would busily cook latex veins, scales, and other creature parts
in the kitchen oven. It wasn't your typical evening of Canasta, but it
sure sounded like great fun.
Upon the success of The She- Creature, the Blaisdells were summoned to churn out their next screen scare (that would be Saucer Men) while Bob ventured into the CBS studios, appearing as the She-Creature itself in two TV show appearances. See - Bob is a monster, and he was loving it!
With acting and performing in his blood, Bob ventured into the 1960s and discovered the true love of his life (second in line to Kathy, of course) - gorillas! During a photo shoot, modeling Don Post monster masks and costumes (what else?), Bob fell fast in love with the gorilla mask - he's been bananas for the beast ever since. Bob had the Don Post studios create a special mask for him while Kathy helped develop a gorilla costume. Head to toe, he became a growling creature he called "Kogar." In costume, Bob introduced America to Kogar through appearances on The Mickey Rooney Show, I Love Lucy, My Three Sons, and Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. In his costumed comfort zone, Bob was Kogar. Kogar was Bob. The two have been inseparable ever since.
Co-starring alongside Forrest Tucker (as Kong) and Larry Storch (as Spenser), Bob was "going gorilla" yet with a softer touch. Tracy was part of a ghost hunting trio, this time with the pensive propeller beanie atop his head. He's a gorilla, of course, but wishes he was a human. Unable to actually speak, Tracy gets his point across using his large simian brain, complete with a well-evolved sense of sarcasm and slapstick, to boot. Clever ape.
the Ghost Busters. I'm Spenser, he's Tracy."
"...these two commentaries are the best I've heard, ever." - Judge D. Prince at DVDVerdict.com
Amid the monster making and monkey business, Bob always had a keen eye and quick hands to secure and save original artifacts, props, and other movie memorabilia. Sure, he collected the usual film posters, lobby cards, and such but then he augmented that with actual film-used materials. To Bob's dismay, most such items were "ash-canned," especially for low-budget productions. But Bob had saved many such castoffs, creating an impressive if not overwhelming collection of authentic items that are now considered priceless.
years, filmmakers recognized Bob as a trusted curator and historian,
actively seeking him out to watch over their creepy creations. Who seeks
out Bob for this service? How about James Cameron (Aliens), John
Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Chris Walas (The Fly -
1986), and Frank Marshall (Arachnophobia).
Bob, in his typical humble fashion, never considers himself as "owner" of these rare items - he's just watching over them for the time being. And, when he entertains visitors, he's as generous as he is genial in sharing stories behind each and every relic. The film industry maintains a warm regard for Bob, surely in response of his "golden age" respect and reverence. Occasionally, they'll even chide him with a bit of playfulness, to which Bob is usually laughing loudest.
Undeniably, Bob is about as genuine as they come...for a monster, that is.
Upon the release of Monster Scenes, Bob had messaged his love and appreciation of the revived kits.
continues to be a refreshing face among "monster kids,"
maintains a web
site, and is always ready to play with others who share his passion.
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