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[Tidbits] Baka

I’m going to tell you this right off the bat. I’m not going to tell
you who he is. But I will do this. I will show you a piece of jewelry
in his likeness made by one Eugene Joseff… also known as the
"jeweler to the stars"… a title not unwarranted and not

Eugene Joseff’s jewelry was likely featured in more major motion
pictures than anyone else’s and movie stars wore his creations in
their personal lives as well. It is thought that the inspiration for
the scowling brooch of the sadistic Egyptian master-builder and slave
driver Baka–as played by our unknown mystery actor in The Ten
Commandments --was taken from a sketch.

And I will also tell you this… I don’t think there’s a single one
of you out there who comes within 20 years of my generation who
doesn’t know who he is. And after I tell you who he is… next
week… you will recollect the image you saw… and you will say
ah… yes… of course… that’s him. You might also find yourselves
inclined so say other things too. But that–of course–is your own

I resist the notion that you will all figure out who he is “quicker’n
a cat kin wink its eye”. As an aside… anyone out there know what
song that little quote comes from? Anyone out there care to date

His grandfather invented the first cream of tartar baking soda and
established the family fortune. His father was president of the
National Candy Company. He was born in St. Lois, Missouri on May 5,
1911–the son of Marguerite and Leonard.

He was educated at Yale. He was a member of the Courtauld Institute
in London. He made his film debut in 1938 in a film called Service de
Luxe and played opposite Gene Tierney. (Anybody out there remember
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir?) And he was on his way.

He played opposite most all the greats: Ava Gardner. Charles
Laughton. Robert Taylor. Boris Karloff. The list is endless. For a
time from 1943 to 1951 he was active in radio and portrayed the role
of Leslie Charteris’ famous crime fighter Simon Templar… aka The

And now… for those of you who want… no, make that need… no,
make that passionately desire… the hint of the century… I
reluctantly offer you this.

The year: 1953. He segues into the film genre for which he will
become famous: The horror movies. He get a role in House of Wax. This
is followed by The Mad Magician … The Fly… The Return of the Fly
as well as the original House on Haunted Hill. In 1984 he played the
Mirror in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Alas… he was an inveterate smoker and he died of lung cancer on
October 25, 1993.

So… it’s that moment folks. Oh… the heady excitement. The
dizziness of it all. Who can stand the wait any longer? You? Or you?
Go. Go quick. Look. See. A figural brooch of burnished gold metal
made by a “jeweler to the stars” of one of Hollywood’s greats. Do you
know who he is? If so… tell me… and I’ll tell you if you’re

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits. Click it… and you will see represented on our
pages… a brooch of Baka played by… by…

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark

Vincent Price. That was not a hint, it was a giveaway. Didn’t even
need to look at the piece.

Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Can she bake a cherry pie, Charming Billy?
She can bake a cherry pie, quick 's a cat can wink it’s eye.
She’s a young girl and cannot leave her mother.

Elliot Nesterman

  • That is a beautiful brooch of the “mystery man”. I will only add
    to the list of hints saying, he was a wonderful amateur chef. Ok - so
    I am a foodie!

Barbara on a sunny morning with plum custard coffee cake in the oven.


Vincent Price. But I think his birthday was May 12?
Great writing as always.


And here I thought I was the only one that knew that song. Grin.

I don’t know who that is, but the song you want is Billy Boy. She
can make a cherry pie, fast as cat can wink his eye. Roxy