Tag Archives: Brett Somers

Friday Flashback #282

Today, alert “06880” reader and ace researcher Fred Cantor takes us down an entertainment rabbit hole. He writes:

Westport made its way into the recently released paperback edition of “You Can’t Fall Off the Floor and Other Lessons from a Life in Hollywood.” It was co-authored by Harris Katleman, whose career included stints as an MCA agent, president of MGM Television, and CEO of 20th Century Fox Television.

Booklist called it “A worthy entry in the lexicon of books chronicling Hollywood of yesteryear.”

When Katleman was at MCA his boss, Hollywood icon Lew Wasserman, wanted him to acquire the game show giant Goodson-Todman Productions. “This meant weekends at Westport, Connecticut with Mark,” he writes.

I’d never heard that Mark Goodson had a home here. The only other Westport connection for Goodson I could find on the internet was that his son Jon was an apprentice at the Westport Country Playhouse as a college student in 1964.

Goodson-Todman Productions hit pay dirt in the 1950s with shows like “What’s My Line?,” “To Tell the Truth” and “I’ve Got A Secret.”

Longtime Westport resident Brett Somers was a celebrity panelist on another Goodson-Todman hit show, “Match Game,” in the 1970s. A producer of that show was Mark Goodson’s son Jon. Whether there was a Westport connection to Brett’s being selected, I have no idea.

Brett Somers on “The Match Game.”

Another Westport connection: Katleman attributes his good fortune as president of MGM Television, and in later positions,, to someone who years later settled in Westport and became a prominent supporter of the Playhouse: Bill Haber, an agent at the William Morris Agency.

With Katleman’s background, could there be an interesting Paul and Joanne story?

His cousin, Beldon Katleman, ran a successful hotel/casino, El Rancho, the first full-scale resort built on what ultimately became the Las Vegas Strip. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward held their wedding in El Rancho’s ballroom.