GAB Handyman Service Area Sgt Bilko’s Vintage Emporium & The Phil Silvers Archival Museum
It’s a common assumption that the only way to really understand how Sgt Bilko was able to build such legendary costumes and become the iconic performer he was is by way of the many articles and biographies available at The Phil Silvers Collection. However, it’s also common for people to just visit The Phil Silvers Collection and purchase a number of items in one fell swoop without understanding how each piece came to be so beloved or such a top rated product. We’ve rounded up some of the best articles relating to the life of the original artist and the award winning artworks.
Amongst the many articles and photographs at The Phil Silvers Archival Museum Coventry and The Vintage Emporium you will find an original artwork from the early comic actor, Sgt Bilko. This original painting is entitled: “Stop me if you know you’re hitting on me”. It was actually the very first artwork to be used on the cover of the first comic movie that Bilko drew. It can be considered quite a remarkable achievement for someone who had just started out in his career, and which included a number of sketches and illustrations that were designed solely for comic book adaptations.
Another artist who would go on to enjoy a long and fruitful career in the world of glamour and cinema, after establishing a successful career in films including “A clockwork orange”, “Million Dollar Baby”, “Revenge of the Nerdy Ones” and “Irene”, was Billy Wilder. He also had a long association with the comic actor, and it was actually Wilder who drew Bilko’s first comic adaptation of his name, in a script that eventually went onto form the basis of the animated series “Babylon Sisters”. If there was any silver lining for Billy Wilder on this occasion, it would be the fact that he also managed to bring his name and career to near legendary status with the release of a feature-length animated film version of “The Bodyguard”.
For those of you who are not aware of “The Bodyguard” (also known as “The Bodyguard” – a very popular British TV sitcom that came to wide acclaim), here is some information on the life and career of the late Peter Pilates, the greatest living American artist of modern day. Or rather, the artist happened to be the one who inspired Pilates, after all. Pilates was born in a small village called Egg Harbor, New Jersey in 1920, and was described by his friends as a shy and introverted man. But when he attended the prestigious Pace Art School in New York City where he met the likes of Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando and Curt Decker, it was love at first sight that led him to establish a career as a teacher and performer alike, including creating a series of dance routines, choreography and theatrical presentations.
With the world of choreography and special effects transforming Hollywood in a very short period of time, it is easy to forget that early days of “Willy” Pilates were anything but happy days indeed. After experiencing a heart attack in the middle of the course of a performance for the first time ever, Pilates had little choice but to accept his untimely death in a plane crash over Bermuda just two months later. According to his son, Frank, Jr., the real tragedy was not the fact that his father was gone but that “the bodyguard with the gun missed him so badly that he hit a kid on the head and burned his hand.” Although the exact details of what happened are hazy, the impact of this on Frank and his son, Joe, was immense, as Frank saw his family’s future under a shadow that had been firmly fixed into place with his father’s death.
As he prepared to launch a new phase of his life with his son Joe, Frank decided to tell the story of how the Pilates magic circle came to be, complete with his father’s name on it. Although he admitted that it might sound a bit “mind-boggling”, the response from the people who had attended his father’s funeral, which included his own daughter, was thoroughly enthusiastic. So Frank’s story of how the happy days of his childhood turned to sad, dark days in the end was turned into the start of a life-long musical journey called the “Sgt Bilko: My Dad Could Be Dead” musical, which finally returned to the Philadelphia area for an encore performance. Also check wyken-slough