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Bob Cummings and "Dr.Feelgood"


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Bought a book about the doctor dubbed Dr. Feelgood who traveled with Kennedy and gave him "miracle injections" which he touted as a mixture of vitamins and hormones but the "secret Ingredient" was essential METH.They make a good argument for this being the reason for his assassination . JFK had a variety of health issues including a bad back, symptoms that were relieved by the injections. He was getting more and more addicted and his behavior was becoming erratic.The authors started writing a book about ,of all people, BOB CUMMINGS who post Love That Bob started getting these injections and according to firends became a different person, but shifted their focus to the doctor. This would have been around the same time Bob wrote the book "How to Stay Young and Vital". Bob lived on a regimen of vitamins and health foods.

Bob's meth-fueled argumentative behavior led to his confrontation with Jim Aubrey over the direction of "My Living Doll". He had written a script which focused more on his character than Julie Newmar. CBS rejected it because what fans the show had were tuning in for Julie. Bob gave Jim Aubrey the ultimatum: either do it this way or I walk....and you know what happened. Aubrey spread the word about his drug addiction and he became unemployable (though imdb lists many credits but his days as a bankable star seemed to be over). While making some cheapy Kung Fu movie in Hong Kong, he met a local woman,divorced his wife and married her....Lost everything in the divorce and to the IRS, descended into heavy addiction and got what work he could in dinner theater. When this wife divorced him, he had to move into the Horace Heidt apartments for down and out entertainers and subsisted on his pension. Needing live in care,he found some woman from Indiana in his fan mail who came out and married him,but then physically abused the old guy. He died a year later.....broke and still a an addict.Among the other Dr. Feelgood clients (revealed in his office notes) at one time or another included many people in the Kennedy clan including Jackie, Alice Ghostley, Paul Lynde, Orson Welles, Rosemary Clooney, Hedy LaMarr, Arlene Francis and Martin Gabel, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Winston Churchill. These people thought they were getting something perfectly safe. It wasn't until a New York Times expose in the 70s that the meth ingredient was exposed.

Evidently Hitler had his own Dr. Feelgood and was given much higher doses which may explain his wild assertion that he could take over the world.

This book is relatively thin but does seem to be well-researched.

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Bought a book about the doctor dubbed Dr. Feelgood who traveled with Kennedy and gave him "miracle injections" which he touted as a mixture of vitamins and hormones but the "secret Ingredient" was essential METH.They make a good argument for this being the reason for his assassination . JFK had a variety of health issues including a bad back, symptoms that were relieved by the injections. He was getting more and more addicted and his behavior was becoming erratic.The authors started writing a book about ,of all people, BOB CUMMINGS who post Love That Bob started getting these injections and according to firends became a different person, but shifted their focus to the doctor. This would have been around the same time Bob wrote the book "How to Stay Young and Vital". Bob lived on a regimen of vitamins and health foods.

Bob's meth-fueled argumentative behavior led to his confrontation with Jim Aubrey over the direction of "My Living Doll". He had written a script which focused more on his character than Julie Newmar. CBS rejected it because what fans the show had were tuning in for Julie. Bob gave Jim Aubrey the ultimatum: either do it this way or I walk....and you know what happened. Aubrey spread the word about his drug addiction and he became unemployable (though imdb lists many credits but his days as a bankable star seemed to be over). While making some cheapy Kung Fu movie in Hong Kong, he met a local woman,divorced his wife and married her....Lost everything in the divorce and to the IRS, descended into heavy addiction and got what work he could in dinner theater. When this wife divorced him, he had to move into the Horace Heidt apartments for down and out entertainers and subsisted on his pension. Needing live in care,he found some woman from Indiana in his fan mail who came out and married him,but then physically abused the old guy. He died a year later.....broke and still a an addict.Among the other Dr. Feelgood clients (revealed in his office notes) at one time or another included many people in the Kennedy clan including Jackie, Alice Ghostley, Paul Lynde, Orson Welles, Rosemary Clooney, Hedy LaMarr, Arlene Francis and Martin Gabel, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Winston Churchill. These people thought they were getting something perfectly safe. It wasn't until a New York Times expose in the 70s that the meth ingredient was exposed.

Evidently Hitler had his own Dr. Feelgood and was given much higher doses which may explain his wild assertion that he could take over the world.

This book is relatively thin but does seem to be well-researched.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, fascinating things about Bob, had no idea, except that I knew he was a health and pill and vitamin nut back then, but the rest is sensational indeed.  Can you give me the tilt of the book please?  Fascinating twist on the Kennedy thing, CIA couldn't have an expose of his sex life but yes, even worse that he was a meth addict. 

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I didn't know all this about Bob Cummings. In one of Lucy's 1984 Museum of Broadcasting seminars, someone mentions Cummings' name and Lucy comments on how great he still looked. Bob was the mystery guest on What's My Line? once and one of the blindfolded panelists (probably Bennett Cerf) asked if he was over 50, Bob answered "no." He was about 53 at the time!

 

I knew about quite a few of Dr. Feelgood's patients, but I didn't know that Arlene Francis and Martin Gabel and Alice Ghostley(!) were among them. The original On a Clear Day You Can See Forever was an incomprehensible mess because writer Alan Jay Lerner was constantly getting treated by Dr. Feelgood and then insisted that the cast get the shots too. Mad Men this season did an excellent episode based on Dr. Feelgood.

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Catch a glimpse of Bob Cummings at the end of this clip.  A nice idea but too fleeting a glimpse of stars who got all gussied up.

 

Awwwwwwwwwww, that was so nice to see, if only Mr Cohen had thought of having those great old stars INTRODUCED for the ones that were difficult to I D and where the hell was Lucy?  So, the Emmys did imitate the Oscars once in a while.  Don`t remember seeing this at all, must have blocked it out of my mind as Lucy wasn`t included. 

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Bob is 76 after all.....looking pretty good considering what I just read about him.

And that's either Ralph Edwards or somebody who went down to that shop on the boulevard that sells masks of movie stars and the Ralph Edwards one was in the clearance bin.

Yeah, it WAS Ralph looking great, and Jack Paar too.  But Bob looked 86.  I just never saw him looking old before, sorry.

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I actually think Bob looks pretty great here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, YES, of f course he does, from a mile away, imagine if it had been a close up, even Imogene Coca looks good from THAT distance, LOL!

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  • 1 year later...

Actually posted this topic before, but watching the 2 Here's Lucy he was in made me re-reflect on Bob.

 

 Bob made a fortune off "Love That Bob" which with 173 episodes, had a very healthy syndication life after its 4 1/2 season run. Despite that, he ended up broke. "Bob" ran on both CBS and NBC in prime time (and was rerun M-F by ABC for a while).  Was also well-respected by the industry, being nominated for Best Comedy in 3 of its 4 years, with Bob getting nods for Lead Actor in a Comedy.  Ann B Davis won 2 as his secretary "Shultzy".   His career sputtered in the 60s, though he still looked pretty much the same as in his heyday.  He came back with the NEW Bob Cummings Show in 1961 but it was scheduled opposite two hits: Dr. Kildare and The Real McCoys, and was gone by March of 1962.  Innocently enough, he became addicted to this Dr. Feelgood "miracle" concoction, purportedly a blend of wild Dr. Bombay-like ingredients (I'll have to look it up: does "monkey gonads" mean what I think it means?), but it was the amphetamines that did the trick.  I don't know if there's a difference between amphetamines and methamphetamine "meth"   Dr. Jacobson ("Feelgood") was not Kennedy's personal physician but JFK kept him around.  Because of back pain suffered in a WW2 injury, Kennedy relied on the injections and according to book on the doctor I read, began behaving more and more erratically.   In the forward to the book, the authors said the book started as a biography of Bob Cummings until they stumbled onto the Dr. Jacobson connection with Kennedy.  The addiction may account for his own  erratic behavior, walking out of his last sitcom, the silly "high-concept" My Living Doll with only 5 more episodes to go. With so-so ratings it probably would have been cancelled anyway. It suffered the same problem as all these high-concept shows: there were just so many story lines that could be pursued.  Seems he did not get along with co-star Julie Newmar and gave Jim Aubrey a "her or me" ultimatum, a really ridiculous thing to do because it ended his chances of another series.  Despite his private addictions, he could still deliver the goods: his appearances on Here's Lucy are professional and gave the audience everything they might expect from Bob Cummings.  He left his wife of 25 years, married again, divorced and then, in 1989 married a fan who came out to Hollywood expecting to live with a star, instead finding an old man virtually destitute.  He died the next year, a rather sad ending.   The following is an excerpt from Bob's wikipedia biography.

 

He was a staunch advocate of natural foods and a healthy diet and in 1960 authored a book, Stay Young and Vital, which focused upon health foods and exercise.

Despite his interest in health, Cummings was a methamphetamine addict from the mid-1950s until the end of his life. Cummings began receiving injections from Max Jacobson, the notorious "Dr. Feelgood", in 1954 during a trip to New York to star in the TV production of Twelve Angry Men.[17][dubious discuss]

Rose and Cummings' friends Rosemary Clooney and José Ferrer recommended the doctor to Cummings, who was complaining of a lack of energy. While Jacobson insisted that his injections contained only "vitamins, sheep sperm and monkey gonads", they actually contained a substantial dose of methamphetamine.

Cummings continued to use a mixture provided by Jacobson, eventually becoming a patient of Jacobson's son Thomas, who was based in Los Angeles, and later injecting himself. The changes in Cummings' personality caused by the euphoria of the drug and subsequent depression damaged his career and led to an intervention by his friend, television host Art Linkletter. The intervention was not successful, and Cummings' drug abuse and subsequent career collapse were factors in his divorce from his third wife Mary, and his divorce from his fourth wife, Gina Fong.

After Jacobson was forced out of business in the 1970s, Cummings developed his own drug connections based in the Bahamas. Suffering from Parkinson's Disease, he was forced to move into homes for indigent older actors in Hollywood

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Bought a book about the doctor dubbed Dr. Feelgood who traveled with Kennedy and gave him "miracle injections" which he touted as a mixture of vitamins and hormones but the "secret Ingredient" was essential METH.They make a good argument for this being the reason for his assassination . JFK had a variety of health issues including a bad back, symptoms that were relieved by the injections. He was getting more and more addicted and his behavior was becoming erratic.The authors started writing a book about ,of all people, BOB CUMMINGS who post Love That Bob started getting these injections and according to firends became a different person, but shifted their focus to the doctor. This would have been around the same time Bob wrote the book "How to Stay Young and Vital". Bob lived on a regimen of vitamins and health foods.

Bob's meth-fueled argumentative behavior led to his confrontation with Jim Aubrey over the direction of "My Living Doll". He had written a script which focused more on his character than Julie Newmar. CBS rejected it because what fans the show had were tuning in for Julie. Bob gave Jim Aubrey the ultimatum: either do it this way or I walk....and you know what happened. Aubrey spread the word about his drug addiction and he became unemployable (though imdb lists many credits but his days as a bankable star seemed to be over). While making some cheapy Kung Fu movie in Hong Kong, he met a local woman,divorced his wife and married her....Lost everything in the divorce and to the IRS, descended into heavy addiction and got what work he could in dinner theater. When this wife divorced him, he had to move into the Horace Heidt apartments for down and out entertainers and subsisted on his pension. Needing live in care,he found some woman from Indiana in his fan mail who came out and married him,but then physically abused the old guy. He died a year later.....broke and still a an addict.Among the other Dr. Feelgood clients (revealed in his office notes) at one time or another included many people in the Kennedy clan including Jackie, Alice Ghostley, Paul Lynde, Orson Welles, Rosemary Clooney, Hedy LaMarr, Arlene Francis and Martin Gabel, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Winston Churchill. These people thought they were getting something perfectly safe. It wasn't until a New York Times expose in the 70s that the meth ingredient was exposed.

Evidently Hitler had his own Dr. Feelgood and was given much higher doses which may explain his wild assertion that he could take over the world.

This book is relatively thin but does seem to be well-researched.

 

OMG, Neil!  What an expose'; it makes me wonder if each of these 'top-shelf' people knew their own doctor was abusing them!  That doctor should have been arrested!  Thanks for posting, though.  I had never hard of any addict you mention, except for Kennedy; but, as President, it seems impossible that doctor passed 'muster' with the Secret Service or even those close to the President.  And, THAT, was over 55 years ago.... Scary!

 

Loving you,  JK :fabrary:

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Bought a book about the doctor dubbed Dr. Feelgood who traveled with Kennedy and gave him "miracle injections" which he touted as a mixture of vitamins and hormones but the "secret Ingredient" was essential METH.They make a good argument for this being the reason for his assassination . JFK had a variety of health issues including a bad back, symptoms that were relieved by the injections. He was getting more and more addicted and his behavior was becoming erratic.The authors started writing a book about ,of all people, BOB CUMMINGS who post Love That Bob started getting these injections and according to firends became a different person, but shifted their focus to the doctor. This would have been around the same time Bob wrote the book "How to Stay Young and Vital". Bob lived on a regimen of vitamins and health foods.

Bob's meth-fueled argumentative behavior led to his confrontation with Jim Aubrey over the direction of "My Living Doll". He had written a script which focused more on his character than Julie Newmar. CBS rejected it because what fans the show had were tuning in for Julie. Bob gave Jim Aubrey the ultimatum: either do it this way or I walk....and you know what happened. Aubrey spread the word about his drug addiction and he became unemployable (though imdb lists many credits but his days as a bankable star seemed to be over). While making some cheapy Kung Fu movie in Hong Kong, he met a local woman,divorced his wife and married her....Lost everything in the divorce and to the IRS, descended into heavy addiction and got what work he could in dinner theater. When this wife divorced him, he had to move into the Horace Heidt apartments for down and out entertainers and subsisted on his pension. Needing live in care,he found some woman from Indiana in his fan mail who came out and married him,but then physically abused the old guy. He died a year later.....broke and still a an addict.Among the other Dr. Feelgood clients (revealed in his office notes) at one time or another included many people in the Kennedy clan including Jackie, Alice Ghostley, Paul Lynde, Orson Welles, Rosemary Clooney, Hedy LaMarr, Arlene Francis and Martin Gabel, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Winston Churchill. These people thought they were getting something perfectly safe. It wasn't until a New York Times expose in the 70s that the meth ingredient was exposed.

Evidently Hitler had his own Dr. Feelgood and was given much higher doses which may explain his wild assertion that he could take over the world.

This book is relatively thin but does seem to be well-researched.

 

OMG, Neil!  What an expose'; it makes me wonder if each of these 'top-shelf' people knew their own doctor was abusing them!  That doctor should have been arrested!  Thanks for posting, though.  I had never hard of any addict you mention, except for Kennedy; but, as President, it seems impossible that doctor passed 'muster' with the Secret Service or even those close to the President.  And, THAT, was over 55 years ago.... Scary!

 

Loving you,  JK :fabrary:

 

Kennedy's personal physician appointed by the White House was not happy with the relationship between JFK and Dr. Feelgood, but remember the doctor had everybody convinced that his concoction was made up of exotic ingredients that gave you energy (everything except "eye of newt" and the "brown tooth of an alley cat") along with Vitamin B12.  I suspect that the amphetamine ingredient wasn't as strong as meth is today, but just enough to give his "patients" a lift and improve their concentration.  And of course, no one realized what the addictive qualities were.   It's all fascinating stuff.   Dr. Jacobson was arrested in the 70s.  Don't know what happened to the case.

Since he was based in New York and was used by a lot of performers, I wouldn't be surprised if Lucy indulged in his services to get through Wildcat.  There's no mention of her in the long list of celebrities discovered in his files.

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Practically all of these "old friends" are gone now.  Too bad Eve's mic wasn't on for her "damn few" line.  Hey at 5:26 there's a white haired gentleman.  Could that be Desi?  Unfortunately he's mostly covered up by closing credits.   I don't know what month the Emmy show was.  Desi died in December of 1986.

 

Catch a glimpse of Bob Cummings at the end of this clip.  A nice idea but too fleeting a glimpse of stars who got all gussied up.

 

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