George Christy Talks About Pete and Madelyn Hammond, Holiday Greetings, Grease, Bonnie and Clyde And More!
“It started out as a joke when Pete and I were vacationing in Hawaii and goofing around on a beach in Maui. ‘Hey, let’s pose like Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in that sexy scene from From Here to Eternity.’ We laughed and we did, and a friend photographed us. On a lark we sent 100 greeting cards with the photo to relatives, personal and work friends with our Christmas greetings.
“That was 19 years ago,” says Madelyn Hammond. Everyone in the filmmaking world knows Madelyn’s the savvy entertainment marketing guru who heads her own firm. And husband Pete Hammond’s the must-read Hollywood Deadline columnist, who, these days, is the seer reporting on the pulsating Oscar race.
“Next thing you know, the following year we were strolling around the Universal City Walk and popped into this touristy place where people pose with different Hollywood settings. Well, we were moving to new digs, and we picked the backdrop with the balloon taking off in The Wizard of Oz …
“Christmas cards with that photo followed. Industry folks began carrying on about what fun they are. Soon enough, telephones began ringing, everyone asking to be ‘put on the list,’ everyone curious about what our next card would be. That’s when we realized we launched a tradition.
“Needless to say, the list’s now increased to 1,000 people. And although it’s a lot of work to stuff, seal and stamp the cards, we figure it’s worth it. Sometimes this is the only time of year we connect with certain friends. And in this day of ‘electronic everything,’ Pete and I feel nothing beats an ‘old-fashioned’ Christmas card.
“Our friends tell us their kids especially look forward to the cards. Even though they probably don’t know the film references, they think the cards are funny. We’re happy that they are.
“Holiday cards may seem passé to some, but this is Pete’s and my way of saying we’re still here, we’re still together, we’re still goofy, and that we treasure our friendships.”