OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Lassie's Timmy and Blackhawk Denis Savard here this week

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-04-24T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Lassie's Timmy and Blackhawk Denis Savard here this weekBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Child star actor Jon Provost released his autobiography in 2007 to mark his 50th anniversary as a part of television history when he first premiered as Timmy Martin on CBS' "Lassie."

Provost, who turned 63 last month, even received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame back in 1994, thanks to some help from famed "Lassie" fans like director Ron Howard, Jay Leno and Oprah Winfrey.

On Saturday, Provost will be in Chicago for a great event starting at noon until 2 p.m. at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago called "Remembering Lassie: An Afternoon with Jon 'Timmy' Provost." Tickets are just $12 by calling (312) 624-8010 or better yet, purchase online at museum.tv.

He's coming to participate in the MBC's celebration of the long running television series that began on CBS in 1954. Provost, who played Timmy, joined the cast in 1957 as an orphan boy and replaced the child actor Tommy Rettig, who died in 1996 at age 54. Provost will answer fan questions, which I'm sure will include references to his TV moms from "Lassie," Cloris Leachman and June Lockhart, both actresses, who are now age 87!

Provost will also be signing special edition MBC posters, as well as his hardcover book "Timmy's in the Well: The Jon Provost Story" ($30 Cumberland Press 2007) and other memorabilia available for purchase in the MBC Gift Shop.

Provost's show biz career first began in motion pictures in 1953 at age 2, when he starred with Jane Wyman and Sterling Hayden in the film "So Big," followed by his portrayal of Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly's son in "The Country Girl."

After his "Lassie" years, he also made memorable television appearances with Jack Benny, Dinah Shore, Jay North and even TV's talking horse Mr. Ed.

Provost said one of his favorite moments meeting notables while on the studio lot was when he got to have lunch one day with the late, great Bob Hope in the commissary of Desilu/Paramount Studios. Hope told a very young Provost: "Jon, I watch your show every Sunday night and you and Lassie always make me cry. Can you do something to make me laugh?"

Provost, who was missing some of his childhood teeth surprised Hope by popping out his "tiny partial plate" made for him by the studio make-up department, which caused Hope to erupt in laughter.

Blue Chip Blackhawk

Hockey legend Denis Savard, who played for the Chicago Blackhawks and then served as coach, is not only now a Blackhawks ambassador for the team and a Hockey Hall of Fame member, but he's also the sports celebrity spokesman for Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City. He'll be at The Game restaurant and sports bar at Blue Chip from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight to meet and greet fans and watch the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Edmonton Oilers. There will be free drawings for NHL merchandise. For details, call (888) 879-7711 or visit bluechipcasino.com. Denis also has his own line of frozen "Savy's Pizzas" at all Jewel food stores in Indiana and Illinois and also Town & Country supermarkets, Ultra Foods, and select Strack & Van Til stores.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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