Archive for March, 2008

Jimmy Bangley Memorial

Monday, March 31st, 2008

A Tribute to Jimmy Bangley



 Jimmy Bangley (1956-2004) 


On December 8, 2004, our friend Jimmy Bangley sadly passed away from our lives. He was returned to his family in Suffolk, Virginia to be interred next to his beloved grandmother. The memorial service the following January was a standing-room-only event. Since then, his friends have made donations to purchase a cenotaph niche at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. A place where we can visit and remember. Yesterday, that dream came true when more than 30 friends gathered at the cemetery’s Cathedral Mausoleum to unveil the decorated niche to his memory.


For those who did not know him, Jimmy Bangley was an accomplished actor, writer and film historian. He appeared in numerous plays both here in Los Angeles and his hometown in Virginia. His film credits included roles in the films Rollercoaster (1977), Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel (2000) and the Faye Dunaway short film, The Yellow Bird (2001).  He also appeared in more than 200 television programs representing Hollywood memorabilia and film costumes since the early 1990s. Although his first love was acting, he was also a successful writer. He wrote numerous articles for Collecting magazine, Classic Images and Films of the Golden Age.


Over the years Jimmy waited tables, performed stand-up comedy and sold celebrity memorabilia. For a while he worked at the Writers Guild and spoke at the yearly Rudolph Valentino Memorial at Hollywood Forever. He was also working on a biography of the “Too beautiful” silent screen siren, Barbara La Marr, with his close friend Margaret Burk. Jimmy was multi-faceted and had his hands in many pies during his brief life.


For more about Jimmy, please click on CONTINUE READING…



Hollywood Playhouse: Then and Now

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Hollywood Playhouse:

Then and Now







(Top) Then: Hollywood Playhouse in the 1930s

(Bottom) Now: Hollywood Avalon in 2006


1735 N. Vine Street, Hollywood




Michael Hopkins Birthday!

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Happy Birthday Michael Hopkins!


Michael and Miriam Hopkins

Miriam Hopkins and her son Michael (photo by Jean Negulesco)
(Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)



Today is the 76th birthday of Miriam Hopkins son, Michael. Miriam adopted Michael when he was six weeks old from The Cradle, an adoption agency in Evanston, Illinois. Her friend, writer Dorothy Parker, accompanied Miriam to Chicago for support.


I’ve been asked if Michael and his mother had a similar relationship as Joan Crawford reportedly had with her adopted daughter Christina. I can say that the answer is no — the Hopkins’ relationship was a caring relationship. At the age of eight Michael began attending private schools in Arizona, California and the east. After school, Michael joined the Air Force and made that his career. While based in Morrocco, he met and married a French girl, Christiane. In 1955 they made Miriam a grandmother when their son Thomas was born.


I am happy to say that Michael Hopkins, his wife Christiane and their son Michael are all supporting and cooperating with my biography of their mother and grandmother, Miriam Hopkins.


The following is from an unsourced newspaper dated May 5, 1932

Miriam Hopkins Adopts Orphanage Baby Boy


Signing of Papers Reveals Actress’s Divorce


CHICAGO, May 4 (AP) — Miriam Hopkins, an actress, was aboard a New York-bound train today playing a new role, mother to an adopted baby boy, whom she selected yesterday from The Cradle, an Evanston orphanage.


In answering questions necessary to the infant’s legal adoptin, the screen and stage actress revealed in court that she and her playwright husband, Austin Parker, were divorced. They separated about a year ago.


Discovery of her plan to adopt a child and the resulting publicity irked the actress and after adoption papers were signed she left Judge Edmund K. Jarecki’s court, declaring she did not want to talk about it, or anything else for that matter.


“I hate all this publicity over a simple thing. I don’t have to give any reasons,” she said to a reporter who asked why she wanted to adopt a baby. “It is just a fact and we will live wherever I happen to be working.”


In court she told the judge she would rear the child as her own and had already set aside a trust fund for it. She testified she was unmarried. All that could be learned about the baby was that it was “Boy Wilson.” The orphanage operates on a policy of declining to make public information on adoptions. Miss Hopkins came here from Hollywood yesterday.



Obit…Abby Mann

Friday, March 28th, 2008
Abby Mann, 80; won screenwriting Oscar for ‘Judgement at Nuremberg’


By Susan King, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

March 28, 2008


Abby Mann, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of 1961’s “Judgement at Nuremberg” and such acclaimed TV movies as 1973’s “The Marcus-Nelson Murders” and 1989’s “Murderers Among us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story,” died Tuesday of heart failure in Beverly Hills. He was 80.



Hollywood Street Names

Thursday, March 27th, 2008


Hollywood street name origins


Santa Monica Blvd. in 1906, looking west from Western Avenue

Santa Monica Blvd. in 1906, looking west from Western Avenue


By Allan R. Ellenberger

Have you ever wondered the origin of many of the street names in the neighborhood that you travel on daily? In many towns and cities the names date back to its beginning; the same is true of Hollywood. However, you won’t see a Chaplin Avenue, Garbo Street or Garland Way here. Hollywood street names originated before the movies came to Tinseltown with the founding fathers. Though you may not recognize many or any of the names, here is a list of Hollywood streets and their namesakes:


Ambrose Street — Ambrose Gregory, rancher

Barton Avenue — Barton Jones, grandson of Cornelius Cole

Beachwood Drive — Albert Beach, subdivider

Bronson Avenue — Marcus Alonzo Bronson, realtor

Cahuenga Avenue — Cahuenga Indians

Carlton Way — Carlton Warner, son of subdivider

Carmen Avenue — Carmen Lopez, son of Pres. Lopez, rancher

Cole Avenue, Cole Place — Senator Cornelius Cole

De Longpre Avenue — Paul De Longpre, artist

El Centro Avenue — Center of Cole Ranch

Eleanor Street — Eleanor Cole, daughter of Seward Cole

Eulalia Street — Mrs. Eulalia Grass

Finley Avenue — Rev. Finley, Methodist minister

Gardner Street — Dr. Alan Gardner

Gower Street — George T. Gower, rancher

Gregory Street — Ambrose Gregory, rancher

Harold Way — Harold Warner, son of subdivider

Havenhurst Avenue — W. H. Hay

Highland Avenue — Highland Price, wife of Walter Price, the blacksmith

Hudson Avenue — Thomas Hudson, rancher

Ivar Avenue — Ivar Weid, owner of Weid Ranch

Lodi Place — Lodi, New York; birthplace of Cornelius Cole

McCadden Place — W. C. McCadden, subdivider

Melrose Avenue — E. A. Melrose, rancher

Nichols Canyon — Mr. Nichols, rancher

Ogden Drive — Mary B. Ogden, pioneer

Santa Monica Blvd. — Road leading to Santa Monica

Selma Avenue — Selma Weid, daughter of Ivar Weid

Seward Street — Seward Cole, son of Cornelius Cole

Sunset Blvd. — Road leading to ocean and sunset

Taft Avenue — B. Y. Taft, developer and realtor

Townsend Street — Maiden name of Cornelius Cole’s mother

Vine Street — Through Cornelius Cole’s vineyard

Waring Avenue — Capt. Howard Waring, son-in-law of Cornelius Cole

Whitley Avenue — H. J. Whitley, subdivider

Wilcox Avenue — Harvey H. Wilcox, founder of Hollywood

Willoughby Street — Willoughby Cole, son of Cornelius Cole



Obit…Richard Widmark

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Richard Widmark, Actor, Dies at 93

New York Times, March 26, 2008

Richard Widmark, who created a villain in his first movie role who was so repellent and frightening that the actor became a star overnight, died Monday at his home in Roxbury, Conn. He was 93. READ MORE

Tough-guy actor Richard Widmark dies at 93

CNN, March 26, 2008

HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) — Richard Widmark, who made a sensational film debut as the giggling killer in “Kisss of Death” and became a Hollywood leading man in “Broken Lance,” “Two Rode Together” and 40 other films, has died after a long illness. He was 93. READ MORE

Richard Widmark

Richard Widmark, 93; actor played both heavies and heroes


Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2008


Richard Widmark, who made an indelible screen debut in 1947 as a giggling sadistic killer and later brought a sense of urban cynicism and unpredictability to his roles as a leading man, has died. He was 93. READ MORE


Richard Widmark Internet Movie Database


Richard Widmark Biography Biography Channel













(AVCO Embassy Pictures / Los Angeles Times)



Former Radio Building May Go…

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Landmark Hollywood Building in Danger of Demolition 


Hollywood may lose yet another historical building. The former KFWB (980-FM) news-radio studio at 6230 W. Yucca Street, will be razed unless it can be rehabilitated by April 3. City inspectors have declared it a fire hazard and an eyesore. The trash-filled studios must have its doors barricaded, graffiti painted over and must be fenced in. The current owner plans to build a 16-story combination commercial and residential tower — just what Hollywood needs.


KFWB radio was started on March 1, 1925 by Warner Brothers when the studio was located on Sunset Boulevard. The call letters stand for “Four Warner Brothers” however, other sources have reported it to be, “Keep Filming Warner Brothers.” Which ever is true, the radio station moved into the Yucca Street building in 1977.


A few years ago KFWB moved to a Wilshire Boulevard high-rise in the Miracle Mile area, joining four other local radio stations. Sadly, Hollywood is no longer the center for radio that it had been for more than 85 years.


Source: “Bad News for a Landmark of Radio,” Los Angeles Times, March 25, 2008


Just a few Hollywood landmark buildings that have bit the dust:


Brown Derby. 1628 N. Vine [huge hotel and residential complex being built on the site]

Don the Beachcomber. 1727 North McCadden Place [parking lot]

Fox Studios. 1428 North Western Avenue [strip malls and parking lot]

Garden Court Apartments. 7021 Hollywood Blvd. [commercial building]

Garden of Allah. 8152 Sunset Blvd. (West Hollywood) [bank, McDonald’s, parking lot]

Gilmore Stadium. 7800 Beverly Blvd. [CBS Studios]

Hollywood Canteen. 1451 Cahuenga Blvd. [parking structure]

Hollywood Ranch Market. 1248 Vine Street [mini mall]

Hollywood Hotel. 6811 Hollywood Blvd. [Hollywood & Highland complex, Kodak Theatre]

Famous Players Lasky Studios. 1520 Vine Street [bank, parking lot]

Lucey’s Restaurant. 5444 Melrose Avenue [parking lot]

Masquer’s Club. 1765 Sycamore Street [apartment building]

Wallich’s Music City. 1501 Vine Street [commercial development]

Western Costume. 5335 Melrose Avenue [now part of Paramount Studios]



Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle Birthday

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Happy Birthday to Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle on what would be his 121st birthday. I know there are some that get upset at referring to the comedian as “Fatty” and believe me, I can understand why he did not want to be called as such, but that is what most people know him as.






As most people know, Arbuckle’s career was cut short when he was placed on trial for the rape and death of actress, Virginia Rappe. A friend and film researcher Joan Myers has been working on a book project that will shed light on some different and unknown aspects of the comedians trial. To learn more about it, go to the Alternative Film Guide and read the Q & A by Andre Soares with Joan.




Joan Crawford’s Birthday…

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Happy 100th Birthday

Joan Crawford!





According to whatever source you believe, movie star diva Joan Crawford is anywhere from 99 to 103 years old today. If the Social Security Death Index is correct, today is her 100th birthday.


Tonight on TCM they played a documentary, Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002) and interviewed silent film star, Anita Page. There was one error in which the producers claimed that Page costarred with Crawford in Sally, Irene and Mary (1925), which is incorrect. Their first film together was Our Dancing Daughters (1928). That’s an error that could have been prevented.


In any event, Happy Birthday Joan.


MGM Studios…Then and Now

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios:

Then and Now






(Top) Then: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in the 1920s
(Bottom) Now: Sony Pictures Studios in 2006


10202 West Washington Boulevard, Culver City