Archive for June, 2008

Cecil B. DeMille on Wallace Reid…

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Cecil B. DeMille Talks About…



Wallace Reid




Wallace Reid, one of  the outstanding stars of his time, was first brought to DeMille’s  attention in D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1915).


“He [Reid] played the part of blacksmith in the picture, and I was very impressed with the marvelous fight he put up. He was probably on the screen not more than seventy-five feet, but his magnificent physical strength and appearance was striking.


“However, Wally wasn’t very much of an actor in those days. He was stiff and rather wooden, and it was difficult to make him unbend. I sent for him and we had a chat. He was very much a kid, but I put him under contract fro a small amount, something like $60 or $75 a week. I gave him important leads to do and later public opinion made a star out of him.


“The first thing he did for me was with Geraldine Farrar in Maria Rosa (1916), then with Farrar in Carmen (1915), and later with the same star in Joan the Woman (1917). Then I decided to allow him to carry a picture, without starring in it, and I called the picture The Golden Chance (1915). Cleo Ridgely played opposite him in it, and it proved indeed to be Wally’s golden chance. It was a big success and Wally was a very big success in it.”

— Cecil B. DeMille


NOTE: I think DeMille had some problems with his chronology


The preceding is taken from an interview that DeMille gave the Los Angeles Times on August 21, 1932.




Hollywood Memorabilia…

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Last act for Hollywood memorabilia


Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times
Movie magazines, including a 1918 edition of Motion Picture with silent film star Norma Talmadge on the cover, are part of a 3-million-piece collection of memorabilia at the Collector’s Book Store in Hollywood that are moving to storage in Newbury Park before being auctioned six months from now


The 3-million piece collection of movie posters, magazines, photos and other items will be stored in Newbury Park and auctioned off in December.


By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 26, 2008


They are packing up Old Hollywood and moving it to Newbury Park.


That’s where about 3 million film studio publicity stills, 50,000 original movie posters and 20,000 vintage fan magazines will be stored until they are auctioned off six months from now.  READ MORE



Milton Sills and Doris Kenyon in the 1930 Census…

Monday, June 23rd, 2008


Milton Sills & Doris Kenyon

(1882-1930) —————- (1897-1979)


Film Actors

Nifty Miller in The Barker (1928)

Lady Mary in Monsieur Beaucaire (1924)


sills-m1.jpg kenyon-d21.jpg


A view of the Sills/Kenyon home as it looks today


315 N. Saltair Avenue

Brentwood Heights

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California

Owned, $300,000


Census recorded on April 18, 1930





  1. Milton Sills (head), 43 / Illinois / Actor / Moving pictures
  2. Doris K. Sills [Doris Kenyon] (wife), 29 / New York / Actress / Moving pictures
  3. Kenyon Sills (son), 3 yrs., 11 mos. / New York / None
  4. Margaret Kenyon (mother-in-law), 68 / widowed / New York / None
  5. Arina Taylor (servant), 59 / Illinois / Secretary / Private family
  6. Alex Lasclo (servant), 41 / Hungary (1905) / Butler /Private family
  7. Marta Peterman (servant), 31 / Finland (1924) / Cook / Private family
  8. Jose Lonana (servant), 42 / Mexico (1916) / Gardener / Private family
  9. Petri Nalder (servant), 49 / Mexico (1918) / Gardener / Private family



Note: Milton Sills died in this house five months after this enumeration took place





* Information includes relationship to head of household, age / place of birth (year of arrival in this country, if applicable) / occupation / industry.



The preceeding text is taken from my recent book, Celebrities in the 1930 Census (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2008). This directory provides an extensive listing of household information collected for over 2,265 famous or notorious individuals who were alive during the 1930 United States Census. Please note: The above photographs do not appear in the book.


Walk of Fame Recipients…

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

25 getting Hollywood Walk of Fame stars


The Associated Press

June 19, 2008


LOS ANGELES—Hollywood will enshrine an eclectic bunch in its famous curbside Walk of Fame next year, including Hugh Jackman, Sir Ben Kingsley, The Village People and fictional Tinkerbell


Other recipients of the sidewalk stars are the husband-and-wife Emmy-winning acting couple Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy, Cameron Diaz and Robert Downey Jr.


Tim Burton, Leslie Caron, Charles Durning and Ralph Fiennes join Jackman, Kingsley, Macy and Tinkerbell in the motion picture category.


Besides Huffman, television honorees include William Petersen, Kyra Sedgwick, John Stamos and producers Mark Burnett and Chuck Lorre.


The disco group The Village People are in the recording category with Kenny “Baby Face” Edmonds, Dave Koz, The Miracles, Doug Morris, Rush and Shakira.


The radio category includes KFI radio personality Bill Handel and KCRW host Harry Shearer, who also provides voices for characters on The Simpsons.


The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Walk of Fame Committee chose recipients and they were ratified by the board of directors on Thursday.


Capitol Records…

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Capitol Records fears for its sound from Hollywood project



 Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times


Excavation would occur just feet away from famed echo chambers beneath the Hollywood tower. EMI is appealing an approval of the project as recording pros fret.


By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 18, 2008


They were singing the blues in the legendary Studio A at Hollywood’s Capitol Records tower.


“Losing this place would be a big deal. There’s nothing better than this anywhere in the world,” said recording engineer Al Schmitt.


Schmitt, a 19-time Grammy winner, was standing over the banquet-table-size mixing board in the Vine Street studio’s control room. Punching a button on the console, he played back a silky smooth track recorded minutes earlier by jazz singer Roberta Gambarini. The sound was flawless.


Those involved in Hollywood’s thriving music scene fear that’s about to change.  READ MORE



Columbia Studios…Then & Now

Monday, June 16th, 2008


Columbia Studios

Then & Now





(Top) THEN: Columbia Studios (1930s)

(Then) NOW: Sunset-Gower Studios (2008)


 Gower Street and Afton Place

Hollywood, California

Chief Dark Cloud at Hollywood Forever…

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Chief Dark Cloud

aka Elijah Tahamont



BORN: September 20, 1855, St. Francis Indian Village, Quebec, Canada

DIED: October 17, 1918, Los Angeles, California

CAUSE OF DEATH: Lobular pneumonia following Spanish Influenza

BURIAL: Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Section 10W


By Allan R. Ellenberger


Chief Dark Cloud, whose real name was Elijah Tahamont, was a Native American film actor sometimes billed as William Dark Cloud. He was also a popular and highly paid model who posed for over twenty years for famed sculptor, Frederic Remington. He was a chief of the Algonquin tribe (or Abenaquis tribe depending on the source) and prior to his film career was known as a popular lecturer.



Dark Cloud began working for American Mutoscope and Biograph in 1910, making his first screen appearance under the direction of D. W. Griffith. Moving west, he appeared in scores of westerns and other films.





Dark Cloud was married to Soaring Dove (Margaret Camp), also a model, and the father of actress Beulah Dark Cloud (1887-1945) and Bessie ‘Bright’ Eyes Tahamont (who died at the age of fifteen in September 1907, in Astoria, New York). Both girls were the first Native American children to attend a New York public school.



Dark Cloud was reportedly an alcoholic and womanizer, which gained him many enemies. Influenza, which was at a world-wide epidemic, was the official cause of his death in 1918. However, rumors at the time claimed that he was either murdered by a jealous husband or died from accidental drowning.




Thanks to Jim L of Hollywoodunderground for Dark Cloud’s date and cause of death


The preceding is one in a series of biographical sketches of
Hollywood Forever Cemetery residents.




Cary Grant in the 1930 Census…

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008




Cary Grant


ne Archibald Leach

Film Actor

Roger O. Thornhill in North by Northwest (1959)





(click on image to enlarge) 


128-130 West 47th Street

Manhattan, New York County, New York


Rent, no data

no Radio

Census taken on April 22, 1930




  1. Arthur [sic] Leach (lodger), 27 / England (1922) / Actor / Theatre.




* Information includes relationship to head of household, age / place of birth (year of arrival in this country, if applicable) / occupation / industry.


The preceeding text is taken from my recent book, Celebrities in the 1930 Census (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2008). This directory provides an extensive listing of household information collected for over 2,265 famous or notorious individuals who were alive during the 1930 United States Census. Please note: The above photographs do not appear in the book.

New York: Then & Now…

Friday, June 6th, 2008


The Paramount Theatre

Then & Now




TOP: The Paramount Theatre on Times Square (1933)

BOTTOM: The former Paramount Building (2008)


1501 Broadway @ West 43rd Street

Manhattan, New York


On Times Square, on November 19, 1926, the New York Paramount Theatre opened its doors to a full 3,364 seat house and rave reviews. The New York Times ran the first ad, describing “an acre of seats in a palace of splendor.” The flagship house of the Paramount-Publix chain, spearheaded by Adolph Zukor, was an architectural triumph.


Cornerstone of the Paramount Building


NOTE: The “Then” photo shows the Paramount Theater in 1933. The film showing is Pick-up starring Sylvia Sydney and George Raft. The building to the right of the Paramount is the Astor Hotel, which was demolished in 1966. In the bottom “Now” photo, the former Paramount building looks virtually the same except that it is no longer a theater but a Hard Rock Cafe restaurant.


Universal Studios Fire…

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Low water pressure hampers fight against Universal Studios fire



A soundstage and several sets are lost as billowing smoke raises health concerns. The theme park remains closed today.


A studio set is engulfed as firefighters work to extinguish it early this morning at
Universal Studios.  (Los Angeles Times)


By Bettina Boxall, and Ari Bloomekatz and Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
6:04 PM PDT, June 1, 2008 


Low water pressure hampered efforts today to fight a fire that raged through the Universal Studios back lot in Universal City, destroying a soundstage, the theme park’s King Kong attraction and film sets such as the Courthouse Square seen in Back to the Future and the New York streetscape from Bruce AlmightyREAD MORE


 Smoldering wreckage stretches on for blocks as firefighters continue battling a
blaze on the Universal Studios lot. (Los Angeles Times)


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